In Asia there are plenty of hotel options. In Thailand you can generally find great quality hotels at reasonable prices. However, by comparison in the Philippines it is much more tricky to be assured of a good deal.
I have noticed that hotels in the Philippines talk themselves up quite a bit and the reality upon arrival is far different than what you were probably expecting from the cleverly stylistic photographs uploaded to the company website or Trip Adviser.
A quick search on Google and you will be inundated with reviews about Filipinos being very welcoming, hospitable and polite. Although this is true in general, it doesn’t necessarily extend to hotel staff – especially ‘the management’. With little authority or appreciation for urgency, staying in an hotel in the Philippines can be a very frustrating experience.
Unless you are paying a small fortune for something that resembles a four-five star establishment, expect a cold shower, poor water pressure, noisy windows and noisy ‘box type’ air conditioners. Also expect lumpy pillows, rock hard mattresses and a bit of wildlife in your room, namely cockroaches!
If you are simply looking for a place to rest, a comfortable bed and a clean room that’s not going to cost you a fortune, then the Red Planet Hotels Group is hard to beat, especially in the Philippines.
As a member of an ‘MC’ (Motorcycle Club) I oftentimes travel early to avoid traffic and regularly arrive at my destination outside of usual ‘operating hours’ of hotels. In any part of the world we have been programmed to not expect to check-in early, we have a 12 noon deadline for check-out and are treated as an inconvenience, being left hanging around sometimes for hours before being able to have use of the room if unfortunate enough to arrive early.
Fantastic Early Check-In Facility
What I like about Red Planet Hotels (formerly Tune Hotels) is their policy of (wherever possible) allowing you to check-in very early, for a very reasonable extra charge of P500. For me this is a godsend and not typically discussed much on the internet. Frequently I have arrived at 5am-6am and in any other hotel I would have to wait around for hours before the official noon or 2pm check-in. I have lost count of the amount of times I have been told “yes sir, you can check-in early, but we will charge you for another night – full charge”. WTF? Obviously very few people are going to do that.
The Red Planet ‘Early Check-in’ facility is fantastic for the price. I have never been refused this option and only on a couple of occasions have I had to wait a bit for a room to be cleaned before I could usually use it.
”If you are travelling with young children or infants - the Red Planet Hotels Early Check-in facility can stop you going insane!Andrewnakedexpat
*If the hotel is busy, sometimes if you are taking a shower in the ‘rush hour’ then you are likely not to have hot water – but outside of busy morning times the showers are generally fantastic.
At the beginning of this blog I mentioned surly hotel staff. This is common in Filipino businesses where the staff are not family and are not paid much to care about you. They would rather spend all day on Facebook or watching TV than get off their butt and welcome a guest. Thankfully Red Planet Hotel staff seem to have undergone some formal training and have the benefit of a reasonable education prior to working for the company – and it shows! I have always found the staff at Red Planet Hotels to be polite, courteous and posses the ability to problem solve when issues arise. This is a blessing in the budget-mid range hotel sector.
Rooms are small, but cleanliness is guaranteed.
If you just need a comfy bed and a good shower – then you really can’t do much better in the Philippines.