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Hello, everyone! Sharing to you our latest staycation experience we had in Sulit Dormitel along Santa Mesa, Manila. And as its name suggests, sulit talaga! Let me run you through our whole trip:
LOCATION & LOBBY AREA
Check the map above for the exact location. We rode the LRT2 and dropped off at Sta. Mesa station. From there, it’s a 3-minute walk from Aurora Blvd. to Baldovino St. and then finally, to Road 3 where the hotel can be found. The streets are packed with residents, boarders, stores and people of all ages either doing business or just hanging around- our typical Pinoy barangay environment.
If you’re not from the area and it’s your first time around, you might feel scared because anything can happen. But we’ve been here a couple of times already to tell that the streets are just too busy and crowded for anyone to do something illegal (and stupid). People would gang up on the bad guy right away.
There’s no security guard, but the entrance of the hotel has an automated lock controlled by the receptionist on duty. You can rest easy knowing not anyone can just waltz in the place. The lobby is spacious, and is combined with a sort of common-slash-dining area. Customers hang out here to use the Wi-Fi net with their laptops, eat food ordered from the hotel kitchen or just watch the TV. For a ‘cheap’ hotel, I’m surprised the receiving area is spick and span, knowing it’s usually where all the dirt from outside all gather. Another thing to note is that the staff are quite respectful and accommodating.
My first reaction was “Really!?” because for less than a thousand pesos, we got this awesome room for ourselves- for a full 24 hours! This is a good deal because on average, a budget hotel would usually cost twice as much. The double room we got is more spacious than those of other hotels, and it’s very clean! Not sure if it’s because the hotel is relatively new, or they’re just that serious with cleaning and maintenance.
Two towels creatively folded to a swan will greet you as you enter your room. The queen-sized bed is of good quality, similar to Mango Hotel or Mariposa (if you’ve been to those places) but definitely not like the atrocious skinny beds of Sogo! You may want to bring a thick blankie though for a better fluffy experience. The wooden floor makes for a premium homey feel, and the bathroom is, you guessed it, sparkly clean as well! We have the typical sink, toilet with bidet and a shower without a heating component.
Toiletries are provided for free- the two soaps, toothbrushes, shampoo and toothpaste are all neatly tucked in a ZenRooms pouch (which you can take home for free). The LED TV is a 42-inch (I think?) Xenon, a brand I haven’t heard of before but I was quite impressed with its quality! The screen is sharp and the colors are dynamic enough for a good watch. I brought an HDMI cable and connected my laptop for our anime marathon. The aircon is a bit small so it took time to completely cool our room.
FOOD & SERVICE
What kind of staycation it would be if you can’t have breakfast, lunch or dinner in bed right? In Sulit Dormitel, you can order affordable Pinoy silog meals and have it served in your room! There’s Longganisa (Hamonado), Tocino, Pork Tapa, Beef Tapa, Ham and Corned Beef, served with rice, egg, atsara and your choice of coffee or orange juice- all for 75 PHP! There’s also Lucky Me Pancit Canton for 20 PHP!
To know what other food and drink you can buy from the hotel, you can go downstairs and check their food stall. They offer consumables ranging from chips, snack bars, cup noodles, instant noodles, blended coffee, softdrinks, various bottled drinks and many more! They also sell other miscellaneous stuff like toiletries.
WHAT ELSE TO DO
I forgot to mention: a minute of walking from Sulit Dormitel will take you to a back gate leading to SM Sta. Mesa! So when you get bored in your room or want something else to eat, just go there. You probably already know the hundreds of stuff you can do or eat there so I won’t bother to enumerate lol.
Across the mall is the SM Mezza Residences. It’s basically a condominium, but the ground floor comprises a SaveMore supermarket as well as tons of restaurants and cafes. On one occasion, we dined at Mr. Kebab and another at Kuroda Ramen. As our visit was mainly a staycation, we weren’t able to get far from the hotel.
Overall, we had a wonderful time! The entirety of Sulit Dormitel was clean from the reception area to our room’s toilet. The bed was okay, the big and clear LED TV was more than what I expected, and the wooden floor was a really nice touch. I would have liked two things though: the aircon to be a bit stronger and the shower to have a heater, but they really weren’t that big of an issue in the end.
The staff were accommodating (almost always smiling), and the food is commendable for the price considering other higher-end hotels serve the same damn thing for triple the price haha. Having a mall nearby was convenient- if we wanted any of our favorite food or drinks, all we needed to do was walk.
We wanted some simple and budget-friendly R&R away from work and our daily routine, and we got it! Simple things like cleanliness, proper interaction with the customers and accommodating their simple requests make big things for the establishment, after all. Keep it up, Sulit Dormitel!
P.S. They also accept long term residents and transient guests.