Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016
The hotel facade with a restaurant at the ground floor












VALUE STAYS

There's a glut of hotels in the Philippines that's budget in branding but nothing like it upon check-in. You're left wondering what happened to your hard-earned money thinking that it would bring you something decent. What you're faced with is not value-for-money but a clear case of rip-off. As a result, you dismiss it and charge it to experience. What you do is immerse yourself more in the touristy experience that's found outside of the hotel. At the expense of a memorable stay, you accept that a satisfying budget stay is nothing more than a myth.


This is exactly what I was reminded of when my taxi driver in Davao suddenly opened up about a few hotels in the city on my first day arriving from the airport. I was in the city with my old folks for a cousin's wedding. After learning where he was supposed to drive me -- to Red Planet Hotels (RPH), he seemed to look relieved.

According to him, it's a great hotel that's squeaky clean and a favorite among travelers on long stay in the city. He brought it up after he saw me checking out some budget hotels that we passed by along the highway. As if concerned, he assured me that I made the right choice. Then he pointed to some buildings that he recommended me to stay away from. Clearly, some of his previous passengers had some terrible experiences with some of them. Being new in the area, I simply absorbed everything he fed me.

Booked a room for myself and my parents for a couple of nights in Davao City
Snacking on Malagos Dark Chocolate which I brought at a nearby grocery



Reliable Hotel Features

Staying at a facility of Red Planet Hotels wasn't new for me even if it was my first time in Davao. My expectations of the hotel served as a buffer for my first two nights in a city that's more than a thousand kilometers away (two hours away by plane) from where I live in Metro Manila. I was just thankful that the hotel's reliability when it comes to basic room features is consistent in any of its branch in the country. From its bathroom's power showers, nap-worthy beds, strong Wi-Fi connection, to its guestroom's window views, RPH stands out from the glut of budget hotels that I've tested in various provinces.

"...RPH stands out from the glut of budget hotels that I've tested in various provinces."





Convenient Online Booking and Check-in

For one thing, it was not hard to book a room at RPH because its Davao branch has a total of 155 rooms. There's less chance of being shunned away or referred to another hotel which can be a case of disappointment since not all budget hotels are the same.


"...it was not hard to book a room at RPH because its Davao branch has a total of 155 rooms."


Booking even without a credit card has been made easy via its official website where potential and returning guests can conveniently book online and pay upfront in cash upon check-in. And with RPH's Remembered Program, patrons or loyal guests can earn up to 15% discount on room rates.

The pleasant urban scenery outside the hotel
Hangers for guests' clothes
Hearty American Breakfast at the ground floor restaurant of the hotel
(top) The view from the room's window; (bottom) The entrance to the hotel


Distinct Differences From Other Budget Hotels

Interestingly, my co-travelers -- my mom and dad -- also opined that they preferred staying at RPH instead of booking a room where the wedding reception was scheduled to be held. After attending the special event in another hotel, they noticed distinct difference in little details like the quality of indoor smell, the wall paint, and interior lighting. According to them, RPH looked more like a healthy breathing space regardless of the weather outside or the time of the day compared to the hotel that hosted the wedding reception where the lobby smelled like old furniture and the walls looked gloomy. This is probably because the staff at RPH always made sure that everything was spotless and the whole interior of the hotel is mostly painted in white and nothing too jarring except for the red color accent. The strategy does work for guests on long stay as they certainly don't want to feel unwelcome after two nights or more.

The spacious bathroom of the Accessible Room booked for my parents
My booked room's bathroom

Accessible Room For The Old Folks

My old folks stayed at one of the hotel's spacious accessible rooms which is something that other budget hotels don't have. Such rooms are designed for people with disability or those with difficulty moving around and RPH definitely designed its type of room to the letter.

Room Feature Details

The hotel's room features are streamlined for business travelers on value stays which means less of the opulence and more of the basic requirements. There's a flat screen TV, a wall-mounted table for desk work, and a wall-mounted rod with hangers for clothes. Mirrors are located against the bed's headboard and along the short hallway to the bed. Guests have access to a hair dryer and bidet in the toilet which some 3-star hotels don't even have. Most of all, each guestroom has a window which is considered a luxury for those on budget stays because that's the first thing that other non-luxury hotels get rid of in the construction of their facilities.

Power showers by Red Planet Hotels
Each toilet at Red Planet Hotels' guestrooms has a bidet
What I consider the best thing about booking a room at RPH-Davao is its bed's upscale linen. An experience of it is something that I won't trade for a miserable stay at another budget hotel. A couple of nights tucked under it -- with countless times of naps in between -- definitely made my stay feel like I spent it at a four-star hotel.

Watch Our Arrival At Red Planet Hotels Davao From The Airport:




Red Planet Hotels Davao

Official Website of Red Planet Hotels Davao

Address: J.P. Laurel Ave, Davao City, Philippines 8000
Phone: (082) 224-0577


Check out my food trip in Davao City here.







More Photos Below:

The lounge area of the hotel lobby where guests can browse the Internet on computer stations
Snacking in bed at the hotel
Upscale linen for restful sleep


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