The Henry Manila Hotel | The Manila Times

WHEN we think of hotels, we usually think of horizontal structures. However, there is one hotel that deviates from the norm – The Henry Hotel.

Henry “Hanky” Lee, the owner and founder of Henry Hotels, had the idea to get into the hotel business after launching the Yellow Cab pizza chain with two other partners.

“I traveled from Baguio to Davao etc. And for me it was a bit frustrating because the various hotels I stayed in were not up to – my standard. And during this time with Yellow Cab, I had the chance to travel abroad. These trips abroad also broadened my vision of what a hotel should be. What I should expect from a hotel.

The main building of the Henry Hotel Manila, which is an old mansion converted into a hotel, restaurant and office.

After opening the first Henry Hotel in Cebu, he set his sights on Manila. He was looking for the studio of interior designer Eric Paras, who lives in the compound where Henry Hotel Manila would be built along FB Harrison Street in Pasay City.

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What makes this hotel unique is that it was a post-war residential complex built in 1948. When Lee purchased the property, it was converted into a hotel in 2014. When one enters enclosure, one has the impression of being transported backwards. over time by only looking at the outside.

The Hotel Zone includes not only the White Mansion, but also the adjoining cottages (five Liberation-style houses to be exact). Each home is designed with Scala grates inspired by the Art Deco style and Baldoza tiles common in the 1940s, giving guests a design pulse of the era.

The mansion is the center of the hotel but also houses the restaurant and bar (Apartment 1B), which was originally the dining room of the old house. Each of the bedrooms has been converted into suites. Anxious to retain the vintage vibe of the hotel, they have furnished the rooms with cupboards and repurposed ambassador armchairs, all reminiscent of the design and furnishings of 1940s homes.

The owner’s suite is considered the best room in the main building, which has all the special amenities such as the anteroom with a designer sofa, a vintage patio set and a balcony with a breathtaking view of the garden and the swimming pool. There is a walkway that connects the main building to the four chalets.

The cottages have been transformed into suites, located on the ground floor of each house. They have a separate living room and bedroom.

Each interior combines vintage design with contemporary fixtures such as an LCD TV and modern style furnishings, giving the appearance of a typical home rather than a hotel.

The sanitary facilities in each room have an old-fashioned clawfoot bathtub. The shower area is designed in a style common in the early 20th century, which includes white subway tiles on the walls and white hexagon styles on the floor.

The bedroom of one of the suites at Henry Hotel Manila.  These suites were originally cottages built in the post-Liberation style.  PHOTO FROM HOTEL HENRY WEBSITE.

The bedroom of one of the suites at Henry Hotel Manila. These suites were originally cottages built in the post-Liberation style. PHOTO FROM HOTEL HENRY WEBSITE.

The bedroom floors in the cottages use original hardwood which is polished to a high gloss finish.

But the aesthetics don’t stop there. It extends outside. The garden is designed by National Artist for Landscape Architecture Ildefonso Santos. The garden boasts a plant palette of post-war favorites such as Palmera, Santan, Lantana and Champaca. The garden serves as the hotel’s outdoor event venue for special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and other celebrations.

Henry Hotel Manila lives up to its motto, “Like no other”. They dared to be different from other hotels and succeeded. What gives the hotel its appeal is that it exudes a rather old-world flavor with a blend of modernism while the surrounding area continuously evolves over time.

About Jermaine Chase

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