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“Alta Cebu Villa”
Review of ALTA Cebu Resort

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ALTA Cebu Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Cordova
Houston, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Alta Cebu Villa”
Reviewed February 6, 2012

I met my fiance' at the Alta Cebu and we had a great time. The best thing going for the resort is the staff. Everyone was very friendly and helpful and we left knowing that we had made many new friends there. The restaurant had very good food from Phillipine to American cuisine. Taste and presentation was both given high marks. The room was average but very good considering the price. We found the bar comfortable and the drinks adequate since we are not heavy drinkers. The pool was nice and the grounds were well maintained and landscaped. Be sure to visit the spa as massages are super cheap compared to rates in America. We will definetly return for future visits.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Phil R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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313 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Columb
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2012

Overall the facilities are very clean and the upkeep of the grounds and gardens are commendable. This was my first time in the Philippines so I will say there are lots of bugs...There were tiny bugs in our room, on the table, even in the bed - almost microscopic but not "bed bugs" - don't want to freak anyone out! They were in the restaurant as well - so if you are a bug-a-phobe I would say in general the Philippines is not the place for you. There are also lots of flies, there is no way to avoid them. The bugs did not bother me, as I said you barely notice them but I'm just giving readers a heads up because it comes with the experience lol. I want to reiterate that the facilities are very clean, the pool was cleaned every morning and grounds swept etc..

I booked my stay here mainly based on other reviews on this site. I would say most of the negative reviews I read previously, I did not have the same experience at all. The staff were friendly, and accommodated every need we had. If we needed taxi service or special travel needs they made them for us. They really went out of their way to make our stay excellent. I would like to say that the restaurant manager, Mike, made me and my fiances stay very memorable as well. I read one review where the reviewer said that this place was "one step above camping", and I would say that that is not true at all. While it is not a 5 star resort, I felt like I was treated like I was in one.

I would say some of the services are kind of pricey by Phil. standards but not so much by Western standards. For example a couples massage will run you about 1k pesos, or 25 USD roughly. We received a couples massage of equal quality and time outside of the resort for about 300 pesos. But hey it is a resort and so you sort of expect a price increase and you can't get a massage for that price in the US.

The food was really good. My only advice would be to have more menu selections because by our 8th night I had tried most of what I wanted, however if you are only staying for a short amount of time the menu is more than enough. I'm not sure if they still have the Danish cook that is advertised on their website because I only saw Filipino cooks, but nonetheless I loved the food.

I briefly spoke to the owner Larry and he seemed nice and approachable. Typically in most resorts you wouldn't even meet the owner so that was nice that he came up to our table and introduced himself.

I would definitely stay here again in the future - maybe not for the same length of time as I would like to experience other places. I will warn readers that Cordova is very poor. The area surrounding the resort more of less is like a slum, the best way I can describe it. If poverty offends you this area may not suit you. While you can explore on foot down the streets outside of the resort I would say be prepared to see lots of poverty, stray animals, etc. The resort is gated and you can only see a little of surrounding area from various parts of the resort.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jay J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed January 20, 2012

The attention to detail at this property is unparalleled. The grounds, restaurant, room, check in area are immaculate. I'm a US Major Airline Pilot, I stay in more hotels in one month then most spend in a year. My airline put us in 4-5 star hotels. This property is equal or better then most I stay at in Europe and South America. It is quiet and not very far from the city centers. Just have the staff get u a taxi. Taxi's are cheap so its no a big deal and its worth it for the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. Philippinos are wonderful great friendly people, but they have no clue how to run and manage a hotel or other business. This property is owned and meticulously run by an American and you can thus expect better then American standards. Stay here and you won't be sorry. If you are a young guy looking to go hunt girls, go stay at a cheap dirty place in town, this is not for you. LOL

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank teddepalma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suffern, New York
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2012

I have stayed in about 15 hotels on Mactan and Cebu so I think I can speak with some authority on this hotel and service.

Location: This hotel is located in Cordiva which is the mist remote you can get on the island of Mactan. This can be a good or bad thing depending on what you are looking for. It is quiet... That is not something you would get in Cebu center or Lapu Lapu. That said transportation via taxi or shuttle are the only options and it will take time. Figure 45min-1hr to get to Cebu center. You can hit the airport in about 20-30mim. There is not much in the area and nothing really in walking distance. This is somewhat of a limiting factor if you don't want to travel 30min to the nearest area with lots of shops & restaurants. In summary, the location is not the best if you are looking for off-hotel excursions but if you dont mind the 30min drive it shouldn't matter.

