Family Hotel Review: Makati Shangri-La, Manila, The Philippines
This luxury hotel in the centre of Manila is a little haven of tranquility where all guests – young and old – are treated like royalty.
Best For: Peace and calm away from the Manila madness; kids of all ages.
Reviewed by: Philippa Langrish
Why You’ll Love It
Entering the Makati Shangri-La is like stepping into a palace. With its grand chandeliers and lofty ceiling it certainly amazes my daughter every time we visit; this is a favourite afternoon spot of ours every time we want to take a break from the hectic city. However, this visit was the first time we ever stayed at the hotel and we were not disappointed.
The welcoming staff make all their guests feel like royalty especially the children who are lavished with smiles and endless expressions of “Oh sooooo cute!”. Welcome to the Philippines, the land where kids are spoilt at every opportunity.
One of my favourite things about the Makati Shangri-La is the complimentary live classical music performance every afternoon from 3pm in the lobby, accompanied by a delicious (and very reasonable) high tea. My two children were entranced by the instruments and Maya recognised many of the pieces played since they were from popular children’s films such as The Lion King and Frozen.
The Makati Shangri La is also minutes from one of the nicest malls in Manila, Greenbelt. Aptly named for its landscaped gardens, rivers and ponds, this mall is home to some of the tastiest restaurants in Manila. However you don’t need to venture outside of the hotel for delicious food as the in-house The Sage Restaurant, Inagiku (Japanese) and the Shang Palace (Chinese) all offer incredible menus.
My husband and I love to get our fix of mall shopping when we have the chance although our daughter either gets restless or wants to buy everything sparkly and pink in sight. Fortunately most malls in Manila, including Greenbelt, have kids’ play-centres where children from 4 years onwards can be left by parents and accompanied by the play-centre staff (kids under 4 need guardian supervision). We took Maya to Kevin’s Toys and Library at Greenbelt 4 (4th floor) where she happily spent a couple of hours playing while we shopped. These play-centres have finger print technology for collecting the children at the end of their play so are also a very safe option.
Looking for more things to do in Manila with Kids? Take a look at our top suggestions here!
Why The Kids Will Love It
The Makati Shangri-La welcomes children with open arms into it’s palatial environment. Just the layout of the hotel kept our children entertained; toddler Gillan loved waddling from one end of the carpeted corridor to the other looking at the sparkling chandeliers. There are plans afoot to transform the hotel function room into a kids’ play area for weekends, which would make a wonderful feature and would definitely encourage us to return for regular Sunday breakfasts.
Outside of the hotel, a trip to Greenbelt is a lovely way to spend the morning as the kids will love the giant Koi and terrapins in the ponds and little waterways which crisscross the mall and the gardens. There is even fish food you can buy so the children can feed the Koi.
Both Gillan, Maya and my husband love a good ice cream fix. The Japanese bakery franchise St Marc’s Café has just open in Greenbelt and has some rather extravagant concoctions that served as our guilty pleasure for the day.
If you are staying for a special occasion, the hotel has a resident French pastry chef who creates the most impressive cakes in addition to the hotels novelty “emoti cakese” and jewellery box desserts. Our daughter had her face firmly pressed against the pastry counter for a good few minutes as she dreamt up birthday cake plans!
Disclosure: Philippa and her family were offered a two night stay on a complimentary basis at the Makati Shangri-La. All opinions, as always, are entirely our own.
The Makati Shangri La is one of the biggest hotels in Manila with 696 rooms and suites. Despite housing so many rooms it doesn’t feel overwhelming, possibly because of the Zen waterfall placed on each floor!
The Rooms are divided into the following categories:
The rooms are all spacious and luxurious, decked in muted beige tones, clean lines and absolutely incredible views of the city. The bathrooms are equally large with a separate bath tub and shower area. The bed linen is of the highest quality and there’s even a pillow menu!
The Suites are divided into the following categories:
Much like the Rooms, these Suites are beautiful. Large, spacious and with sublime city views, they really do offer luxurious living in the heart of the city.
Best Rooms for Families: We stayed in the Deluxe Suite and this offered more than enough space for our family of four.
There are eight restaurants and bars at Makati Shangri La offering something for everyone.
Breakfast The trademark Shangri La breakfast does not disappoint. Sushi, siomai, eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes, omelettes, pastries, fruit and yoghurt, adobo, soups, cereals…a never-ending spread from across the globe is offered daily! We had breakfast tucked away in a quiet corner with a view of the water garden.
The Shang Palace is the hotel’s signature Chinese restaurant and serves the most delicious crispy duck pancakes, sweet and sour pork and fried rice. We had very happy tummies after our meal here, which was accompanied by a delicious bottle of Chianti. The children loved folding up the pancakes into little parcels, making dinner a fun and adventurous affair for them. The booth seating at the Shang Palace gives you a very private dining experience, making for a relaxing evening as our children weren’t able to annoy other dinners!
Inagiku is equally delicious with the most beautiful sushi creations although possibly not so child-friendly depending on how adventurous your child’s palette is.
If you want to stick with European cuisine The Sage not only has a wonderful atmosphere in the evening, owing to the fantastic live band, but it also offers mouth watering steak, seafood and international dishes. Our steak on the first night which was heavenly.
Afternoon Tea: Is served daily from 3pm to 6pm in the Lobby Lounge accompanied by a 14-piece orchestra. My kids loved this!
For Kids: Children of registered hotel guests under the age of 6 can enjoy complimentary buffet meals in All Day Dining and Pool Cafes when accompanied by a paying adult, up to a maximum of 2 children. In excess of 2 children under the age of 6 and for all children above 6 and below 12, a 50% discount of the buffet price will be given.
Activities for the Family
The hotel offers yoga and zumba and also has a swimming pool (including one for kids), a gym and a tennis court. There is also a lovely spa on site. Nearby Greenbelt mall offers shopping aplenty as well as indoor play centres and ice cream treats.
A/C, babysitting available for an additional charge, common rooms, baby cots available, doctor on call, extra beds permitted depending on category of room, dedicated kids’ pool, laundry, pushchair-friendly, shop, spa, swimming pool, travel desk, WiFi.
Environmental measures and social responsibility: The resort has eco-friendly products in the bathroom, dual toilet flush and practices vermicomposting.
Rates vary considerably according to room type, extra bed requests and date of travel. Please contact the hotel directly for an exact quote based on your family’s requirements.
When to go:
The best time to visit the Philippines is between December and February in the cooler months. The wet season is from June onwards. Be careful travelling in the months from September to December as this is when the typhoon season is. Temperatures range from 27C – 40C+. Avoid travelling in the busy holy weeks of Easter and Christmas.
Location & Travel:
The Makati Shangri La is located in the heart of Manila’s most prestigious business, commercial and shopping district.
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal One is approximately 40 minutes away (13km from the hotel), Terminals Two and Three are approximately 20 minutes away (8km and 7km from the hotel, respectively). The hotel can organise airport transfers.
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Contact The HotelFor more information or to make a booking enquiry, visit the hotel’s own website by following the link below:
Reviewer’s Top Tips!
Reviewed by: Philippa Langrish
1) Enjoy Afternoon Tea and the classical music performance in the Lobby Lounge, both are fantastic.
2) Arrive at breakfast prompt in order to make the most of the elaborate morning buffet.
3) Take an evening stroll around Greenbelt Mall to feed the giant Koi fish and enjoy a spot of window shopping.
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