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“Never-ending Christmas” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sampaguita Gardens

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Sampaguita Gardens
506 Rizal Street | New Washington, Aklan, Kalibo, Aklan Province, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kalibo
Manila
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Never-ending Christmas”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

It's a pity that we came to this place with vestiges of the destructive super typhoon Yolanda still very visible. Nonetheless, we can not help but appreciate the uniqueness of this hotel.

The Pros:
1. If you're one of the many who feels sad everytime Christmas comes to pass, then you must swing by this unique place where Christmas seems eternal. From the hotel lobby to the shops and restaurants, Christmas is always in full display with all the colorful and glittering trappings like Christmas tree, mistletoe, choir of angels, stars, and what have we decorated our homes with during the season.

2. The theme part which resembles a mini-neverland is wonderful and worth your camera posing.

3. The shops are great selling Christmas novelty and kids stuff that in incredulously large collection.

4. The restaurant and coffee shops are also cute with their dream-like ambience that you must experience dining into.

5. The food is reasonably priced with generous servings. You can have them beside the pool or inside the eloquently designed Christmas-inspired resto.

6. The pools are large for both the kids and adults.

The Cons:
1. The hotel room is in a sorry state and reeks of mold. It is understandably because of the havoc wrought by super typhoon Yolanda last November.

2. Much of the entertainment facilities like the children's rides, circus, Noah's arc museum have not been restored yet.

3. The serenity section that hosts the large gym, spa and the Thai restaurant are still in disarray.

4. Many of the resort's facilities like the garden, some museums, the seaside area needs massive cleanup and rehabilitation work.

5. The pool area is like a sore thumb sticking out of this Disney-cum-Christmas inspired resort. It is only in this area where one can have a feeling of being lost in the dreamlike land, what with its bamboo and native rural-inspired get up and ambience.

6. Service is also much to be desired. Despite the fact that we have booked for airport pickup shuttle, there was none when we landed. After waiting for one for an hour, we decided to ask the help of the customer service at the Kalibo airport who facilitated our call to the hotel. Lo, it is only upon being informed that we are already at the airport that the hotel sent its shuttle to pick us up.

7. We have also booked for a quadruple sharing but found our room can only accommodate 3 at most with just enought space for one single and one twin bed. Imagine we have to request for a mattress and squeezed it on the floor for us to be able to have a sleeping space each.

8. The toilteries, cups and saucers, glasses, towels that were provided were only good for two and we have to request for additional sets.

9. The hotel door is creaking and the toilet-bathroom looks dingy. The light at the entrance of our hotel is busted and when reported to the housekeeping, they did nothing to replace the busted electric bulb.

10. Buffet breakfast is so-so.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Cebu, Philippines
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

The place is big with museum and pool. Good for family and business. I was there with my fellow university professors who also like the place. Some structures though are dilapidated and needing repair especially their butterfly garden their front park near the sea front. Attractions especially the doll museum is a must see for the whole family. Good side trip if you would go to Boracay from Kalibo as it is just an hour drive from Caticlan port.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Melbourne
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We stopped here overnight to break up the journey to Boracay with two very young children. It was fun. The hotel is situated in lovely big grounds, with a fabulous pool area, and many different garden areas right on the ocean. There is a christmas museum and other sites. I would have loved to have come in its heyday when everything was operational. The hotel is aging and we had problems with our shower head (it was broken and spurting everywhere) and something was leaking in the bathroom. Otherwise the room was good. I thought it was reasonable value. The breakfast was poor though. Barely anything. the restaurant service was poor too. Most things didnt seem to be available that were on the menu and it was especially annoying that they brought out only two of our meals after we had waited half an hour and told us at that point, that they werent able to make my daughter's order. Fun to explain to a two year old.
All in all, a fun place to stopover, and I would do it again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
Philippines
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We stayed overnight before proceeding to Caticlan (Boracay) so my kids could see the “Christmas Village” and doll figurines as advertised in their website. First impression: A bit strange when we got there at 9:00 pm. because the lights and trimmings for the Christmas Cottage were off and the giant Xmas tree which is the center piece, has no lights either. We were kind of expecting a well-lit, joyous Christmas Village.

The lobby/reception is beautiful but very quiet at night and very pretty during daytime .It has all the beautiful Christmas decorations which are perfect for picture taking. Beside the lobby is the restaurant which is also stylish and beautiful with paintings done by the owner Mr. Sam Butcher. The free buffet breakfast was okay. During our stay we had ham, danggit (dried fish), noodles, eggs, rice, cereals, bread, fruits, coffee and juices.

