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“Never leave your room” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel H2O

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Hotel H2O
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Luneta (Behind the Quirino Grandstand), Manila, Luzon 1000, Philippines   |  
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Ranked #9 of 103 Hotels in Manila
Makati, Philippines
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Never leave your room”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

Never leave your room because when you do the enchantment of the place leaves you as well. We got the hotel with the aquarium in it and we highly enjoyed it. The horror always happen when we get out. No decent food place around, theentire building did not feel and fit like a hotel, the pool area had giant mosquitoes (who in their right mind wound want to swim in that?) and it is also accessible to the public for a fee. All in all, the hotel did not give us a feeling of exclusivity as you have to go through public areas to access some of its features. The only saving grace was the room and the bed. If not for those, I would've rated it poor.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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546 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

This was my first visit to Manila. Due to my disability and health special needs, it is always difficult to find suitable accommodation with the furniture configuration I need. It usually involves email or telephone discussions with a prospective hotel prior to booking and for a hotel often to make some special arrangements for my needs.

That is where my experience with H2O Hotel Manila begins. I had an email exchange with the hotel, discussing my needs. Herein is the first (of very few) negative comments I can make about this otherwise outstanding hotel. They were quite slow to reply to emails. In the circumstances, I'll forgive them for that. After all, I commenced my enquiries well before my trip to ensure all went smoothly and I had time to look elsewhere if the need arose. Besides, despite the slowness of their replies, I was highly impressed by the service and attention I was given by "Roselle", including sending me photos of room interiors and the furniture so that I could better assess their suitability for my needs. Top marks to you, Roselle. Thank you indeed.

On Roselle's advice, I booked a "Bayview" room as the Aqua & Park View rooms were unable to fit a special sofa that I needed, which they were prepared to swap into my room from elsewhere.

Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had not been given a "Bayview" room after all, but had been given a free upgrade to a more spacious Premium Room (with Bay views and a magnificent city skyline panoramic view). Thank you once again for this nice surprise, Roselle. :)

The H2O is only a couple of years old and is still in near pristine condition. It has a number of unique and novel features. One is that it is a single-level hotel. For a hotel with so many rooms, placing them all on a single floor means that some of the rooms become a long walk from the lobby. - maybe the length of a football field. Given my disability & health status and my room being probably about the furthest away possible from the lobby, I was at first somewhat apprehensive about the distance. After walking it a couple of times, though, the apprehension vanished. I was never in a hurry, anyway. I could take my time. The housekeepers in the hallways were always friendly and I could stop for a bit of a chat along the way. Additionally, there are a couple of spots along the corridor walk with floor-to-ceiling windows (or glass walls) positioned perfectly to capture Manila's world famous sunsets. It all added up to making a daunting walk (considering my condition) a rather enjoyable experience.

The other notable unique feature is the location. The H2O Hotel is actually an integral, built-in part of the Manila Ocean Park. It isn't merely nearby or next door - it is *in* the theme park. Accordingly, proximity to all the features and components of Manila Ocean Park, ranging from the (very touristy) shopping, the food court, the oceanarium, the penguin show, the birds of prey exhibit and a dozen other water-themed exhibits are just a floor or two down via the lift from the floor on which the H2O is situated. Most of your entertainment needs are at your fingertips, and other than being world class, they are also very educational.

Of course, this also has its drawbacks. When you are living on the premises in the Hotel for a week, you start to find that there is very little left to do after about 8:00pm. All exhibits and almost all shops & restaurants are closed. It is not as if the complex is in the most high foot-traffic location in Manila, either, so you can't just step outside and go for walk to something down the street. It'll take a taxi ride to go anywhere. Even by day, you'll find you'll need to take a taxi if you need to buy anything more than basic convenience store items. Need something pharmaceutical? That'll take a taxi ride to somewhere else. Not walking distance from H2O.

On the topic of taxi rides, they are easy enough to get. Taxis do service the Manila Ocean Park entrance around the clock, but be sure to bargain for the price. Many cab drivers are only too willing to overcharge you severely. The Hotel also provides its own transportation, too. Although their vehicles are larger (people-mover style) and more comfortable than a normal cab, the prices are out of this world. My advice is just don't accept an offer of the Hotel transport. The cost is prohibitive and makes even the most rogue of taxi drivers look like bargains. (For example, Hotel transport quoted me 720 pesos for a one way trip to the Mall of Asia. I declined and went by normal taxi for 120 pesos.)

Like most good hotels these days, the free internet was available by either Ethernet of WiFi. It was stable and high speed - after the first twenty four hours, anyway. It is just a little thing, but I was booked in here at the H2O Hotel for a week, but the password I was given for the internet access expired after just 24 hours. When I complained about that, they quickly issued me with a 7 day password. Maybe it was just a tiny little oversight in the first place on their part, but I hope they have learnt from it and in future issue passwords with a lifespan commensurate with the length of the booking.

