A taste of real China at Century Park Hotel
By Karen Sy Updated March 01, 2009 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines – The Century Park Hotel has been a landmark for comfortable and luxurious experience in Manila for many years. Today, it remains one of the premiere five-star hotels and home to the city’s most exciting events.
Known for its magnificent lobby, luxurious rooms, fine dining and grand ballrooms, Century Park Hotel proves that being a unique player in the hotel industry is an edge that makes it an attraction to both foreign and local guests for decades.
Last month, Century Park celebrated Chinese New Year much different from the other hotels in the city. With its lobby adorned with colorful trinkets, Oriental plaques, and exotic items, the hotel was literally turned into what looked like a parade of vendors from mainland China.
Indeed, these craftsmen came from the heart of Shanghai in China. With a wide range of services offered like portrait sketching, palm and face reading, fortune telling, calligraphy and feng shui consultation, the hotel gave guests a taste of what the real Chinese culture is all about.
Guests had their names drawn into elaborate Oriental art pieces perfect to be displayed at home or the office. Meanwhile, some guests wanted something a little more picturesque, so they had themselves immortalized through portraits or mini clay figurines — all done by skilled artists. Moreover, since Chinese New Year is all about new beginnings and new fortunes, guests were given an overview of what’s coming for them in the Year of the Earth Ox through a series of fortune telling and feng shui consultations.
Other guests bought bracelets, pendants and charms to increase their luck for the year and protect themselves from bad energies.
This year, the Century Park Hotel brought in these craftsmen from Shanghai to give its guests the experience of authentic Chinese culture right in the heart of Manila. The artisans, although unable to converse in English, were assisted by an interpreter. But despite the language barrier, they were quirky and friendly, and even willingly gave guests discounts and were even patronized by Filipino-Chinese guests who were happy to acquire some items from their Chinese heritage.
Aside from the Chinese craftsmen, Century Park Hotel is offering its guests a taste of China, literally, with its newly opened Royal Tea House at the lobby.
Open all year-round, the Royal Tea House is the only destination in Manila where guests can enjoy a wide range of tea leaves straight from the Wuyi Mountain in Fujian, China.
Rare, authentic and healthy teas such as the Pu-er Cha and Winter Tea are served to guests who enjoy their taste, aroma and health benefits such as reduced cholesterol and weight loss.
In fact, some teas are so rare that Chinese farmers have to climb all the way to the top of the Wuyi Mountain to harvest the leaves that are in season for a very short period only.
In ancient China, these rare and expensive tea leaves were enjoyed only by emperors and royal families. But thanks to modern technology, people can now import these rare tea leaves and enjoy them at the Century Park Hotel.