I arrived in Cebu City without a hotel reservation but found one easily. I intend to stay here at least until after the big annual festival on Jan 18. The place I picked out of the Lonely Planet is as good as they say, but it is booked through the end of the festival, so I have to move on in a few nights.
I looked at 10 places today. One was a walk right by because there was no security at the door. Any business that serves the middle class or above has a guard at the door. If the business handles cash, the guard is carrying a shotgun. Banks have two guards at the door and more inside. For the rest, I looked at a room, bounced on the mattress and verified they had both hot water and water pressure.
The hotel I chose is about 300 yards farther from the daily essentials (food market, Internet cafe, restaurants, but if I don’t want to walk it’s a 30 peso (US 62 cents) cab ride and there is no shortage of cabs. The amenities this place has that the current one doesn’t include:
- Queen bed instead of a double
- Bathroom big enough to turn around in
- Three times the shelf space near the sink
- Twice the closet space
- Twice the drawer space
- 18″ TV instead of 13″
- A night stand that is actually bigger than the base of the lamp sitting on it
- A/C positioned to not blow directly on the bed
- All the common areas on the first floor are air conditioned
- In room refrigerator
- Free WiFi
- A Free litre of bottled water each day
All this for $8 more a night. I looked at a couple places that were $4 less than I’m currently paying. For that, I would have had to give up
- A/C lobby
- A chair and desk
- Hot water from the pipes instead of from a limited capacity instant hot water heater next to the shower
- Western standards of customer service
- Included filipino style breakfast
Low cost of living is just one of the reasons why the Philippines is on my list.