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“"Best Place I Stayed in so Far"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Alumbung Tropical Living

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Alumbung Tropical Living
3.0 of 5 Ranch   |   Daorong Danao, 6340, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Rouen, France
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“"Best Place I Stayed in so Far"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

I stayed there for only 2 nights while I was travelling in the Philippines and it was from far the best place I stayed in. Very nice welcoming from the owners, clean place and very charming garden, very well decorated, close to a calm nice beach (compared to Alona beach which is nice but very crowded). I would definitly recommend this place, and I whish I could come back to stay longer here.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    90
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
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English first
Cebu Island, Philippines
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

I know we have our own preferences but this one exceeded my worst experience for a resort. I shall say I've been to affordable hotels and resorts and were worth the price. If I were to compare Alumbung to other resorts, THE MONEY I PAID WAS NOT WORTH IT. This resort made me do a bad review for the first time in my life.

We tried their villa, the most expensive one 2,300/2persons per night. The villa was nice the way I expected it to be. I'm not sure if it's a plus for you but they have a lot of DON'TS and are posted almost everywhere. For me, it's kinda annoying because you cannot move freely, not relaxing for me and my movements were counted.

Pros:
>clean place
>quiet stay
>nice huts/villa

Cons:
>FULL PAYMENT was asked upon arrival, no but's or if's
>every step you make you will be reminded by the policies even if you're not doing against to any
>pool is like an over sized outdoor bath tub, which you can only use until 6pm
>wifi is weak to none, only accessible from 9am-10pm
>no back up generator
>there are numbers of dogs around, some were attempted to bark or stop me (I'm not sure with you but I'm particular to this, it's first time for me to see a lot of dogs in a resort)
>expensive foods but NO OFFICIAL RECEIPT (you can compare it with Linaw Resort, they have lesser price in some foods and provides Official Receipt)
>beaches are far, yes walking distance but enough for me to get tired (my own opinion)
>air condition can't spread much in the room during daytime
>TV is so small, could be 7-24'' and there's only ABS-CBN and GMA channels
>can't use other cheaper Van Driver for tours, will get scolded by the owner
>no free breakfast and water

I believe that's it for now. I'm currently at Premiere Citi Suites while writing this review, only 1,300/night with free breakfast, room so clean as 5 star hotel, big flat screen TV, skyCable, unlimited drinking water, wifi has excellent connection and accessible for 24/7.

Overall I enjoyed Bohol's natural charisma. I will surely go back BUT NOT IN ALUMBUNG. This is my own opinion and I hope this review will help you. Thank you.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013 via mobile

My family stayed there in march (as I was right next door at my in-laws), but I felt like I was also a guest. I enjoyed the beautiful comfortable pool a few times, loved the cutural decorations that were all throughout the resort, and enjoyed the ac inside the rooms on the hot hot days! The staff was very nice, always had a smile on their face and had alumbung printed shirts which was a nice touch of professionalism. Sylvie and roberto are incredibly sweet and accomodating to all of the needs that I and our family had. When we return I will deffinately be spending some more time there! Highly recommended to anyone who needs to feel safe and comfortable on their vacation!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
2 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

My newly wedded wife and I had our honeymoon at Alumbung this past week for 6 days, and boy was it a horrible experience. We stayed in one of their villa accommodations. My family joined us but they stayed in a separate villa. The place itself is very nice and well furnished. However, this is the only nice thing I have to say about the place.

When we arrived to the resort, we were greeted by Roberto (the owner). He asked for payment right away and handed us a receipt that was actually just a small piece of notebook paper with our total written on it. I informed Roberto that my mom has the remaining balance and we would pay as soon as she got back to the resort. We were surprised that there was no official receipt that included VAT (tax) and BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) identification number (maybe they don't pay their taxes or are not an officially registered business?).

After settling in the villa, we were approached by Roberto several more times asking for the remaining balance. I found this very annoying and unprofessional since I had explained to him earlier that I was waiting for my mom to get back to the resort. It seemed like all he wanted was our money.

