January 8, 2014

Orchid Garden Suites

Every scar tells a story. A story that says I survived.

There are few survivors left in this modern and bustling city of Manila. I’m not talking of people but of old buildings and mansions that predates the war. Architecturally speaking, I admire the beauty and charm of old Manila. But there are only a few remnants that remind us of the genteel era. One living example is the Orchid Garden Suites, a survivor which has a rich story to tell. Well I'm glad Reina and I tagged along with Doc one lunch time to visit this historical hotel.

Partly hidden amidst a lush tropical garden in Pablo Ocampo, Malate right across the more modern Century Park Hotel, the Orchid Garden claims to be the first boutique hotel in Manila. A pre-war mansion built in 1930, it was originally owned by Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Villareal, son of Luis Enciso Villareal, one of the 13 martyrs of Bagumbayan. It was designed by one of the pioneers of modern Philippine architecture and Filipino national artist Pablo Antonio, in his own brand of Art Deco style.

After the war, it housed the Russian and Indonesian Embassies. As time goes by, additional modern structure was added to convert the mansion into a hotel. In 2006, the hotel was nominated for the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Architectural Adaptive Re-use.

The hotel lobby looks bright and elegant. Christmas decorations, chandelier, mirrors, paintings, and theater-like curtains adorn the room, making it quite nostalgic.

A wooden staircase leads to some rooms and function areas.

Rooms have a cozy modern feel. Long-term lease is available to accommodate guests who want to stay longer.

Standard room

Executive suite

Cattleya Restaurant, the all-day dining facility of the hotel, boasts of their sumptuous local and international cuisine in buffet and ala-carte style.

Fettuccine carbonara

 Grilled salmon steak

Banana turon ala mode

They also have an extensive selection of wines come happy hour.

For outdoor recreation activities, there’s a swimming pool partly surrounded by trees and orchids.

We do everything we can to preserve and protect love so it can endure forever. Well, I hope this heritage structure can be lovingly preserved too for the future generations to see.

Orchid Garden Suites
#620 Pablo Ocampo Sr. St.
Malate, Manila
Tel. No.: 523-9870, 523-9860
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