The Center Suites Response to “Traumatic Experience” Story by Erica Pelaez

The Center Suites Response to “Traumatic Experience” Story by Erica Pelaez


The following was posted by The Center Suites Cebu in response to a recent story and complaint about their hotel. Original story here – https://www.wheninmanila.com/hotel-detains-guest-nightmare-at-center-suites-cebu/  

center suits hotel

Hotel Detains Guest Nightmare at Center Suites Cebu WhenInManila


The Story behind the said “Traumatic Experience – by Erica Pelaez”

Ms. Erica Pelaez was in a group booked by Ms. Regina Reyes reserved online last October 17, 2013. They booked 3 rooms good for two persons in each room from January 16 to January 20, 2014. 

Ms. Reyes’ friends arrived earlier in the hotel last January 16, 2014 and they were the ones who filled up the registration forms and wrote their accompanying persons. The rooms they occupied are the following 207, 213 and 215. While they were filling up the guest registration form, they asked if they could cancel one room, for whatever reasons, we do not know. The Hotel OIC, Ms. Bienna Joy Dato-on explained to them the cancellation and amendment policies. After they were informed of the policy, they did not anymore pursue the cancellation. 

Ms. Erica Pelaez arrived later that day with her father. The front desk officer on duty was Novangelyn Villarin. As Ms. Pelaez was about to proceed to the 2nd floor, Ms. Villarin noticed a name tag Erica Pelaez on the bag that she was carrying and tried to confirm by asking if she was Ms. Erica Pelaez as stated in the guest registration form. Ms. Pelaez affirmed and then asked Ms. Villarin if her friends have arrived already. Ms. Villarin said yes and told Ms. Pelaez to proceed to room 207 where she was assigned. Ms. Pelaez acknowledged and went up her way to the 2nd floor.

At 3am of January 17, our front desk officer Jessa noticed that the guests in room 207, 213 and 215 arrived with two (2) male visitors. Jessa then made a call to room 213 and asked how many they were in their room. The one who answered replied “two (2)”. Then Jessa asked further, “How about your male visitors, are they your companions?” Their reply was simply, “I don’t know” So the front desk officer tried to call up the other rooms 207 and 215 but they did not answer the call. The security guard was instructed by the front desk officer to check the rooms and to his surprise, he saw the occupants of the rooms moving from one room to another. It is our concern that we ensure the security of our guests knowing that these are lady guests and they have allowed male visitors to enter their rooms. Our hotel policy clearly states that we don’t allow instant joiners. Only registered guests are allowed to enter the rooms they have duly checked in.

On the next day, it was noted that they have been going in and out of the hotel and the front desk officers on duty noticed that even if they were a total of six (6) people going out of the hotel, there were still people inside their rooms and that is why the key that was surrendered in the front desk was only one (1) or sometimes two (2). This time the Hotel OIC, Ms. Bienna Joy Dato-on informed 4 out of 6 of these registered guests about the incident that the security guard and front desk officer has reported. Ms. Dato-on politely asked them to pay for their extra person charge since they have sneaked in some people in their rooms. And they agreed.

On January 19, the night before they checked out, Ms. Pelaez and Ms. Reyes asked for their billing. The extra person charge was included in their bill. At first they didn’t want to pay. They keep on insisting that they did not exceed the number of persons occupying their rooms. Ms. Pelaez questioned the validity of the extra person charge and checked on the security logbook. Upon seeing that our security guard has properly logged all our guests and visitors coming in and out of the hotel premises, this finally made them decide to pay for the extra person charges. The extra person charge made to them was only Php 300.00/person per night, half the price of what was our Sinulog rate just to make a compromise with them. 

On January 20, the day of the incident, part of their group that checked out turned over only one key. When the second group was about to leave the hotel, the front desk officer Ms. Villarin asked for the key, they replied saying that the key is with their companion. Ms. Pelaez came down a few minutes later also about to leave the hotel. When asked for the keys, she went back to the room to get a key. She only surrendered one key for room 215. When asked for the other key, which was the key to room 207, she said ” she is not staying in that room” but she was registered in room 207 and since she insisted that she is staying in room 215, Ms. Villarin asked Ms. Pelaez to please find out from her friend where she left the key. She called up her friend and was told that the key is in the room. Ms. Pelaez together with our staff went to check for it. But they can’t find the key. Since the key is lost, Ms. Villarin asked her to pay for it. Then she angrily said, “I will not take any responsibility for it” and tried to walk out. Since the front desk officer was not yet through convincing Ms. Pelaez to settle for the lost key, she instructed the guard not to let her go yet as the transaction has not yet been settled. But instead, Ms. Erica Pelaez blew her top and shouted and cursed all our staff in the lobby and went to the glass door and slammed it (breaking it into pieces) as she walked through the hallway.

