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“Had a great stay, staff super helpful.”

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Giddy's Place PADI Dive Resort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Donsol
Liuzhou, China
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Had a great stay, staff super helpful.”
Reviewed June 1, 2012

We had a great time in Donsol mostly due to the helpfulness of Giddy's staff! We were able to book their driver to come get us from the airport in Legazpi, the driver even arranged for us to go four wheeling on the volcano there before taking us to Donsol (Thanks Odie!) We enjoyed every meal we had in the restaurant, and massages and pedicure in the spa were well done. We saw manager Chito every day making sure everything was going well, he even helped us out when we lost an ATM card in a machine in a city an hour away from Donsol. We also dove with Giddy's, the dive masters were very professional and equipment was well maintained. Giddy's also arranged excursions for us to see the fireflies and swim with the whale sharks, providing us transport to the sites and back to hotel. Overall, the friendly staff at Giddy's made our trip hassle free and fun. Thanks for a great time!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Christystarfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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117 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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English first
Lyon, France
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2012

By day, this place is not too bad : free wifi and breakfast, decent food, small but enjoyable enough pool.

However the backpacker rooms (600 php) are laden with cockroaches, making it impossible to sleep. Those things are the size of a thumb and crawl everywhere, including on the beds themselves. I checked out early and so did another guest. The "normal" rooms apparently didn't have the pest problem, but had poor value for money.

When I went to find the staff to adress the cockroach problem, the only thing they came out with was "Sorry, we're out of spray. If you want, I'll come with you to kill one"..... They are aware of the issue and the boss said he had gotten in touch with local pest control, however according to older reviews it's been a while and a good vacuum cleaning would be a good start.

I think I also saw a rat by the restaurant/bar area.

Futhermore, the shower was crumped and rusty and the water smelt like rotten eggs. I had my laundry done there, I agreed on a price of 200 php, only to be asked 250 later ; I stood to my ground. I dislike that "milk the cow", hawker-like behaviour from hotel staff.

It should however be pointed out that the management left me leave after my first night and gave me a full refund. But they seemed resigned about the whole cockroach thing. 600 php is quite a lot of money in the Philippines, and getting such a filthy room in return is unacceptable. The dodgiest I've ever stayed at, and I've had my share of cheap guesthouses in the last few months all over Asia...

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank assenac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2012

First of all let me just say that we did not stay at Giddys place, and that this review is based entirely on my experience of trying to book a room at the hotel. Having read the positive reviews on here I was hoping to book a room and a whale shark excursion through Giddys and contacted them via their website, shortly after I received a confirmation that my question was being dealt with and I would hear back within 48 hrs... I never did. I have since tried to contact them again by email to no avail. It is poor customer service for a hotel to fail to respond in this manner and suggests that some of the earlier complaints are perhaps still well founded.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank klattsuj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GiddysPlace, Owner at Giddy's Place PADI Dive Resort, responded to this review, May 21, 2012
I do have to apologize for this and again we have been trying to fix this 100%. info@giddysplace.com is an unmonitored email. A copy of any email sent is forwarded to reservations@giddysplace.com but we have recently found out that not all emails are forwarded including yours.

We have changed the automated response of info@giddysplace.com to inform senders that it is an unmonitored address and a copy has been sent to reservations and we also give the phone numbers and also the email address of the manager at manager@giddysplace.com in case after 2 days there is still no response. We also emphasize in the reply that the easiest way to book is online at www.giddysplace.com as all emails get a copy of the booking.

Again I apologize for this and hopefully we do not get any more bad reviews regarding the reservation satisfaction experience.
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Manila
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2012

Stayed in this place recently after checking out the reviews here in Tripadvisor. Expectations sadly was not matched by reality... by a mile.

Rooms were spartan, felt unclean. The floor on the second level where rooms were was unfinished concrete and you can see the pipes jutting out! Views from the rooms at the back overlook an unkempt neighborhood and one can see old cobwebs on the hotel's railings and ceilings.

The food was way below par (the pasta tasted like it was refrigerated for a while then reheated) and surprisingly many menu items seemed to have ran out despite the low number of guests (poor planning!). The prices were way too high almost at par with some prime restos in Manila which this place was clearly not.

Compounding this, the dour faced and unwelcoming manager who looks after the place does not seem to care for its guests except to make sure you pay your bill to the cent no matter the quality of the place or service.

Overall a terrible experience for me and my family. I will not recommend this place to anyone at all. If one wants to go to Donsol, the places closer to the beach area would have been a better bet or to stay in Legaspi city (we stayed in Hotel Venezia which was in total contrast to Giddy's) then drive down to Donsol for the day.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank rmzc r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GiddysPlace, Owner at Giddy's Place PADI Dive Resort, responded to this review, April 18, 2012
It is sad to see a guest that is not happy with us. I do apologize if we were not able to reach your standards. We try as much as possible to provide the best service we can. Our rooms are simple but complete (Cable TV (no other resort with this), AC, Hot Shower, hairdryer, bfast). You may call it spartan if you compare it to Venezia in Legaspi which is actually a higher classed hotel than ours. The hallways are not yet finished but will be during the off-season. It will be a bother to finish them at this time as there are a lot of guests. We also can't do anything to the view of the neighbors as these is how they look like and being in the second floor we cant possibly hide them from your view. The rooms at the back are lower priced than the deluxe rooms at the front portion.

Donsol guests who require a higher quality standard than what is available in Donsol do stay in Legaspi. The rooms in Venezia should be nice as their prices are more than double our prices. A round trip private van from Legaspi will also fetch you from 4K-6K depending on quality and they will only wait for you half day. Though more expensive this is what some guests prefer.

