My girlfriend and I have lived in Manila for three years and have come to Pagadian for a vacation for Valentine"s and to visit her family.
Check in experience:
Fast, efficient, not especially friendly, no smiles from staff.
As we walked to the room along the corridors we noticed stained walls and peeling paint. We were getting worried. We had a deluxe room and as we got close it because apparent that we were staying in a recently refurbished part of the hotel.
The room was adequate in size, and felt roomy and airy.
Having had a good look around, it was obvious that there is a serious issue with the housekeeping staff here. They're only carrying out 'cosmetic cleaning' - easy to reach table tops etc. The black tiled bathroom had not been washed, just soaked with water. All over were dry water marks INCLUDING the drinking and toothbrush glass.
Toilet not flushing, had to use water from the shower.
The table was clean on top but it seems the last time someone had cleaned under the glass was somewhere around JC's last supper (picture attached.)
There were finger prints on the walls and other dirty marks (picture attached.)
The air conditioning worked fine and was powerful enough for the size of the room but it was ill-fitted and there was a substantial gap allowing direct sunlight into the room which kind of made the black-out curtains seem a waste of money.
The bed is comfortable enough with soft clean linen.
We ordered room service at 6:30pm and this is where things started to really go downhill.
1: Classic pizza sampler
2: Marinara pasta
3: Putanesca pasta
4: Black forest junior cake
5: Hershy's fudge chocolate cake.
One and five were off the menu, staff were unsure about three and said they'd call back. They did, and it was also unavailable.
We changed it to Milanese pasta. That was also unavailable. We asked which pasta dishes WERE available and we're told 'sorry, we have no pasta'. (tip to the staff: may have been a good idea to say that at the start?)
How a hotel can run out of such a basic ingredient as pasta with two supermarkets a five minute walk away beats me, ESPECIALLY when one of the things they sell in their delicatessen shop is...yep, pasta (picture attached.)
So, we changed the two pasta dishes to club sandwich and cheeseburger and had a different pizza.
The food arrived after 35 minutes, that's fine.
He put it down, we paid, he left.
I looked at the pizza and noticed that the grated cheese was not melted but still grated. I touched it, stone cold. Burger, fries, everything stone cold.
We called room service and explained. No apology was offered, we were told they'd come get the food and reheat it.
I refused to accept this and told them to come and collect the food and bring our money back. The room service staff also insisted that the food could be reheated.
Have you ever tasted a reheated pizza? You'll know the texture if you've ever eaten an old leather boot. For a burger to be cold means it's been sitting for awhile meaning it's already over cooked (it continues to cook in it's own heat) meaning that if it were reheated it would probably resemble a black casino chip.
Note to management: I do NOT appreciate being told by someone half my age that reheating food in a hotel is OK.
It is NOT OK.
We ended up getting our money back and went out to get a McDonald's. We took it back to the room and it was warm, even after 5 minutes travelling in a trike.
The Internet was fine and fast except that at midnight I suddenly lost connection. I'll just explain that although I live in the Philippines I still have business and clients in the UK and was in the middle of editing a client's website at the time. I never sleep before end of UK office hours in case a client emails me with an issue so that I can deal with it immediately. We called front desk and asked if they knew what the problem was and, get this, they turn off the Internet between midnight and 5am. WHY would a hotel do this? I've stayed in hundreds of hotels from small family run guest houses to five star resorts all over the world and have NEVER experienced this. Perhaps it's to save electric? I mean, we all know how costly those big, bad, electric guzzling, flashing router LED lights are.
Unfortunately, when we woke in the morning I felt unwell and we decided to stay another night instead of heading back to my girlfriend's parent's house. They had already booked our room so and told us that they'd have to move us to a downgraded standard room on the third floor. We were fine with this, it was short notice and wasn't their fault.
WiFi in this room non existent, no hot water and AGAIN the toilet didn't work. Looking at other reviews there is a LONG history of the toilets not working in the hotel and they obviously deem this as too insignificant to fix.
The attached pictures tell the remaining story about this room.
We went to sit by the pool so that I could have a smoke as all rooms are non-smoking. We ordered a beer. I asked for an ashtray and we're bought something that hasn't been cleaned in months and also had an old butt from a previous smoker. (picture attached.) it certainly wasn't from us; my girlfriend doesn't smoke and I smoke Winston - different coloured butts.
My girlfriend noticed that during our 48 hour stay, we were not once greeted with a smile or the traditional Filipino 'hello Ma'am, hello sir.' you can't even go and buy a drink in the 7 Eleven in the Philippines without even the security staff greeting you in this way.
I'll finish this review by saying that after having lived in the Philippines for three years, I've stayed in many many hotels in various provinces and resorts. Where there's been a problem I'm always mindful of my thoughts as I know that here, those working in the hospitality industry work so hard for, often, little reward.
I've had problems in the past, small problems, but I've never stayed somewhere where the staff tell me to eat reheated food, and generally don't care.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Camila is the flagship property of the Hotel Camila group, a chain of boutique business hotels with branches in Dipolog and Dumaguete Cities. It's centrally located in Pagadian City, has secure parking free of charge for guests, and has two restaurant outlets serving Continental, Asian, and Filipino cuisine. Due to its reasonable rates, rooms are quite in demand so book ahead. ... more less