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“It's all about the food, pool and garden”

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Royal Oberoi Resort Hotel
Ranked #35 of 51 Hotels in Puerto Princesa
Quezon City, Philippines
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“It's all about the food, pool and garden”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Arriving Arriving at Royal Oberoi, be aware that (1) you won’t notice the old hotel stone sign by the highway and (2) the 20ish meter road from the highway to the hotel is not concrete. From the gate of the hotel, it’ll look like a simple house with well-kept plants by the walk way. But then once you get past the office, you’ll discover the wide pool and the garden hidden behind the two-store infrastructure that welcomed you in the beginning. I was surprised so as the trees and grass around it. I loved the external set-up and landscaping especially during the night. (See photos uploaded)

The hotel service was good, but their tours during that time were kind of difficult. We were lucky enough to be able to go through our original plans but the other guests weren’t. Constant follow up with the management (which we did) helps prevent this. You have to book your tours as early as possible, too. Even if we were able to take the tours we wanted, (e.g. PPUR, Honda Bay, etc.) we didn't enjoy much in two of these because of the tour guides with us. I believe they are a separate business and not directly connected to the hotel, but the management still has to make sure their guests are well taken care of by the tour guides they have chosen for us.

Our tour guide for Honda Bay was late because she had two separate groups (two separate vans) that day, and we were obviously not the priority. I don't have to pour out my disappointments but our group felt like we had to figure out things on our own. It was frustrating. For the City Tour, the tour guide was obviously new. Not only was she 1.5 hours late but she also talked more about her life than the facts and trivia of the city. She points to us buildings like the “fire department”, “city jail” and “Robinson’s mall” as if we can’t read it and without any relevant follow up information about it. And she also admitted that she still doesn't really know much when our tour was about to end.

To make up for that, on a lighter note, their food was good. They have big servings and a well thought/cooked set of dishes. We got their offer of having to pay per day including 3 meals. You may even eat in tables by the garden, by the pool or just in the restaurant. The service crew is great. They’re kind and easy to talk to. We requested some of our dishes to be meat-free and they did not disappoint.

The room we got, a suite villa, was very neat and tidy. Housekeeping gets two thumbs up for how they keep our rooms well. And during our stay, none of our valuables were “misplaced”. What I don't get about the suite villa though is the two-floor set up. I find it difficult to be transferring up and down (I am aware this cannot be changed unless they renovate), I’m not sure if it’s just me but I find it a bit uncomfortable.

As a whole, I can say that our stay in the hotel was pleasing. I would definitely recommend it just as long as you express your need for experienced and good tour guides, and also keep asking for follow-ups and updates regarding the tours you booked.

PS. There was this girl that annoyed me a little on the first day. She was throwing herself at a pool chair, walking about and fooling around loudly with the crew by the pool bar. She acted like she belonged there but didn't actually work there. As a guest, I find it very “unwelcoming” to have someone act that way in a supposedly hospitable property. But for the remaining four days, I found her “well-behaved”. Hmm…

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Jianne J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hawaii
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Stayed at the Hotel Royal Oberoi for 3 nights in October 2012. It was the first stop on a vacation to Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and Davao. We booked the 3 night tour package that included meals and the tours of the Underground River, Honda Bay and the City Tour.

We did have a problem with the transportation to the hotel, as there was a misunderstanding with the pickup time. We called the hotel for our ride and they asked if we could just catch a airport van since the hotel driver was not immediately available. When the airport van driver arrived he was attacked by 3 trike drivers who beat him up. Apparently the trike drivers were upset that we took the van instead of a trike. The airport police eventually stepped in and arrested all of them for fighting. Not a good way to start our vacation. Lesson learned: always confirm transportation from airport to the hotel.

We were greeted by the staff and owner Rose when we checked in. The service from the hotel staff was great. The staff forgot to mention a few of the hotel services when we were checking in, but it was understandable because we were telling them about the incident at the airport. We stayed in a Superior Deluxe room. Room is large and clean. Bed comfortable. Phone was not working and repaired or replaced the next day. Basic shower and toilet. Air conditioner in living area, not the bedroom and it was old style and a little noisy. Old style TV with fair reception and Wifi was slow, but since we were outside most of the time this was not a problem for us. Overall room was comfortable and we slept well each night.

