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“Nice room but with extra charges”

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Smallville 21 Hotel
Ranked #2 of 51 Iloilo City B&B and Inns
Reviewed March 26, 2012

Due to the many good reviews on Trip Advisor, my sister made a reservation for two rooms. She booked a De Luxe Matrimonial for our parents and a Standard Twin for the both of us.

We liked our rooms - basically clean and spacious with just a few mold spots in the shower area. There's no fridge but that didn't matter much to us. The air conditioning (A/C) units in the rooms are manually operated which was okay except it had one of us getting up every so often just to adjust the temperature. Though in my parent's room, the A/C had a funny smell when it was in the warmer temperature range. I'm thinking that the filter needed to be cleaned.

We asked for rooms on the top floor (the hotel is eight storeys high) as we read about the music level coming from the bars next door. If you're sensitive to noise and will be staying during the weekend, get a room facing the Iloilo-Ayala Technohub. Our room was on the side of The Avenue and I could hear the music blaring loudly way past midnight. My parents were across the hall and did not hear a thing.

A surprising touch was that the hotel provided two (2) umbrellas in each room for the guests to borrow during their stay (you'll have to return it though as it's not complimentary).

So what didn't we appreciate about the hotel?

1. They charge Php 35 per night for the second extra blanket.

Let me explain. Having worked in hotels both locally and in the U.S., I know that the thick top blanket is not washed regularly so I always ask for another flat sheet (the thin sheet underneath). The front desk agent informed me that only the first is free but the second will cost us.

I could understand if there had only been one bed in the room, but since there were two (2) beds and two (2) guests, this was not logical to me.

2. The hotel charges Php 200 for every hour you use the room past the 12 Noon check-out time.

This would have been fine if the hotel were at maximum capacity, but when my parents asked if anyone else would be checking into the room after us, the agent said no and that the hotel was not full. Note that we were only asking for an hour's extension (until 1 PM) since our flight was at 3:35 PM and we were thinking of having lunch first before leaving.

We've been to many places and stayed at all sorts of hotels both here and abroad and I must say this is the first time we've ever encountered this type of charging. Take note that we are budget travellers so we hardly use ritzy hotels, thus I can only conclude that they're not into going the extra mile for their customers.

3. Our electronic keys (VingCards) were deactivated at around 10 AM on the day of our departure.

I went downstairs to complain the front desk agent told me that the card was just "faulty." I didn't believe her since it was fine just 30 minutes earlier when we went back up after having breakfast at the lobby. When we returned from the mall at around 11 AM, my parents tried to open their door but it would not budge either.

I then called the agent from our room and told her that it's too much of a coincidence for both cards to be "faulty" right before check-out time considering that they had been working perfectly until 9 AM that morning.

A few minutes later, the front desk agent phoned us back asking what time we were checking-out. I questioned her as to why she was asking since my parents had already inquired earlier about extending. She replied that she just wanted to inform us that they were allowing the extension and that we can check-out at 1 PM.

After putting down the phone, I rang her back to ask why she didn't just tell us about the extension to begin with instead of asking what time we were leaving the hotel. If they really wanted to give us the extension, then that should have been her opening line. I told her that the only time a hotel should call to confirm a guest's check-out time is if the clock has struck 12 Noon and we have yet to show up to pay the bill.

Now this may sound trivial to many, but at that point we were already so disgruntled with the hotel that it felt like one irritating thing on top of the other. Also, it seemed as as though they were way too keen to ensure we're still around to pay. The thing is, our rooms had already been paid for in full the day we checked-in.

What WAS nice was the location since it's inside the Smallville Business Park. Across the street from the hotel you'll find The Avenue on your right and the Iloilo-Ayala Technohub on your left. Both have a lot of dining options so you'll never go hungry with a lot of restaurants just a few steps away - literally! Take note though that the Kopi Roti branch here opens at 4 PM so breakfast is out of the question.

Most places were also just a short taxi ride away - the central market, pier to Guimaras, etc. But if this will be your main mode of transportation, bring a lot of cash as there's quite a bit of traffic. To give you an idea, the trip from the airport to the hotel (around 20-30 mins) was Php 250, going to the area of Breakthough Restaurant and Tatoy's was over Php 200 from the hotel.

