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Swagman RPL Hotel Manila
Ranked #90 of 111 Hotels in Manila
Reviewed 25 July 2013

I understand the Hotel changed hands last year,my last stay was average to say the least ,but recently I had to collect a friend who was booked in here and it was all good. We used the Hotel twice and the staff are brilliant. The food is great, ,the beer was cold and served with a smile, a duet played background music and they were good Upon my return to send my friend off , I was upgraded at no cost to a room that had just been refurbished .Split cycle air-con, new bathroom and toilet,the photos tell the story, it was a huge advance for this friendly hotel going forward.For good food, friendly service and a comfortable way to relax this is the place.Try it, we found it to be very comfortable and will use it again. Free pickup from airport and back, that's good value

Room Tip: Keep to the third floor and near the front, avoid the top floor at all cost unless you are a sound s...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Strife30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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81 - 87 of 176 reviews

Reviewed 18 July 2013

one word says it all FILTHY. the bed cover and sheets were filthy. we booked for airport pick up but only by chance we located a Swagman person who organised our transport then our booking was not recorded although we had paid in advance and we were upgraded to deluxe room. What ajoke, hate to think what the other room was like.

Room Tip: Our room was deluxe--can't imagine what the others are like.---NEVER AGAIN
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Barry T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2013

This hotel was dark, musty and right out of a horror film. My room had a dead roach on the floor and used sanitary napkins in the bathroom. Plastic furniture and foam matress all the trapings of a pay by the hour hotel. Not worth 5 dollars a night let alone 50. There are better places and cleaner in that area. Do not go there nothing nice at all.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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11  Thank Linotf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2013

I have been to Swagman before, and personally find the price a tad on the high side. Especially for what you get. I stayed only because I was using their bus service to Angeles as I had a flight from Clark. They offer free pick up from the airport. I came by overnight ferry and they wouldn't pick me up, even though the ferry terminal is closer than the airport. The nicest part of my trip was that I arrived around 7:00 am, and my room was ready. I had informed them of my early arrival, and they said if a room was available then it was no problem. My room was a bit dimmly lit, but clean. The color theme to my room was red, and with the sunlight coming in from the red curtain. When I woke up, I almost felt like I was in an episode of Dexter. My biggest complaints would be price is high for what you get, and the free shower soap had a very strong citrus scent. It was almost like using joy soap.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank diverdown76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2013

I have stayed here maybe 5 times in the past 10 years, with the most recent visit being in March 2013. I also stayed here once in 1998. I do not believe the rooms in this establishment have ever been refurbished since 1998. In 1998, on my first stay here, upon opening my room door for the first time, I encountered a commercial "roach hotel" box set up on the floor. When you see a roach hotel, you know what that means. Anyway, that was 1998, and this review is based on March 2013, for a current analysis of the place.

At the outset, I must say that I enjoy the ambience of this hotel. It attracts a crowd on the move, a potpourri of characters, old and young, male and female, from all walks of life. They have one thing in common: they are visitng the Philippines and they are staying here because they can't afford the 4 and 5 star hotels. There are a lot of people in this predicament, so they kind of shop around for the best budget hotel deal. The Swagman has the airport pick up and Fly the Bus to Angeles pieces, so this attracts a lot of folks. The name may also play a part, although I would venture to say that it would be riding on its past reputation, not present (past as in long ago past).

As stated, it's the ambience of the place that attracts me to it. The restaurant and small bar have an expat feel to them, it is as if everyone has an interesting story to them. There are the majority Aussie males or Aussies with their wives coming back to Manila to visit family or friends. There are those going to or coming from Angeles, or Boracay. There are the occasional Balikbayans, who for some reason have found this place. One cannot fail to see the ever-present western visitor with his local female companion. I once saw two blond haired Filipinas in the restaurant, they were both visiting from Sweden and evidently felt they needed to blend in there so they acquired blond hair. Anyway, the point I am making is that the ambience of the place is habit forming. The restaurant food is not remarkable, I would rate it as average. The chicken adobo is rather on the lean side, and the sandwiches are not particularly excitingly good. But, the beer is always ice cold and so are the Cokes. Almost better to just come here for the people-watching and a beer, rather than to book a room, because here comes the room desciption.

