Trust the Marriott for doing things in a big way! The hotel group, through its property within Resorts World Manila, the Marriott Manila, just opened the largest ballroom in the Philippines with a total of 8,000 square meters of function space. The complex has several spaces for meetings and celebrations, from intimate meeting rooms to the grand ballroom with a capacity for 4,000 guests, a 3,000 square meter hall that’s so long it can probably double as a racing track. It really is a new step for the fledgling MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) industry in the Philippines with a new venue like this.
a plush room just for event planning
I attended the media launch last Tuesday expecting just to see, well, a big empty hall but came back blown away not only by the thought and investment that went into the facility but also for the potential that it can bring to Manila as a meeting and events destination. If promoted well, this could become a key component for sustaining a vibrant tourism sector in the city.
With three new restaurants, the Marriott Grand Ballroom can potentially be a dining destination to complement existing F&B options at the main building. There’s Crema, a gourmet coffee shop offering a mix between international and Filipino flavors. With special ingredients in their drink and food offerings such as Palawan honey and macapuno, I foresee that it would make a great alternative go-to place for those waiting out a long flight. It’s just a free shuttle ride away from NAIA Terminal 3 after all.
Given that the Marriott Manila serves some pretty decent Chinese food during weddings, I’ve always been perplexed as to why there’s no Chinese restaurant within the hotel grounds. This is no longer the case. Mian, a modern noodle bar reminiscent to those catering to white collars in New York, has opened within the complex offering short order items such as dumplings, rice bowls and of course, noodles.
Allegro, on the other hand, caters to those on the go with sandwiches, salads and desserts. I’m quite excited to try the sushi rolls though – a deli offering that is still at its infancy in the Philippines.
there are also meetings rooms inside the complex
I went for a tour across the complex. Beyond the new restaurants opening, we got to see the main ballroom that everyone’s talking about. At 3,000 square meters, it’s the biggest in the Philippines. Entering it for the first time, I was reminded immediately of the main ballroom at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore which is also one of the largest in the region. The ballroom at Marriott incorporates the newest technology where meeting spaces are concerned. Of particular note are the skyfolds that allow the main hall to be effectively and automatically partitioned into 4 parts. The acoustics were excellent when we tried it out, talking to each other from one end of the hall to another without having to shout.
From a technological standpoint, the great thing about Marriott’s ballroom is that there’s no-nonsense wifi access available. There’s no need to subscribe nor to enter passwords, it’s just free to use so rest assured any event can be easily posted to Facebook or Instagram and emails can be checked easily. In fact, there’s free wifi available throughout the hotel.
one of the smaller event spaces within the ballroom complex which can be used for birthday parties
The hardware may be impressive, but those planning to hold events there may be wondering how the food is like. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve tried the Chinese lauriat during a wedding held at the old grand ballroom and it was one of the better Chinese wedding set meals I’ve tried. During the media event, we got to preview a variation of their western set meal which could be served for events held at the new grand ballroom.
Helmed by the hotel’s executive chef, Meik Brammer, the 4-course dinner was one of the best western set lunches I’ve had since returning from Singapore. Of particular note was the high quality salmon that went into the tartar as well as the popsicle dessert that was creatively made. It was my first time to see a sweet ending so uniquely made.
The new grand ballroom has just opened but has already seen brisk bookings. With a space like this, I suppose one doesn’t have to worry about not being able to invite everyone. It’s for 4,000 after all.
The good thing about the ballroom at Marriott Manila is that guests can earn Marriott Reward Points simply by booking meetings, conventions and weddings here.
For inquiries and bookings, one can call Marriott Manila at +632 9889999 or visit manilamarriott.com