ruthdelacruz

August 27, 2012

Hotel Staycation: Pajama Party at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas

I love writing about my hotel experiences, as much as living that experience. A few of my good experiences was in Hotel Kempinski in Jakarta, and Holiday Inn Express in Beijing. Staying in a hotel gives me that feeling of luxury. It is nice to treat yourself to a lavish staycation once in a while. :)



There must be something about the wall-to-wall carpeted floor, and the lighting (and the cold temperature), that make you just want to stay in the room and wear your pajamas while you flip through TV shows.

Pajama. A Pajama Party is what we had last Saturday. I was planning to swing by the Big Fish Black Party last Saturday after we did our preparation, but because I was in a hurry to get to the hotel on time and check in, I left my ID, and my shoes - I only had my nighties (not pajama!) and swim wear with me.

We decided to book a two-bedroom suite in Richmonde Hotel in Ortigas. We always had our company events held in Richmonde (but the most compelling reason we chose this is the indoor hot pool that my friends didn't even try)!



To see more pictures and know what happened during the Pajama Party, click Read More... 






First things first, how to get to Richmonde Hotel, Ortigas:

You may find this blog entry very, very helpful. Kudos to the site owner! It gives you directions how to get to Ortigas Center from any point of Metro.


The Check-In Process:

Side story, when I was still in College, I wanted to land a job in the Front Desk.

Who wouldn't want to wear a crisp blazer, walk in high heels, and form a ribbon with that nice scarf. But I realized being on the other side of the table (the guest) is much more fun.

The check in process was smooth. I had asked my friend to book for me according to my preferences. During the check-in process, three questions that the front desk officer had asked from me, an ID, credit card, and if I wanted a smoking or non-smoking room.

An ID - how can I forget it?  I only bring my company ID everywhere I go (which I had left at home that day!) I didn't have anything else to present. I was worried they would send me home and give my room to another guest.

Thank God for my Resorts World card (this one has a picture!). Thankfully they accepted it. I decided on a non-smoking room. Smoking floor has that funny smell, and smokers can always go down at the second floor lounge or lobby for a ciggy fix.

Guest Registration Form


Vhing Card - Yes, I still call it the Vhing Card
I keep 'em as souvenir ;)



The Suite:


The hotel has this usual Victorian design


The dining area of the two-bedroom suite


This is where we partied!


The "living room"
Flat screen TV with cable - check!


The view from the window area.
I love that the kitchen has an open window counter
which allows the "chef" to interact with the "guests" while preparing food


There's a full-length mirror on that side of wall
which allows you to check yourself before heading to the door out
  
 

Let's check out the kitchen..

There is a working oven, electric stove
and exhaust fan


Microwave oven and fridge (that serves as a minibar too)


Our official chef, #Tom brought ingredients for his recipes and we borrowed pots and pans from the hotel. We felt like we were in the Big Brother House! So much fun!


I did my fair share of the chore..
I sliced ham and hotdogs! Haha



Let's get to the room.. The two-bedroom suite:

Double Bed in Room 1
It is pretty decent but not the most luxurious one


They still have the box-type TV ;)



Single Bed in Room 2


The bathroom is the most essential part of the hotel room for me.
And once again, you will find my reflection in the mirror
I love that it has two sinks


There is a traditional bath tub


The shower area has a rain-shower effect shower
Too much "showers"!


 Overall, the room is decent, but not the most luxurious I have been. You can see signs of use.. or "signs of aging". But the good thing is they were able to keep it clean. I don't know how many families have stayed in this suite, or how many ghosts?! ;) Kidding about ghosts. There are no ghosts or lost souls.. the topic was just brought up because of a picture ghost story.

Now the amenities..


Yes, there are the usual bubble bath, lotion, soap, 
conditioning shampoo and toothbrush set.


