The Iseya Hotel, close to everything in Ermita, the heart of entertainment in Metro Manila.
My trips to Manila are either real quick, overnight and fly out the next day or can be a week or more. Now the Iseya Hotel is not flash, it does not have all the bells and whistles of other Manila Hotels, but what the Iseya Hotel does have is a consistent, loyal return crowd. This loyalty has to be here for a reason, right.
They also have a great little casual restaurant and bar on the roof top.
Underneath the Surface
I never use to stay at the Iseya Hotel, but it was always my first stop after a long flight to Manila. It is a great meeting place and in my opinion, it still has the iciest cold San Miguel in the Philippines, Bold statement I know.
What they do is place all there San Miguel on ice in eskys or ice boxes, prior to putting in the fridge for serving, so you are guaranteed icy cold San Miguel beer. As you may have gathered the Iseya Hotel Manila is owned and run by Australians. My first San Miguel in the Philippines is always at the Iseya Hotel, no matter where I’m staying.
As you walk off MH Del Pilar and into the small reception, you are greeted with two smiling, happy Filipino faces. You also know straight away that this is no five star hotel, it is budget Manila accommodation. But beneath the surface is a clean hotel, with staff that are only to happy to assist.
The Iseya Hotel has six floors, with the accommodation on levels 1 to 5 and the restaurant/bar on the top or roof top floor. There are four standard and one family room a total of five rooms to each floor.
The standard room has a double bed, bar fridge, telephone, cable TV, bathroom and most importantly air conditioning. All the standard rooms face the road. The family room is larger and has exactly the same as a standard room only you have a single bed as well. The family rooms are in the centre of the building.
One tip when asking for a room, try to get on the fifth floor and not on the MH Del Pilar Street side. It can get pretty noisy if you are on the lower levels facing MH Del Pilar. I always stay on the fifth floor of the Iseya Hotel.
Bar & Restaurant
The roof top bar is definitely an attraction for me. I can unwind and catch up with all the news from home. Most travelers tend to bring with them the latest newspapers from home, so I can enjoy a icy cold San Mig whilst reading an Australian newspaper. I always return the favour my bring the latest newspapers over for others to catch up on.
Both the bar and restaurant are open 24 hours and like most places in the Philippines there is the mandatory security guard on call 24 hours. On Sunday afternoons they usually have a bar-b-que which is always worth a try. Other than that the food is okay nothing really special.
The rooms do not have safety deposit boxes. On the Roof top they have there administration desk where they have safety deposit boxes available for you to use. I highly recommend you use them, not just in the Iseya Hotel but everywhere you may stay. Manila is a big city with all types and has its fair share of pickpockets.