Built in 1976 for the International Monetary Fund bash, The Peninsula Manila (with the definite article “The”) sits proudly at the intersection of Ayala and Makati Avenues, both busy arteries of commerce. The 497-room hotel has undergone steady renovation in phases. The Ayala Tower gets a facelift and reopens later this year, while rooms and suites in the Makati Tower, as well as all the public areas have already blossomed anew. This despite the ructions of an aborted coup on 29 November, 2007 when rebel soldiers, perhaps tempted by the superlative high teas and chocolate at this grande dame, stormed the hotel for a cuppa, instead of Congress. It all ended peaceably and travellers got their money’s worth. It is after all a tale worth telling, anywhere.  Shots fired (into an empty lobby) have left a modest, if characterful, mark in the artwork hanging behind the reception. High-flying guests staying at this excellent address are also likely to be shot – but by flashing cameras – as The Peninsula Manila is an unreservedly top-drawer affair attracting both the beau monde and pin-striped business executives. The gleaming, modern, 699-room Makati Shangri-La, Manila is just across Ayala Avenue, in the heart of Makati 's Central Business District right next to the shopping. It is in many ways the antithesis of the reserved Pen, younger, bold, brash, large, and trendy. The hotel has cheerfully reinvented itself a few times and outlets have come and gone in mysterious succession. The funky Zu bar has made way for the Quezon Ballroom, while Red with its high-back crimson chairs and startling white décor, Circles café, and the thrumming Conway’s bar where you can quaff all the wine or beer you want for just P500 during happy hour from 5pm-9pm, keep guests enthralled. Wine aficionados can even enjoy an all-you-can-drink wine buffet at the Lobby Lounge from 5pm-9pm for P994. It’s enough to make anyone happy, or at least bleary eyed.