The resort is equipped with a very small pool that is only suitable for a few people. While enjoying the pool and relaxing, I was approached by Roberto's mother in law. She said to me, "It's not a big pool but its very good for refreshing, but please don't eat in the pool, okay?." What's funny is that I wasn't eating anything at all. I was simply enjoying the pool after a long day of travel. As you can read, there seems to be a trend of unprofessionalism among their management team.

My family only stayed for a few days. Before they left they voiced their concerns about the resort to us. The following afternoon after my family left,Robert and Sylvie (Roberto's wife) approached us at our villa. They notified us that my family wrote bad reviews here on TripAdvisor about their experience. They were very defensive and even asked me to talk to my family to ensure they won't write any more bad reviews (there were 7 of them). Sylvie complained that my mom upon checkout asked for an official receipt when they don't usually give one because they are a "small business." In my opinion, it is a businesses obligation to provide an official receipt whether the business is small or large. Hearing them complain about my family's comments was disturbing. It was definitely a bad experience.

The only nice thing that came out of that conversation is that Sylvie offered to refund the rest of our stay if we weren't happy. The thing is, we were already settled and we didn't want to go through the hassle of looking for another resort to stay at. We also didn't want to purchase a new ferry ticket back to Cebu. So we respectful declined the offer and told them everything was fine.

We made the best out of the remainder of our stay and didn't want to make any trouble with Roberto and Sylvie.

Below are a few things we found very poor about the resort that I'd like to list for everyone's information:

1. Wi-Fi is terrible. No signal in the villa and they only have it on from 8am to 10pm.
2. 3 out of the 6 days we stayed the resort experienced a blackout (brownout). The resort is NOT equipped with a backup generator. Sylvie's excuse is that there would be smoke coming from the generator and it would taint the look of the resort.
3. The shower pressure is hit or miss. The water turns cold even went set to warm/hot.
4. There are mosquito's and other bugs inside the villa. I got many bug bites even when using the mosquito net.
5. The water is not safe according to management. This means you need to buy bottled water from them or buy outside.
6. The cable is hit or miss and goes out randomly.
7. There are orange, red, and brown stains in the beach towel and blankets.
8. When my dad asked if there was a curfew, Sylvie or Sylvie's mom said "No, but we would like you to be back by 10/11pm." I think that's a curfew.

Overall, we wouldn't recommend this place to anyone. Don't get me wrong, the place itself is nice, however, there is a great lack of customer service and professionalism which are two major factors of the hotel business. If you want more proof, check the bad reviews and read how management replies to them. No apologies at all and very bad customer service.

If you want a great place to stay, I personally recommend Amarela Resort. We were going to stay there initially but wanted to give Alumbung a try. We regret that decision.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alumbungbohol, Owner at Alumbung Tropical Living, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Your review, I am afraid, is dishonest and mean and I will not go into details about replying to it point by point as I have done so far with the 3 other reviews from your family members.
Rest assured we do pay our taxes to the BIR monthly, quarterly and yearly and our business permit yearly to the local LGU.
Our words have been twisted, misinterpreted and misunderstood. Your family arrived a day ahead of you and as I mentioned in my previous responses they were insulting about our place and not sure if they wanted to stay…. For a busy period like Holy week other resorts ask for full payment before arrival and you feel offended when we ask you to pay what you booked for 3 months in advance on arrival?
You have all been issued an official receipt, what I mentioned to your mother is that I could not include the van transfer as we call an independent company to do the tours and transfers and it is not our income, but she insisted and I ended up including it in our receipt just to keep her happy.
When you arrived one day after your family, you said you were so pleased and that all was "exactly as you expected". You said the place looked so nice with the flowers we had decorated your villa with. My mom and I had placed several hearts made out of bougainvillea’s and other fresh flowers we had picked in the morning, on your bed and on the extra bed. To our surprise you brought your in-laws along on your honeymoon so we changed the set up to accommodate the 4 of you in the villa's bedroom. In the 18 emails we exchanged and few phone calls you always mentioned 5 persons coming along with you in the other villa. Later 1 more and finally there were 10 of them and you both. Why did you not advise us so all could have been properly arranged and planned for you?
When your family of 10 left, we offered you and your wife a refund as we saw quite clearly something was not right with your stay here, why did you not take it, there were still 3 nights left…. Because of a ferry ticket? We would have bought you one as well if you would have said, actually the ferry rebooking fee is only 20php per person.
We wanted to personally talk to you after the misunderstanding with your family and you reassured us that nothing was wrong that you were fine here….why?
I will agree with you that Amarela is a beautiful resort. I see from a previous review you made that you took your then girlfriend there when you proposed, why did you not take your party of 12 there for your honeymoon? I just looked at Amarela’s rates and they range between 8,000.00php to 14,000.00php a night for 2 persons, ours from 1400.00php to 2300.00php. I think they are in a different category than ours, we have never pretended to compete with them.
We reply to our reviews because tripadvisor gives us the opportunity to do so . We will apologize when we have done wrong. I really feel sorry you had such a bad experience here and cannot understand why you did not take our refund offer and go elsewhere to spend these special days of your new life as a married couple.
I have to go now and start replying to terrible review #4 that just came in from your family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

