Thriller in Manila
August 2016 witnessed a momentous sporting occasion. No, we’re not talking about that event in Rio, but the debut of the Vertical World Circuit in the Philippines. This punishing series of races up iconic skyscrapers was held at Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila.
Hosting the race has helped the Shangri-La to cement its position as the anchor of an emerging, highly coveted part of Metro Manila—Bonifacio Global City (BGC), in the municipality of Taguig.
BGC feels a little like an American city, with numbered streets running in a grid formation, a profusion of US stores and boutiques, as well as luxury condominiums and office towers. The new Philippine Stock Exchange building is scheduled to open here later this year.
The hotel resides in a 62-storey tower, and is sandwiched between the residences and private apartments. In addition to 576 rooms, it features meetings facilities, a huge sports compound, restaurants and bars, and a full retail section.
The hotel’s entry isn’t visible from the street, but is accessed via an ascending driveway. The lobby is a grand space, shaped like a crescent moon, with plenty of marble, and high ceilings defined by a crystal chandelier from the Czech Republic. To the left of the curved reception desks, lifts whisk guests up to the hotel rooms. The accommodation is soothing and spacious, starting at 45sqm, in colours that capture the natural light – cider, cream, olive, gold – and design elements of marble, silk and Italian wood.
Renowned names in hospitality design, such as AvroKo, Rockwell Group and Hirsch Bedner Associates, were behind the restaurants and lounges, which include the 1970s-style steakhouse Raging Bill Chophouse & Bar, the modern food hall High Street Cafe and the sensual and smooth High Street Lounge. Works by Philippine artists appear throughout the property, ranging from whimsical and contemporary to classic and opulent, further evidence of the hotel’s commitment to celebrating the country’s traditions.
The property is justifiably proud of its sports facilities – to use the word gym would be belittling – the gargantuan Kerry Sports Manila. Covering 8,000sqm over the fifth and sixth floors, it is multi-disciplinary, with dedicated training zones for boxing/MMA, cardio, free weights, fitness (yoga, Pilates, spin), core, spa, and even has squash courts, covered tennis courts, and a 25m lap pool – one of three pools at the hotel. Its Adventure Zone is a multi-level playground for children of all ages, and includes a daredevil-style six-metre vertical drop slide. It’s the kind of thrilling test of nerve and mettle that even enlistees at the nearby Fort Bonifacio might just appreciate.
Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila
30th Street, corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City
Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila
Tel: +63 2 820 0888