We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great building and trips; Impolite, immature staff”
Review of Harolds Mansion

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Harolds Mansion
Ranked #19 of 56 Dumaguete City B&B and Inns
Reviewed July 13, 2013

The best things about Harold's is the building itself and the trips. The place is 4 or 5 stories tall with a huge range of rooms. Mine was very comfortable and even had a balcony. Inexpensive, too. The roof is huge patio area with couches, pool table, food, and drinks. Very nice. I took the Apo island trip as a snorkeler (the others were divers) and had the most incredible time. The boat was big and beautiful, coffee, drinks, and snacks were provided, the boat crew were friendly, and the diving/snorkeling locations impressive. I swam with giant turtles. It was probably one of the best days of my whole trip to the Philippines.
There is one reason this place gets 4 stars instead of 5; the staff. I'd say most (2/3) of the staff are just normal people doing their job, but every 3rd employee I ran into there went out of their way to be rude to me. This included eye-rolling, reluctant answering of questions, snickering, impatience, with-holding information (like what is for breakfast), laughing at me, and just general disrespect. It's sort of like there are a bunch of 16 year old girls with 16-year-old-girl attitude problems. (maybe they were 16?) They did a good job of making me feel really bad about asking for anything and sorry for myself for even existing. I watched these same girls do the same to other guests and really upsetting people. I don't know why Harold employs these people who clearly do not like tourists.
With that said, I just kept away from those employees as much as possible (they were usually working on the roof-patio and one at the front desk) and I asked other tourists my questions instead.

Room Tip: The dorm can be a little wild with so many travelers so you might consider getting your own room. M...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Amy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (498)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

253 - 259 of 498 reviews

Reviewed July 10, 2013

I've stayed here twice while doing some work at Silliman, and despite the middling grade I give it, I will probably stay here again.

Harolds Mansion offers a low price for decent rooms, there is no hassle from the laid-back (if not super professional) staff, and a very relaxed and friendly vibe. Location is good, 10 min walk away from the chaos of the downtown waterfront and beside the Silliman University campus. The walk through the campus to the downtown is safe even at night and there are plenty of "tricycles" on the streets if you want to catch a ride of walk.

However, this place has some serious irritations. Most annoying to me personally- it is LOUD. First, the potentially-lovely roof terrace is ruined by the fact that the staff plays American teen-pop at earsplitting volumes out of giant speakers. Even during breakfast, and that is not the way I ever want to wake up. As well, the AC units are noisy in AC rooms. And even on the third floor, street noise (and exhaust smell) will seep in to your room, because the balcony doors don't close tightly. Bring earplugs if you are a noise-sensitive person.

Remember: you are in a residential section of a midsized Filipino town. Every morning, there are roosters. Every evening, there is videoke. One day, someone a half block over was making charcoal, so the entire area was engulfed in smoke. To get away from this sort of normal neighborhood stuff in Dumaguete, you will need to pay a lot more. Note that my "average" grades given here mean "average for the Philippines," meaning not that clean by American or European standards, but pretty good by SE Asian standards.

It seemed like the Lonely Planet (2012) description of the place was a bit over-enthusiastic... but I have found that to be the case for a number of that book's entries in the Visayas region. I wonder if the place is going downhill service-wise due to the owner splitting his attention between the Dumaguete hotel, the eco-lodge out of town, the dive boat and excursions, full dive school, etc.

I still think Harold's Mansion is the best option in Dumaguete, as long as you can tolerate the drawbacks (which are considerable).

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank inconsistency
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2013

This place is a really nice place to relax and regain your energy for the rest of your trip. We enjoyed the rooftop to hang out, socialize with other travellers and play some pool. The friendly staff was able to give us information on where to go. -Wifi worked without problems.- (p.s.: Try the pizza and the mango shake!)

Room Tip: The rooms with shared bathrooms at the rooftop can get a little hot during the day and a bit noisy a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Seabass91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

When I arrived I was actually pleasantly surprised how clean my dorm was and more so at the fact it had its own bathroom that included a proper hot water shower! The toilet paper wasn't always stocked but there are plenty of boxes of tissues on the roof so you could always just pinch a few of them or ask a member of staff (there's loads walking around cleaning etc.) to re stock it for you. The dorm had its own lockers in but you have to provide your own lock. They sell them at the reception but they didn't have any in stock when I was there. You also get your own safety deposit box at the reception area.

The wifi doesn't work in the rooms, you have to go to either the roof or the reception to use it and it can be a little temporary sometimes but didn't seem to be down for too long. There are two computers in the reception that are free to use. There was never a waiting time to use these, I pretty much just went on them whenever I wanted for however long but there wasn't ever anyone waiting for them.

