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“WORTH IT: Quick Long Weekend Getaway in Lapu-Lapu!” 4 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 #15 of 27 Hotels in Lapu Lapu
Hong Kong, China
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“WORTH IT: Quick Long Weekend Getaway in Lapu-Lapu!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

We were 4 girls traveling together from Hong Kong to Cebu. We only spend 3 days and 2 nights at Sotogrande Resort, but it was a lovely, utterly relaxing stay, Would love to go back and bring family along next time! Also, extremely affordable! We got MUCH more than our money's worth!

FIRST, ON A GENERAL NOTE - Make sure you DO NOT fly with Zest Air. They are an irresponsible, unaccountable company and will leave a sour taste in your mouth. They delayed our flight for 5 hours, which meant that we slept overnight at the airport on the floor. By "delay," I mean that the tickets they sold us were for a flight that never existed in the first place. Their so-called "cheap prices" do not make up for bad service, dishonest ticketing, and an overall terrible flight experience.

ROOMS - We booked one room with 2 double beds for 4 people. After some initial confusion at check-in (when they wanted to slap on an extra 1000PHP for the 2 "extra" people), the hotel staff waived the fee and we were not required to pay anything extra. To avoid this confusion, make sure you call in a few days to confirm the number of people staying in the room! Facilities were clean and well prepared. We had a balcony view of the ocean which allowed us to view a gorgeous early morning sunrise over the ocean.

LOCATION - Sotogrande Resort is a bit off the beaten path. To get there, the taxi weaves through this little village and through a few security gates before actually reaching the resort. Without a taxi ride out, it would be VERY difficult to leave. There is an additional 50PHP on top of each taxi ride to get to and from the hotel. Even so, fares and attractions are close enough that getting anywhere on Lapu-Lapu would only cost about 200PHP (including additional 50PHP.) There is some GREAT shopping at Mactan Shrine (7 minutes taxi) and tasty eats at Marina Mall (20 minutes taxi).

FACILITIES - Sotogrande Resort is under higher management, which also owns the two neighboring hotels. The 3 hotels are about a 2 minutes walk apart, so it really just feels like a large complex. Within these 3 hotels, there are 3 pools, a cozy private beach, exercise room, sauna and hot tub, and water recreation which you can book. We really enjoyed lounging poolside, especially in the evening when they turn on the underwater spotlights!

FOOD - If you have the chance, definitely leave the resort to enjoy a few meals. There are two main restaurants within the 3 hotels. The selection on the menus is not extensive and the prices are definitely inflated. There are a few good dishes, but you will quickly tire of eating the same thing. The breakfast buffet included with Sotogrande is subpar. If you are having breakfast, it may be better just to order a few dishes from the menu rather than take part in the buffet (the fruit plate and pancakes are actually quite good).

STAFF - The staff at the resort are unbelievably friendly and will go out of their way to meet your needs. Really take the effort to make conversation with them. We spent a memorable evening jamming on drums and guitars with the guards on night shift. You are greeted with warm smiles from every staff member you meet, and they do seem genuinely wanting and willing to help (which is not something I can say of the country's airline help desks.)

Sotogrande is an excellent budget resort and I would highly recommend it to families with children! For young professionals, make sure you leave the resort to enjoy the full experience of the city!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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57 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (15)
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Singapore
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Sotogrande is a slightly well known brand in Spain, and you'd associate it with reasonably good quality. Stayed only our last night in Cebu there, as it was near to the beach and the airport. As my title suggests though, only the rooms were nice...


Rooms

- The high floor sea facing suites are really worth it. The professional photos don't present the actual (large) size of the suite - it actually has its own living room and dining area, with a separated bedroom. Nice furniture overall. The full length glass windows gave us a very good view of the sea (see picture). As we came as a party of 3, we got the hotel to arrange for an additional bed in the living room area and the night's stay just costed usd100 for 3 persons, which I find really reasonable. The only pity is that the view was blocked by the hotel's recreational clubhouse (see picture).


Beach

- Yes, it does have a very small stretch of private beach but it is really not nice. Our initial plan, upon seeing the private beach on the hotel's checklist, was to just relax on their private beach on our last day in Cebu. But we were rather disappointed to find out that their private beach was only 50 metres long, the sand wasn't nice, and the view was entirely blocked by a full concrete dock built right beside the beach. Nah we decided not to even step on the beach in the end.


Hotel grounds/ overall

- Breakfast was not too bad, it wasn't a wide spread but the food was fresh and the chef at the eggs live station made really delicious eggs
- Service was ok, as they were all warm and friendly, and we can tell they do put in effort to help whenever we had any requests
- We explored the grounds and realised the Sotogrande Hotel was just next to its sister building, a luxury condo under the same management. Now the part we felt cheated was, the large, two-layer pool shown on their professional photos actually belongs to the condo side, and not the hotel side. Sure, hotel guests were allowed to use that pool since it is under the same management, but it was a good 5 min walk from the hotel, and we had to go through the gates / another security to get to that pool. It just wasn't a nice experience should we decide to use that pool. We could still use the much smaller, sea-facing pool though.
- Given how secluded the hotel was, we didn't leave the hotel grounds the whole day, and we decided to stay for dinner. It may be their off-peak season, as there were just 2 tables having dinner there. But I wonder if it is because there were so few guests, they actually didn't turn on the lights of the cafe area, and so we opted to sit al fresco facing the dimly lit pool. We tried ordering a few Filipino favourites but were told they don't have them. And because there were so few customers, and we were sitting alfresco, we became the public enemy of the nearby mosquitoes. Argh, not nice.


