Park Lane Redux: the good, the bad and the ugly
I have to be in Cebu for the met two nights on business and, in light of my harsh criticisims of this hotel in the past, it may seem strange that I'm back here again. However, since Wicked Roger and others have spoken fairly highly of the place, and thinking that my one poor experience may have been an anomaly, I decided to give it another shot. Sorry to say, if anything, this visit has merely reaffirmed and deepened my earlier impressions.
It took me-and I actually timed this-35 minutes to check in and I was the only one checking in. First, the rate for a superior room, as negotiated by my office, was about P2, 600 net of VAT which we don't pay, being an exempt organization. The price on which was asked to sign off was P3, 000 and of course I refused to sign. Then, the young woman on the desk "remembered" that I am VAT exempt, which meant she had to calculate how much the rate should be. You would have thought that someone had asked her to calcuate the orbital trajectory of Mars. I explained, nicely, that since VAT is 12%, if she divided the P3, 000 by 112 and then multiplied by 100 she could arrive at the rate. She looked at me as if I had just spoken in Greek.
Then, she called over the desk manager, who was blessed with the same stunning IQ. After 10 minutes or so they gave up and suggested I go to my room while they worked out this complicated problem, which would obviously require someone with a knowledge of higher order calculus. I was quote willing to go along, until I casually asked if wireless Internet was available in my room as I had had such access during my last visit.
I was told that wireless was only available on the first through the fourth floors, so I handed back my key and asked for a room on one of those floors. "There are no rooms on those floors sir, " was the response. I won't bore you guys with the ensuing discussion, but now I'm sitting in a "Parklane Room" on the 16th floor and of course it has wireless Internet, though it's costing me P1, 000 more, with free mini bar. Of course the mini bar os almost empty so who cares? It also gives me access to the club room, but the only food or drink available until 6:30 is Nestlé's brand of so-called coffee.
So left the club room and sauntered down the hall to my room, only to find that the room key doesn't work. Back to the club room I go where the lovely young thing reprograms my key, which still doesn't work. Finally, someone made me a new key.
And so it goes. The staff is very friendly but has the collective competence of steamed broccoli.
The room is adequate. There's a king-size bed, a small desk and two cheap, though not unattractive upholstered chairs. The TV is old-no LCD here- and I guess it probably works. The amenities in the bathroom are average low cost shampoos and soaps.
As I said in my first review, this is at best a three star hotel masquerading as a four star and not doing a very good job of it.