For one of the best Manila conference hotels, secluded, resort-style and by the bay, take a look at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, once a concrete relic from the Marcos years, now a revitalised bit of real estate humming with French flair and artistry. Check out their buffets. The 609-room Sofitel (formerly Westin) is geared firmly towards the business traveller and conventioneer. Sited right next to the Philippine International Convention Center, guests attending conferences and meetings at this venue need only invest in a three-minute walk to the site. Rooms are minimalist and neat with bright splashes of colour provided by cushions, with private balconies looking onto Manila Bay. Make use of the hotel’s putting greens and driving range, work out on the all-weather floodlit tennis courts, or avail of the 24-hour spa and fitness centre. Nearby is the cruise departure area for Corregidor Island, an interesting side trip for the road-weary. And yes, getting to Makati or back from here during peak hours is well nigh Mission Impossible. At other times, it’s a 15-minute breeze. In-room Internet is available for 24 hours at P905.  Not far from here the 450-room The Heritage Hotel Manila once a sprightly smart option, popular with business travellers, and deemed to be conveniently located equidistant from the airport, the bay area and Makati, has evolved into a hellhole in the middle of nowhere. The only view you’ll get from here is of traffic and belching jeepneys. At night, the girlie bars take over across the road with loud karaoke music and disco. The minimal security at the door is perhaps fortuitous for the ladies working late shifts at the dance clubs nearby. If you can concentrate, Internet is available at P800 per day. Facilities include a pool and fitness centre. The refurbished Millennium Club rooms offer a better sanctuary with views of Manila Bay and the city. Millennium Hotels and Resorts who operate this establishment have many excellent hotels in their stable. Heritage, unfortunately, is not one of these.