All rooms on the 2nd floor have veranda facing the ocean (lovely!) and a corridor facing the garden, Christmas Cottage and the carousel which is not working during our visit. Room is average and simple but comfortable and clean.

The Christmas Cottage is worth a short visit. On the first floor are items and dolls by Precious Moments sold to guests and non-guests. They are so pretty and for sure your little girls will love it. The 2nd and 3rd floors are part of the Christmas Museum (P10.00 entrance fee for non guests) with so many Xmas ornament displays. Its not airconditioned so be prepared to sweat a little.

Another worth a quick visit is Mr. Butcher’s Thai inspired house with a beautiful garden. He has vast collection of art pieces, figurines and furnitures . Picture taking is allowed.

The giant aquarium is no longer there and the chapel was locked. Some areas are not well maintained. The pool is big but we didn’t use it anymore. There is also a portion facing the ocean where one can just sit and watch it peacefully. Nice place.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Davao City
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

It was a good 20-30min drive from the center of Kalibo. It was just a quick pit stop but an awesome experience. Generally, the resort is old but it doesn't make it any less interesting or worth visiting. I have always adored those teardrop-eye faces of the Precious Moments and been an avid fan! Really loved the place adorned with precious moments from the rooms, poolside, the shops, the chapel, paintings and posters on walls, etc... and you get to experience Christmas the whole year round. You may visit Jojo's Christmas Cottage where souvenirs, dolls, figurines, frames and other precious moments items may be bought. On the 2nd and 3rd floor features Exhibits of Christmas trees and decors. There is also Mr. Sam Butcher"s (creator of Precious Moments) very own mansion. We get the chance to tour around his house, furnished with antiques from around the world. The resort is really unique. Great for the family! Hopefully next time, we'll be able to stay and try their accommodation. Would still like to go back there again. Can't get enough of these Precious Moments!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luzon, Philippines
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

Unique experience because of the Precious Moment and Christmas theme. The reception area welcomes guests with big Christmas trees, a huge wreath and an assortment of angel decor, makes for a very pleasant welcome experience. The Standard room we got was very spacious (two double beds) with cable tv, free mineral water, bathroom with bathtub and strong airconditioning and fully functioning hot and cold shower.
Relaxing experience because the hotel is located inside a big compound and you can go around and visit different areas at your own pace. Hotel guests get in free at the Christmas Cottage and JLB Mansion. There's a P10 admission fee for non-guests. Precious Moments and souvenir items are available for sale inside the Cottage at the first floor. Dont forget to buy souvenir postcards at P10@. The Christmas Cottage houses an assortment of Christmas trees and holiday decor. The JLB Mansion, which is the home of Sam Butcher, is open to the public. We were lucky because two of the hotel's staff were present to tour us and give us tidbits about the different and unique items and antiques inside the mansion. Be mesmerized as you see several Swarovski chandeliers, mother of pearl inlaid cabinets, a 350 year old opium bed and lots lots more. When the tour/walk leaves you hungry, they have a restaurant. Must try is their jumbo and yummy hamburger, that was big enough to feed me, my hubby and daughter.
Quiet experience because we were not at all disturbed by the sound/noise of other guests and enjoyed a peaceful siesta.
The hotel had simultaneous seminars and quite a number of checked in guests while we were there and surprisingly it was quiet inside the hotel room.
* Transfers are included in the hotel package price. A van picked us up from the airport and brought us to the van terminal (going Caticlan) the following day.
* Complimentary buffet breakfast for two adults are included, we just had to pay extra for our daughter. The buffet spread is filling and child friendly (there's cereal). And the breakfast venue is cozy and quiet making breakfast a relaxing experience.
* Need additonal toiletries or forgot your medicines or loooking for pasalubongs? There are public tricycles parked outside that can bring guests to Kalibo. Just make sure to negotiate price first. Kalibo city center is roughtly 10-12 kms away from the hotel.
All in all, Sampaguita Gardens is a perfect pitstop before going to Boracay.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boracay island, not bora
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

My daughter has a great time in this Hotel. From the Swimming Pool, to the Christmas Tree Building (I don't know what they called that building). I always love hotels offering Buffet Breakfast. Just remember that this place is move on happenings outside so don't expect something great inside your room.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sampaguita Gardens

Address: 506 Rizal Street | New Washington, Aklan, Kalibo, Aklan Province, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Panay Island > Aklan Province > Kalibo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kalibo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 46
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Also Known As:
Sampaguita Gardens Hotel Kalibo

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