Hotel de Oriente Convention Centre, a replica of the country’s first ever luxurious hotel in the Philippines, was rebuilt recently.
Hotel de Oriente was built in 1889 as the Philippines’ first premier hotel at Plaza Calderon de la Barca in Binondo, Manila. It was inspired by the Philippines’ only heritage resort by the sea, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. It was one of the first buildings in the country to have a telephone line and electricity. Jose Rizal reportedly stayed in one of its rooms in 1892 after living in Europe for several years. The hotel was destroyed during World War II.
The hotel’s lobby features a masterpiece inspired by Juan Luna’s Spoliarium, ceiling marquetry works inspired by Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s murals, and haunting wood sculptures and figurines.
The sculptors who made the lobby’s spectacle came from Paete, Laguna, the Philippines’ wood carving capital, and from Betis, Pampanga, a place also known in the wood carving industry. Women artists who were trained to do marquetry, did the wood mosaic designs, while other furniture workers and artists crafted the paintings, terracotta tiles, and casting products made of plaster of Paris.
Hotel de Oriente’s convention centre has two large venues, Manila and Binondo Halls, which can each accommodate up to 1,000 guests. These were previewed to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit guests during its Bataan leg last June.
The convention center also houses function rooms named after some of Manila’s iconic streets – Avenida, Azcarraga, Blumentritt, and Sta. Cruz.
The resort will officially showcase Hotel de Oriente Convention Centre with a grand musical event on October 31. Dubbed “Harana: A Weekend at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar with Lani Misalucha, Mel Villena and the AMP Band”, guests will enjoy music, and a four-course dinner.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is located in Bagac, Bataan. It is a project of New San Jose Builders, Inc. and managed by Asian Grand Legacy Hotels Corp.