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AguLuz Homestay
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Reviews (114)
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All reviewswhale sharkshighly recommend this placelarge roomhome cookingfirefly tourown bathroomstayed here for nightsmarilynpepephilippinesbutandingboatfirefliestrikesightings
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Reviewed April 21, 2013

This home stage is ruled by Marilyn and her family, and they invite you to feel like a part of their family from the very first moment. The feeling of being at home in the middle of the Philippines is priceless.
This is a family house, in the center of Donsol, so do not expect hotel facilities, luxuries, and more. Instead, expect clean and comfortable rooms, very close treat, and excellent service. Marilyn and her family will prepare everything for making your stay in Donsol a unforgettable experience, starting by your stay in their home.
I have been hosted there already two times, and definitely I will repeat if I go to Donsol for a third time, since this place is already a big part of the charming of that Paradise.

Room Tip: Ask for A/C room.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank RobertoMachadoTPE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aguluz, General Manager at AguLuz Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2013

Thanks for the ‘apologetics’ you have perhaps unknowingly expressed in favor of our humble homestay; your feedback more than justified us before some of our past guests whom we have disappointed as they could have expected a hotel instead of a homestay… Maraming salamat po talaga! We will be looking forward to your, hopefully, next visit to our humble town and its blessings from Mother Nature. We truly love to serve you the best we can.

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Reviewed April 18, 2013

Where do I start? Marilyn & Pepe welcomed me like a long lost relative (even though I hadn't been there before). Marilyn runs a tight ship with her staff and nothing is too much trouble for anyone there. Her niece Ana is an absolute delight - she couldn't do enough for me, I wanted to take her home with me. If I'd stayed there much longer I would have put on heaps of weight because the food was awesome and plentiful. Pepe "manicures" the lawns with hand shears and keeps the gardens in pristine condition. They can give you info on any of the sights or activities and arrange travel around the area or onwards. I truly felt like one of the family there and regard them as my family in Donsol. Thanks Marilyn, Pepe & Ana. When I'm back in the area there's nowhere else I would stay. I can highly recommend Aguluz Homestay.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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Thank mermaid4564
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aguluz, Owner at AguLuz Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2013

You are always welcome wholeheartedly in our place! Indeed, it is so gladdening to know that we have afforded you a HOME away from home. Thanks too for your very kind words Mardi!

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Reviewed April 16, 2013

My husband and I stayed here with our 7 year old son while attempting to see the whale sharks. Marilyn and her family genuinely do all that they possibly can to make you feel welcome in their home. Please do not confuse this property with a hotel, it is a homestay, you are living in a family's home with them as they continue with their life. If you want to see a little slice of a true Philippino family's home this is definately the place for you. Marilyn does everything possible to ensure you feel apart of her family and experience a piece of the donsol lifestyle she clearly loves with all her heart. She organised transfers from Legazpi, Day trips on a local boat to try to see whale sharks and also a night trip on another boat to see the fire flies. Unfortunately the whale sharks did not arrive. It seems to me that the whale shark tourism organisation are very concerned about installing rules about how many boats can be on the water at a time, for how long and how long you can have interaction with the whale sharks, but all the meanwhile pumping their contaminated household water untreated into the water stream straight out to where the whale sharks feed, polluting the environment which the whale shark's food is grown and living in. None of this is the lovely family at the homestay's fault, but will definately effect their future as it is the whale sharks that bring tourists to donsol and thier homestay. Thank you again Marilyn for your warm heart and great organisation skills which saved us a great deal of effort and time.

Room Tip: we requested a room with airconditioning... and are very glad we did...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank petrof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aguluz, Owner at AguLuz Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2013

It feels so good that our humble homestay service was able to compensate for the disappointment you could have had to miss the sight of the whalesharks. We pray that should you opt to visit our town again in the future these ‘butandings’, through God’s blessing, be in our sea’s sanctuary as they used to…It is with so much joy that we have served you. Thank you very much for your very heartwarming acknowledgements!

