Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Monday, October 31, 2016

Heritage Travel in the Philippines

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, February 01, 2016

How To Celebrate The Chinese New Year in Bacolod City

Chinese New Year will be on February 8, 2016, the start of the Year of the Fire (Red) Monkey.  I am not superstitious and don't really believe in fortune-telling, but I am open to all suggestions since I was born in a monkey year.  Not many people or places celebrate Chinese New Year but in the Philippines, it is a public holiday.  Most Chinese-Filipino communities in other parts of the country have some sort of celebration, whether big or small.  Here are some ways to welcome the Year of the Fire Monkey in Bacolod City and the Province of Negros Occidental:

Monday, October 01, 2012

Merci's Newest Baby

Now it can be told. Guest, clients and visitors of MERCI food products can now enjoy the services of their newest baby, the MERCI Shuttle Bus! The air-conditioned MERCI flagship 31-seater bus is the newest value-added service of CM & Sons Food Products, the company behind MERCI products.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hongkong 1993: The City Tour, Ocean Park, etc...

The City Tour

Our harassed travel agent cum tour guide arrived early the next morning to pick us up for the "part of the package, shouldn't be missed" half day city tour.  There were just 6 of us (my aunt-nun has joined us by this time) and so our ride was the same van that we rode from the airport.  Our tour guide was named Eric and he was very informative and his Chinese English with a British accent was very entertaining.  He says pooh instead of poor and people turned to peepoh...heheh.  On our way to the cross harbor tunnel which we will be entering to go to Hongkong Island, he pointed out heritage places, shopping centers, hotels, schools as well as tenement houses which had clothes lines hanging out from window to window up to the top floors. But remember this was in 1993, so I don't know if this practice is still common in the Kowloon part of Hongkong.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hongkong 1993: Holiday Inn Golden Mile

We checked in at Holiday Inn Golden Mile at Kowloon and to my surprise, their front desk staff was not as fluent in English as I would have expected from people living in a British Colony or maybe because this was the night shift?  In fact for the next 5 days, I found it difficult to communicate with most of the locals I encountered, either they could not speak English very well or they refused to speak it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hongkong 1993: Lost and Found in Kai Tak Airport

Our group of 5 flew from Bacolod to Mactan International Airport in Cebu on November 10, 1993 to take the PAL flight PR 0302 bound for Kai Tak Airport (this airport closed in 1998) in Hongkong for a 5 day holiday.  We were not part of any tour group so that our travel agency gave us specific instructions on what to do and who to look for when we landed.  During that time, there were no cellphones, so that we had to rely on oral and written instructions which were simple enough I thought. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Remembering My Hongkong Trip c.1993

The very first time I went overseas was in November 10, 1993.  The place: Hongkong.  The company: my mom and brother, together with a distant aunt and her grand-daughter.  The purpose: primarily for pleasure but also to escort home our father's first cousin, a Good Shepherd nun who was ending her assignment there.  We took the CEBU-HK Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight going there and a Cathay Pacific (CX) flight coming back.  The rationale for taking 2 airlines was because my auntie-nun bought a one-way CX ticket for her trip home while we wanted to ride PAL. Well, I thought that's a good way to check out both carriers...at least I can say later I have experienced them both.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Orchid Garden Suites: Preserving Heritage

When I went to Manila on May 22 to be a resource speaker for a leadership program, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the hotel where the venue was and where I was going to stay was an art deco mansion, built in the late 30's and converted into a hotel about 10 years ago. It was designed by National Artist for Architecture Pablo Antonio Sr. whose prominent Art-Deco work includes Far Eastern University and the Manila Polo Club. The Orchid Garden Suites was the old Roces mansion at Pablo Ocampo, Sr. Extension (formerly Vito Cruz Extension) and was later acquired by Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Villareal as his family residence. A 14-storey boutique hotel was built connecting to the anterior part of the house.  The elegant hotel lobby, 3rd floor restaurant and the resto-bar on the 4th floor are all part of the original house. The swimming pool area used to be the garden and grotto.

