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“Not worth your money”

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Grande Island Resort
Perth, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Not worth your money”
Reviewed July 30, 2011

It's not as appealing as how it was advertised in their leaflet. The ferry leaving the mainland only leaves once a day so you're basically stuck in the island if you want to go back to the mainland.
The rooms are scattered all over the small island. It was a bit of a walk. When we got to our room, the airconditioning system did not work at all. It took almost an hour to actually tell us that we need to move to another room. They also did not just give us the key but we had to walk all the way back to reception to get the key considering it would've been easier if they did it as they had atvs.
The rooms were ok but would not rate it as a 5 star room. The bathroom and toilet though is nice.
They had a restaurant where they had a buffet dinner which we considered as average. It was mostly Filipino food. The fruit juices though were nice.
They did not have very much information provided in the rooms as to their facilities, things to do etc. We had to keep on ringing reception to ask them what they have in the resort.
Majority of the rooms are facing the water. However, the water opposite our room was dirty with a broken jetski.
The next day, again we had to walk to the reception to get stubs to use the banana boat and jet skis etc. You cannot also use these facilities all day they have a time limit.
We though enjoyed our banana boat ride and jetski hire.
We only stayed there for a day as we were heading to Manila. All in all, I would not recommend this resort to anybody as they have a lot of things they need to address before this place can be a classy resort.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank HolidaymakerFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
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English first
Quezon City, Philippines
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2011

Everything that a management can do good to make a great vacation experience on this island was completely missed. This offer is all take for the resort, all for their gain. The facilities are not well maintained. Ferry is an hour late, then another hour delay due to technical problems. Air-condition in the ferry was just not working that in the middle of the heat of summer. Upon docking, no one from the reception tells you where to go. Everyone does his/her own enquiries, actually there was no one welcoming you and guide the guests how to check-in to think that the cabins are very far from the docking station.

We got our cabin key from the reception building and walked ten minutes. They seem to be ok from the outside but once we got in we checked the room and toilet and bath, voila!!! The toilet smelled so bad like public toilets do we needed to report it and had to wait up to an hour before they cleaned it. The next thing we discovered was cigarette butts and ashes in the drawer, no towels provided and we had to wait another hour. thats fours lost!!!

FOOD:
Food is inclusive of price and taste is not that bad, but one will expect better food being served for the high price. This resort does not serve brewed coffee. This resort does not serve brewed coffee, for the three thousand a night you are paying you'll get an instant 3-in-1 instant coffee you can buy in supermarkets for 10 pesos. I heard from some guests that they limit serving of drinks, juice, to one glass... :(

Beverages:
every thing you buy extra will cost you a lot since they monopolize the market on the island.

At the end, if you are there already the only way you can enjoy your stay is to be one with nature, otherwise your vacation is gone. One of the guests I talked to wanted to go back to Subic immediately the same hour when they arrived. This is how bad this place is for the money they are raking in from their guests.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank FishBoned
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Subic Bay Freeport Zone hotels

Manila
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2011

We went there mid-April, and we have to wait for the 2:30PM ferry to go to the island.
They have no morning ferry schedule so it's useless arriving at the port very early.

After a 20-minute ferry ride, we finally arrived at the resort. The words that I instantaneously describe the resort are vast, wide, spacious, & extensive. The rooms are many and built meters away... good for privacy. You will definitely tire yourself if you carry your own baggage by foot. Good thing they provide golf carts to assist you to your room
The rooms are clean by the time we arrived. We got the newest rooms but it is located at the farthest side of the resort. They have a television with a few cable/local channels. The CR is clean, faucet water pressure is adequate. They have a personal refrigerator. Be sure to buy your own drinking water before taking the ferry, the canteen is far from the room. They also have a local telephone to remind you when meals will be served or if you need to call for assistance. Added bonus, they got wifi internet inside the room. They also offer a banana boat ride as part of the package. I think it would be better if they have horseback riding available as an alternative recreation.

Meals are buffet style. Food is average. Juice taste like instant powder, and limited serving.

There were some downsides about this resort.
The beach is not child friendly. As you can see from the pictures posted, most of the coastline is too rocky. You need thick slippers or durable aqua shoes to walk the shore. Water is mostly not clear. There were many floating trash nearby. We even collected many lost slippers and used it while walking. The sand is dark, but there are some spots that they probably improvised by dumping a finer sand (color beige) just to have a place to play at the beach.

What I like about the resort: At that time it was windy, you can sleep at the porch as air blows you to sleep. I even stayed for an hour under a tree near the shore and unwind to the splashing of the waves. Dinner was served outside and fresh air made us relax more.

For an alternative activity, you can visit the small old military structures (buildings, bunkers, fortress, and storage facility) during the Japanese-American war located at the other side of the island. The resort crew even gave us a free tour of the island riding the golf carts.

Overall, even if the beach is a disappointment, I am rating this resort 7 out of 10 mainly because of the non-aquatic relaxation I experienced. If you’re into photography, you can have many subjects / composition just by touring the island. By the way, the resort is facing where the sun rises.

Will I recommend this resort? It depends. If you’re more of into plunging at the beach, I’m hesitant about this place. But if you want a laid-back type of relaxation, or a roaming around photo enthusiasts… give this resort a try.

Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
6 Thank D_Roadless_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Makati, Philippines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2011

We are currently staying here for 3days2nights. Far from the frist time I went here 5yrs ago. The ferry did not leave on time, (sched 2:15PM) waited until 2:40PM because there were late comers. Arrived around 3PM. Place looks really old. Beach, no shoreline... rocks are all over the beachside. Snorkeling area, did not enjoy it at all. IN fairness, life jackets are great and snorkels are in good condition. Resort is not maintained properly. Pool is ok but the beach inside the resort is not operational. No water at all. Service this is my favorite part of my story. We requested to clean our room but they did not come at all, we want to request for new towels.. no one came to change it. Food in the restaurant (buffet) were not fantastic.. they were just ok. Drinks are not refillable, one juice per meal and they call it juice(taste like powder juice mixed in water). Prices are overrated! Staff are far from friendly, yes there were some that are very commendable but most of them forgot that their job is customer service... We have 12 tickets for banana boat ride (groupof 6pax) so 2 rounds each. They wont allow 5 or more to ride at the same time. So we decided to do it in 3's so a total of 4 rounds. The first 3 rode, then the next 3 - two ronds are down. Our next round is about to start and the man who assist guests who will ride their banana boat is rude when he found out that we will still ride our next round - he said " dapat hindi na kayo bumaba kanina dapat tinuloy nyo nalang para hindi nyo pinahirapan ang driver namin, dapat ganun mag isip" well, we wanted separate rides and its our ticket and that is how we want to use the ticket. 4 rounds in total for group of 3s. He should have not commented like that! We are guests who wanted to have fun that 's the reason we are on a vacation! Today is our last night, we went to the resto to eat (buffet) checked the resto. no one's there. asked the waiter and said that they will prepare the food. so we checked what are the food in the buffet table. we saw a macaroni with a FLY inside the bowl. there's this man/waiter - not the guys in green shirt, i think he is wearng the red floral shirt - came in advised us that the food will be replenished and told us to wait and sit first. ok we are more than willing to do that but I also tried to get his attention re the macaroni. I told him "excuse me, the macaroni has a fly" and before I finished - he said... "maam, its natural to have a fly, fly is just part of the nature". I told him that yeah, I know but the FLY is inside the macaroni bowl. He said that "ok will just change". AGAIN, may I reiterate that their job is customer service. No matter how busy they are, we are also guests in their resort and we are entitled to be treated well. He should have let me finished what I wanted to say and not LECTURED me about FLY is Natural to be flying in their resto. My point is that its not just flying its inside the bowl!!!! Damn!!! Am not stupid not to know that... we still have until lunch tomorrow and I dont know if they can still change OUR mindset about this resort!!! I will surely not stop telling this story to all my friends and friends of my friends!!! May not affect them too much but at least people will know what they have in here!

  • Stayed April 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank girlie_akoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2011

Grande Island literally operates an entire island so maintaining it is a big task for its staff. Falling leaves and food wrappers and packaging are hardly picked-up. The shoreline is also not spared from trash including the one in front of the housekeeping building. When we were there, housekeeping staff did not even bother cleaning the beach in front. Maybe they should organize weekend shoreline clean-ups.

The resort also suffers from poor customer service - they do things other than what you request them to do.

The place looks old and needs a lot of work. One of the rooms we booked did not have a bathroom door because of termite infestation.

On a positive note, the new duty manager said a new investor is spending a lot on upgrading and developing the island. Also, surprisingly, the rooms have free wi-fi connection!

Much has to be done to make the island a good place to spend weekends and vacations specially with its rich natural resources and historical value.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bluetourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 6, 2011

We were astounded at this hidden gem, we love the whole place, sent back the cold breakfasts, i love toast and tea so no worries. The rooms was so great, [better than what i have experienced on Corrigidor for example] the staff all over the island were so obviously genuinely friendly as opposed to city warmth and we have been here tow years now.

The facilities were very good and the honeymoon suite apart from a rather drab outside look] was stunning inside, absolutely stunning. Wished we could have stayed there, see their web site!

'Other facilities were great, a 1500sq m pool! etc etc, pity about the one dart for two dart boards and unswept snooker tables, but hey that was all free so no worries.
Loved snorkeling but wish i knew if there were sea snakes 'cos they sure looked like baby ones. What do Filipino ells look like anyway?. I was not taking any chances.

The food was, other than the cold breakfast servings [and that was a great pity because the omelet looked fantastic, its just the dining room needs a good maitre de] , was really really good. they are lucky in the quality of their chefs. And good generous servings too.
The overall value for money package was very good and we are tonight planning our next trip back. it was very very heavenly after working two years in not too nice inner Manila :~

Even as we think about it now, we are so grateful that the staff and especially the manager Leonel simply couldn't do enough for us. Toured us for free around sites of interest, including old gun emplacements and submarine, yes thats right, submarine facilities entrance, al-be-it blocked because of danger and no, i do not think that that was a P'noy hyper-bole! :) :0

Having started my working life in Hotel management in NZ, its the little things matter to me a lot, [as if the place was mine etc] so my 9/10 speaks highly of an overall experience and a place to stay!

Pst pic's coming later

All other places in all other counties will now have to compare favourably with Grande island, or else :)

"We shall return" :>

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PaddyTrusella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2011

Lunch was served as soon as the ferry arrived from Subic.
Day old cold, dry pork chops and bangus fillet that tastes like mud. (putik)
The shower room was filthy and the CR part smells of week old urine.
I ran out of the bathroom looking for the mgr who happens to be MIA. Where can you hide in this itty bitty island?
Don't waste your time and money @ GRANDE. Go anywhere in Zambales but not Grande. I'd been there 10 times and today is my last.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jpardis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grande Island Resort

Property: Grande Island Resort
Address: Waterfront Road | Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Luzon, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Central Luzon Region > Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Hotel Class:3 star — Grande Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 319
Also Known As:
Grande Island Hotel Subic

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