Hotel St. Ellis :: Legazpi, Philippines

Having stayed in all the top hotel names in Legazpi, I have to say that the Hotel St. Ellis is my new favorite.

Be sure to read all the way down. And remember whatever I say below, the Hotel St. Ellis is where I will be booking my stay the next time I come to Legazpi.

Plus Points

  • I’m going to start by saying one of the Hotel St. Ellis’s main features is it’s location. Since I arrived here I haven’t used any transport (excluding the free airport shuttle) whatsoever. I have easily walked everywhere.
  • Next on the plus list is the beds. My King Size bed is awesome! A good nights sleep is one of the most important things when booking a hotel room. And let me assure you, the beds are perfect.
  • Next is the shower. Hot and cold water giving me a nice refreshing bathe in the morning. No issues here.
  • Included breakfast buffet.
  • Free airport shuttle. I arrived at Legazpi airport at 6:06am. I did not book a pickup with the Hotel St.Ellis because every time I have landed in Legazpi in the past I have seen their representative there picking people up. And indeed he was there again this time as well. He seems to always be there.
  • Early check in. The drive from the airport to the hotel takes just minuets. As we pull up outside I realise I haven’t requested an early check in. Ooops! Not a problem though. My room was ready for me to occupy. Very good news as I was exhausted. By 6:47am just 40 minuets after landing I was in my room.

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So great location, in fact the best location for the city center. Nice bed with good shower, and breakfast thrown in. And free airport shuttle with early check in. For choosing a hotel that’s all the box’s ticked isn’t it? Err.. no one more box needs to be ticked for me. And this is where the Hotel St. Ellis falls down. The AC (Air Conditioning) in the rooms is appalling. I mean absolutely dreadful. I read about this online before booking my stay here, but didn’t think it would be this bad. The units are old, inefficient and in my opinion beyond serviceable life. The hotel should throw them all out and invest in new ones. What surprises me is the fact that they haven’t.

Poor performance AC Unit
Poorly performing AC units are letting the Hotel St. Ellis down badly

After checking in and entering my room, it took me only minuets to decide I couldn’t stay in that room. It was too warm and I could tell the AC was not going to do the job. Back down to reception I went, and requested another room. Which they sorted out for me immediately. My new room seemed much better at first. But unfortunately at night I couldn’t sleep because the room was still too warm.

King Size Bed
King Size beds in the Hotel St. Ellis are fabulous. So, so comfortable.

So a dilemma. How do I sort this problem out? I really like this hotel. I don’t want to change hotels. But I can’t sleep in my hot room. And I don’t think changing rooms will sort it out because I think they are all the same. The solution was actually easy to think of, I would ask them to give me a fan in my room.

When I went to reception to ask for my fan, I decided not to give them my solution right away. I wanted to pose the problem to them and see if they could solve it for me. Having explained that I like the hotel, but my room is too hot because the AC is not functioning properly, I was immediately offered another room. I pointed out that I had moved once already and didn’t think that would solve the problem. I also pointed out that I had read numerous reviews online complaining about the AC and I didn’t think that my complaint was coming as a surprise to him. He tried not to acknowledge that AC complaints were common and asked if he could send an engineer to my room to fix the AC. I declined the offer stating that I didn’t believe any amount of work on my AC unit was going to improve its performance. At this point I said that it was my opinion that a fan would resolve my issue, and asked if I could have one brought to my room. He was delighted that there was a solution and agreed to send one straight up. Just as I was leaving him I asked if AC problems were a common complaint, and this time he smiled and gave a timid nod.

Sure enough within minuets my fan was delivered to my room. And as expected, in conjunction with the poorly performing AC unit, the room temperature came down. And that was the end of my sleeping problems. The fan is a good one. A little noisy, but giving me perfect results. Thus if you are coming to stay at the Hotel St. Ellis, just be ready to request a fan if you need one.

Now that is not the end of my complaining. Well I haven’t complained about this to the hotel staff, but I’m going to complain about it to you. The hotel is tired. Finishings have faded. Paint has eroded and dirt has accumulated. Not to the point that I am going to checkout and exit the hotel screaming. But to be honest I find it disappointing.

Problems with the Hotel St. Ellis paint work.
Problems with the Hotel St. Ellis paint work.

The AC problem is cheap and easy for the hotel to fix. And so is the issue with the dated decoration. I simply don’t understand why the management are not investing in the property to keep it in top condition.

Hotel St. Ellis paint in need of attention
Hotel St. Ellis paint in need of attention

Even the room key cards look exhausted.

Hotel St. Ellis key card looking worn out
Hotel St. Ellis key card looking worn out

Bathroom fixtures are especially tired.

Hotel St. Ellis bathroom fixtures looking worn out
Hotel St. Ellis bathroom fixtures looking worn out

Seriously how much would it cost them to put this right? And this is not a cheap hotel.

Ok so that is my ranting done. Now back to the positive stuff. Breakfast is included. And it’s a decent one. Well if you like Asian food.

Asian style buffet breakfast at the Hotel St. Ellis Legazpi
Asian style buffet breakfast at the Hotel St. Ellis Legazpi

I like Asian food. But I prefer a good old British breakfast when possible. But that is my preference. And everyone else in the room was tucking into their breakfast and seemed to be loving it.

Breakfast at the Hotel St. Ellis is very well recieved
Breakfast at the Hotel St. Ellis is very well received

I had a little of the noodles, some of the pork and a spoon or two of stuff I can’t identify. And it was all nice. But for me the guy cooking eggs in his live cooking station saved breakfast for me.

Live egg cooking station at the Hotel St. Ellis
Live egg cooking station at the Hotel St. Ellis

He produced a lovely freshly cooked bacon, tomato and cheese omelet for me, not once, but twice because it was so damn good.

Freshly cooked omelet
Freshly cooked omelet

And I have continued enjoying great omelets every day since.

Now I just want to hit on location again. The other top hotel in Legazpi is the Oriental. It’s a decent hotel, and I have stayed in the Oriental numerous times. But it’s so damn far away from the city center.

I can walk out of the hotel lobby right now and be at any of the three main malls here in Legazpi in just a mater of minuets. LCC mall is about 75m away and will take me say 2 minuets to be inside.

LCC Mall Legazpi
LCC Mall Legazpi
LCC Mall Legazpi
LCC Mall Legazpi

Next, just a bit further up the road. Lets say at the most 4 minuets walk. Is the brand new Ayala Mall.

Ayala Mall Legazpi
Ayala Mall Legazpi also known as Liberty Mall

Keep going just a little further, lets say 8 minuets walk from the Hotel St. Ellis, and you come to Pacific Mall which is also known as Gaisano. And this used to be may favorite mall until Ayala got finished about a year ago.

Pacific Mall also known localy as Gaisano
Pacific Mall also known localy as Gaisano

And that is just the malls and all the things they bring to the table. Also mega close by are street vendors, cinema, bars, convenience stores and everything else you can imagine you will find in a city center.

So if you can overlook the tired paint work and don’t mind having to ask for a fan. The Hotel St. Ellis could be well worth a try. I have been absolutely clear about what I see as the hotels problems, but believe its benefits override the maintenance/upkeep issues. Enjoy your stay. I am 🙂

 

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