Here I am in my hotel room, waiting to check out after four days here. Outside my window of my 20th storey room, I hear the beeps of motorcycles and roar of traffic from Quezon City. Every 18 minutes or so, a freight rail train honks repeatedly to signal its arrival as it traverses through tight neighbourhoods like a snake slithering in the crevices between rocks.
The hotel is new, barely a year old and housed a casino, probably targeted at the Chinese market since the Chinese characters of the name is featured prominently in the brand. In the lift, you don’t find the number 4, confirming the hotel’s connection to the Cantonese. Level 4 is replaced by B for ballroom, and level 14 is missing.
My room is comfortable and cosy. Having just spent 15 days in Ireland, this hotel, like many hotels in Asia, is generous with amenities, like shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser and toothbrushes. So I was surprised there’s no shower cap provided but housekeeping immediately provided when I requested. There was also no tea bags, only instant coffee. Again housekeeping rectified this on the first day but not subsequently.
The bed is firm, as it’s after all a new hotel but the pillows are too flat for me. As I spent yesterday in the hotel, I had time to channel surf and there were channels from almost all the Asian countries.
I love the bathroom with both rain shower and hand shower, shelves for shampoos and soap, and hooks and bars for damp towels as well as shelf space at the sink area for my toiletry bag.
The hotel has a casino, spa and heated pool. I can’t fathom why is the pool heated in a tropical country, which made swimming uncomfortable, according to my husband, who initially thought the pool was warm because of the 36 deg C temperature. But I pointed out this to him.
My room has a fabulous view of sunrise and the city. However, the noise at night could be disturbing as there is either a party or a pub closed by with loud music booming until late in the night. In the day, the regular honking of the freight train might be a distraction.
There’s a huge mall next door which is convenient for food, spa and beauty treatments. We were told not to wander around Quezon City or around the neighbourhood. Security is extremely tight in the hotel and mall as all visitors are subjected to bag check and body scan.
The hotel provides free breakfast buffet with typical Filipino breakfast. After many days of Irish breakfast, this is a welcome change as I tuck in garlic rice with corned beef and an assortment of Filipino meat. The restaurant has been accommodating to my friend who’s a vegetarian with wheat allergy, and even stored and heated up the dumplings she brought from home.
All the staff are warm and helpful and I think this is the way Filipinos are, which made us feel really welcomed. That is, until I requested the receptionist to help me post a letter. She was the only one who was unhelpful. My husband said nobody does snail mail nowadays so my request might be foreign to her.
Otherwise, this is a great hotel to stay in for a staycation, which can be seen from the many locals with children in the hotel during this summer vacation.