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Review #7: Atrium Hotel, Pasay, Philippines

Studio Suite Twin room of the Atrium Hotel in Pasay

Located in the corner of Taft Avenue and Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue in Pasay City, this budget hotel may catch the eye of cost-conscious travelers who are looking for accommodations near the airport. On paper it seems to be the ideal location: the hotel is located on top of a building with a mall on the lower floors after all, and its close proximity to the Gil Puyat LRT station makes it very accessible. This hotel, however, has seen better days and in my opinion is in desperate need of a rehabilitation. Don't get me wrong, I am a firm believer of you get what you pay for and in most cases, I do not mind sacrificing quality over cost.

The Atrium Hotel lobby on the ground floor

First, let me describe the location of the hotel a bit. The hotel has its front desk on the ground floor but the hotel guest rooms and function halls are actually situated on the 15th floor and higher. As mentioned, the bottom part of the building is a mall. There's not much to do in the mall however and most of the ground floor open area is filled with flea market style booths. The area of the hotel also faces a narrow road that can be congested during rush hours. One thing that's good about the location is the proximity of the hotel to bus terminals and LRT station. Food choices are rather limited with a few fast food establishments in the mall itself and several others across the road. There are 2 convenience stores across the road. If there's a big plus in the location is that it is just several blocks away from Cartimar (the go-to destination for all your pet and pet supplies/accessories needs, bike and bike accessories, and bargain shoe stores selling previously owned and those they call as "Class-A" shoes - I do not condone the patronage of shops selling knock-offs, I'm just personally excited about the pet supplies and accessories area).

View of the room showing the spacious interior

Most of the furnishings are tucked away on one side of the room

I have made the online booking for the hotel via AGODA since we have decided to cut short our stay in Tagaytay in favor of a closer hotel from the airport. I chose the hotel since it was relatively cheap and I have always wanted to visit Cartimar (I needed to replenish my stash of cat food and biodegradable flushable cat litter).

The toilet of our room had issues

The bathtub had a coat of paint that tended to peel off while being used 

A view of the bathroom sink and counter showing the toiletries provided

The hotel had sufficient parking slots located at the lower basement and check-in was also a breeze. Entering the room, the first thing we noticed was that the air-conditioning casing was on the floor and there was a small puddle of condensate directly underneath. Nobody was answering the front desk number indicated on the room phone (I learned later that it was not the correct number and they have the correct extension in the room card sleeve). Fortunately, after a few minutes, a few maintenance personnel rang the doorbell and seemed surprised that the room was already occupied. They quickly finished what they were doing and reinstalled the outer casing of the air-conditioning. Whatever that maintenance personnel did, the leak continued throughout our stay. I just asked for extra floor towels to lay down directly below the AC, since we were only staying for one night and changing rooms seems to be too much of a hassle. The room itself was spacious with 2 double beds with enough floor space to do a cartwheel (or two) in spite of several other furnishings in the room. The room even has a balcony accessible via a sliding glass door. The room shows its age though from the slightly cracking paint of the wood surfaces to the bad paint job of the bathtub that peels off and sticks to your skin. The floater of the toilet water reservoir keeps on getting stuck so that the water does not accumulate inside the tank (something that can easily be remedied so I dd not bother calling the attention of hotel maintenance but it sure was mildly annoying). I also have to mention that the capacity of the hot water tanks of the hotel may be too small because they seem to always run out of hot water in the middle of a shower.

A view of the central area on the 15th floor where the breakfast buffet is served

The room also came with 2 complimentary buffet breakfast. The food was OK but nothing worth highlighting (oh except that they did not offer complimentary tea, but they did offer my mom a cup of tea for a fee).

I have to say though that the hotel staff was very nice. From the front desk, parking attendants, to the waiters, everyone was attentive, polite and courteous.

View from the 17th floor of the upper levels

In summary, the Atrium Hotel has the potential to be a great hotel if only because of its location. However, there were just too many things that need fixing in my opinion for me to even recommend it. If you are looking at hotels near the Manila airport in Pasay, I suggest you look elsewhere to stay.

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