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“Unfriendliest Resort We've Ever Been To - Stressful Vacation!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Puerto Del Sol Beach Resort

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Puerto Del Sol Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bolinao
Manila, Philippines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Unfriendliest Resort We've Ever Been To - Stressful Vacation!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2011

We went here for our annual staff outing and had very high expectations since the hotel looks really nice (on their website; been to Bolinao previously and saw the nice villas) and they charged pricey rates (so we could allow ourselves to expect at the very least, a truly relaxing vacation for our group of 32). They asked us to pay in full 3 days before the trip and we obliged, assured that everything would be taken cared of by the hotel as we were their "valued guests" (as they claimed in their marketing materials).

From the 1st day, our expectations were already smashed because we didn't really feel welcome (unsmiling front desk who just read us all the guidelines as if we were children: "no this, no that, and if we don't comply..blah, blah, blah!) What a truly warm welcome from a hotel boasting of the "friendliest staff" :(

Throughout our stay, we felt like we were walking on eggshells, like we were being "policed" by the staff and we were staying there for free (instead of being paying guests). Even simple requests were met with hostile refusals, and there was no effort to be "of service" in any way. Worst was our 2nd day when we had a land tour arranged for 4 different sites. We left at 12:30pm and returned at 4:30pm. Upon returning to the hotel, the assistant HR manager scolded (no exaggeration) us saying that we would be charged extra because the tour was only for 2 hours and we came back after 4 hours.

I reasoned with her that when we agreed to the tour, no one said anything about the tour being for 2 hours (which is unreasonable considering the distance and amount of time needed to appreciate the sites) and she disrespectfully told me "wala naman kasi kayong kotse, nag-rent kayo sa amin." I was very insulted with her attitude and her disrespectful remark and asked to talk to the manager. Only then did they waive the fee they were charging us for "exceeding the time limit."

That night, we asked where we could stay as a group for some team-building activities we planned. They refused to allow us in the restaurant nor the seaside veranda which we requested for, and instead made us stay outside the restaurant (underneath a leaking canopy - it was by the way raining hard), with no lights (had to request for some candles at the least since they turned off the lights, "sinasara daw kasi iyon sa gabi," and locked the nearest comfort rooms (as if we were going to steal tissue paper and maybe soap? or the bathroom fixtures??). Never before have I encountered hotel/resort management as unaccommodating as this resort's.

At check-out time, front desk was inefficient in billing us (making us miss our bus, just because they cannot account for 2 bottles of mineral water from our mini bar), and they refused to give us coke in can (we requested for our buffet food to be packed since we'd be travelling by bus) in place of our soup and dessert and insisted on giving us 1.5 liters of bottled softdrink and some plastic cups (which they expect us to serve inside a moving bus!). Worst, they forgot to give us utensils which we only found out when we stopped over.

So, in summary, it was our most stressful company outing ever! Will not recommend this resort to anyone who would want their vacation to be a stress-free one and would want value for their money.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
25 Thank ALRES
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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330 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2011

CONS:

1.Parking is outside resort gate.

2. Food is average. Too pricey for quality and taste.

3. Beach is too shallow. Had to kayak-walk-kayak farther and nearer the break waters to avoid our kayak being stucked on corals :(

4. My husband gave me a surprise romantic dinner by the beach but there were insects that buzzed all over our candlelight which also landed on our food and wine :( Also, the guy that serenaded us was an amateur and sounded nervous he forgot lyrics and was off tune. But it did gave us something to laugh about and remember for a long time :)

5. Expensive corkage fees for food and bevarage not purchased in resort.

6. Beach not suitable for swimming.(too shallow) I suggest going to nearby beach resorts. There is one in Patar just a short drive from the resort with whiter and finer sand than that of Puerto.

PROS:

1. Shell necklaces upon arrival. Staff helped us with our luggage.

2. Garden grotto was superb and Mediterranean-Filipino feel to resort architecture is so inviting it makes you feel at home.

3. Boyet Milloren, the resort manager at that time was very accomodating. We inquired about wedding packages and he gladly discussed options about vendors and in house packages. He even showed us pictures and videos of recent wedding events that were held there.and gave us a tour of the resort accomodations. He also did an excellent job on setting up our romantic dinner by the beach! I love the paper bag lights on the sand!

2. My husband requested for long stem rose boquet for his surprise candlelit dinner and there was no way the staff can purchase fresh long stem roses in town (location was too far and isolated and flowers aren't fressh anymore). Boyet had to phone the owner of the resort (also the owner of Pink Soda and Blue Soda) who was at that time in Baguio, and he brought the roses! Good thing he was bound for Bolinao on the same day ;)

4. Neighborhood dogs were nowhere to be seen the night of our romantic dinner by the beach. I don't know how they did it. It was like magic! We appreciate Boyet's eagerness to make things happen for us. I can say he's an asset of the resort.

5. We got our accomodation for 50 % off as their Chinese new year promo. They don't update their webiste often so I suggest caling the resort for current promos.

6. I walking around the resort on our first night and took a swim in the pool. I noticed someone was sitting behind the shrubs and trees and felt I was being watched. He/she was there the whole 30 mins while I was swimming! I got scared reported it to a staff and said it was just the security! This should ba e con. TO PUERTO DEL SOL MANAGEMENT: Please do inform your clients before hand about how your security staff work, one might get a heart attack from them! My cousin even thought she saw a capre! hahaha But on the other hand, guards are discreet and would not go near you or remain to be unseen-ish. I appreciated their guards on our 2nd night, we upgraded to a casita (beach front) and we had our very own gaurd! We stayed up until 2am and he just stayed behind the coconut tree! I don't know if the place being so isolated, had a history of theft or robbery, hence the keen guards? I forget my slr camera outside during the night and it was on the same spot the next morning. Nevertheless, we slept like babies with a peace of mind. This resort is THE SAFEST IN BOLINAO.

