The Clipper Hotel Manila Restores the Romantic Era of Aviation

It may come as a surprise to most aviation enthusiasts and travellers that the Philippines is home to an aviation themed hotel. But we're not talking just about any old hotel or one that models itself off the cheap frills of a low cost carrier. We are talking about a truly boutique hotel that will take you back not only to the finer days of aviation, but also the finer days of the Manila.

clipper hotel makati
Image Source: Clipper Hotel Manila
Located in the heart of Makati is a small boutique hotel named, "The Clipper Hotel." Housed in a lovingly restored Art Deco building, the hotel is a beautiful tribute to the glory days of former airline Pan Am and their epic Clipper flights to Manila. Pan American Airways inaugurated the first commercial transpacific air service from San Francisco to Manila in 1935. The name Clipper refers to a four-engined Martin M-130 flying boat. As runways were rare and expensive in that period, Pan American's extensive routes were flown using these aircraft with the ocean as their runways.

pan am clipper

The Pan American Clippers travelled for nearly five days on their journeys across the Pacific between Manila and San Francisco. The total flying time was around sixty hours with stops in Honolulu, Midway Island, Wake Island, and Guam en route where passengers would stay overnight in Pan American hotels. The Clippers were equipped with double decker births, a passenger lounge, dining area, and washrooms.

the clipper hotel manila
Image Source: Clipper Hotel Manila
The Clipper Hotel, a Philippine tribute to the Clipper era rests at the corner of Ebro Street and Kalayaan Avenue in Makati. It is conveniently located near shopping, restaurants, and night life including the bars of Burgos Street and the tasty eateries along Jupiter and Polaris streets. If you're looking for a modern shopping mall, look no further than the Rockwell Powerplant Mall, just a seamless seven minute walk from the hotel.

panam clipper

The 8,000 mile Clipper journey was typically flown at an altitude of 10,000 feet and cost $950 which would be close to $15,000 in today's money. It must have been a magnificent experience riding aboard Pan Am's Philippine Clipper and China Clipper. It is hard to even fathom what a luxurious feeling it must have been to disembark from one of the Pan Am Clipper's only to be whisked away in style to the Manila Hotel. In those days, tourists would stroll through the seven churches of Intramuros and even indulge in a little shopping on the Escolta. These were the days when Manila was still considered the Pearl of the Orient.

pan am hotel manila
Image Source: Clipper Hotel Manila
The closest we will get now to those days of glamour and luxury is with a comfortable stay at the Clipper Hotel. The hotel itself is a taste of old world charm in the heart of contemporary Manila. The hotel is a real throwback to pre-war Manila reflecting the charming style and character of the city in the 1930's. There is a small bar on-site and breakfast is served daily. While the hotel may be themed after a bygone era, its rooms are far from that being incredibly clean and equipped with modern amenities including air-conditioning, water heaters, and flat screen televisions.

clipper hotel philippines
Image Source: Clipper Hotel Manila
The cabin rooms in the hotel are of course themed after the nostalgic Pan Am era but guests will certainly not lack any comfort with complimentary Wi-Fi access and premium beds with luxurious cotton duvets. It is also worthy of mention that the hotel's in-room water heaters use an environmentally friendly solar-electric system from Australia.

pan american hotel manila
Image Source: Clipper Hotel Manila
If you are looking for a clean and respectable hotel establishment with affordable rates and a convenient location, the Clipper Hotel in Manila will not disappoint. While the Clipper Hotel boasts the comforts and conveniences of the modern age, one element that remains from the Clipper era is the superior level of personalized guest service that Pan Am was known for. While guest service can often leave much to be desired in many hotel establishments, the Clipper Hotel performs it like an art. The hotel's impressive collection of positive Clipper Hotel Manila Reviews can certainly be taken as evidence towards this claim.

The high standards of service and cleanliness set by the hotel and its staff can be attributed to the leadership of owner and manager, Juan Ramos who personally ensures that each guest stay is a pleasant one. In an online hotel review, Trip Advisor user rhinoboy55 of Bangkok stated that, "There is nothing the owner Juan Ramos won't do for any of his customers 24 hours a day."

With its outstanding level of service and unique vintage decor, the Clipper Hotel will take you back to a part of Manila that few have ever seen. You might even expect to bump into Humphrey Bogart each time you walk through the hotel lobby. But travellers beware, once you check-in to a taste of old Manila, you may never want to check-out again.

For reservations, rates, photos and information, please visit: The Clipper Hotel Manila.

pan am clipper manila
"China Clipper arrives in Manila Harbor for the first time after crossing the Pacific"
Image Source: Manila Nostalgia

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