Trip to Philippines - July 2014
Review of hotels in Manila, Bohol, Cebu and Boracay

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Seda Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila


Bed at Seda Bonifacio Global CityWe stayed at Seda Bonifacio Global City in Manila for a few night upon our arrival in the Philippines and the last night before flying out. The hotel seems to be quite new and it is located in a newly developed part of town - Bonifacio Global City in the Fort area. Check in was pretty efficient in the small lobby and we got a standard room on the 8th floor. The room was inviting upon entry to the room. Light colors on the walls, a combination of light tiles in the entrance and wooden floor in the main area (with a carpet under the bed), a huge bed with side tables etc. There was also a small desk with a chair and the power outlets were international standard but they seemed a bit loose for my Norwegian plugs. There was also an USB outlet for charging iPhone, iPad, cameras etc. The room also featured a decent size flat screen TV in front of the bed with a good selection of channels. The hotel also provides free internet that worked pretty good.

 

Desk at Seda Bonifacio Global CityThe room featured a small fridge with some water, soft drinks and beer, a safe, a wardrobe that could have had more hangers and I don’t think there was an iron/ironing board. But the hotel does have laundry service and pressing service. I did send some stuff for laundry and it came back with a strong smell of the washing powder – maybe it had not been rinsed properly. The bathroom contained a big shower area instead of having a bathtub and again it had a modern look with light tiles. The amenities were above standard with shampoo, showergel but also dental kit, shower cap – and there was also complimentary water in the bathroom.

 

Breakfast was served on ground level and the selection of bread, cereal, fruit etc was pretty standard but decent and it was also possible to order eggs prepared in various ways. On the top floor there is a roof deck that offered a good view of some of the city and they served drinks and food – there are seats both inside and outside. On the 2nd floor there is a nice pool and there is also a small gym with a couple of thread mills, bikes and weights – all new and in good condition. The lobby has 3-4 a few Macs that can be used for surfing the internet.

Seds Bonifacio Global City in Taguig in the Philippines Pool at Seda Bonifacio Global City hotel TV at Seda Bonifacio Global City

 

The location of the hotel is very good – well, depending what you are looking for. The area seems to be very new and it is quite different from the “real Manila” if there is such a thing. The Bonifacio Global City have good shopping, restaurants, malls etc – and it is only a few kilometers away from the main business district Makati and in the morning (with no traffic) it only took us about 15 minutes to get to Terminal 3 at the airport.

 

Conclusion: all in all this is a very good 3-4 star hotel in a new part of the city. The hotel seemed very new and the area is full of shopping and restaurants. I think this could be a good hotel if you want a soft start to your Manila and Philippines travel. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to family and friends. Please read more about Seda Bonifacio on their homepage.

 

Amorita resort Panglao, Bohol


Ocean villa at Amorita resortWe stayed at Amorita resort in July 2014 for 4 nights. We arranged for transportation from the Tagbilaran airport and I believe that the taxi took about 40 minutes to the hotel. This is a resort hotel located near the Alona beach area and we were driven right to the open air reception and got greeted with a cold towel and a welcome drink. We had initially booked a standard room but we were upgraded to a villa with an ocean view – the room number was 810. The villa that we got had a wooden door to get into the garden – and the first thing we saw when we came to the front was the ocean view – and a plunge pool. The plunge pool turned out to be quite cold so it was better to swim in the ocean – or in the hotel pool.

 

The plunge pool at Amorita resort in BoholThe door to the room was in the front – hence facing the plunge pool and the ocean. The large bed was facing the ocean – it was a bit on the hard side but it was surprisingly comfortable. Apart from that there was a desk with a flat screen TV on it and a chair and a sofa. Amenities in the room included a fancy beach towel (apparently the kind that sand does not stick to), a small beach bag, a mosquito repellent plug in and a bamboo amplifier for the cell phone. Further in the room there was a wardrobe with a safe, a small fridge were the contents was for free (it was not refilled). You can borrow plug adapters in the reception which is handy.

 

The outside shower at Amorita resort in BoholThe bathroom was outdoors and after a visit to Bali last year we were afraid that it would be crawling with various bugs and spiders but that was not the case. The bathroom included a sink, toilet, a shower area and a drying rack for wet swim wear. Maybe the bugs were kept out by the geckos – there are normally a lot of geckos out at night in warm places like this but at this place we saw the biggest gecko that I have ever seen. The restaurant and pool area was only a short walk away from the room – the breakfast in the morning was served semi outdoors (there was a roof but no walls) and there was a decent selection of bread, cereal, fruit and it was also possible to order eggs in various ways. The pool area was very scenic as it was looking out on Alona beach – as we were there during the monsoon season the beach was not that picturesque but still a great view. There was a pathway / staircases leading down to the beach and the hotel also offered various water activities such as paddleboards.

 

The area around the hotel is a combination of hotels, hotels under development but also a couple of small shops. The walk out to the main road is probably about 500 meters and here you will find restaurants, shops, tour agencies etc. There are trikes (motorcycles with a sidecar that fits two passengers) that you can use for transportation.

