Monday, April 29, 2013

One Tagaytay Place: Not exactly the one place to be in Tagaytay

We recently tried One Tagaytay Place for a brief overnight stay. We didn't want to spend much and got a good deal from Asia Travel. Because Php 5,000 for a one-bedroom suite doesn't sound bad, we got it despite some of the negative reviews I've read.

Reservation and check-in
We booked via Asia Travel so I can't say much about the hotel's reservation experience other than that they have an online booking facility. Check-in, on the other hand, proceeded without a hitch while we sipped on our welcome drinks. I was, however, slightly miffed when they wouldn't give me an extra key card. There were three of us together who may not all be going out of the room at the same time, which was why an extra key was needed. They just said they can't and that any staff could help me get in if the need be anyway. Really?

The hotel lobby. The ceiling is very low that I can touch that overhead lamp over there.

Architecture and ambiance
The hotel building is part of a complex that also houses a bank, a 7-Eleven, and a Rowena's store. The hotel is right behind this first building. This isn't a five-star hotel, so it would be unfair to expect so much from them  although I can't help but notice how low the ceiling is. Nonetheless, it's no big issue. The elevators, however, are a different thing, which are just too small and claustrophobic. Seriously, they're really small.

Three's already a crowd inside this lift.

Our room
Our one-bedroom suite was on the third floor, which was also where the connecting function hall was located. This setup is a bit weird to me because hotels don't normally put function rooms and guest rooms on the same floor. So there was a wedding reception the next day, and then you also see guests walking around covered in towels who just came from the pool. Awkward, don't you think?

Anyway, our "suite" wasn't much. The receiving area was small, just enough to fit a two-seater couch and a coffee table with two chairs. It had a TV (plus another one in the bedroom), personal fridge, and a coffee-making facility. The space wasn't really so much of an issue because we got a good deal. However, it could have been an issue had we gotten it at the regular published rate.

The view of our suite from the door. The couch (not in view) is on the left side.

The bathroom was likewise cramped. It was also dark and dirty (needs a lot of scrubbing). I really thought there was only one light bulb because it was dark in the shower area. It was only on the next day that I realized there was a fluorescent tube hidden from view but was apparently busted.

Cramped, dark, and dirty bathroom.

The bedroom, on the other hand, was much more spacious. And because it was a corner room, it allowed more natural light in with its two windows. However, the windows could use some cleaning.

And while there was a closet with an electronic safe, the safe was not functioning. The dresser was also a joke, along with the "queen-size" bed that was more of a double bed actually. It was also way too short because even if I wasn't a six-foot-tall guy, my feet dangled from the bed. Wow, I felt really tall!

The view from our bed. See the dresser? Laughable, don't you think?

Whichever way I look at it, this isn't a queen-size bed at all.

Azalea, the hotel's token restaurant, has a rectangular, narrow layout next to the lobby. I only checked it out during breakfast,  but was unimpressed with the buffet that I only had coffee. And even the coffee, which took two waiters before it was finally served, was bad. Sorry.

The rectangular and narrow Azalea restaurant.

I also noticed that even if there were only a few tables in this restaurant, the waiting staff are easily overwhelmed.

The spa
We were so looking forward to a massage and thankfully the hotel has a spa called O'Spa, which is open until 11pm. They have private rooms for couples but I don't know what happened that we ended up in the common massage area with only curtained partitions. But I let it slide.

Anyway, their signature calming massage (90 mins for Php 960) seemed to have calmed me too much that I fell asleep just a few minutes into the treatment.

Facilities and amenities
Aside from the restaurant, spa, function rooms, and rooftop pool, I don't know of any other facilities at One Tagaytay Place. The pools are a lot smaller than they appear to be in promotional photos, and the area gets easily crowded even with just a few people around. The kiddie pool is no more than an inflatable backyard pool in size.

Very small pools. But then again, at least they have pools.

As for parking, the hotel has an outdoor parking lot but is on a first-come, first-serve basis. When we came back from dinner outside the hotel, it was already full and I was redirected to the basement parking, which was very steep, by the way.

However, it was only until the following morning that I realized the problem when the SUV in front of me had a seriously hard time going up. Not that the SUV wasn't powerful enough but it was because of the ramp's faulty design. It was already steep to begin with and there wasn't enough space for the curve. It was just architecturally faulty. I met the same fate as the SUV that someone else had to hop in the vehicle just to put some more weight and allow me to get past that curve. This hotel really has space issues in nearly every aspect you can think of.

As with checking in, checking out was a breeze. Getting out of that basement parking, however, was not.

In hindsight
Overall, our experience at One Tagaytay Place obviously wasn't a good one. This hotel has serious space issues that I wasn't really too bothered about until after I burned through my front tires because of that poorly-designed ramp in their basement parking. I also must salute the photographer they hired for making every nook and cranny appear a lot bigger than they actually are. Good job!

While there's probably nothing that can be done anymore about the low ceiling, the cramped elevator, the tiny pool, and that God-awful basement parking, the hotel management can definitely do something about service, cleanliness, maintenance, and their food.

Just the same, I wouldn't recommend this hotel. It's not worth your buck, even at a discount.


  1. it looks beautiful!


  2. "I also must salute the photographer they hired for making every nook and cranny appear a lot bigger than they actually are."-->Ah, the magic of wide lenses haha.

    Ooh, good service more than anything. Even if you're a five star hotel, if you provide lousy service, the customer's experience is as good as ruined.

  3. I actually won an overnight stay here, upon reading your review I'm now thingking about it.. Thanks for sharing.

    1. you did? go ahead, at least it's free.

  4. I think you're being too critical. My stay there was great, I had it at a discounted rate also, but compared to other hotels, it's not bad as you make it appear.

  5. Beautiful! Going to refreshing place like this for summer is perfect so as looking for online travel deals in the Philippines that is affordable and safe.

  6. It's definitely nicer in the pictures. You might get an allergy here, I kid you not! Better to reserve in the reliable ones like discovery or taal vista!

  7. Anga ganda naman ng place. Jan na lang sana kami stay nun.

    reception venues in Tagaytay


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