Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Crowne Plaza Galleria or Holiday Inn Galleria Hotel in Manila?

Crowne Plaza Galleria or Holiday Inn Galleria Hotel in Manila?

Aug 14th, 2007, 06:10 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 168
vrite,

we are going to the Philippines in Dec also and looking at the HI Galleria. How and where did you book your room? If you don't mind my asking, what rate did you get? Someone told me to have a local book the room for an even better rate than what I can find in booking websites. It sounds like the equivalent of kamaaina ( residents ) rate. We might also need to rent a car for 2 weeks, do you know where I might be able to book one with good rates? Thanks for your help.
anaheimwoman is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 07:07 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 96
Vrite, Darna was the first Pinoy movie I ever watched on the big screen (starring Vilma Santos) over at the now inexistent Cubao Theatre along EDSA. Anyways, the only place I've tried Indian food is at the hotel buffet at 7 Corners and Shangri-La, and I ate there only because I had some discount vouchers. Might you also like to try Halal food? There's a really cheap place called Mr. Kabab along Quezon Ave. near Delta Theatre. I usually order the Falafel (only about P60 - ground garbanzos patties, shredded cabbage, tomatoes with yoghurt and chili sauce wrapped in pita bread) and pair it off with yoghurt shake (P30). It's run by an Arab guy. For Pinoy food, I like the inasal Chicken at Chicken Bacolod. Again, the prices at that place are about mid-range. With regards to pasalubong, you sound like you're coming from Hawaii. How about a mumu (Am I right, is that the wrap around cloth somewhat like the patadyong here?)? I think that should fit any size. My aunt from the US usually sends towels or bed sheets. Cosmetics? Clinique would be nice...
darna is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 10:55 AM
  #23  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 63
anaheimwoman!

This is the first time I'm booking with PHRS. They seem to have the best all-inclusive rates for Metro Manila hotels and accept charge cards (I pegged down the final rate for Crowne Plaza last week and am waiting for payment instructions from them). Their website is under construction so I communicate with PHRS via yahoo messenger and email ([email protected]). Contact Jhwen Villorente, Travel Consultant, inquire about long stay rates. HI Galleria rates are cheaper. I would also recommend travelph.com. Go to their site (you'll find their contact info there) and call, email or yahoo messenger them. travelph.com is also helpful (contact Kristine at their US office). Their rated for Crowne Plaza were a little higher even for cash/check payments, that's why I went with PHRS. When I went to HongKong two years ago, I booked my hotel via Precision Reservations (also Agoda -- check them out online). Very reliable and offers good rates as well. All of these sites require advance payment but you you get a printed voucher to present to the hotel at check-in, no problems. I'm recommending these sites because I've experienced good communication from them and they offer cheaper room rates. Good luck and please keep me informed if you can.

My previous bookings at HI Galleria were done through a relative in Manila -- and the local rate was great but my room was in my relative's name and this became complicated when friends and family would try to contact me since my name was not on the guest list! FYI, before I booked for this Dec/Jan trip, I emailed the Crowne Plaza and HI Galleria directly to inquire about their local resident rates and it wasn't that cheap. I also inquired about their balikbayan rates and no big deal.

I've never rented a car in Manila but I found this site that you may want to check out: wowpinoy.com

darna! Yes, I remember those Darna movies. Thanks for the tips! Can't go wrong with cosmetics and foodstuff for pasalubong to bring to Manila. I intend to travel light (ha! if that's possible).
vrite is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 12:14 PM
  #24  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 63
anaheimwoman: I checked an email form May and found balikbayan rate quotation for Dec. '07 directly from HI Galleria Hotel: 4,662.60 pesos for a deluxe room. It wasn't indicated if that was an all-inclusive rate and if it included breakfast buffet for two people -- so I decided to research other sites. Hope this helps!

Yahoo messenger address for PHRS is phrs06. Yahoo messenger address for travelph is travelph_livehelper. US phone # for travelph is (800) 210-1019, ask for Kristine. Again, travelph was my second choice but I was able to get a little more savings from PHRS and for credit card payment so I went with PHRS.
vrite is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 08:56 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
Hello vrite!

I am now in Manila but have not visited Fodors since we have been travelling the 2 weeks we were here. Spent about a week in Puerto Galera & just returned from Bacolod last night after a week of food tripping & enjoyig the gracious hospitality of Negrense friends !!! By the way, as pasalubongs go, I got a lot of Lancome, Revlon make up lip gloss, lip stick, eye shadows, liners, mascaras ( all on sale) at Target & Rite Aid , Walgreens in SF on my last trip & collected all of my Clinique bonus offer give aways & found that those were the first ones grabbed out of the grab bag when I asked my friends to choose their gifts.