And if you're planning to take a taxi to go back to the airport, the cab drivers will not use their meters and charge a fixed rate of Php 400 instead. Their reason for this is because they won't be able to get passengers on their way back to the city and they'll be wasting gas. What we did instead was get the airport shuttle at SM City Iloilo where it will only cost Php 70 per passenger. The mall also has a Traveller's Lounge where you can take a shower or leave your bags while going around the city.

Room Tip: If you're sensitive to noise and will be staying during the weekend, get a room facing the Iloil...
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank ConstantPlanner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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112 - 118 of 134 reviews

Reviewed March 3, 2012

This hotel, we stumbled upon after making a booking blunder with The Business Hotel, which was our first choice. It wasn't bad and once again, as all Hotels in Smallville are, it was right in the middle of the action. It has a very modern elevator and upon immediate comparison to Westown, it seemed a lot newer and the design was definitely more modern.
I just got a standard room and my buddy got the Presidential suite which was so cheap. It's more expensive to get a standard or deluxe in Manila for a night in most hotels.
The food was better than Westown and my only complaint was that there didn't seem to be any room service. Also my buddy's room had a stench in it that was similar to that of a dead rat.
My room was fine and did the trick. The staff was cool and a lot friendlier than the much prettier staff at Westown.
Showers were strong and bed was ok...nothing to write home about but at least the air-con was strong enough. One hassle was that they ran out of keys so every time i wanted to enter my room, I had to get someone to open it as the only key i had stayed in the slot to keep the electricity on so i could keep my room cold.
All in all, I would consider staying there again.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank FilCanMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2012

We are very impress with the modern rooms and great value room rates. Great service and convenient location near many restaurants in a walking distance. The bathroom and room was spotless. Rooms and bathroom was large. I definitely will come back again.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Robert A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2012

Upon arrival at the spanking, new Iloilo International Airport, my friend and I agreed to take a room at this modern, chic (touch control elevators), greatly positioned hotel. Based on the brochures that we got from the tourism desk at the airport, it was having promotional rates for its rooms and so we decided to give it a try.

We were not disappointed. The hotel is located at the center of the Smallville nightlife area, steps away from the new Ayala Technohub, a few minutes walk to a Ted's Batchoy branch at the main road and a few minutes taxi ride away from Iloilo's biggest mall, SM City. The hotel has a great location!

The rooms are very spacious, clean and well maintained. I just had some gripes like no towelettes (only big towels) and a wall lamp bulb was not working (a big no, no for me as housekeeping should report and had the issue fixed immediately).

Anyway we were smitten by the contemporary design of the room and we had a great stay at the hotel. Yes, I will stay here again.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank kielwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2012

Checked in for an overnight stay at room 302 and immediately noticed how spacious & clean the room was. Smelled clean, and looked clean. Bed firm and nice, and other furnishings were functional. The bathroom was spotless. Internet connection in the room was excellent, i was able to download a lot of torrent files.

Location is also great considering various dining options within a short walk from the hotel. SM City is a short taxi ride away and flagging down one is never a problem.

For P1,600, it was excellent value for money.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank geeme68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2011

Originally planned to stay at Westtown Hotel, but after reading the mixed reviews about it from this site, tried this hotel instead through a recommendation. We stayed here for three days and two nights at a promo rate of P1900.00.

I was surprised that the rooms were actually spacious, more than people can sleep there comfortably. It was also good that the room is completely wi-fied. The shower room was spacious as well. At night, the loud noise from the nearby bars can still somewhat be heard but not as loud...so I was still able to sleep.

Breakfast was good, I got the american breakfast with sausage. The spanish sardines was also good. Not recommended is the corned beef.

Location is also good as it is near to different food and drinks establishments, and even to a massage and spa center. For a hotel of this price, I can say I will recommend it.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled on business
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5  Thank cookingmasterboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2011

This is a relatively new hotel close to SM IIoilo. There are also lots of restaurants in the immediate vicinity. The rooms are fairly clean and the beds comfortable. But it's the loud noise from the bars next door that makes it difficult to get a good night's rest as the noise goes on till the wee hours of the morning especially weekends.

Room Tip: Get a room on the opposite side facing the iloilo river - away from the bars
  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled on business
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3  Thank JEmmanuelLasPinas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Smallville 21 Hotel

Address: Smallville Commercial Complex, Diversion Road | Mandurriao, Iloilo City, Iloilo Province 5000, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Panay Island > Iloilo Province > Iloilo City
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 51 B&Bs / Inns in Iloilo City
Price Range: $35 - $40 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 76
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