The roof was a really nice place to hang out day and night, it was really relaxed and the food was cheap enough. There was live music on the oyster night and the barbecue night. I don't like oysters but apparently they were really good, and they were free! Always a great atmosphere in the roof.

As for the diving, I went on 2 diving trips to apo island as an un-qualified diver and on both trips the dive staff were really friendly and helpful both times I went which made the experience even better. The trips run on demand, you have to write your name down and if other people do the same then your going but if your the only person who has put your name down then your not. I was slightly apprehensive about this at first, but I was surprised how popular the dive trips were (especially the ones to apo island) and wasn't let down. Try to wear a wet suit even while snorkelling in the rainy season as there are lots of tiny jellyfish there. I got stung quite a few times without my wetsuit on. Didn't leave a mark but stung a little at the time and was incredibly irritating

I didn't experience unfriendly staff when I was there. In fact whenever I saw the staff they were always singing and joking with each other. The reception was very helpful with all my questions about bus times and how to get to the falls etc. they even have their own laundry service for about 20 pesos per kg, they say you can pick it up the following afternoon but I had to wait another day.

To sum it all up, the atmosphere was really great. Everyone was very helpful and friendly towards me throughout my stay. Rooms were clean and comfortable. Free breakfast and wifi as well as free tea and coffee throughout the day. Very good value at only 250php for a night in one of the dorms and a pleasant stay all together

  • Stayed: June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JasOver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2013

This seems to be another place where you're experience can vary wildly, mainly dependent on whether you get to meet the legendary Harold or not. We did not. We only got to meet the rude and indifferent staff who made us feel like us staying there was making their lives difficult. The staff on the Reception desk and serving the breakfast all behaved in this way as if they really didn't want to be there. The roof terrace is a nice place for a drink but it mainly seemed like a place for the staff to hang out together. We stayed 3 nights and wanted to do the snorkelling trip to Apo island. The staff couldn't confirm whether we were actually going or not until 10pm the night before - I think they just forgot to tell us. The trip however was really good and we swam with lots of sea turtles which was amazing. Wouldn't bother staying at Harold's Mansion again though.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank SLM27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2013

What I like most about the hostel is the friendly and accommodating the staff. They helped us in figuring out what to do in the city and they suggested ways on how we can save for our trip. You can't have any better hostel in Dumaguete City than the Harold's Mansion if you are on a budget and a backpacking trip. Also, I enjoyed the free bicycles they offered. We were able to save some our budget because of that and it made our trip more fun and exciting. The hostel is just in the perfect location. It's at the center of the city making everywhere accessible right after you walk out the door.

For suggestions, I hope they will offer free wifi in the rooms for convenience. However, they have free wifi on the lobby and on the roof deck which I think is better than no wifi at all.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jasperdelapena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2013

This backpacker place offers you a good place to stay.
The dorm is alright: clean sheets, AC, bathroom was alright as well.
Only one functioning computer with internet at the entrance and no option to sit down, but it is non the less present. The people at the front desk did not seem to be in a good mood the 3 days that I stayed there, the personnel upstairs however was polite and smiling. The laundry service across the street is faster than the in-house service, in case you are in a hurry.

The biggest value is in the communal space on the rooftop. A relaxing student-ish vibe with plenty of opportunity to kick back, relax and meet people while you are there.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank E S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Dumaguete City hotels
0.5 mi away
Hotel Essencia
Hotel Essencia
#14 of 35 in Dumaguete City
315 reviews
0.6 mi away
Check Inn Pension Arcade
Check Inn Pension Arcade
#26 of 35 in Dumaguete City
50 reviews
0.8 mi away
No photo provided
White Knights Dumaguete
#23 of 35 in Dumaguete City
2 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.3 mi away
Go Hotels Dumaguete
Go Hotels Dumaguete
#16 of 35 in Dumaguete City
190 reviews
7.4 mi away
Liquid Dumaguete
Liquid Dumaguete
#5 of 16 in Dauin
323 reviews
0.7 mi away
Gabbys Bed and Breakfast
Gabbys Bed and Breakfast
#5 of 56 in Dumaguete City
48 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Harolds Mansion? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Harolds Mansion

Address: 205 Hibbard Avenue, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Negros Island > Negros Oriental > Dumaguete City
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 56 B&Bs / Inns in Dumaguete City
Price Range: $15 - $28 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda and Ctrip TA so you can book your Harolds Mansion reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Harolds Mansion Hotel Dumaguete City

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing