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“Overpriced and Appalling Customer Service”

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Crystal Paradise Resort & Winery
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Narra
Beijing
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Overpriced and Appalling Customer Service”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2013

We made the mistake of booking this place in advance, paying a 10% deposit. When we arrived we saw the rooms and were VERY disappointed at the standard. They were stained, the furniture chipped and clearly in need of a major overhaul - not what you expect for high-end prices in what should be a relatively cheap place - Narra. On the basis of the quality of the accommodation, we decided not to stay. The staff offered us the opportunity to "upgrade" to a more expensive 'chalet' with pool but the price was just way too high for the standard, so we decided to stay somewhere else - even though we knew we'd probably lose our deposit. We were asked to write a letter to explain why we weren't staying, which we did. We were then extremely disappointed to find out that, not only had they kept the deposit, they had also charged our credit card for the whole amount of the 2-night stay! This was despite the fact that they clearly weren't full and so had not lost other business through our cancellation. We have tried consistently to contact Crystal Paradise but they do not reply to emails and do not answer phonecalls. Extremely poor for a resort that claims to be upmarket. A cancellation policy whereby a customer pays at least part of the bill if they don't show up, is understandable. But to charge the full amount for a 2-night stay when we DID turn up, saw the rooms and decided not to stay because of the poor standard, is shocking. Note also that they have doctored the photos in their brochure to show white sand on the beach.. it is actually brown sand. The colour of the sand is no issue for us but the fact that they have doctored the images shows that these people are dishonest. Steer clear. There is a very nice resort called Macapuno (not yet on TripAdvisor) just down the road and on the same beach. We stayed there and had a great time - cheaper accommodation, lovely staff, amazing food and you can do all the excursions from there.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AuthenticityHunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2013

I was excited to escape to Narra, and chose to stay at Crystal Paradise Resort because of the features described on their website, namely their private beach, swimming pool, and jacuzzi. I didn't mind that the resort was far from Puerto Princesa city, as last fall I had a wonderful experience in Panglao staying at Linaw Beach Resort which was slightly isolated from Alona beach.

Upon arrival, my fiancee and I were impressed with the modern dining pavilion and resort accommodations, and we started planning our stay. During lunch, a staff member informed us that the pool and jacuzzi were broken and could not be used. This was very disappointing because it was one of the main reasons I had booked my stay at a remote resort. Upon later inspection of the pool, the water was brackish and a dark green color, appearing as if it had been broken for some time. During our stay there was no visible effort made in repairing it. I inquired about their timeline of fixing it, and I got a vague answer that seemed as if they intended to leave it as is, perhaps to save on maintenance or utility costs. No effort was made to warn us about this before we made our booking.

We made an attempt to enjoy our stay regardless, and started looking at their available tours. Most tours require a minimum of 4 guests in order for the staff to reserve a tour spot, and these are non-refundable reservations if they can't find enough people. Most tours are also based out of Puerto Princesa proper and require a 4800Php transfer fee for the round trip, which is a 2 hour journey each way. This discouraged us from pursuing any of the tours they offered.

The Resort made reasonable accommodations to our requests, by letting us use one of the pools in a vacant villa, and letting us use the spa jacuzzi free of charge, but these required us to call ahead each time for a feature that was advertised as free-to-use on their website. The friendly demeanor and accommodating personality of the staff is their only redeeming feature, as I had to call and ask for nearly every feature that was advertised on their website. I had to request a hair dryer, mineral water replacement, and facility usage if I wanted any of them, and I needed to follow up with additional requests if I wanted to continue to receive them.

The staff is also extremely slow, with the exception of two of the wait staff, at delivering meals. My fiancee and I waited 2 hours for our dinner on valentines day, and on days where we were the only ones present at the dining facility, we waited at least an hour. The landscaping and housekeeping staff did however seem to be very serious about their jobs and the lawns and gardens were well maintained. We met a friendly Australian man and his fiancee during this time, who were also very disappointed with the resort, especially the fact that the jacuzzi in their private villa was unheated.

If you do stay here, beware of the very tall coconut trees which are directly over all of the main walking paths. My fiancee is Visayan and grew up around coconut trees throughout her life. She informed me that the resort grounds were a dangerous setup, and the falling coconuts could cause death or brain damage.

I would also caution guests to avoid the town market tour, as it may put them in danger. We took this tour, and I received many suspicious looks from the Muslim population there despite being there for only a few minutes and acting with respect. While guests may be at minimal risks, some Muslim groups throughout the Sulu archipelago have been known to kidnap or behead westerners. My fiancee was worried about my safety and immediately took us back to where our trike driver was supposed to be waiting, only to find that they had gone away without texting us. After calling multiple times and waiting roughly 15 minutes, the driver finally arrived and we returned back to the hotel.

That afternoon I had a serious discussion with my fiancee and we both decided that the resort was a major disappointment and we should leave as soon as possible to enjoy the remaining time we had planned for Palawan. We had already booked a 5 day stay and were in our 2nd day, but I decided I would rather leave early and pay the full price for the 5 days than stay there and be miserable. We booked a 2 day stay at Dos Palmas Resort in Honda Bay for the following day and ended up having a wonderful time there. I would strongly caution potential guests from staying at Crystal Paradise until they seriously overhaul their facility maintenance and motivate their staff. Good luck!

