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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

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.

JO MAK­ITO

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