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Crowne Plaza Galleria or Holiday Inn Galleria Hotel in Manila?

Crowne Plaza Galleria or Holiday Inn Galleria Hotel in Manila?

Aug 29th, 2007, 11:50 AM
  #41  
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 63
bmttokyo! Thanks -- that's an excellent deal! Unfortunately, I already booked and prepaid PHRS in Manila for our long-stay room at CP. Since I don't travel too often, I preferred to take advantage of the up-front discount rather than go through Priority Privilege. Do you only earn PP points from hotel stays? Or do you earn points from dining as well?

By the way, I got a reply from Carlos Celdran. He will have Intramuros tours when we're in Manila so I'll keep checking his blog. Thanks for the tip!

I was wondering about parking at CP. Do you have a rental car now? I don't drive but I was thinking about when relatives/guests visit -- I'm blanking out on how it was with my previous stay at the HI.... and I know there's mall parking, too....
vrite is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 03:01 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
Parking is not a problem at all . we just returned from Puerto for several days & parked our car in HI where we last checked out from last week. Just let them know what your plans are if you have a car. Not sure about your guests though.
I think you earn points from most everything you spend in the hotel, internet charges, food etc.
I know you will enjoy CC. He is a character & a half !!!
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Aug 30th, 2007, 10:13 AM
  #43  
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Thanks, bmttokyo! It's nice that you're exploring different places in the Philippines (unlike me -- lazy with a been-there-done-that attitude so now I prefer to just stay put). I feel better prepared for our Manila trip, thanks to you! Enjoy the rest of your Manila stay!
vrite is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 07:57 AM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
vrite,
Had guests last night & I rode with them back to the hotel. They used valet parking & I just gave staff our room number. We just tipped the staff member who got the car- no charge.
bmttokyo is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 09:26 AM
  #45  
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 63
Aloha, bmttokyo!
Good to hear there are no worries about parking at the Galleria hotels. I remember vaguely a couple of years ago when we stayed at the HI, the hotel gave us a guest parking pass and since I didn't have a car, I "shared" it with a family member. I guess I shouldn't really be too worried about parking for my guests since there's also the mall parking... but we'll be there during the holidays so you never know. Hey, don't forget to pass on any additional tips for me even after you leave Manila, ok? I know I have over 3 months more to go and I've been getting my act together but still so much more to do....

Take care...
vrite is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 10:27 AM
  #46  
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 63
bmttokyo: I forgot to ask you... have you gone to the Mall of Asia? I wonder if it's worthwhile going there -- will we see the same shops and is it worth the distance, traffic, etc.

Also, I've withdrawn money from ATM machine in Hong Kong to get local currency but never in Manila. My bank does not charge a fee but they told me maybe the local ATM will and if they do, it will be built into the conversion. I know there's another thread for this... but just thought I'd ask your opinion... is this the better route vs money changers (I have used SM or Rustan's money exchange in the past)? I don't use traveller's checks anymore. Normally just use visa and am ok with add'l. 1% int'l. fee they charge but you need still need pesos. Thanks!
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Aug 31st, 2007, 04:23 PM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
Ohayo vrite:
We have always used the money changers either in SM or the Mall- rate has been getting better the last few weeks. I have been changing a couple hundreds at a time & have been using our CC a lot for convenience & for earning mileage points. Hardly use ATM machines though. You do need a lot of cash here though, mostly I noticed for tipping...........
Mall of Asia was too huge a place for me to enjoy. We were there last year soon after its opening & it was too overwhelming for me. We have done most of our shopping here in Tiangge in Greenhills, Robinson Dept store, SM Ortigas & Robinson Mall. Am looking forward to more shopping at MBK in Bangkok when we leave tomorrow.
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Aug 31st, 2007, 05:13 PM
  #48  
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Posts: 63
Thanks for your advice, bmttokyo! You have so much energy! Have a safe and fun trip to Bangkok. One of my best friends here is from Bangkok and we've always wanted to visit there but haven't been able to go there.

vrite is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 09:30 PM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
Finally got back to Tokyo last night- has our favorite $1 conveyor belt sushi for dinner of course !!!

