Intercontinental Manila

Discussion in 'IHG | Rewards Club/Ambassador' started by gleff, Feb 7, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. gleff
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    On arrival at the Intercontinental Manila we waited for the bomb sniffing dog at the entrance to give us the all clear. Not bringing any bombs into the hotel, so we were cleared to head to the checkin desk.

    After a long overnight flight I didn’t want to think about, “where is the club?” to handle checkin there, a waiting staff member at the main desk in the lobby would do just fine.

    Now, it was still a bit shy of noon. As a Royal Ambassdor I’m entitled to 8 a.m. checkin, one of the great unsung elite status benefits out there and one which no other chain matches.

    However, I was told my room wasn’t ready yet. After all, there was only one of my room… the Presidential Suite.

    I had actually wanted to stay at the Peninsula, but I just couldn’t justify it because the deal at the Intercontinental was just way too good, especially as a Royal Ambassador and with some of the publicly available discount rates that are out there.
    Intercontinental’s Royal Ambassador upgrade program is a bit unique and even unpredictable unless you contact each hotel in advance or read the relevant thread on each property at Flyertalk. The chain has tried to standardize things a bit but each property remains a bit different.

    Some hotels offer a single standard type of room as its upgrade for Royal Ambassadors, such as a junior suite with club access (or without). And they’ll give you that regardless of the room category you book.

    But some properties have a clearly defined rubric of a one-category room upgrade for Ambassador members and a two category room upgrade for Royal Ambassadors. That’s especially typical in Asia. Now, some hotels cap the upgrade — they won’t offer anything about a specific room type as a benefit. And others, like the Intercontinental Manila, do not. The hotel even emailed me a chart of what upgrade would be given based on room type booked.

    Please see below upgrades due to Royal Ambassadors:
    If he/she books a: Upgrade will be:
    DELUXE ROOM JUNIOR SUITE
    EXECUTIVE ROOM PREMIER SUITE
    JUNIOR SUITE EXECUTIVE SUITE
    PREMIER SUITE** STATE SUITE
    EXECUTIVE SUITE PRESIDENTIAL SUITE​

    I queried whether ‘all rates booked online’ would be eligible for these upgrades, and they replied in the affirmative. I also queried whether the Presidential Suite was available for my dates, it was. So I booked a prepaid Friends and Family rate — the 40% discount got me about a $170+tax rate for an Executive Suite. Once booked, I emailed the hotel again and they confirmed me into the Presidential Suite.

    … but since the Presidential Suite wasn’t yet ready they assigned me to another room down the hall to use until I could be moved. I probably do know better, but still took a bit of a nap. I woke up and called down to the desk to see if my room was ready. They called me right back, it was, which is curious because they had promised to ring me just as soon as I could be moved. No matter, they sent someone right up to help with bags. But, tired as I was, I didn’t realize that we weren’t even turning a corner, just heading down the hall on the 12th floor.

    And there it was.

    Walkway to the room. On one side is a doorway into the kitchen, and on the other side another room

    • [​IMG]
    Entryway

    • [​IMG]
    Entryway turns right to the living room (and has a guest bathroom behind a hidden panel in the wall)

    • [​IMG]
    Baby grand piano, off the living room

    • [​IMG]
    Living room

    • [​IMG]
     
  2. gleff
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    Formal dining room, to the left of the entryway

    [​IMG]
    Kitchen off the dining room

    [​IMG]
    Bedroom

    [​IMG]
    Desk in bedroom had the Royal Ambassador gift and welcome materials

    [​IMG]
    Bedroom sitting area

    [​IMG]
     
  3. gleff
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    Fruit was waiting for us in the sitting area

    [​IMG]
    And a bottle of wine was there as well

    [​IMG]
    Chocolates were provided at turndown

    [​IMG]
    The bathroom had dual sinks, a soaking tub, and an exercise bike.

    [​IMG]
    The bathroom also had a sauna

    [​IMG]
    The shower had water coming from more places than I’ve ever seen, if I recall correctly water could be set to come from four different directions. And it also had a steam shower function as well. A great way to start any day!

    Between the bedroom and bathroom was a dressing room, that I just used for luggage storage.

    There were also complimentary bottles of water by the television, as well as in the kitchen. And I picked up a few more when I visited the club lounge.
     
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  4. gleff
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    Evening canapés were fairly limited, and not especially good in my mind. But it’s a nice enough space and the staff are incredibly friendly. They have wonderful fruit juices on offer, and they can’t do enough to help you.

    [​IMG]

    Morning breakfast though was much more bountiful, the coffee and juices were excellent, as were the options in the refrigerator. Everything was self-service but the staff wanted very badly to bring you things, carry things for you, or get you whatever you wished.

    Perhaps because of my nap in the first standard room to which we were assigned, and because it was my first night in Asia coming from the States, I got up quite early, probably 3 a.m. I ordered room service, tapped into the internet (complimentary for Royal Ambassadors as a ‘limited time promotion’), and tried to watch a DVD.
    Now, the televisions in the bedroom and in the living room are ancient, not even flat screen I don’t think let alone LCD. And the DVD player in the living room wouldn’t play a US-region DVD without an error.

