Manila is the Philippines most crowded city. You’ll feel the tropical heat coming down on you as you navigate bustling streets. But with a favorable exchange rate and a largely service-based economy, you can afford to stay in a luxury hotel. Just make sure that your Manila hotel has a pool that can serve as your oasis away from the heat of the streets. Having the ability to cool off away from the noise can make or break you Philippines adventure.
The New World Manila Bay Hotel says it all right in the name — the hotel is located just feet from Manila Bay, the United States Embassy and the city’s famous Ocean Park. This lavish, high-rise hotel gives guests great views of the water and the bustling city of Manila. And when you get used to the views, you can head down to the pool. The attraction of the pool isn’t the size or the water features. Rather, it’s the greenery draping the giant walls that make this pool a true oasis inside a smoggy, hectic city. It’s the perfect way to cool off from the heat after a day adventuring in the Philippines biggest metropolis.
The Diamond Hotel Philippines stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the New World Manila Bay in a phalanx of modern buildings that guard Manila’s oceanside Route 1 highway. This clean, dark and masculine high-rise is a five-star hotel that caters to a tasteful crowd. But all the hotel’s pampering is within reach due to a favorable exchange rate that keeps prices rather modest. The pool area is rather small but it is surrounded by a fence of palm trees that keep the city away. It features a grotto underneath a waterfall, a separate hot tub for romantic late nights and a full outdoor bar.
Well off the water in the Makita area of Manila you’ll find the Discovery Primea. This hotel is routinely reviewed well for exceptional service, a great vibe, lightning fast internet, beautiful rooms and a delicious breakfast. Outer rooms feature stunning views in all directions and the hotel features a world-class spa. But it’s the pool that sets the Discovery Primea apart. A rooftop infinity pool beckons the bold to swim up to its edge for an unobstructed view of the city’s magnificent skyline. The pool is particularly breathtaking at sundown when the day gives way to the sparkling city lights below.
The Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila towers over the Manila Trade Center and the Philippines International Convention Center right on the waters of Manila Bay. Bright yellows and oranges are offset by dark woods and purple inside this 5-star hotel. There’s a beautiful beach nearby, the food in the hotel is delicious and, of course, the pool is spectacular. If you’re lucky enough to see the pool from your room, you’ll see a serpentine lazy river-style pool complete with an artificial beach, three bridges, an island, a swim-up bar and plenty of in-water seating. The pool is sheltered from the city by the towering hotel and the views open up to Manila Bay.
The I’M hotel is in the heart of Makati south of Manila proper. The hotel boasts the largest spa in the whole country and is only steps away from the trendy Makati Central Business District. It’s also a short walk to the Pasig River that winds its way through the metropolis. The hotel itself is also trendy with sleek rooms, modern art pieces and a funky pool area. The roofdeck pool is surrounded by colorful, people-sized bird cages for relaxation and a wall of graffiti. This pool embraces the city instead of hiding from it.
Down in a giant circle of roads that crowns the Festival Alabang, you’ll find the Acacia Hotel Manila. The rooms in this Muntinlupa hotel feature colorful carpet prints, brilliantly white ceilings and soothing beige walls. The rooftop pool wraps around the semicircular hotel to become an oasis above the city with uninterrupted, 360-degree views. You can look out over the Laguna de Bay or peer into the upscale Alabang just a block away. Grab a drink, meander up to the pool’s edge and drink in Manila.
The Hyatt City of Dreams Manila towers just a block inland from Manila Bay, the Alphaland Bay City Park and the waterside Solaire Casino. This intensely golden high-rise seems to be impossibly held up by giant, teetering columns of gold at its base. The modern architecture continues inside with wavy corridor walls and golden sphere light fixtures. The rooftop pool is something you’d expect from a luxury Vegas casino resort. The pool’s edge hangs over the water while overflow seemingly cascades off the edge of the building.
This incredibly affordable 4-star hotel is waiting for you in Manila’s southern Muntinlupa area near the Laguna de Bay. The hotel is decorated with dark colors while the rooms are spartan and small. The lights stay low in this super-clean hotel perhaps to hide the fact that the hotel is budget friendly, but travelers don’t seem to mind one bit. The Azumi Boutique Hotel is routinely rated high for a cool vibe, fast service, cleanliness and its unbelievable pool. The water is long and thin like a narrow lap pool. The spa runs the entire length of the pool with large bay windows. There’s only a strip of artificial turf and wooden benches separating the two. And the water seems to cascade over the edge of the roof into the city below.