Not good, this pretty much sums it up. My rooms have always had a view to an alley. Then again, every budget hotel (motel?) I have ever stayed at in Manila has had no view. See definition of budget...no frills. I do not believe the establishment has refurbished any of the rooms in 20 years, Old and musty would be a fair description of the room. For what you pay for, you are paying way too much. The Swagman's room prices are simply way too much for the room value. I paid P1,400 for my room, it was probably worth P800 at most because it was in a somewhat dilapidated condition. It had one overhead light bulb and a lamp. The bathroom needed to be gutted out and refurbished, it looked like it had 20 years of hard use and had simply been cleaned for 20 years. The queen size bed was hard and took some getting used to. A room to definitely only use for sleeping, if you wanted to chill out you needed to hang out in the restaurant or go somewhere else. Again, I cannot fathom why some reviewers think the room prices are reasonable. Perhaps they've never been anywhere else? I always wonder why each floor has a safety grill to prevent people from falling to the first floor; had this happened before? Yikes!

I will always come here to eat and partake of the lobby and restaurant ambience. But, I do not think I'll stay here overnight anymore because the rooms are essentially dreadful and overpriced. In conclusion, I give the place 5 stars for ambience, 3 stars for food, and 2 stars for the room quality. It all kinda averages out to the 3 stars I give in total.

Room Tip: Ask to see the room first, you may change your mind!
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled solo
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7  Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2013

I am reporting on a rather unpleasant incident regarding the Swagman Fly the Bus March 24-27, 2013.

I have used this service from manila to Angeles several times over the years. On March 24th we arrived at the Ermita Swagman at 11:00 am expecting to take the 11:30 bus to Angeles. When attempting to pay for 2 one way seats the girl at the desk told me that there was no air conditioning on the bus as it was broken. "Is that OK" she asked. as it was already about 90 degrees I assured her that it was not OK and I told her ewe would find another way to AC.

I called one of my very reliable taxi drivers and we were on our way in about 15 minuets for 2500 PHP. Oh Well!!

On Tuesday evening March 26 I telephoned the Swagman Fly The Bus Angeles office. I specifically asked if all the air conditioning problems were solves as I wanted to leave Angeles the following day for Manila. I was assured that the necessary repairs were made and that the air conditioning was working perfectly. I made the reservation for the following morning and their van picked up at our hotel before noon and took us to the Brass Knob where the bus was waiting. From there we stopped at the swagman for a few minuets and then proceeded towards the expressway.

It soon became apparent the the air conditioning was not on. I asked the attendant if there was a problem with the air conditioning and was told that it was broken. She also told me that the bus was experiencing overheating problems. I was again an extremely hot day. Physically, it could have been dangerous for me to be stuck in the hot bus for 2 hours. The attendant suggested that the passengers just open the windows and everything would be fine. After some additional discussion she even offered a 100 peso discount for the lack of air conditioning. Are you kidding.

At that point I told her that I would be unable to take the trip. There was much discussion between her and the driver and the driver by phone with their office. According to my girlfriend who was interpreting, the driver did not want to drive all the way to Manila with no Air.

We stopped at the Expressway entrance and was told a van was coming to return anyone who, wanted to go to their hotel. I demanded and received a full refund.

About 30 minuets later a van came. We had them drop us at the Brass Knob. When we arrived there we almost immediately boarded a very comfortable Southern Cross van to the Southern Cross in Ermita.

Traffic was very heavy this afternoon and I am sure that the Bus would have taken about 3 hours.

I will be using Southern Cross transport in the future. They have much nicer and better maintained vehicles that Swagman Fly The Bus.

Room Tip: There are much nicer hotels in Ermita.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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17  Thank 324432443jp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2013

This is a hugely important and historic hotel most known for the quantities of booze and babes (that is likely a stretch) consumed by its residents. Any randy Aussie north of the 50 year mark and visiting Manila has shagged here at least once--Bedbugs be damned!! The rooms aren't the attraction, it's the residents. Think of Crocodile Dundee, but missing a few teeth, smelling extraordinarily gamy, having a case of the crabs and a bit of a drip--but smiling and ready to tackle any lass within the city of Manila and that about sums up the charm of this place. What's not to like?

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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8  Thank B F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Swagman RPL Hotel Manila

Address: 411 A Flores St | Ermita, Manila, Luzon 1000, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Luzon > Metro Manila > Manila > Ermita
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #90 of 111 Hotels in Manila
Price Range: £17 - £34 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Swagman RPL Hotel Manila 3*
Number of rooms: 57
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Swagman Rpl Manila
Manila Swagman Rpl Hotel

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