City break in Manila
I arrived at Ninoy Aquino airport early afternoon and cleared immigration, baggage retrieval and customs without fuss but was relieved to see the smartly dressed young man in uniform holding up the Holiday Inn and Suites Makita sign. I had told the hotel that I was 194cms and wearing a white Panama hat so was easy to spot. He introduced himself and quickly offered to take my heavy bag. He walked me through the crowded airport towards an entrance, across the frontage road of the airport to a discreet saloon car and handed me over to the driver. The driver had taken my bag and I handed him my rucksack.
He opened the door, his job was done but he did not leave the car standing there smartly with a smile until the driver had pulled away. This was the way to clear a busy airport. The airport was very crowded with buses, coaches, taxis and private cars all edging forward towards the funnelled exits. The inevitable accident ahead did not help, with the two injured parties talking excitedly on mobiles presumably to insurance companies, as they were not going to move until liability had been decided.
The hotel driver skilfully cleared the airport a journey that he must have made hundreds of times. When I arrived at the hotel there was someone to meet me who knew my name and as an IHG awards member they said I could check in in the room. The process has all been thought out to minimise the fuss and make the guest feel welcomed. I registered in my room, my luggage arrived and I was alone. Being mid afternoon I went to visit the executive club on the 19th floor. The young ladies knew my name yet I had only been there 15 minutes.
The staff at all stations of the hotel were polite and always met me with a smile asking me if I had had a good day or wishing me one in the mornings. Although the Holiday Inn and Suites Makati is essentially a business hotel in the centre of the business district I enjoyed being at leisure. I made full use of the facilities – Flavors the all day dining restaurant where I had my breakfast and dinner each day, where the buffets were sumptuous and all that one could want and more. The busy lobby and Citron, the all day coffee bar, the executive club upstairs where I am sure that the young lady’s discreetly kept updating my profile each day. Always met with a smile and a pleasant greeting.
The spa on the roof deck, although not managed by IHG, was up to exacting standards with the therapist so good I booked in for the following morning. The swimming pool on the same floor always had a lifeguard on duty and someone to open the door, greet you and take care. The hotel is attached to the largest mall in the Philippines: Glorietta, with its endless restaurants, escalators and specialist shops. I walked off my meals each day with a gentle stroll around the floors – good job men have an inbuilt GPS otherwise I would have got lost each day. This is a city centre hotel which makes you feel at home. I applaud the general manager and his management team for managing and making their staff happy – it shows, and I thank them for making me feel welcome and feeling at home.
Holiday Inn and Suites Makati (632) 909 0888