Dubbed “The Philippines' Most Romantic Mall”, The Grand Canal Mall and attached luxury residences is Megaworld’s most recent “Lifestyle Mall”.
With so many shopping and dining opportunities throughout Metro Manila, it can be overwhelming to just decide WHERE to go. Sometimes the largest malls make the decision more difficult because of all the options they offer. While the Grand Canal mall is not huge, it does offer a very pleasant walking experience, with shops from all of the national brands present, and a movie theatre in the works.
In case you're wondering, I have visited 3 Venices’
- The real Venice, Italy
- The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas
- The Venice Grand Canal Mall, McKinley Hill Ft. Bonifacio
There is no replacing an original
While the romantic Italian music, the stylish bridges and the abundance of Italian restaurants are a great reinforcement of the theme, it should go without saying that this place is actually NOTHING like the real Venice, Italy pictured above. That’s not bad; in fact, it is a fun, and creative way to create an experience for people that may never otherwise have an opportunity to go to Italy.
An Electric Environment
Like its Las Vegas counterpart, the Grand Canal mall is clean, well lit, beautifully decorated, and designed to offer you many places to spend your money. I visited once during the day, and then once during the evening. The late night experience was more enjoyable to me since I was there to eat and drink, not shop. All the strings of lights going across the canal made it so photo-worthy. You can always see people taking selfies on the replica of the Rialto bridge.
Continuing to Grow
At the time of my visit to the Grand Canal mall in 2017, about 40 percent of the retail spaces are unoccupied, but that is OK. You have to understand that construction in the Philippines is often completed in phases. Currently, the Grand Canal mall is well stocked with restaurants, and many retail shops exist too, but are far outnumbered by places to eat. The movie theatre/ cinema is currently being built, and this will add another (eventual) wave of people to the area.
The Best and the Worst
The best part of the Grand Canal mall is the design. It is beautiful, luxurious, and feels open and airy. The bright colors and attention to detail are reminiscent of the hundreds-of-years-old structures in Italy, but seem to more closely resemble the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. It is almost as if the designers went to The US to copy the plans rather than Italy. That, to me, is the worst part of the effort: Lack of authenticity. I won’t let that take away from the experience, The Grand Canal is still a wonderfully designed and presented shopping mall. This place is worth a stop while you are in Manila with time to kill.