RE: HI & CP, we 've checked in at both hotels since we got here. Drove to HI straight from the airport & as always Front Desk did not fail to disappoint me. As I was searching for the best rates, I had made several calls from Tokyo to Priority Club who offered me the Explore Asia Deal at $60++ for a King deluxe room. The deal was unheard of so I got it for the 3 days we were going to be in town prior to our trip to Puerto. I informed Priority Club (PC) that we were coming in from a red eye flight from BKK arriving in MLA at about 6 AM would like to request an early check in.
PC said it would place the the early check in request as well as the room change request as the rate we had was for a KING deluxe non smoking vs what we usually request for the Family room with 2 queen beds. As regular summer guests (we have been there 3 summers straight using the hotel as our Manila home base) I had hoped that we would get more dispensation than the casual walk in guest.
We arrived at 8 AM & asked the Front Desk (who made no acknowlegements that we were returnees) if they got the special requests & they confirmed that. We were informed though that there were no non smoking rooms available . She later said that there would be a room available in about an hour. When I asked her what that was going to be, she said a KING. I informed her that her offer was not an option since we needed 2 Queens with our kids staying in the room with us. She held fast to her stance saying that there absolutely was no room available. It took a phone call to the Marketing Manager who was able to juggle some rooms with other guests before we were given our room keys to our requested room. It was a very dated interconnecting room so we heard a lot of our neighbors' conversations while we were in the shower & were serenaded by their snores at night through the seperating door.

The buffet was as always good- cook to order omelets although our favorite chef- Mang Bien was reportedly in hospital. There was also a new treat Taho ( sweetened soft tofu) . We enjoyed the new restaurant since it was under renovation when we were there last summer. Where as our kids got complimentary brekkie during our last stay this time they wanted to charge full price for our kids aged 15 & 13 & half for our 9 year old. They mostly overslept so ended up just eating at the mall for lunch. Housekeeping was very mindful of our requests. We tucked in a hefty tip with a thank you note every AM with instuctions on what extra items we needed. We got a lot of water, extra pillows & as much toiletries as we needed. The valet & security staff were always helpful as we arrived in the hotel.

Kids enjoyed the pool although my husband was not too happy with their gym facilities having been at Lebua in BKK's Fitness Center just the night before.

CP feedback to follow soon.
bmttokyo is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 09:15 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
Oops forgot to add that complimetary in room wifi service as much appreciated & quickly installed by the house IT guy.
bmttokyo is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 12:15 PM
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 63
Hi bmttokyo!
Thanks for taking the time to reply! So good to hear about your vacation! I always have fond memories of the HI Galleria. Housekeeping has always been generous -- just hope the Crowne Plaza can match that. Please report your CP experience, ok? Thanks for mentioning master HI omelet chef Bien! He was the best thing about the HI breakfast buffet! Hope he's OK. I want to hear about your experience at the CP's Seven Corners also. Thanks also for pasalubong tips! Enjoy the rest of your Philippine vacation!
vrite is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 06:04 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
Crowne Plaza feedback:

As we were offered to try the neighborhing CP & wanted to see if Front Desk service was any different, we checked into CP the weekend after we returned from the beach, this time presented my Priority Card & was greeted by the Front Desk warmly. We booked a deluxe 2 queen & was given our keys with complimentary drink coupons.

The whole hotel was as expected newer looking as it has only been around of 2 years or so. The halls, walls & carpets were cleaner & spotless vs that of HI. When we entered the room we were extremely disappointed that the room was very very small but as we got a very good Best Rate with breakfast rate from the hotel, decided that's what we got for our money. I really do understand the concept.

As we were unpacking, we noticed a small uninvited "guest" crawling in the midddle of our room. Since we live in Tokyo & my kids don't see bugs there as we usually are gone most of the summer when they show up, i quietly got rid of it, tracked down Housekeeping who was in the floor, so as not to alarm my kids. You know what they say once you see one, there are a whole lot more of them somewhere. Went down to ivery discreetly inform Front Desk of the intrusion & found out later that the crowd included the Head Housekeeper. I was offered to change rooms or have the room fumigated (my kids are asthmatic) but fearing that we would be sent to another very small room decided to wait & see what they had to offer. Asked them if this was an isolated case & they said yes until I read otherwise in another forum. Night came & still no word from anyone so we decided to just sleep there after we requested Housekeeping to check the room.

