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“This resort has nothing to offer!”

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Isla Polillo Beach Resort
Mandaluyong
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“This resort has nothing to offer!”
Reviewed April 11, 2012

1. Before the trip - Berne/Paye (nephew of the owner) offered the shuttle service of the resort - both van and boat. This should have been my first clue: when I asked what time the boat would leave Quezon, Berne/Paye just said they will wait for us. He said after some prodding that the boad would leave at 7am. We would be picked up at 3am, and with a 3-hour trip, that would be just right.

2. The land trip - The van picked us up on time (from Taguig City) but the the driver drove recklessly on the zigzag road. There were 10 passengers in the van - including two kids!

3. The sea trip - we boarded the resort's boat around 9am (as the van 'killed time' at the town and even stayed at the hospital - where the owner's sister is a doctor - for an hour!). Approximately 70 more passengers boarded in a span of 3 hours and there were no signs of the boat leaving yet. Finally, the sister-in-law of the doctor arrived at almost 12nn and the sea travel began! This woman - whom around 70 guests of the resort waited for hours to arrive - did not even care to apologize. On top of that, she even made an insensitive remark when the boat conked out approx 30 minutes away from our destination, to which I retorted. Berne/Paye announced to the passengers that a free lunch would be served because of the inconvenience and delay.

4. Arrival at the resort - the free lunch turned out to be a buffet of rice, pancit, and a minute serving of tinola! This was supposed to appease those who travelled 13 hours unneccessarily, and for the inconvenience??? We ordered chicken (turned out to be fried instead of barbeque as indicated in their menu) for our group. It turned out that the staff were so unprepared and not trained at all our order was not listed. And, because, we could not identify who took our order (of course, we did not know anybody in the resort!) we ended up not paying for it.

5. Our room - the room was dirty and unmade when we checked in. The bathroom was dirty and the floor had soil marks. We even had to ask for the beddings to be changed. Oh, by the way, the resort did not have any clothes hanger to lend us! When we asked one of the staff, they said they were undermanned.

6. The kitchen and menu - the guests waited for 2 hours for the food order to arrive. This I must not forget: there were only 5 dishes in the menu - 2 preparations for sugpo (shrimp), chopseuy, pakbet, and chicken (pick your choice: on one day it was barbeque, the next day it was buttered chicken). There was no fish (except for daing na bangus for breakfast) nor seafood that vacationers are wont to order in beach resorts. A cup of hot water cost us 4.00! A piece of ripe mango - 40.00!, a 250ml bottled water - 20.00!. In Filipino language 'sobrang harang!'.

7. The pool - the water was not clear and it's ideal for kids only. The caretaker admitted they did not have budget to buy chlorine!

8. The broken promises - (a) Berne/Paye said the market is accessible: Truth: the resort is around 10k from the town and tricycle cost is 250/one way. (b) Berne/Paye said we can buy fish from fishermen who would pass by the beach. Truth: there is no way for a fisherman to come near the beachfront as there was a sort of boundary/wall made of stones. (c) The staff would say it would only be a short waiting time (ie for food to arrive, for the shuttle to arrive, etc). Truth: you need tons of patience and be prepared to wait for hours on end!

The result: four groups of guests, including us, checked out of this resort the following day. We cut short our stay (instead of the original plan of 4 days)...and also our negative experience!

My advise: Stay as far away from this resort if you want a relaxing, pleasant, and hassle-free vacation.

Room Tip: Check in at the Seahorse Hotel or any other inns at the town.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
21 Thank Flora J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
43 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2012

I booked this review based on strong reviews from bloggers. Before I venture into the off beaten path, I research the place so that my family would have a grand time. I booked last January through Tita Pines and everything went okay. We booked for 4D3N from April 5 to April 9 with van and boat transfers to the resort. We also informed Tita Pines that we would like to go island hopping to Burdeos and she said that it can be arranged once we are there. 2 weeks before our scheduled booking, Bernie called my wife and asked for confirmation. Since Bernie was not mentioned anywhere in the blogs I read, I asked my wife to call Tita Pines to confirm if Bernie works for the resort. This is where all the bad things started

