I recently had the chance to spend an overnight stay at Remington Hotel in Resorts World Manila using a voucher I won from a raffle a while back. Since the voucher was expiring soon, I decided to use it even if I was alone. Thus is the story of my first “staycation.”
Staycation (/ˌstāˈkāSHn/) is a mashup of the words stay and vacation. It refers to a vacation that is spent close to home. In the Philippines, it is normally spent in a hotel, enjoying its amenities like the swimming pool, gym, etc. Remington Hotel does not have a swimming pool or a gym, but it is beside Resorts World Manila and right across Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 (T3) so there’s probably something I can do for my overnight stay.
As I mentioned earlier, Remington Hotel is just across NAIA T3 so it is very convenient for travelers. It is also quite affordable (published rate for a standard room is ₱4,500/night) for a hotel this close to the airport so it is expectedly quite busy. But I didn’t really think it would be that busy!
I booked a room with Remington Hotel via phone days ahead so I was a bit surprised that checking-in is quite long. Very long. There was a long queue at the reservation when I arrived—I was given a number, 19, and at that time they were just serving number 9. I knew it would take some time before my number will be called, but I didn’t expect it to be an hour. And when I was finally called, they didn’t have any room ready for me yet. I had to wait some more before they were able to give me a room—talk about first impressions! This is officially the longest check-in I’ve ever experienced! The lack of usable Wi-Fi in the lobby didn’t help to make the wait more bearable.
Clumsy me made a boo-boo at the elevator. I was so excited to finally get into my room that I didn’t notice that you should insert your hotel key card into a slot before the elevator would allow you to press your floor. It took me a round trip to the basement and a change of elevator before I realized this. Anyway, I was actually impressed as this somehow improves security. It takes some getting used to though as the slot doesn’t always work the first time.
As I walked into the lobby of my room’s floor, I was admittedly impressed. The hallway width was pretty standard but the color scheme and design was done in good taste with a modern theme. There are common areas set aside on the opposite sides of the elevator lobby and another one in the middle looking out to the building’s two atriums. There’s a pocket garden at the bottom of each atrium and this is also where the inner rooms face. Luckily my room is on the front side of the building facing the airport. It’s not every day you comfortably get to watch the airport this close!
After settling in, it’s time to check out the neighbors. My first agenda was to get some nutrition after that very long check-in. Resorts World Manila is just conveniently next door and it has a mall so there are many options.
After getting stuffed, I explored the mall. Resort World Manila’s mall is very small but it has some features that can only be found here: 24-hour cinemas and a stage for live performances. The finale of a reality show is about to be held at the time I was there so there were some “commotions” from the fans.
Then it was time to give thanks. It’s quite fortunate that the Shrine of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus is also nearby so I was able say my prayers.
Before heading back to my room I stopped by a convenience store to get some snacks. Isn’t that convenient? And upon arriving on my floor, I also checked out a vending machine also selling some snacks. I actually loved that machine as it sells everything very cheap! For reference, a small pack of Lays is sold for just ₱20!
I planned on spending the rest of the afternoon inside my room and catch up on some pending blog posts. That’s when I realized a big problem: Wi-Fi. Sure, there’s Wi-Fi signal in the room (albeit very weak), but there’s no internet connection. Bummer. Good thing my 3G data services is working well in this area, but the speed is more for casual browsing. Uploading just a single image takes longer than the limit of my patience so no social media duties for now. There’s cable TV but I miss my YouTube channels. Out of boredom I was able to take some time-lapse shots of the airport.
Then there’s dinner. Oh, the crowds! The reality show had just ended and everyone’s hungry. My choices were severely limited by the length of waiting to be seated. Still, good thing I found some good food without breaking the bank. Completing dinner were some good brews from a very popular coffee shop. And that basically wraps my first day.
I woke up a bit earlier than planned to my phone vibrating to a received text message. While the bed was comfortable and I had four pillows all to myself to my delight, my sleep was pretty light. Ironic how it’s a struggle to wake up every workday morning and now that I have all the time to sleep I can’t get a good one. Oh well, there’s breakfast to look forward to!
Remington Hotel’s breakfast is not a buffet and it’s not even in the same building! Upon checking-in, I was issued two breakfast vouchers from Victoria Harbour, located inside the ground floor of the casino area of Resorts World Manila. With this voucher, you can avail of any one of the four breakfast sets.
I really enjoyed my breakfast and at the time I feel like I still have room for some more. I asked if I could use my other voucher and have some of the items to go, but they don’t have any “take outs” for their foods. But I can still use my voucher until 11AM though so I could just get back. And so I did just looked around the casino floor (how I wish I knew how to play!) and the mall. I then went back into my room and prepared all my things in preparation for check-out.
Shortly before 11AM, I’m back to Victoria Harbour for my next breakfast/early lunch. I opted for a different set to taste more from their selection. As with my meal earlier, I loved everything I had. This is one of those times when being on your own isn’t so bad.
After my meal, I went back into my room one last time, and prepared to leave. On the elevator lobby there are drop boxes for key cards and feedback forms, but I hesitated to leave my key cards there. When I saw other guests dropping their key cards there, I confidently followed suit. I then proceeded to the ground floor lobby to check-out.
To my surprise, checking-out was unbelievably fast! I asked one of the bell boys where the counter for check-outs were, and I was told I’m good to go! He just asked where my key cards were (in the drop box) and if I still have anything to settle (none) and he told me I’m done. That’s really weird for me, but if that’s how they work, I’m fine with that speedy check-out!
- Location: just across NAIA T3, beside Resorts World Manila
- Price: ₱4,500/night published rate for standard room, breakfast for two (2) included
- Room: 21-square foot standard room has two (2) queen-sized beds
- Security: key card required to go to hotel guest room floors
- Dedicated smoking floors
- Food at Victoria Harbour
- Hair dryer, water heater, complimentary bottled water, lots of clothes hanger, safe, toothbrush with toothpaste
- Good views on the outer rooms (particularly the ones facing the airport)
- Vending machine on the floor
- Overall good modern design
- Extremely slow check-in
- Limited Wi-Fi signal coverage; unable to connect to the internet
- Breakfast is on a different building
- Very small bathroom
- Single dispenser in the shower serving soap as shampoo, conditioner, and body wash all in one
- Atrium view only in the inner rooms
Overall, I had mixed feelings with Remington Hotel. It is actually a very good hotel in terms of appearance, location, and value but the very long check-in process and lack of internet are major deal breakers. Why would checking-in take more than an hour, even for confirmed online reservations? How can you expect to do some work if you don’t have internet? Why is breakfast served in another building? Anyway, none of these are an issue if you’re after the airport, casino, or the performing arts theater. It’s really up to the guests’ needs and expectations that would determine whether Remington Hotel is for them.
As for my staycation, it’s pretty good I guess. It’s not every day that you get to stay in a hotel for free! 😀