When I went to Manila on May 22 to be a resource speaker for a leadership program, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the hotel where the venue was and where I was going to stay was an art deco mansion, built in the late 30's and converted into a hotel about 10 years ago. It was designed by National Artist for Architecture Pablo Antonio Sr. whose prominent Art-Deco work includes Far Eastern University and the Manila Polo Club. The Orchid Garden Suites was the old Roces mansion at Pablo Ocampo, Sr. Extension (formerly Vito Cruz Extension) and was later acquired by Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Villareal as his family residence. A 14-storey boutique hotel was built connecting to the anterior part of the house. The elegant hotel lobby, 3rd floor restaurant and the resto-bar on the 4th floor are all part of the original house. The swimming pool area used to be the garden and grotto.
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