The recent opening of the new Raffles Makati and the Fairmont Makati Philippines in Manila’s upscale business and shopping district, manifests the Philippines’ happy blend of East and West that makes the country so exotic and attractive to incentives.
The two hotels share a building in the Ayala Center, an expansive shopping and entertainment complex.
“Without leaving the commercial complex, groups can also enjoy a private reception after learning about the country’s history and art, at the interactive Ayala Museum,” says Vernie Velarde-Morales, N.A. central director of the Philippine Department of Tourism.
“In Old Manila’s Intramuros, groups can experience our Spanish heritage and then stage a private fiesta within its walls, or hold a reception in the gardens or inside Casa Manila, a well preserved Filipino Spanish home,” she suggests. “And a Chinese banquet in the Binondo district, our Chinatown, reflects the eastern aspect of Manila that dates back to its place along the ancient Silk Road.
From Manila, it’s a short air trip to any one of the country’s posh island resorts. Last year, the luxurious Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu completed the second phase of its room refurbishment, which highlights Philippine craftsmanship in the capiz shell headboards, timber flooring and decorative fretwork teak lamps.
“The hotel’s Chi Spa features native therapeutic massage, which uses natural plants, herbs and oils,” notes Velarde-Morales. “Massage is deeply rooted in our culture.”
Golf and diving in Cebu also draw incentives. As well as, the region is known for fine guitars, and the island manufacturers welcome interested groups for tours.