A city landmark since 1976, the Peninsula Manila, in the heart of the Makati CBD, is still the place to rub shoulders with the capital’s social and corporate elite. While some stickybeaks just pop in to peoplewatch and bask in the grandeur of the four-storey lobby atrium (pictured), those in the know settle in for a classic silver-service afternoon tea, perhaps followed by what must be the most colourful and extravagant halo halo dessert in The Philippines, complete with a crowning scoop of purple yam ice cream. Also on the ground floor, the all-day diner Escolta has an open kitchen, live cooking stations and “farm to table” dishes that celebrate local produce and specialties. For something more formal, the city’s most famous fine dining establishment, Old Manila, has undergone a stunning transformation, combining contemporary Filipino art with a chic and elegant feel; then perhaps a nightcap (a Ning Sling, surely) at Salon de Ning, the drinks lounge inspired by art deco Shanghai. The hotel is spread over two towers with 493 guestrooms, considered among the city’s most spacious accommodation. More: peninsula.com/manila.