This year, we chose to stay at The Exchange Regency Residences & Hotel for our traditional family New Year's Eve getaway.
The property is located just in front of the Benpres Building along Meralco Avenue and Exchange Road, a mere walking distance from MetroWalk and some malls in the Ortigas Business District.
The family met for brunch at Robinson's Magnolia before going to the hotel so we arrived at The Exchange Regency a little past 2pm. As expected, there was high occupancy which choked the check-in process. During the course of the first hour, we saw guests who came after us, come and go, until it was only us left in the lobby. We tried to be patient. But after an hour and a half past our check-in time, a cranky toddler trying to fight off sleep and two tired and restless senior citizens our patience was stretched to the limit. Despite repeated attempts at a status update, we were only given apologies. We asked for a timeframe but no one could give it to us.
What really boggles me was the fact that we reserved the rooms three months in advance and even made a confirmation call two days prior to check-in. According to the Front Desk Manager, they had to wait for the guests to check-out of our assigned room and housekeeping, despite best efforts, allegedly cannot meet the two-hour clean-up mark to allow us to be checked-in at the designated time. He apologized profusely, and as a consolation, accompanied us personally to our room, while housekeeping was still in the process of cleaning the floor. He also gave us complimentary hotel gifts - a calendar and a notebook.
We really were not after any freebie. We just wanted to get to our room and relax as we wait for the New Year's eve countdown but the gesture was most welcome. He also personally attended all our needs from the kitchen amenities we requested (rice cooker, pots, pans, etc) to our wi-fi access code. He also went as far as extending our check-out time to 4pm instead of 12nn. We initially turned him down because we were already planning to leave early given my hubby and sis-in-law had work the following day. We later changed our mind to indulge our sons request to take advantage of the pool, an opportunity he missed because of the late check-in.
We found out it was The Exchange Regency's first rodeo as far as New Year's eve operations is concerned. The Manager admitted that while there is no excuse for the snafu, he believed this was part of the hotel's expected birth pains.
Anyway, the Two-bedroom Suite (Unit 23T) was cozy enough with its Modern Asian design. Both rooms had a window-type air-conditioner. The Masters Bedroom had a queen-sized bed and plush white and fluffy linen and pillows. The en suite bathroom while lacking a bathtub had the complete bath sets. It was also a bit small and the toilet did not have a bidet. The sink and shower worked perfectly well. The other room had a double bed and was equally comfortable. The other bathroom was located outside the room but had the same amenities albeit some musty smell, we had to ask housekeeping to deodorize it again.
The living room was furnished with an area rug with a three-seater leather sofa and two soft side chairs for additional seating. An LCD TV with cable and a DVD completes the set. Temperature control was provided by a Daikin inverter type air-conditioning unit. The windows open to the view of the Ortigas skyline although, I personally found the Masters bedroom as the perfect spot to enjoy the fireworks display.
The four-seater (extendable to six) dining table was good enough for the family. And the kitchen had a five-foot refrigerator sufficient to store our Media Noche spread and then some. The kitchen is equipped with a two-burner electric stove, a microwave-oven, a rice cooker (delivered a couple of hours later, as this item is based on availability) and the necessary pots, pans, and cooking paraphernalia.
Complimentary wi-fi was surprisingly fast and access was not limited, unlike other hotels where only one gadget is allowed to register per room.
The third floor houses the recreation area which consists of a swimming pool complete with a jacuzzi and toddlers splash pool. It faces another building so the view is somewhat obstructed. There is a sauna in the shower and comfort room. There is a putting green too albeit a rather small one. The children's playground is just about the same size as the putting green. The fitness buffs can immerse themselves in the gym which has a relatively new and state-of-the-art set of equipment.
Over-all, apart from our misfortune during the check-out process, we had a pretty much comfortable stay at The Exchange Regency Hotel. It definitely is a good alternative for a relaxing staycation in the Ortigas Business District.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The modern traveler's choice. Experience the comforts of home amid hotel convenience, only at The Exchange Regency Residence Hotel. Located at the heart of Ortigas Center, where shops, sights and sundry are well within reach, we'll provide you with warm and personalized service ans a host of amenities that'll truly make us the hotel you'll call home. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Exchange Regency Residence Hotel Pasig, Philippines - Metro Manila