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“Great Pool, grounds and Staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Oberoi Resort Hotel

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Royal Oberoi Resort Hotel
S National Hwy, Esteban Rd, Santa Monica, Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island 5300, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 35 hotels in Puerto Princesa
Newcastle OZ
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Great Pool, grounds and Staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for 6 nights in early March we had a superior deluxe room which was big and very clean with a large window that looked out on the pool they dont have a in room safe so we handed those over to reception to look after which was fine and secure. The bed was very comfortable with 2 pillows each and a ceiling fan to the adjacent room is the aircon which was good as it was not blowing directly on to us and cooled the whole place down.

Wifi was always on it may not be super fast but for accessing emails, facebook, google searches and Maps was fine enough.

As we like to do tours ourselves we did not use the resort for these and were never pressured into using their services. The pool is one of the best resort pools I have been in warm, big and deep, the grounds are really well kept. We did not eat in the restaurant except for breakfast which was basic but fine 2 toast, slice of ham, egg, jam and fruit and freshly brewed coffee or tea.

As for Mark and his wife Rosie they were very friendly and great to get along with especially in the evenings, as Mark organises private trips diving/snorkelling during the day with the guests from The Royal Oberoi he may not be around all day

It was always easy to catch a trike or local bus into town from here and also the reception were quite knowledgeable in helping how to get to different places, actually from here it is easy to get to the Crocodile Farm, Bakers Hill and the lookout ranch

Is there anything I could complain about not really the only thing maybe its a bit far from town so eating close by is limited but there again its not hard to jump on a Trike

Room Tip: Superior deluxe was great for my wife and I
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (43)
Date | Rating
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English first
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

After so many positive reviews of this hotel I must say that I am disappointed with my overall experience. Stayed at this hotel for 2 nights in Feb 2013 and my rating is average due to the following:
(1) Booking was troublesome. No online reservation facility. Had to email the hotel for availability and then had to send money to their local account to confirm reservation.
(2) Internet was "down" the whole duration of our stay. No mention or apology was made when we were checking in -- found out after asking the password from a waiter. Front desk gave the explanation each day that it should be fixed "today" but it never was fixed. So many people mentioned here about how helpful the hotel was in arranging their tours, I wish that they could have exerted more effort in fixing something as basic as Wi-fi.
(3) Food was inconsistent. We took the food package after reading the advice of other tripadvisor members. On check in, we were asked if we had allergies and I mentioned that I was allergic to shrimp, crab, and lobster. They took this to mean "seafood". Our next three meals were enormous servings of bad pork and chicken dishes. The pork was so tough that we couldn't eat most of it. Before the next meal I spoke to the kitchen myself to say that we could eat fish, squid, or mussels and they gave us very good calamari and marlin. Our first breakfast was very good (English Breakfast) but the next day it was "Spanish Omelette", which was an omelette with a filling of what seemed to be mushrooms sauteed in tomato sauce. I would request chef to google "Spanish Omelette" to see what this should have been. While I admit that it was convenient to have the food at the hotel, I regret taking this food package. If I had known earlier that the new Robinson's mall was just a short trike ride away, I would have skipped the food package and just ate all my meals at the Gerry's Grill and Chicken Inasal, or at the recommended restaurants in Puerto Princesa. P.S. Juices they gave with the meals were not fresh (probably powdered) and they tend to pile on sugar on all of them (e.g. our welcome drink was an iced tea shake -- almost certain they used powdered Nestea -- with too much grenadine), so be careful. I had to stop the waiter from pouring the whole pitcher of sugar syrup on my mango shake.
(4) Room was clean and nice but there were very basic arrangements that didn't make sense. We chose a Suite Villa because there were no available Superior Rooms for one night of our stay and we didn't want the hassle of switching rooms. The 4-poster bed (which we naturally chose to use) was on the first floor, as was the bathroom. Closet, TV, and fridge were all on the 2nd floor. The telephone, which they use to let you know that the tour operator is at the gate, was also on the 2nd floor. There was a lot of unnecessary effort going up and down the stairs because of this layout. If they had provided a bedside table and put the phone there, and brought down the TV, the room would have been better. Also, our bathroom had an elevated shower area with a too-short shower curtain, so the toilet area tended to get wet.

There was also so much build-up here on how nice the owners were. Mark spoke to us for 3 minutes when he saw us waiting for lunch, and then another quick "Hi" later that day. Never saw him again. This doesn't really affect my rating of the hotel, but just noting that my experience was not as warm and friendly as others' were.