Friday, March 23, 2012

El Nido Resorts, Palawan

In the summer of 2007 I was invited to be part of a group that went El Nido Resorts. Back then I was blogging intermittently and was not yet on Facebook.  As I reviewed my travel pages here, I realized that I never wrote about my trip to this beautiful resort that was doubly memorable, because it was a journey of many firsts for me.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Guihulngan and Lalimar Before And After The Earthquake

Coastal road of Guihulngan City before the earthquake
After the Earthquake (photo by Bongbong Woo Tadifa /FB)
Lalimar Resort, La Libertad
photo retrieved from skyscrapercity
The Guihulngan City coastal road is one of the more beautiful coastlines in Negros Island.  Look at it now...and this is just a portion of the whole road that was destroyed. I tried to contact Lalimar Resort, but they were not answering.  We enjoyed our overnight stay there in 2010 that my family and I were planning to go back this summer, this time with the parish pre-school teachers whom my mom supervises. I hope we still can. But it is not the destruction of the infrastructures that is heartbreaking, but the lost of so many lives. With the many disasters affecting the country, one would think that we should have learned our lessons well by now. Apparently, we haven't.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Boracay 2011

Boracay is totally changed since we visited in 2000. If at that time, the island already looked crowded, it has grown even bigger in terms of infrastructure and population, all in the name of progress.  The island's enchantment and purity in the 70's is all but gone. Once upon a time it was only people from Aklan who knew of its beautiful beach.  Of course, even the best kept secret does not stay a secret for long.  Eventually, the few settlers with land titles in the island decided to either develop, sell or lease their lands. Today, there are hundreds of resorts, both beach front or in-land, high end or budget type, varied restaurants, either local or franchised, coffee shops (yes, Starbucks is in Boracay), all kinds of bars, expensive boutiques ( I saw a Mango Outlet), and even food carts can be seen in Boracay.  I now call the place little Metro-Manila with a beachfront.  It is one big party place, THE PLACE to be seen not just in summer but at all times of the year.  If you're like me who likes privacy, peace and quiet for your vacation break...you won't find it in Boracay.







retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/manggy/2049787678/sizes/z/in/photostream/

There is one thing that has not changed though...it's Boracay's beautiful beach and famous sunset. Thank God, it's still there inspite of the island's fast growing development.

 
But, although I personally believe that this progress should slow down and local officials be more prudent in allowing too much development, I have to admit that allowing the island's multi-faceted growth has also made it very accessible to the public, unlike other private island resorts which are so expensive, only the rich and famous can enjoy their beauty. 

At the very least, Boracay offers everyone in all levels of society the chance to experience paradise.


Related Post: Coming Back to Boracay

Friday, June 24, 2011

Coming Back to Boracay

The first time I went to Boracay was in the year 2000.  My cousins living in Davao (then) and Manila were all going to meet up there for the Holy Week and we (my mom, brother, son) decided to come along to celebrate my birthday there as well.  We stayed at Marzon's in station 3 while my cousins stayed at Tirol & Tirol in station 2.  It was a good thing that we did because the resort was only a few steps to the beach, it was clean with friendly and accommodating staff and above all quiet since it was far from the noise of bars playing loud music and party atmosphere in station 2.  We stayed for 2 nights and 3 days and although we enjoyed the beautiful beach, the company and the resort...fact is, Boracay is the worst place to be on Holy Week and so, I swore never to come back at this time of year.   Then come 2011...my mom wanted to spend family time with the kids before summer vacation ends, as my nephew was going to Manila for college.  The initial plan was for all of us to bring him to Manila and spend a week there.  Of course, I knew it was going to be a logistical nightmare, not to mention a physically daunting one with 2 semi-handicapped people in tow, a 2 year old baby, 1 yaya, 1 house help, tons of suitcases and 3 teens/tween.  After a short discussion, it was decided that we all go to Boracay instead since the teens have never been there. And so, plans were made, revised and finalized with reservations and a deposit made at La Carmela de Boracay.  Sunday, May 29, 2011, we left for Iloilo via the 6 AM Supercat ferry and suprisingly, the trip was relatively okay, inspite of the not-so-good weather.  Upon arrival, we were met by our rented van and driver and after a drive-thru at Jollibee's, we were on our way.   What pleasantly surprised me was how tourist-friendly the towns of Iloilo province are...there are tourist assistance desks in town plazas as well as clean and well maintained restrooms.

