Being one of sixteen districts that makes up the Metro Manila area, Makati is the neighborhood of the moment, the spotlight for trends, riches and fame. Other parts of Manila have risen and fallen in their epochs of renown, but Makati at least for now is the place to be.
The first impression we had of Makati upon arriving is how it stands in contrast to the rest of the Metro Manila area. It is its own city and so that brings certain levels of logistics and impositions which set it apart from its neighbors. The financial center is home to luxury high rises, top notch apartments, grand shopping centers and fashionable hotels and restaurants. The streets are well maintained, there are covered walkways, abundant taxis and a strong police presence that inspires a sense of vigilant order in comparison with more chaotic parts of Metro Manila.
Makati is home to some of the best city hotels in the Philippines and the prices are slightly less than one would pay for similar chains in other major urban centers. There is the Raffles, Fairmont, Shangri-La and Peninsula. The service, hotel structure, standards and features are really Asian in hospitality and world class in delivery.
The Makati experience is all about being seen and enjoying the best brands and luxuries of the big city. The main shopping arcade is Greenbelt Mall. Inside is any and every major fashion design store, clothier, jeweler, accessories and quality products from around the globe. Prices are as expected elsewhere around the globe, but we caught a few sales and promotions which had even better prices than Dubai in discount season, it all depends when and what you find. Greenbelt wraps around a lush tropical park which has peaceful gardens and a chapel always full of worshippers. The Ayala center is the part of the whole complex that has cultural and recreational offerings.
Recreation and Culture:
There are historical roots such as the Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church (Our Lady of Grace) in the old town. The Ayala development has produced a modern museum, arts, libraries, parks and public squares which make Makati feel very spread out even when it has a good amount of traffic.