On the 25th of December 2015, I received an e-mail from The Overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association (HIDA) of Japan inviting me to join nine other Experts to experience a place called Gifu. Gifu Prefecture is located in Central Honshu, Japan’s main island and has played an important role in Japan’s history because of its strategic location. But honestly – why haven’t I heard about this place even before this invitation? I was excited anyway and was very eager to learn about Gifu so I packed my clothes way before my scheduled flight!
I skimmed through the documents that came along with the invitation to search for our accommodation since I committed to writing about hotels and restaurants. You know what I found out? We will be hotel hopping for the five day trip! This is going to be an adventure!
From the list of hotels, HOTAKASO YAMANO HOTEL particularly caught my attention because their website gave an option for guests to choose to book a western style room or a Japanese style room. I emailed, Yuki Tanaka, one of the the organizers and requested for her to book me in a Japanese style room and I was elated to find out that there was one available for me!
To cut the story short, let me just bring you to HOTAKASO YAMANO HOTEL. Have fun with me as I explore their Japanese style room.
But before that, here is how the hotel looked like when we arrived:
The hotel looks heavenly right? But that will be for another article. Now, let me walk you through my one-of-a-kind room.
Ooops, before we get inside, I would like to remind you to leave your shoes outside. An inside slipper will be provided for you.
You might wonder, how about their restroom? Well, it looks pretty much western to me. The only difference is that the toilet is separated from the shower.
I also enjoyed the regular soaking tub..
Those are the five distinctive features of a Japanese style room. Throughout the night, I could not hide my amazement at how rich the Japanese culture is and I am truly blessed to have experienced it through an overnight stay at HOTAKASO YAMANO HOTEL at Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, Japan.
Part of my blogging hobby is to rate hotels, inns and other types of accommodations and so I am starting with the first one that I tried this year – the GRAND PRIX HOTEL. Hotels are rated with 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 stars, but what do these stars really mean?
Based on my research, this is how hotels are rated:
5-Star Rating: These are hotels that offer the highest degree of pampering. They are luxurious hotels where elegance and style overflow. You will find rooms with quality linens, VCR, CD stereo, jacuzzi tubs, and video on-demand. Dining won’t be a problem because there are multiple restaurants on site with extensive gourmet menus. Room-service is also available 24-7. A five star hotel has a fitness center, valet parking, and concierge service.
4-Star Rating: These are formal and large hotels, with top of the line customer service. These hotels are usually found beside other 4-star rated hotels and are usually very near establishments for shopping, dining, and entertainment. You should expect rooms that are elegantly furnished. They also house restaurants and likewise offer room service. Services such as valet parking, a fitness center, and a concierge are a given.
3-Star Rating: These are hotels that are usually very accessible to business people and are strategically located near major streets and malls. They have appealing lobbies where business people usually entertain or meet with their clients. They have in-hotel restaurants that offer offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will also expect valet and room service, a small fitness center, and a pool.
2-Star Rating: These are hotels for people on the go. They are generally part of a hotel chain or franchise and they offer a uniform quality of service but with limited amenities. The rooms are just enough for sleeping, usually small or medium in size and will only have a phone and TV. There is no room service but should have a small restaurant on site.
1-Star Rating: These are family owned and operated hotels. They only provide the basic needs, such us bed and shower. There should be restaurants nearby, should be very accessible to public transportation and should be surrounded with affordable entertainment.
Now, we traveled from Baguio City to Manila to process some documents with a plan of heading back again to Baguio City on the same day. Considering that we arrived at around 4am at the bus terminal, we needed a place to freshen up and to take a quick nap. The closest that we found is of course – GRAND PRIX, PASAY –
the hotel is just within the Victory Liner, Pasay Terminal Compound.
They have small rooms at P525.00 for 3 to 5 hours. Not bad because we are just going to wash up and rest a bit. Unfortunately, we were told that they only have big rooms available at P1,000.00 for 3 to 5 hours with no breakfast and Superior Rooms at P1,455.00 for 12 hours including breakfast. We opted for the Superior room since it included breakfast and we might come back for a shower before going back to Baguio City. After booking, we were disappointed when we were told that we had to wait for 30 minutes for them to set up the room.
The good thing is, they have a waiting area where at most 6 guests could comfortably be seated while waiting for their room to be ready.
After 30 minutes of waiting, we were ushered to our room…
Want to be organized even for that short stay?
Need to freshen up?
Because you are given these…
After washing up and taking a quick nap, we headed to their dining hall- the Grill Circuit Restaurant, to have our complimentary breakfast…
What did we have for breakfast?
Things you need to know:
De Luxe and Superior are based on Single or Twin Occupancy;
Family and Studio Room rate are based on Single, Twin and Triple Occupancy;
Rates are inclusive of daily breakfast for Overnight Stay;
Children Ten (10) years old below are free of charge when sharing room with parents, minimum of two (2)n kids in a room.
Property Features Include (according to them):
Flat Screen TV, Individual Controlled air-conditioning unit, Hot and Cold Shower (our room didn’t have hot and cold shower though), 24 hours security system, standby genset, Fully automated fire safety system (imagine yourself asking a hotel before checking in – “Before I check in, I would like to know if your fire safety system is fully automated”) , WIFI (but unreliable).
So what’s the verdict? This hotel is a TWO STAR HOTEL.
Cleanliness: It was ok. The idea that someone used the room immediately before you made me think twice, especially when they told me that they have to set it up first. But when we got to the room, it was spick and span.
Location: It actually depends on where you need to be. We were there to process some documents at the Japanese Embassy so the hotel was really close to our intended destination. Less than 15 minutes drive without traffic. The hotel car brought us to the Japanese embassy for P300.00. We later on realized that we can actually hail a cab and pay lesser than that. But we felt safe so we didn’t mind.
Price: If you are just looking for a decent room then the price is just ok. There are other fancier hotels nearby at a higher rate but you won’t have the time scouting for these hotels especially that Grand Prix Hotel is close to the place where you need to do your errands.
Customer Service: The staff are very friendly.
So, will I be recommending this hotel? Yes, if you are just there to wash up and be on the go.
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