Roxas Boulevard is my favorite part of Manila. With its numerous landmarks and trees lining the middle lane of the road, it is the one part of the city that remains naturally picturesque. Running the whole length are such attractions such as the Cultural Center, Manila Yacht Club, Metropolitan Museum, Baywalk, Baypark, Rizal Park , Manila Hotel and a few buildings dating back to the pre-war era. There are also the regular fixtures like calesas, two-decker buses and early-morning joggers.
Still, the one thing that stands out in Roxas Boulevard, one that shouldn’t be missed for all the world, is the Manila Bay sunset. There are a few wonderful ways to enjoy this world-famous sunset, occurring on or before six in the evening. One is to position yourself in the concrete dike by the breakwater, or sit in any of the al-fresco cafes in Baywalk – gazing at the setting sun while savoring, perhaps, a cup of espresso or cappuccino.
Another way is being in a building that overlooks the graying Manila skyline and Manila Bay. You won’t believe how expensive condominium prices are in the city just because they afford a view of the bay and the sunset. Several times in a year I treat myself to the luxury of checking in to a hotel because I live further in and all I see are smog and decaying structures. Whenever I do so, it always pays to be extra-friendly to the front desk receptionist so I can ask her/him to “please give me a room with a view!” And when it’s time to enter the room, off the bags go.. I part the curtains and savor the sight of the expansive bay, the buildings, the vehicles and the people on Roxas Boulevard transformed into miniature creatures from my hotel room window. Don’t know why I love doing this. It keeps me sane, it makes me appreciate the city of which I have a love-hate relationship.
Some hotels I’ve stayed in with the fantastic views:
These photos were all taken during last Mother’s Day weekend when the whole family (me and the kids) were invited as guests of the Manila Diamond Hotel. Totally enjoyed being in here and I recommend this hotel for a complete five star experience while in Manila.
Just when you think Manila is all about the traffic, smog and congestion, you stumble upon wonderful discoveries like this swimming pool with all the greenery, and I immediately felt like I’ve found my oasis in the city.
Manila Diamond’s Palm Court coffeeshop with the palm trees, cascading waterfall and beautiful see-through garden. This hotel, in my opinion, has the best design and landscaping of all the hotels in Manila (..and not just because I got my freebie, haha). You just have to go here to believe it… not necessarily stay but have coffee in the cafe to begin with, dine at the equally breathtaking and exquisite Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant and savor the ultimate view at the Sky Lounge or the Bellevue Restaurant on the 27th floor.
View of my neighborhood, as taken from the hotel swimming pool. To the left is the hotel building I work in, middle is the headquarters of the Land Bank of the Philippines and to the rightmost is the Manila Diamond Hotel.