Hyatt City of Dreams, Manila, a Hotel Review

There aren’t many chain hotels in Manila, which for me is kind of surprising, being that it’s not only the largest city in the Philippines with millions of inhabitants, but also a center for business in the region.

We picked what I considered to be a great option, which was the Hyatt City of Dreams Manila hotel, a short 4 km from the airport, and only 8000 points a night. We opted for the points/cash rate, which was around $50 plus 4000 POINTS, for us, a better deal as we wanted to earn a stay credit.

I’m actually pretty grateful that Hyatt offers stay credits and earned points on the points and cash rates. Some of the deals out there can be quite lucrative and help you earn your elite status quickly.

Upon arrival to the hotel, we passed our bags through an x-ray and ourselves through a metal detector. We were then escorted into the lobby. It was immense, and a total shock. The lobby was easily two stories with huge floral orchid displays and gorgeous light fixtures.

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Lobby

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Lobby

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Lobby

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Lobby

Straight away through the entrance of the hotel was the entrance to the Casino. Important word of warning, while the hotel is non-smoking, the casino is not. The smell of the cigarette smoke was omnipresent, and they did their best to cover it up with sprays or potpourri, but you could still tell. The noise level was high as well, as it’s a tile and wood lobby with all the ruckus from the casino, it made hearing the front desk clerk a challenge. It was also karaoke night (aren’t all nights while in Asia?) and the music was loud enough to cause a headache.

Hyatt City of Dreams Lobby

Hyatt City of Dreams Lobby

I’ll keep the RANT that I’m about to have short and sweet, as I’m already pretty worked up writing about it once again. When we checked in at 9pm they said our room was not ready. Mind you, this is a hotel that has a 3pm checkin time, and we’re showing up 6 hours later. Our friend got his room and headed up, while we were asked to wait while they called housekeeping. Five minutes, then ten minutes passed, and no answer. Finally I started getting impatient. I asked them to give us another room as I was not about to wait any longer. He went to the back to talk to a manager, who came out, nodded at us, and walked away.

At this point I was thinking, oh, maybe he’s going to find out what’s going on? Nope, he just went over to the concierge desk to talk to his friends.

There was another agent checking in guests at the front desk, so I got her attention and asked her to take over our checkin, since we were not getting anywhere with our guy. We’re now going on 15 minutes with no answer to the problem. Finally, after getting a little heated and raising my voice (in reality it was just to be able to have a conversation since it was so damn loud), she informed us that the reason our room was labeled as “damaged” was because they couldn’t find a remote control. Seriously, a remote control.

Well, this just infuriated us even more, as we could give a shit about a remote control, what we wanted was to sleep! I demanded that the manager call my room once we got upstairs, because I was not going to let this pass without compensation of some sort. Waiting for 20 minutes at checkin, with no one explaining this to us, is unacceptable. If you simply told us that we didn’t have a remote, we could have avoided all the stress and got upstairs.

ARGH!!!

Once we got there, the room was pristine and gorgeous. Two single beds with comfortable pillows awaited us.

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila

The TV was turned on to the information channel, but without a remote, who cares! ☺

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Room

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Room

Coffee, tea, and water was available free of charge in the room for all guests.

Coffee and Tea

Coffee and Tea

The bathroom was a large space with not only a standing shower with rain shower, it had bath robes and plenty of towels.

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Room Bathroom

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Room Bathroom

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Room Bathroom

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Room Bathroom

img_6938 Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Room Bathroom

Three minutes after checkin, housekeeping came to the room, knocked on the door, and gave us a remote control. #Thanks

After a great night’s sleep we woke up pretty early, still mega-super-jetlagged and explored the hotel. The pool and spa area was on the 2nd floor and was GORGEOUS!

Sauna and Pool

Sauna and Pool

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Pool

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Pool

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Pool

Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Pool

Ben even got a little time to nap himself .

Ben gets a nap!

Ben gets a nap!

Ah, I almost forgot! We did get that call from the manager, who was very apologetic. She gave me two options. A) We could have private transport arranged from the hotel to the airport in the morning or B) We could have breakfast on the house. Hmm, $17 breakfast for three people or a $4 uber ride to the airport. I think we’ll take the breakfast! I’ll be reviewing the breakfast in a separate post, as it was that amazing.

Overall, if the check in process wasn’t a disaster, we could have given the hotel an A rating, but when you start things out on the wrong foot, it sort of sours the rest of the experience. I’d consider heading back to the hotel again, but I’d make sure to let the manager know that we’re coming ahead of time so she can make sure the damn remote control isn’t lost.

After some 17 hours of travel time, fighting for a remote control at checkin isn’t high on anyone’s list.

Have you stayed at this hotel, or experienced something similar at check in?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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4 Comments

  1. That’s a fairly new hotel I think. I’ve been to Manila a number of times and they do have chain hotels there like Shangri-La, Peninsula, Sofitel, Fairmont, Marriott, etc. My favorite was the Mandarin Oriental but it’s currently closed for refurbishment.

    Sorry to hear about the check-in. I was surprised they didn’t just upgrade you guys since it was already 9pm and for some reason I doubt it was full. The buffet breakfasts in SE Asia tend to be big and delicious with a mix of Chinese, Western, Japanese, and local cuisine. Have a great time in Philippines!

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  2. This hotel has been open since at least April 2015.. That is when I first stayed there.

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  3. First thing first, you will know how it feels when you work in a hotel.

    1. I understand that you traveled long hours after getting to the hotel lobby for check-in, but anything that is incomplete with the Amenities inside the room, the room will be marked as ‘dirty’ or ‘damaged’ or ‘out of order’, — My question is, did the receptionist left you? Of course not. They even asked the house keeping to personally check the room for the problem as there are possible glitches on the systems. No hotels in this world would check in their guest in the OOO room!.

    2. Coming late doesn’t mean that you still have the assigned room number. (For example, your room is blocked on RM555, but a guest request for this specific room as preferred when they arrived and since you are still not arriving, the reception would probably switch your room to another guest and will look another room for you) This is usually done by ALLLLLLLL hotels and because you are still considered as No Show even you guaranteed your booking. So stop complaining about hotel stuff when you don’t know nothing

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    • Nope, I haven’t worked in hotels, and thanks for reading!

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