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“What's with "hotel policy" in Cebu?”
Review of Harolds Hotel

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Harolds Hotel
Ranked #3 of 90 Hotels in Cebu City
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“What's with "hotel policy" in Cebu?”
Reviewed 9 April 2012

I am not a regular reviewer.
I travel a great deal, but truthfully I'm just a bit lazy (or otherwise occupied), and if I find a place I truly love I find it difficult to share with the world who might come storming in and destroy the off-the-beaten path tranquility I found so appealing. (Having been informed that this review is being written by a lazy and selfish person, please read on at your own risk.)

So why am I suddenly writing two reviews in the same week? Because on this particular trip -- my first ever venture into the P.I., and specifically to Cebu, I've been staying smack-dab in the middle of the beaten path. And I'm not liking it.

Both the hotels I'm reviewing (first the Quest, now Harolds Hotel) are quite attractive, very new and the on-site staff seems to be perpetually smiling and most of the time sincere in their desire to be of service. But for whatever reason, that service bounces off an invisible wall and the guest is left more than a bit dissatisfied and wondering -- who came up with this "hotel policy". I won't revisit my last review here, but instead present Harolds Hotel's version of this insanity:

In my room, in the minibar, there are several bottles which require a bottle opener. I scoured the room and found no bottle opener. I called the desk to ask if a bottle opener could be provided to me so that, later that night, when I might feel the desire to partake of the minibar, I would be capable of opening its contents. I was told a waiter from the hotel restaurant would be right up to open the bottle for me.

I repeated that I was not interested in having any bottle opened right at that instant, but perhaps later I would be and would enjoy having the freedom to overpay for their minibar at the time of my choosing. The desk told me that "whenever" I decided to open the bottle, I need only call down and a waiter would be immediately sent to my room to assist me.

I had trouble formulating into words the complexities of my flabbergastedness. Did I mention I was flabbergasted? Did I point out I am a "solo" traveler and that there existed the slight possibility that I might have company later in the evening and in that event I might not want to call a "timeout" in order to wait for a waiter to join me in my room to open a bottle of beer for me and then to perhaps return an hour later to open maybe another bottle of beer and so on? I managed to ask if the hotel might "loan" me a bottle opener for the night and I was told that if the waiter gave me his bottle opener, then no one in the restaurant could have their bottles opened and that therefore it was "hotel policy" not to give the guests a bottle opener. I could of course take a taxi to the Mall and buy one for myself. I made a note to do just that. Too bad I won't be able to carry it on the plane with me when I head out on a CebuPacific "no checked bags" flight in search of a Philippine island with more reasonable hotel policies.

And no, I do not exaggerate. If you find yourself in Cebu, come on down to the Harolds Hotel and ask for a bottle opener.

And while you're at it, try to get Guest Services to bring you a couple extra towels. I suggest you search down housekeeping yourself (there is no button on the room phone labeled "housekeeping" in case you're about to suggest that maneuver) and see if you can't bribe her/him out of a towel or two. Having let the "Guest Services" line ring an obnoxious (and yet still unanswered) 20 times--that's where I'm headed now.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jay90210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
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Makati City
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2012

What Filipino's love to do is imitate and copy, especially high-end foreign brands. Such is the case with the hotel's logo which is identical to that of the famed Harrod's department store in London. Because of this, I was expecting the worst or expecting some wanna be hotel that doesn't have the originality or creativity to come up with something better. Fortunately, the hotel really surprised me. Although it cannot and never will be able to live up to Harrod’s of London, it lives up to its own brand – imitated or not- by exceeding expectations. The lobby is modern but does have a gaudy feel to it, especially the café area. I think they should have chosen better lighting and better chairs/tables to match the beauty of their rooms.

The Location:

Harold’s is ideally located at the center of everything. If you’re looking to be near the Ayala Mall and the centre of Cebu then this is a good place. Most importantly, it is serendipitously located near my favorite lechon place- Zubuchon.

The Service:

The staff is very courteous and friendly. Cebuanos tend to be more hospitable though than many other provinces/cities in the Philippines – so I’ve heard. Our rooms were always cleaned on time and whenever we needed anything they were more than happy to help. We had to go to Bohol for a few days after we checked out and they allowed us to store our bags with them until we returned. We were also upgraded to their deluxe room which was very nice of the staff especially when upgrades are a rarity anywhere in the Philippines.

The Rooms:

My favorite part about this hotel is the rooms. When you step in, everything is well designed and well thought out. The rooms are spacious and large enough so you don’t feel cramped. The furniture is brand new and modern. The mattress is a sheer delight and will give you a wonderful nights rest coupled with good quality linens. The toiletries are also above average, The bathroom is a proper hotel bathroom, and you feel as if you’re in a 5 star hotel whether you’re showering, sitting on the throne, or hanging out in the bedroom. Even the scent of the room smells 4-5starish.

Food, Bar, Facilities:

When at Harold’s go to their bar on the roof deck. It has a spectacular 180 degree view of Cebu and at night it’s absolutely gorgeous. The drinks are well priced and the food is average but presented well. We didn’t eat at any of their restaurants or have the complimentary breakfast so I can’t comment. There is a tiny gym that fits 2-3 people. Aside from that I think those are there only facilities- but that’s good enough especially for the low rates you’re paying.

Verdict:

I love Harold’s and whenever I’m in Cebu not staying in Mactan, I will always stay here. And so should you. At least once so you can compare it with all the others and be pleasantly surprised.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ClutchCrowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2012

I must say that Harold's Hotel is a nice hotel. It is so accessible specially if you want to stay near the ayala mall. There were other hotels around the area and Harold's is located near enough the Ayala that it is just a walking distance from the mall. Yet, far enough not to be too busy if you just want a quiet place to relax.Aside from the ayala mall, there were also nearby spa/massage centers. In fact, Thai Boran is just beside the hotel so I visited it twice and the masseurs are all good.

