Clarkton Hotel Review – Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines

I stayed at the Clarkton Hotel in mid-December, 2010, and while I would like to say my stay was pleasant…it simply wasn’t. I had a terrible time over the weekend I was there, and while I hate to rip a hotel apart, that is precisely what I am about to do here.


On paper, the Clarkton actually looks like a decent hotel. They’ve clearly pulled strings to get a good Google listing, as it’s the first hotel that pops up if you do a search for “Angeles Hotels.” Their website is substantial and very detailed. They have amenities that take the hotel into the territory of a resort – a restaurant, a beauty parlor, a swimming pool, a go-go bar, and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, when I wrote an email asking about the services offered by their beauty shop, I was told that I could look when I arrived. This was the beginning of the fun of dealing with the front desk. They’ll exchange your dollars for pesos at the front counter at a fairly decent rate, and I found the doorman to be one of the most pleasant doormen I’ve ever dealt with.


When I arrived at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, the Clarkton Hotel was supposed to have a ride waiting for me; they work with a variety of taxi services that they give exclusive hotel business to in exchange for the cabs always being on-call for them. Upon arrival, there was no cab. So I called the Clarkton’s front desk – they assured me the cab was on its way. A half hour later, still nothing, so I phoned again and received the same assurances. Finally, an hour after stepping out of the terminal, I called Clarkton and asked them what the deal was; they told me to just get a taxi at the airport and they would pay upon my arrival, which they did.


My check-in went smoothly. My reservation was in order and they exchanged my dollars without hassle. The young ladies that work the counter could have been a bit nicer, but one gets used to a lack of hospitality when checking into hotels in the Philippines; it can be very “hit-or-miss” regarding friendliness. The room was precisely as I expected, from seeing it on their website. Queen-sized foam mattress in an all-tile room; my only complaint about the room itself was the elevation of the television, which was on a stand almost to the ceiling in the far corner of the room. The bathroom, while small, was nice, with a glass-enclosed shower and a double-corner-mirrored sink; the hot water in the shower left a lot to be desired, however, as did the water pressure. By the time I was done checking out the room, I was extremely hungry, so I went to their in-house restaurant, which I had read good things about online and was excited about their menu, which I had seen on their website.


The excitement stopped shortly after sitting down. The waitress was really cold and the food took forever to come out. When it arrived, it tasted awful. The pizza reminded me of the really bad school cafeteria pizza you have as a kid and the hamburger was one of the worst I’d ever eaten (now, to offend the Filipinos: it reminded me of Jollibee, only worse, if that’s at all imaginable). Still, I was hungry, so I ate. This turned out to be a colossal mistake. Within a couple of hours, I was vomiting. And, as anyone who’s been to Angeles can tell you, arriving on Friday night in Balibago and finding yourself vomiting before midnight isn’t quite what you anticipate. From that point on, I was vomiting every two hours like clockwork…for the next 36 hours.


Getting back to the doorman, however; he was kind enough to go to the store and pick me up some things I needed – a large bottle of water, some Gatorade, fresh fruit, et cetera. I had to chug a glass of water after each time I threw up simply because I knew I would throw up again, and I wanted something in my body to throw up. But it was miserable. It was my first case of real food poisoning, and I’ve been living in Asia for years. Just as the vomiting let up Sunday morning, then began the diarrhea, at which point I was extremely thankful to be able to keep water down lest I die from dehydration. By weekend’s end, I had lost 5 kilograms, and it showed. Upon arriving home in Taiwan, everyone made mention of how I looked thinner. As I checked out Monday morning, I mentioned the situation to the front desk; they simply looked at me with blank expressions and told me, “Sorry.” They then hailed me an overpriced taxi to take me to the airport.


I would have loved to have had a chance to see the condition of their Go-Go bar, “Mirrors,” or take a dip in their pool. Sadly, my condition brought on by their restaurant left me with little choice but to become extremely familiar with the room. Given that familiarity, I’ll say this about it – it’s not a bad price, for what you get, but there are certainly better options within Balibago. Their standard room costs ₱1650 ($1150NT or $38US), which is around 500 peso more than it should cost, compared to other hotels in the area. In my opinion, the only reason the Clarkton Hotel has a Go-Go bar is because it’s the farthest hotel from the action on Fields Avenue; this also explains their tiny beauty salon and {shudder} in-house restaurant.


Truly, I wish my stay at the Clarkton was better than it was. It was simply a miserable time from the start to finish. As I said, I’m not a huge fan of writing scathing reviews, but in the case of the Clarkton Hotel – between the airport pick-up issues, the front desk hospitality issues, the restaurant issues, the overpriced room issues, the poor room layout issues, the mediocre facilities issues – it’s really hard to find anything very good about it. If anyone asks me for advice on where to stay in Angeles, my only answer to them is, “Just make sure you don’t stay at the Clarkton.”


The Clarkton Hotel’s website is They are located at 620 Don Juico Avenue, Clarkview, Balibago, Angeles City, Philippines. Their phone number is +63 45 892-6272 in the Philippines and toll-free from the USA at 1-866-978-4962.




4 thoughts on “Clarkton Hotel Review – Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines

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