Our king-size bed at Pillows Hotel Cebu.
Finding a place to stay in a city like Cebu can be daunting, not because there aren't much choices but because there are just so many options. On our recent trip there we tried out a smaller hotel, one that's still a relative unknown because it's still fairly new. It's also got a really cute name: Pillows Hotel Cebu.
Here's a rundown of our stay:
Reservation and checkin
They're available on Agoda but they still don't have an online booking facility of their own, so we called in to book a room. No downpayment or anything was asked and the manager was kind enough to give us a 20% discount without us even asking. Glad there was no mix-up or hassle of any sort.
However, because the hotel isn't quite known yet, getting there can pose a slight problem. It's best that you print a map so your cab driver can better figure out the route, especially since there are one-way streets. We simply used Google Maps, though.
The front desk.
An image of the Sto. Niño (the Child Jesus, Cebu's patron saint) looks on the rest of the hotel's diminutive but cute lobby. Love the white chairs!
Checking in wasn't a problem. We were asked to settle the accommodation plus a Php 1,000 refundable deposit for incidentals, so don't be surprised. Happy they allowed us an early check-in, though.
Pillows Hotel is located along Gov. M. Roa Street, a one-way road parallel to Osmeña Boulevard in Uptown (some say Midtown) Cebu, in an area that's home to other smaller hotels and inns as well. It sits in a quiet part of town but is in good proximity to restaurants and other establishments around the Fuente Osmeña Circle.
It's in a fairly good location if you ask me. In fact, the hotel has been attracting guests with medical appointments in nearby hospitals like Cebu Doctors and Chong Hua, according to Joan, the hotel manager. Her family owns the hotel, by the way.
Architecture and ambiance
The hotel manages to create a bright and airy atmosphere -- at the lobby especially -- despite its small size. The walls are predominantly white, with the hallways enjoying some touches of color (that are different per floor, by the way). Overall it's a cute design.
The hallway on the 5th floor, where are room was at.
We got a premiere suite room, which had a 36 sqm floor area, a mini-kitchen, and a small balcony. It's fitted with a king-size bed (twin beds in some), a writing desk, coffee table, electronic safe, flatscreen TV, a personal fridge, microwave, electric hotpot, and about five chairs in all. The bedside tables are foldable that neatly fit into the headboard wall. That's quite a lot, actually, for a room that we got for just under Php 3,000 a night!
Our big bed.
That's the coffee table and writing desk on the corner. On the right is the sliding door to the balcony.
Views of the mini-kitchen, TV, and open closet. That dark brown thing is the door to the bathroom.
With all the floor space and the way the furniture's laid out, the room could easily fit a family. Considering all this space, however, the bathroom was disappointingly small. Ditto with the TV. The safe is not of much use either, as it couldn't even fit a laptop. Nevertheless, guests can always deposit their stuff with the front desk like I did every time I went out.
The bathroom. On the left is the shower; right photo shows the rest of the bathroom from inside the shower.
A peak into the balcony.
Despite the minor inconveniences, though, it's still a good room, especially for the price. They also have deluxe rooms (30 sqm) that are reportedly PWD-friendly, superior rooms (21 sqm), and standard rooms (20 sqm).
Pillows has a small restaurant on the ground floor where breakfast is served. Pretty basic stuff but they do have decent ribs here. Charming is how I would describe the interiors.
That mural is also printed on the paper placemats they use.
Cute throw pillows.
Ribs. Quite inexpensive, too.
I've never seen the restaurant full and busy, so food never took long. Again because it's a small hotel, service was always pleasantly casual and personal. I do hope they could do something about the exhaust, though, as the place tends to be filled with smoke because they do all the frying right behind the counter. I think a proper exhaust system would do the trick.
Though still under construction, the hotel promises a gym. But while that's still underway, they've set up some exercise equipment in one of the guest rooms. Just ask for the key from the front desk.
The makeshift gym.
The rooftop, where they can host small parties actually, weather permitting.
As with checking in, checking out was a breeze.
Pillows Hotel Cebu is a wonderful place to stay, much so when you factor in the inexpensive room rates. It does not try to be something it is not, so amenities are pretty basic but fully functional, which to me is way more important. While I don't think there's much that can be done about the bathroom anymore, at least they could install a proper exhaust in the restaurant.
They have friendly hotel staff, efficient housekeeping, and good service here. The hotel likewise benefits from its proximity to a number of establishments, be it a restaurant, a convenience store, a shop, or even a spa.
That said, I could see myself staying here again in the future. Go try it!
The hotel facade.