The Bayleaf Hotel

I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about The Bayleaf Hotel from friends who have stayed there, the highest praise being that it has the best views of Manila. When offered two night’s stay at the hotel, I jumped on the opportunity. It was perfect, since I haven’t been to Bayleaf yet.

The Bayleaf Hotel
Easiest way to get there is to enter Intramuros through the gate along Victoria, which is right across the Manila City Hall

As it would turn out, I ended up there several times last week. The Saturday before my stay, I met with the two Ivans, which gave me a better idea about the hotel’s location and what’s nearby. They have both stayed there previously and gave me tips about where to buy food that would not break the bank (there’s a McDonald’s next door, and 7-11 one block away). We met at the Sky Deck View Bar, which really does have the best 360° views of Manila.

The Bayleaf Hotel
The Bayleaf Lobby

I returned to the hotel on Wednesday, just as people were flocking in droves out of Manila. In my work, we don’t take a holiday during Holy Week, so for years, I’ve only been spending the Lenten season in the metro. Still, I was glad to get out of the house and into a place with good air conditioning. It was the last work day of the week, and I had one more meeting to attend. I headed to Bayleaf early, hoping to check-in early. If they can’t accommodate me yet, at least I can leave my luggage with them while I head to my meeting across the Pasig river.

The Bayleaf Hotel
View from my room

Luckily, my room was ready and I was able to head up. One of the tips Ivan gave me was to request for a room with a good view. A couple of days before my stay, I called the hotel to confirm my reservation and to request for a room with a view of the golf course. I was delighted that they granted my request, my excitement only dampened by the orange theme of the room.

The Bayleaf Hotel
Can you say ORANGE?

Don’t get me wrong, the room is tastefully designed — I just have an aversion to the color orange. Nonetheless, the room has everything you’d expect to come in a hotel room: closet space (albeit rather small), a safe big enough to fit a large, clunky laptop, cable TV with over 40 channels, a very comfortable bed, plenty of pillows, a desk, coffee and tea-making things, two bottles of water (replenished everyday), and even a luggage rack.

The Bayleaf Hotel
Doesn’t matter if you prefer the rainfall or handheld shower head…they have both!

Though the room is small, it isn’t too small that you bump into things when you’re going from one end to another. It might be a different story if you’re sharing a room with someone though. It has its advantages in the bathroom though, as it means a lot of things are within reach when you’re sitting down in the toilet.

Sky Deck View Bar
Many hours were spent hanging out here

I headed out for my meeting, and by the time I got back, the Sky Deck was opened. The roof deck only open from 4 o’clock in the afternoon and onward. It was just right, as opening earlier would be too hot, and you have just enough time to claim the best seat to wait for the sunset. This is definitely one of my favorite things about The Bayleaf.

Sky Deck View Bar
Stunning sunset, as always.

Work starts promptly at 9pm, so I pried myself from my comfortable seat and headed down to my room. I set up my temporary work station and tried connecting to the Internet. There is complimentary Wi-fi access to Bayleaf guests, but it requires a unique log in, which only works for one device at a time. This can be quite a hassle if you connect using different devices, as you would have to manually log out from one gadget every time you want to connect using another. It’s a minor annoyance, but I’m quite happy I can still do what I needed to do.

The Bayleaf Hotel
I really don’t mind working with a view like this

When work ended at 6am, I headed up to 9 Spoons, the hotel’s restaurant for breakfast/dinner. The windows face east, so be prepared for a healthy dose of sunshine when you’re dining here. The buffet spread is small, but there is something for everybody. There are fresh fruits and vegetables, cereals, oats, bread, pancakes, waffles, fish, chicken, pork, beef, rice, noodles/congee, and the ubiquitous egg station. Hot coffee or tea is offered, but if you want something cold, there is fresh juice available.

9 Spoons Restaurant
Beef tapa, chicken sausage, honey glazed ham, salad and calamansi juice for breakfast

Breakfast comes with the accommodation, but if you’re dining at the restaurant or the Sky Deck, prepare to shell out some money. Appetizers and entrees range from Php 180 to Php 1,000+. One appetizer, one entree, and one drink can cost as much as Php 900+ with taxes. Serving sizes are big enough, but vary for each dish. For example, the Fried Hainanese Chicken Rice is good for one, the Callos Manileno can be shared by two, while the Bagnet Sinigang is big enough for three (just order extra rice). The food at 9 Spoons/Sky Deck is generally good, and the relaxed atmosphere at the Sky Deck really makes it more special.

Sky Deck View Bar
Callos on the left, sinigang on the right

My favorite place to eat at Bayleaf though, is Cioccolata, their churros cafe. I was unable to try it the first time I went there, so I made sure to eat there on Wednesday, before they close for the week. The churros are cooked upon order and served with the yummiest chocolate dip. When we went to Binondo for late lunch last Saturday, we headed to Cioccolata for another dose of churros, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be heading back there again when the craving strikes.

Churros con chocolate
Churros! &heart;

The Bayleaf Hotel serves as a training ground for hotel and restaurant management and culinary students of Lyceum. Manage expectations accordingly, but to be fair, my experience was mainly positive. There are rooms for improvement, of course, but for the location and the price they offer, it’s a good value hotel, specially if you have a limited time to spend in Manila.

RELATED:   More than the usual

View more photos of The Bayleaf Hotel over at the Just Wandering Facebook Page.

The Bayleaf Hotel
Muralla corner Victoria Street
Intramuros, Manila, Philippines
Phone: (02) 318 5000

This stay was made possible by If you’re looking for accommodation in Asia, that’s the place to look. They only took care of the reservation and the payment for my stay. I formed my own opinion based on my experience at Bayleaf and wrote them here.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 9 Comments
  1. Can I just say? Awesome review! Critique was constructive and not at all nitpick-y. And yeah, I always like when there’s full disclosure. I was curious where you took the nice un-Manila photo of Manila downtown. And it’s here! Haha.

  2. blissfulguro says:

    grabe naman yung sky deck! ang bongga mag emote. haha

  3. Arlyne says:

    Very comprehensive review. Photos are very inviting! (I got homesick after reading your blog.) Looks like Manila has changed quite a lot….for the better.

  4. This was an old building when I was still studying in Mapua. I like orange! And in case we’re gonna stay here, I’m gonna hang out at their Sky Deck.

  5. Rachel says:

    It’s so fortunate of you to be invited to one of the finest hotels in Manila. The perks of being a blogger. ;)

  6. paul says:

    yeahhh awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Dennis says:

    The view and location is great but just like you, I don’t want such a flamboyant color like orange – too bright I’m afraid I’ll never be able to sleep well :)

  8. zodio says:

    The spot you had to view Manila will probably be their best selling point. Great shot. :)

  9. angeldrb says:

    Nadadaanan ko lang to palagi but I’ve never been here. Sana makapagstay ako kahit overnight lang! Cross fingers… :D

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: