Thanks to its rich history and colorful background, the city of Makati is home to a slew of experiences ranging from the gritty, to laid-back, to the ultra-luxurious. While Makati is generally known as a place where a variety of dining and entertainment options abound, it has also become a not-so-secret playground for discerning visitors looking for their next luxury getaway. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or someone calling this blissfully frenetic city home for the first time, here are a handful of top luxury activities to try that will make for an unforgettable stay.
1. Do merienda the luxe way
Have your merienda the luxe way by enjoying a bowl of Manila Peninsula’s The Lobby’s famous halo-halo. This Filipino dessert, which features a colorful melange of tropical fruits, sweetened beans, crisped rice, caramel flan, and purple yam ice cream on a bed of shaved ice can be found virtually everywhere, but no one does it quite like one of Makati’s oldest luxury hotels.
When to go: Anytime, The Lobby is open 24 hours
Where: G/F, The Peninsula Manila, Ayala cor. Makati Avenue, Makati
2. Go on a sky-high tour of the city
Take getting to know your new neighborhood to the next level by booking a city tour on a helicopter with PhilJets. The private aviation charter company has different preselected tours available, such as their Metro Manila aerial tour. You can also choose to have discovery tours beyond city limits to nearby islands, or design your own itinerary with their team.
When to go: By appointment
Check out: www.philjets.com
3. Have a luxury local rubdown
Relocating can be a stressful and strenuous ordeal, and a good massage is the best way to straighten out those kinks. Indulge in hilot, a local therapeutic massage technique that fuses diagnostic methods with touch pressure. Discovery Primea’s Terazi Spa offers a sumptuous version that includes continuous pressure from dagdagay, a tribal technique using two bamboo sticks that boosts and improves circulation, Ventosa cupping for drawing out toxins from the body, and banana leaves wrapped around the body for the ultimate relaxing treat.
When to go: 1pm – 11pm (appointment required)
Where: 6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City 1226
Contact: +6329558888, https://www.discoveryprimea.com/spa-inquiry/ to book online
4. Book an intimate dinner prepared by a personal chef
Looking for inspiration on how to maximize your luxury condominium’s well-appointed kitchen? Book a private dinner prepared for you exclusively by personal chef Noel de la Rama. The globally trained chef, in demand by Manila’s society set, can customize menus to your liking. He’ll personally source premium ingredients for your dinner and prepare it in his Makati condo.
When to go: Check schedule availability
Where: Address available upon appointment
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or private message: instagram.com/nrdelarama
5. Visit a secret bar
Nothing says luxe like secret bars that house the world’s finest selection of whisky and cigars. Mandalay Bar’s entrance is discreetly hidden behind pub/restaurant Belle & Dragon. Inside the bar, you’ll find opulent surroundings, an extensive whisky menu, and private rooms to enjoy premium cigars. There are small bites and desserts if you’re feeling peckish, as well as whisky pairings to match.
When to go: 5pm to 2am
Where: OPL Building, 100 Don Carlos Palanca St., Legazpi Village, Makati
6. Have bespoke jewelry created
The Philippines is home to the world’s finest artisans and craftsmen, and bespoke jewelry atelier Kathy & Kathy employ some of the best goldsmiths in the country. Visit their showroom to have a piece handmade and created to your exact specifications. The studio is best known for their line of keepsake jewelry done in a centuries-old delicate and intricate vintage filigree technique called tamburin. It’s one of the best ways to own and wear local art.
When to go: By appointment only
Where: G/F Metrostar Building, Metropolitan Avenue, Makati
7. Eat a gourmet meal, 65 storeys high
For a truly luxurious meal, visit Paper Moon, an Italian restaurant at the top of Knightsbridge Residences. While gazing at the breathtaking view of the Makati and Mandaluyong skyline, you can dine on homemade pasta and brick-oven pizza, followed by the popular and delicious Italian dessert, Tiramisu. Paper Moon, which first opened in Milan in 1977, also has branches in Istanbul, Doha, Beirut, and Hong Kong, truly giving your experience a global touch.
When to go: Inquire about a table at www.papermoonrestaurants.com
Where: 65th Floor, The Knightsbridge Residences, 4392 B. Valdez Street, Makati City
Contact info: +632 7938630
With Century Spire, you can experience uncommon luxury, serenity, and amenities in the heart of Makati. Century Spire features interiors by Armani/Casa and architecture by postmodern master Daniel Libeskind, whose previous works around the world have become iconic landmarks of the 20th century. Developed by Century Properties, one of the country’s renowned experts in luxury real estate, this mixed-use residential and office space is hyper-amenitized with distinct lobbies and amenities for each area. The PEZA-accredited Century Spire is the final tower to rise in Century City, a well-appointed enclave that houses some of Makati’s finest experiences, making it the best choice to feel truly at home in the bustling city of Makati.