Wednesday, December 23

EMBOA Revisiting Manila: Quick reviews of hotels in Manila (Ermita Malate Business Owners Association)

EMBOA: Showcases the best places in Ermita Malate

The Ermita Malate Business Owners Association is a conglomeration of key business owners and managers representing established Manila hotels, poplar restaurants and entertainment hubs in the area. One notable objective of EMBOA is to promote a healthy environment for the businesses and patrons of the Ermita-Malate area. It involves improving safety standards, sanitation, cleanliness and designing activities that will promote Ermita and Malate.

EMBOA Manila Tour with fellow bloggers and hotel staff 

Last December 17 a scheduled tour of Manila was initiated by EMBOA wherein selected bloggers are invited. Lucky me, I was one of the chosen few. Our first stop was the Handog Pasasalamat Christmas Thanksgiving presentation of EMBOA appropriately held at the nostalgic Remedios Circle Park. This event was one way of giving thanks to the communities by EMBOA. Selected 500 children benefited from this event and were able to take home valuable gifts. Manila mayor Joseph Estrada also graced the thanksgiving festivities.

Moving on with the Manila Tour, EMBOA assigned a list of hotels in Ermita Malate area to each group of bloggers. Our group was ushered in a comfy cool van with our very own tour guide. Our Manila tour went on as follows:

Mabini Pension House

Mabini Pension House is located along the busy street of A. Mabini which is lined with many hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Mabini Pension House is an old inn that is suitable for budget conscious travelers like backpackers in Manila. 

Mabini Pension House vintage looking signage at front

Mabini Pension House affordable room rates are displayed at the door

posing on an old stairway

Mabini Pension House reception area

Room rates are pretty affordable with prices ranging from Php 600. to Php 1500. per night. There is an option to choose from a fan room or room with AC but what is nice about this place is its location and old world charm.

Long wooden stairs of Mabini Pension House reliving the good ole Manila days

Mabini Pension House hallway

Lotus Garden Hotel Manila

Next stop is Lotus Garden Hotel.   This Ermita hotel boasts exceptional customer service that embodies the hospitable Filipino culture. Staff here is very attentive and values guests. The rooms are quite spacious and at the same time functional. 

Promo price for Lotus Garden Hotel Manila is posted on entrance

Reception counter and lobby

Cozy Christmas nook at Lotus Garden Hotel

What makes Lotus Garden one of the best hotels in Manila is the unassuming décor. Each room has hardwood flooring and with touches of Filipino design. Even some of the corridors and side stairway have hardwood floors with a newly added wing that features suites perfect for groups and families. 

Hallway of Lotus Garden Hotel Ermita reminiscence of old Manila

Impressive hardwood flooring of the stairs of Lotus Garden Manila

A functional meeting/ boardroom at Lotus Garden Hotel Ermita Manila

Jacuzzi in black marble stone at the basement of Lotus Garden Hotel- area is open for mini party  

Billiard table at the lower ground floor

Exercise equipment for the guests

I find Lotus Garden Hotel somewhat special because it reminds me of home where I grew up. Walking the corridors and being in one of the 116 rooms in this hotel feels like home. I am sure guests will love the homey atmosphere.

Twin single bed room at Lotus Garden Hotel Manila

A workable counter with modern LED TV

Huge comfy bed with lounging chair at Lotus Garden Hotel Ermita

Spacious standard bathroom with shower at Lotus Garden Hotel Manila

Cozy ambiance in each Lotus Garden hotel room

Closet space 

Old wooden hotel room doors 

Common sitting area 

Lotus Garden Hotel restaurant at the ground floor- displayed on the wall is a collection of international dolls

City Garden Suites Hotel Manila

City Garden Suites Hotel in Ermita Manila comes next on our list in our awesome EMBOA Manila tour. The lobby and main restaurant Café Miranda exude simple elegance. 

Colorful reception counter of City Garden Hotel Ermita

City Garden very own restaurant Cafe Miranda offers a wide variety of yummy dishes 

The dining area of elegant Cafe Miranda at City Garden Hotel Manila

Full bar service is available at City Garden Hotel Ermita

 Main lobby of City Garden Hotel Manila

Elevator of City Garden Hotel Ermita

The rooms are all cozy, spacious and efficient. There’s even a full kitchen on some rooms where guests can cook and enjoy meals. 

A full kitchen and dining area in some rooms in City Garden Hotel Manila

Living room area in the room

Receive guests and still find privacy in one of the rooms in City Garden Ermita

LED TV in the living and dining area in some rooms

Large area to entertain guests

Some rooms have private balconies and separate receiving/living room area. This is great for casual travelers and even perfect for families on staycation. Price wise, City Garden Hotel Manila offers good value for money.

Single double bed room type

Twin bed hotel room option

Working desk and drawers

Personal safety deposit box is a standard in City Garden Suites hotel rooms

Some rooms have private balcony

private balcony 

Handheld shower

City Garden Hotel bathrooms are clean

Ibarra’s Garden Party Venue & Catering

Last stop is a popular events place called Ibarra’s Garden located in Ermita Manila and it offers the perfect venue for every occasion. 

Impressive colonial Spanish style exterior of Ibarra's Party Venue Ermita

The building that houses Ibarra’s party venue and catering is an architectural gem that exudes the charms of old Manila era. 

Ceiling draperies fit for a princess!

A table setting perfect for a royal wedding only at Ibarra's Garden Ermita

There are several party rooms that have various guest capacity. The charming garden setting is a total plus with fancy ceiling that perfectly fits any memorable event. Ibarra’s is now a pioneer in events places in Manila. 

Fun and elegant decor surrounds Ibarra's party venue Manila

Whether it’s for small birthday celebration or for a big wedding reception, Ibarra’s Ermita knows how to throw in an unforgettable experience plus they provide great food too.

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The four places that we visited in our Manila tour only revalidated my notion that the Ermita Malate area still has that old Manila charm. 

The warm people that we met and the establishments that we visited made me realized that EMBOA is doing a significant job in uplifting and reviving the vibrant tourist scene in this side of the city with emphasis on Filipino culture and genuine hospitality that visitors can enjoy.

The Ermita Malate Business Owners Association or EMBOA has over 130 members such as Manila hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, cafes and shops including Robinsons Place Manila.

To learn more about EMBOA you can visit their official website at the this link-

Websites to visit for reference:

Lotus Garden Hotel Manila-

City Garden Hotel Manila-

Ibarra’s Party Venues & Catering-

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