Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Davao's First: Apo View Hotel

Just when I thought August was crazy, I was greeted by an even crazier September. With three trips lined up, two for Davao and one for Shanghai, I could count with one hand how many days I stayed at home. I'm not complaining though as it's also nice to have a change of scenery from time to time. And speaking of change, R and I decided to try out another accommodation during our third visit in Davao

Hello, Apo View Hotel.

Apo View Hotel is one of the most popular hotels in the city of durian. It opened its doors to the public in 1948 with only fifteen rooms and one restaurant, making it the very first hotel in Davao
Throughout the years, Apo View Hotel expanded to 100 guest rooms and is now recognized as one of Davao City's landmarks. It has also won several prestigious awards and recognition such as the Datu Bago Award (highest award given by the City of Davao to its outstanding constituents) and being recognized as a Pioneer Hotel by the Department of Tourism. Just reading those made me feel so excited towards my three nights stay in Apo View Hotel.

One of the front desk staff assisted us with our baggage as soon as we've arrived and we were greeted by a pretty nice hotel lobby with high ceiling. Though the lobby seemed to be a bit old, it still exudes a classy vibe. 
Adjacent to the reception is the hotel's mini coffee shop where one can enjoy a cup of joe with some pastries. The baked treats are very limited though. 
There's also a small casino in the hotel by PAGCOR for those who are feeling extra lucky.

After checking in, we headed to our Deluxe Suite room (PHP2,900/night) for a quick rest. We had to split the group of 7 though as the elevator was too small for all of us. 

We all stayed at the third floor and discovered that the down button of the elevator on our floor was busted. We always get skipped so the only way for us to get down, aside from taking the stairs, was to press the up button and take a short joy ride. 
All rooms use a room card to get in and power the unit. But we were all just given one card per room. 
As soon as we stepped inside, we realized that we really were in an old hotel. The design of the room was old and just looking at the small outdated television set made us feel like we were back in the 70s or 80s. 
Though lacking in some amenities such as internet connection in the room and a more decent television, the linens and the room itself were clean. Our toiletries were replenished daily too. 
At first, I didn't really mind the very weak and unstable internet connection in the room till I had to do some work at night. I ended up spending a few hours at the lobby, the only place with fast connection. 
The breakfast buffet was decent. The spread includes local breakfast staples like eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausages, and the like. It's best to wake up early though as the hotel does not seem to refill the trays. We headed down around 8:30 a.m. and some trays were more than half empty. There was also one morning when I didn't even get to grab some fruits as they were already out. 
The nice thing about this place though is that you could request for your chosen viands to get heated up. 

On our last day, I was forced to enjoy cold shower because the hotel's heater broke. We did get a note from the hotel but I noticed the small piece of paper a bit too late as I was already on my way down for breakfast. I guess this hotel badly needs to have its amenities repaired, updated or changed. Aside from the elevator button and the heater, the air conditioning in our room was busted. It was either too hot or too cold. It was impossible to set it at the perfect temperature. 
Before checking out, I decided to check the pool area just so I know if I missed out and it turned out that I didn't. The pool was small and there was no view at all. It made me wonder why they called the hotel Apo View. Then again, perhaps you might catch a glimpse of the beautiful mountain at the hotel's highest floor? I don't know.

Overall, I don't think I'll be booking another night here. Despite the warm service and central location (there are some restaurants and 7-Eleven nearby), I could find a better hotel at the price it charges.  

Apo View Hotel is located at 150 Camus Street, Poblacion, Davao City.

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