7. We felt that we had the resort to ourselves the whole 2 nights of our stay. We only saw 3 groups of guests in the restaurant. But we never saw them around the resort! Talk about privacy! :)

8. It was winter when I left Canada for a vacation in the Philippines. The weather on our first day was humid and was too hot for me to bear that I almost fainted in the restaurant/gift shop.Their female staff was nice enough to give me cold water and a cool face cloth. Restaurant staff were friendly and atttentive.

CONCLUSION:

WE enjoyed our stay. The staff made us feel special and it was a memorable trip for us! We could have stayed another night but we decided to go to Baguio. (with regrets).

We'll definitely go back. In fact, we are already planning to go back this Oct- November! Thank you Puerto del Sol!

WILL ADD PHOTOS SOON

Room Tip: Go for villas on the second floor for a great overlooking view of the pool and South China sea.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jojo N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasig City
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2011

SUPER BAD SERVICE
OVER PRICED
OVER RATED

Good food though but over priced.

Did'nt enjoy my stay and will not recommend to others

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank yaming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Bolinao hotels

1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2011

I agree with one of the earlier reviews. The website is misleading. We decided to push thru with our trip even though there was a super typhoon up north and after 6hrs of driving in strong rains, you don't even get a simple greeting upon arrival. We were not assisted with our luggages. My husband had to get wet in the rain just to get to the lobby as they don't have any umbrellas anymore. Room ok but there was a stuffy smell. Bathroom was small, sink drain clogged, and floors puddled. Wifi may only be used for an hour. Other amenities except for the pool had hourly fees. Food is generally good but overcharged at an ave spend of 500 per person. Breakfast buffet at 350 not worth it. You don't even have a choice to order a la carte. Band at dinner time sucked. Also, my request for an additional mat never came. Saving grace was the great massage that was also pricey at 620. Final verdict: not a very pleasant experience.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Dotidots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2011

Nice Resort Hotel. The rooms are clean, with soft bed and pillows, clean toilet and bath, with cable tv channels and a nice veranda or balcony overlooking the swimming pool area. The garden landscape are well maintained. The jacuzzi beside the pool area is lovely and the restaurant serves delicious delicacy but its a bit pricy. If feeling bored, the resort offer land tour arrangement with visits to caves, lighthouse and white beach area. Lovely sunset to watch and its the highlight of my trip to this place which I will definitely come back again. Highly recommended for family, honeymooners and friends weekend getaway...

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank junsanjose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2011

I am originally from Dagupan City, Pangasinan and it's been a dream of mine to stay in Puerto del Sol in Bolinao, Pangasinan. Imagine how happy i was when finally, me with the rest of my friends were able to go there. I didn't expect much from the resort since it is already a given fact that the tourism industry of Region 1 is still a work in progress compared to the other resorts from different provinces in the Philippines. Loved the complimentary drinks and shell necklace they handed us upon arrival. Our room is so lovely that we couldn't help but take souvenir shots in an instant :D The restaurant offers big servings of good food too. The staff and crew were very kind to us and even rendered a happy birthday surprise to one of our travel mates. They also pampered us and the Bolinao tour is well-managed. It is also nice that they allowed us to go around the resort and i can say that it is really perfect for families and friends or even for corporate team buildings. We enjoyed the swimming pool and jacuzzi too. It is also good for honeymooners since their rooms are romantic :D During the breakfast time, we were able to talk to the managers and i appreciate that they try to reach out to their clients and they're open on hearing insights about their service and facilities. All in all, we had a great time in Puerto del Sol. I recommend it! You get what you pay for :D

Room Tip: Check the website to choose the perfect room. there are rooms suited for big groups and some are for...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Micaela R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manila
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2011

Went to Puerto del Sol with colleagues from work. I didn't know what to expect of the place, but I was very pleased with what I saw. I like the layout and the entire place is well planned and decorated. This is not your run-of-the mill beach resort with huts. They have a nice garden with the little huts which I think can be used as accommodations, but if they're not booked, these are great sitting areas for guests.

We got a Mansion room and a Casita. The Mansion room fits 4 a bit tight. The Casita is great for families because there are 2 rooms, a sitting/living area where the TV and refrigerator are, and you have your own foyer. There is only 1 bathroom, though, and that could be a problem for some. Another minor issue I found for both rooms is that there is no place to hang your clothes. In the Casita, only one room has a rack. What about the other occupants?

Food is okay though expensive. They have big servings so non-big eaters can share.

The beach is okay. Sand is not white, but it was fine, i.e. not the gritty stuff. And because they have a breakwater, you get a long stretch of water that goes only up to your thigh. Loved that. There is a sign on the sand to NOT go beyond the breakwater as the sea gets very deep.

The adult swimming pool is large enough and goes from 4 feet to 6 feet, I think. They have a kiddie pool and whirlpool as well.

The staff were all very courteous and gracious. Did I mention that on top of the welcome drinks, each guest (male or female) gets a shell necklace?

I'm glad we chose Puerto del Sol.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank catF1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Puerto Del Sol Beach Resort

Property: Puerto Del Sol Beach Resort
Address: Barnagay Ilog Malino, Bolinao, Luzon, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Ilocos Region > Pangasinan Province > Bolinao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bolinao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Puerto Del Sol Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 40
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Puerto Del Sol Hotel Bolinao

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