Why did I choose to stay at Le Blanc?
I was enticed when I first saw Le Blanc Hotel & Resort. I promised myself that I will have my staycation there one of these days. Believe it or not, I tried several times to book a junior suite, but I ended up booking another hotel because there is only a slight difference in the price. I was intrigued and I was dying to know why the price is pretty much the same as the 5-star hotels I booked in the past. So when I found out they were already accepting children and even seniors, I booked two rooms immediately. I couldn’t hide my excitement, as this will be my first time staying with my family during this pandemic. Besides, it’s just near us, only a 15 minute drive away, so it would be convenient for all of us. I knew how much they wanted to have that stay, so I took the opportunity while their prices dropped to 50%.
The hotel is situated at 3 Taktak Road in the city of Antipolo. It’s near the Antipolo market and Robinson’s Antipolo. It would be more convenient to use a car, but it’s easy to locate the place if you will be commuting. Click the link for a detailed directions by entering your location.
My First Impression and the Check-in Process
As expected. the lobby was WHITE (as its name implies) , small, modern and clean. There was also a reception zone for guests where my family waited for me while I was checking in. The on-site restaurant, GIMMO, is also located close to the lobby.
I knew that the hotel staff were professional because they always responded to my email and text messages. I was comfortable, though, there were a few things that I noticed..
1. When we arrived, I expected we would follow the same security protocols as we do when we visit other hotels during this pandemic. I just find it strange they didn’t do a temperature check and scan the QR code.
2. I was also expecting them to collect our ID to verify our identity and collect an incidental deposit. I was just instructed to pay my balance.
My check-in experience wasn’t good enough because they missed something. We have received key cards for 2 bedrooms with Wi-Fi access details. There were no instructions for breakfast, so I assumed it was the usual thing for guests to go to the breakfast area between 6am and 10am. Somebody helped us carry our bags and escorted us into our suites.
The Hotel Amenities
Gimmo is the in-house restaurant of Le Blanc Hotel & Resort Antipolo. We didn’t have our dinner there because I don’t love seafood. Since we were celebrating Mother’s Day during our staycation, I should be the one to decide. I pre-ordered our food at The Bistro Pantry, Le Blanc’s online restaurant. (The review will be in a separate post.)
2. The swimming pool
The kids and I were excited to swim. In fact, a few days before the staycation, I ordered our swimwear, floaters, and goggles. There were people swimming at the big pool, so we just occupied the smaller one. We just let them swim for a few minutes, then we decided to stay and relax in the room while waiting for the dinner to be served.
3. Sky Tent
The Sky Tent is an air conditioned function hall located on the roof deck and can accommodate 180 guests for special events. It also has glass windows so you can see the spectacular view.
4. Sky Garden
The Sky Garden is also located on the roof deck and perfect for sunset views.
We booked 2 rooms- The Junior Suite (40 square meters) which we got for P5, 570.50 (50% off) and The Premiere Suite P7, 325.50 (50% off)
A. The Junior Suite
The Junior Suite has the following inclusions:
- Queen-sized bed
- 1 Toilet and Bath
- Hot and Cold shower
- basic toiletry kit
- 1 40″ Digital TV
- Air Conditioning
- FREE WI-Fi
- 2 plated breakfast meal
B. Premiere Suite
The Premiere Suite has the following inclusions:
- 2 Toilet and Bath, 1 Bathtub
- Hot and Cold Shower
- 1 40″ Digital TV (bedroom)
- 1 48″ Digital TV (Living area)
- Air Conditioning
- Free WI-FI
- 2 plated Breakfast Meal
What I liked about Le Blanc
Though we were quite disappointed, there were a few things that we liked about Le Blanc.
We are happy because they have maintained the cleanliness of the hotel. Obviously, they have sanitized our rooms. There was no foul smell as well during our stay.
2. Stable and strong WIFI connection
It is an advantage for somebody like me who always post on social media and check my email regularly. It was convenient for all of us, especially for me because I was able to manage my business and enjoy our staycation at the same time. I also used the smart TV for my aerobics the following day.
3. Courteous and attentive staff
We love the approachable and courteous staff. The front desk officer responds to my concern everytime I call to ask.
4. Comfortable Sleep
We had a comfortable sleep- just right to relax for the whole night to be fully recharged for the following day..
5. Connecting rooms for family staycations
The rooms I’ve reserved are ideal for families such as ours. Hubby, Shane, Bruce and I stayed in the Premiere suite, while my dad and Kyle stayed in the Junior suite. Access to the other room allows me to check on my family, even late in the evening. They don’t have to go anywhere if they need something.
6. Enough toiletry supplies and bath towels
We have 2 bathrooms in the Premiere suite-each has a set of two towels and toiletries (basic hand soap, shampoo and dental kit. The bathroom in the junior suite has also a set of 2 towels and toiletries.
7. We love the dinner from The Bistro Pantry
Overall Impression & Recommendations
In all honesty, we were a little disappointed because we were expecting something luxurious and special. The goal of this review is to help the hotel/resort find a way to better serve their guests. I know that it is indeed challenging to give an excellent service considering that they already dropped their prices and they have a limited workforce, but I hope they can consider the following:
1. FREEBIES & WARM WELCOME
It would have been special if they had given us welcome drinks or freebies like fruits, or even sweets. They have a water dispenser in the corridor, so I understood why they didn’t provide bottled water and electric kettle in the room, but they should have given sachets of coffee or tea bags. No need to have an expensive coffee machine and tea bags, 3-in-one coffee is fine.
Since its pandemic, they can give sanitizing kits as welcome freebies (a ziplock containing a face mask, sanitizing gel, alcohol, and baby wipes).
2. ROOM REMODELING /UPGRADE OF FURNISHINGS & FIXTURES
I think the room needs an upgrade of some furnishings. They need to double check that the sofa cover has no stains. They should also replace the glass covering of the working table, the old bathtub and probably they should make the room more alive by adding more decorations because it looks dull.
3. REGULAR TV PROGRAMS
I can live with Netflix and YouTube, but not the kids. Of course, we still prefer the local channels (regular TV programs). so that made them feel bored.
For me, one of the things to win a guest’s hear is through their stomach. On our staycations, one of the things I look forward to is the sumptuous breakfast. I am always excited to find out and showcase what they offer. I understood that it’s not like the usual hotels that provide unlimited serving of food (buffet or a la carte), as they only provide plated breakfast; however, because of their rates, I have assumed that this plated breakfast is something special.
We went down to the lobby at 7am because we were looking forward to dine at Gimmo. The guard informed us that the restaurant opens at 9am and he gave us the packed breakfast instead. We asked for the coffee, but he also said that he will just deliver the 4 cups of coffee at 9am.
So, we had no choice but to have our breakfast in our suite. Fried rice, sunny side-up egg and 2 pcs of longganisa is what they have in the food container. There was nothing special with the taste, but it could have been better if there was a cup of hot coffee while we were having our breakfast.
Is this worth the price?
No. I have booked a two-bedroom suite for only P10,000 before with unlimited food (buffet breakfast), free use of gym, 2 swimming pools, and complete room set up including the kitchen with small bar and dining set for 6 pax.
Would I consider coming back?
Yes, if they will consider my suggestions 🙂 After all, it’s not that bad. They can still improve their service.
MY OVERALL RATING:
Based from what we have experienced, DURING our staycation, I will give them 3 stars.