I’ve forgiven and forgotten past loves but some places still carry unique memories.
I’ve been to the Manila Ocean Park before with the Happy Meal and ZeYaya and ZeLowlah before. It was a fun day with sea lion show, light and sounds show and a good walk through the grounds. But my most recent visit to the place was to be with a then-boyfriend-and-then-fiance-then-ex.
It was a night of sad goodbyes with me, not knowing at the time, that it would be the last time I would ever see him. A break up would surface a couple of months later, no thanks to someone else *cough* *cough* third party *cough* *cough.
And so the opportunity to stay at the hotel again was a welcome event that I opened with open arms. It would be nice to visit the hotel once again and replace old memories with new ones. Memories that are newer, funner and even naughtier even though the hotel isn’t didn’t change much.
So, welcome again to Hotel H20 Manila. Let’s see what happened during our 1-night stay.
One of the most awkward hotel pools evah
Imagine a giant maybe-20 person hot tub, sexy right? How about a large Olympic size-ish pool? Awesome right? What if I told you this pool was designed by a team with voyeur-fetishes? Can you imagine a crowd of 1000-people just staring at you as you swim and splash around the pool?
Well, this was the reality that was in this hotel.
Manila Ocean Park has these bird and sea lion shows throughout the day. They have it in this 1000-person (from what I could estimate) arena. There’s the small pool for the sea lions get to do their tricks and then a small platform for the trainers, behind them is a very long pool that’s for hotel use, but only a quarter of it is actually used because the rest is cordoned off.
The stadium/arena fills up a few minutes before every show and if you’re lucky. You jump in the pool and you’ve got a massive crowd staring at you the entire time you’re there. Sure, you get a free sea lion show but nobody wants to be ogled at when you’re at your most basic of bodily coverage – nobody. I don’t care how damn sexy you are, which I am.
Talk about awkward. Kids swimming around and a
bunch sh-tload of tourists are there staring at you.
An empty stadium. From top to bottom: the bleachers, the small strip of blue is the sea lion pool, the small patch of beige is for the trainers, the huge blue-green one is the pool, and you can see the part that is only allowed forthe guests on the left part of the pool divider, the dark moss green section is where they conduct the lights and sounds show.
Bathrooms that aren’t really ROOMS
This was something I had problems with during the last stay and it was just a lot more different now. They don’t really have a separate room. Basically, the set up was that you have the bed, below it is some carpeting, a couple of steps later, you’re on tile, 2 feet of tile and you’ve got the shower and toilet door – which are both *just* frosted glass doors.
Taking a pee was very awkward as you could just hear the damn thing throughout the whole room. This was the reason I left the hotel so full of shi-, quite literally. I couldn’t get around the idea of taking a dump in such an awkward room.
Also, I find it offensive that a hotel in Asia does not have EITHER a bidet or a dipper. It’s one or the other, baby. You’re in Asia and you’re not even a huge chain hotel, so I expect a little consideration for Asian guests. We Wash. We don’t Wipe. And even if we did, Philippine pipes, which would apply to yours as well, are never meant to handle copious amounts of toilet paper being flushed through them. Address the issue. You ARE called Hotel H20, right?
*raises both hands and looks away* I’m just saying, y’all.
(r-l) The Sink, the shower door and the toilet door. Shot taken from my bed. I know, right? *Heavy Sigh*
A somewhat annoying staff
We got a knock on our door at 10am that asked us if we were checking out that day. We told them that we were only staying for 1 night and I don’t know where the confusion was coming from. An hour later, we got another disturbance when they called up to check if we were checking out.
Gosh, even shitty motels don’t bug you as much.
Check out was at noon so I had no idea what the whole deal was.
HOTEL SAVING GRACE:
It’s got a great view. The bar of the complex (it’s not particularly exclusive to the hotel) is overlooking the water and if you can get past the 90’s playlist (featuring Mariah Carey’s Dreamlover and Alex Clare’s Too Close), you can actually have a great time just enjoying the uninterrupted view of the water. It’s al fresco, too, so that’s always a good thing when experiencing the Manila Bay sunset.
The beds were real comfortable. Like, good hotel beds and good hotel pillows. We liked that a lot. I can’t remember that we had breakfast on either of our stays but the coffee station serves up a good purpose.
Fair number of food establishments nearby. Within the complex are different restaurants like Jollibee, Pancake House, Gerry’s Grill.
Free Sea Lion Show (ONLY, if you have the 2nd floor rooms)???
- Located at the Manila Ocean Park Complex (behind Quirino Grandstand, behind Rizal Park)
- Price starts at P3,600-ish
- It goes with a long walk to the lobby. The hotel itself is within the Manila Ocean Park complex so you will be dropped off at the very entrance of the complex, you’re going to have to walk up a flight of stairs, through the Ocean Park lobby, into the hotel section and then up an elevator, before you land into the front desk which is on the 3rd floor.
- There are essentially 3 kinds of rooms: 1 that overlooks the park “arena” (where they have the bird and sea lion shows), 1 that is a “viewless” room but has a huge aquarium on one side of the room and 1 that overlooks the bay. The last one, of course, being best out of all of them.
Stay if you’re a family with young kids. Although there are more *fun* things to do in Manila, it’s as close as you’re going to get to a Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, set up. Really. This is as close as you’re going to get to that.