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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: Diamond Hotel, Manila, Philippines

After arriving on a terrific flight onboard United Polaris from San Francisco to Manila (which you can read about here, https://www.jettoajet.com/post/review-united-polaris-business-class-from-san-francisco-sfo-manila-mnl-on-the-777-300) it was time to check into the Diamond Hotel in Manila.


On the way through Manila

Price Paid


I booked this one-night stay for 191 USD per night through hotels.com (no I don't get commission) which should have entitled me to complementary upgrades along with other perks. However, when I asked upon check-in they said there were no rooms available. I was willing to negotiate an early check-in (it was 8 am) along with a club-level room for an extra 48$ for the night. Not bad considering I was able to check in 7 hours before the standard time.


Christmas tree at check-in

Location


Diamond Hotel is located in an unusual location as most of the "nicer" hotels are around the Makati area. It does overlook the ocean which is the reason I chose it. However, find out later if I liked it fully or not. It's about a 25-minute drive from the airport if there is no traffic but in Manila, there is always traffic. Here is a visual for those who understand visually better.



Check-In/ Front Desk


As I wrote above the front desk staff were willing to work with me to check in earlier. It would have been nice if it was free but then again nothing in this world is, is it?


The front desk staff and concierge stood out to me while I was there. They were unbelievably helpful when locating a spot for dinner along with offering to arrange rides for me. One person even tried to look into a boxing class for me. 5/5 stars.



My Room


I was assigned a high-level room which was a nice touch so I headed over to the elevators, which were right next to check-in, and made my way up. One thing that p*sses me off (excuse my language) about some hotels is the fact that elevators can take an eternity. Good thing they were very rapid here!


Out of the elevator

I then turned right following down the hallway.


Beautiful decorations

Just a short 10-second walk I found my suite/room assigned to 2419.



Upon first glance, the room looks stunning with a gorgeous color scheme! The gold and red bring a relaxing but royal feeling to the room.


Not too bad at all

The bed was made perfectly with 4 comfortable pillows that awaited me at the end of the day. Gosh, I had to try hard to beat that horrendous jetlag, but I did it! I also slept soundly for 8 hours straight thanks to this bed.


There was a phone on the side of the bed which actually worked! Some of the other phones on this trip which you will read about later didn't. There were also international charging ports!



The red sofa and desk. While I didn't have much time to relax in the room there was a red sofa which had sweeping views of the beach and some of the city. I sat down for a minute and seemed comfortable enough. Also is it just me or does it seem perfect for cuddling with someone? Shame I live a single, lonely life (just joking, I love being by myself!).


The desk I did sit at for about 15 minutes as I brought my Starbucks back and did my initial review on Polaris. Completely okay, to be honest, it's just a desk and a chair. If you are here for work it's functional.


Functional?

I'm a huge fan of ceiling-to-floor mirrors. No, not because I stand all day sticking my bum out and staring at my lip fillers taking selfies. It's because 1, it adds a nice ambiance to the room but 2, it is nice to see a full outfit check (briefly) before heading out!


Technically not a selfie!

As mentioned above there was a decent view from the room being that I was on the 24th floor. I forgot to take a picture of the ocean which was to the left of this building.


Grey skies?? no way!

There were also housecoats provided which were adequate. Not like the Four Seasons Robes though.



And Pairs of slippers (more on that later)



A kettle was provided, a coffee machine would have been nice!



The Bathroom


The bathroom was probably the biggest let-down of the room. While it looked like the bedroom had been renovated recently (probably just before the pandemic), the bathroom looked and felt old. The amenities were top notch though.


Upon entering there is a single sink in front of you with a mirror. Not the most fascinating part of the review but I try to keep it comprehensive! And a scale ah please no, I don't want to weigh myself on holiday!


A scale might be my biggest fear

A load of amenities were offered such as all of these for showering and after showering. Don't know this brand but I didn't get any complaints about smelling bad when I was out!



These were also provided near the sink...



The toilet was located on the right-hand side when you walked in. It was notably low to the ground, not that this is an issue for me at all just another different aspect to this hotel. As typically found in Asia this toilet also consisted of a sprayer....


Just in case you miss🙃

The bathtub and shower are located on the right-hand side of the bathroom when you walk in. The bathtub also felt very old but did work surprisingly well. I had two wonderful bubble baths in 24 hours.


Looks old

Does anyone else shower before getting in a bath or am I just crazy? I don't want to sit in my own cooties. Anyhoo, here is a picture of the shower. Once again, functional.


Key word; functional

Enough of the room situation let's move on to the facilities


The Spa


I ended up booking a massage around 5 pm as I felt it would be a perfect way to unwind for the night. The spa is located on the second floor and I booked a Swedish massage for 1 hour for about 30 dollars. It was a good massage, just remember you are in Asia if you know what I mean so don't be shocked if someone offers you, let's just say more. As you will read about later this would be an ongoing trend at one of the top-ranked hotels in Asia. At least I wasn't pressed when saying no like I would be at other hotels.


Comfy Cozy

The Pool


This part of the hotel might have been my favorite as on December 18th it was almost empty around the pool. The pool is located on the ground floor but you have to go up to the second floor and then walk back down. Makes no sense but c'est la vie. I did run into a wedding party and contemplated photobombing 😅.



Once arriving downstairs I found the pool and jacuzzi.



But more importantly, I found the bar. At the end of the day, I am on vacation! This is what the menu read for drinks.


Fine prices especially for a blowjob😨


I opted to have two shots of 1800 reposado as sugary stuff makes me have a hangover and I had a long day tomorrow. 100% watered down but if you travel to SE Asia get used to it.



I have to give a special shoutout to the bartender who was an amazing man to talk to. He told me what it was like to live in Manila and how hard he worked to provide for his family. We are talking 14-hour days sometimes. If you happen to go to this hotel, say hi to me!



The Restaurant


I was planning on visiting the restaurant so I would be able to review it. However, on both occasions breakfast and dinner, it went south. Well, to start with for dinner I headed over and was informed that there were no tables available. Okay, I'm serious when I say this there were probably over 100 tables and three were occupied. I informed them I would be in and out in under 40 minutes as I was tired, but I was still declined...


Breakfast. Ummm well, I decided to head down for breakfast, in my slippers since I only had these big shoes which I have to tie every time. I was declined entry to a breakfast buffet because I was in hotel slippers. If I get declined at a fine dining restaurant in the Four Seasons I understand. However, people were wearing flip flops so I do not see the logic here. Everything happens for a reason though.


Overall Service


It's hard to summarize the service as the front desk and the man at the pool were fantastic! However, the service at the restaurant was shambolic and quite frankly, just rude. It's a mixed bag.


Final Thoughts


Diamond Hotel was a place to sleep at the end of the day. Would I recommend someone to stay there? Well, that is entirely up to you but I personally wouldn't come back. The location is inconvenient for me as I like to roam around Makati, the bathrooms are in desperate need of a revamp, the double standards at the restaurant were not great. To add on even though rooms were available for a free upgrade I wasn't given one. However, it's not all bad news the service at the front desk and pool were terrific, I slept well and was able to see the beach! It's really up to you but there are some serious areas of improvement for Diamond Hotel.



View From the Hallway

It was then time to leave back to the airport after 24 hours in Manila to fly to Bangkok! I'll see you in the next article!


Beach!!!



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