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“Want to give a good review, BUT....” 3 of 5 stars
Review of SotoGrande Hotel & Resort

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SotoGrande Hotel & Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Dapdap, Lapu Lapu, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 27 Hotels in Lapu Lapu
Omaha, Nebraska
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Want to give a good review, BUT....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

This is a difficult review to write because I really want to give the hotel good marks but can't due to my personal preferences.

I arrived at the Soto Grande in Oct 2012 on a combination personal and business trip. I purchased a condominium next door to this facility at the La Mirada complex and I was in the country to complete paperwork and to actually see the completed condo for the first time. La Mirada is next door to the Soto Grande so I figured that I would book a room there so that I wouldn't have to deal with Cebu traffic.

I arrived on a Korean Airlines flight after midnight and then had a private car take me to the resort. While the driver knows all area of Cebu, he had difficulty finding the resort due to the complete lack of street lights on the roads leading to the resort. Couple the darkness with cows, goats, dogs, and people sitting on the side of the road drinking, and the ride to the resort made me begin to question if purchasing property in the Philippines was a wise investment after all.

Anyway, I arrived at the hotel and check-in was fast and efficient. The staff was excellent. They greeted me warmly and always had a willing smile. If not for the staff, the Soto Grande would not receive the marks I have given.

The bellman took my bags to my room and the first thing I noticed once past the front desk was that the hallways were not air conditioned. It was hot and muggy in the hallways. As I was walking to my room, I wondered to myself if mold would be a problem in a hallway that was in a humid place such as Cebu.

My room was on the 6th floor and once out of the steamy hallway, my initial impression was that the room was acceptable. The bed was comfortable and there were plenty of storage spaces. Lighting was good and the room didn't have any odors.

There were a few noticeable stains on the carpet but the room was clean and appeared to be prepared. Arriving at such a late hour, coupled with a 28-hour travel day, and I was ready for bed. However, I quickly found that the room wasn't cooling down properly from the AC and I was literally sweating in my bed. I called housekeeping and they came to the room and after a few clicks of the AC remote control and pushing a few buttons on the unit, they assured me that the AC was fine. I fell asleep from exhaustion but woke up early in the morning and it was still warm in the room.

I took a shower and realized that the tub is on the small side and there was no hot water. I would describe the water as "lukewarm" at best. Water pressure was OK, but there were stains galore on the ceiling, on the shower curtain bar, on the shower head and around the tub in general. The sink was missing a drain stop and part of my razor dropped down the drain. There was no soap storage dish and as the soap melted from the humidity in the room, there was a white river of soap running around the sink. My thoughts were that the room needed a complete deep cleaning where they would address all of these issues.

The bathroom towels need to be replaced. They are old and not soft. They were clean but seemed to be of a low level quality. Quality towels are required!

The TV had poor reception on many channels even though it was satellite. The TV didn't shut off when you pressed the off-button on the remote. You have to physically push the on/off button on the TV to turn the TV off. If you turn the satellite box off with the remote, the TV will remain on and shine a light in your room until you get up and push the button.

The power in the room is for 220 and if you have the typical 3-prong plugs found in the US, you will need an adapter to get your electrical items to work.

There were a lot of Korean tourists staying at the resort while I was there and must say that the majority were very rude. I was in line for breakfast, plate in hand, and a Korean tourist, walked up, stepped in front of me, grabbed several plates, and proceeded to fill her plates with food. She then dished out food for her children and husband. As I tried to step around her to move to the next food item, she physically blocked me from doing so. Not wanting a confrontation, I simply waited for her to finish loading up on food and then had to ask the staff to refill some of the few food items as she had emptied much of what was available.

While the hotel provided me with food tickets, the food left much to be desired. The scrambled eggs were not good. They are hard to describe. The eggs were freezing cold and I had to send them to be warmed up in a microwave. The bread had a strange taste and the toaster took forever. I ordered room service one evening and the food was just OK. Nothing spectacular, just OK.

Going back to my room, I was moved to another room on the 6th floor because the AC never did cool down. The staff did an excellent job of moving me. They helped with all of my bags and made sure the room was good to go. Once again, I reiterate, the Soto Grande staff is exceptional. It's not their fault that they work in a hotel where management is not addressing many of the maintenance concerns. The 2nd room was better than the first regarding the AC but the bathroom issues that I noted in the first room, were also prevalent in the second room.

The hotel/resort does have a wonderful pool. The pool is the property of the La Mirada condo that I just purchased, but hotel guests can access the pool. While the pool isn't deep, it is absolutely gorgeous and the perfect spot during hot afternoons.

I walked down to the beach and wasn't impressed. It's not very large and there were men pulling what appeared to be sea-weed from the water and allowing it to dry on the beach. There is plenty of security and if you want to jump in the water, it appears to be fine but there was plenty of sea-weed visible from the landing.

