A bustling enclave of food, art, music, history, and culture — that’s what Manila used to be. Malate, in particular, located at the heart of Manila, once attracted an interesting and eclectic crowd that added to the spirit and joie de vivre that used to inhabit the area.
Nowadays, however, the glory days of Manila would seem all but a distant memory, with these iconic establishments razed to the ground, replaced by a red light district that tourists flock to. People have since moved on to the more upscale areas of Makati and BGC for whatever is hip and happening. For travelers and locals alike, Manila no longer comes to mind as a city worth exploring. Manila is dead, some would say. However, its historical legacy and recent activity would suggest otherwise.
There’s been a recent shakeup in the neighborhood, and a small but growing community has been setting up shop in Manila, contributing to something of a cultural revival. The truth is, Manila is more than its chaotic streets and go-go bars. And whether you’re a tourist looking to get in on the action in the Philippine capital, or a local who’s itching to see Manila through a different lens, we highly suggest getting started at Amelie Hotel.
Beautifully adorned with art deco-inspired interiors, Amelie Hotel stands for everything that’s great about Manila, and its promising potential in the future. The hotel’s decor, both sleek and elegant at the same time, is a great nod to the grand early 20th century architecture that once encompassed the city, while still keeping a modern feel.
At the helm of Amelie’s character and vision is Mark Abellon, who stands in as the owner representative and brand director of the boutique hotel. Amelie is family-owned and stands on the family’s own property, giving it character and a unique sincerity in their hospitality that you won’t get from big-chain hotels.
Amelie is named after the French movie “Amelie”, a favorite of Mark’s and his wife’s, with film references translated into the boutique hotel’s design, such as in the color scheme and the beautiful, light-adorned rooftop.
Mark, a Filipino who grew up in the United States, fell in love with Manila and its charms after moving back to the country for good in 2009. Mark shares that he was enthralled by his father-in-law’s tales about growing up in Manila and how he loved the neighborhood so much that he didn’t want to leave long after the city had changed. It was that magic that Mark strives to introduce to Amelie’s guests, and what drives the hotel’s vision.
Indeed, Amelie Hotel re-introduces a different side of Manila through their beautifully curated Instagram feed which guests are bound to check first, featuring interesting facets such as the charming cobblestone streets of Intramuros, the elegant buildings of Escolta, Quiapo’s bustling marketplace, and the local creative independent scene, among other things.
“We don’t want to make it just all about the hotel, which you will see on our social media accounts like Instagram”, Mark says. “You won’t see photos of our lobby or facilities, but curated pictures of real places and experiences, taken by real people.”
Just by the entrance of Amelie Hotel is their in-house restaurant, Braska, serving up timeless Filipino favorites both for guests and those around the area looking for an ambient location that serves straight-up good food.
Unlike other hotels, Braska’s menu offers more bang for your buck, with reasonable prices.
While there are straightforward classics such as their Negrense dish Kansi, Lechon Kawali, Bistek Tagalog, and Prawns in Aligue, the restaurant also gets creative with local flavors such as in their Salted Egg and Sansrival Macarons, as well as their Chocnut Cake.
Prawns in Aligue
Salted Egg Macarons
Located in Ermita, Amelie Hotel is a stone’s throw away from popular shopping center Robinsons Manila, within walking distance of popular establishments around Malate (we highly recommend visiting Minokaua), and about fifteen minutes away from the historical and food sites of Intramuros, Escolta, and Binondo by car.
For a three-star hotel, Amelie Hotel is one of the best accommodations you can get in the area. With an understated elegance, highly comfortable rooms and other amenities, Amelie ensures you enjoy every minute of Manila.
Amelie Hotel Manila
1667 Jorge Bocobo St. Malate, Manila
Phone Number: (02) 875-7888