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“So disappointed that we left after just six hours, even if we had paid for the night.”
Review of Casita Ysabel

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Casita Ysabel
Ranked #15 of 16 Mabini B&B and Inns
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“So disappointed that we left after just six hours, even if we had paid for the night.”
Reviewed May 13, 2012

The staff at Casita Ysabel are so pleasant, but that's about all the positive that I can say about this place.

We were completely misled by the website. First, this is ridiculously far, practically at the tip of Batangas. We thought it had to be worth it, given the distance and the rates they were making us pay. Boy, were we wrong!

ENTERING AND PARKING WERE DIFFICULT because of a steep, narrow, one-way driveway. Cars face the serious danger of falling over a precipice when making a u-turn to get back out. If you're not an experienced driver, forget it.

Second, THE FOOD WAS AWFUL AND EXPENSIVE. We arrived at 11am, famished and requested if we could have lunch early. THEY FORCED US TO HAVE BREAKFAST AT 11:30, only later to tell us that they were charging us for that AND for lunch.
Breakfast per person: 1 fried egg, a cup of rice, a tiny longganisa (sausage) the size of a thumb, and fried bangus the size of a post-it. (P250) No kidding.
Lunch per person: 2 shrimps, 1 piece of fried chicken the size of a baby's fist, 1 lumpia with a pepper (not spicy) inside, and 2 pcs of what looked like mashed and then fried vegetables, each about the size of a cookie. (P700) Again, no kidding.

THE FACILITIES WERE OLD AND GROSS. We booked one of their casitas at P5,500 a night only to find that the screens were full of holes (so get ready to be devoured by mosquitos), that the showers were dinky, and that the air-conditioner was so weak that it might as well have not been there. It was actually pitiful; this place is in horrible disrepair.

We were so disappointed in the facilities, the food, and the beach (the rocks are fine but the water feels dirty against your skin and made us itch like mad) that WE DECIDED TO LEAVE. That's right! We asked for a refund, at least for the "meal" (if you can call it that - I've served food at the soup kitchen that is better value than this) we didn't eat and were denied. We tried to get back a portion of our booking fee, but they refused. To be honest, I understand this because we had booked the room for the night, taking it away from other "potential guests" - though there were none in sight. We ended up paying P7,500+ per couple, for a rundown room we did not use and horrible food we had to eat because there was nothing else around.

By the way, there were two other guests who were leaving just as we had arrived. They too had booked the place, saw it and decided to stay elsewhere. I don't know if they got their refund. Another couple also had arrived from a dive, and I overheard them complaining about how dirty and rundown the place was and asking each other where they were going to stay for the rest of their trip.

The clincher was that right before we left, my friend and I asked the ladies in the kitchen to fill up our water bottles (220ml). I asked for ice and was told they had none. When I opened up my bottle, I realized she had only filled mine half full, so I went back into the kitchen to ask for a little more water... and saw ice sitting on the counter. I asked one of the ladies why they had told me when there was no ice when I was looking right at it. Her answer was that they decided to give the ice to the people who went diving. Now what kind of a place has to ration its ice?!?

We were SO upset with our experience at Casita Ysabel. Their MO must be to charge an arm and a leg, knowing that they will never get repeat customers so they have to milk the current ones for all they're worth. Save your money and avoid the stress of this place.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
28 Thank Bacchus00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
annacysabel, Guest Relations Manager at Casita Ysabel, responded to this review, August 2, 2012
Casita Ysabel is a Bed and Breakfast Nature resort which is located within the three most popular marine sanctuaries in Anilao, Mabini, Batangas. Our mission and vision is to impart to our guests the joy, beauty, and healing that nature can bring to anyone seeking it.
With its rich forests and diverse marine life you can explore, discover and experience nature at its finest. The resort reef is a beautiful ocean garden for divers and snorkelers as well. Island trips may also be arranged for a variety of sea adventures. Hiking and nature walks are also enjoyed as one explores the virgin forests of Mabini.
As a member of ZERO CARBON RESORTS we pledge to contribute to save energy, resources and reduce the carbon footprint and we encourage our guests to do the same.
Full board set meals is offered @$32/ person/day for a 5 course lunch and dinner with a PM snack. A 3 course meal is also being offered@$22/person/day (lunch, dinner & PM snack)
Cancellation charges equivalent to one night stay is applied to cancelled booking made within three (3) days before your arrival date. A reservation deposit is also required for guaranteed room bookings.
Casita Ysabel has also renovated and upgraded the facilities for the comfort of our staying guests. Rest assured that Casita Ysabel continues to improve and train our staff members for the better satisfaction and pleasure of all our guests.