The rooms in the beach area are not of venezia standard as well and we are happy to say that we have one of the better rooms in Donsol. We also invested in some things that no one has in Donsol. We are the only resort with a SPA, a back-up generator, a diving pool, a PADI Affiliation, Cable TV, Internet, Full restaurant and Bar with imported meat and deli, and an ice maker. These are all to highlight what we provide to guests that is always assumed as standards.

The availability in the menu will be my fault as I am the one assigned to send things from Manila. All our steaks, lamb, cheese, and deli all come from Manila. There is no trucking service from Legaspi to Donsol and it is all a special trip. So our Australian steaks and Lamb chops will be comparable to Manila prices as they do come from Manila.

By next season, the hallways at the back should be better. The dour-faced and unwelcoming manager (who by the way has been praised in a lot of reviews prior) smilingly promised that schedule earlier.

We hope to be able to satisfy guests with your standards in the future and again I apologize for not enjoying your stay with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, null, Singapore
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2012

Selection for a place to stay proved to be a daunting task as this trip was meant to be a honeymoon for me and my wife. In addition, this was going to be our first time to visit the Philippines. As such, I wish for the place to be as comfortable as possible.

Days were spent on the internet researching and shortlisting. After countless email correspondance, we decided to settle for Giddy's resort.

Now, let me just add that both me and my wife deal with customers everyday in our course of work (we are in sales) and we definitely have our set of expectations as far as customer service is concerned. Never did we expect to find such exceptional service at a hotel in this small town.

The manager, Chito, in particular was very very accomodating. He really made us feel right at home. The staff there were all very professional and friendly. Throughout our stay, they never failed to make us feel welcome.

Yes, they may not be a top notch hotel, but to me and my wife, what we got here in terms of service, will put some world class names to shame.

We had intially thought of staying at a place near the whale shark interaction centre. However, on hindsight, we were really glad that we didn't do so. IOHO, the places near the whale shark interaction looked run down. It doesn't mean that you will get on a boat faster than the rest by staying close to the interaction centre.

Giddy's is located in a neighbourhood with a friendly local community. Everyone seems to know everyone. You could even join them for a game of Bingo right outside Giddy's!

Having said all above, let it be said that there is nothing much to do at night except shrimp catching and firefly watching. I highly recommend to try the shrimp catching. It will make you feel very fortunate that you do not have to do this for a living. This is what the local fishermen do. You are going to get all muddy and dirty, but it makes you feel contented with what you have back at home. Food for our thoughts and our soul.

Rest of the nights were spent chilling in the restaurant, just enjoying the simplicity of life. Isn't that why we got out of the comfort of our home in the first place?

You might think that this review is over rating the place. But all you gotta do is have some faith and try them out. Both my wife and me sincerely think that you will not be disappointed. I know that we will be back there again sometime!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank AlvinVicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, null, Hong Kong
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2012

This hotel is amazing! They cater to everyone from a back packer to a well seasoned hotel stayer. I have stayed in many 5 star resorts and the staff's friendliness doubles and shangri-la. It is rare to travel in asia and have staff want to help you to the point if they do not understand your exact request they have someone sorting it out within 2 min. The hotel rooms are very clean and comfortable. There are no safes but they will lock anything valuable in their safe and watch it very closely. I have not found such a trust worthy place ever! The manager Cheeto and the other staff will learn your name quickly, providing you introduce yourself, and are keen to make your experience in don sol the best. They are relaxed and more than happy to serve you. They cater to food allergies which is not easy to find, especially if you are allergic to wheat.

The dive team is incredible, I have stayed at 5 star resorts in cancun with less service. The coral life and fish are amazing and the service unmatchable. Although the hotel itself is not decorated as a high end hotel but that makes the place better. The back packer vibe makes this a perfect destination if you are traveling alone because people just join together and share stories. Cheetoh the manager will even hook you up with other people going on excursions to help your stay be fun and cheaper! The spa is lovely and affordable.

I can not say enough about how wonderful this place is. I was told this section of the Philippines would be the boring part of my tour. I did all the excursions and spent most of my time at the hotel and eating at the hotel because the food was good and a good price. The staff are fun and Marlo the bartender makes a mean drink! Happy hour here is hard to beat anywhere! Also they accommodated my very difficult allergy. I would come back here and I would stay no where else! Don't waste your time! STAY HERE!

Room Tip: The hotel rooms are excellent. Back packers staying said they were good and value for money but as t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Morgan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2012

We stayed at Giddy's as we wanted to see the whale sharks and the only other properties that were recommended were already booked up. We booked and paid online and arranged for our transport from the airport, whale shark tour and firefly tour all online. Everything was ready for us when we arrived. It is about 1 1/2 hours from Legaspi and 20 minute trike from the Donsol interaction center. It is not on the beach, but in the 'city.' Donsol is not like more tourist areas in the Philippines (Cebu, Boracay, Palawan, etc) with few places to stay and eat and it is not of the same calibre as what you would find in those other areas. The room was small, but it was clean. The bed was ok. The shower was hot. The air con and TV worked. The food was ok. You just need to make sure they know when your flight is to get back to the airport on time!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Deb C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Giddy's Place PADI Dive Resort

Property: Giddy's Place PADI Dive Resort
Address: 54 Clemente Street, Donsol, Luzon 4715, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Bicol Region > Camarines Sur Province > Donsol
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Donsol
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Giddy's Place is the only PADI Center in Donsol and holds dives and training all year round. The resort feature's Donsol's only Scuba training pool as well the best room amenities, a SPA, WIFI access, credit card facilities and a late night Bar and restaurant. Giddy's can provide everything you need to have fun in Donsol. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Giddy`s Place Padi Dive Hotel Donsol

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