Last Thursday, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel hosted Fete de la Musique at the newly renovated Imperial Residence. It was my first time to see the new look.
From what I remember of the Imperial Suites, it was grandiose – a mix of Neoclassical style and Filipino mansion-living. It used to be the temporary residence of Mrs. Marcos when she and her family came back post-EDSA. The new Imperial Residence is more streamlined and adapts a contemporary and less-Filipino feel. There were touches of luxury in the materials but it wasn’t done in an ostentatious manner.
“The 576 sqm Imperial Residence is comprised of 5 distinct rooms: 4 Luxury Club Millésime rooms and the magnificent Imperial Suite. A residential concept that features unrivalled versatility and flexibility in accommodation options.” – from their website.
I took the opportunity to snoop around and shoot the five rooms of the Imperial Residence.
The only thing left over from the original Imperial Suites is the capiz ceiling. This grand room used to have an atrium-like mini garden in the centre of the space. Now it serves as a cozy living room. The capiz chandelier is a nice modern rendition of our traditional lamps.
For the cocktail reception, the sofas were taken away and the living room was converted into a lounge.
Very intimate set up. It felt like a house party… a super sophisticated one.
The only Filipino touch I saw other than the capiz lamps were these bronze sculptures by Ed Castrillo. The interior designers were Japanese.
The door at the far end leads to the open kitchen.
This place is perfect for hosting small parties.
Bumped into Aimee Marcos who was there for her love of music. Even she didn’t recognize the old residence. Shariza Relova kept us company.
There is this very sexy bathroom off to one side of the main room. I can’t remember if it’s connected to the master suite. But here we go. For the night, the island jacuzzi was filled with ice and champagne.
The beautiful Sofitel managers – Assistant Food and Beverage Director Bernard Krishnan and Marketing Communications Manager Shariza Relova.
Very important for VIP guests from the business or state level — a private office. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was one of the VIPs who stayed here.
The rooms are designed such that they can be converted to other uses. This office can be set up as another room. It can also be made to be a private gym or spa. I love the vertical wooden slats. Here you can see the influence of Japanese design.
The other side of the divider is a private hallway that leads to other parts of the residence. Shariza showed me the rest of the space.
The master suite.
Here’s what the ensuite looks like.
This is the public hallway that connects the four rooms to the main suite. This part can also be closed off.
I wasn’t able to take a lot of food shots. Everything was excellent. Loved this squid ink risotto.
More yummers. On another note, I keep falling deeply in love with my Olympus OMD. It’s just so powerful, fast and steady. This was a quick snapshot.
And so was this. I was just on Automatic Setting here. Hello bokeh and macro! Love love love my Olympus OMD.
I remember this part used to be like a “sunny office”. There was a presidential desk and little reception area. The new designers opened it up as a lanai and extra entertaining area. It was lovely that night.
On a side note, I couldn’t help but notice this girl looked so much like actress Kim Chiu.
She was part of the Veuve Cliquot team for the night.
Patrick with Executive Class host David Celdran and Sofitel’s Resident Manager Carl Gagnon
Sofitel’s GM Goran Aleks.
It was a lovely evening – as Sofitel really knows how to entertain in a beautiful way. I know this is what we are all waiting for – the reopening of Spiral. It’s going to be incredible!
While waiting for my car in the back entrance, I shot these in very low light. I love my camera.
Noticed this wall garden. Is that just ivy or something else? I’m obsessing over vertical gardens. I think they are so chic and beautiful.