While I wasn't fully happy with the tours booked e.g. Guide had difficulty speaking English, late pick-ups, I don't blame the hotel, as it is usually a tour agency problem.

On a positive note, the grounds, pool (with bar), and most staff were nice.

Note also that the hotel opens up the pool to non-guests.

If I find myself in Puerto Princesa, I would try another hotel.

Room Tip: If you have the option, choose the one farthest from the gate.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

My wife and I stayed at the Royal Oberoi for two nights in February and really enjoyed our experience. I highly recommend opting into the food package - the food is delicious and plentiful, and you get desert with every meal (almost too much food at times).

The premises are very nice, although some of it was under construction during some much-needed upgrades. The pool is great with a swim-up bar, the restaurant is very nice and the grounds overall are wonderful.

The staff is extremely friendly and helpful, and the owner is very friendly and welcoming.

The hotel is a bit outside of the main parts of the city, but that was actually a benefit since there is really no nightlife or market area in Puerto Princesa. Also, we were the last people to be picked up for every tour, so we didn't have to sit in the vans so long.

Only downsides were: (1) the very poor or completely lack of internet access at the resort, which wouldn't have been a problem if we had been notified, and (2) the pretty terrible tour company the hotel uses to book tours (TopStar Tours). See more below.

NOTE: DO NOT book tours through the hotel. The tour operator they use is pretty poor overall. We booked the City Tour and Underground River Tours and were disappointed with both. The City tour, which I will review separately, was more of a souvenir shop tour. The Underground River tour was about an 8 hour tour for 45 minutes in the cave. I understand that the time in the cave doesn't vary, but we got up at 6am for a 7am departure only to wait at the boarding dock for 3 hours. There was no need for us to leave so early, and the overall communication during this experience was very poor. I also tried to book a van to El Nido 4 separate times through the hotel, but they seemed to forget every time. I finally had to sit in the lobby with the front desk lady until she got confirmation of the booking.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falkenberg, Sweden
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Well, what can I say? The hotel is located a bit outside Puerto Princesa but there are motortrikes readily available for cheap transport to wherever you want to go.
That said, we can continue to the important parts. The rooms are very nice regardless if you choose a villa, regular or superior room. The rooms are clean, airy and not a trace of any unwanted guests (such as mosquitos and similar).
The restaurant is located in a building with no walls on the bottom floor and the food and breakfast is excellent. The staff is friendly and fast by phillippino standards.
When we arrived, tired after some long flights we where warmly received and promply handed a refreshing drink and showed the pool area since we where a couple of hours early. The pool is a big thing with good deapth and a strategicly placed bar. The Hotel has a spa and a large selection of services

Since we arrived during the Chinese new year, we soon noticed that some of the sight seeing we had planed were fully booked and thus we had some days without anything to do. Mark, the Brittish owner, quickly put a beachpackage together for us and some other quests and of to Sabang beach we went along with Royal Oberois multi skilled Jonathan. Jonathan is the resident chef, boat captain, diver, pool cleaner and a long list of other tings as well.

Oh, did I mention that they literally saved our vacation? We had planned to go to El Nido but had neglected to find a place to live. During our stay one of Marks diving buddies came by and said something in the way of "Don't send anyone to El Nido without accomodation, its packed to the roofs" and with that said, they started placing calls and after a lot of tries found us a nice place at Coron coron.

If I should list all the good things about Mark, his whife, his hotel and his employees then I need some more hours to get it all down and since I am at work and has some other things to do I leave you with these short word:
Just cancel the resevations you have at other places and call Royal Oberoi instead.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Hong Kong
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

The grounds of the Hotel are nice, excellent pool which is clean, large and deep with a swim up bar.
Rooms are adequate. We booked a delux which, is too big for a couple and offered two floors with three double beds. The television is upstairs whereas the nicest bed is on the downstairs floor adjacent to the bathroom which is a strange layout. Cleaning of rooms is excellent. Balcony is pretty useless as it looks out to the wrongside of the hotel and has no view whatsoever.
Food was good for 2 days, terrible for the first two we stayed there (I am not sure whether the resident chef was away for these two days). Service really was terrible, at best 1.5 stars as you really had to project manage the most basic of requests such as cleaning plates from the table, bringing you a napkin, water with breakfast, actually getting your orders correct. At one point I asked for a cocktail to be told they had no ice cream, I changed my order to banana shake (no banana) and then mango (no mango). I walked to the kitchen (10 meters away) and asked the same question to be told they had ice cream and subsequently managed to get my first choice cocktail.
Other gripes were that we booked the package which, was overpriced and very inflexible for times. Two of the 4 days of the 4 we stayed we had to get up at 6.00 am for a 7.00 departure. What made this worse is that the underground river tour is literally 45 mins and we waited around for hours after getting up so early. In essence it was an 8 hour tour for 45 mins and there was no need to leave / get up so early. The Honda bay tour simply takes you to the most packed places, snorkeling in ruined reefs with 300 other people is not the most awe inspiring activity!