Thank you very much.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2012

Pros:
- Great place to relax
- Accommodating Staff (Miss Susan)

Cons:
- Rocky beachfront
- Overpriced food (they even serve us half-cooked chicken)
- Non-existing pool
- Only 1 kayak.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Dianne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
annacysabel, Guest Relations Manager at Casita Ysabel, responded to this review, August 2, 2012
Casita Ysabel an 8 room Bed and Breakfast resort, located in a small town of batangas. Our facilities and services cater to small resort operation. Our apologies for the salt water soaking pools at the time of your visit, since it is a new addition to our site and was still in the testing process. Availability of food products is a setback in Mabini due to the present livelihood of the local community. Supply for this comes from nearby cities. Because of this, food prices take its toll. As most small resorts in the area, we offer full board specialty meals. This is to ensure the freshness of menu for our booked guests. Full board set meals is priced at $32/ person/day for a 5 course lunch and dinner with a PM snack. A 3 course meal is also being offered at $22/person/day (lunch, dinner & PM snack).

Thank you very much!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Mabini hotels

Manila, Philippines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

Please note that I am basing the rating on the place and only the place itself. It's time 2nd time in Casita Ysabel ... but the first was with my family and we rented bigger room ... the recent one was w/ friend and we had the deluxe rooms / smaller room ... we rented 2 rooms.

Room rates are not cheap ... but that's okay because the architecture of the resort itself is awesome. The place is really nice. It's beautiful and perfect for romantic getaways. I love the common areas of this resort - they have a rest area that looks like a mini kubo w/ a large bamboo sofa w/ pillows and 2 single-sized mattress ... they also have rest areas where you can sunbathe and take a nap. The view from the rooms is really nice. I love waking up w/ the view of the sunrise and beach from the balcony. The room does not have facilities like TV and phone .. but I don't mind because we went there to rest .. relax and have fun. The reception area have couches overlooking the beach - it's also an open area so you can enjoy the fresh air. I love the design of the resorts ... it reminds me of bali. There are alot of stairs though ... and going to the beach from their deluxe rooms / reception area / cafe can be tiring. But i don't mind the long walks. The beach is rocky so you might want to buy aqua shoes (i recommend Aquatech - you can buy a pair for 250php at SM stores) .. but it's okay because we're really after the dive spots ... There's a huge reef just nearby the resort area - on the right side i think .... we really did enjoy snorkeling :D So yeah .. the place is great .. I love the place.

The food though is very expensive. It's not worth the money. The taste is good ... not superb but good. But for an amount of Php500 - 600 per plate per person. It's too much! The serving is just right for one person ... and for some it might not be fulfilling. They don't have ala carte orders ... and if you want to bring your own food ... you pay a corkage of Php500 for every kind but it has to be good for 2 persons only. You can buy fresh produce from the market and have them cook it for you ... but you would also have to pay the services - depends on the kind of food you want but the crew said the minimum is Php500. The food is just an average home cooked meal ... it's not hotel dish or gourmet.

The staff are okay ... I think they are helpful and respectful but they don't know much about their product. They always had to call / ask someone when you're asking for prices / policies / etc. But they are polite and it's good enough for me. They are kind and would address the small requests we make - ash trays for our rooms, drinking water w/ ice served on the beach area, etc. I just don't like the owner. I've read the other reviews ... I was really expecting that the owner - Linda would be friendly or hospitable. But no .. she's a snob .. and would not even approach her guests to ask how the stay was ... if we did enjoy or recommend activities that we can do. She doesn't even greet the guests ... and she always looked pissed. Like what I said it's my 2nd stay in Caista Ysabel ... but I haven't met her until last week. I was really surprised with how she's acting. I don't care if she would not be friendly to us ... but since her business is in line w/ hospitality management ... she should manage to at least look welcoming. She looks like she's always irritated ... no wonder her staff looks nervous, scared and uncomfortable with their job. They don't look like they enjoy what they are doing ... but I think it's because of their boss. What's really annoying is she asked us to turn off the air conditioner in our room when we were leaving to swim and just turn it back on when we comes back ... I mean c'mon? didn't we pay for the accommodation? That would be fine if the air conditioner immediately cools down the room ... Like what the other reviews said ... the unit is too small for the room. It takes hours to make the room cool enough. That's not the right way to treat guests. I've been to a lot of resorts in the country and outside the country. And have met most of the owners .. and they are not like that .... they are accommodating and they make sure that you are enjoying. I usually acknowledge the management / owners when I had a great time and enjoyed the facilities of the resort. Our trip was almost perfect ... we don't mind the long drive ... the steep road ... the rocky beach .... we really don't ... but what ruined it is not being treated well by the owner itself. No wonder the staff is like that ... I regret recommending this resort to my friends and spending the weekend there.

Again .. the place is great .. it's really beautiful ... but be prepared to spend a lot ... and take extra patience. I suggest going on a weekday ... the staff said their boss is only there on weekends. hahah! ...

