From the outside, Fairmont Makati hotel in Manila, is an imperious yet featureless, searing glass tower supported by a protruding belly of stack bond masonry. I took a picture but know immediately that no editing or framing can heighten its appeal aesthetically. Still I was here, and it only took fifteen minutes in the taxi from the airport.
The lobby chimed with wafts of waling. An explosion of yellow and green Chrysanthemums, tulips, lilies, sat centrally beneath strings of gold and yellow willowy glass, undoubtedly Murano. I jotted a puerile note in my diary whilst checking in, 'a beautiful mesmeric chaos of gigantic illuminated sperm'. Eat that Graham Greene.
The red quartz stairwell that folded back upon itself to the upper floors was centred by a glass chandelier made from a hundred or so baubles, that had the drooped in a shape children do when they throw bed linen over themselves and pretend to be ghosts.
The room has an open feel and the hotel offers 280 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites with unparalleled views of the stunning Makati skyline. Mine was modern yet utterly utilitarian, with traditional ornate mahogany trimmings around the head of the bed. I cracked up a San Miguel from the fridge, a handsome $5AUD but there was simply no debating not having a beer after flying halfway around the world. I took a shower immediately after. The rain shower had a sublime pressure, probably in my top 3 showers I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. (Note: Idea for a coffee table book, Top 100 Best Hotel Showers. Actually scrap that, that's probably the worst idea I've ever had). And -there were towels aplenty.
The location of this hotel is great - right next to the Greenbelt which is known for its fantastic array of restaurants and boutiques. The Fairmont has a private underground walkway that provides guests with direct access to the nearby shopping malls and it is also connected to the Raffles hotel, which has a highly what some critics would call 'instagramable' rooftop bar.
The breakfast buffet had everything and now I'm back in the UK I'm already longing for some coconut drinks to go alongside my morning eggs. In the Spectrum dining area I chanced the seafood ceviche and the chicken adobo which didn't disappoint.
SO Fairmont, your food is uniformly good, your location is ideal, your humble and courteous staff members need to be cloned and sent to the UK to show our hospitality industry how it's done, but whats going on with the WIFI? It was usable and the range reached everywhere in the hotel, but on occasions a pedestrian speed. At the time I thought the WIFI was great but that was only because I spent the last 4 nights in remote Philippines and was comparing it to a snails pace. That and the lack of USB ports by the bed to charge my electrical farm is something I'd look at for improvements.