This hotel is located in Santa Cruz, an impoverished and very polluted area of Manila. Many homeless people line the footpaths of Rizal Avenue and Recto Avenue. However, they are harmless, and I felt safe even when walking through Santa Cruz late at night.
Despite the pollution and the poverty that characterise Santa Cruz, the location of Fersal Hotel is great. It is within walking distance to a bank and ATM machine (corner Alverez and Rizal Avenue) and a very cheap internet café (15 pesos per hour). It is a short walk to Bambang LRT Station and it is easy to get to the major attractions, e.g. Intramouros, The National Museum and the night life at Malate. The hotel is located about 8km from Makati (the CBD) and a 35 minute, 215 pesos taxi ride to the airport (depending on traffic, of course).
My room (Deluxe) was clean and cosy (loved the 1960s decor) although it was a little run-down. The room was dimly-lit, which I loved, as I detest too much unnatural light in hotel rooms. There is a carefully designed fire escape just outside the window in case of emergency (I had a back room). Strong aircon system, although the aircon unit was a little noisy. Very clean and reliable bar fridge. Weak water pressure through shower nozzle, and water was never hot, lukewarm at best. There was a flat screen TV mounted on the wall, which was well-tuned, with heaps of channels.
Unfortunately, you cannot make collect (reverse charges) calls from this hotel (the lady at reception told me that they were not "set up for collect calls"), and you cannot make calls to mobile phones from the rooms, only from reception downstairs, which is a tad inconvenient as staff and other guests are able to eavesdrop during private calls.
Reception staff were not that friendly (only one of the reception staff was genuinely friendly and went out of his way to assist me in planning some sightseeing tours). The staff were polite, but I just didn’t find them terribly friendly or approachable.
I would definitely consider staying at Fersal Sta Cruz again, BUT I would look for something a little cheaper first as a solo traveller, perhaps a local hostel. However, the rooms are an absolute bargain if there are two of you occupying a room as you can halve the cost of the room, which makes it great value.
A reasonably good choice for a solo traveller, with the best features being the clean rooms at a very good price, especially if you are sharing the room with someone else, the security at the hotel, and the hotel's location in relation to public transport, shopping malls and markets.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fersal Hotel: Your Practical Home in the City Fersal Hotel is a name synonymous with comfortable budget hotel Manila. Our clean, well-appointed accommodations are complemented by personalized service from our well-trained staff. Our chain of budget-friendly inns can be found in the most strategic places throughout the metro. As such, any Fersal Hotel can be the ideal jump-off point for your business or leisure trip. Our guests always have easy access to the major business districts and thoroughfares. Fersal Hotel - Manila is situated in one of the most desirable areas of the Philippine capital, located near the University of Sto. Thomas - the oldest university in the country. Several malls, as well as the University Belt, are also in proximity. Experience the exciting city life with flower shops, shipping lines, night markets, antique shops, the CCP complex and Rizal park close by. ... more less
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