MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games took an early hit over the weekend as the transportation and accommodation arrangement of several foreign teams turned out to be a mess.
But Century Park Hotel Manila, one of the organizers’ partner hotels, aired its side and noted that late coordination resulted in athletes waiting for available rooms for hours. (READ: Football teams grumble: SEA Games hosting chaotic)
“We were told that team members from Cambodia were coming in early on November 23, 2019 the night before,” Century Park said in a statement posted on its official Facebook account late Sunday, November 24.
“As much as we wanted to accommodate the request, it was not possible due to full occupancy. Standard check out is until 12:00NN. However, as early as 8:25am, some members were given an early check-in due to availability of rooms.”
The Cambodia football team had said that its players spent almost half a day at a hotel conference room since their rooms weren’t ready.
“It wasn't ideal. We had to wait maybe like 8 or 9 hours to get our hotel. But things happen,” said Cambodia coach Felix Dalmas. (READ: Football teams 'move on' from SEA Games arrival debacle)
“As goodwill, we offered our function rooms to serve as their temporary holding area after their breakfast,” said Century Park. “We asked them if they needed more chairs but they declined, preferring the floors so they could lie down to rest. Lunch was also served to them accordingly.”
Century Park also said that it already coordinated with the organizers to address the Thailand team’s complaints on the meals served.
The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) had issued an apology to the affected teams on Sunday, November 24 “for the inconvenience caused to them by the confusion regarding their transportation and hotel arrangements.”
Malacañang had also issued a statement, noting that what’s “more important and more pressing is PHISGOC has committed to do better.” (READ: SEA Games organizers sorry for inconvenience, confusion)
“Rest assured that we continue to uphold our mission to provide a home away from home to all our guests,” said Century Park. “We will strive to make the SEA Games delegation’s stay a memorable one in the coming days.”