'll admit that this review is biased. Not only did I live in the hotel for 8 days and nights, as the guest chef for an American Food Festival; I did so free of charge. But as a temporary and honorary member of the team I also was privy to a look at the Hotel that few reviewers ever get to have, I got to see it from the inside and out. I unashamedly, and thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Diamond.
The Hotel is situated along Manila bay in an area that some have called unsafe or downtrodden. I walked out of the hotel and around the area nearly every day and several late evening of my stay, and never once felt unsafe. Sure there were some seedy elements trying to hawk dubious Viagra (no need), and I did once have a tail of two youngsters who seemed like they were sizing me up for an attempted pickpocket run, but I let them know I had seen them before they got close enough to make a move. They went off in search of easier prey. Anyway, I place the area right along side any similar big city. If you keep your wits about you and behave intelligently I don't think you will have anything to worry about. In fact one morning I walked from the Diamond all the way to the Mall of Asia (7km) without incident.
The hotel proper is a paragon of security, with car inspection at the curb, as well as a K-9 unit and security screening station at the entrance. In my own mind this is more than seems necessary, but I'm not really in a position to say, and it is certainly not out of line with the rest of the City, where I even saw security searching customers at a Starbucks (no coffee could be worth that).
The rooms are as well appointed as those of any five star hotel. In fact I would place them better, because the hotel is not one of the modern black laminate, glass and aluminium affairs. It is rather, a stately design from an age where hotel luxury was something more aristocratic. Deep rich wood, plush furniture, thick drapes, gleaming marble, brass, and chrome bathrooms; the kind of class that has stood the test of time.
The lobby also maintains the air of aristocratic quality luxury, but gives way to a blend of modern glass and old world marble as you enter Corniche, the main restaurant and my office for the week. Cornish is minimalist in design with vaulting ceilings and only two pieces of art: The food tables, and the giant waterfall feature in the floor to ceiling poolside windows.
The food and beverage is excellent, and I don't mean what I prepared (I'll take whatever lumps I deserve for that). Corniche offers 4 massive buffets each day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight) with a large volume of counter space and active cooking in each area. the range covers local cuisine, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, German, Spanish, and yes American. The food I tried ( all of it, including my small contribution) was vey well done, almost every dish excellent, by any standard. For the most part I found it hard to believe that what I ate was from a buffet.
Behind the scenes the hotel is very well run. The kitchens are clean and organised, with HACCP systems in place and being well used rather than lip served. The staff areas are well kept and there is a strong humanitarian vibe to the hotels staff message boards and similar, with boards proudly displaying staff achievement, and strongly emphasising people power.
The management philosophy, shines fourth in the staff service. I had excellent service from everyone I interacted with, and even some whom I did so indirectly, like the laundry staff, who carefully noted blemishes on my cloths that I had brought with me, and offering special treatment if needed to try to remove them.
I was very impressed with management, and line staff in every area. And upon reflection, knowing that this is an independent hotel with no group to oversee it, it is remarkable that the team is able to maintain a premium hotel group standard throughout. I highly recommend the Diamond, it shines true and crystal clear, it will be my base any time I am in Manila again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set against the magnificent golden sunset of the Manila Bay is the five-star hotel Diamond Hotel Philippines. A luxury hotel in Manila with a sunset view, Diamond Hotel is only minutes away from the international and domestic airports, and from the Makati business district. Diamond Hotel is near SMX Convention Center, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). It is also near SM Mall of Asia, Robinsons Manila and other shopping destinations. Also within the vicinity are Manila's famous historical landmarks, cultural sites, and Malate's spectacular nightlife. Diamond Hotel has a variety of restaurants and bars specializing in different cuisines and diners are sure to have a remarkable dining experience. Function rooms are also available for memorable weddings and successful corporate events. Swimming pool and outdoor whirlpool, tennis court, Diamond Spa, LifeSpan Reflexology and Diamond Club gym facilities are perfect for recreational and fitness activities. Service from the efficient and courteous staff of Diamond Hotel Philippines. ... more less
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