Aside from the usual, there is even a razor and sewing kit


3 sets of bathrobes for the suite 
which we lovingly wore that night


There is hair dryer and flashlight available for use


Does anyone want to write a business letter or 
love letter? Write away!


Only one safety box at the Master's Bedroom
But note that there are extra pillows!


Not much selections in the minibar but
you can always visit the Ministop Store in the Hanston Building
or do your shopping in Megamall


Complimentary coffee and tea. 
Nescafe coffee and Lipton Iced Tea ;)


Then of course the usual sodas at the minibar. My friend took one cold Coke in Can which costed us Php 85. That saved her from a trip to Ministop. We were too lazy to go down. 


It was fun staying in the hotel, waiting for more members of our team to arrive and snack on chips. We originally thought it is going to be a Pajama Party, although they were expecting me to wear nighties (which I did at the later part of the night!). We even drafted a program and part of it was that I will conduct a talk about blogging; however, we felt so comfortable talking about the Lomography Camera, our IBM Corporate Service Corp's experience, and ghost stories, that we decided to ditch the idea of the whole program and just enjoy each other's company while waiting for #Tom's specialty dishes - pasta, fried chicken and Adobo with Rosemary. The others enjoyed the TV so much watching Simpsons, and Mobbed. 

About the blogging seminar, I will just probably write a separate blog about it since alot of my friends are asking me how I do it.. Well, I just do it for fun, and write about the things I love. I will sure write about blogging next time.

The room smelled like vinegar and soy sauce.. in an inviting way. We couldn't wait for Tom's dishes, that everyone literally jumped to have a serving as soon as he served the food - I completely forgotten to take pictures of the food. Ouch. I so much enjoyed the show.

It is blurry, because I couldn't wait to dive my fork into this 
yummy pasta!


I am surprised that no one actually touched the alcohol - we even had 1.5 bottles of The Bar to bring home. Most of them took off after the dinner and "photoshoot".

Since my weekdays and weekends had been hectic, I missed the idea of just lazying around the couch, flipping through TV shows, and watching whatever is interesting. We decided not to watch any horror movie.  But tuned in to The Plague - which intrigued us, and got us all confused at the end. Probably because we just watched half hour of it because we talked and laughed about other things in between watching the movie.

Then I found myself in bed while the others watched more TV shows, talked and laughed. I remember they even bought Ice Cream for dessert. At 1:00 in the morning, it is time to get up and found a deck of cards. We played the game 1, 2, 3, pass.. ! incorporated with Truth or Truth. It was fun!



Especially if you have squid balls and fish balls!


 The "aftermath"



Now, let's check what is in the Breakfast Buffet Table. The Two-Bedroom Suite comes with free breakfast for 3. It would be smart to wear something decent at the restaurant (located at 2nd floor) and no bedroom slippers please..


My first plate
Hash Brown, Toast and Bacon
I love their bacon! I just ate bacon and bread after this plate!


The Dining Area


Cereal Station


Say CHEESE!


Sauteed Sardines, I guess..
Other offerings include Beef Steak, Ham, 
Bacon, Hash Brown 


The Crispy Bacon! Yum!
They also serve congee, noodles, and omelette is by request
There is a pancake and waffle station too.


Salad and Fruits Bar


Native Desserts


 Apple and Mango Juice
Of course, there is a free flowing coffee by request


Breads and Jams


You know me, I always have to make a short trip to the washroom
And it is decent and clean





The Price you have to pay when staying at Richmonde Hotel.

We have a corporate discount in Richmonde Hotel being our partner in most of the events, and this is also one of the preferred hotels of our expats. This is one of the cons of working in a multi-national company! But during this particular stay, we even had a greater discount because of internal connection. But just to give you an idea, the two-bedroom suite costs around $187 per night per Agoda.com. I always use Agoda when booking hotels and I am not disappointed with the discounts and service. Read about my first Agoda experience when I booked a hotel in Singapore. 