We arrived in Caticlan jetty port at around 11:30 and after getting our tickets, I requested for wheelchairs for my mom and brother.  Getting on the ferry boat was a breeze since our group was the first to be allowed in.  Of course, the 10 minute trip to Cagban jetty port in Boracay became 40 minutes because of the low tide and rough waters.  Thankfully, my mom and brother were ably assisted by the ferry crew and staff of the port.  The hotel van was already waiting for us and after a short ride, we arrived at the hotel. 


next post: Boracay 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Postscript to Amanpulo

After experiencing Amanpulo, then what...

I have been to famous white beaches like Boracay and Panglao Island in Bohol and I have been to Miniloc Island of El Nido Resorts in Palawan as well as Apo Island in Negros Oriental, and honestly,  Pamalican Island's (home to Amanpulo) pristine white beach surrounding the island is not much different but, taking everything else into consideration, nothing else compares to what this breathtaking island has to offer.  For one, the island's owners and Amanresorts have seen to it the island's lush tropical surroundings, flora and fauna remained untouched.  I cannot say the same for the other famous beaches in the country. Whatever development made in the island was done in such a way that modern amenities built did not change its natural beauty nor cause destruction to nature. Our casita was surrounded by wild vegetation and we had a resident bayawak living in the rocks and trees but this did not in any way diminish the modern and upscale facilities and of course, superb service. In fact, I think it just added to the atmosphere of  exclusivity and leisure that the resort is known for.  It's like living close to the wild but knowing that civilization and comfort is just a step away.  The 2 nights and 3 days stay was really just a glimpse of what the island had to offer.  I was told that some guests stay for a month...lucky them! Being land bound and not too adventurous, Amanpulo is the ultimate place to stay for me when I want to get away from it all. I loved everything about it, especially the privacy, the peacefulness, the solitude along with all the comforts of modern life.  I even felt safe there inspite of my little fall and if not for the cost, I would go back in a heartbeat. For me, the ideal number of days to stay in the island is a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 7 days...I could not imagine staying longer, unless I relocate my life over there.  Actually, villas in Amanpulo are available for purchase and a few are actually privately owned and rented out during times when the owner do not use it....so that is a thought ;-)

the beach view from casita 23

So what next?  Well...my short stay in Amanpulo will always be my ultimate vacation in terms of location and service, but nothing beats spending leisure time in the company of family and loved ones and that's what I'll be doing next...a trip to the Island of Boracay with the kids before school opens in June. The island is crowded with many resorts from budget to 6-stars, as well as bars, shops, malls and even Starbucks!  If Amanpulo is for the likes of me...Boracay is for the kids.  The White Beach is still as pristine as Pamalican Island but the atmosphere is totally different, although once upon a time Boracay Island was like Pamalican Island.  I said not too long ago that Boracay today is like Manila with a beachfront...with the way this island is being indiscriminately developed, this beautiful beach may well go the way of Manila Bay.


Some information:
  • Getting there: It is best to book through a reputable travel agency or if you want to DIY, call/email the resort for inquiries or reservations. They are very helpful.  The take off point is from Manila. You go to the Amanpulo lounge/terminal located at the A. Soriano Hangar where guests  take the approximately 2 hours ITI chartered flight to the resort.
  • Things to bring: Travel light since everything is more or less provided for except for sunblock.  Money of course, debit or credit cards, your laptop or ipad since they have wifi, cellphone (fair to good signal), beachwear, casual attire for dinner (unless you are there for a wedding), camera and video camera and medicines/first aid supplies (just in case).
  • Curious about the cost?  Anywhere between Php 70,000 to Php 80,000 PER PERSON (for group package) for a 3 day, 2 night stay and more for those planning to stay longer.  They also offer honeymoon packages and discounts during non-peak season. Please check and contact their website for details.





