Excited to rest after a 6-hour long road trip to get to Baguio, it was comforting to discover that our hotel/serviced apartments of choice, Azalea Residences was tucked away in the quiet Leonard Wood Loop area.  We were eager to get checked in so we could get some rest before exploring.  It was also the 2nd most recommended place to stay at, according to Tripadvisor.

So it wasn’t a very welcome sight to see that we were being charged for the full price of the duration of our stay.  We had received an email confirmation after having made a 50% downpayment ahead of time, so it was annoying that the hotel didn’t already have this information on hand. In fact even when they had already checked their email to verify that we had made the payment, I was told that it still needed to be accounting that reflected the change on our statement.  Very frustrating arrival.

Once that was sorted out by a manager, we made our way to our room which was nice and roomy and even came with a kitchen and sink.

After doing a bit of organising, we settled down for a nap only to be kept awake by roosters at 4pm! And boy, did these ones come equipped with strong lungs! 🙁  We couldn’t rest so we had to go down to request a room change.  The front desk officer said he’d check if there was one available.  And thank God in heaven there was- as I was having visions of strangling the roosters myself.  He asked us nicely if we’d like to inspect it first.  Though you could still hear the darned birds, the collective crowing was less audible.  What surprised us was the front desk officer’s confession that other guests had complained before, yet no action had been taken.  It’s rude to expect your guests to be able to rest well amidst animal noises.

But in general, the food servers were warmer and eager to please. They were alert to your needs and even offered to help with the plate(s) you were carrying without any asking needed.  The quality of the food was decent as was the selection during the buffet breakfast.

What really lacked skills practice were some of the staff of the front desk.  Upon check-out, I was being given a thank you letter with the wrong name.  And the lady front desk officer was having the wrong room number checked even if I had already informed her that we had switched rooms.  When I tried to point out that she wasn’t even listening to my reply, she just brushed it off with a very nonchalant smile.  Her overall demeanour was that of someone getting ready for a party (very absent-minded and carefree) rather than someone who had a job to do.  Granted the hotel will have celebrated its first year of operations in February 2013, their guest services staff should be better trained in terms of listening, empathy and operations.  Those are, after all, one of the first touchpoints of a hotel.  The rapid survey provided at check-out was a nice touch, though it’s better if the hotel would also allocate for front desk training.  Hopefully they’ll take into account the feedback I put down.

Everything else considered, they deserve a second visit.  They were generous enough to provide a 40% discount for a minimum of a 2-night stay.  Hopefully they will have improved by then and roosters will have been moved elsewhere.