I have a new favorite hotel. It’s that simple. After years and years of searching and struggling, wasting time and my youthful years in flea-bag hotels, over-priced 3 and 4-star resorts that should have a star surgically removed without anesthesia, and even a certifiably haunted establishment (Hotel California), I’ve fallen in love with someone new. Or, someplace new, Is should say.
Here comes the Central Park Tower in Angeles City, a small and manageable entertainment city about an hour and a half north of Manila in the Philippines. I’m up here often to visit friends, do some of the fun stuff like the Hot Air Balloon Festival or the Angeles City Flying Club, and just to grab some seriously good grub.
But I’ve always wavered when it comes to hotels, trying new places ranging from $25/night Red Planets to my mainstay, the old and simple Euroasia ($30/night), all the way up to the price ladder. But I’ve never really found “the one” until now.
First off, the Central Park Tower is in a great location. It’s one block from the crazy (and slightly gross) Walking Street, but set back on its own street, so it’s very quiet. It’s also one block down from my favorite Mexican food in the Philippines, Tequila Reef.
Inside the hotel, you’ll notice the elegant lobby with chandeliers, marble and mirrors, and plush couches. But it’s the people here that stand out to me the most, as every bellhop, doorman, and front desk clerk is smiling, helpful, and professional while also being personal.
This trip, I had two giant suitcases, as I was moving most of my belongings from my apartment in Dumaguete up closer to Manila for storage. A hotel worker helped me with everything gladly and didn’t even expect a tip (of course, I gave him one).
The room is spacious; the bed is huge, there is a great view with almost-180 degree windows, the aircon blows so cold that I have to keep it all the way up to 25 C, and there is a perfect wooden desk and built-in cabinets. The bathroom, too, is huge, and the shower is so large that I wonder why they didn’t make them smaller and add an extra room per floor.
But the highlight of the Central Park Tower is the rooftop deck. It’s nothing short of dazzling, with a huge promenade of slate tile with grass inlays around an infinity pool. They have cabanas you can rent for sunbathing and lounging, a full really nice wooden bar right outdoors (in the shade) that’s bigger than you see in most Irish pubs, a full-service restaurant with great and inexpensive food, and an indoor coffee shop. It’s jumping every night with music and films projected on the outdoor theater, and they have live bands every weekend!
All of this for the modest price of about $58 a night if you find a deal. Drawbacks? I heard they have a gym at their sister hotel a few blocks down, but even that one is small and not worth it. And I can’t get the hot water to work after it was nice and steamy my first night. After that, I wouldn’t change a single thing!
But I’ve found out that you have to book early because it is so nice and in high demand, or else it gets sold out, or the price jumps up. I can see why!