I love history and learning about culture, and whenever I get the chance to travel in the country or abroad, heritage is the first thing I look for. One does not have to go far to see heritage sites, because there are plenty of these in my country, the Philippines. Just to name a few, we have in the island of Luzon, the Banawe Rice Terraces, The City of Vigan, the Municipality of Taal, Pila in Laguna and The Walled City of Intramuros; in the Visayas, we have Cebu City, the town of Carcar, Dumaguete City, Iloilo City and of course, my very own, the “Paris of Negros” Silay City where we gave blogger friends a mini heritage tour in 2012; and in Mindanao, there is the town of Dapitan and Zamboanga City. In fact, many of these are still on my bucket list of must see places before even embarking on another Asian trip. It’s almost the end of the year, and it is time to plan for summer travel. There are so lots of places to go to, but how do I decide where to go first? These are the first things I usually check when planning a heritage trip.
Monday, October 31, 2016
Sunday, August 22, 2010
The week-long seminar in Iloilo was a big fiasco...from the venue to the course to the trip home. But first, my top reasons why I will never go back to Iloilo's premier hotel, at least until they improve their facilities and service. For Php1,800++ (seminar rate), you get these:
- Poor housekeeping service -
- dusty rugs, airconditioners
- delayed delivery of towels and when finally delivered...old towels (dirty white color and thin)
- bed linens changed every other day but flannel under the bed sheet is changed ONLY WHEN IT GETS DIRTY (whattt????)
- foam pillows...additional foam pillows cost Php 25, a waste of good money
- ceiling over the shower/bathtub area was oozing with water droplets
- shower curtain bottom part...yellowish with mildew
2. No outside telephone line...you have to dial 0 and pass through the operator...even in their restaurants...AND their front desk hang up on my caller!
3. TV remote was defective...I was too tired to complain anymore. And the reception was not good in 50% of the channels PLUS selection was poor.
4. No wifi in rooms...terrible, when even smaller hotels in Bacolod had wifi!
5. the seminar venues did not smell nice, although I can't say the same about the other areas in the complex
So my evaluation is you get poor value for your money. Hey, I would not mind paying an additional fee for a nice soft pillow...but a small foam type? No thanks! I do not know what happened to the management of this hotel that it has deteriorated to this level. Highway21 next door gives better service....and nicer pillows.
Was there a plus factor? Well,the concierge was very respectful and they had a very helpful staff, albeit a bit "loud". Still, this does not make up for the over-all poor quality of the hotel.
To add insult to injury, when we reached the pier, we found out that the Weesam had only a single ferry boat available so there was no 10:15 trip to Bacolod. The Oceanjet was already boarding so we were forced to take the Supercat which I was not happy about since my experience on it was never really good. I could have taken the 11:30 Weesam trip but I had to get back to Bacolod before noon since I had very important visitors coming to the hospital in the afternoon. So it was Supercat or bust! and bust we did...because the boat stopped in the middle of the Visayan Sea halfway through our trip...the reason, a small technical problem which resulted in the boat running on a single engine. So our one hour crossing turned into 2 hours or was it more? I refused to complain or to gripe about it lest our situation becomes worst. But, thankfully that was the end of our misadventures...because the rest of the day went well and the visit was a success!
Related Post: What Happened to Iloilo's Premier Hotel?
Related Post: What Happened to Iloilo's Premier Hotel?
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I attended a week long seminar in Iloilo with 3 other co-workers and we were quite excited about it thinking it will be a nice break from work. Indeed, it was a break from routine but not necessarily a good one :( The seminar venue was Iloilo's Premier Hotel and the last time I stayed here was in the mid-90's when it was still relatively new. So I was excited to come back to the hotel which gave me many fun memories. To my dismay, it has become a shadow of what it was before. The seminar hall was located on the second floor where a renovation was going on. I could not understand what management was thinking of! The noise from the hammers, the smell from the paint was terrible. It was also quite warm because the AC's were not strong enough. The secretariat was trying to stop the carpenters from all that hammering and they did...only to shift to painting which nauseated most of the participants. By noon, we "asked" to transfer to another room. The first day ended at about 4 PM and we went to check in. The assigned rooms were in the old wing and it wouldn't have been so bad if this old wing was well maintained. On the way to the rooms, the carpeted corridors were dark, smelly and dusty...I was sneezing along the way. The room assigned to us was way down...and it also had an old and musty smell. The room except for the small TV, beds and lamp table was bare, no hangers or even a place to hang clothes, the linens were clean but the pillows were the small not very comfortable foam type, there were no towels in the bath, the toilet seat cover was wooden and moving and the AC although cool, was dusty. I and my companions took one look around and decided, we need to upgrade. Now this is a live-in seminar, so we asked front desk, if we upgrade to a better room, can we just pay the difference? Thankfully, they agreed and we hurriedly moved out to check into their "corporate" wing. We checked into room 310. It was "better" but way below standards...in other words, it was tolerable. This time, the room had a small fridge, drawers, closet and hangers. There was a veranda and a breakfast table. The bathroom was functional but the bath curtain was not very clean. Hot and cold water was available but when you use the shower, water drops were also coming out of the ceiling...yuck! There were still no towels and we were informed that the hotel run out of it and delivery will still be at around 9 PM. I decided to go down the coffee shop where there was free wifi (you have to pay if you want to use the wifi in the room) and waste my time until the towels arrive. I went up at around 9:00, still no towels. Housekeeping called at about 9:15 to ask if we still needed the towels...huh? By 11 PM, I was sleepy and decided to give them another call, asking them where are the d__m towels! Soon they were at the door apologizing...I just opened the door enough to hand out my hand to get the towels...arghhhh! By the end of the next day, I made a list on why I will never come back to stay in this hotel. According to its website it was awarded Best Hotel in 2006 DOT Excellence Awards...so what happened in the last 4 years?
Related Post: The List