What surprise us is that why is it that Ms. Erica Pelaez edited her tweet many times? 

In her first tweet, the name NICOLE was mentioned as the front desk officer who she encountered with. After finding out through the incident report requested by Mr. Pelaez, she then removed Nicole’s name in her next tweet. 

She also removed the following contents on her tweet;

“This so-called hotel-THE CENTER SUITES, should NOT be in the business. They shouldn’t even be called a hotel since it’s so misleading”

“If you’re reading this, I’d completely understand if you think I’m a complete psycho. But you need to know (and I’m saying this again), I was provoked. Slamming the door was my final act of aggression towards THEIR misbehaviour towards me. I couldn’t take it anymore and I just wanted to go home. And just look at it this way, men have killed other men in SELF-DEFENSE.”

“Here’s their website: https://thecentersuites.com/ ”

“It’s funny how they take so much pride in being a refuge place for those seeking peace, considering how UN-CHRISTIAN the staffers are towards the guests”

One thing is clear, somebody has to be responsible for the lost key. It is only right, logical and legal that the registered occupants be held accountable for it. Considering that Ms. Pelaez was the last occupant of Room 207 to check out, it is just fair and just for us to demand it from her. No amount of balderdash can justify her act of slamming the door of the hotel and shattering it into pieces. 

Thank you to those who have fully understood the real story. May peace reign in our hearts during this Lenten Season. God Bless us all.


The original story can be found here –  https://www.wheninmanila.com/hotel-detains-guest-nightmare-at-center-suites-cebu/ 


Our older post with our personal opinions on this was deleted as we felt some were taking it too personally. Some requesting we re-post our opinions so here it is.

Disclaimers: We do not know anyone from either side of this argument. We are also just reminding all that we are not involved in this matter in any way. These are our personal opinions., not to be taken too heavily as these are not official statements that should have any weight on either side. We are just posting our personal opinion in what we feel our tourism’s standards should be. 


Our take  – We believe the hotel should rise up above this and act more professionally in our opinion. They should not enter into a war of words like this with customers. What happened to customer service?

Sneaking in of extra people is not even part of the issue. Why do they have to mention that in this sort of mud-slinging degrading type of way? 

For the actual “key” problem. Why sacrifice your reputation and a guest’s experience because of a simple key? Isn’t this easily replaced for minimal costs?

Worst case, if they really wanted to charge her for the key, then doesn’t the hotel have their credit card or deposit available?  Or even the customer’s information to officially file a case with the proper authorities if needed? Why illegally detain customers and make them miss their flight?! (if you are not familiar with the other side of the story, read here –  https://www.wheninmanila.com/hotel-detains-guest-nightmare-at-center-suites-cebu/ )

Also, we still believe in the “customer is always right”principle. For those of you who have never been in the service industry, this is not to be taken literally. But there is a certain mindset and high level of service that is given when companies take on this way of treating guests. This is not an easy policy to provide, and having been in the service industry personally, there are definitely times that you just want to scream at a customer, or even illegally detain them for what you feel is wrongdoing in their part. But, the better establishments, and the more professional 5-star rated places, do not lower themselves into a grudge match or war of words with customers. This is a tough policy but we believe it pays off tremendously as most customers would be singing praises about the establishment, and in turn, would spread the good word about the venue which will then bring in more business through free word-of-mouth advertising. 

With all that said, in our opinion, we are not saying that the customer is “right” here. We are actually just questioning how the hotel is handling this.

But again, this is just our take as we’re usually the guest who goes to different hotels and we can better relate to that side of the story. But we really do feel that this is a bad move by the hotel to release such an angry statement like this. They should try to understand what guest service really means and rise above it. You will not see a 5-star hotel releasing statements like this or detaining customers like that. We recommend they hire a PR Agency to help them out as well for their official statements and responses to these. 


So who is right and who is wrong?

Again it’s just our opinion – they are both wrong. Either party could have stepped up and been the bigger person. Either the customer just paying for the key or the hotel just shouldering that loss or dealing with it in another way.  Again, we are not saying anyone is right,  our opinion is that the hotel should have been the bigger person and handled this in a different way instead of having this blow up like this. We feel that if we want our tourism industry, which we are very proud supporters of, to succeed and rise up above other countries, we need to provide better guest relations. 

We are hoping that the hotel and the customer have found ways to resolve this so that we can spread less hate, and more love. Well wishes to both parties.  


But that’s just our opinion. What are your thoughts on all this?


The Center Suites Response to “Traumatic Experience” Story by Erica Pelaez