Had another overnight booking with HI before we headed off to Puerto Galera close to the end of August. Booked 2 rooms & both rooms were not ready at 2 PM Sunday. Did not get the corner room as requested but since this was just an overnight stay, did not bother to complain. What's with Front Desk? I have no clue !!!

I am trying to remember if this was the stay where we were in adjoining rooms with another family whose snoring was so loud we heard it through the door cracks, this bathroom ceiling was caving in & the room was looking really shabby. Just one night......

This was it !!! - another problematic check in inspite of 2 phone calls earlier that week - that's it for me & the HI. Mind you, this time around, there must be a crack down on F&B expenses since the complimentary brekkie I had gotten used to for years for all my kids were no longer offered. Also noted that none of our old servers at Breakfast were no longer around.

Priority Club Membership does have its benefits if you deal with PC directly. I had to cancel my one night Priority Club Point booking with Holiday Inn & wanted to transfer to Crowne. Upon calling the agent, found out an offer that was still to be published the next day ,that I could get 3 nights stay at Crowne in exchange for the one night at HI. I called the CP Duty Manager who upgraded us in our previous visit & verified if there were rooms available ( I requested for a corner room deluxe with 2 beds) & she confimed. On the website, they do not offer the 2 twin bed room that we require. Called Priority Club again who haggled to get all 3 nights via points & was given the OK. We were given the confirmation number of the transaction & in the morning saw that the proper accounting was done to our Priority Account- 3 nights at crowne plaza for 15,000 points !!!! How could I say no?

I called CP again early in the AM while on the boat to Batangas to check if our booking was all in order & explained to the Front Desk the details of the changes & the redemption of my points for my stay for all 3 nights. She said to just come in with the documentation from PC. No problem. Upon checking in, was helped by an agent who has assisted us many times during our previous stay. She informed me that only 2 out of the 3 nights were approved according to their records. Gave her the number of Priority Club for her to call to straighten things out but asked that I had to do that myself. ALso gave her the # given to me by the PC agaent, she said it was not the one they needed. We checked into our requested room, & I called PC. After being on hold for close to 45 minutes was given the OK by the hotel for all 3 nights. Later was asked by PC agent why I was making the phone call myself when Front Desk could have made a 5 minute call on my behalf. Not a good thing. Wanted to sift through this a bit so called Duty Manager the next day to report oversight of FD.

Was listened to very graciously & apologized to as I relayed my disappointment with the FD agent. He took notes & asked about my children's ages, names saying he was going to make sure that our profile was to be noted upon our return visit.

At breakfast on our day of check out happened to meet the Executive Manager of Sales who is a personal friend of mine. She has been tracking down hotel visits but was quite concerned that I have not been in touch. I purposely kept away since all of our hotel stays had significant issues I & was concerned about having to complain about her staff in both properties. Prefaced our time together with the fact that management has always been very accomodating with our family but Front Desk has consistently been dropping the ball on all 4 of our check in experiences. She asked me to candidly share my experience & for the next 2 hours we chatted about lots of other things including my challenges the past month. She was very thankful & assured me that whatever I shared could help with their future dealings with other guests.

My tip to you: ask for the Duty Manager & stick to only one person to talk to for whatever your needs are. During my stays at CP- I was helped by Miss Lay & Mr Jun. Both were great in helping us through issues we had to deal with. Please send my regards to them both when you call. It has been consistently a case of miscommunication or a lack thereof between a lot of people I came in contact with. I called a lot, spoke to a lot of people & in the process we fell through too many cracks. I suggest you talk to either one of those 2 managers before you check in & make your requests known. I assure you, you will be well taken cared of. My dilemma was being friends with their boss & did not want to demand too much. Now I know better.

By the way, we treated the kids & my in laws to the dinner buffet- it was about P1000 but well worth it- much to eat. Tried the chicken tandoori made to order for me by the Sous Chef who I met while with the Exec Manager. He personally fixed my husband an inch steak with all the trimmings etc. Kids loved the Cold Stone style ice cream - teppanyakki they called it. There was lobster too- although only a few big ones that went quickly. All in all, a good meal well worth it - certainly no more expensive than our Sizzler here in Tokyo & with so much more food !!!

