40 Years of Memories
The Grande Dame of Makati Hotels Embarks on a Year of Celebrations with a Grand PartyThe Peninsula Manila commemorated four decades as one of the legends of Philippine hospitality with one of the grandest gala events the city had seen in a very long time.
Having opened her doors for the first time on September 14, 1976 – and graciously welcoming guests and patrons from all over the world ever since – the hotel celebrated its anniversary 40 years later to the day with a gorgeous gala party on Wednesday, September 14, 2016. Shimmering custom-made capiz chandeliers cascaded down The Lobby ceiling; entertainment was top-billed by Lea Salonga (with a touch of nostalgia provided by the original Las Guitaras guitar troupe who performed in The Lobby every night in the early years of the hotel); buffet tables groaned with Maine lobsters, Russian caviar, French cheeses, Philippine artisanal chocolates, lechon, Atlantic turbot, among many others; wine and Champagne flowed non-stop and the party extended all the way to Salon de Ning and Spices.
In his welcome speech, The Peninsula Manila General Manager Mr. Mark Choon remarked, “Tonight, we look forward to sharing our “Peninsula” memories, as well as creating new ones……. with all of you.”
The Chairman of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (holding company of The Peninsula Hotels), The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie flew in from Hong Kong to grace the evening’s festivities. In a heartfelt speech that traced the history of The Peninsula Manila, he said: “This hotel is very close to my heart being only the second Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels property to bear the Peninsula name. Following our flagship property The Peninsula Hong Kong, which opened in 1928. We were thrilled to open a new Peninsula Hotel in the Philippines, which is famous for its warm people and spectacular scenery.”
He said that The Peninsula Manila hotel is inextricably linked to the past, present and future of the Philippines and the city of Manila, adding that with its wonderful location at the heart of the Makati district, The Peninsula Manila Lobby quickly became the place “to see and be seen . . . creating unforgettable memories and witnessed the variety of life in all its drama and excitement.”
Sir Michael Kadoorie also singled out several loyal members of the hotel team, some of whom had been with the hotel since day one, thanking them for their loyalty, warmth, and – as his uncle Sir Horace Kadoorie, then chairman of the Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, wrote in 1976 – their “unmatched Filipino charm”.
Exactly 40 years to the day of her 1976 launch, The Peninsula Manila celebrated another milestone in convivial style with an evening of splendid entertainment and refined joie de vivre. And, 40 years after, Makati’s “Grande Dame” has never looked better as she welcomed the great and the good of Makati, the Philippines and beyond for a gala celebration that will live long in the memory of all who attended.