If you haven’t been around San Miguel Avenue in Ortigas Center recently, at least over the duration of the pandemic, you may have missed the fact that there’s now a new hotel this side of town. The Westin Manila, the seventh Marriott hotel in the Philippines, opened this March and marks the re-entry of the Westin brand in the country.
The 32-storey hotel, a property of the Robinsons Land Corporation, “offers premium hospitality with a strong focus on wellness,” says general manager Alexander Dietzsch at the opening ceremony held over the weekend.
Meegee Yap, director of sales and marketing, says it is Westin’s promise to fulfill the brand’s six pillars of well-being: Eat Well, Sleep Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well. “We empower our guests to stay fit, stay healthy while traveling because sometimes when we travel, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves—we don’t get to exercise, relax or sleep well,” says Yap.
Rej Casanova, who has worked with Marriot properties for 15 years, is The Westin Manila’s executive chef. Part of his job is ensuring the hotel’s menu has a good balance of delicious food and nutritious options. The chef, who was also part of Manila Marriott Hotel’s pre-opening team, says they have an Eat Well section in the menu focused on promoting healthy ingredients and cooking techniques, as well as local produce.
One of their signature a la carte dishes is the Chicken Inasal on Adlai, which is chicken breast served with a “tangy, citrusy Moringa chimichurri.” They also have plant-based offerings, like the Everything Vegan Lox sandwich. It's inspired by the Smoked Salmon and Bagel Sandwich, but he substituted the salmon with organic carrots and the cream cheese with soybean curd. “It’s packed with protein,” the chef offers.
Casanova makes sure guests get to enjoy a variety of international dishes and local comfort food across its four F&B outlets. ANCX got to try the Weekend Seafood Buffet at its all-day-dining restaurant Seasonal Tastes, which serves a delectable array of seafood, meat and vegetable dishes. A favorite during the media dinner, and definitely a must-try, was the Herb Crusted Salmon.
The Lobby Lounge offers al fresco terrace dining with live music, and serves the Crafted at Westin beverage menu featuring artisanal cocktails. Gin fans can choose from a selection of drinks from across the world at the hotel’s very own gin library. “The target is to reach 100 gins,” offers Dietzsch who is a gin enthusiast himself.
A Tapas Bar & Restaurant is set to open in July 2023 and will feature a jamón station stocked with the finest meats and Spanish dishes.
The executive chef says it’s also part of his advocacy to make sure their ingredients are sustainably and locally sourced or harvested. “We will soon have our own culinary garden at the fourth floor,” says Casanova.
The well appointed rooms promise guests a restful sleep, thanks in part to Westin’s signature Heavenly Bed. “The linen that we use is made out of bamboo fiber, which absorbs body heat. Bamboo is also more sustainable, since it’s faster to grow,” offers Yap. The hotel also provides a complimentary lavender balm, which has calming and relaxing benefits.
Guests are encouraged to stay fit and active in the fitness studio, which is open 24/7 and has a complete range of modern cardio and resistance equipment, as well as TRX stability equipment. “The guests can just use their key card to tap and enter the workout studio anytime,” says Yap.
Also part of the hotel’s Move Well pillar is the RunWESTIN® program, which offers a curated run route maps with a choice of three or five-mile runs, and a gear lending program that allows guests to borrow the latest high-tech recovery and total body strength training equipment to optimize their fitness. Those who would like to go for a swim may do so at the lap pool.
The hotel’s Heavenly Spa opens in June 2023 and will offer wellness treatments such as rejuvenating body scrubs, couple massages, in-suite massages, and spa manicures and pedicures.
As in all Westin hotels, the Westin Manila has a vertical garden accent at the lobby. The biophilic design, says Yap, allows guests to experience nature amidst the busy and bustling city.
“We're a wellness forward hotel,” says Yap. “We want to eventually be known for promoting wellness and taking care of the well-being of our guests, because it's really important to take care of ourselves. So we want our guests to feel that when they stay at The Westin Manila.”