Palacio de Memoria
Roxas Boulevard, or Dewey, as it was called back in the day, was once home to a row of large estates belonging to different families of prominence of that time. Before the land was reclaimed by the government in the 70s and 80s to create Bay City, this row of desirable palatial homes were beachfront, which meant direct access to the ocean as well as having stunning sunsets and views of a pristine Manila Bay as their backdrop.
What is now Palacio de Memoria is one of the last remaining homes still surviving from that row of estates, restored and revitalized by its current owners for visitors to experience what the house and what life must have been like in that era.
Built in the 1930s and originally owned by Antonio Zobel, the Colonial Reviva-style house surprisingly survived the tragic Battle of Manila and was even used as headquarters by a US Lieutenant General after liberating Manila. After the war, the property was acquired by Dr. Francisco Villaroman Sr., A notable physician during his time, who proceeded to add five floors and a tower to accommodate his growing family, and to hold space for his medical practice.
In the 80s, The Villaroman Family left the country and the property was then abandoned and left in ruin until in 2005, the house was purchased by the family of Ambassador Philippe J. Lhuillier. Restoration of the house began in 2015 and was designed by art consultant Miguel Rosales. Renovation included removal of some parts of the house to reveal the original architecture of the space, conservation of floors, walls, and ceilings, and conscientious repainting of surfaces, in keeping with the spirit of the original design.
Under years of dirt and grime, the renovation even revealed Terrazzo flooring in mother-of-pearl encompassing the ballroom and depicting tinikling and bahay kubo scenes, created by National Artist for architecture Juan Nakpil himself.
By adaptive reuse, the property is now used as an arts and events center. The Palacio de Memoria compound includes event venue rental spaces, a museum which showcases the Lhuillier Family's collection of religious art pieces, auction house, The Loggia café and restaurant by noted restaurateur Margarita Forés, two full-sized repurposed Russian airplanes, one of which has had its interiors renovated and is accessible to visitors.
If you’d like to know more and tour the palacio’s beautifully restored grounds, a guided tour costs Php 600 that runs for 1 hour and 30 minutes - please take note that prior booking is required.
Walk-ins for self guided tours are welcome and costs Php 300 for adults, Php 240 for students, Php 214 for Seniors/PWD. If you also want to explore the Mosphil lounge (Russian plane) you’ll need to pay an extra Php 100. They also offer Tour & Dine packages at Php 1,250 and Php 1,800 that includes tour and a set meal from their in-house restaurant, The Loggia. Click here to book a guided tour.
You can book different function rooms as a venue for your special event but they only allow their accredited suppliers, but should you wish to use your own suppliers, they can accredit them with some requirements. Without accreditation, there is a corkage fee, which is 20% of the contract price. Get in touch with them to learn more about their updated accredited suppliers and rates.
Los Tamaraos Ballroom
Salon Rojo (Red Room)
Salon de te Gris (Grey Room)
El Comedor del Embajador (Ambassador's Dining Hall)
Sala Villaroman (Villaroman Hall)