Well, approaching two years since my previously listed review of the Gateway and with changes afoot I feel it time to post a further review as much for the benefit of the Gateway management, if they actually care that is, as well as the travelling public.
Firstly the new restaurant, compared to the old one, is stunning and with new quality furnishings. Alas the décor and furnishings seem all that has improved, I ordered their baby back ribs to be served a cold dish or rib meat that had seemingly been cooked in a frying pan for ten minutes or so, the kitchen staff seemingly having no idea how baby back ribs should be prepared and served.
And whilst the new buffet breakfast may seem an improvement under the old (restricted) menu at least us international guests had a choice of bacon or ham served with a choice of eggs, this buffet breakfast is, more often than not, pure Filipino cr@p consisting of such dishes as overcooked (certainly dry) fish, cold egg with vegetables, disgusting sausages containing sugar, other meat imitations and, of course, rice.
It does take much to go through the guest registration cards to establish the percentage of international guests that stay and should be catered for ... or is this rocket science?
For the first time, in two years, the two person room was actually catered with two tablets of soap and two shampoo sachets, every stay previously it has only been one each of these for two people to share, but alas these were not replenished after the first night of a three night stay, each guest was expected to use 33% of each item per night of the stay and after the 2nd night they didn't replace the towels.
Expecting to only stay two night,s and with a 0600 hours ferry to catch the next morning, on the 2nd night I ordered a wake-up call for 0400 hours, it didn't happen and when I arrived downstairs in reception at 0420 hours on the morning of 30 October 2013 it became apparent why, the security guard was slumped asleep across his rostrum whilst the receptionist and one other were sleeping on the guest sofas in the reception area. The receptionist awoke allowing me to settle my account and check-out accordingly.
Alas my ferry became cancelled so I re-checked back in an hour later allowing us the opportunity to try again the next morning. Later that evening, on my way to my room, the evening receptionist enquired of me if I had received my wake-up call and I informed him “no” reporting that all the staff had been asleep, he gave me one of those looks and I ordered a wake-up call again for 0400 hours.
Well the next morning, 31 October 2013, I received my wake-up call and it wouldn't have been rocket science for the receptionist to realise, based on the previous morning's experience, that I was going to be checking out some 20 minutes later yet when I arrived downstairs, this time, all three staff were asleep on the guest sofas in reception, even the security guard! I waited for around two minutes, admittedly I was still smarting from not receiving the wake-up call the morning before but this receptionist simply didn't care, I waited for around one minute before I left my room key on his receptionist and left … even driving my van away from outside the reception windows.
The frightening thing here is that I had walked from the guest bedrooms, I had wandered around the reception area for a minute or more before walking through the unguarded front door and out on to the car park and street so any thug or otherwise undesirable could do the reverse and walk in from the street and make their way to the guest bedrooms … this is posted for the benefit of hotel management to respond to … if they actually care!
It was not until 0530, one hour and ten minutes after I left that the receptionist telephoned me obviously having then just woken up to find my room key on his reception. He tried lying and lying to me that he hadn't been asleep etc. etc. etc. until I informed him that I am a hotelier myself and I can see straight through such lies as I regularly do … He then admitted to having been asleep.
All in all the Gateway “Ain't all that” but nowhere in Surigao City is “all that”, for the money it isn't so bad but they do need to get this lack of security issue sorted out.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.