This is my second stay and I must say that they have even bettered their standards. Casa Bocobo has no pretensions to being more than a budget hotel but the cleanliness, efficiency and service of the staff are one of the best in Manila and believe me I have had my share of horror experiences with some of Manila's five- and four-star properties, or hotels that have pretensions to be four or three stars.
This outstanding experience starts from reserving a room (quick, efficient and honest--you know you are not being ripped-off even if it's a last minute booking. Prior to this stay, I had stayed at the Crowne Regency in the Makati CBD and, hoping to get a better deal by contacting the hotel directly, I was shocked when the lady from reservations told me that a standard room was available but for the full rack rate of 7,000 pesos ++ which is almost the same price as a room in the Peninsula Manila. Full rack rate my foot! I proceeded to make a booking through an internet aggregator and got a standard room for less than half the rack rate).
When you arrive at the hotel, the guard stationed outside quickly jumps to open your taxi door for you and help you with your luggage. In the aforementioned Crowne Regency Makati, the guard and the bellboys are nicely cosetted in the hotel's airconditioned lobby so they will certainly not see you arriving, let alone assist you with your baggage.
Casa Bocobo offers a good place to stay in while you tour the nearby tourist attractions--it's location very close to Kalaw Ave. means the Rizal Park and the famed Manila bay is only a five minute walk away. The U.S. embassy, the Manila Ocean Park and the Robinsons Mall--with it's excellent anchor department store, stand-alone boutiques of both international and local brands and restaurants, also an excellent place to watch a cross-section of Manila's residents as they go about shopping, dining and getting entertainment- is only a few blocks away.The hotel's reasonable rates means you can go about your tours (or business meetings) without having to second guess whether the hotel is gouging you or if you are really getting your money's worth. Make no mistake about it, Casa Bocobo is not geared for tourists who just plan to stay in their rooms the whole day as there's not much to do. Unless you plan to spend your stay surfing through the hotel's 99 TV channels (I kid you not! There's everything from Fox News to Cartoon Network and even ZEE TV if you're looking for a Bollywood fix--andthe reception is crystal-clear just as good as it was in the Peninsula Manila. The television is also an LCD albeit only a 20" one. Compare that with the old-style TV's in both the Mandarin Oriental and the Crowne Regency and good luck with getting more than a snowy reception at the latter).
The rooms and bathroom, though small, are spotless and the water current strong which is how I like it. The amenities, expected of a budget hotel, are not placed in the rooms save for soap and shampoo. But you can ask for extra amenities and you can be assured that you will get it in your room in less than five minutes--I got my request for an extra pillow, slippers and an extra face towel in two minutes flat! I have seen the posse of housekeeping staff stationed in the hotel's hallway just ready to assist you with anything (and, oh they greet you as well which is a surprise for a budget hotel such as this, the training in the hotel is really to a very high-standard even if it's not managed by an international or local chain). Housekeeping staff are also quite eager to clean the rooms when you leave you room in the morning so be sure to hang a sign if you don't want to be disturbed.
The breakfast buffet spread is mostly geared towards the local residents but, for the price, is excellent value. If you don't like the food you can always order a big breakfast or an egg Mc Muffin from the McDonald's or Jollibee restaurants which are just nearby.
The area is quite busy in the day so there is significant noise as the windows are not double glazed. But this should be no problem if you spend the day touring and only get back to your room to refresh or to call it a day--I've never had problems sleeping at night.
Additional plusses are the strong Wifi signal, the huge wardrobe (bigger than some five-star properties in the metro), a comfy lounge beside reception with two computer workstations to check your email, and a small but efficiently working airconditioning unit.
For all it's reputation as a happening city the establishments in Manila actually close quite early, around 8 or 9 PM. The same same goes with the hotel's sole restaurant which closes at 9 PM so make sure you make it well in time for last orders if you plan to have a few drinks or dinner there.
Well worth the money and highly recommended to both local residents and foreign tourists or guests. Having worked as a hotelier for the exclusive Park Hyatt brand before, that says a lot for this small but lovely budget hotel. I will be trying out some of the other newer and established properties in the Metro but for sure Casa Bocobo is a place that I will be going back to time and time again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The perfect hotel for travelers who yearn only the basic in lodging but demand excellence in service. A no-frills hotel, we put emphasis on practicality and sensibility. Rooms are impeccably clean and comfortable, set in a safe and secure location. Ideally located along Jorge Bocobo Street corner Kalaw and Avenue in Ermita, we are in close proximity to business and commercial districts. Nearby tourist spots include Rizal Park, Roxas Boulevard, Intramuros, Manila Ocean Park, and Binondo (Chinatown). Manned by well-trained personnel whose mission is to provide guests service that radiates the warmth and efficiency of true Filipino hospitality - ensuring a stay so comfortable; guests will definitely feel right at home. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Casa Bocobo