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Hysteria in Astoria

         I booked Astoria Plaza in Ortigas Center, Pasig City last October for our 14th wedding anniversary because the rate seemed reasonable and I was curious as well because I’ve been offered for their club membership twice already when I was in Boracay.  Since the membership fee is sky-high, I was expecting something grand. I have done my research about this place through reading blogs and reviews. Some people were satisfied– some were not, but then since we are entitled to our own opinions, I have decided to at least give it a try and discover for myself.
       When we have arrived there, we were openmouthed  when the front desk officer asked us to deposit P3,000 in cash. I just brought 1k because my funds in the ATM are still in current and I couldn’t withdraw the money. All I have are my credit cards which I can use in case of emergency.  I was thankful because my hubby brought cash with him– if not, we couldn’t have stayed there.  I have booked through Agoda so I didn’t know that I should bring cash.  (I think information about this should be crystal clear in both the official website and other booking sites).  Of course, everybody prefers a hassle-free staycation and this incident really irked me, but I have tried to keep calm and just enjoy.

 

 

         We waited for less than 30 minutes for check-in and while we were waiting, we watched guests come and go.  Most of them are wearing shorts.  (I thought wearing of shorts is not allowed in all public areas)  Prior to our check-in, I have called the customer service hotline to confirm about their dress code.  I was informed that only smart casual attire is allowed in their cafe, but we can wear jeans in the public areas.  I asked if we can wear shorts, the answer is NO.  I didn’t know that time if I would burst into laughter or confront the receptionists because of anger and disappointment.  I just thought that probably, they have modified their dress code rules– well, if that’s the case, an updated information should be posted in their website.
         After more or less 30 minutes of waiting, I was given the keycard and the check-in info sheets  (info about the WIFI password  and schedule of shuttle services). We were expecting somebody to assist us and lead us into our room and help us with our luggages, but NOBODY approached us.  (In Fernandina Suites- a 3 star hotel, there was somebody who escorted us to our room and we were given welcome drinks).  So we had no choice but to head to the elevator and find the room on our own.   

       

            We booked for one bedroom suite which was just right for us (2 adults and a nine-year old kid. It was neat and very organized, but if you will examine the wall coverings, you can trace that the hotel is quite old. Though the wall cover needs an upgrade, as well as some of the furnishings, I like the concept about utilizing mirrors (to make the room look spacious).

 

               

        A clearbook with detailed information about their services and number of items in the room was there in the table found in the bedroom.  

 

 

 

 

     

          I also like the toilet design as well as the good quality of the linens and curtains. Airconditioning is okay 🙂  We were comfortable during our stay.  I just noticed that they don’t have a comforter. They have a closet with hangers, ironing board and iron and a hair dryer in their toilet.

 

 

                        The one-bedroom suite comes with a kitchen where you can cook your own food; however, if you bring a lot, you have to pay for a corkage fee.  This is good if you intend to have a small party for the family.  There are cookwares and kitchen utensils that you can use.  The dining room is also spacious and relaxing.

 

            

        We also like their bathroom.  Their design is really cool- such a space saver.   With regards to freebies, they just have a small shampoo and lotion, and 2 pcs. of dental kits. I have read in a review about the mystery of the missing towels, so I counted the towels when we arrived. It seems I knew that we would have a problem with the check-out process.    

 

       

       I didn’t want to spoil everything so have used the amenities such as the pool and the fitness center.  We went to the gym after inspecting the assigned room to us.  

 

         

 

           The pool was quite okay and the staff are consistent in implementing the rules and regulations. They take the details such as the registered guest and the number of persons in the room. Also, they advise the guests to take a shower first before swimming. Only swimming attires are allowed.

 

 

 The lap pool

Shane in the Kiddie Pool

                Mother and daughter in the lounge chairs

          Another thing that made us disappointed is that we were not able to avail of their FREE shuttle service because the time when I have texted them, they claimed, service was already full.  We spent P70 or more for the one-way fare from the hotel to Robinson’s Galleria.  Also, the free WIFI for 2 devices was useless.  We used our internet data just to update our FB status and upload photos. 

         One thing I had to commend them though, is their customer service staff.  I called when the television in our room wasn’t working and the customer service representative sent a guy to fix our unit.  After it was repaired, the customer service representative called to make sure that our television is working.  

 

 Our view from our window

             Before we went to the cafe for our free breakfast, I had called their front desk officer about the 9 year old child with us if she will pay half of the rate.  According to them, she has to pay the full amount.  Because we had a problem with cash at that time, I asked also if I can use credit card to pay for the bill.  I was relieved when they confirmed that they accept credit card as payment.  

 

 

        I wasn’t surprised when we had encountered a problem when we were about to check out. The front desk officer asked me where could I possibly placed a hand towel that was missing. I insisted that the towels were all in the bathroom. After few minutes of waiting, we were relieved that we were able to get our full refund of our deposit.  

   

      

             Should I recommend Astoria Plaza?  Why not, but be guided with my tips.

TIPS:

1.  Bring P3,000 for cash deposit in your check-in.

2.  Bring a pocket-WIFI because the FREE wifi is useless.  

3.  Count the towels and if possible, have somebody from their staff to count them.  

 4.  Call their front desk staff in advance to book for their shuttle service in advance.  

 5.  You may bring shorts and jeans.  They are not strict in the cafe.          

6.  Bring your ATM cards, credit cards and as much as possible EXTRA CASH in case of emergency.  

The Travel Blogger in Pink’s Rating:  

 

Note:  I have received a phone call on November 14, 2016 from their front office manager apologizing about the experience I had.  I appreciate that effort 🙂

 

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