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“A Good Getaway Place”
Review of ALTA Cebu Resort

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ALTA Cebu Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Cordova
Reviewed February 7, 2012

Alta is far from the city, and that is for sure. Thus, this is "the" place if you want to stay away from the noisy city life.

The room: We were given room 12 upon arrival. The room was dark and the bathroom smelled awful. We asked to be transferred and we were given another room right away. Our room was nice and spacious compared to room 12. The lighting isn't that good as they use orange bulbs. The bed made some squeky noise when we do our thing. The airconditioning unit is also noisy but it served its purpose well. Very well.

The shutte service: I see a lot of reviews about the shuttle service which is actually a metered taxi, so I won't dwell much of that.

The restaurant: They serve various food during breakfast. Food served was OK but not top of the line. What upsets us was there were times when we ordered something from their menu and we we informed that they can't serve it because they don't have the ingredients. A very particular example was the banana split. The taste of the food during other meals of the day was ok, only that they serve your food after 30 to 45 minutes. They serve the drinks first and we were able to consume all our drinks and our food were not available still.

The staff: They are all very friendly and warm. They always greet and serve you with a smile.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay in Alta. It was a good place to stay because we were not after going out much. We went there to have a peaceful and quiet time.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bestfriendoftime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CebuLarry, Owner at ALTA Cebu Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 12, 2012

We are the closest resort to Cebu City and Lapu Lapu (a city of about 250,00). Lapu Lapu is about 10 minute drive from Alta. Cebu biggest mall (enormous) is about a 30 minute drive by taxi.

It appears that our staff forgot to clean the bathroom in room 12. Today I reminded our head of housekeeping and our 2 butlers to personally check every room before putting a new guest into a room.

We use warm lights (not orange) rather than white light because it gives romantic glow. Most guests prefer warm lights.

Our Air conditioners are less than 1 year old. Superior rooms have wall units. Most deluxe and all Premium rooms have split AC which is very quiet. For $7 per night, this guest could have had a room with a quiet, upgraded AC unit. During the time that this guest was here, our prices for our superior rooms were at least $15 to $20 cheaper than equivalent resorts in the area, so paying $7 more per night for a quieter AC is not a big cost.

Our shuttle bus runs daily to beaches and mall. As far as I know we are the only resort in Cebu to offer daily free shuttle bus. Not sure why they say the shuttle is a taxi. Maybe they are talking about another resort.

We offer a free continental breakfast with the option to upgrade to a lumberjack (delicious, very substantial breakfast). Many guests say our food is some of the best they have had at any resort in Cebu. I am Larry, owner and manager of Alta Cebu. I have lived in Cebu for 11 years and dined at all the resorts. My experience is that all resorts in our class run out of ingredients. During peak hours when we have 2 or 3 chefs and 20 orders backed up, 30 to 45 minutes can happen at any restaurant of resort in Cebu. Our chef’s are more concerned with quality than rushing the meal. Sometimes, there are as many as 20 orders for in-room dining, which a guest in the restaurant guest cannot see- which may make it seem like the cooks are slow- which they are not. In ou menu, we recommend do offer an order ahead service for guests who do not share the lack of time pressure you will find throughout the Philippines. With order ahead service, food will be ready at the time promised.

I appreciate that this guest liked our friendly staff and peaceful ambiance.

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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
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1  Thank Phil R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Jay J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank teddepalma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank gotham845
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank shamir0725
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about ALTA Cebu Resort

Address: Pilipog, Cordova 6017, Philippines
Phone Number:
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: $39 - $67 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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