Since we booked the package, meals were included. The food at the restaurant is awesome. Breakfast and dinner was great each day. The restaurant is open air style so there were a few bugs and mosquitos flying around at times. The staff was kind enought to put fans out to gently blow air around us, so the bugs were not a problem. I can't emphasize enought how great the food is here. You can check out the menus on their website. Like I mentioned before we continued on the trip to Cebu and Davao and stayed at 5 star hotels there with their huge buffets. But we both agreed that the best food on the trip were at the Hotel Royal Oberoi restaurant.

The daily tours were arranged by the hotel and we had a great time. After the daily tour we had dinner then swam at the pool and had a few drinks at the pool bar. It was relaxing, quiet and very peaceful.

The staff provided excellent service at the restaurant and front desk. Owners Mark and Rose were excellent hosts and we had a great stay at the hotel.

We continued on to much more luxurious hotels during our vacation. But when we look back on the trip, the hotel we liked the most was the Hotel Royal Oberoi. The service and food was the best on our vacation.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank anuenuevb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Gosh, I've read some of the 'scathing' previous reviews & decided I had to give my opinion. We are used to 5 star accommodation (Shangri La is our usual) BUT there is no point in expecting this nice, little, boutique hotel to be the Shang. "You get what you pay for" is our mantra and 4 adults stayed from 27 Dec - 30th which cost roughly $750 usa (included our fantastic meals and 3 different tours, plus airport transfers). The upstairs/downstairs room was comfortable, the decor was 'normal' for a hotel and any staff we encountered were friendly. It was all a very basic experience BUT it was exactly what we expected for the price we paid.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alison D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level 6 Contributor
144 reviews
123 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Royal Oberoi is a family run hotel and the owner Mark is a very kind and helpful person. The booking process is so smooth and he helped me out on all the Honda Bay and Underground River arrangement.

Obviously the hotel need to do some renovation, and I noticed worker is doing painting job right now. The room is just so so, shower is weak and so does the wifi - there is totally no signal within the room and I have to stand outside the corridor and reception office to get online. Besides, I think they need to do something on the main entrance, there is no signage and small and the road outside is dark and not paved, it looks like a small guesthouse rather than a resort with big swimming pool. I find it overpriced especially I have stayed at Go Hotels the night before which is just one fourth of the price.

However, food at the restaurant is good, especially the breakfast is outstanding - good presentation and the bread is heated before served.

I am in favor of the resort/accommodatin in Thailand where is doing much better on the soft decoration. I hardly find a nicely decorated resort in Philippine, and not even famous sunshine and beach destination like Boracay or Cebu etc.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HerbertLi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

We had a fantastic stay during the period 26th Dec to 1st Jan. The rooms were very clean and the food was excellent and reasonably priced. We took a number of day excursions which were all arranged by the hotel. All were fantastic days and everything ran extremely smoothly.
Mark and Rose who own the Royal Oberoi could not have been more welcoming and were the perfect hosts. New Years Eve was a night to remember with a special BBQ and fireworks.
Finally if you have kids and want a top class dive instructor Mark is the guy. He spent so much time with my daughters to put them at easy.
I would highly recommend the Royal Oberoi as we had the perfect holiday.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank dave294217
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tianjin, Tianjin, China
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Let me start by saying we loved our stay at the Royal Oberoi and would definitely consider returning to Palawan and staying here. The owners, Mark and Rose Kay are in the process of refurbing the resort and are dedicated to refining the facilities.

After landing in Pureto Princessa, we were picked up by Leo who gave us a 3-penny tour of the city on the way to the resort. He was obviously proud of his hometown and mentioned repeatedly that Palawan is the cleanest island in the Philippines. In fact, according to Leo, if you are caught littering 3 times, you can extend your vacation for a month-long stay in the local prison!

Our family (2 adults, 2 young children) stayed in a Superior Deluxe room for 6 nights at the Royal Oberoi. The room was simply but beautifully decorated with local handicrafts, and it worked well for us, with our kids sleeping on fold-outs in the living area. A major plus was the ample storage for our things, as there was a small closet and cabinets to use. The bathroom was a small WC/shower combo but there was an on demand water heater and a shower hose to use with the kids. I will say the bed was quite uncomfortable, but I suspect replacing beds will be part of the updating process.