 

View to Alona beach from AmoritaConclusion: all in all we had a good stay at Amorita. There were some problems – the TV and internet did not work when we first checked in but three of the hotel staff came over and they were able to solve it in the end. But the internet hardly worked in the villa and it seemed to be more stable in the restaurant area – but it was slow compared to what we are used to. The aircon was a bit tricky to control – it seemed like it was possible to adjust the temperature but the fan speed seemed to be constant even what we did. On the last day when we checked out I was informed that if we were going on excursions in the morning and we couldn’t make it to breakfast, they could make us a lunch pack instead. This would have been useful information to have when we checked in as we did go on a couple of excursions where we had to leave before breakfast. One night we had a drink to enjoy sunset –the sunset was great but the mojito must be the worst mojito I have ever tasted.
But apart from this we had a lovely stay at Amorita. You can read more about Amorita on their homepage.

 

You can also view this YouTube video that I have posted. It shows the Ocean villa that we had at Amorita.

 

Radisson Blu, Cebu City


Bed at Radisson Blu in Cebu CityWe only stayed for 1 night at the hotel in July 2014 and it is tricky to give a good review based on this. The entrance to the hotel is impressive and this is your typical 5 star huge hotel that you see in many cities across Asia. In front of the hotel there is a large fountain and the lobby is enormous. Check in was fast and there was even a hotel employee that greeted us when we came to the lifts and she pressed the button to go up for us. The room was modern and stylish. The walls were grayish and the same goes for the carpet. The center piece in the room was the HUGE kingsize bed but the was also a chair, a large desk and office chair for working, a flat screen TV and free wife that worked pretty good compared to some of the other places that we had been to. Apart from this there was a alarm clock/ docking station for the iPhone (with the old plug), a small safe, fridge with various drinks and a wardrobe with quite a few hangers.

 

Desk at Radisson Blu in CebuI was not crazy about the bathroom as it was pretty dark – some of the tiles that were used were completely black and it just made the bathroom to dark in my opinion. But there was a great shower corner, various standard amenities and also a couple of bottle of complimentary water.  The breakfast was outstanding and similar to what you find at large high end hotels. There was a vast selection of bread, pastry, cereal, hot food, sushi, fruit, ice cream etc. I think most people were able to find something to eat at this breakfast buffet. I did not get a chance to check out the pool or gym – but we had a view to the pool and it looked great.

The location of the hotel is OK. It is right next to SM City Cebu mall – one of the largest malls in the Philippines. But apart from that the area around the hotel seemed to be pretty industrial and you have to take a taxi to get to the historic center around Fort San Pedro.

 

Conclusion: not the best location maybe but the hotel seems to be a good 5 star hotel and the room was great and the service was excellent. I would not hesitate to recommend this to friends and family.

 

The District, Boracay

 

Entrance to The District BoracayWe stayed 4 nights at The District in Boracay in July 2014. We decided to go for this hotel as the reviews were good, as it seemed new and modern and because the location was great. We were picked up at the airport and we were driven to a small port only 5 minutes away from the airport and were transported the short distance to Boracay. From here we got another car that drove us to the D’Mall area and we walked 400-500 meters down a tiny alley – but it was quite spectacular to get to the beach and see the incredible view of the white beach and the ocean.

 

Bed at The Distric hotel BoracayWe got a cold welcome drink in the small lobby and the check in process was efficient. We got room 210 and it turned out to be a new and modern room. The room had a good king size bed, large light tiles on the floor (which was good as we dragged in a lot of sand) and dark wooden furniture. There was one chair in the room and there was also a small sofa on the balcony – and a handy drying rack. TV at The District hotel in BoracayThe room also featured a flat screen TV mounted on the wall, a small fridge with nothing in it apart from a couple of bottles with complimentary water, a small safe and a wardrobe with a few hangers, robes and umbrella. On each side of the bed there were several power outlets of international standard so it was easy to charge phones and cameras.  The bathroom was not that large but the layout was a bit different than usual. There was a sink in the middle and a door to the left for the toilet and a door to the right for the shower. Not a bad layout but I would have liked to see more space around the sink to put down various amenities – but I guess it was compensated in a way with shelves on each side. Amenities included shower gel, conditioner, shampoo but also dental kit, mosquito repellent and body lotion. The shower was good but note that it seems like each room has its own water tank so the hot water is limited.

 

Breakfast at The District Boracay View to the pool at The District hotel Boracay Bathroom The Distric Boracay

 

Shower at The District hotel in BoracayThe breakfast is served on the first floor and there are some tables on the balcony outside overlooking the beach and some inside. The breakfast was decent with a standard selection of bread, cereal, fruit and eggs that could be prepared in various ways. There is also a bar on the 2nd floor and the view of the beach was great. But when we went there one night we were the only guests so I guess they are not attracting the big crowds at the moment. The Italian restaurant (Caruso) on the ground floor was not that great – food and wine was more expensive compared to restaurants nearby. The hotel has a pool in a sort of courtyard and it was OK in size. But with a great beach in front, the pool was never crowded. Location of the hotel is great. Once you step out of the lobby you are on white beach in station 2. The hotel had sunbeds on the beach and the staff helped move them and it was also possible to order drinks from the hotel. It was only a couple of minutes walks to D’Mall and a number of bars and restaurants.

 

Conclusion: a great hotel located right on the beach at station 2. Once you step out of the lobby you are on the beach. This combined with a modern room, decent breakfast and good service means that it is absolutely a hotel to consider if you are going to stay at Boracay for a few days.
 

 
 

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