My wife likes group buying sites and we were able to get a very good deal on this hotel stay, which I was a bit sceptic at first, too good to be true I said. But we decided to try it out as our 12th year wedding anniversary escape. I’ve read the previous reviews on the hotel and had mixed feelings about it, so here is my own review.
We were picked up promptly in the airport by the hotel shuttle using a brand new van, very good first impression I said to myself. The drive from the airport took about 15 minutes and was greeted courteously when we got to the hotel. I was initially impressed how something this nice already existed in Puerto Princesa (my previous visit was perhaps close to 10 years ago and we had to stay in an old outfit somewhere else in town). The front desk staff was friendly and efficient, so we got checked in quite fast. It was an hour before their official check in time but we were already accommodated. Not bad. Their welcome drink needed more flavour though. =)
When we got to the room, some pieces of furniture seem to be out of place, either they’re too big or too small. First, opening the door completely makes it hit the bedside table and the shade of the lamp on top of it. Opening the cabinet door would hit the aircon. Using the lavatory in the bathroom will make you stand not directly in front of it because the water closet was too close to it. Then the work table is something you would take to a picnic, it is something that’ll accommodate a computer and a few small items, and that’s it. I even asked my wife if we could order an extra table and chair! Hahaha. Then the bed seems short, I’m 5’10” and it’s seems to be just the exact length for me, most beds I’ve slept on are longer than this. However, the room was spic and span, it was outfitted with a 32” Samsung LCD TV and DVD player, a decent aircon, a nice personal ref, and hotel-branded bathroom amenities (soap, shampoo, lotion, etc.). Also, there was an electronic safe in the room which seemed to be low in battery so it wasn’t working properly. I called the front desk about it and a guy in long sleeves (maybe he’s a manager) promptly went to the room to check it out. He then ordered two guys to carry the safe out and replace it with a new one that was working. This made me think of two things: (1) Wow that is customer service! (2) If the safe can be carried out just like that, shouldn’t I worry? But then again two guys carrying a safe out of a room would be suspicious, wouldn’t it?
We decided to have a late lunch outside the hotel and asked to be called a tricycle to transport us. Since it was drizzling, I asked to be lent an umbrella at the front desk. They said we cannot take the umbrella out. I asked for the manager and I finally got my way. I informed them that most other hotels would even have an umbrella in the room which a guest can use if he needs to go out of the hotel and it’s raining. Plus, I told him that if he’s worried that I won’t return the umbrella, then he can always charge it to the security deposit I made during my check in.
The trike driver was probably one of the persons who made our stay comfortable. (Later on I found out he was not really connected to the hotel). He dropped us where we needed to go and left us his mobile no. which we can text/call when we needed him. And he was always there when needed and was always on time. He was also the one who took us on our city tour. If you’re in Puerto Princesa and need for an economical way to go around, consider hiring a trike driver instead as there are no taxis in this place.
The breakfast menu changes every day and was okay. I just wished they had more fruits. And as per a previous review, they should put a sign that eggs can be ordered, as I had to ask a waiter about this. We also tried the dinner buffet on the second night; it was good enough and was not exorbitantly priced.
We tried the spa the second day after coming back from our Underground River tour, the massage was okay, but both my wife and I ended up with a slightly sore back that evening. We are not strangers to massage, so we found this unusual. The one and only scrubbing room they had is quite small, it made you feel like a calf waiting to be roasted. And oh, the hot water in the shower of the spa wasn’t working.
On our last morning, we tried the pool. We had to ask the gardener where we can get pool towels as there was no one there manning the pool area. And they had no life guard on duty, and there was no sign informing guests about this. Not that we needed one though, but it’s always good for safety’s sake. The jacuzzi and the pool was nice, there was an integrated area for kids so that adults can swim comfortably while keeping sight of their children.
Overall, the value was quite good. The bed, though short, was comfortable to sleep on. The food and massage can be improved on, but the staff are friendly and efficient. New hotels are most of the times nice, I just hope they improve further and wish they take maintenance seriously so that after a few years, the facilities would more or less still be the same.
Would I recommend this to my friends and relatives? Definitely!
Although the Superior rooms are quite comfortable, one may like to try the Deluxe rooms for these ma...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.