The next day came down to inform FD to cancel their offer to change our rooms & thank them for their attempts to accomodate our request. Was taken care of by a very gracious duty manager who was very apologetic for the inconvenience & oversight & insisted they make amends & to please check out the room they had to offer. I was not quite sure fearing I was going to another small room but was escorted to a corner room twice the size of our cubicle & right there & there notified them that I was taking their complimentary "upgrade". I am very pleased with CP's front desk service although the rest of my family still think HI 's other service team are better than CP.

The breakfast buffet in CP is markedly better quality than HI. They even have fresh fruits like mangosteen which is expensive. Service was tops as expected. Again found out that Brekkie would cost over P1000 ($20++) for each of our 2 older kids & half of that for our 9 year old so again they had brunch at the mall !

Overall, I prefer CP to HI now since I have been so burned by dealing with FD at the former. My family prefers HI as they say the rest of the staff are friendlier but since I make the reservations, I get to choose.

Plaza Laundry has again been very good about coming to pick up our loads, taking care of them & returning them to the hotel on time. Prices cannot be beat!

WIFI service was quite hefty bout $20 a day but this time could be done without having IT to wire you up. Also available by the hour if that's what you need.

Will again stay at both properties & the coming one. Spending an overnighter at HI then another 4 days at CP just before we fly out. Will find out if HI will give me a hassle free check in for a change. We'll see...........

bmttokyo is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 12:35 PM
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 63
bmttokyo! Very helpful CP report, thanks! I read same report about crawling guests at CP from other forum as well! I think I might bring a trap for the first time. We're used to same kind of "guests" in Hawaii but I still don't like them. I'm prepaid for room at CP for Dec/Jan and was told that they still had a corner room for us. I hope so.... but you never know until you check in, can only hope for the best especially since we'll be long-staying guests. I'm more anxious than normal because we'll be there during the holidays when it's busy. I didn't know if a small "bribe" would work but don't want to encourage that. I'm a Priority Club member but did not book with PC so who knows if I'll get extra special treatment. I can understand how you and your family feel about the service staff at HI --- the best! That's why I always tip housekeeping generously. Did you ask for extra water bottles from CP housekeeping? I don't understand the super high prices for the breakfast buffet. Do you know how much lunch and dinner buffet at Seven Corners cost for adults and kids (in case I have guests!)? Your tip about Plaza Laundry is priceless. Does the hotel allow them to come up to your room for p/up and delivery? Thanks for taking time out from your family vacation to share on this forum! Anything else you might add later will be appreciated! I'll keep checking. Aloha!
vrite is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 04:01 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
Vrite,

I usually bring pasalubong to the staff of both hotels when I return from a trip or buy the guards a dozen donuts or something as a thank you but usually don't see that as a bribe to get anything special. I think they quickly forget.

I don't have to ask for extra water- as i usually give at least a P200 tip to the first housekeeper we see as we have to request extra pillows, towels, toiletries ,sheets etc etc, I think the tip is well deserved. Usually they come in with an armful of water since there are 5 of us in our party.

Plaza Laundry personnel are already known by the security. On occasion they call me to confirm if I am expecting them otherwise they have come up to our room with no hassles at all.

I make it a point not to have dinner at either restos since there are so much to enjoy in many other places. I was told they had a P1000++ seafood/ steak all you can eat dinner. Still have to pursue that tip though. Steak & lobster at P1000 sounds right but not for breakfast.

If you are long staying, I would ask to change to the room that you will be happy with until you get it.

Hope that answers your questions.
bmttokyo is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 07:53 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 168
vrite:

thank you so much for your response to my question. i apologize for not being able to acknowledge you helpful response sooner. been away on business trip ( and from fodor's messageboard ). i'm still working on the details on our trip to MNL in Dec. still waiting to get confirmed seats from our return flt on Jan 1. and geeeez, the tickets are exp. the cheapest i was quoted by a consolidator/trvl agt is about $1400 incld. taxes on JAL. but we're waitlisted for the rtn flt. PAL is around $1600 incld tx. really bent on staying at the HI Galleria. i noticed in your post that you referred to HI and CP Galleria. are they the same property and is there any distinction bet the two? thanks again!
anaheimwoman is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 08:06 AM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 63
bmttokyo!

You sound like a really gracious hotel guest. I do the same thing also with hotel staff. Thanks for answering my questions. By the way, you know I forgot if the Galleria hotels have 110 and 220 v outlets? I remember bringing an adaptor/converter during our last visit but I may have used that in Hong Kong and not at the HI Galleria.

anaheimwoman!

