I had initially planned a trip with my fiancé and my parents over the Holy Week break, but sadly, right before Holy Week, something came up and we had to postpone it for a later date. However, since my fiance and I already made the trip to Manila from Iloilo to spend the non-working holidays with my parents, I still wanted the four of us to do something more special than just stay at home. My brilliant idea? A staycation in a hotel somewhere in Makati.
By that time, I worried that most good hotels would have already been booked by everyone else in Metro Manila who decided to do a staycation in the city instead of joining the rest of the crowds in beaches and destinations everywhere else. So I decided to turn to technology instead: I’ve been seeing ads online about the app Traveloka, and I figured this would be the perfect chance to use it to book a hotel. I’m glad I did—it’s so easy and so much fun to use!
My parents, fiance, and I in our I’M Hotel two-bedroom executive suite
Traveloka is a trusted online travel agent in Southeast Asia, and I’m glad it’s now in the Philippines because we need more travel-friendly apps here! Traveloka has listed more than 100,000 hotels worldwide. It can be accessed through desktop, mobile web, and mobile application (Android and iOS) anytime and anywhere.
If you’re ever in the same predicament and would need to make a last-minute hotel booking as well, here’s a walk-through of the app from my experience (including deals!):
1. Hotel search
The Traveloka App is easy to use. Just download it on Apple App Store (or Google Play Store for those using Android phones) and easily explore its interface. Traveloka even has options for flights—but that’s for another time.
Traveloka’s irresistible deals revolve on the masthead. What interested me the most was Mystery Deal Madness: Traveloka has featured mystery hotels at super discounted room rates. At the time I checked, a 5-star hotel was available for as low as P3,373. They don’t tell you what hotels are featured, just how many stars these hotels have, the discounted price, and the location. I checked out what the five-star hotel was and found that it’s located in Alabang. It also lists establishments close by and a description of the hotel to give you an idea if you’d like to book.
I already had a specific area in mind, so Traveloka App’s Mystery Deal Madness is definitely worth trying next time I’ll need to book a hotel—which is soon, since my fiance and I travel often.
I went back to the main landing page and clicked on the “Hotels” button, which leads to fields that allow users to indicate their destination or preferred area, the date they plan to check in, for how long, the number of rooms required, and how many guests will be checking in.
I narrowed down my options to Makati for April 15 to 16, the Easter weekend. The search results led to a list of hotels in Makati with availability, which can be further filtered down to different categories: Luxury, Budget, etc.
2. Selecting a hotel
After scrolling through several listings of Makati hotels, I found one that interested me: I’M Hotel, which several of my friends have been posting about. Traveloka provides comprehensive information about the hotel, including its main facilities, rating on TripAdvisor and reviews, address and location on a map, distance to nearby establishments, and more. It also clearly states the lowest room rate available.
Click on the “Select Room” button (you can’t miss the app’s orange buttons!) to see the available rooms in the property and their inclusions (in green when available), and make a selection. The hotel still had a two-bedroom suite available, so it would be easy to invite my parents to join us. The room type only appears in the selection when there’s still availability for the preferred dates of stay. Upon clicking the “Choose” button, I was led to a page that showed more photos of the room and its description, plus the hotel’s cancellation policy. Once I was sure I wanted to get this room (before someone else snagged it), I clicked the “Select Room” button.
3. Hotel booking
In booking a hotel room, guests are prompted to fill in contact information and other special requests.
Guests can review the complete details of their booking, including the price, of course, as well as whether breakfast and wi-fi are included, before proceeding to payment. I particularly like Traveloka App’s transparent pricing: what you see is already the final price (except when you have a coupon code that gives you a discounted rate upon payment—more on that here!).
Traveloka makes payment quick and easy using several payment options, not just credit card (although for my purposes, I used this). Here’s a list of their payment partners:
It’s so convenient that one can pay over-the-counter via 7-Eleven, which you can find pretty much anywhere! It’s so accessible.
5. Hotel voucher
Once I’ve completed my payment, Traveloka immediately sent me my hotel voucher via an SMS to my mobile number and email address, which I provided in the guest details fields.
The email itself indicates the guest’s booking ID and details of the hotel booking, with a more detailed hotel voucher and the receipt as attachments. That way, it’s convenient to present upon checking in.
In less than 15 minutes, I was able to book a staycation for the Easter holiday. I could rest easy, knowing the break wouldn’t go to waste.
My mom and I enjoying the pool at I’M Hotel
I can’t wait to find an excuse to use Traveloka again for my next trip or staycation in the city! It’s definitely recommended for those looking for exciting travel deals and want an easy-to-use travel booking app.