Honestly, I will not go back to this place ... and will not recommend this resort. There a lot of other resort in Anilao that is way better than Casita Ysabel.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank PurpleTraveler1988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coron, Philippines
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 16, 2011

I am a repeat customer at Casita Ysabel over the past 2 years. Linda is a wonderful host and so much fun to be around and her resort is beautiful. The architecture and artistry accentuates the beauty of the area and the sunsets are the some of the best in the Philippines.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank reymezz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
München
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2011

I found Casita Ysabel when I was looking for a place to relax and connect to nature after having worked for some time in Manila.

I am happy that I did not let my-self discourage by the negative comments in this tripadvisor forum, but just tried it my-self:

The place is really wonderful: The construction is done with natural materials and a very good taste, creating a space we immediately felt at home. Everywhere it is green around the houses and cottages, and very quiet.

The welcome was very hearty and the information provided beforehand by telephone by the staff was also very helpful. All things we were looking for (e.g. boat tour) were organized very fast by the staff and the owner.

I also love the approach of the owner not to provide TVs or similar - so that the focus is really on enjoying the nature around and in the sea just besides (nice snorkling sites very close) and the company of the other guests.

As mentioned and also indicated in the website, the place is not cheap and the rooms are no 5 star-hotel rooms, but when you start to taste the included breakfast or food you order you will understand the different type of luxury provided: Incredibly tasty, home-made food! Your preferences (e.g. vegi food) will also be realized, as I experienced in my case.

So...if you like the simple beauty of nature, quietness, a very warm welcome and tasty, fresh food, you should give your-self the gift of a wonderful rest.... enjoy...

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chrissilein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan, Philippines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2011

Pros:
- Relatively cheaper room rates
- Good view
- Approachable, hands-on owner
- Good food
- Nice website

Why it was disappointing to me:
- Wifi was broken
- Aircon was too weak
- Bathrooms are small
- Toilet broke (and no maintenance man to help)
- Water heater was weak
- Power outage for a good portion of the day
- Lacked some staple items like facial tissue, hair dryer, waste basket in the room, tables, phone (to reach the reception), storage
- Untrained/ unempowered staff (unfamiliar with policies, prices, professional courtesy practices, very poor communication skills, etc.)
- Cleanliness (things would fall off from the surrounding trees onto lounge areas, lounge areas' sheets don't seem to be replaced daily, bugs crawl everywhere)
- Parking is difficult to get in and out of
- Chauffers' lodging is unacceptable (bunked with employees, drivers have no privacy. Showers apparently don't even have enclosures)

While it's on the cheap side, I felt duped. I did not enjoy my vacation because of the substandard amenities and the poor service, things that should be fundamental for businesses such as this one. The place has a lot of potential and management clearly puts a lot of effort in marketing. Unfortunately for this traveler, the "product" disappoints and is not worthy of "repeat purchase" nor recommendation. I sincerely hope they shape up.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Roseann87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2011

For such pricey accommodations, Casita Ysabel's customer service does little to compensate. When we arrived, no one was around to welcome us. In fact, we were 2 hours late for check-in but no one bothered to contact us and find out if were on our way.

Upon check-in, there was no one to show us to our casita or tell us what activities would be nice to do during the day.

The meals were good but they were served late. Who eats dinner at 8:30pm? We were told breakfast
would be ready as early as 7:30 so we got up early only to be told it
wouldn't be served till 8:30am.

The beachfront is not guest friendly. There are rocks and boulders that make it difficulty to walk on. We
had to walk over to the other resort
just to swim. It appears like Casita
Ysabel only targets diving enthusiasts because there's not much else to do.

Casita Ysabel is a nature resort but it doesnt quite offer the luxury of leisure that it promises.





The beachfront

  • Stayed May 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank DancingRory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casita Ysabel

Property: Casita Ysabel
Address: San Teoodoro, Mabini, Luzon 1109, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Calabarzon Region > Batangas Province > Mabini
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Mabini
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Casita Ysabel 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casita Ysabel is a charming beachside bed and breakfast located in Anilao, Mabini Batangas, Philippines . It is a2 hour drive from Makati City.Known to be in the center of the center of marine biodiversity, divers and snorkelers from all over the world come to see and experience the rich andbeautiful sea life in Anilao waters. The natural landscape of bamboo rain forests gently meets the coral reef garden at Casita Ysabel beachfront. A unique experience of the pureand natural brings our guests to their much needed calm ,rejuvenation and relaxation.... Simple discoveries and experiences that delight the senses Is our gift to our guests as they leave Casita Ysabel with a new perceptionTo each their own... It is for you to discover ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casita Ysabel Batangas/Mabini, Philippines

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