Management: Larry the owner really try's to make you happy and take care of your needs, he is attentive and genuine which is refreshing.

Facilities: this place is well maintained, much better than many places I have stayed. The pool is nice and clean and the rooms are also clean. I would suggest they invest in a full-time gardener as the grounds could really be a stand-out of this establishment. Some comparably priced resorts in Bohol really make sure the gardens are top notch and it makes a difference. While it is nicer than many here in Cebu it could be a lot better.

The staff are friendly and welcoming but the service could use some tweaking. The complaint about waiting is a valid one.

Food: The food is very good thankfully because it is the only option you have :) They did a good job with the food!

Summary: hotels in Cebu are overpriced. Sorry Larry but I do not think this is a 4 star hotel but it is a good 3 star hotel and or the price there is nothing close to it in Cebu. That fact alone makes it a winner. Value can't be beat. Could it be better? Yes... Sure and just a few tweaks would make this 4 stars in my book. As long as you like chilling and can deal with a commute for off-site activities it is a great destination.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gotham845
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
Reviewed January 10, 2012

my fiance and i stayed at alta garden resort for 1 week and we had a wonderful experienced, the hotel facilities are nice, the garden was perfect with the swimming pool and jacuzzi, staff are friendly and very accomodating, if you guys looking for a good place where you can relax pick alta cebu as your second home. since alta is 20mins from the beach they offer a free shuttle to drop you off in your choosen destination...

Room Tip: room 18 is the perfect spot for the river view, city view, garden view and sunset
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank shamir0725
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2011

The Hotel facilities are nice. It is definately covered in gardins and the pool area is how it looks online. The rooms are clean but definately not big enough for a family of four (at least the room we had). The two negative aspects of the facility are that the resort has only one restaurant and combined with its remote location, it makes it very inconvenient if you do not like the food offered or the restraunt is closed.

The staff is friendly and helpful but what KILLS the experience is the service. On numerous occasions did we have to wait over 45 minutes for food. Additionally, their free shuttle was nothing more than a pair of taxis which took over an hour to get to the hotel.

I would recommend this resort to singles or couples on a budget but BEWARE this is not a 4 star resort.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jmeinz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CebuLarry, Owner at ALTA Cebu Resort, responded to this review, January 9, 2012
I am Larry, owner and part time operations manager (when our full time operations manager is overwhelmed). I also act as a sort of butler to guests when they cannot get what they want from our staff. To correct a few errors of fact: 1. We do have rooms big enough for a family of 4. Perhaps those rooms were fully booked when these guests arrived. Did they ask for larger room? 2. Considering that we offer the best prices in a 3 star resort in Cebu, having only 1 restaurant is not such a bad thing. Our restaurant cooks a large number of dishes from around the world. The restaurant even takes special requests, though sometimes we need to ask for a 1 day window to buy the ingredients. The restaurant is open from 7 till 11PM, and will remain open later if requested.


I notice that there are some very high priced, exclusive hotels and resorts in the world which do not offer internet or TV service; sometimes no phones and all the other things we offer are not included either. Their goal is to make a serene and peaceful environment for de-stressing. It would be a lot easier for us to be excellent in service if we were to copy these high end retreats with their high price and little to do but vegetate. Offering dozens of services and activities means dozens of chances for us to get it wrong. We offer almost everything a guest could want (free internet- 7 wi-fi hot spots, free DVD movies, free videoke, free Billiards, free wall climb, free live bands, cultural activities, events and dozens of other activities sports, games, etc.) included in our much cheaper price. Honestly, it is actually extremely difficult to find exceptional service at most hotels and resorts in the Philippines-even though most of them do not offer anywhere near the number of things to do that we do. Why? Nationwide, the employees at all come from a culture that is big on polite friendliness but does not develop the type of personality which values exacting customer service (attention to detail). A basic trade off of sincere and genuine happiness and friendliness for the inconvenience that all too frequently comes with a care free culture. Since some guests do not take the time to educate themselves about the culture that they visit, they often expect too much from our employees, even after they take into account our very modest price.