1.) Bernie informed us that their van would pick us up at 2AM, would bring us to Dinahican port in Infanta and ride their boat to the resort at 7AM. Everything was on schedule.
2.) They picked us up at 2AM and they had to pick another group at 3:30AM. No worries on our part since it is still a long ways to go before 7AM. We arrived at Infanta at 6:30AM but instead of taking us to the port, the driver took us to the hospital to meet the lady doctor and wait for the shrimps and crabs. No shrimps and crabs and we were able to board the boat at 9:30AM. Further, we had to wait for another 3 hours until all their guests arrived. We were stuck at Infanta for 5 hours with no provisions provided by the resort for the delay. Needless to say, my two kids were hungry and feeling the heat waiting for the other guests to arrive. Further, my kids have been awake for almost 11 hours when the boat headed to the resort. No apologies from the driver, the lady doctor or anybody from the resort
3.) The resort had the balls not to apologize for the delay. The lady in red (I think Grace was her name) had the audacity to smile while their guests had to languish for 5 hours waiting for them to arrive. To compensate, Grace said we would be having free lunch (shrimps and crabs) upon arrival. That did not happen. The free lunch was pancit bihon and rice
4.) About 30 mins from Polillo port, the boat encountered engine failure which added to the exasperation. We had to wait for a public boat from Real to pull the resort boat to the port
5.) We arrived at the resort at past 4PM or to put it mildy, 14 hours after they picked us up. Upon arrival, no apologies from the resort owners, Bernie, the lady doctor and the resort staff. We were treated to a hearty feast of pancit bihon and rice
6.) Guests who were very angry of the treatment we received from the resort checked out the next day. We would have checked out as well if not for the kids
7.) As a way of apologizing, the lady doctor informed us that they would be taking us to Agta Beach at no cost to us. We were having second thoughts because of the way this resort has lied to us. We called Bernie and he said that after Agta Beach there would be island hopping. As usual, Bernie lied. There was no island hopping after Agta Beach
8.) My wife had to organize an island hopping tour to Burdeos so that we would not be confined to the resort. She talked to the other families and was able to get confirmation from all of them.
9.) Not going into details, the island hopping was a disaster. It took us 6 hours to get back from Anilon Island to the resort because we got lost and the captain does not have clue how to navigate the ship. They had to find a local fisherman to guide us in going back to resort
10.) The resort promised us a lot of things but they delivered none. This is the worst vacation we had as a family. Whats so sad is that, Polillo is just 5 hours away from Manila and it could be a great destination for island hopping. The resort would be the jump off point for the adventure. Unfortunately, the resort had no idea how to treat their guests
11.) During our 4D3N stay, we did not taste the much hyped Tinumok. They said that they could not find seafoods in the island
11.) In conclusion, terrible service, terrible coordination, terrible people

Do not, as in do not for the love of God, deal with Bernie or Payee. They are liars and would not commit to their word. They overcommit and cannot deliver. Also, do not deal with all the inlaws present at the resort. They do not know anything yet they the balls to shout at us when we were airing our side. Doc's bodyguard is an arrogant piece of crap. He was telling us that the driver should not have picked us up at 2AM because the boat would arrive at 10AM. I told him, with my finger pointing at his disgusting face, that he shut up because he is not from the resort and he was not the one who was dealing with us.

The reviews from bloggers are really excellent but I guess this resort has been run to the ground by the owners relatives. The once central figure on all the blogs about this resort is Tita Pines. Unfortunately, she has been eased out in dealing with customers. It is really too bad because she is very friendly and heart warming. She visits our kubo everyday to check the kids. Let Tita Pines manage the resort.

Room Tip: *** Rooms were okay for 1.5k pesos per night. Mattresses are a bit hard and linens obviously haven...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Besmirch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Polillo Island hotels

Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2011

The good:
Its very homey, the place is quite big. You can laze around. They have their own pool and beach front. Tita Pines - the main caretaker/resort Manager is very accommodating. They serve locally home-cooked food. We stayed in the non-airconditioned cottage. Comfort level is ok. Good for backpackers Don't expect 3-star accommodation experience.

I loved the idea that its the "bahay-kubo" the filipino-style hut. Yet is has the amenities of tiled CR and hot water. The cottages are quite big it can accommodate at least 4 people in one room.

The down-side and what you need to take note of:
There are a lot of gnats insects (nik-nik). Have insect repellent on-hand wherever you go around Polillo province. Make sure you that you use mosquito net in the evening inside your huts. Its quite common around the area since the gnats came from the mangroves.

There are no intercom/telephone connection nor internet access. Coordinating and calling for assistance needs to be done of foot. wherein huts/lodgings has some distance to the main area.

The beach resort is recommend for people who wants to stay there. Not for adventurers who just need an overnight stay. Since the beach resort is quite far (30 mins) from the town.

When we went there it was holy week. They are full. They are quite undermanned. So patience in room service and requirements is needed.

You can read more of my Polilio Island, Quezon adventure in my blog http://ladyoutdoor.blogspot.com/search/label/Polilio%20Island

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank ladyoutdoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Isla Polillo Beach Resort

Property: Isla Polillo Beach Resort
Address: | Bocao, Luzon, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Calabarzon Region > Quezon Province > Polillo Island
Amenities:
Beach Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Polillo Island

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