Related Posts:
Peaceful Island
The Road to Amanpulo 
Day 1
Day 2
Leaving Amanpulo

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Leaving Amanpulo

    My last day and I woke up late!  I took one look at the overcast sky and  knew that there will be no chance of swimming in the beach anymore.  We spent the rest of the morning packing our things and taking more pictures before lunch.  Our pizza themed lunch was initially scheduled at the picnic grove but due to the rain, venue was moved to the main clubhouse.  While there I checked out the library, boutique and swimming pool...bought some of the delicious smelling soap, the same one placed in our rooms, albeit a much bigger version.  These were 6x the cost of imported soaps but they smelled really heavenly and frankly, there was nothing cheaper to bring home as souvenir being sold in their boutiques!  There were nice keychains but no resort logo...in fact, the resort logo could only be found in a some caps, children's t-shirts (very small embroidery) and long sleeves rash guard swimwear.  I was told that Amanresorts which runs Amanpulo espouses simplicity and elegance. They do not make commercial use of their name.  The library was quiet and comfortable.  There was quite a large selection of reading materials from books to magazines.  I wanted to get a small coffee table book similar to that found in the casita but, there was none for sale.   The sun finally came out after lunch but by then we were all waiting for our plane ride back to Manila.  We left Amanpulo at 2:30 PM and this time, my view was better.  I was able to get a video of Taal Volcano and it's lake and approaching Manila, our plane was flying very low, that I imagined I could see my mom's ancestral home in Pasay.  I thought, what a great way end the weekend.






    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Day 2 in Peaceful Island

    After an exciting and food-filled first day, we retired to our beautiful casitas for a good night's rest.  The blinds were drawn and the beds turned down, when we got there.  The bathroom had everything from delicious smelling soaps, shampoos, lotions and even insect repellant.  There was coffee, cold bottled water, WIFI, cable TV and mobilephones had good signals...hmmmm, what more can a working girl ask for?  We woke up Tuesday morning to some sunshine, got ready to go to breakfast and explore the island.  That was the plan...but as my luck goes, I had a minor accident yesterday afternoon, falling on my knees which I did not think was bad but unfortunately when morning came I found myself with a slightly swollen left knee causing limited mobility.  I really don't want to talk about it, it's enough to say that I could walk but not run.  Still, I did not want to miss out on all the planned activities, so I designated myself as motivator and driver, heheh.  The whole island can be covered within an hour by buggy or about an hour and a half to two hours, if you want to walk the beach surrounding it.  First stop was the West Villa Club which is available for use for parties and events but its private pool is not open to guests.  One of the most beautiful views of the island is at Gary's Nest, where they also have their small pier.  There was the Picnic grove which was actually next to our casita.  The Beach Club where we had our Spanish themed lunch is a relaxing place where one could lounge or sunbathe.  After lunch, we went back to our casita and because of my bum knee could not accompany my roomie as she was planning to explore the rest of the island nor could I join the group for snorkeling or sailing...so instead, I just explored our beachfront, took some pictures...then siesta and a long warm bath before the luau dinner party in the evening.  

    view from Gary's Nest Photo by Paul Hechanova

    Photo courtesy of  Sheera Recto Malabanan



    The Luau party was a night of good food (there was a chef actually doing the cooking for the Asian Barbecue dinner), wine, laughter and music, including jamming from the group...all the hidden talents came out from singers to percussionists!  It was almost 11 PM and no one was leaving, but like all good things, the party has to end.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Amanpulo: A Vacation To Remember - Day 1

    We landed in Amanpulo at approximately 12:45 PM, May 9, 2011 and was warmly met by the resort's general managers, a husband and wife team, Nicholas and Christine Juett. There was a red carpet and leis placed on each guest, making me feel special the moment I got off the plane. Of course, I know that they do this for each arrival but still it was a nice touch. We were then shuttled to our individual golf carts (our mode of transportation for the duration of our stay) and our guide, Lyn took us for a short orientation tour around the main features of the private island resort before bringing us to our beach casita.  

