Manila Hotel (A documentation)

            As an alternative for the tour, a couple of friends and I visited Manila Hotel on October 17, 2012, and spent a few hours there, mostly to get to know the place more.

            Basically, the hotel offers the usual services like lodging, food and beverage, recreational activities and much more. The hotel also offers a wide range of activities for different kinds of people – from function halls to party areas to simple recreational spots in the vicinity.

In lodging, you should expect not the cheapest prices. They charge about three times more than economy hotels. But you wouldn’t wonder either, because when you see the place, the ambiance itself is enough for you to be assured of first class service.  The rooms are just about as awesome as the whole place is. No wonder people from all over the world choose to check in here, than in any other hotel in the Metro.      As for the food and beverage department, the hotel has its own dining and drinking areas which are also considered world class. They have varieties of cuisines to choose from – the Cafe Ilang Ilang which offers an Intercontinental Cuisine, Mabuhay Palace, serving Chinese delicacies, Champagne Room with French cuisine, Tap Room bar, and the Pool Bar. They serve food and drinks 24/7, which makes it more convenient for most guests, since not everyone has the same eating patterns. The hotel is packed with places that will surely satisfy one’s gastronomic needs.

            Other than lodging and dining, the said hotel is also known for its recreational functions.  The hotel has an outdoor pool, a health club, a spa, sauna and Jacuzzi. Manila Hotel is surely one of the best and most accessible places to unwind, especially if you live a hectic and very stressful life. Not only because it has most of the things one needs to be fully relaxed, but also because its one of Manila’s world class establishments, that would surely give customer satisfaction.

            In terms of uniqueness, Manila Hotel differs from most of the establishments around it firstly by its name. It’s more popular, because it carries the name of the country’s capital city, making it very familiar to those who aren’t from around the Philippines. Next to the name, the location of the hotel comes next. Manila Hotel is located, well, in Manila, not far from office and commercial buildings. It is also near Luneta or Rizal Park, one of the most famous landmarks in the country. Another reason is its world class ambiance. When you step inside the hotel lobby, you’d get that royal feeling. It’s like you stepped into a castle, not because the lobby is wide, but because of the setting itself. The hotel has chandeliers hanging in almost every area of the hotel. The employees are very formal and very presentable, very accommodating as well. The hotel has this simple but very elegant theme, where all you see in the place are couches, coffee tables and a piano, of course with a world class pianist playing classical music all day long. It doesn’t only set the ambiance in the hotel, but it also gives a relaxing feel to those waiting for their rooms to be ready and for their amazing Manila Hotel experience.

Hotel Concierges are mostly the ones who experience interpersonal contact. They take guests’ orders, questions, and inquiries. They serve as the center of a hotel, because they know everything. The concierge at Manila Hotel offers almost the same as the services that other hotels’ concierges have. They give out suggestions to undecided tourists, they take reservations, and they help the clients that don’t know much about the place.

 

            During the hotel visit, we asked the concierge what were the most common complaints they received from guests, but they refused to answer. Being it needed for the activity, we did everything we can and resulted to just scanning through the internet for answers. Here are the top answers we found:

  • In the hotel room, when the air-conditioner is not on beforehand and they enter the room, they complain.
  • Room Service. For tourists, room service is very important. When service gets delayed, they complain immediately.
  • Complaints about food are always present. Although it is not a concierge/receptionist’s concern, the clients still complain to them.
  • Upon the check in, though they normally do not speak out but if the hotel is too far from the airport or less than their expectation they will not be smiling. Clients usually complain because they are not satisfied with the service they get. They pay to stay in a five star hotel, but get service from four star employees.
  • When they feel that they are ignored, they complain. The complaint was later resolved. But I would like to mention this just to show that being ignorant to an individual guest can cause complaint. However the bottom line is that whatever complaint it may come, always provide them with another option. They shouldn’t just say “Sorry, Sir or Madam.”

October 17, 2012. We visited Manila Hotel for this alternate activity for not joining the tour. It wasn’t my first time to visit the place, but I haven’t stayed there for more than a day.

            As for how I feel when I visited last Wednesday, the trip was exhausting, but the hotel made me feel really relaxed. As I have said in the description, the hotel is a very great place to unwind, to relax and to be carefree. I didn’t have a hard time in answering the guide questions given, mostly because I’ve been very observant and I know what to say already.

            There’s nothing I can say about the hotel, really, except for it being very elegant in all aspects. Although the employees seemed snobbish when they saw us as a group walking in, probably because they sensed that we are just students, and that we weren’t there to experience the hotel, we went there just to conduct interviews and document the things we saw. The attitude they showed us was really unimpressive, and I think that if they continue doing that, their reputation for excellent service will slowly crash.

            Other than that, the visit showed me a little more to the hotel industry than just the lodging & recreation they offer. The visits made me want to work in a similar place, because not only are the jobs less stressful, but one could actually enjoy working as a part of the staff in a hotel. Outgoing people are the target for these kinds of jobs. In order to become an excellent employee in the industry, you should be good with people, not only because it is your job, but because it will be what you will do for the rest of your employment.

            Not coming along to the tour was worth it, because I enjoyed the visit and I actually spent less. I learned a lot about how things work in a hotel. I learned to be patient in waiting for the employees to be able to talk to us, and to be kind even if our requests were turned down.

            This experience made me want to pursue the course so much. I saw how happy the people working there were, and I wanted to be as stress-free as they were. Work should be easy, it should make you happy. If you work in a place you despise, you wouldn’t be able to do your job well either.

(c) Aiesha Lopez 2012

*All rights reserved. No sources, just plain thoughts. This was an alternative activity for not being able to attend the semester’s tour to CamSur.

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