HAVE A GREAT TIME AT CROWNE PLAZA !!! Let me know if you have other questions. I'm more than happy to help.



bmttokyo is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 06:00 PM
  #50  
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bmttokyo!!!!

Thanks for the update! I can't believe some of the horror stories but I'm glad it all worked out. My goodness, I wouldn't have hesitated to get the best service with the connection you had! I do understand why you didn't take advantage of your connection ... and hopefully your "exit interview" will result in some improvements.

I was told they have a corner room for us and priority is given to long-stay guests who booked early like me -- we shall see! I got the names of the CP sales staff my booking was arranged with (your friend is probably their supervisor!)-- just in case. Being a long-time Hawaii resident, I have become more sensitive (demanding?) of good service. Of course, we also know how to show appreciation!

I appreciate everything you've shared and especially your dinner buffet experience! I always treat my family big time before I leave and I've been researching reviews about The Heat buffet at Shangri-La Edsa ... but then again I thought why not at the CP's Seven Corners. I'll check it out when I get there.... I tried to see if the Seven Corners or The Heat had an email address so I can inquire and make early reservations (since it's Christmas/New Year time when we'll be there) but no luck --- and this visit is a surprise so I can't request family! Ay!

By the way, I forgot already... if service charge is included in the bill (not sure if this is standard in all Manila restaurants), do you still leave additional tip for the waiter?

Anyhoo, I'm taking note of all this useful information. Thanks for the names of the Duty Managers who helped you during your stay! I'm starting to buy pasalubong already!

Glad you're back home safely! Will keep in touch! Thanks and aloha!
vrite is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:57 PM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
Hi ! Von or Dang are my direct contacts in Sales- they get the job done ,however, Front Desk holds the key to your check in. That is when either Ms. Lay or Mr. Jun will be most helpful. Don't even bother talking to anyone else. Make sure the corner rooms they get you are the 10 or 11 series. Both overlook the pool area.

Say hello to Chef Luis from us. He does a mean spread, he is young & very charming.

Just be ready with your pasalubongs as I was more than happy to say thank you to those who helped make our visit a very memorable one inspite of all the hiccups. CP will now be our new home in Manila.

There was service charge included in the bill so my father in law just put in a P200 bill for tip. Small but nice gesture.

There was a typhoon that hit us this AM so classes were cancelled but now it is a glorious day. My kids have missed 2 weeks of school already. Time to hang my laundry out in the line. I am back to reality !!!
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Sep 7th, 2007, 11:13 AM
  #52  
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Posts: 63
Hi bmttokyo!

Glad all is well at your end and you and the kids are getting settled in nicely at home. Thanks again for all the very useful tips! Last night, a friend kindly invited me to go the Navy Exchange with her so I picked up some Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works lotions for pasalubong (VS & B&BW don't have shops here in Hawaii and they don't ship these products to Hawaii). So it's ready, set, GO for me!

I went on the Robinson's Galleria site and saw that the mall is now a free WiFi internet area. I don't personally use a laptop but my daughter does so I was wondering... does this mean free internet anywhere in the mall and did you try this when you were there? We never bring laptops when we travel and at Robinson's or SM Mega Mall, we normally just go to one of those internet places if we need to check email, etc. Actually I'm not sure I want my daughter to bring her Apple because she might end up spending too much time on the internet and games but this free WiFi intrigued me.

vrite is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 09:38 PM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 414
We left the laptop in room since we just bit the bullet & paid for the charges. On one occasion hubby had his computer on him & tried to log on outside the door of CP leading to the mall. I think he sat down & had a crepe while we went shopping. Got back with him with a big smile on his face after enjoying his crepe & getting his emails done ! Starbucks charges to use their connection in their shop.
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Sep 12th, 2007, 12:14 PM
  #54  
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Posts: 63
Aloha bmttokyo!

Thank you for your reply. I really will have to make a decision later about whether or not we should bring the laptop on this trip. We've just become so internet and email dependent... even on vacations!

OK ... I know more questions will come up later... you take care and regards!
vrite is offline  
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