    My roommate and I were assigned to Casita No. 23 and registration was a shoo-in...I just gave her my business card and signed the form.  After showing us the casita's features and amenities (including how to operate the cart), contact numbers and other instructions, we were left to our own devices. First on the agenda was to explore our casita.  It was lovely and looked exactly as it was featured in the website.  I have always dreamed of living in a beach front house with floor to ceiling glass windows and now I get my wish...at least for the next 3 days :)  and the bathroom?  wow! and now was not the time to feel guilty about the homeless...




    The last picture above is the view of the casita from the back...although it was just a few meters from the beach it was hidden by enough foliage, trees and bushes to allow you to keep your privacy.  Your beach is basically your own because while I was there, I only saw a family of three from a far distance.  It is so private that you can go skinny dipping and nobody would see you.  The only other living creature within sight that we saw was our very own resident "bayawak".





    The Road To Amanpulo

    I spent Sunday, May 8 preparing for my trip, although I still wasn't too sure I was making the right decision. I went to the 6:30 PM mass and I said to God...I put everything in your hands...and somehow, the hesitation greatly diminished.  When I got home, my mom told me that the typhoon was on it's way out (she was actually praying that the weather improves), which for me was a good sign.  But I slept late and woke up at 5 AM Monday, almost missing my 6:20 AM flight...not a good sign.  Surprisingly, the flight to Manila was good and although there were some rain showers, the weather seem to be cooperating...which again was a good sign (I was looking for signs everywhere)...but then again, no one came to meet me at the airport.  I tried to contact my friends and they said that a car was supposed to pick me up and bring me to where they were...at the Soriano Hanger. And so I waited...and waited...and waited...until the assigned driver finally appeared almost 1 hour after I arrived. It seems that he was given vague instructions and was actually in the parking area waiting to be contacted. Oh well.  I got to the hanger on time though, and after checking in was happy to see my friends.  Some of those in our group were a bit wary when they saw our plane, the Dornier...but not me...this 19 seater twin engine plane and I are old friends :) since way back 2008 when I went to Miniloc Resort in El Nido.  At that time, I too got scared when I saw how small it was and I thought, I need to be sedated to ride that, but it proved to be one of the most enjoyable and safest flight I had ever experienced...and best of all, it cured me of my fear of window seats! We left Manila at 11:30 AM and once again, the Dornier did not disappoint...it was a smooth flight inspite of the poor weather.  Soon we were seeing some islands...was it Mindoro?  Or parts of Palawan? Unlike the 2008 trip, I was seated on the right side of the plane this time facing the cockpit and so I could not see us approaching Pamalican Island, the island paradise of Amanpulo, but a friend was kind enough to get a picture of the island for me as we approached it.  It's not so good but it is better than nothing :)


    Here is a way better picture  ;)





    Next: A Vacation To Remember

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Amanpulo, Peaceful Island

    The name, Amanpulo derived from the Sanskrit word aman, meaning peaceful and the Pilipino word pulo, meaning island, literally means Peaceful Island. When 2011 began, I felt it was going to be a positive year but I never would have dreamed that I would be going to this beautiful beach resort.  Why? Well, first and foremost, I would not be able to afford it, and  secondly, only the rich and famous went there, the likes of the late JFK, Jr  who went there with Darryl Hannah (this was before he got married) and more recently if grapevine is to be believed, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. And so, as much as I love going to beaches, Amanpulo or other similar places was never in my wish list (uhmmm, on second thought, maybe it was in my fantasy list) or things-to-do in the future list.  Therefore, when I was invited early this year by good friends, I did not take it seriously and promptly forgot about it.  Then they reminded me in March but then again, I was very busy with work that I wasn't too sure I can go.  Of course, those who are familiar with the place were a bit shocked that I would even consider refusing.  Well, I am not a travelling person and I had a lot of things going on at work and at home.  Even when I already said yes, and up to the day before I was set to fly to Manila, I had a lot of hesitation and I felt that nature was working against me since, suddenly, the weather turned bad and there was a typhoon!  I decided to leave it all to God...if he wants me to go...then I go.


    Next post: The Road To Amanpulo

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    The List (or why I would not go back to Iloilo's Premier Hotel)

    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:
    1. 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?

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    What Happened to Iloilo's Premier Hotel?

    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

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