Very peacefull setting, nice and quite, but still only 20/30minutes walk to Alona beach or 5 minutes (20 pesos) by motorbike.
We stayed in a villa which is definitely 'value for money' : a big room upstairs with a nice patio, a good kitchinett and bathroom, and all this situated in a very quite garden; GREAT !!
The place is clean and the owners, Sylvie and Roberto, are pleasant and very friendly and helpfull.
There is also a good restaurant (Linaw), 10 minutes walk, if you want a change from the crowded Alona beach.
We definitely return at our next stay in Panglao.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

I stayed at the Alumbung with my husband and sister for 9 days in March as part of a family vacation (the rest of the family stayed with our Filipino in-laws). We couldn't have been happier! The pictures found on the website (www.alumbungbohol.com) and elsewhere on the internet are completely accurate. Sylvie and Roberto were wonderful hosts, with exceptional hospitality and flexibility, and always made us feel at home. The rooms were easy to book and always clean. Beautiful batik-style robes were provided for use during our stay (a beautiful and helpful touch of service). The 3 of us stayed comfortably in the Alumbung Studio, which had both AC and a ceiling fan. We had the simple breakfast which included a delectable and highly-recommended homemade mango jam. This is the perfect place to stay if you're looking for a relaxing vacation as a family, couple, or individual. The place is off the busy and loud Alona beach area, although only a 5 minute car/motorcycle ride away. If you're looking to party or expecting a 5-star hotel, this isn't the place for you. Alumbung fosters, and appreciates, tranquility and peace. All said and done, Alumbung exceeded our expectations and we cannot wait to return. Highly, highly recommended! Thank you Sylvie and Roberto for such an amazing time!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alumbungbohol, Owner at Alumbung Tropical Living, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Dear Cytandra, Megan and Jorge, So glad you enjoyed your stay with us at Alumbung, we hope to see you soon on your next visit to Panglao Island. It was really a good coincidence that you booked our place not even knowing your sister's in laws are our neighbors ;-)
Kind regards to all of you
Sylvie, Roberto and the rest of the team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cadiz, Philippines
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

A friend and I were here for almost a week and we couldn't have enjoyed our stay more. Sylvie and Roberto are wonderful hosts and did everything to make our stay a pleasant one. The room was very clean and tidy. The last evening of our stay we also had amazing massages done right in the garden area. Great value and in a wonderful spot on Panglao. The resort is also within walking distance to the best restaurant on the island, The Pearl at Linaw Resort. We went to Linaw almost daily because the location and food was so perfect. You won't be disappointed with your stay at Alumbung.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alumbung Tropical Living

Address: Daorong Danao, 6340, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Bohol Province > Panglao Island
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 51 Specialty Lodging in Panglao Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Alumbung Tropical Living 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Alumbungs is a small tropical garden approximately 25 minutes away from Tagbilaran and three minutes ride from the renowned Alona Beach. The special shape of the villa and cottage roofs is derived from the typical Balinese Lumbung structure where the upper part of each hut served as a rice barn and the bottom part as a meeting place for the family. This is the perfect place for family vacations, honeymooners or for people that just want to relax. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alumbung Tropical Living Hotel Bohol Island
Alumbung Tropical Living Bohol Province/Panglao Island

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