There is a large clubhouse next to the hotel but it was empty the week that I was visiting. There appeared to be several bicycles for rent available but they were in such poor condition, I wouldn't risk sitting on any of those bicycles. However, the clubhouse was nice and looks like it would be a great place to host a wedding or major party.

Now back to the hotel and my pet peeve. Internet access.

Internet access is critical for me regardless of location. In a thriving and growing place such as Cebu City, it is inexcusable for a hotel/resort to have such poor Internet access. Rooms do not have Internet. If you need the Internet, you have to sit in the hotel lobby and access the Internet there. As I wound up in the lobby at 2AM to check email, I was accompanied by a host of other foreigners and tourists who were all trying to access the Internet. We all sat around on chairs and couches in the lobby and it just seemed strange to have to sit there in a lobby to try to work. Soto Grande needs to install appropriate WI-fi access on all floors that will provide Internet access to all rooms. If they want to compete for business customers and tourists who require Internet access, they really need to address this glaring problem immediately.

Would I stay at the Soto Grande again? I would.

Would the Soto Grande be my first choice? No. They need to make minor repairs in the rooms and make sure that deep cleanings are done to ensure guests receive the top quality accommodations during their visits.

The Soto Grande staff are great people. Friendly. Caring. Warm. They provide a positive vibe and are willing to help. But they are stuck working for a hotel that needs to update. If they can make minor repairs and smart investments in technology, this hotel/resort will be exceptional.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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66 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    6
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
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English first
Shekou, Guangdong, China
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

A great place to stay for a little getaway. We went with 2 other couples in October. The weather was unpredictable but overall very good. Enjoyed making use of the two pools they have, one with a great view of the sea, the other quite and relaxing. Staff was very friendly and helpful when it came to taxis, massages, restaurant reservations and excursions. The women at the front desk negotiated for us and got the best prices. Only suggestion is that many times when leaving the complex we went right, try to go left. There looked like some great places to go and have a drink and dinner. Enjoy and take advantage of the boats.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cebu Island, Philippines
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

This is a good place to stay if you're looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a bit far from major commercial centers and restaurants. If you just want to go swimming and relax, then this place should be alright. Hotel guests can use the beach at Vistamar, which is just a few steps away. You can park your car at Vistamar's parking area as well.

We booked the room through agoda.com, which offered lower rates compared to booking directly with the hotel.
Breakfast buffet selections are not the usual "breakfast dishes," but are very filling. I actually liked them.
Kettle and (free) coffee provided in room.

PROS:
* Deluxe Room is spacious with balcony
* Ample countertop space in bathroom; basic toiletries provided (soap, shampoo, shower cap)
* Very good water pressure
* Complimentary water bottles
* Airconditioned and marbled hotel lobby (most beachside hotels have open-air lobbies)
* Staff doesn't linger expecting tips when performing services for you

CONS:
* Moldy spots on shower curtain as well as some rusty spots on fixtures need to be thoroughly cleaned/replaced -- problem is not severe and can easily be corrected
* Room walls could use some scrubbing (wall stains from AC)
* Overcharging for food items could happen if you're not the type to double check the bill

Remember to always pay attention to the food bill. The prices listed on the menu are exclusive of tax and service charge. We were overcharged for certain food items. We were being complacent and caught the error too late the first time. The second time, they rectified the "mistake" after we pointed out that a certain food item only cost half the amount being billed to us. It helps to know how much the ordered items are listed on the menu.

Despite the cons and the "billing slip up," I'd still consider staying here.
The overall hotel/room quality (luxury feel) and it being by the beach make SotoGrande a good deal at only roughly US$66/P2800 per night. There are not many resorts/hotels offering nice accommodations within the same price range.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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Cebu City, Philippines
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

I visited this resort last year with my close friend. We didnt stay for a night because friends have told me that this place is not that big and attractive.
Fortunately, during my "day use" with my friend turned out well and i think i didnt have much expectations from them that i wasnt disappointed at all.
I like the food that they serve for lunch buffet because they are really flavorful and it think it was worth each penny i paid ( it's part of the day use package by the way).

Moreover, the beachfront isnt that wide and free from seaweeds but at least they maintain the shoreline from being garbage-free.
The pool is big and families can enjoy and feeling safe as there are lifeguards on the look out~!