Roughly Php7,874.01 per night, but per the Richmonde Hotel website, it is total of Php9,600 including taxes. 

The Service

The service is okay, but lacking personalized service. I hate to think that just because we got it at discounted price, there is a difference in the quality of service. Most of the staff are pleasant, but I am surprised that upon check-in, the front desk personnel didn't even bother in building rapport. He is all professional, when I told him, I forgot my ID and if I can probably just show credit cards or membership card. At one point I felt that he would refuse the business.

Several times, we asked a lot of stuff from the guest services (from pots, pans, and ice). We appreciate that they took time to provide us with cooking utensils. But the service is slower than expected.

The concierge service is good though. They are prompt in assisting us with cab service, and with no further questions, they gave car pass to my friend. Thank you!

At the breakfast place, my friend commented that there is something wrong with the ambiance, it is the staff - she felt that they were not happy with what they are doing. And observing the way they do things. I had to agree. Have you also felt the same when dining in a restaurant?

The check-out process is quite slow. I had a feeling that the front desk officer who assisted me is new, but his name tag has a "manager' in it. Or probably he is an external hire and just learning about the process. He asked me if I remember getting anything from the minibar.. we are aware about the Coke in can which my friend drank (simply because she wants something refreshing to drink), and the housekeeping personnel went to our room and confirmed that we took one soda.


I smiled at the "manager" in the front desk, and again he asked if I remember getting anything. I told him, yeah, Coke in Can. And I told him, so we can eat anything we want and just say we didn't take any so we wouldn't need to pay for it. He said, "the employee would shoulder the cost".

If I were a total biatch, I could say, "I don't care, that's the goal - not pay for anything". I was expecting he would have handled it differently and prove me that they have a business control on this process. He could have told me they do validate it with the Housekeeping and not just rely on what the guest had said. It appears that they just validate it after the fact. Anyway, that Coke in can costed us Php85. It is all good, my friend enjoyed it.

Before we even finally said goodbye to the whole experience, we were stopped and asked if we remember where we placed the face towel. There were more than 10 of us that night, and we honestly couldn't remember who used what towel and where. We told them it could be at the kitchen. And so they found it. Now the next question is where is the other one? I thought we were only missing one. I told them I saw it in the bathroom sink and it is just there. A few more minutes, and we still waited. We decided to just pay for the face towel, but the front desk told us that they would just waive it. Well, thank you. But promise, we didn't take anything else but just the extra bubble bath tube.

Some more comments and rants

  • The wi-fi is not free. You have to pay Php500 for 24 hours. But I decided not take it so we can bond more. The TV was already a distraction.
  • There was no newspaper delivered to us that morning!
  • There was a ticking sound inside the Master's bedroom that sounds like a Morse Code. We were thinking it came from the closet and safety box. At some point it stops. Although it is not annoying and disturbing, we just find it weird.


Anyway, the most important thing is that we enjoyed and we had fun! Some items were just minor, but I just noted them for the benefit of those who are planning to stay in Richmonde Hotel (and probably for the team to improve their service). Thank you to my friend, Anne for arranging this for us, and thank you to Richmonde Hotel!

Btw, the hot pool is really nice. We got to try it during my friend's stay in the same hotel. It opens at 6:00AM to 9:00PM. Proper swimming attire only.

Anyway, here are some shots I want to share with you..

Cute Slippers by Hot Flops


Instagram Pictures by Au Padua

Everyone loves my Mantra Bracelet  from Wear Mauve
I have yet to blog about it.. I am no fashion blogger
but will try. 


Lomo lomo camera of Yo yo!


Adobo with Rosemary 


Good Morning! A view from the hotel


 And here's our reaction on the missing face towel...



It is fun! We should do it again soon! I will do it again probably with my family.

When was the last time you had a sleep-over with friends? How fun is it?


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If you are reading this post somewhere, it is originally written by Ruth and published in www.ruthilicious.blogspot.com.