The room I had the pleasure of enjoying for my week was very spacious and very comfortable. It had wonderful Manila Bay and city panoramic views. The furniture was comfortable with a number of extra touches that showed a great deal of thought. There was one rather weird aspect to the floor layout, though. The only thing that separated the toilet & shower from the sofa/living area was a flimsy thin plastic shower screen on a rail. In other words, privacy was almost non-existent. Have a shower or even sit on the loo and your silhouette shows up on that shower curtain very clearly. Unless you are staying here solo, you'd want to be sure that whoever else is in your room with you is someone with whom you are comfortable with being very intimate and that both of you are totally uninhibited. Surely, H2O, you can add a concertina-style folding door to petition the bathroom area more appropriately!

So far, it probably is starting to sound like I am a bit negative about H2O Hotel, but this certainly is not the case. I am well travelled internationally and I really do rate H2O as being among the best Hotel experiences I have encountered anywhere. The quality and standard is excellent. The staff are highly efficient and full of surprises. (See my uploaded photos of the 'little man with headphones' and also the 'elephant' that the housekeepers very skilfully & craftily made and left sitting up on my bed for a couple of examples.) On the topic of housekeeping, I have never, anywhere, ever, come across a team more on the ball than here at H2O. The moment you step out of your room in the morning, maybe for breakfast at Makan Makan restaurant on the level below, the housekeeping are in the door and cleaning & preparing your room again. You never have to wait. They just seem to know when the room is vacant and get on with the job immediately. I couldn't be more impressed. In fact, I've never been more impressed by the housekeeping service anywhere, ever.

Having mentioned the Makan Makan restaurant, I must say more. It is both a part of the H2O Hotel as well as the Manila Ocean Park. Although A la Carte is available, it is predominantly a buffet-style restaurant, particularly for mornings. The food quality is excellent and with much variety with daily changes. The location has good views over Manila Bay. The service levels are of the highest order - or they became that way after my second visit. I did have a serious issue with he manner of service at the dinner on the evening I arrived and breakfast next morning. I was in the company of the three ladies for the dinner and two accompanied me for breakfast. Personally, I was flattered, almost overwhelmed by the attentiveness of the waiters towards me, constantly topping up my fruit juice drinks and hot chocolate, offering to get me other items from the buffet to save me having to leave the table to serve myself, asking whether I would like a custom made omelette or other egg dish from their egg bar, and so forth.. On one hand, it was wonderful service and attention, while on the other I found it extremely embarrassing. Why was *I* getting all this attention while my female guests sharing my table were being ignored and not being offered anything? I still do not understand whether this is some sort of a 'cultural' thing or what it was, but frankly I found it to be unacceptable. There was a 'comments card' on the table, so I stated my viewpoint very firmly, that in future I expect my female gusts to be treated and accorded with the same service and respect as I was receiving. I am thankful to be able to say that, for the rest of the week, my position was obviously taken seriously and my guests treated with equal dignity and respect as myself. I just wonder if that change was only for me and only for the tenure of my stay because of my strongly worded comment, or whether other visitors to Makan Makan are going to find the males favoured and female patrons all but ignored. If your, dear reader, notice that your female companions or guests are receiving a lesser standard of service than yourself when you come to Makan Makan restaurant, please don't be silent about it. Speak up.

No hotel is perfect. This one has a few minuses, but the pluses outweigh them a hundred-fold. If TripAdvisor would allow me to rate it at 4 1/2, then I would, but as I cannot award a "half" rating, and as it wasn't quite a perfect five, I have decided to settle for a four.

Overall, the H2O Hotel was an experience well worth experiencing and it comes with my strong commendation.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H2O-Manila, General Manager at Hotel H2O, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
“Thank you for taking time to write a review about our property. We truly value the comments of our guests.

As for the delayed email response, I have spoken with the concerned department to ensure that all inquiries will be responded in a timely manner.

With regards to the service at Makan, rest assured that we do not allow any staff to deviate on what is supposed to be a standard in terms of attending to the needs of our guests. Providing our guests with the best possible hospitality and service has always been our priority. We are grateful that you took time to bring those issues to our attention as it is our desire to continuously improve our services.

Above all, I would like to thank you for acknowledging the impressive service of our Housekeeping staff and for appreciating Hotel H2O. “The hotel’s few minuses were outweighed by the pluses a hundred-fold” is the quote that we truly value more than any rating. Again, thank you very much.