All in all I would give this hotel 2 stars. Many basic areas of service could be drastically improved although the accomadation is clean and the grounds are nice. All in all I would not recommend!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalOberoi, Owner at Royal Oberoi Resort Hotel, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Thank you for the review.
To clarify on the room choice, it must have been a Suite Villa not a Deluxe which has the two floors. The video, description and photos of the room on the website are quite clear as to its layout and size so we always assume guests have looked carefully at this before making their room choice. That being said we are in the process of updating our website and will look to put more photos to better showcase the room types.
Chef has been here throughout this season so surprising to hear the issues with food. It is something we strive hard to excel at and always look to make improvements. Feedback, as you will read from other guests is normally excellent, however I would encourage any guest should they have an issue with food to address this with the staff or management immediately so that we can address the problem at that time.
As to issues with service, feedback from guests is normally quite the opposite but this will nonetheless be addressed now and any shortcomings immediately rectified.
With regards the package rates, these are just simply priced by adding the food, room and tour elements together and when quoted all shown separately. The tour rates are fixed from the tour operators. As we are not a licensed tour operator we work closely with a few who we have developed an excellent relationship with over the years and from feedback from guests they do provide a good service.
The logistics of tours and travel distances, particularly Underground River, are virtually the same for any guests staying here in Puerto Princesa City. Sabang where the Underground River is located is over an hour and a half drive away. This is also described in full on our website. In the high season given such a popular tourist attraction one also has to be prepared for a little waiting time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Papeete, French Polynesia
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

I made a last minute decision to visit Palawan for a trip to the Underground River in February. With little knowledge about the area or the booking process I contacted the Royal Oberoi Resort via e-mail. My inquires were immediately answered by Mark, ( one of the owners ). I had 2 days to decide if I was going to travel over 4,000 kilometers so I bombarded him with questions and all were answered. The resort arranged everything from airport transfers, last minute permit procurement to the tours themselves. The service was fantastic from everyone I encountered at the hotel, front desk, maids, waiters, drivers, tour operators and of course the proprietor Mark.
The hotel itself is a bit out of the way but honestly your not going to miss much as far as the town goes and its only a 10-20 min ride in. The grounds are lush and tropical, the rooms are simple yet spacious and clean. The bed was comfortable, theres a small fridge, cable TV , cold air con, and a water boiler for complimentary coffee and plenty of hot water for the shower. The food was very good and special requests were met when possible. This is not a large modern fancy resort, it is a quiet respite from a noisy and congested town with a quaint friendly personable family feel.

Room Tip: Stayed on the second floor near the stairs in a superior deluxe room.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013 via mobile

My friends and I stayed here from Jan 24-27th. We opted for the villa since the price difference isn't that much compared to the suites. The villa is very spacious! Although we'd like to suggest that longer shower curtains be used in the bathroom and that the spring beds should be converted to foam eventually.

The tours organized by the resort were spot on! We had a great time during our tour with Herman going to the Underground River.

The staff are very friendly - from the Front Desk people, to the housekeepers, to the waiters. Excellent customer service!

Would I recommend this place? - Definitely!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Royal Oberoi Resort Hotel

Address: S National Hwy, Esteban Rd, Santa Monica, Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island 5300, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > Puerto Princesa
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Princesa
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Princesa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 20 minutes drive from the hustle and bustle of Puerto Princesa city centre and airport, the Royal Oberoi Resort Hotel nestles in its beautiful landscaped gardens. Accommodations comprise 5 elegant Suite Villas with canopy style bed. 5 Superior Deluxe rooms and 5 Standard Deluxe rooms. All are equipped with hot and cold showers, cable TV, air conditioning, mini bar, intercom and free WiFi. The resort has the largest swimming pool in Puerto Princesa and the Grand Palm Pavilion Restaurant serves some of the finest food in Palawan. The Resort has a Spa and a fully equipped dive center. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Oberoi Hotel Puerto Princesa
Oberoi Puerto Princesa
Puerto Princesa Oberoi
Royal Oberoi Resort Hotel Palawan Island/Puerto Princesa

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