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“Overrated”

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Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 50 Hotels in Puerto Princesa
Certificate of Excellence
england
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Overrated”
Reviewed July 9, 2010

Very overrated resort, i felt like we were been robbed and booked for a bootcamp instead of a leisure beach holiday. First, the representative will not leave you alone making you attend activites that they design themselves ( tell you when to snorkelled, where to sit for you meals and when to do the things that mind you we paid for!! ) The cottage room that we paid for is so filthy ( pillows stained with blood ,broken doors and uneven tiles ) Yuck! We need to request to be moved to the beach villa which was cleaner. However, the beach is very beautiful. I hope the staff in dos palmas will make more effort in maintaining the beach than organising stupid activities for the guests.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank cris0430
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Philippines
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2010

My 8 mos old baby, our nanny and I joined my wife in Dos Palmas while she was attending a company event there...thus we got a pretty good discount (5,000 per head only, baby was free of course)
The travel time was a little long (1 1/2 hour flight from Manila, 20 mins bus to wharf, 1 hour boat to the island) with nothing to really see. What was frustrating with the travel time was that the bus and boat seemed to move so slow. Im not sure if I'm just used to the faster city life pace, but I swear the bus was slower than the trikes in Manila. Also the boat ride could easily be cut by half (or even 2/3) if we had a speed boat. The good thing with the slow pace was that the baby was able to sleep, but those without kids would definitely get impatient.
When we got to the resort, we were greeted with drinks, music and friendly smiles. That's the one thing with Philippine resorts...the service is usually very friendly. Unfortunately, "friendly" is often mistakenly associated with "good". The friendly staff asked us (in a friendly manner) our departure details 4 different times with 4 different people! (obviously, they don't talk to one another). Once they even called the room and woke the baby (just after we spent an hour trying to put her to sleep!). But I still rated service high because overall, it was good, albeit a little uncoordinated (maybe they were overwhelmed by the number of people in the company outing). All our needs were met. The service was usually very timely. We never really had to wait for anything. When we wanted to snorkel or kayak, the response was immediate. The dive masters and boatmen were very helpful and can spell the difference for a nice snorkeling experience.
The location was great. Helen's garden is a great snorkeling place. Less than 2 minutes away by their speed boat. Make sure you ask the dive master attendant to swim with you and play with the giant clams. He even dived down to get a puffer fish, star fish and jelly fish (don't worry, the jelly fish here have no tentacles, thus they don't sting). Kayaking among the mangroves sounds nice and the water was clear, but it was a bit boring.
Make sure you don't miss the island lunch. There is this quaint little island off the main island with a pretty cool sand bar (during low tide). The sand wasn't Boracay quality, but is good enough. Make sure you bring your snorkeling gear (no one told us to bring) because according to the boat man there was a nice coral near this island.
The rooms (we stayed in the garden rooms) were kind of a let down. No way I'd pay the published rate for it. It was clean and spacious enough for the four of us (they even had a balcony where you could hang dry your clothes) but there wasn't anything special about it. There was no view from the room. The furnishings weren't that nice. They didn't even have a TV (the only TV in the resort is in the bar).
Dos Palmas has a tennis court, basketball court, videoke, billiard and ping pong but they were all a little dilapidated. All marine activites cease at 5pm, so you will be using these facilities to while away the time. The tennis courts didn't have lights so you can't play at night. The swimming pool was nice, the water was warm. None of the amenities was really spectacular though. Again, something I wouldn't pay the published rate for.
The best part for me was the sea food. It was very fresh. My wife is usually quite particular with sashimi quality, but she really like the sashimi here. The grilled blue marlin was great. Dinner quality is better than lunch. Breakfast was so so...but I'm not really a breakfast person so don't take my word for it.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank poopooface815
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mackay, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2010

Following our negative review on trip adviser (22 May 2010) - DP took notice and have now given us a full refund (less exchange rate and banking fees). It's a shame that what could have been a nice customer experience at a time of a sad family tragedy, turned into a real drama.

I still would not recommend this resort given the drama this has all been, and being an experienced traveller, I know that this experience probably reflective of other areas of DP operations.

Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
10 Thank Frangipannitraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila
Level 5 Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2010

i was lucky to be picked in a draw in our work wherein the prize is a trip for 3D2N to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. we stay here at Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa. the trip is very tiring as you have several transfer from air, to land, to sea. good thing everything were arranged and you just need to bring yourself and packed of your clothes.

we were picked-up by a shuttle at the airport (we have tour-guide on board and glad to listen to some key-spots in PP, then we dropped off to a port to send you to Dos Palmas via 45 mins. boat travel in a spacious Honda Bay, staff are great, they make sure you wore a life-vest (for emergency purpose of course). while approaching the floating reception, a group of staff singing a welcome song while showering of petals in the water (very welcoming and you will feel you are the Prince of the island)

Foods are great! However, a friendly advice not to drink house water nor use ice (unsure where it was made of), make sure you have bottles of distilled/mineral water in-hand.

