Sunday, December 4, 2011
REVIEW | Parklane International Hotel, Cebu City
Oops! Not a good way to start a review but my three-night stay at Parklane International Hotel in Cebu City ended up just like that.
I booked the hotel for my just-concluded visit to Cebu to see my folks because it's relatively new and because of its proximity to Ayala Center. Reservation was a breeze. Unfortunately, check-in was not. We were standing in line for a good 15 minutes or so when there was only one guest in front of us. It was really nothing, I thought; just a minor inconvenience.
I booked a smoking room and it smelled bad. I've stayed in many smoking rooms before in other hotels but none had such an unpleasant smell. Eventually we got used to it, I guess. My Bibe was sick and she was my primary concern. The room was small but I wasn't really complaining. It had a TV, a personal fridge, a dresser, closet, safe, a coffee table and a chair. It also had complimentary internet but wired. Good enough. The bathroom had a tub and everything was squeezed into such a tiny space. But still, no big deal; it was fine except that the exhaust wasn't working until our last night when Housekeeping fixed it.
Throughout our stay, we ordered lots of room service mainly because My Bibe was sick. Service was always quite swift and the food, though not really fantastic, wasn't bad either. Except for that one pizza whose toppings were quite a mess and whose crust was sitting on lots of flour; eating it was really a mess. Nevertheless, room service was available 24/7, which was really great.
The bad things started trickling in and piled up into one big heap by our last night. First, we sent a top for pressing and specifically told them we'd just call them when we needed it because we didn't want to be disturbed, what with My Bibe trying to get some badly needed rest. Geez, did they keep on knocking and calling!
On our third day I was out to my sister's place and My Bibe went out for a meeting in the afternoon. She called the service desk to have our room cleaned since we never really had it cleaned since arriving because again, My Bibe was sick and needed lots of rest. By the way, she also placed the "Please make up room" sign on the door knob when she left.
We came back later in the evening tired. The "Please make up room" sign was still there and when I came in, our room wasn't cleaned. I called up the service desk. Ten minutes, nothing. So I called again. Ten more minutes, nothing. I called again. After telling her about our earlier request to have our room cleaned, the lady on the other end said they were too busy. That last phrase agitated me. I said that is no excuse for not attending to a guest's request.
I forgot if I made a fourth call but the hotel staff on the line said that the Housekeeping staff reported we had a "Do not disturb" (DND) sign on our door. I said we had that since Day 2 and asked what time this was reported. She said 2PM. I said My Bibe called at 3PM before she left. Then she said Housekeeping reported the sign was there at 2PM, 5PM, and 7PM. I said that's not possible because the "Please make up room" sign was there when we arrived shortly before 10PM. She insisted the DND sign was there, which infuriated me. The hotel staff were making liars out of us.
I talked to the Manager on duty and was ballistic. It was here that I remembered another incident earlier that morning. I walked to the restaurant for breakfast and was politely told by the hotel staff that wearing sleeveless shirts (that she pronounced SLEV-less) was not allowed. So I went back up, changed, and went back to the restaurant. Then I pointed to her that there was someone inside wearing sleeveless. She said but it's a girl. I asked what the difference was and she said "for sanitation purposes." I flared up and asked if men aren't sanitary enough for their restaurant. I said it was also discriminatory. I get the policy, okay, but for sanitation purposes? They should get their stories and spiels straight.
Back to the Manager on the phone, I asked for her take on that earlier incident. She said the staff said it all wrong, that it was because men wearing sleeveless shirts are like they're just at home. So do all women wearing sleeveless never look like they're just staying at home? I understand a sleeveless dress but if this is the reason behind the policy, then the hotel staff should be able to make a better judgment on the type of clothing worn by a guest, sleeveless or otherwise, or just simply ban any sleeveless piece of clothing altogether. Besides, doesn't wearing shorts and a tee make you look like you're just staying at home? I thought so too, but it's allowed.
Anyway, about 15 minutes before noon, right before we were about to check out, someone arrived with a mango, a pack of otap, and two bananas. Apologies, it said.
Our stay at Parklane International Hotel was a horrible experience; I should have just stuck with Waterfront Hotel. Everything quickly turned sour because of the hotel staff's poor customer service and dare I say, utter incompetence. How unfortunate because it just obliterates every other positive thing this hotel may actually have. You only remember the experience and completely forget about everything else.
To the Parklane Management, apology not accepted.