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“Highly dysfunctional hotel in a very nice spot” 5 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 #13 of 26 hotels in Lapu Lapu
Bangkok, Thailand
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Highly dysfunctional hotel in a very nice spot”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

On the positive side, this hotel is in one of the most quiet places in Mactan. You're away from the incessant noise of beeping taxis, from the ubiquitous fumes which are a hallmark of this country. And the sea view is nice.
But the resort itself is a disaster. The toilet stopped working about 10 p.m. I called downstairs. A hapless maintenance guy tried, and achieved nothing. The front-desk lady vaguely told me that there is a water problem with the hotel.
In addition, there is no wifi in the rooms, and no business center. If you want to use the Internet, you must sit in the lobby where endless waves of super-noisy guests from South Korea and China pass through or sit down.
The breakfast buffet is one of the worst anywhere. Same awful-looking and -tasting food every morning. Very poor maintenance of the food stock and counters. They run out of the main offerings an hour before the service closes, and you have to plead for a re-supply. As ever in the Philippines, the staff sweetly smiles and uses deferential language. Most charming. But the toilets are crap, and so is the food.
In fairness, when I spoke with the available supervisor, I was taken very seriously, and treated well. The actual manager and owner, of course, were nowhere to be found.
A fish rots from the head down.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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56 people have reviewed this hotel

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)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
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English first
Philippines
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

I've had the chance to stay in Soto Grande Hotel & Resort for two nights with my family. It was not our choice to stay there, but we were forced by circumstances because we were attending a wedding ceremony in a nearby hotel. Despite the fact that it has an extremely poor location, several tourists still chose to stay in the hotel. It's probably because the hotel is advertised as a luxurious and elegant resort. It has clean, spacious, and well-furnished rooms though. There were also several amenities that you can enjoy during your stay.

One of the things I dislike about this hotel is that it's extremely hard to locate. We went in and out of the hotel using our private car. At night, the road to the hotel was dark and there's not enough sign to provide direction to the guests. We got lost several times, and to us, it seemed unsafe to get lost in the area.

Before we had our check-out, we had a terrifying experience in this hotel. We all got up early on our last day so as not to miss our flight on our way back home. It was around 4AM. When some of our family members took the elevator to go down to the lobby, there was a power interruption. There were eight of them who got trapped in the elevator for more than five minutes. When we sought help from the reception area to ask how to rescue them. The hotel employees obviously did not know what to do. We had to figure out ourselves how to get them out.

The hotel is quite expensive, but I must admit that there are much better hotels in the nearby area that would give you value for your hard-earned money. I can honestly say this based on first-hand experience since I've had the chance to stay in other four or five-star hotels in the city.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kristiansund, Norway
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

This hotel is in the outskirts from central Cebu. If you're going alot to the big malls etc, don't stay there.

The only pro is that the pool area is very nice, the beach is not.

The staff are a little bit rude and stared a lot on my kid that have a handicap.

Room is tidy, nice and have a ok size. But don't leave any food in the open because then you will have ants crawling there.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on a corner
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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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Nashua, NH
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

I just spent two nights here and it was a dreadful experience.
The beach is covered in trash and rotting seaweed two feet high making it impossible to swim. Most hotels in Mactan suffer the same problem but all you have to do is hire a couple of locals for a few hundred pesos to clean the beach daily. I don't understand why this hotel allows the beach to stay so dirty and neglected.
There is no wifi in the rooms. You have to go down to the small lobby and sit with the other guests on a sofa. In this day and age there is no excuse for not having internet access in the rooms. I've been in small provincial hotels that provide excellent wifi service, and a resort hotel in Mactan charging the rates that Sotogrande does should be able to install wireless routers for the convenience of its guests. Oh, and if you do use the wifi in the lobby they have the annoying policy of changing the password every day. This is unfathomable to me since the hotel is in an out of the way location and there is nobody to steal the signal.
Finally, the food service is terrible to non existent. Our first day I called room service for dinner and the staff person who answered slammed the phone down on me. I thought that was strange, but shrugged my shoulders and my girlfriend and I went down to the restaurant to eat. We were then told that since the hotel was hosting a function the restaurant would not be serving any guests and we were told to eat somewhere else. Bear in mind that the only other business around was a nearby hotel with considerably higher prices. I complained forcefully to the front desk but they were unmoved. We we allowed to eat breakfast in the restaurant the next day but the food was lukewarm and tasteless.
If you look at my other reviews you'll see that I travel a lot in the Philippines and my postings tend to be rather forgiving. I understand that I am in a developing country and allowances have to be made but the service at this hotel was atrocious, the worst I have ever come across. If you want to stay at a beach resort where you can't use the filthy beach and they refuse to serve you food, the Sotogrande is the dump that you've been looking for.

Room Tip: Do not stay in the miserable, poorly run hotel
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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
    • 1 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 Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013 via mobile

Pros: none
Cons: poor customer service, hard to get a taxi, very isolated, doesn't have any pool, u have to use the hotels next door, not next to the beach, food is bad and room service delivers cold food, disappointing considering there are no other options near by, our room had bugs in it, which ruined food and I'm certain were biting me, breakfast is bad, and u usually get stuck waiting in the lobby for a table to sit and eat breakfast, there aren't enough seats in reception, u cannot lock let along close the verandah door properly, tap water was often black or brown.

Do not stay here !!!

Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013 via mobile

The rooms were indeed breathtaking but they definitely have to work on their customer service.noone met us when we got off our taxi when we first arrived,and the entire time we were there,noone met our eye to greet us or even acknowledge that we were there!!it takes them a long time to answer the front desk phone and any other extension lines for that matter..it sucked!!the pools were pestering with flies and for some reason, the off duty life guards went ahead and got their drink on by the pool while families were splashing around..and the beach!!gaah thw beach!!!it was full of seaweed!!nnggggg!!!!need I say more?!id rather stay in the city hotels like the wellcome hotel..granted the first floor was still under construction but everyone was super nice!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Hong Kong, China
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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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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:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Lapu Lapu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — SotoGrande Hotel & Resort 3.5*
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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