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“Nice hotel but needs better management”

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Sotogrande Hotel & Resort
Ranked #22 of 32 Hotels in Lapu Lapu
Reviewed July 23, 2012

Overall impression: The place was alright for me for a two night stay, but I wouldn’t want to spend a long vacation there. The beach view, the swimming, the rooms, and the food are of good quality but there’s more to do in Cebu. The traffic on the way to Cebu is bad, and the taxi drivers assume that you’re rich if you’re staying there and will often expect to overcharge you and not use the meter. Also, I wish their shuttle ran more often and to more places than just the airport.

The noise: There was a college reunion going on outside the Vista Mar next door and the band was blaring out music until one in the morning. They let some dogs roam around outside too but I didn’t hear any barking.

The room: I stayed in a suite, and I thought this was a really nice room for the price. There was a safety box in the room and there was a TV in the living room and the bedroom with plenty of channels. There was lots of drawer and closet space for my things. The sofa and bed were both comfortable and the A/C worked great (one in the bedroom and one in the living room). The only real problem with the room was that there was some water leaking from the edges of the sink and the shower water was lukewarm.

Things to do: I was told I could use either of the two pools at the Vista Mar or the one behind the SotoGrande. The Vista Mar pools were nice. I got to take a swim in the sea too. When I saw there was a basketball court, I asked for a basketball but was told they’d charge me per hour to use the court even though I was a guest there. There’s a gym and a sauna at La Mirada next door that I was told I could use, but I didn’t make my way over there. (The same company manages La Mirada, the SotoGrande, and the Vista Mar and they’re all right next to each other).

The clientele: The guests seemed to be the touristy type as opposed to the adventuresome and more cultured backpacker type. I’d say they were more there for the fancy rooms, facilities, and beach than the experience of learning about a foreign culture. I noticed lots of Koreans, some Arabs, and a few Westerners with their Filipino girlfriends/wives at the SotoGrande. One of the staff that had been working there for a year told me that the Filipino families tend to stay next door in the more affordable and less modern Vista Mar. He also told me that the Korean guests didn’t tend to treat him very well.

The service: Although the staff was friendly, I thought the service was average for the PI (Philippines) and could use some improvement. I was supposed to be staying at their sister company, the Vista Mar, but they said my room was being renovated. That worked out though because they upgraded me to a suite at the SotoGrande which was newer, bigger, and better than the Vista Mar room I had paid for. They gave me some fresh mango juice when I arrived at the SotoGrande. I was jetlagged, so I went upstairs and slept. When I came downstairs at 1:30 in the morning, the cook was nice enough to make a sandwich for me but included a 15% tip as part of the bill. The breakfast was good with western and eastern dishes to chose from (yea for bacon and toast). There was no toilet paper in the bathroom next to the Vista Mar’s restaurant next door. I found that out after the bacteria in the food didn’t agree with my digestive system. (I stayed there for the 2nd and 3rd nights of my trip to the PI, and it takes time to adjust to the food people eat 8000 miles away from home).

The location: It is an isolated, private beach resort, which means that you get a nice beach to look at, security guards, and you don’t have to deal with any pushy vendors trying to peddle their products and services to you, like you do in say Boracay. There’s a shuttle that runs to and from the airport but it only runs twice a day. On the way to the hotel from the airport, my taxi driver couldn’t find the place and had to stop and ask for directions. The entrance is a bit tricky to get to. When we were leaving, the first taxi driver tried to charge us extra for having to drive out into the middle of nowhere to pick us up and he wouldn’t use the meter, so we had to wait for the second one. We wound up missing our ferry because the traffic was so bad (it took us an hour and a half to get to the port in Cebu), and because they wouldn’t let me pay my whole bill in one place. After I got done paying for the sandwich I had eaten the first night I stayed there, they told me I had to go next door to the Vista Mar to pay for the lunch I ate the second day even though they’re managed by the same company. What’s worse is that once I got there, I had to wait to use the credit card machine, because somebody was making a transaction upstairs that was preventing the system at the reception desk from working.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mark L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 - 96 of 148 reviews

Reviewed June 19, 2012

I stayed here for one night and was satisfied with the location and price compared to the other resorts in the area like Shangri-la or Crimson however the room condition was poor and had problems with the AC but as I was hardly in the room I was not too bothered. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. There is a good gym and pools next door which the hotels guests have access to.

Will probably stay in Cebu City next time although it's 45 minutes away from the airport there are more activities there and Lapu Lapu city is fairly limited.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nsteiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

We had just one night here in a suite. Very nice for the price we paid. (Half price)
Breakfast was good, but for 5 star should have been better.
Beware you are miles from the main resturantes etc. They have a thing going at the Secuity
gate, where you have to pay 50pcs to get out. Make sure you have the Taxis use their meters.
Very, very good swimming pools. Beach, like all Resorts in Cebu, is very small and not a great place to swim.
Friendly stall.
No hot water.

Room Tip: Corner suites large and sunny. Get a white taxi from departure lounge on arrival at Cebu Airport...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank carterkenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2012

We stayed at this hotel for 4 days in Lapu Lapu. It was affordable, nice, and had a pool and fitness room. The location is good, there aren't any beaches nearby though. The access road is also weird, you have to do a little bit of off roading. 15 minutes from the airport, close to a lot of stuff. Had a good stay, clean room, good food, breakfast.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Mikkel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2011

The rooms are very impressive. it is clean and spacious. we took the corner suite room and it has a very nice view of the beach. the hotel staff are very helpful as well. the food was great. i like the beach, so serene. Also, the pool behind our hotel is very comfy and beautiful. we can't think of anything bad to say about this hotel. all days and nights we spent here are all worth the money spent. we will come back!

Room Tip: choose corner suites fronting the beach preferably Room 602. it has this great beachview when you wa...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank travelwise597
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2011

we had a very nice experience staying in this hotel,the ocean suite room was amazing and superb! the food was great, the hotel staffs are very friendly (there always smiling) and accommodating, in our second night we decided to have our dinner in their clubhouse,indeed we enjoyed their buffet plus the entertainment was such a nice idea that makes our whole night very memorable. the beach was very lovely that we stayed there whole day enjoying the panoramic view of the resort. Definitely, Sotogrande resort will always be my first choice every time i visit mactan island.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank porternancy72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2011

My friends and I chose this place because it's affordable compared to the other beachfront hotels, come to find out it's nowhere near a beach. You'd have to go through their sister hotel to reach the beachfront. Also, when we booked it they told us we'd get free shuttle service to the airport. When we inquired about this they said they charge 1100 pesos for a ride that would usually cost 500 pesos if you take the taxi. They tried (or so they said) to call the person that supposedly booked our room because it's her day off and of course not answering her phone. The staff are rude. They kept answering phone calls and kept cutting off our conversation. We ended up switching hotels that night we were so furious! NEVER coming back again!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with friends
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6  Thank 26worldtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sotogrande Hotel & Resort

Address: Angasil Rd, Lapu Lapu 6015, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Mactan Island > Lapu Lapu
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Lapu Lapu
Price Range: $64 - $120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sotogrande Hotel & Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 77
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sotogrande Hotel And Resort
Sotogrande Hotel Lapu Lapu
Sotogrande Hotel & Resort Cebu Island/Mactan Island

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