The shuttle service to the beach is free to the guest but costs us more than $10 for each trip. For most Cebu resorts there is not a lot of profit in this business. Since we offer more free stuff than other resortsd, it is even more true for us. Philippines is not a very popular destination, so many resorts run well below full occupancy. When someone uses the shuttle and all of our other free services-(once inside almost everything is free), it means that often, during the slow season, we have little or no profit from the guest rooms (commissions 25%, taxes, service charge 22%, salaries for 75 employees, electricity, gas, internet, cable, etc normally eat up all the profits from guests).

During December more than half of our staff left to go home (left for several weeks without permission) leaving the remaining staff seriously overworked (many working double shifts, sometimes in a department different from the one they were trained for). It is not easy to run less than half staff and maintain our best standards, especially when our occupancy more than doubled during the holidays. I am glad our full staff is finally back from vacation so guests can enjoy much improved service. Given that we are not a 4 star and our prices are very much less than a 4 or 5 star, most knowledgeable guests think we offer affordable price and good service. When we do not have staffing problems, some guests say our service is actually on par with more expensive resorts.

World Bank recently picked the Philippines as one of the hardest country in the world to succeed in business. I do not like to sound like a complainer so I do not go into the difficulty of running a complicated business when I speak with guests. But I feel it is fair to write about it in a response to a review, in hopes that future guests will understand that we make great efforts to make Alta a place that most people will recommend. During the years that I have read and responded to reviews, I find that many guests not only recommend us but also come back to more than once. Some former guests who were accustomed to $1000 a night rooms are won over by the charm of our staff and of the ambiance of the village environment, often returning more than once. I always try to speak with each guest. One of my first things out of my mouth is “My door is always open. Please tell me of any difficulties or suggestions right away so I can fix them if m staff cannot”. This guest never came to me. My apologies for their less than perfect experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ulaanbaatar
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2011

My boyfriend and I had a wonderful experience at Alta!
Our flight from Seoul to Cebu was delayed and we lost our reservation at another hotel. In a panic at the airport at 12AM, we called ALTA from a bad Skype connection. Grace at the front desk was patient and friendly while taking our reservation while barely being able to hear us. She made a reservation, took our flight information and told us that there would be someone at the airport to pick us up. Our flight was delayed again and did not arrive in Cebu until 4AM. We were worried that there wouldn't be anyone there to pick us up after our long trip, but like Grace promised, there was Matthew standing with an Alta sign smiling.
When we arrived that the hotel, we asked if we could have a late check out since we arrived at 5AM on Dec 19. They were very friendly and told us no problem.
We woke up in time for the breakfast that was included in the room charge and it was so delicious after our long trip.
The following day we were suppose to pick up our friends from the airport at 2AM to then head to Maya. The hotel arranged a van to pick us up, take us to the airport, and then drive us to Maya. The van was a fair price and the hotel charged us nothing to arranging it.
We ate dinner in the restaurant and were both very pleased. The atmosphere was lovely, the service was attentive and the food was great. The president of Alta, Larry Tarquinio came over to our table during dinner and sat down and chatted with us for awhile. He is a very lovely and friendly man.
We checked out of the hotel at 1AM on Dec 20 having only paid for one night. We were very grateful for the flexibility of the check out times.
The resort itself is beautiful. Lush gardens and beautiful paths winding through the grounds. The spa is clean and our 75 minute couples massage was incredible. The pool is beautiful
Overall the food was great, the resort is beautiful and the staff were exceptionally helpful and friendly! I would recommend staying at Alta to anyone!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Becky W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about ALTA Cebu Resort

Property: ALTA Cebu Resort
Address: Pilipog, Cordova 6017, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Mactan Island > Cordova
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Cordova
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ALTA Cebu Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The ambiance at Alta Cebu Resort is truly unique - with the feel of a tropical rain forest, modern cozy facilities, genuine service. With 50 rooms, it has the feel of a casual, intimate estate in a tropical paradise. Alta is a place where guests can meet liked-minded travelers from around the world; this includes families on vacation, couples seeking a romantic hideaway and those who want to experience a new culture. Alta also offers sustainable tourism or volunteer programs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alta Cebu Hotel Cordova
Alta Hotel Cebu
ALTA Cebu Resort Cebu Island/Cordova

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