Location

- It is actually rather near to Shangri-la Mactan so you can imagine that it really is at a good location.
- However, it is really hard to find - our cab driver had to ask a few villagers, and true enough, the entire establishment was well hidden beyond a large, seemingly abandoned land, so it it pretty secluded
- If you like a really private stay, cheap, with an ok pool and beach, then this is the place for you.


Stay again?

- Probably not, because despite the nice rooms and breakfast, the place is really secluded and doesn't have a nice beach nor nice overall atmosphere that makes you wanna just lie around, read a book and spend the day away.

Room Tip: High floor, sea facing suite
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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manila
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

Nice, clean, ocean view , balcony area and spacious room, buffet breakfast was great, service is excellent but the only set back is the location, we always need a taxi to enter and go out of the hotel, you can anytime ask the reception if you need a ride. Overall the place is excellent place to stay, definitely we will come back here next time.

Room Tip: choose 505, ocean view
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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.
Lisboa
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We arrived late in the evening and were received by a very friendly reception desk staff. The rooms were spacious but needing some attention as they showing signs of excess use.

The breakfast was average but dinner was very bad...stay away from the risotto.

The location is far away from anything, we booked a boat trip at the hotel that included 4 island stops... we 1 island and paid 5000 pesos.

The only positive aspect were the friendly and amazing staff, the made a difference otherwise it would have been a disastrous stay.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We had a blast on our room. We could just stay the whole day in the room. We stayed 2 nights in a Suite room. Room was really spacious. You have your own dining area, living area, and then a separate matrimonial room with a queen size bed. Facilities are complete. They also have a good service and serves good food everyday. Breakfast meals are buffet meals for the guests every 6am-9am. This was the best hotel/resort room we had of the 3 years we've been traveling. Luxurious yet worth it!

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
161 reviews 161 reviews
139 hotel reviews
Reviews in 101 cities Reviews in 101 cities
177 helpful votes 177 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

A good-sized group of us stayed here for an open-water swimming event.

The hotel is a moderate-sized big-block hotel, with a couple of pools, a couple of restaurants, and private access to a small beach that's moderately swimmable (more later on that). It's in the heart of a private estate that looks like it was designed to be a gated community, although most of the plots are undeveloped and home to families of goats and stray dogs. Calling a cab in took a reliable 10 minutes or so each time, but cabs home invariably got lost.

The doorman opens the door! Old-school... Check-in was fairly efficient by Philippine standards. There's no tourist information, tho', not even a city map available. The lobby is big and empty, to the point of looking a bit weird when you first walk in.

The room was a good size although the bathroom (with full-sized bath) was a squeeze. The beds were comfortable and there was a kettle in the room. Although there was a good-sized desk there's no internet in the room (but reasonable wifi, free, in the lobby area). The room was in generally good condition although we failed to work out how to turn on the TV! Not a big problem as I don't watch TV anyway and we had plenty else to do. There's an in-room water heater that's not labelled, so you might be frustrated by the lack of hot water until you solve the mystery - and even if you do, the water's lukewarm, taking 4-5 kettles of boiling water to get the bath up to soakable temperature. The bathroom, by the way, was showing its age a bit, with rotting woodwork and rusty pipes gushing brown water as you first turn on the taps.

The food in the poolside restaurant was quite good. Fairly obviously you'll do much better sticking to the filipino specialities rather than the western choices. All were very expensive by local standards, and service while friendly to the point of charming, was dopey-slow. Breakfast was so-so; the coffee was weaker than a mid-west diner's, food items weren't replaced (so eat early!), there was no butter for the bread, and the juice was as far from freshly-squeezed as it's possible to get without being radioactive.

Check-out was a flurry of bits of paper, and a separate credit card chit for each restaurant we'd charged food/drinks to, and hence took a while.

A word on the beach: the beach itself is clean and secluded, tho' small (and some of the palms waving in the breeze are still in their nursery-garden bags!). The water however is shallow for 10-15m out but underfoot is a mix of seaweed and rocks, and some of those rocks have sea-urchins attached. You must wear slippers/crocs/swim sandals! At least two of our party had to have urchin spines dug out of their feet, and the staff seemed to find this quite usual. Further out the water deepens nicely, and you can see clusters of coral, quite a lot of it still alive and hence with plenty of fish.

We paid around US$50 per room as a group, and this was probably the right price point. The property is fine, it's in a bit of a no-man's land, the beach and swimming isn't great, and the service is friendly but dopey. If you want sun/sea cheaply (like the many Korean package vacationers there), it's fine, but it's not a particularly high-quality experience. Spend a bit more somewhere else on the same coastline.

Room Tip: high and at the front (the lower rooms' view of the sea is blocked by another building)
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Omaha, Nebraska
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
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
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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Lapu Lapu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — SotoGrande Hotel & Resort 3.5*
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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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