Friday, October 17, 2014

10 points to ponder while staying at Plaza Alemania in Iligan City

Just got back from Iligan and CDO. It was my first time being in Mindanao and it doesn't seem that bad as what the news portrays them to be. It was such a nice experience to see the other end side of the Philippines and its nature's glory. We stayed 4 days in CDO and moved afterwards to Iligan, also a part of our work.

Iligan City is a part of Lanao del Norte which is in the Northern part of Mindanao. From CDO it takes about 1 to 2 hours travel time depending if you're using a private car or public transportation. Bus from CDO to Iligan is available at Bulua Terminal (Super Five) with the earliest departure at 4am and the latest would be at 8:30pm.

Upon arriving at Iligan City, we first headed off to the place we would be staying for 4 days. Hello Plaza Alemania! As what I've noticed, proper hotels is not usual here in Iligan. I've only seen some dorms/bedspacer/hostel around so I think Plaza Alemania would be the only choice for a hotel kind of accomodation. Though there's one nearby that seems like a small hotel operated by the HRM department of a university according to my friend, though I forgot to ask if it's open for public.

Honestly, I wasn't supposed to write about my stay here because I might just sound like a whiner or a hater. Haha! But no I'm not, promise. I just decided to do one for the benefit of those who wants to know what the place looks like. So here's a rundown on how our stay was:

For the first day, I stayed at their Onyx room (photo above) with a rate of 1,700Php/night if you choose to have a plated breakfast (which I suggest you forgo). There was a mix up on reservation, which is completely not the hotel's fault, so I transferred again the next day to my original room. Coral room which is for one person only costs 850Php w/breakfast.

Coral Room

Onyx room (more spacious)

#1.  Front desk personnel was a bit disoriented. I don't know if she doesn't understand Tagalog that much but nonetheless, anyone who mans the frontdesk should know how to communicate effectively and try not to look like a lost one. Or ok, maybe she's just new, let's just her the benefit of the doubt. Though on the following day, talking to that same front desk girl on night shift had been easier. It's a good point that she remembered that I would change room so the transaction was a breeze. I just hope she'll improve herself in the long tun because it seems like it's not the right job for her.

#2. I was assigned at rm 516 the first day. The "5" in the room # doesn't correspond to the floor. If your room # starts at 5, you're on the 4th floor of this hotel. No biggie, just sharing :)

#3 No personal mini fridge in both room. Same goes for the Ruby room that my colleagues booked. Their website states that they have one, they should have been clear on what specific room type has it.

#4. BRING YOUR OWN TOILETRIES. Most often than not, I only bring my own toothbrush and toothpaste because I'm all good with the soap and shampoo that the hotel provides. See, I'm not choosy. Haha. But don't get me wrong, Plaza Alemania provides a guest kit but it just doesn't look right...


A soap which is a bit larger than a coin and a shampoo sachet that looks odd with chinese characters in it.

#5. They also provide you a mug, 3in1 coffee, glass, electronic kettle and a complimetary bottle of water (but there is no ref so yes, you drink that bottle of water in room temp.) in your room.

#6. Softness of bed is so-so. Blanket is just one piece of linen on top of the bed. No comforter or even just a thicker blanket.

#7. No remote for aircon, you just manually adjust it. It's not positioned that high but still you need some height to reach that knob.

#8. Cleanliness, people. CLEANLINESS. I happen to catch a glimpse of a small cockroach strolling above the desk in my first room. So better if you don't leave your food packs open in your room most especially on the desk. I left my box of Morcon inside the plastic bag above the desk and bam! when I returned, red ants were coming out of it. PEST CONTROL please???

#9. Room is equipped with cable TV that has 15 channels but most of the time, only 2-4 channels work. Grainy resolution. Most of the time, only the local channels work plus CNN. So I was atleast saved from the loneliness in the room.

#10. 1st day breakfast was a bit crazy. Got up in their rooftop restaurant before 7am and there were only 2 other customers and us 3. We took a seat first and waited to be handed a menu or at least be instructed on how the hotel breakfast works. But then, it doesn't work like that. We just went up to the counter as soon as we saw one guest approached the only server that time. It was already past 7am when more people started to arrive and there is still only one person in the counter listing the orders, poor guy. As far as I remember, we were advised upon check in that breakfast starts at 6:30am but we were then told by the guy who was already flooded with breakfast orders that the chef is just starting to cook the meals when almost all of the guests are already in there. So much for timeliness. They serve plated breakfast with 3 choices though they do accept crossovers (i.e. rice instead of toast for american breakfast) with a choice of 3in1 coffee or hot milo. On the 3rd day, we had our breakfast past 8am and only a few guests where there. I guess, they just opted to have it delivered to their room, which is a better choice. I asked my colleagues to order for me in advance so when I went up the food arrived just a few minutes after. This time, they were already able to manage it and redeem themselves. There's already a server who will ask for what you need and will refill your glass of water without asking. Each plated breakfast costs 195Php which is added to your room rate if you opted to have one. But honestly, it wasn't even near that worth. Avail the hotel breakfast if you have all the time in the world and doesn't have any plans for the morning, or else skip it.

So that's basically how everything turned out during our stay. Plaza Alemania is beside the main street so it's very easy to hail a jeep going around the city or you could also chance upon a taxi somewhere on the street at the back of the hotel. Shoppe24, a convenience store, is a 10min. walk from the hotel where you can buy your snacks or toiletries. There's also a bakery at the other side of the street, for a light snack. A lot of eateries are also just steps away like a barbeque house that looks like a favorite in the area. Gaisano mall is one jeep away but it's really not .

From what others said, Plaza Alemania is the most decent one around town if you're looking for a hotel. I guess they just need a revamp most especially their bathroom, please lang

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