The best thing about the resort are the grounds and the pool. The grounds are beautifully maintained and it's like walking through a tropical garden with flowers, fruit trees, succulent bushes, and palms. There are charming bridges leading from the pool to the restaurant, as well as cabanas and gazebos dotted about where you can take your meals. The pool was perfect: a deep section for lap swimming and a swim-up bar, a shallow enclosed pool for the kids, and a bubbler (not heated). Our kids spent hours in the pool every day and loved every minute.

The food at the restaurant is quite delicious and the menu offers a variety of dishes from local cuisine to more "international" dishes, like pizza. If you have kids, you may have to remind yourself that you're on "island time" and plan accordingly. We usually sent one of us to order while the other played in the pool with the kids. Then we went to the room to change before coming down for dinner. You might try ordering ahead for a prescribed time. The breakfast package is a bit limited and we found ourselves ordering off the menu more than not. We particularly loved the pancake with mango! About the mangoes, my goodness, my son ate so many, we feared he might turn orange. They are heavenly and the fruit shakes at the bar are fresh and delicious. A couple of our favorite dishes were the chicken satay, the BBQ ribs, the seared tuna, and the penne pasta.

We spent our week getting dive certified. Mark is a dive master with SSI and took us through our academic courses, pool sessions, and open water dives. He is very knowledgeable and experienced, and his calm demeanor will immediately put anyone at ease. We appreciated his flexibility, accomodating our schedule with our two young kids. He even arranged for his assistant to play with our kids on the beach while we did our open water dives to finish the course.

Mark, his wife Rose, and the rest of the staff are what make staying at the Royal Oberoi wonderful. We said later, that it's a bit like being invited to stay at their home; the atmosphere is that warm and inviting. They are kind, generous, and charming, and will go above and beyond to ensure that you are comfortable and happy. If you're looking for a 5-star luxury resort, you probably don't want to visit Palawan Island. If you're looking for a comfortable and inviting place with lots of personal attention, you can't do any better than the Royal Oberoi.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Beth R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 30, 2012

The hotel facilities are average at best, nowhere near luxurious, but okay for the price. We stayed in a Suite Villa and the ground floor didn't have enough lighting so I never got to finish the book I brought to read. The kids loved the loft above although the stairs were a bit steep. The room amenities were the bare necessities - shampoo and conditioner in sachets, bath soap plus a hot water kettle and coffee and tea sachets. But what will keep you coming back is the owner Mark and his staff. We missed our Honda Bay tour on a busy day that they ran out of boats and Mark recommended a visit to Nagtabon Beach which turned out to be the best thing we did on our trip. It's a beautiful secluded beach and we were the only ones there -- what a great save! The food servings are bigger than normal for the pastas, and the Mixed Seafood Grill was awesome when available, although orders do take a while to arrive. They also have a wonderful new spa area and hire out a great Palawan Hilot massage. We also loved that there was no extra charge for room service so we had our complimentary breakfasts in our room everyday.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ria M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Oberoi Resort Hotel

Property: Royal Oberoi Resort Hotel
Address: S National Hwy, Esteban Rd, Santa Monica, Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island 5300, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > Puerto Princesa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #35 of 51 Hotels in Puerto Princesa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 20 minutes drive from the hustle and bustle of Puerto Princesa city centre and airport, the Royal Oberoi Resort Hotel nestles in its beautiful landscaped gardens. Accommodations comprise 5 elegant Suite Villas with canopy style bed. 5 Superior Deluxe rooms and 5 Standard Deluxe rooms. All are equipped with hot and cold showers, cable TV, air conditioning, mini bar, intercom and free WiFi. The resort has the largest swimming pool in Puerto Princesa and the Grand Palm Pavilion Restaurant serves some of the finest food in Palawan. The Resort has a Spa and a fully equipped dive center. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Royal Oberoi Hotel Puerto Princesa
Oberoi Puerto Princesa
Puerto Princesa Oberoi
Royal Oberoi Resort Hotel Palawan Island/Puerto Princesa

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