We expect to see you again in the future and wish you the very best.
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Iloilo City
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

This certainly a wonderfully unique hotel. We were lucky to get a jellyfish aquarium in our beautifully decked out room. Though it was quite a walk frm the lobby, it was worth it.
The convenient location in relation to manila ocean park is also a good reason to stay.
They do need to improve sound proofing of the walls and the staff needs A LOT of people skills training. In particular, the recepcionist on the morning (8-10am) of July 7 at makan makan was particularly rude.
The gym was well equipped and well maintained.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H2O-Manila, General Manager at Hotel H2O, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us feedback on your recent stay.Please allow us to express our sincere apologies for the unbecoming attitude of the staff on duty. This is not the standard of our service, and have dealt with the concerned departments to ensure this is acted upon right away. Rest assured we are taking this constructively.

We have noted, however, your remarks about the hotel and its unique concept. Thank you for the appreciation.

We are look forward to welcome you anytime soon.
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Bay Area
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013 via mobile

The Aquarium rooms, as others have noted, are interesting an unique. If you return after an evening out just beware that the Aquarium lights are off leaving u in poorly lit room without windows. It was. Waste to book the room and not enjoy the fish. Also, if you intend to take a bath then b prepared for warm not hot water and at 30+ minutes for filling time.
The water view rooms are more comfortable.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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H2O-Manila, General Manager at Hotel H2O, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Thank you for taking time to post a review. We appreciate & truly value your comments as these help us to improve.

Aquarium lights are turned on and off at specific time of the day as our way to take care of the marine life in the hotel rooms. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this might have caused you during your stay.

We look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you back.
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Manila
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

As a welcome home gift to my wife and son, Hotel H2O was the perfect place to stay with its proximity to the oceanarium. Clean rooms, good facilities, extra comfy beds and excellent ambiance. I would recommend the hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Easytobook.com

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H2O-Manila, General Manager at Hotel H2O, responded to this review, July 2, 2013
Thank you for taking time to post a review. We are very delighted to hear that you truly enjoyed your stay.

We truly appreciate that you found Hotel H2O as the perfect place to stay and treat your family.

We look forward to welcome you back. Once again, thank you very much.
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Makati, Philippines
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

We had an overnight stay at H2O last May. The Hotel staff are very friendly and accommodating we didn't have any problems from check in to check out. We arrived early at the hotel so that we can have the whole day touring Manila Ocean Park with our 1 year old son. We requested to check in early and we left our bags for custody while we're out for the tour with no problem. The room was comfortable; I just don't like how the bathroom was designed - the shower and toilet are separated and the lavatory was installed outside. The pool is located outdoor...where the shows are held, so we didn't bother to swim. :)

The hotel is great for family with younger kids. It is conveniently located at the Manila Ocean Park so kids can rest at the room when tired and return to the oceanarium afterwards.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quezon City, Philippines
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

My husband and I took time off from and treat ourselves to stayed here for 2 nites last September. We have the room with the aquarium. We enjoy watching the fishes swim by. We find it calming and also romantic. Though compact, Rooms are clean but appropriately good enough space, Toilet and bath are perfectly great too. We didn't not know that they turn off the aquarium light at nite but that is ok. Unfortunately, we were glazed with bright light when the lights went on early morning. But we know better on our 2nd day to bring down the shade at nite before to sleep. Great buffet breakfast too. This is a place we can book our guests without feeling embarrass.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H2O-Manila, General Manager at Hotel H2O, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
We sincerely appreciate that you took time to write a review about your recent stay at Hotel H2O.

It is nice to know that you enjoyed your stay in our Aqua room and that you noticed the cleanliness of the room and likewise the buffet breakfast at Makan Makan. Your feedback will be shared to the rest of our team.

Once again, thank you and we look forward to welcome you back anytime soon.
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Additional Information about Hotel H2O

Address: Luneta (Behind the Quirino Grandstand), Manila, Luzon 1000, Philippines
Phone Number:
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Metro Manila > Manila
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 103 Hotels in Manila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel H2O 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel H2O is the first and only marine-themed urban resort hotel in the Philippines. Opened on April 10, 2010, the hotel is part of the Manila Ocean Park complex in the Philippine capital’s historic Rizal Park. It has been designated as the official residence for guests and patrons of Manila Ocean Park.Every part of Hotel H2O has a connection to its namesake element, water – from its next-door proximity to Manila Ocean Park; to its location on the edge of Manila Bay; to its signature aquarium wall that adorns the inner guest rooms and grand ballroom; to the seafood specialties of its main F&B outlet, Makan Makan Asian Food Village; to the healing, negative-ion treatments of its wellness center, Zenyu Eco Spa. All these make Hotel H2O perhaps the most visually distinctive urban property in the country today. ... more   less 
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