I think , if you want to enjoy the day with friends and family for outdoor activities, you should visit this place.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Manila, Philippines
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

my boyfriend and i booked to this hotel for a day and a night of stay considering the fact that the price is hefty! surprisingly, as soon as we entered the hotel, the receptionist told us that no more rooms available for two! so, we didnt have choice but to be accommodated in a suite room for four with two beds!(too huge for us!) the room was nice, however the water coming out from the shower and the tub was sooooo dirty and rusty that made me stop to take a shower. in addition to that, the door couldnt be easily opened that it needed several tries! its sooo upsetting that the aircon wasnt that cool as well.. last but not the least, food served for breakfast is either salty, super sweet, super oily... i cant describe!!!!!! and u know!! the staff were not that kind and polite especially the ones on the front desk..

overall, its not worth our single penny!!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Brisbane, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

The Hotel is perfect for a tourist like me who went there for a timeout from a very busy lifestyle at work and in the city. I felt like it was the safest place in Mactan Island. The crew were very accommodating, the food in the hotel were really fantastic. The View is superb and the room is very neat though. I never had a problem getting a cab from the hotel, a call to the receptionist would be the most awesome way of getting a cab from the city to get in the hotel.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

Overall impression: The place was alright for me for a two night stay, but I wouldn’t want to spend a long vacation there. The beach view, the swimming, the rooms, and the food are of good quality but there’s more to do in Cebu. The traffic on the way to Cebu is bad, and the taxi drivers assume that you’re rich if you’re staying there and will often expect to overcharge you and not use the meter. Also, I wish their shuttle ran more often and to more places than just the airport.

The noise: There was a college reunion going on outside the Vista Mar next door and the band was blaring out music until one in the morning. They let some dogs roam around outside too but I didn’t hear any barking.

The room: I stayed in a suite, and I thought this was a really nice room for the price. There was a safety box in the room and there was a TV in the living room and the bedroom with plenty of channels. There was lots of drawer and closet space for my things. The sofa and bed were both comfortable and the A/C worked great (one in the bedroom and one in the living room). The only real problem with the room was that there was some water leaking from the edges of the sink and the shower water was lukewarm.

Things to do: I was told I could use either of the two pools at the Vista Mar or the one behind the SotoGrande. The Vista Mar pools were nice. I got to take a swim in the sea too. When I saw there was a basketball court, I asked for a basketball but was told they’d charge me per hour to use the court even though I was a guest there. There’s a gym and a sauna at La Mirada next door that I was told I could use, but I didn’t make my way over there. (The same company manages La Mirada, the SotoGrande, and the Vista Mar and they’re all right next to each other).

The clientele: The guests seemed to be the touristy type as opposed to the adventuresome and more cultured backpacker type. I’d say they were more there for the fancy rooms, facilities, and beach than the experience of learning about a foreign culture. I noticed lots of Koreans, some Arabs, and a few Westerners with their Filipino girlfriends/wives at the SotoGrande. One of the staff that had been working there for a year told me that the Filipino families tend to stay next door in the more affordable and less modern Vista Mar. He also told me that the Korean guests didn’t tend to treat him very well.

The service: Although the staff was friendly, I thought the service was average for the PI (Philippines) and could use some improvement. I was supposed to be staying at their sister company, the Vista Mar, but they said my room was being renovated. That worked out though because they upgraded me to a suite at the SotoGrande which was newer, bigger, and better than the Vista Mar room I had paid for. They gave me some fresh mango juice when I arrived at the SotoGrande. I was jetlagged, so I went upstairs and slept. When I came downstairs at 1:30 in the morning, the cook was nice enough to make a sandwich for me but included a 15% tip as part of the bill. The breakfast was good with western and eastern dishes to chose from (yea for bacon and toast). There was no toilet paper in the bathroom next to the Vista Mar’s restaurant next door. I found that out after the bacteria in the food didn’t agree with my digestive system. (I stayed there for the 2nd and 3rd nights of my trip to the PI, and it takes time to adjust to the food people eat 8000 miles away from home).

The location: It is an isolated, private beach resort, which means that you get a nice beach to look at, security guards, and you don’t have to deal with any pushy vendors trying to peddle their products and services to you, like you do in say Boracay. There’s a shuttle that runs to and from the airport but it only runs twice a day. On the way to the hotel from the airport, my taxi driver couldn’t find the place and had to stop and ask for directions. The entrance is a bit tricky to get to. When we were leaving, the first taxi driver tried to charge us extra for having to drive out into the middle of nowhere to pick us up and he wouldn’t use the meter, so we had to wait for the second one. We wound up missing our ferry because the traffic was so bad (it took us an hour and a half to get to the port in Cebu), and because they wouldn’t let me pay my whole bill in one place. After I got done paying for the sandwich I had eaten the first night I stayed there, they told me I had to go next door to the Vista Mar to pay for the lunch I ate the second day even though they’re managed by the same company. What’s worse is that once I got there, I had to wait to use the credit card machine, because somebody was making a transaction upstairs that was preventing the system at the reception desk from working.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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Additional Information about SotoGrande Hotel & Resort

Address: Dapdap, Lapu Lapu, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Mactan Island > Lapu Lapu
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Lapu Lapu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — SotoGrande Hotel & Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 77
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sotogrande Hotel Lapu Lapu
Sotogrande Hotel And Resort
SotoGrande Hotel & Resort Cebu Island/Mactan Island

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