It was 1946. People were still recovering from the ravages of war when a Swiss gentleman named Emil Landert opened the Old Swiss Inn Restaurant along Dewey Boulevard (Roxas Boulevard) near the corner of United Nation Avenue. Many thought that it was not the right time to open a business but Landert preserved armed with the right combination zest, talent and vision. The late Landert was a culinary expert and a man of charm who personally attended to the kitchen and his guest. His personalized service, the ambiance, and the Rotary Club International for about a decade. Various nationalities, including Filipinos, especially those whom Landert initiated in the appreciation of his country’s cuisine, also made it their preferred watering hole. With its authentic specialties originating from the 26 cantons (regions) of Switzerland, the restaurant became still very popular that most old- times reminisce on those good old days.
After more than 20 years of successful operation Landert purchased a lot beside Paco Park where he relocated his business in the late 1960’s. Thus the birth of Hotel Swiss Manila and a bigger fame as having the longest bar in town. It was also the only restaurant with telephone booths and it was popular to guest who enjoyed novelty of being able to make free calls. Hotel Swiss Manila is now named The Garden Plaza Hotel and Suites and since it re-opened in November 1995 under a new management. It has steadily attracted old clients from Landert era as well as new ones. After all, it still operates the famous Old Swiss Inn Restaurant with an equally successful restaurants serve steaks, sausages, savory versions of the legendary fondue and specialties, which were in Landert’s original menu, in addition to other authentic European dishes.
With food attendants garbed in traditional Swiss fashion, the milieu displays typical European flair. It offers a variety of hors d’ oeuvres, soups and salads made from the freshest ingredients to whet appetite. And for the main course, it has specialties from the Swiss- German, and Swiss – Italian regions complemented by a list of house favorites. A tempting array of dishes is also offered in big servings a la family of family- style as a salute to kinship and camaraderie. Located right beside the historic Paco Park, THE GARDEN PLAZA HOTEL AND SUITES is uniquely situated at the confluence of five streets and is easily accessible to Manila’s Tourist Belt, Intramuros, Rizal Park and their notable attraction, including the Bay area where on ocean view Manil’s famous sunset.
Sporting a new look and additional facilities, it has a total of 105 air-conditioned rooms and suites equipped with complete amenities, including a safe box, fax machine upon request, mini-bar, IDD/NDD connection, cable TV, hot and cold water, clothesline and hairdryer. The rooms are well furnished, fully carpeted, spacious and comfortable. They are categorized as STANDARD, SUPERIOR,DE LUXE and Suites are natural options for families or groups because they are equipped with kitchenettes. Service included room service (up to 11:00 pm only), valet parking, transportation, catering, laundry, medical service on call and foreign exchange.
Among its facilities are two restaurants, a fully- equipped Business Center, Convinience Shop, swimming pool and function rooms for seminars, conference wedding and private parties. Alternative venues for social occasions are the poolside and courtyard can accommodate up to 180 people. Excellent catering service is also a pride of the hotel. The Garden Plaza Hotel and Suites is young and brimming with fresh ideas. The paradox is it has a long and notable history, which many people cannot forget and happily with its innovative and creative marketing, it is comfortably living up to that positive image.
Courtney from Study Moose
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