Villa Sol Subdivision
Tel: (63) 045-625-6973, 6976, 322-3681, 893-2905, 893-2906
Fax: (63) 045-625-6972
Price Category: Moderate
Distance from Fields: Moderate
Quiet: Complete and utter silence
Cleanliness: Very clean, but the rooms smell musty and moldy
Value for money: Good
Facilities: Large pool and "kiddie" pool (for those shorter Filipinas)
Located off of Don Juico, just past the Clarkton Hotel. There is a wide
driveway, just before you reach New York Street. The driveway is flanked by
rusty metal façade on what looks like a deserted structure (lots of those around
Access can either be by trike (they will nail you at least 70 peso to take you
out here) The best way is just to walk to checkpoint and grab the jeepney headed
to Friendship Gate. Four peso and ten minutes later - you're there. There is no
shuttle bus that was mentioned.
The Maharaja hotel is best compared to an ex bargirl past her prime. She used to
be a grand beauty - popular with all the guys at one time - but now is sad and
forlorn but still grasping-on to her former glory.
The place would make an ideal movie-shoot location for one of those Walter
Matthau, Dudly Moore, or even an old James Bond flick.
The hotel's brochure pictures happier times in the hotel's past, complete with a
brightly lit lobby and restaurant - filled with happy guests, families with
children, and a poolside photo with several white (yech!) women in bikinis. (I
think I've lost my appetite). The brochure also boasts a "central park of rare
Orchids" that are supposed to provide "endless enchantment among countless
guests". It also claims to be ";Angeles' best-known hotel". It also quote AC as
being a "shoppers paradise, a first-class dining and entertainment Mecca by
night, and an EASY 60 km drive from Manila.
Lets first set the record straight:
a) the lobby and restaurant are no longer brightly lit. They only use about 15%
of the lighting, and none at all during the day. The lobby and poolside
restaurant is lit up only by daylight. At night it is quite dark and gloomy.
b) The main dining hall is no longer used - except for conferences. All dining
is confined to the poolside-café. The kitchen is as slow as molasses and the
food is mediocre at best.
c) The hotel is no longer full of happy guests - it's occupancy rate is a shadow
of it's former self - almost feels like a lot of wasted rooms and space.
d) There are thankfully no white women walking around in bikinis
e) The central park of rare orchids is run down and a little sorry. The orchids
must not be so rare, cause I got similar ones growing in my garden
f) The Maharajah must be AC's least-known hotel to tourists, as few people know
about it (I often use it as a reference point to direct people to New York
Street, but they never seem to recognize the name of the hotel)
g) AC is anything but a shoppers "paradise" - more like a mild nightmare. The
last reason people come to AC is for the shopping
h) AC has a lot of places that are good to eat, but is nowhere near a
first-class dining experience.
i) AC is definitely an ADULT entertainment Mecca.
j) AC is an awful drive from Manila. Who are they trying to fool?
The entrance is very grand, all the hallways are carpeted, and the rooms and
common-areas are relatively clean. They have a nice big pool and a children's
pool as well. A bonus is all the rooms have a fan (just like the America Hotel)
The old grand dining room is now only used as a conference room.
Rooms: They have a dizzying array of room categories. The sign on the wall
behind the front desk quotes all the prices PLUS a 10% tax, but the lady assured
me that if challenged, they would waive the 10% increase. The rooms have 70's
style décor with rattan furniture. The floors are all hardwood, the walls are
textured plaster painted a taupe color that is nicer than the standard beige.
They all have a small fridge, old-looking washroom with shower. They also have
the most pathetic tiny little 14" TV set in all the rooms. All the rooms had
this terrible musty-moldy smell, perhaps due to the heavy curtains or bed-cover.
Once the aircon is on, it should help in retreating the odor into the
background. They say that odor recognition is a most-powerful memory-jolter. The
room smell instantly brought me back to my childhood, visiting my grandmother
and going down to her musty basement to find hidden "treasures".
The Singles, Super-Deluxe, Executive and Family room are on the ground floor.
The rest are on the second floor.
Single: 1050 php
Large room with double bed
Double: 1400 php
Has two double-beds
Triple: 1450 php
Has three single beds
Executive: 1200 php
Has a big bed, comprised of two connected doubles, with a mattress pad covering
"the crack". It also has a slightly upgraded washroom with marble floor and
Super Deluxe: 1200 php (all these rooms face the pool)
Boasts a beat-up couch and two doors, one main entrance from the hallway, and
another at the other end of the room providing a direct access to the pool area.
Family: 2000 php
Three single beds, room partition and one double bed. One washroom (again,
nowhere near enough for a family)
The single room is good value for the money, if you can get the room cold soon
enough to get rid of the musty smell. The Executive or Super Deluxe is the best
value. Although I couldn't stand to look at that
mildew-infested-excuse-of-a-couch in the Super-Deluxe, despite it's convenience
of pool-area access. The restaurant is a bit shabby but the pool is nice. The
place is monastery-silent and is quiet elegant-despite it's dated décor.
They have some Apartments/units for long-term rental located opposite the hotel,
but are overpriced for what you actually get. The only justification for the
price is the security of being in a closed compound. Many live here and leave
for an extended period of time without fear or worry of their place being broken
Review by Norman - Submitted May 04 - 2003