Good to hear back from you! Both HI and CP Galleria hotels are part of the ICHotels group. The HI used to be called Manila Galleria Suites Hotel so all the rooms are suites. I was really happy with HI from past stays there but chose the CP for this trip because I wanted to try something new and still enjoy the convenience of being under same roof as the mall. I was horribly sick on one trip and it was convenient to have Mercury Drug and lots of eating places right there.

My experience with PHRS has been positive, by the way. I'm not surprised about the cost of airfares! That's why I took a chance and got our PAL tickets way back in March! And it already cost almost $1,300 RT from Hawaii!

vrite is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 07:42 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
anaheinwoman:
check out fares at gatewaylax.com. they have very competitive prices for the West Coast/SE Asia corridor & have used them several times with excellents service.
bmttokyo is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 07:45 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
vrite:
CP has one 110 outlet in the bathroom. You can always ask for adaptors from Housekeeping.
bmttokyo is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 08:28 PM
  #35  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 63
anaheimwoman! Good luck with getting your air tickets! I rechecked our PAL fare and it was a little over $1,200 pp/rt. Sure is not like it used to be. Good tip from bmttokyo, too.


bmttokyo! Thanks for getting back to me about 110 v ... I have an adaptor! The CP wifi rates you mentioned are stiff, whew! My daughter wants to bring her Apple but I'm discouraging it because of the humbug with airport security and if she brings it along, that will occupy a lot of her time and that's unacceptable! We can just use the internet cafes in the mall. And as usual... anything else you wish to share about your trip is always welcome!

vrite is offline  
Aug 25th, 2007, 09:32 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
vrite:
forgot to tell you that we took the Carlos Celdran walking tour earlier this week. He is a winner !!! Wity, passionate about what he is doing, very well versed about his stuff. I learned A LOT of great insight from our 2 1/2 hours together.
Was not able to do the deluxe Intramuros Tour since he has declined to take a chance about walking through Intramuros because of this being the rainy season. The tour through Casa Manila was great as well.

Highly recommended !!!
bmttokyo is offline  
Aug 25th, 2007, 11:10 AM
  #37  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 63
bmttokyo! You read my mind! I was going to ask you if you took Carlos' Intramuros tour. I've been checking out his site after reading littledot78's recommendation on this thread.. and wanted my teenage daughter to learn something about Manila from this trip. Did your kids like the tour? I've also been reading about 2 restaurants mentioned on his site which I've never been to: Cocina de Tita Moning and the Ilustrado. Did your tour end at one of these restaurants or back at your meeting place? Was it a big group? Was 2 1/2 hour reasonable length for your kids? Thanks!
vrite is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 09:06 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
vrite:

There must have been about 40 us at the tour. CC is quite particular that everyone get to see & hear him. He was even reminding the smaller ones in the group- he said, he had me in mind as he said that - get to stay in front like we did in grade school.
I had to drag my 13 yo son to the tour since he was not too keen about going out again after all the travelling we have been doing. However, he was taken by after 5 minutes when CC dramatically let off a litany of Spanish inspired cities in the Phil. My 9 yo loved it as well & had no problem with the 2 1/2 hrs of walking/ listening we had to do. CC is really very entertaining& engaging. We also had a treat since the San Agustin church was FULL to the gills with a mass baptism for all the homeless people around some area. We had thousands of children & family members in that church.

I guess you can go to those restos on your own after the tour since you are already in the area.

My husband who loves to drive in the US & in Tokyo has gotten tired of fighting buses, jeepneys in Mla traffic so we have been staying close to the Ortigas area- in fact we decided to take a cab to the tour so as not to deal with driving. Great decision although it was a tad challenging to get us back home due to some drivers being picky. We have eaten at Portico in Selendra in the Fort. Excellent Asian fusion food, ate at a number of restos in the Podium from the Dome for brekkie, Gloria Maris for shabu shabu, dimsum & chinese food, Banana leaf for Thai, Burgoos to appease the kids, the Italian resto with the gelato counter outside. They were all good.

bmttokyo is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 01:56 PM
  #39  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 63
bmttokyo! Thanks for your detailed responses! I'm going to communicate with CC. Sounds like his tour makes venturing to that part of Metro Manila worth it! Don't blame you guys for not relishing driving in Manila! i rely on relatives, friends and taxis and during our few-and-far-between Manila visits, I don't venture too far from the Ortigas area either. Appreciate the restaurant suggestions also!
vrite is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 02:36 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
check out priority club webpage for 5.000 point room redemption. We are getting our 3 day stay at Crowne Plaza galleria for only 15,000 points. This was a great treat since I had just cancelled our initial HI reservation for a night at 15K now I get 3 nights at CP for the same points.

Redemption offer good till 3 Sept 07 !!!
bmttokyo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:44 PM.