Zen Hotel: A Review
Maharlika Highway Villasis
Santiago City, Isabela
Tel: +63(078) 305-2351 / +63-917-871-6955
Zen Hotel makes an impression as soon as you enter the lobby. The modern look and spacious entrance raise expectations immediately. The staff is ever so friendly and tend to your every need. They provide you with “pocket wifi” if the signal in the room isn’t strong enough. The owner who is most of the time present on-site also takes time for his guests and makes you feel welcome. If you visited the website beforehand, you will not be disappointed at this point. It seems a lot of thought has gone into the marketing strategy, using appealing slogans.
The parking area in front of the building is usually crowded. However there is ample parking space at the back of the building which is gated and guarded. With Zen Hotel prime location along
Maharlika Highway, public transportation is also not an issue. It is next to a school and within walking distance to shops, cash machine and restaurants.
If you don’t feel like going out, the hotel has its own restaurant located on the ground floor. Salido Restaurant offers Chinese cuisine which looks appetizing and tastes delicious. The waiters are polite, attentive and sociable. The food quality and the reasonable price make it one of the locals favorite.
Aside from the restaurant, the hotel has a swimming pool which is the focal view point as you ascend the transparent glass elevator which adds a sophisticated touch to the hotel on the way to your hotel room. If you are lucky you may get a room with the pool view.
Contrastingly, the rooms do not reflect the classy atmosphere of the lobby. They are simple, almost bare. There was no head board and somehow the wallpaper adds no value to the ambiance of the room. On top of that, there was an ant infestation, which spread over several floors. It must be said that every effort was made to provide us with a room free of bugs, but the problem seemed to be too big to handle. One must assume this is a temporary problem that will be resolved over time.
For breakfast, an all-you-can-eat buffet is available offering Filipino style (with rice) or continental style (with bread). The choice of the buffet is sufficient. However, because it is served right there in the lobby, it was too busy: not the “zen atmosphere” you may hope for.
Sadly, the hotel can not quite deliver on its promises. The owner explained that the hotel is still quite new and improvements are still being made. We would still give the hotel a second chance next time around, simply for the friendliness of the staff and the sincere efforts of the owner to please his guests. After all, Rome wasn’t build in a day either.