Radisson Blu Cebu

This hotel is okay for 4 Star Standard, it is not a 5 Star and should not be allowed to market themselves as one.

Trip Advisor touts me as a Luxury Hotel expert. I know exactly what to expect from a 5 star hotel. The staff at this hotel are nice, and they want to be a 5 star hotel.

I first reserved only a Superior Room. Feeling like a bit more luxury before departing for Cebu I returned to the website and looked at the next option… a Deluxe room that looked spacious and included a lounge. I also see the next option….. a picture of Business Class room, the photo showed a higher level of plushness…. dark oak furniture, classier trimmings. As a regular Business Class traveller, at one glimpse I opted to take the leap over the Deluxe Option straight into the ‘lap of luxury’. I also added special requests to my order …emailing the reservations department.

Upon arrival I noted an impressive lobby and helpful staff. But it was long check in .. the girl stared at the screen tapping buttons continually, seriously for no less than 10 minutes. Then told me “Sir I see you have specially requested a ‘corner nice room with a view of the city’ but those rooms are all taken”. Then I was given a room 2 classes less that what I paid, the exact Superior room I originally booked, with a bad view of the ugly container docks.

I had paid to Upgrade my room to a Business Room and showed them the photo on their website of what I was sold, and what I expected. To my surprise I was frankly told that photo on their website portrayed as Business Room was in reality a picture of an Executive suite! This is illegal where I come from… misrepresentation and unfair trading. I was told that the upgrade to Business Class only gave me only access to a lounge with food (that I didn’t ask for)…. but I would remain in same deluxe room. I paid extra for a plush room, not food in a lounge.

After explaining all this at the reception, nothing was done. I repeated the whole story to the duty manager 15 minutes later. I showed him his website (see photo-screenshot) and he agreed it was misleading. He actually admitted that saying “yes I can see your point”. Eventually they upgraded us to a Premier Room that I appreciated. Still no dark oak furniture but much more satisfactory.

Finally all this is settled and it is midnight. The hotel website says ‘Lobby Bar closes at 1:00pm’….. but the live music had packed up at 11:30 and the alcohol taken away at 12:15. I managed to easily convince them to serve us drinks until 1:00pm

Back in the room, every time we entered I smell stale smoke from the last occupant. I look down at the sign on the desk saying ‘No Smoking – Cleaning fee 15,000 PhP. It is the Philippines, and I know one of two things would have happened – either the staff are to afraid to confront the previous occupants going-out. Or they did charge them and just kept the money rather than treating the stinky room. A ‘blanket ‘no smoking policy in a hotel does not work. Smokers must smoke…. it just smells like fresh air to them. I say just give them their smoking rooms and let them smoke themselves. No smoking policy just means we have to share their smelly rooms.

Off to bed and boink, that is a very hard bed, but I’m okay. Typically for most 4 or 5 star hotels we had frustrating loose-filled feather pillows that flatten down to eventually no support. It was a bit of a restless night.

In the light of a new day I try to be positive. Heading out I notice very scruffy hallways, dirty carpet and grubby walls with handprints everywhere.

We head to the pool. The gardens are nice and the pool looks elaborate. Starting to swim I seek the deep cool water. I soon find the whole pool is shallow and that keeps it warm in the sun and un-refreshing. We settle in quickly realise the flies at poolside are unbearable. Relentlessly bombing us and everyone else. The road just over the wall is very noisy with Jeepnies and motorbikes blaring noise and bellowing diesel. We are really not having a good time.

Using the elevator we press UP and summons a lift-car. We get in for example at level 20 and want to go up to 21 to a lounge. I proceed to use the digital card to unlock access to the floor. It is very insensitive, and actually we think one of the touch-pads is not working at all. While we are trying the lift starts to move down. Now we are on level 7 rather than going up. We just get out at 7 and start again. Blaming ourselves at first, but then witness the same problem effecting other guests across our 2 night stay. The elevator soft-ware and security badly needs reviewing.

There is dress code in the club lounge. Long pants, no sleeveless tops and no flip-flop open shoes etc. So I go to the trouble of dressing-up for breakfast. While I am there I notice a man who had long grey curly hair in a messy ponytail. He had a black sleeveless top on and looked rather like a bikie club member. Obviously, and typically in the Philippines rules are made and then exceptions are made to counter all the rules.

I could go on about the Radisson Blu Hotel, but simply as I said at the start – The staff at this hotel are nice, and they want to be a 5 star hotel. I suggest they go and stay at a Sofitel or Kempinski for a few nights and find out what a 5 Star really is.

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