I chose Casa Bocobo for my four-day stay in Manila because I wanted to be within walking distance of the main historical sites and it was among the better-reviewed establishments in the Ermita/Malate area. As other reviews collectively indicate, the hotel is a mixed bag so it depends on the purpose for your your trip. The hotel has no qualms about marketing itself as a budget hotel with good service, so it's best to understand what expectations you should have for their price range.
- Within walking to distance to main historical sites so you can avoid the headache of dealing with cab drivers (though the Ermita/Malate district is not very friendly or comfortable for tourists)
- Free WiFi and it worked just fine during my stay
- Free breakfast, which was convenient and decent enough; the buffet is probably heavier than what Western tourists are accustomed to for breakfast, but they have made-to-order dishes as well
- Very noisy in guest rooms. The hotel has only two floors so all rooms are close to ground level. I was originally assigned a street-facing room. The window pane was an old one that allowed all the noise and draft from the street to stream through. I'm from boisterous New York City and it was still unbearable with earplugs. I appreciated that the staff gladly moved me to a rear-facing room the next day. It was certainly quieter (and equipped with a proper window) but still didn't escape the karaoke music that other reviews consistently mention.
- Generally clean for a budget hotel, but linens had stains and the bathroom still had detergent residue. The towels and bed sheets were definitely freshly laundered, but the hotel continues to use linens that were previously stained instead of discarding them. The bathroom was definitely washed down, but the maids probably do it in haste since there was always a new film of grimy detergent residue on the shower door and fixtures each day.
- There are safety deposit boxes but not inside your room. Instead, they're on the first floor and the hotel manager has to assist you each time you access it. This could be assuring for some, but troublesome for others. I did not ultimately use the boxes but my property remained untouched in my room whenever I was away.
- Friendly and well-intentioned staff, but they had a few a minor missteps--they weren't responsive to e-mails before my arrival asking for a private car from the airport, and they missed the wake up call that I scheduled for the morning I had to fly out early. As with a lot of commercial places in Manila, there were more staff members than seemed necessary; this helped with security but they usually can't assist you directly and must call someone else over if you have any questions or requests. (A simple question about availability of bottled water required them to page a supervisor, who then asked me to go downstairs to inquire with the general manager at the front desk). These were not big issues to me since their attitude was consistently positive, but others might grow impatient under similar circumstances.
- I didn't see an elevator. Perhaps it was in another part of the building(?)
Overall, Casa Bocobo delivered what it was supposed to for its rate. Ermita/Malate is not the most friendly or comfortable district for tourists, but if you choose to stay there, then Casa Bocobo is probably among the best options to consider. Even chain hotels in the area did not appear to be as clean or well-serviced.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The perfect hotel for travelers who yearn only the basic in lodging but demand excellence in service. A no-frills hotel, we put emphasis on practicality and sensibility. Rooms are impeccably clean and comfortable, set in a safe and secure location. Ideally located along Jorge Bocobo Street corner Kalaw and Avenue in Ermita, we are in close proximity to business and commercial districts. Nearby tourist spots include Rizal Park, Roxas Boulevard, Intramuros, Manila Ocean Park, and Binondo (Chinatown). Manned by well-trained personnel whose mission is to provide guests service that radiates the warmth and efficiency of true Filipino hospitality - ensuring a stay so comfortable; guests will definitely feel right at home. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Casa Bocobo