I wish the hotel industry in the Philippines is as exciting as our other Asian neighbors like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and even Vietnam -- which I am sure has now surpassed the Philippines in the number of tourist visits and hotel openings. I can name a ton of international brands that have still yet to open a property in the country -- or if they have, they already closed or are just about to re-enter the country again.
Anyway, I am just happy that a few notable openings have occurred in the last few years. There's the Fairmont (that I have reviewed here) and Raffles hotels which share the same building and opened back in 2012, Marco Polo, a Novotel, Hyatt (which I will be reviewing later on in this trip report), Nobu Hotel, Crown Towers from Australia, a couple of home-grown brands, another Shangri-La just this June, and most recently a Conrad hotel. Grand Hyatt, a couple of Westins, a Sheraton, the new and relocated Mandarin Oriental, another big casino hotel under the Okada group, and a couple others will be opening in the next few years.
This Holiday Inn and Suites property I am reviewing now belong to the same development as the Fairmont and Raffles hotels but opened a year later in 2013. I've already reviewed the Fairmont and I couldn't afford the Raffles -- so here I am :-)
I was helped by a very friendly agent who got me a room even if I checked-in early. Really early. Like 10:30am early :-) It took her a while to finish the whole process but I didn't complain given that I was being accommodated for checking-in early...
After the whole process, she handed me my keys as well as a welcome gift for being an IHG Rewards Club member...
I was pleasantly surprised. I know that it was just a bag tag and a couple of drink stubs but you don't see that kind of thing anymore -- especially since I was not (I am now thanks to my Chase/IHG card. LOL) an elite member. I thought that this was worth mentioning because I stayed at two IHG properties (Crowne Plaza Changi is the other, which I will also review later on in the trip report) on this trip and both properties had the welcome drink stubs. A small gesture, yes, but it has a very positive impact on the guest. Whoever is heading this region is doing a good job.