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“Worse experience ever”

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Santiago Bay Garden & Resort
Ranked #2 of 13 San Francisco B&B and Inns
Reviewed April 27, 2012

The hotel looks nice from the outside, but the staff is not very friendly. When we checked in, they didn't bother to tell us there was no water available until the next morning. You can see the beach from the resort and could probably throw a rock and hit it, but you have to leave the resort and travel through the small town to reach it, which is like a 5-10 minute walk each way. The first room was completely unusable and had a broken AC, so they moved us after complaining.

This was not our first choice for resorts, but we found that the motorcycle drives will bypass all the others resorts even if you tell them the name of the resort you want and will take you to this resort or is sister resort owned by the same people and then tell you that the resort you looking for does not exist and that the resorts they took you to are the only ones. As the drivers get you further away from the central dock area, they also change their prices. And no hot water, if you were lucky to get water in the first place. I'd say this was the worse experience ever as they took advantage of you every place.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Robert1970204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 - 158 of 197 reviews

Reviewed March 31, 2012

The Hotel is located at the side of the idyllic Santiago Bay. The beach is great and easily accessible from the hotel or at high tide by walking down the road and entering from behind the beach restaurants.

I was in room 'Deluxe 9'. Cold shower only in the CR though holes in the wall and the hanging electrical cable showed where a water heater had been installed in the past. The furniture in the room was shoddy with missing knobs and mismatched draws that would not shut.

During my three night stay the room was not cleaned or sheets changed. On the second day I asked for clean towels and was initially told there would be a 50 Pesos charge per towel, though after an argument between two members of staff the charge was waived.

Most of the staff are great, some are miserable with one telling me when I queried a charge that I should pay it as I was rich! Two members of staff, Joy and Shady, were brilliant and very helpful.

The hotel is not welcoming. At the price paid I would have expected a complimentary small bottle of mineral water in the room each day - not a chance. The whole atmosphere was of a hotel run by the mean Uncle of scrooge McDuck.

I ate breakfast in the hotel, but only one evening meal. The evening meal was poorly cooked and nearly inedible. All future lunches and dinners were eaten at Nena's Grill on the beach. Nena is a fantastic cook, her sweet and sour fish fillet and her fried chicken are brilliant.

The hotel is remote with the trike fare from Poro pier 150 Pesos per person. There is no internet available and no mobile phone signal. I had to take a motorcycle taxi from outside into Consuela to get a mobile phone signal.

I will return to the Camotes, but not to this hotel. There are better options available. It is a shame as this could be a brilliant hotel with better management.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Steam2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2012

We booked this resort from Cebu as Camotes is close and we wanted to get out of the city for a few days. We booked a "Superior" room by phone for 2600 pesos ($60) per night for a family of four. The room was okay, quite basic, but we did have clean sheets and towels with a cold water shower. The Resort advertises white beaches but the only beach front is when the tide is out. When the tide is in, you walk directly down the ramp into the sea. You can walk out in the sea quite a distance, but watch for sea urchins, my foot found one! When the tide is out the local dogs roam the beach and leave their deposits on the beach and some trash washes up, so the sea isn't too pristine for swimming here. There is a small pool in the resort which was fine and our kids spent much time there. A local man took us out snorkelling to the next bay which was fun and much cheaper than the resort charges for their snorkel equipment. The restaurant food was fine, although the menu was limited. Grilled tuna was very good. We did eat down the beach at a small local restaurant once, but we waited 50 minutes for our food and the grilled fish was burned black on the outside and raw on the inside. After that experience we ate our meals at the resort. One aggravation was travelling to the resort from the ferry, we negotiated a price directly with the driver. Returning to the ferry from the resort, the price doubled even though it was the same driver, same truck, same distance! It seems the hotel staff adds a commission. It does have a scenic view of the bay, but I would check other hotels or resorts to see how they compare. This one is quite close to the Consuelo ferry port.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Mark1956084
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2012

This could be a very nice resort, with a beautiful location next to a great beach.
Unfortunately it is spoiled by poor maintenance and a terrible attitude by some of the staff.
The check-in time is supposedly 12 noon, so we were surprised that our room was not ready when we arrived at about 3pm. Never mind, we thought, we will have a late lunch first, while the room is prepared. We were shocked that nobody had come to tell us the room was ready when we finished our leisurely meal an hour later. It was hard to find anybody at reception. It seems the main receptionist had "gone to church" - well, it was Sunday, so never mind about the clients, apparently. We finally found somebody to ask. She radioed to another member of staff who we expected to come to our aid but no, nobody came. We were kept waiting until after 5pm. Our room was poorly prepared and we had to go back to reception (some distance) to ask for towels. It seems we were not alone with this problem - on her return from reception with towels, my wife was asked for some by another guest, mistaking her for a member of staff!
Tired, hot and bothered, we unpacked, looking forward to a refreshing shower. Next problem! Water pressure in the bathroom was virtually non-existent - it took an hour to fill the bucket! No chance of a shower. When we complained, we were at least moved to another room (forcing us to repack!) but with no help from staff. Indeed, seeing us moving, the security guard was quite rude to my wife, more or less saying that she was wrong to complain!
The higher standard room we were moved to was ok, at least the shower worked, but still only cold water, no heater.
Next problem - there is no mobile phone signal in the area, so we could not contact others nor use mobile Internet. There is no wifi at the hotel and we were refused permission to use the landline at reception, even though we offered to pay for the call!
The meals in the restaurant were actually pretty good, though it seems they cannot be bothered to bring the prices on the menu up to date, nor even point out the increased price when you order, just charging you extra when they give you the bill!
In short, this resort could be great with satisfactory management. The attitude to guests at the moment is appalling - we were made to feel that we were a nuisance rather than welcome.

