We were in Cebu to attend the testimonial dinner of the city government for its 75 families of distinction, upon the invitation of a reknowned designer (who wanted to shoulder our everything during our stay but we were a bit embarassed to go along with it). We arranged and paid for our own trip and accomodations, and thought it was a good idea to stay at the actual venue of the event, Waterfront Hotel, Lahug.
Reservations were initially pleasant: Lea, the reservations agent, was accomodating enough not to require a downpayment and just gave us a confirmation number, as well as arranging a room to be ready by 9am, with an extra charge. No problem, we understand the policy and they didnt require a deposit, so great.
Arriving at 6am Sunday, we were promptly fetched by the transfer and brought to the sleepy hotel. We were suppose to check in but was initially told that our room will be ready by 9am. So sleep deprieved, we made our way to the breakfast buffet, which was a whole other sad story together.
After breakfast, we proceed to the convention center to check out the exhibit on the families. Then looked for a quiet area off the main lobby to rest and sleep. By almost 9am, we went back to the reception to update the room. Their semi chirpy staff named Ritzie said that our room was not available and we would have to wait till 2pm. Huh? The graveyard staff (Im not sure if her name was Grace or something) mentioned that the room will be ready by 9am. Unfortunately, the unresourceful and uncreative Ritzie can only repeat her condition, which completely vexed us. "I want to speak to your duty manager", my partner exasperatedly said (secretly i wanted to say to him "Honey, this was your idea to stay here", hehe) I could observe that the Ritzie was just pressing and pressing the enter button, her eyes slightly rolling sort off and probably not urgently checking any available. What she produced in her, personally, very limited problem solving was offering us the pricey Php 20,000.00 Suite and "You can just wait for the 2pm room Mr. Juan" she warmly (or sarcastically, i dont know, we're too tired differentiate) concludes.
The duty manager, whose name escapes me now argh, was a bit unmoved and uncaring about the situation. "The room that was assigned to you will only be vacant at 2pm", without any hint or apology or contrition, continuing "we have a policy about guest rooms being given at 2pm". My partner without any sleep from the previous day replied methodolically "Sir, i completely understand that your establishment has policies about 2pm and so on and so forth, we understand that, completely, unfortunately its you who dont understand us. From the reservation, we agreed to pay the supplement for early check-in at 9am considering we are attending Cebu City Charter Day on our own personal account and we havent gotten any sleep. How do you expect us to cover the event? The nice lady from your graveyard shift assured us that our room will be ready by 9am and now you say that we will have to wait for 2pm? You don't throw the hotel's management handbook to people who came all the way from Manila, to attend the Charter Day, tired, sleep deprieved and all. We've stayed in the great hotels of the world: Peninsula, Four Seasons, we completely understand your 2pm policy, unfortunately, it is you who dont understand us, your guests. No understanding, no compassion and no heart"
By, this time, we were experiencing migranes and headaches, thanks to lack of sleep and of course, Waterfront Cebu.
The duty manager, getting uneasy with our little explanation suggested we take a room with little or no window for the moment then transfer us when our rooom was ready. Motel room? Duh! A few minutes later, the already flustered DM managed to give us a superior room, hinting that we should be grateful (or was it me, cant tell too tired).
In the end, we're not really hard-to-please divas but when a person is tired and lacking of sleep and agreeable to paying extra, a little more understanding and empathy is allowed rather that throwing the very understood 2pm check-in policy. It just goes to show how limited, unimaginative and myopic some people are, especially in the hospitality industry. Its about being considerate, inclusive and humane, especially meeting the traveller who are weary, tired and inconsolable.
Room was tiredly worn average at best, at least they had Fashion TV.
The food: unfortunately, the quality of the food in Waterfront leaves much to be desired. From the uninspired breakfast offerings, to their dreadful Php 1,300.00 Afternoon Tea (scones as hard as rocks) and everything else, the only decent food there is to had, is sadly in the Casino, or walk across Cebu IT park for more humane choices. We would rather walk and get run over by a jeep going to Crossroad for A Cafe or Maya please that having meals here, they are too pricey for the quality of terribly mediocre food.
The only consolation of Waterfront was their cheerful staff, excluding that particular DM and Ritzie. Very polite and pleasant, but we dont know if their collective nice-ness can save this property in our eyes. Maybe it wont, since we've decided, not to come back to any Waterfront at all.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.