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“Home away from home”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of AguLuz Homestay

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AguLuz Homestay
Ranked #2 of 7 Donsol B&B and Inns
Melbourne
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Home away from home”
Reviewed May 6, 2013

We stayed at Aguluz for 4 nights from the end of April to the start of May.
We were told our home is your home and it was true.
We elected to have our breakfast and dinner included in our stay. All our meals were delicious - we could not fault them.
Marilyn and here family organised snorkel hire for us which was the same price as hire around the tourism centre.
They also organised the firefly tour for us. Well worth it. Our guide caught a firefly for us to see what they looked like close up and took us to his home and cut us a young coconut to drink/eat.
We stayed in the deluxe room. The room was clean and had all you needed.
We will come back to Donsol and when we do we will stay at AguLuz with Marilyn and her family again.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kristi_Turner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    60
    28
    13
    5
    5
See reviews for
13
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Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cairns, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 2, 2013

After travelling for almost 30 hours I finally arrived in Donsol at Aguluz Homestay! I was warmly welcomed by Jaja and taken to my cute little pink room. I directly felt like being at home and although I didn't see any whalesharks I enjoyed every moment of my three days long stay there. The room was comfortable and clean, as was the bathroom and the rest of the house. Sina, Marilyn's helper, is an excellent cook and a lovely lady which introduced me to the Filipino cuisine. Marilyn and her family are very welcoming and I highly recommend this place if you're looking for an authentic stay in Donsol.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2013

It was just a weekend in Donsol but thanks to Marilyn it was amazing. She is like your mom at The Philippines. You need a transport is ok, you need to organize the whaleshark activity, fireflies, home food, taxi, airport transfer, etc etc. Everything is ok for her, you just have to let her know about your wishes.
This is value for money, you can have 5 stars service in a really cheap homestay.
I will come back for sure. I strongly recommend it.
If you go, say hello to Marilyn from her Spanish sons!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alfonso D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed April 22, 2013

Our stay was great at Aguluz Homestay. Upon booking the room, we contacted Marilyn to manage the whaleshark interaction and to solve other questions about our trip (e.g. transportation from the airport). She answered quickly and efficiently, we didn't have to worry about planning anything. They came to pick us up at the airport and the van was quite confortable. Marilyn is a wonderful person, a great representative of her country. She was very kind to us, made delicious lunch (Philipine homely food) and managed every leisure activity for in a very short time. Tuc-tuc drivers knew where to take us everytime (Marilyn did everything) and each plan ran very smoothly. She reassured that we made most of our time in Donsol and we never thought a day could be so intense (whaleshark, massage, firefly activity, etc.). Watching fireflies was amazing as well as searching for the whalesharks. Only the wild and unexploited view of the palm trees from the boat made the activity worth it. Rooms were neat (towel offered) and beds are quite confy (I slept like a baby even though the window overlooked the street directly. Very quite at night, btw!). The atmosphere at her homestay made the place very authentic. Her family walking around, with an incessant smile in their faces and their natural kindness. If you want to feel like at home, this is the place to stay! :)

Room Tip: You should take air-cond bedrooms. Please, bring shower gel and shampoo with you, they are not provi...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sofía G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taipei, Taiwan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcoola, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about AguLuz Homestay

Property: AguLuz Homestay
Address: San Jose St. | Barangay Awaii, Donsol, Luzon 4715, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Bicol Region > Camarines Sur Province > Donsol
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Donsol
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
AGULUZ HOMESTAY is the best homestay in town! Yes it's the best in terms of the beautiful structure of the house and most especially in terms of services and hospitality and friendliness of the owners and staff and of the foods served!!! AGULUZ HOMESTAY has homey amenities, comfortable rooms, cool ambiance and affordable rates. It is along the national road right at the heart of the city and is only 5-10 minutes drive by tricycle to the Butanding Interaction Center. It has six cozy rooms: AC deluxe room with cable TV, own bath, hot and cold shower; AC standard room, shared bath; and fan rooms. AGULUZ offers free wifi service. It has wide parking space. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aguluz Homestay Hotel Donsol

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