Berjaya Hotel

Berjaya Hotel

A Comedy of Errors

Booking-in on-line on the day itself, then heading straight to the hotel is nothing new to me. I do it all the time. I always make sure I check <non-smoking> and <King bed>. I always have the Reservation Confirmation up on my screen and it has never been a problem before; even if the Hotel has not received the confirmation from Wotif (or similar booking agent) yet I have always been accommodated.


The lobby of Berjaya Hotel

This time I have my partner Angie with me. We turned up at at the Berjaya reception and this was the case. It was around 5:30pm and we were asked to sit and wait. I mentioned to Anton on reception that we had a terrible day traveling, and that if there was anything he could do to ensure we get a good room, then I would be grateful. I also asked him if he would come and get us once they have the room ready and he agreed on both requests.

We sat and waited while getting chewed by mosquitoes inside the lobby. They were really big ones… our bites were the size of small coins. I approached the reception again after a 45 minute wait until 6:15pm. Anton was busy, and it was like I hadn’t approached them at all earlier. They had completely forgotten about us.

Anyway we checked-in (noting that I was not asked for a credit card, and that only happens about 10% of the time anywhere). I got the room key-card and we head up and opened the door to the room to find 2 single beds! I was furious… now 6:30pm and we are still trying to get into a hotel room. I went back downstairs and demanded a room with a king sized bed like ‘the one in the photo’ that they are selling me on-line. Yasmen the FO Manager (whatever that is, it is on her badge) was not overly happy about doing it but managed me well, ’upgrading’ us (finally gave me what I paid for). The nice Kuya accompanied us up carrying our luggage.. I tipped him well.. ₱100, when normally ₱50 is acceptable for that.

Yes this was the room in the photo… although I estimate the photo was taken about 5 to 8 years ago, and although the room had lost its lustre it was fine, we were finally in our room at about 7:00pm. This room is nice and fairly priced at about 4,800p per night. I paid 4,200p and was upgraded because the king room I booked actually had 2 single beds in it (just in case of the event two small children are booking into a hotel together I guess).

We were so thirsty from travelling of course we ‘necked’ the two small bottles of complimentary water and noted we must get some more when we are out. There were no more in the fridge for sale and no mini-bar, and I guessed thats why no credit card was requested at check-in.

We headed out for dinner and as we arrived back at the hotel, we remembered we needed water. I knew it would cost about 11pesos each at the Convenience store and more at the hotel, but I am not to concerned about that. I approached Reception and asked for 4 to 6 bottles for the room. He replied “there are two complimentary bottles in your room sir”. I explained they are used already and we need more. He replied “but there are only two for free”. I said ‘yes I know that and I am not concerned’. He asked how many bottles and again I said ‘a lot… we are thirsty and drink a lot of water’. Then again he said “We will have to charge sir”.. OMG I thought, do I look like I cant afford the water ?? ‘Ok ok I can pay just send them up!’ 6 bottles of water arrived at 60p each, they handed me a pen and I signed the delivery slip they prepared for them.. I even tipped them another ₱100 for bringing them up! …so I was ok to pay ₱460 for 6 bottles of water that I could have got for ₱66 altogether myself. I just wanted the service.

We went to bed at about 10:45pm thinking that was the end of a disastrous day. Lights out, and at 11:00pm the phone rung, blaring out giving us quite a shock. Then it stopped. Then a minute later it went again and I answered it; It was the front desk asking us to pay cash for the water because they had not taken a credit card from us at check in. You can imagine my reaction!

Regarding the Wifi… we are on the 23rd floor and there is none. No sign of any signal whatsoever.

Regarding the Elevators, while there are a lot of lift-cars, they are slow. They stopped on 5 or 6 floors near the top on the way down, even when there is nobody there to call them and nobody to pick up. There are 2 sets of lifts running independently… so if you click only the button on the left, then the one on the right will pass you by. If you want a lift quickly you need to press one button then walk over and press the other one too. No big deal but adds to the whole un-smooth experience.

This is morning of day two… lets see how this day goes.

Two of the Four lifts are ‘Out of Service’ today. I hope they are fixing them. We are now packed into the remaining lift like sardines with other guests, clearly equally as thrilled about it.

Day two was much better.. we sat in the Lobby bar after work and it was comfortable. We could see the big mosquitoes buzzing around but we had applied repellant and the staff set up a violet-light zapper that kept them at bay. The waitress staff are delightful. The food we could see other people eating looked nice and they looked happy with it.



The band-guy was setting up shouting ‘Check.. Check’ then BANG! as he plugged-in while volume turned right up… that is very Filipino. They crank volume on P.A systems to deafening levels. This only went on about 3 or 4 minutes but again, it added to the irritation and un-smoothness of the whole stay. Off to bed we go.

The rooms King-bed nice and large but was really quite hard. The linen is nice and we had One really nice fluffy gown. The problem being just one… we took turns using it. The towels were large and full but un-absorbent.

At just after 8am this morning a knock on our door … I opened it to find a nice chap asking if I had any laundry to do. Not-smooth! Definitely a no-no, especially in a party precinct. Who wants to be woken-up for anything short of a fire at this time if on a holiday or after having a drink. An organised hotel would have known I was checking out this morning anyway so of-course there is no laundry. Just another little thing adding to the whole irritating stay.

If you want a nice smooth-stay in Manila then pay Minimum ₱6,000 and up ($150 AUD Plus). Anything under that and this is the sort of thing you get. (The only really Great cheap option is Guijo suites for ₱2,100). I tried to buy at Picasso Suites and my other favourites but every room over ₱6,000 in Makati was sold out for the next 3 days! Unlike Bangkok when you can get 5-star luxury for $100…. don’t try to save money on hotels in Manila. Ive stayed at Marriott Bangkok for literally $110 a night.. but not here!

Also, for this hotel just pick the most expensive room. They were all within about 800p of each other on-line so I just chose on decor.. and in hindsight that was really dumb. I am familiar with other Makati hotels where the rooms are all a very similar price, but ‘chalk and cheese’ in reality.

Time for check-out lets see how it goes. When I went and paid for my water, Yasmen was professional… but it is fairly clear she does not like me one bit! Ha ha!