Our room is about hundred meters from the dining, so we have to walk for a long just to be fed. Good thing is that the room has comfy style with verandah and chairs, aircon is very cool, bottle of mineral water in fridge is great to replenish your thirst.

Helen's Garden is a spot you should not missed, I brought my own snorkeling gears and witnessed the beauty of Helen's garden, swimming with me are different species of colorful fish, a giant clam below caught my attention and it's huge. I love to fed the fish while exploring the area.

Bad thing in the shore of DP is that sea-grass were over populate it, I tried using the Kayak with sting-rays following me (glad if i have a picture of it). You can swim in other parts of the shore by checking and avoiding sea-grass, the sand is not as white as Boracay or Puerto Galera.

Nightlife, we had a buffet dinner, entertained with fire dancing, food is great (less in salt), the night filled with cricket sounds, very relaxing over-looking the bay. If you are party goers then this is not for you, the night is romantic added with dim lights of the resort, this is great for honeymooners.

In general the stay is good and this resort really attracts serious type of people, romantic and those who appreciate the relaxing quite environment.

Oh by the way, DO not ever ever try to miss the Subterranean River National Park or your visit to Palawan will be useless....

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Deriuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Level 4 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2010

Mu husband and I spent our honeymoon @ dos palmas for 3 days and 2 nights.. It's a relaxing getaway for us.. the resort is very quiet, we did kayaking, snorkling, play table tennis, billiards, couple's spa, biking, & drinking!

the buffet meals are great!! the room is cozy and cleaned everyday! you'll feel that you own the resort!

this resort is good for families, couples, friends that would like to relax.. this is not applicable for party people.. we enjoyed our stay because of great food and nice view..we did not swim on the beach because of we're afraid of jellyfish..hehe..

we got this dos palmas package @ palakbayan fares and promos @ Philippine airlines...got it for 28k (PHP) - good for two persons already with air (manila naia to puerto princesa), land, and boat roundrtip transfer, buffet meals w/ accommodation for 3D 2N..you need to have a friend in manila for them to pay it in cash @ pal offices..they do not accept cards.. too bad..

hope this helps!!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank LizandSoForth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2010

This was my second trip to the Philippines and I had been to Boracay 20+ years before. So I expected a fabulous beach and beautiful surroundings. Dos Palmas is special because you're on your own PRIVATE island. PROs: If you like quite, this is it. Very little nightlife except a fire show by the staff. Plenty of food choices where everyone can find something. The best was HELEN'S garden. It's the best snorchel sport I have seen in the many places I have been in the World (Barrier Reef, Hawaii, Red Sea). Truly amazing, colorful! Don't miss it. Staff is very nice and helpful.
CONS: They should have a bit better selection on clothing batching suits, etc. It would be nice to do a bit more shopping there. The Island hopping excursion was not worth the price we paid because the corals were dead in the other islands. Helen's garden was a 1 min boat ride and far more spectacular and really showcased the fabulous marine life in Palawan. The spa was always booked and seemed a bit pricey. Overall the spa facilities are nice.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank WeltreisenderNyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 2, 2010

My partner and I traveled to Dos Palmas this past holiday for a week of rest. I concur with the other reviewers, as the location is isolated and makes for a peaceful visit. Although we enjoyed ourselves with the fantastic views and were able to find swimming spots (albeit outside of the island), if you are a discerning traveler this may not be your choice of hotel. We found the buffet style food to be overbearing and unsophisticated (butter, grease and meat galore) and the group meals felt as if you were on a cruise ship. The constant live music at meal times was a bit off putting. The staff was young and quite lovely yet unable to really match the demands of a 4 star hotel (and we were paying a 4-5 star hotel rate). It is also quite clear that the management is not very involved with the operations and we found the general manager mostly at the bar eating. We were also appalled at the long hours the staff works-up to 16 to 18 hour days-further confirming that the owner (whom we found out rarely comes to the island) rather than paying fare wages and adhering to labor conditions is making the most money he or she can off the labor. The massage staff, albeit sweet, are not experienced. Three days after my shiatsu (and we are regulars to this style of massage) and yoga nor a good swim have helped me re-adjust.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jhss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa

Property: Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa
Address: Arrecife Island, Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island 5300, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > Puerto Princesa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Princesa
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Princesa
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Princesa
#5 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Princesa
#7 Family Hotel in Puerto Princesa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dos Palmas Island Hotel Puerto Princesa
Dos Palmas Island Resort And Spa
Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa Palawan Island/Puerto Princesa

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