The security is also good. Like the Hotels here in Manila, your access is limited to the floor where you are staying and some common areas. The staff are extra helpful and very charming. Room service is fast. Hotel staff is very trustworthy, I left a pile of money on top of my bed after withdrawing it. When I can back, the whole bed was nicely made and the money was on top of it.

The room is quite spacious. I stayed in a twin sharing room. It has a nice comfort room. By the way, their complimentary toiletries are top of the line so make sure the you enjoy it. The toilet bowl is very clean and very nice. Bathtub is nice too. water pressure is good. Hot and cold water available.

The Hotel can probably improve the a bit on the food. The breakfast is mediocre. Some of the viands were a bit salty.

Overall, I think the hotel is good. But, if you are in a budget this might be too pricey for you.

Room Tip: Try room 502 it has a great view at night. There's also a spa beside the hotel try it. Great val...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jaxsarita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Davao
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

We stayed at the Harold's last December for 2 nights. We got a weekend promo of P2200 but paid regular for the next day since it was already Monday. I like the feeling when you enter the hotel. The staff were very warm and friendly. You need to have an access card to operate the elevator unless you are going to the ground floor or to the roof top so make sure not to forget your cards.

ROOM - Very clean and the bed is really inviting. Big and very comfortable. The bathroom is clean and toiletries were replenished daily upon request.

FOOD – Breakfast on the first day was great. A lot of viands and it seems like a lunch buffet which we really enjoyed and looked forward to the next day. However choices on the next day were not so good. Not what we have expected, very opposite from the day before. The good thing is that the hotel is located in the heart of the city and is near the Ayala Mall and the restaurants. Less than P60 to reach the Mall and the close by restaurants. There is also a pizza place nearby which is just walking distance from the hotel that serves great food and has live band playing at night.

We would love to stay again in this hotel.

Room Tip: They have honeymoon rooms with glass wall bathrooms in the 12th floor.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lovetraveler29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manila
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2012

Stayed overnight at Harolds Hotel for a business trip. The hotel is relatively new so the facilities, room are all very nice. My room was spacious, clean, comfortable queen size bed and nice bathroom. It is located within the city so it's about 15-20 minutes away from the malls (SM & Ayala) depending on the traffic. Our room comes with a buffet breakfast and the selection is quite okay. The staff are friendly and courteous. Will consider going back to Harolds on my next business trip.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank iamshutterbugbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level 6 Contributor
47 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2012

I have read an earlier review of this hotel which actually put the hotel in a bad light..... So I was wary when I found out my friend booked us here from feb 8-10, 2012. Guess what? We all enjoyed the hotel -- clean, nicely appointed , its staff -- friendly, efficient, helpful--- and the dining outlets --- food was good, and the bar has good ambience and music. Value for money, this hotel is more than ok. About the food, we actually asked (nicely!) if we could buy lechon outside and eat it inside the hotel Resto. Of course we ordered other stuff from the Resto too. But the staff was very accommodating. When we wanted to eat batchoy soup which was not in their menu, the kitchen staff cooked it for us! How can one complain about that? I can understand the hotel policy against bringing in outside food, ESP into the rooms as the food aroma can cling to the carpet and curtains. Let's remember that Cebu prides itself with the smoked fish (danggit) which has a very strong aroma. When we went to the market to buy some stuff, the smell clung to our shirts. The front desk was also very helpful when we wanted to rebook for earlier flights out of Cebu. In fact, everyone was very cheerful and accommodating. I'd recommend this hotel to anyone. And please..... I'm a seasoned traveler so perish the thought that this is a paid advert. Just a review from a satisfied customer.

Room Tip: We chose a room away from the roadside , facing the mountains.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mamu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2012

My husband and I stayed here for a few days in October. I liked the hotel. It was clean, modern, although it had quite a compact lobby, the place looked classy. The room was nice, modern and spacious. What I like about this hotel was the great value, reasonably priced and it looked nice. Free internet in the room, free buffet breakfast, breakfast was nice, but the dinner dishes needs improvement. Another option for food, the hotel was a short 3min. taxi ride to Ayala Center where it was all restaurant galore. The doorman gets the taxi for us, it was quick and easy. The hotel was also a short taxi ride to Casino, to SM Shopping Mall. The only downside was, we checked in at the check-in time, but staff said the room wasnt available yet, we had to wait for about 20 min. The first room we had was at the very high level, close to the bar at the rooftop. It was noisy. They changed the room for us around the middle level, then it was perfect. Overall, the hotel was clean and modern, great value. Will stay here again.

Room Tip: Choose a room away from the rooftop where the noisy bar is. Other than that, the rooms are excellent...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SimplyHoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Harolds Hotel

Property: Harolds Hotel
Address: Gorordo Avenue | Lahug, Cebu City 6000, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Cebu City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Cebu City
#4 Business Hotel in Cebu City
#5 Romantic Hotel in Cebu City
#7 Family Hotel in Cebu City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Harolds Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HAROLDS HOTEL offers a vantage point to guests with business or leisure reasons in the city. Situated in the uptown area of Cebu City, about 30 minutes away from Mactan International Airport, Harolds Hotel is only ten minutes away from financial districts, government offices, universities and colleges, and major shopping centers. ... more   less 
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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with ACCOR, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity.ca, Agoda, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, HotelQuickly, Evoline ltd and getaroom.com so you can book your Harolds Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Harolds Hotel Cebu Island/Cebu City

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