Room Tip: Avoid the cheapest rooms. Would be fine but poorly maintained with inadequate water supply. Try to g...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2011

We arrived at the resort and approached the reception area, to check in. The receptionist, named Jim, was slouched over her seat, and looked almost annoyed, that we had interrupted her time, she looked miserable. She showed no enthusiasm for her job whatsoever, and literally sneered at myself and my husband. A young nice lady then brought us to our villa. The room was very basic, no mini fridge, freezing cold water, with no pressure, TV didnt work, and there were ants everywhere, even in the creamer sachets. The ceiling fan did not work, and the AC was very weak, old and noisy.

As we arrived at lunch, we went to the restaurant, which had a very basic and small menu. We realised there was a second reception area, and as Jim was so unfriendly, we approached the receptionist named Meta. She had her head buried in a magazine, and we said excuse me, could she give us some information on what activities/tours there were on the Island? Meta didnt even raise her head to answer our question, she heard me, even her colleague looked embarrased, but couldnt be bothered to acknowledge our request. A day later I heard her speak to a young Korean student, who was complaining about the lack of hot water in his room, in an extremlely agressive and patronising tone and claimed the manager was based in Cebu city.

This service is unacceptable, the hotel should seriously consider sending their receptionists on an intense customer service/ care course, before you lose many clients. I know I wont return.

My advice, pay a little more, and stay in the sister hotel, The Mangodlong Resort. We dined there every day, and were welcomed with open arms, the food was great and the service was fantastic.

Room Tip: Dine at the Pitos Sutokil on the beach, family run, very friendly and the sugba is lovely!
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank grunda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2011

It's our first time in Camotes and luckily we got an online booking in this resort. Their standard fan room for two is only P1,000. It has a nice view of the San Francisco bay and they have a relaxing swimming pool. The resort staff were all nice and very accommodating. When we stayed there almost all rooms were occupied by koreans, americans and filipino travellers from manila. They have a restaurant with affordable meals. It has a very scenic sunrise and sunset view from the porch. We really enjoyed our stay in this resort. If you want to experience Camotes Island I highly recommend that you stay in Santiago Bay Garden and Resort,it is 20 minutes away from Consuelo port.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ekstee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2011

It's my second time to visit Camotes and this time we've decided to stay in this Resort. I have noticed that the resort is constructing new rooms adjacent to where our room is located. Thankfully, I did not encounter any problem with construction noise since it was put on hold. Probably because we stayed there on a weekend and no workers can be seen on site.

I like the view of the hotel. We stayed at a standard room valued at P1,500.00 and I believe I get the value for our money. The resort is overlooking the beach and the pool. It has a very scenic view that i love.love.love. The only drawback in our room is the noise coming from the visitors who are swimming at the pool. But we can't blame the resort for it.

Also, I'd like to commend the staff, they are very accommodating to us and very polite. Their restaurant also is a must try. I love their calamares, grilled fish and fish tinola. Price is a bit expensive but it's worth it, the waiters/waitresses are also prompt with their service.

So far this is a recommended resort for me.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bedazzle101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Santiago Bay Garden & Resort

Address: A.C. cortes Ave. Cambaro, Mandaue City, San Francisco 6050, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Camotes Islands > Pacijan Island > San Francisco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in San Francisco
Price Range: $37 - $58 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Santiago Bay Garden & Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the heart of Camotes Islands, Santiago Bay Garden and Resort is an ideal spot from which to discover Cebu. Set 157.4 Km from the excitement of the city, this 3-star hotel commands an excellent location and provides access to the city's biggest attractions. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations. Offering hotel guests superior services and a broad range of amenities, Santiago Bay Garden and Resort is committed to ensuring that your stay is as comfortable as possible. To name a few of the hotel's facilities, there are meeting facilities, room service, restaurant, airport transfer, bicycle rental. Step into one of 51 inviting rooms and escape the stresses of the day with a wide range of amenities such as television, non smoking rooms, shower, balcony/terrace which can be found in some rooms. The hotel offers fantastic facilities, including pool (kids), outdoor pool, water sports (motorized), massage, garden, to help you unwind after an action-packed day in the city. Superb facilities and an excellent location make the Santiago Bay Garden and Resort the perfect base from which to enjoy your stay in Cebu. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Santiago Bay Garden And Resort
Santiago Bay Garden Hotel San Francisco
Santiago Bay Garden & Resort Camotes Islands, Philippines - San Francisco

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