    So I plugged away online, while enjoying a snack. A pot of coffee costs about US$5 here delivered to the room, compared to the $15-$20 that I’m used to. My entrée was perhaps $10. At those prices I’ll order up food whenever I wake up in the middle of the night.

    [​IMG]

    So what did I think of the Presidential Suite? In a lot of ways it reminded me of the Diplomatic Suite at the Intercontinental Bangkok, which I stayed in back in 2006. And that’s not the best room at that other hotel. The room was large and well stocked, but pretty well showing its age. Not only was the technology dated, but the room itself really needed a refresh. There were some scuff marks on walls in less obvious spots, like between the desk and wall in the bedroom. Similarly, carpet was pretty marked up in that area as well. And stylistically I much prefer a modern approach. This room was decidedly old school.

    At the price I certainly couldn’t complain, the bathroom was fabulous and the steam shower really wonderful. But somehow the details didn’t quite come together, and the room was a bit less than the sum of its parts. The hotel has a card to hang on your door for newspaper selection. I put my card outside the door, but my preferred paper was never delivered. Little things like that, combined with the little maintenance issues in the room, and I just didn’t think the details got enough attention.

    We’d be returning to the hotel in about a week, and I had confirmed the same room, I thought a good experiment would be to leave something behind in the room, hidden, to see whether it was still there. My wife didn’t want to know if it would be, so we decided against the science experiment...
     
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  5. TheBeerHunter
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    Wow, for $179 that's a great deal! Thanks for posting the pictures.
     
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  6. KIXman
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    Wow!!!! I've been there only 2-3 times but I never knew that there was a room like that there.
    Then again I'm just a plain ordinary AMB so they wouldn't let me know :p
     
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  7. haydensydney
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    Thanks for the report and the great pics!
    Looks like a great room, particularly because the price was cheap as chips.

    OT: I am plat priority club and just recently purchased AMB - does this mean I am Plat AMB, or just plan ordinary AMB?

    Cheers
     
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  8. gleff
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    They are two different things.

    Gold/Platinum are Priority Club levels
    Ambassador/Royal Ambassador are Intercontinetnal status levels

    Ambassadors do get Priority Club Gold I believe.

    Royal Ambassadors do get Priority Club Platinum.

    But Gold and Platinum status are useful for benefits at Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza, etc. The only difference between Gold and Platinum when staying at an Intercontinetnal hotel property is the point bonus earned. Your treatment doesn't vary. Treatment is entirely based on Ambassador vs Royal Ambassador.

    Really quite confusing because the two things are run in parallel.
     
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  9. haydensydney
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    Thanks for clearing that up for me gleff - your right, it is slightly confusing. Hopefully they consolidate the programs!

    Again, many thanks for your report - it's good to see some pics of one of the elusive presidential suites!
     
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  10. KIXman
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    Right, if you get Amb status you are automatically PC Gold.

    The way things are going it's probably unlikely though that they will consolidate the programs.
    Even now the member accounts shown on the PC homepage seems to have stopped showing the Amb/RA status.

    Probably the question that usually arises is if PC Platinum status helps in the Intercontinental hotels. You do get the Platinum benefits, but the upgrade for Plats is not guaranteed but depends on availability (whatever that is), whereas for Ambassadors and above it is guaranteed.
     
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  11. haydensydney
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    Yeah - I was under the assumption that when staying at a IC, a Gold AMB was on a lesser scale than Plat AMB, but from gleff's note it would appear that Gold/Plat PC status doesn't really influence any received benefits at all. Seems like Royal AMB is the loft heights to aim for ;)
     
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  12. KIXman
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    RA is what every good IHG customer wants. Sadly it's by invitation / referral only and in the case of invitation the qualifications are mysterious... (rumor has it that the minimum requirements are 50 nights at any IHG hotel AND 3 nights at 3 different IC's)
     
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  13. KIXman
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    I'll be staying in the IC MNL next weekend. Not in as grand a room but let's see what they give me :)
     
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  14. KIXman
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    I'm now in the IC MNL and I got a bit lucky :)
    I reserved the Executive suite but got a State suite since there were no empty Premiere suites available during my stay.

    These are what the rooms look like:
    room entrance
    [​IMG]

    living room
    [​IMG]

    dining area
    [​IMG]

    view from living room
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. KIXman
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    corridor leading to the bedroom
    [​IMG]

    bedroom
    [​IMG]

    main bathroom with jacuzzi
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. KIXman
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    entrance to shower/sauna
    [​IMG]

    shower
    [​IMG]

    sauna
    [​IMG]

    kitchen area
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. gleff
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    Very similar to the Presidential Suite!
     
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  18. KIXman
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    yup, i was surprised how similar it looked.
    I saw the Premiere Suite too and it wasn't too bad, although just one big room
     
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  19. infoworks
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    Ah, fond memories - still like to stay there when in Manila
     
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