The first five-star-branded property to open in Manila in 20 years was worth the wait. Occupying a rare quiet corner in the capital’s financial hub, it is divided into two wings: the elegant Raffles, with just 32 suites, all dressed in white marble and glittering chandeliers and catering primarily to leisure travelers; and the 280-room Fairmont, with its orange-hued jazzy style and a smart executive lounge better suited to business types. Both wings have their own swimming pools while sharing a gym and spa, and guests have access to a combined seven restaurants and lounges, including all-day restaurant Spectrum (which does wonders with such Filipino favorites as kinilaw and sizzling sisig) and an outpost of Singapore’s storied Long Bar. Also a winner is the decadent Sunday brunch, which features free-flow Veuve Clicquot champagne and a whole spit-roasted pig.

1 Raffles Dr.; 63-2/555-9777; and; doubles from US$273

This article appeared in the October/ November 2013 issue of DestinAsian Magazine.