Manila House, an exclusive private membership club, is set to take the town by storm—find out why.

Gert Voorjans

Taking inspiration from some of the most interesting private membership clubs in the world, such as the ultra-tony 5 Hertford Street in London and the ultra-casual SOHO House in London, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, Manila House was conceptualised as a blend of both, trading not so much on financial or social capital, but on creative and cultural capital. 

Manila House is a private club (by invitation only) that will bring together a membership selected from the business, creative, cultural, and intellectual communities—an assemblage of people who gather together, drawn by shared interests and a longing to continuously learn about art, culture, food, business, and politics, and from the diversity of its members.

Indeed, the “conceptualists” behind Manila House include some of the most creative, dynamic, and well-connected people, not just in the Philippines, but in Europe and Asia; among them Doris Magsaysay Ho, Linda Ho-McAfee, Rose Anne de Pampelonne, Ricco Ocampo, Katrina Panlilio, Bonnae Gokson, and international interior architect Gert Voorjans.

Voorjans, who is based in Antwerp, is overseeing the club’s interiors. The “master of mixing,” as the Wall Street Journal calls him, is a frequent visitor to Manila, and is impressed at the blend of colonial and contemporary—the layering of eras and sensibilities that he finds both charming and sophisticated. Having designed the homes of Mick Jagger and Nina Garcia, as well as the Dries van Noten boutiques worldwide, Voorjans is excited about his first Philippine commission. 

All in all, Manila House occupies a prime location in the heart of BGC, in a space that sprawls over 2,385 square metres, surrounded by another 3,000 square metres of garden. The club has its own private lobby and entrance. Within this expansive space, Manila House offers a myriad of dining experiences; cool bars—one indoor and the other on the outdoor deck—and a dedicated cigar-andwhisky room.

The people behind Manila House cite the country’s robust economy and increasing sophistication. Bonnae Gokson herself noted admiringly on a recent visit to Manila, “[The city has] a fantastic, cool energy. This is the time for Manila to shine.”