The construction of the Coconut Palace was commissioned by the former First Lady Imelda Marcos. The palace's main goal was to be a guesthouse for Pope John Paul II in his 1981 visit to the country. However, the Pope declined and opted not to stay at the Coconut Palace during his visit. The Pope said that the palace was a too sumptuous place to stay in a country stricken with poverty.
Built during the Marcos era, the Coconut Palace has hosted numerous high-profile guests, from Brooke Muammar al-Qaddafi, George Hamilton, and Brooke Shields. The place has an opulent charm, giving a sense of being at ranks with its former prestigious guests who once walked on its grounds, looking out at the Manila Bay.