We read the excellent reviews on Tripadvisor and decided to stay at the Balinghai. A choice which we regretted right away at the entrance to the hotel.
We arrived in drenching rain, after a very stressful trip (our flight had been canceled). We had 4 big suitcases and nobody appeared to welcome us, so we began to carry our luggage down the steep stairs, in plain darkness. After a while a guy appeared who didn't introduce himself as an employee of the hotel nor did he welcome us or anything. He just asked if he should help us and first I was very unsure, because I didn't know who he was. Getting to the "reception area", he asked for our voucher - aha, now it turned out that he really is from the hotel...
When we finally got to our room after descending more steep and slippery rock steps in total darkness with just a little light from the hotel employee (we booked the Rock House), we were very disappointed. With everything open and the very humid air because of the rain, everything in our room seemed to be moist and smelly, especially the bed sheets. The bath room was nothing but a catastrophe, I had to force myself to sit down on the apparently thirty-year old toilet seat (once white, now grey-black...). The "shower" was a poor trickle with no hot water. Little animals like bugs and ants were crawling all over the place. And if you leave your suitcase open in the room, black things from the palm tree roof will fall into it.
As we felt very uncomfortable in our "house", we decided to try the beach. It turned out to be a tiny strip of sand, cluttered with rusty nails, glass shards and sharp rocks. For all the guests of the hotel they only have 4 rusty sun beds.
Once we decided to give the hotel restaurant a try and ordered a table in the morning for dinner in the evening and we also asked for a filipino dish called "kangkong" - they said it would be no problem. Arriving for dinner, there was no table prepared for us and our ordered dish "was not available" (you can buy that at every corner in Boracay). Nice service.
Exactly, a "beach resort" you just want to flee from, but fleeing from there is not that easy. Everytime we wanted to go to D-Mall (center), we had to order a tricycle at the reception and wait about 15 minutes. It takes about 20 minutes to get there, a very touristic and not quite cozy zone, but at least far away from the depressing area of Balinghai.
I could tell some more anecdotes about the incompetent staff there, but it would break the mold. Overall, we can only recommend to avoid this place if you don't want to stay in a totally run down place (the hotel is about 30 years old and apparently they never renovated it), far away from everything and with incompetent staff. Maybe we should mention that the owner started to build this hotel 30 years ago and has been adding on constantly throughout the years. Everything was built by himself, so we have to honor his ideas and effort, but selling it as a "resort" with no updates to the older buildings simply doesn't cut it.
If you rather camp than sleep in a decent hotel room, this is the place to go. But if you're looking for a comfy bed and a place to relax, spend your money elsewhere!
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- Also Known As:
- Baling Hai Beach Hotel Boracay