This is my second review of this place, the first one I did was last 2013. We booked 2 nights here through Agoda (but payment thru the hotel) for a studio room so we can a have a place to stay before and after the wedding we are attending at in Tagaytay, based on our previous experience and its competitive pricing. Everything were pretty much the same, except that the flaws became more obvious. Let’s start with the good stuff:
1. Still a relatively cheaper place to stay with decent quality rooms
2. Most of the staff were genuinely nice, friendly and trying to be helpful towards guests, special shout outs to the breakfast kitchen staff especially the attending waiter who went out of their way to prepare arroz caldo in advance for our 1 year old child and waited for us to finish even past breakfast hours.
3. Wifi to compensate for the lack of Globe signal.
1. Still, the terrain is much left to be desired, but as long as you have a capable vehicle to go in and out, it’s not a problem. Not much the property can do about it really!
2. I only took notice of this now, but there’s a green directive posted in the bathroom that says something like, if you hang the towels on the rack, it means don’t replace them, but if they’re on the floor, it means housekeeping will change them. This is a green policy that I’m not a fan of; as I never felt comfortable putting towels on the floor for obvious hygienic purposes, even if I don’t plan on using them anymore. As a result, the towels have some funky smell that I somehow attributed to the smell of a dog, or it could be just some strong detergent. I personally don’t know how these towels are cleaned, but for the price you’re typically paying for a room here, you be the judge if proper disinfecting happens or not.
3. Another directive inside the bathroom says conserve water, but the faucet was leaking drops of water even if the lever was closed shut.
4. The in room slippers were too thin and slippery. I almost slipped walking out the bathroom wearing them, and my wife also slipped on them while carrying our child, good thing nothing happened.
5. The sheets didn’t feel clean.
6. The microwave was on top of the refrigerator. What’s worse was that the power plug couldn’t reach the socket, I had to move the microwave awkwardly on top of the ref so the plug could barely be inserted to the socket. Microwave ovens are typically heavy.
7. The window type aircon unit was directly beside the bed, you could either point it upwards directly to you which is obviously uncomfortable, or the matress or towards the floor.
8. Globe telecom signal spotty at best.
9. Only two pillows in the room, an extra pillow would cost P50. Not much to be honest, but I can’t remember the last time a hotel I stayed at had asked for payment for an extra pillow, high end or budget hotel.
Now for the craziest part... While out in Tagaytay we heard the news from a friend who was also staying there that the power went out and electricity was being run by a generator. She shared a note from the hotel (which we never received ourselves) that the hotel were relentlessly contacting Meralco to immediately restore power back to the premises. The staff were taking electric fans to rooms to compensate for the lack of air conditioning. This happened around mid afternoon. Upon our return by around 10pm, power was still out. Prior to that, we were already considering transferring to another hotel just to make sure we get to sleep comfortably through the night with our child. We went up to the room and I did feel some sort of relief that it was just the aircon that had no power but everything else such as the lights still worked. The staff brought up a fan or us to use and were also kind enough to bring up another one mainly for our child. They were quick to tell me that we were also granted late check out of an hour later (gee, thanks!) to compensate for the hassle. Thank goodness Tagaytay is cool during evenings and opening the window slightly helped. We were allowed to check another room on a higher floor, as the generator noise was audible in our assigned room, but eventually decided to keep the room we were currently staying at.
What I totally didn’t appreciate was that the hotel had no intention of refunding our second night when I inquired about it, as we considered transferring to some other hotel due to the power issue. While this was pretty much a fortuitous event and it was out of the hotel’s control to address the power situation themselves, I believe they should have been more considerate in allowing this. It was explained to me that it was ultimately the fact that I booked thru Agoda and not thru the hotel directly, EVEN IF I PAID FOR AND SIGNED DIRECTLY IN THE FRONT DESK USING MY CREDIT CARD WHILE CHECKING IN, that I could not have a refund. We even overheard that upgrades aren’t an option either, likely because of the same reason. This generally implies that anytime you book through a third party such as Booking.com, Agoda, or your neighborhood travel agent, you’re automatically a second class citizen at this hotel. To me, this is unacceptable. In situations like this, the hotel must be willing to take losses for the overall experience of the guests, rather than giving them basically no option or flexibility, regardless where ever you choose to book from. These sites help them gain guests who would otherwise sometimes probably didn’t know they existed, such a let down considering this is a property owned by one of the largest real estate developers in the country. To put things to perspective, if we were an elderly couple with just the right means, celebrating a special occasion in this “4-star hotel” and need the comforts of an airconditioned room, we’re basically effed. For comparisons sake, barely a month ago, we had to stay at an obscure, family owned hotel somewhere in Sorsogon to visit a family member confined at a hospital nearby. We paid for two nights but had to fly back to Manila by the second day simply because of sudden change of plans, and the hotel agreed without much fuzz to return the 50% value of the second night, even if the hotel looks like it barely even had guests staying there each week.
That night at Crosswinds, there was never a presence of someone truly in charge, like a manager or someone higher up. It was being run by a few visible (2 or 3?) hotel staff and a security guard. If a more serious situation or crisis had occurred, I doubt they would be able to take care of everyone staying in the hotel, especially being in a remote location. This had also crossed my mind, and I do feel sorry for the staff who’s practically just doing their jobs, just following their handy dandy handbook of policies.
In case you’re wondering, yes, we stayed for the second night and it was uneventful thanks to the two electric fans and the slightly open sliding door to the balcony. We’re not so high maintenance to be honest, and the whole point of booking here for us was to manage our costs and be comfortable to attending a wedding nearby, but yeah, had we gotten a refund that night we would have mustered up and transferred somewhere else for obvious reasons, even if it meant hauling all our stuff and a child in the middle of the night.
So, with this experience alone, we’re likely never returning to Crosswinds nor recommending it to anyone again. These are the kinds of situations that the hotel industry in the country needs to be more considerate about. Shame on Hospitality Innovators Inc., on Vista Land and their CEO who happens to own a rest house within the same premises. This is more of 2.5 star hotel at best. You really get what you pay for sometimes.