It was a surprisingly smooth ride from NAIA to City Garden Suites, a 3-star hotel located in Ermita, Manila.
This was largely because we arrived at the capital at 4 AM. At this unholy hour, we breezed through the almost car-less Roxas Boulevard and found ourselves at the hotel’s lobby before we could even realize it.
I smiled at the thought that there’s an advantage after all when you book a red-eye to the metropolis. Well it was a choice between arriving too late or too early for the Lion King musical. The decision was easy of course. We would rather do the latter than risk our precious seats.
Central and convenient location
I remember that while all of us easily agreed on the early morning flights, we still had a long discussion on where to stay that weekend. Looking back now, I am glad we ultimately chose City Garden Suites.
For one, the hotel is centrally located in Manila. It is just a few minutes from everywhere else – the airport, MRT stations, shopping malls, the US Embassy and historical stops such as the National Museum and the Intramuros. In our case, it was just a quick ride to Entertainment City and Binondo.
While City Garden was not actually the cheapest option on our list, the hotel’s convenient location allowed us to really save more at the end of the day.
Clean and spacious rooms
We stayed at a Junior Suite by the way which was too spacious even for me and my friends.
Its classic interiors were complimented with modern conveniences that cater to both business and leisure travelers- an in-room safe, a fully stocked mini-refrigerator and high-speed Internet access, among many others. The latter is especially useful for those who would like to catch up on some work emails. Fortunately, we only had to use the hotel’s Wi-Fi for Instagram and other social media updates.
Our suite also had a separate receiving area (we mistook this for our actual room at the onset) that we barely used and a balcony where we observed Manila in all its gritty beauty.
Glory, the resident manager, would later tell us that we could actually see the famous Manila Bay sunset at their Penthouse. At 100 sq m (more than twice the floor area of the Junior Suite), it is the perfect ‘headquarters’ for weddings and perhaps family staycations.
The en suite toilet and bath was clean and well-appointed. I particularly laud that City Garden is slowly doing away with single-use plastics by providing ceramic dispensers for lotion and hand soap.
Since we still have some hours to spare before the musical starts, the three of us unanimously decided to catch some sleep.
Really excellent customer service
What I really appreciated about City Garden Suites is their excellent customer service. A few minutes after we checked in, one of the staffs quickly provided us with an extra set of toiletries since they have prepared for only 2 guests.
Their F&B crew cordially greeted and looked after their guests especially during breakfast service.
One of their security personnel also advised us how to commute to Binondo. We were able to save a lot when we rode on a jeepney instead of hailing a cab that time.
And finally, their front desk staffs allowed us to leave our baggage (at no extra cost) after we checked out. We did not have to carry around our backpacks during our food trip the following morning.
It is with this trademark hospitality, from check-in to check-out, that makes City Garden Suites truly a great place to stay. That is why I would not hesitate to book here if I find myself again in these parts.
City Garden Suites
1158 A. Mabini St. Ermita,
For reservations, please call +63-2 536-1451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclosure: The blogger would like to thank City Garden Suites for the complimentary stay. Even so, he maintains full editorial control of this hotel review.