I am not a regular reviewer.
I travel a great deal, but truthfully I'm just a bit lazy (or otherwise occupied), and if I find a place I truly love I find it difficult to share with the world who might come storming in and destroy the off-the-beaten path tranquility I found so appealing. (Having been informed that this review is being written by a lazy and selfish person, please read on at your own risk.)
So why am I suddenly writing two reviews in the same week? Because on this particular trip -- my first ever venture into the P.I., and specifically to Cebu, I've been staying smack-dab in the middle of the beaten path. And I'm not liking it.
Both the hotels I'm reviewing (first the Quest, now Harolds Hotel) are quite attractive, very new and the on-site staff seems to be perpetually smiling and most of the time sincere in their desire to be of service. But for whatever reason, that service bounces off an invisible wall and the guest is left more than a bit dissatisfied and wondering -- who came up with this "hotel policy". I won't revisit my last review here, but instead present Harolds Hotel's version of this insanity:
In my room, in the minibar, there are several bottles which require a bottle opener. I scoured the room and found no bottle opener. I called the desk to ask if a bottle opener could be provided to me so that, later that night, when I might feel the desire to partake of the minibar, I would be capable of opening its contents. I was told a waiter from the hotel restaurant would be right up to open the bottle for me.
I repeated that I was not interested in having any bottle opened right at that instant, but perhaps later I would be and would enjoy having the freedom to overpay for their minibar at the time of my choosing. The desk told me that "whenever" I decided to open the bottle, I need only call down and a waiter would be immediately sent to my room to assist me.
I had trouble formulating into words the complexities of my flabbergastedness. Did I mention I was flabbergasted? Did I point out I am a "solo" traveler and that there existed the slight possibility that I might have company later in the evening and in that event I might not want to call a "timeout" in order to wait for a waiter to join me in my room to open a bottle of beer for me and then to perhaps return an hour later to open maybe another bottle of beer and so on? I managed to ask if the hotel might "loan" me a bottle opener for the night and I was told that if the waiter gave me his bottle opener, then no one in the restaurant could have their bottles opened and that therefore it was "hotel policy" not to give the guests a bottle opener. I could of course take a taxi to the Mall and buy one for myself. I made a note to do just that. Too bad I won't be able to carry it on the plane with me when I head out on a CebuPacific "no checked bags" flight in search of a Philippine island with more reasonable hotel policies.
And no, I do not exaggerate. If you find yourself in Cebu, come on down to the Harolds Hotel and ask for a bottle opener.
And while you're at it, try to get Guest Services to bring you a couple extra towels. I suggest you search down housekeeping yourself (there is no button on the room phone labeled "housekeeping" in case you're about to suggest that maneuver) and see if you can't bribe her/him out of a towel or two. Having let the "Guest Services" line ring an obnoxious (and yet still unanswered) 20 times--that's where I'm headed now.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- HAROLDS HOTEL offers a vantage point to guests with business or leisure reasons in the city. Situated in the uptown area of Cebu City, about 30 minutes away from Mactan International Airport, Harolds Hotel is only ten minutes away from financial districts, government offices, universities and colleges, and major shopping centers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Harolds Hotel Cebu Island/Cebu City