Room Tip: Beware the private villas, as they are exceedingly expensive for the features they offer.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Robert M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Narra hotels

Beijing, China
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

Along with my husband and two friends, I booked to stay at this hotel for two nights from 29 to 31 December.  We booked direct with the hotel and paid a 10% deposit.  We were disappointed on arrival at the resort: we had expected given the prices something quite luxurious and instead the resort looked jaded and worn.  But it was when we were shown the rooms that we decided it simply was not worth the money.  The furniture was stained and dated and the bathrooms clearly hadn't been renovated since the 80s.  When we pointed this out to the staff, they were clearly used to this kind of feedback.  We said that we didn't want to stay and accepted (although we were not very pleased) that we wouldn't get our deposit back.  However, we were then informed because we had 'cancelled' the booking that the full amount for the two nights would be charged to our credit card regardless! Over the past few weeks, we have tried to resolve this amicably but our emails have simply gone unanswered.  We therefore now want to warn future guests about the poor quality of the accommodation and customer service this hotel offers.  We ended up staying at the Macapuno Beach Resort (just 10 minute drive away) which was one of the best hotels we have stayed in and cost a third of Crystal Paradise.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Beijinger00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macau, China
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

The great thing about this place is that it's set up to be a getaway destination for couples. The room was comfortable and the villa we stayed in had a great pool and waterfall. The hot tub outside didn't work, but we had a jacuzzi in our room. The customer service is amazing, making sure that you feel welcome from the minute you get out of the van. There aren't a lot of people, so it's not noisy and it's right on the beach so you can always go for a walk there. The spa also was really nice, but we never visited the winery.

However, the food situation was not very good. This hotel isn't near anything else, so you pretty much have to eat at the hotel every meal. They were out of a lot of liquor and certain dishes during our stay. At this "winery", you cannot order a glass of wine, only a bottle. Furthermore, the public pool was unusable and looked quite dirty.

I felt that they were always trying to get us to go on a tour or check out the spa etc. I mean, there isn't much else to do, so you DO really want to do those things, but I found them to be a bit overpriced considering what you get. We did the Turtle Island Tour (70.00USD each), which had no turtles...but the island itself is really nice for swimming on the beach. The lunch they provide is really good though on the tours. We also did the Estrella Waterfalls (40.00USD each) which was very nice as well, and I recommend taking the extra hike up to the hidden waterfalls. I think it's just that you're driven to these places and fed. The round trip van transfer(50.00USD-25.00USD each way...per person) takes two hours.

As a bookworm, I really liked the huge selection of books you can borrow, and they have lots of other games and things you can do like ping pong, badminton, pool, lots of board games, bikes and kayaks to borrow. They really do make an effort so that you enjoy yourself, and take care of you. Everyone is very friendly, but keep in mind the remoteness of the location.

Room Tip: The villas are really nice, and seem to have the only working pools.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nilly77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
89 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2012

We stayed in one of the villas in the resort. Fantastic! Your own jacuzzi, swimming pool, palm trees and beach for a fraction of the price in one of the more popular areas.Staff is amazing too. Would definitely recommend this place for couples who want to get away from it all and just spent some quality time together.
However, you should be aware of the fact that there is not much else to do here within a two hour radius. The estrella falls are nice, the turtle island trip is not worth the effort. If you have or are an attention deficit sufferer this place is not for you. The two hours drive to get there from Porto Princessa is annoying but should not be a showstopper. Also when people think of Palawan it is the North, this place is on the south. No lagunas, no diving. Just relaxation. Food is good too.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jadedexpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2012

When we were there the place was almost empty which made it feel like it was our own private garden and beach. Lovely well kept garden which goes down to the beach. The staff were all young and friendly and fun. Because there were so few guests they didn't have much to do so invited us to do karaoke with them! Not everyone's idea of a good night out I'll grant you. The room in the block was very large and clean with plenty of toiletries but a bizarre bedcover with fish on it rather like a child's. It had a balcony looking onto the garden. I can't remember what it cost but it didn't seem unreasonable. The two young women in the spa were very nice and gave me two amazing massages. You couldn't fault the service anywhere in the resort The food was also good, especially the fish. Tropical gardens, deserted beach, good food, comfortable room, great staff. What's not to like? Well, the mini bus to Puerto Princesa was far too expensive but you can't have everything.

Room Tip: You don't need to book the private villas; they're not that private, you can see their pool...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lynn2106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2012

We visited here last April 29 and stayed here for 2 nights. They welcome us warmly and with big smile. The staff are so friendly and accommodating, they will assist you and tend to your needs. If you want a quiet, romantic and relaxing place this resort is a good choice for you. The food is good and tasty. Having dinner beside the sea with bonfire is still fresh on my mind.

The rooms are just average, some has cable TV, some rooms doesn't but they have DVD player. There are many activities you can do, if you're in group you can play Basket ball and Volley ball, there is also a billiard table and pingpong available. You can also use their function room for videoke. It is so fun ^_^

The beach has gray sands and rocky with greens... don't be turn off as they have floating cottage that you can reach using the kayaks, there you can swim freely, the sea is so clear you can also see many colorful fishes.

I only have problem with their shower, its not working properly. I hope they will fix it. Overall it was a wonderful stay.

Room Tip: Katala deluxe room is a good choice, but if your into exclusive Amihan Pool Villa is a better choice...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Red G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Crystal Paradise Resort & Winery

Property: Crystal Paradise Resort & Winery
Address: 1 Sea Road | Antipuluan, Narra, Palawan Island 5301, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > Narra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Narra
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Crystal Paradise Resort & Winery 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Crystal Paradise Resort & Winery Hotel Narra
Crystal Paradise Resort And Winery
Crystal Paradise Hotel Winery
Crystal Paradise Resort & Winery Palawan Island, Philippines

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