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Reviewed April 3, 2013

I have been travelling in so many places. I've been to many hotels and homestays. Almost everyone cn be so warm to guests but not to be genuine. I'd say Mrs. Marilyn and her family are both warm and genuine.

My friend (Marlon,who already gave his review below) and I arrived in the Homestay in the midst of a heavy rainfall. We had to bargain and asked for a smaller room. I was glad to hear that Mrs. Marilyn's daughter agreed (in that time Mrs. Marilyn is in Legazpi) and after a small conversation, they led us to our room. And I felt happy for people are sensitive enough for nt keepng us for so long in the conversation and doing business, they felt our need to rest for we are dead tired aftr travelling.

I have to say that there are positive and as well as the negative thngs to encounter when staying in an another plce like ths. In ths homestay, I have felt comfortable and relaxed. It wasn't noisy. No dead ants over the walls or even live ants crawling in the room. We always hang out in the garden and sat to have a chit chat in the living room. Sadly, I find the wifi disappointing. Cnt enjoy fcebook.

The room is air-cnditioned and I liked the ambiance of the room. More comfy than my room at home. Though I find it expensive bt the comfort was way unbuyable, you cn always do everythng in there. bt I was less happy with the shower, suddenly no water for 10 minutes and I had to wait. That was near evening. Later I found out that it was becoz of low pressure or somethng. Bt nvr happened again on my nxt showers.

We tried availing breakfast and felt I am at home (Hey, it's a homestay so we should feel like home and nt in a hotel, ryt?). We ate eggs and tocino with choices of coffee or tea. Bt it was knda expensive. Haha! So on our nxt meals, we ate in a diner just near the homestay (I thnk it's MEGG'S). Yes, you always have a choice to eat in the homestay or go look around. It's always fun to go around the streets and fndng out that items and foods are being sold cheaply (trust me u cnt buy them in cheaper prices in the city).

Good thng that we were offered by Mrs. Marilyn a boat tour in whaleshark interaction. No hassle, everythng was arranged by her self. It was a good thng. Bu t we saw no whalesharks. Tired and disappointed. Felt like we wasted 720 pesos but it wasn't her fault. Somehow she gave us hint that whalesharks might nt appear. Bt we cared less of what happened and dcided to continue our journey to other plces in Bicol.

Until the last day we've always enjoyed our conversations with Mrs. Marilyn, she's kind, warm and very smart. She always gves us choices bt nvr provoked us 'to do ths, or do that.' She oriented us almost about everythng in Donsol. She even taught us how to get to our nxt destination.

If you visit Donsol, I cn recommend Aguluz Homestay if you are aftr the comfort and safety of your belongings. And a very pleasing and entertaining Hosts like Mrs. Marilyn and her family.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank CathyAnneReyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aguluz, Owner at AguLuz Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Hi, my sincere thanks for your very generous and heartwarming feedback.
It is a very gratifying experience when in our small tourism business we are able to satisfy our guests, that is, when they find a second home in our homestay and somehow enjoy the ‘beauties’ that our humble town Donsol can offer them, even in the absence at that time of our well known and most sought Butandings. My apology for the inconsistent signal from the net server and the low water pressure. I assure you my food maybe a little ‘pricy ‘ but it is surely clean and sanitize than those 'cheapy-cheapy' from the street, he he. . .

Looking forward to your next visit to our town and we will be so glad to be of service to you again. God bless!

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Reviewed March 31, 2013

Our group of seven had a great stay. The food was superb and the service was excellent. They handled everything from our snorkeling, diving, whale and firefly watching. We really felt welcome and were treated as part of the family. Our children really enjoyed the local cuisine and were fully satisfied. Thank you Pepe and Marilyn.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank LinoVy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aguluz, Owner at AguLuz Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Thanks so much, Lino, for your gracious words! We are also very glad to have been of service to you and fortunate to have met wonderful people like you. Hope to see you again, God bless!

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