Cruising on a luxurious vacation
A visit to the Philippines' first and only integrated resort, Resorts World Manila, is the closest thing to a luxury cruise ship vacation on land, offering self-contained hotel and entertainment facilities and a sense of hassle-free security.
'When people travel to a new place, they like to feel secure. Inside a cruise ship, you don't need to worry because everything is being taken care of. With so many things to do, family members can do things together or apart,' says Kingson Sian, president of Resorts World Manila.
Built and managed from the ground up, based on the concept of a cruise ship, the resort is attracting more visitors from overseas, especially because of its convenient location, right across from Terminal 3 of Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Being close to the airport also allows the resort to provide greeting and shuttle bus services for overseas guests.
'As our hotels are near the airport, many businessmen now prefer to stay with us than in the city centre, especially those staying over for the weekend,' says Stephen Reilly, executive vice-president of Resorts World Manila.
'There are also more tourists who stay with us in transit to or from other holiday destinations in the country.' The resort has also benefited from the increase in the number of flights operated by budget airlines using the airport as a regional hub, such as AirAsia and Cebu Pacific. This has made the resort a convenient stop en route to other holiday resorts and islands in the Philippines.
The resort's major overseas markets, in order of size, are the mainland, South Korea and Southeast Asia, while markets such as Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong are catching up. Manila is within easy reach of all these markets as flights take no more than four hours. It takes less than two hours to fly from Hong Kong to Manila.
Opened in August 2009, Resorts World Manila is home to three hotels: the 172-suite Maxims Tower, the 342-room Marriott Hotel Manila and the Remington Hotel, which opens this month with its 623 rooms and 89 serviced apartments. All cater to different clienteles.
The four-storey Newport Mall at the resort features shops selling international luxury brands, more than 30 restaurants and four cinemas, including one with 3-D viewing. It also houses the hottest clubs in town, Republiq and Opus. Resorts World Manila also features a 1,500-seat Newport Performing Arts Theatre, featuring famed plays, productions and events.
The resort has the first and only non-government-operated casino in Metro Manila, which is also the largest in the country with more than 300 tables and 1,000 slot machines. Other facilities include the Genting Club, a members-only club with restaurants managed by celebrated chefs and a private entertainment and gaming area.