Saturday, August 17, 2019

Overnight Staycation at the Armada Hotel (A Hotel Review)

Last July 27, we decided to stay at the Armada Hotel in Malate, Manila simply to relax and unwind with the kids. I was also reading some good comments on Facebook about the hotel so I thought we should try it out. Thanks to our Agoda points, we were able to book it less than half its original price. 

Check in 


Upon arrival at the hotel lobby on a gloomy Saturday afternoon, there were no other customers around - just us. Their minimalist lobby was clean, quiet, and I'm glad they have good security complete with a sniffing dog that sniffs out any anomalies in their customer's luggage. 

Check in was a breeze. I simply presented my Agoda booking confirmation sheet, waited for a few minutes, and then they presented me my room key card with breakfast coupons. I was also surprised that they didn't ask me for a security deposit which most hotels do. 

Room

I booked a premier room and they gave us room number 507. Upon entering it, it was really spacious. You can fit in 10 to 15 people inside. We also noticed some tapes still attached on the wall probably from the previous guests who had a celebration. I liked the 2 queen sized beds that comfortably fits 2 people in each bed. The bed sheets and the pillows were all clean and comfortable.

2 Comfortable Queen Beds

My daughter enjoyed the floor without any carpets for some reason. 

We were also given complimentary tea and coffee inside the room with the standard 2 water bottles. I was also surprised to see an ice bucket together the electric kettle and glasses, which was nice even though we never used it.  


* I did see some noticeable stains on the chair and some areas of the ceiling, but they are just minor things that you can just shrug off when you want to enjoy your stay. 

View from the Room
I was a bit saddened by the view from our room because all we could see were old buildings under construction and the traffic.

Bathroom

The bathroom included a big sink and a bath tub which my kids really enjoyed. It's complete with bath amenities plus towels, bath robes, and slippers.  Water supply was strong so everything was all good except for one minor thing...

Bathroom with bathtub
Dirty ceiling
Upon checking the bathroom, I can't help but notice the dirty marks on the walls and ceilings as well as the tiles around the bathtub in the bathroom. I hope the hotel would also clean it somehow.

Breakfast Buffet

Their restaurant was super crowded on a Sunday morning. When we finally found a table for us, my son and I stood beside it and waited for the waiter to clean it up since there were still food left on the table from the ones who used it before us. It took quite a while (around 5 minutes)  before our table got cleaned up by someone because I noticed the service staff were also very busy tending to other guests while others were inside the kitchen. If I hadn't slightly raised my voice, no one would have cleaned our table. 

Crowded restaurant during buffet breakfast
I was raising my hand for 3 minutes to find someone to clean our table. A waiter approached and nodded that he will clean the table. So I left the table and grabbed some food in the buffet area thinking that the waiter would already clean it.  When I returned on our table, the plates were still there :( I ended up raising my hand once again to find another waiter to clean the table. Because of this, it's minus 2 points for their service. 

Food selection was okay. They've got a salad station, fruit station, cereal station, dessert station, viands for breakfast, rice, and a small bread station. They also served arroz caldo, too.  All of the food stations I mentioned were just located in one row. I was a bit saddened that there was no garlic rice included the selection. The rice was cold, too.

Salad/Fruit Station

Bread Station

Juice and Cereal Section


Dessert Station
The dessert station was an eye candy for visitors especially for my son. He took some bread and a cupcake. However, when I looked closer to the cupcake, I noticed it wasn't fresh anymore since there were already green residue marks of the chocolate sprinkles visible on the whipped cream. I just told my son to not eat it anymore.

Unpleasant picture of their cupcake. The green residue from the chocolate toppings is not a good sign. It seemed like the cupcakes have been there for quite a while. Because of this, it's a minus 1 point for food quality. 


It's supposed to be an Egg and Waffle Station as indicated above, but no one's there to assist us.
They also had an egg station at the back, but no one's there. I heard the other guests were ordering eggs by just asking the waiter for it. They should have just posted a sign that eggs are available by ordering to the waiter or something similar.

Unexpected Guest


While I was finishing my breakfast, I noticed the guests just beside us were standing. I just thought they were about to leave. But when they started looking at our direction, I became curious. They started pointing out that there was a spider on the floor. I immediately stood up and looked for the spider they were talking about. I was shocked to see one on the floor. What's scary is that it has the same color as the floor.

Spider on the floor

After I saw the spider, I finished my coffee immediately and just left the place. I've just had it. It's too much negative experience in one breakfast setting.

Check Out

Check out took a while because they need to check our room for any consumed items. After about 10 minutes of waiting, we're cleared to check out.

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of Armada Hotel:
Pros:

  • Secured hotel
  • Reasonably priced hotel
  • Free WIFI
  • Spacious room
  • 2 queen beds was a major plus for us since we're a family 4 of and 2 single beds just wouldn't cut it. 
  • Strong water
  • Strong air conditioning
  • The hotel has a pool, but we weren't able to check it out. 
  • Can order food from the outside. 
  • There was a Poke Stop at the hotel's front fountain. 
Cons
  • Service and quality of food in the breakfast buffet area needs improvement
  • Average to Slow WIFI
  • Depressing view from our room


After our stay, I asked my kids if they wanted to go back to Armada Hotel. One said yes and one said no because he wanted a faster WIFI, which made sense. My daughter said it's okay to go back because she enjoyed the space and the bathtub. So will we go back in the future? Can't say for now, but I think we can still give it another shot in the future and we'll try the pool.

Room: 4 stars
Amenities: 4 stars
Food: 3 stars
Service: 3 stars
Overall stay: 3.5 stars


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