Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Thai Hotel in Manila: Dusit Thani

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Dusit Thani was formerly Hotel Nikko. 
I must admit that I don't like the idea of staying in a hotel in Metro Manila that's inspired by the culture and tradition of another country. Thus, I wasn't exactly thrilled when I found out that our family will be having a stay-cation at Dusit Thani Manila, a business hotel that's part of the Dusit Hotel and Resorts group which was founded in Thailand.  In contrast, my nephew jumped with glee when he found out we will be staying at Dusit for 3 days thanks to his grandmother's treat.  So I decided to put aside my bias and see the hotel with the eyes of a child.  Here's what I liked about Dusit Thani Manila:

Thought she's Filipino...She's actually Thai (like most of the front desk staff)
  • I found the lobby spacious and the decorations tasteful. The black and gold interiors were reminiscent of temples in Bangkok.  There was also a beautiful staircase leading to the hotel's Mezzanine. 
  • True to its claim that it lets guests experience Thai hospitality and traditions, guests were greeted "Sawadeeka!" by the hotel staff at the entrance, lobby, and elevator area.  At the center of the lobby was a woman who played a classical Thai xylophone. The lobby was also filled with scents of aromatherapy oils. 
  • Outside the lobby, across Umu restaurant, is a beautiful Koi pond and garden.
  • Pool area was child-friendly: There were 2 small pools and 1 large pool that was only 4 feet deep. 
  • You can have a view of the pool area while exercising at DFiT (the hotel's fitness club/gym).
  • It has a truly deluxe spa center: Devarana Spa.
  • Room amenities are complete. 
  • The hotel observes Green Hour every last Saturday of the month. Lights at the hotel's main areas are switched off from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Those dining at their restaurants (Benjarong, Umu, Tosca and Basix) between 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. will enjoy a 30% discount.
  • It has one of the nicest places for enjoying a good beer in Manila: Fiesta San Miguel.  (And it's outside the lobby so the kids don't see it.)
  • Sunday means a buffet of Thai, Japanese, and Italian food at their Crossover Brunch! (Foodie heaven!)
  • Staff are generally cheerful, helpful, and quick to respond. Specifically, my 9 year old nephew had a little accident in the bathroom and the staff quickly sent in a nurse to check on him. The hotel's supervisor also dropped by to see if he's okay. 
Outside Umu restaurant is this Koi pond 
Now Dusit Thani would make more guests happier if they take note of the following: 
  • It wouldn't hurt if they offer guests (especially those with a Dusit Gold Card)  something more than 2 free bottles of water as a welcome gift. A business hotel we went to in Ortigas had complimentary fruits and drinks while another hotel in Manila had a complimentary basket of fruits and a personalized welcome note. 
  • Putting a non-slip or anti-slip mat on the bath tub can help prevent bath room accidents. 
  • The hotel's standard bed might be quite small for someone taller than 5 feet 8 inches. 
  • It would be nicer if the pool was wider. I was swimming on the pool one morning and 4 hotel guests arrived to swim as well. We didn't know each other so we all had to take turns swimming laps so that we don't invade each other's personal space. 
  • I hope the morning staff at Basix are more attentive to guests. 
  • Provide free WiFi access inside the hotel room, not just in the lobby. ( If budget hotels can offer that service in their hotel rooms, why not business hotels?)
  • Finding the parking area is a little tricky so it would be nice if they put  more directional signs. 

Dusit Thani Manila is located within Ayala Center, near SM Makati and Park Square 2. It gets a thumbs up from me because its near shopping malls, restaurants, and public transport (like the MRT). Also, the room rates are lower compared to the 2 other hotels within the Ayala Center area. So while I'm not into the whole "other country" experience that Dusit Thani offers, my nephew (and the kids he met at the pool area) all like the fact that Dusit Thani makes them feel like they're in Thailand. 

Have you stayed at Dusit Thani? How was your stay?

You can find more photos of Dusit Thani Manila on my Facebook page.


  1. maybe it's not that bad to experience the culture and way of living of other people even just for a few days right? hahaha, i find your blog interesting :) the way you described the incident with your nephew already made me feel how hospitable thai people are. The pics you took looks cool, especially the thai lady you first thought of a filipina. lol ! I hope I can visit that place too... but my wallet won't allow me :D

  2. the fact that the pools in that hotel were just 4 feet high is really a good thing for kids. they are able to enjoy the day and play safe too. the atmosphere in the place feels good, and since the hotel was built based on thai culture its also an addition since its like you visited thailand by just checking in the hotel.


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