Category Archives: Hotel or Hostel Reviews

OSAKA, JAPAN: HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA

We decided to stay in Hearton Hotel KitaUmeda, during our first time in Japan. And I can say, that if you are going to Osaka (and you don’t have much money like me, but is traveling with another person) then stay here. I highly recommend it!

hearton hotel kita umeda

I could say that from all the hotels I stayed during my first time in Japan, the Hearton Hotel Kita Umeda is the most spacious. It is still cramped but  is the most spacious (did I confuse you? lol). Well,  compared to the others that I have stayed at at least it still has space to bend over  (since most of the hotels in Japan is small, they are good at limiting, cramping spaces) It is really hard if you have a lot of luggage, because the space is good for only 2 people. (WTF I can’t properly describe it. lolz, anyway, let the pictures speak for themselves).

HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA TWIN ROOMS

The price is right (cheap to mid-range hotel) however, this is good if you have a traveling companion because you will be able to split the cost. I paid 3,537 PHP for my one night stay. It also has a good location, it is 2 minutes walk from the nearest subway, so going around the city is a breeze. However, going to the main train station (to go to other main cities, such as Kyoto or Kobe) it is about 20 minutes walk or a 5 minute taxi ride. Also, one good thing about this hotel is that it is located 10 minutes walk from the bus stop of the Kansai Limousine Bus line (airport bus).

The front desk staff speaks good english, and the check-in was fast. Strictly no dilly-dallying. The breakfast is free, and is good even though there are only a few selections available. And also they have a nice well-lit lobby. I could say that this hotel, is mainly for business travelers, because it is like a no-nonsense hotel, meaning, it has no (in filipino term, pagarbo) luxurious decorations and such. It is simple and direct to the point. (WHUT? haha)

HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA LOBBY

Since Osaka was our first stop, this hotel was the first hotel that I’ve stayed at in Japan, I was very surprised with the toilet. It is a bathroom where the shower, the toilet seat, the mirror (which is fog-free *yeah, i was so amazed haha) and the sink is one whole fixture, and they installed it at the space where the bathroom should be. It’s like it was a ready-made bathroom and you will just need to put in on the space where your bathroom will be, and voila, you have your bathroom without mounting separately the toilet, tub and sink. and also the flooring is made of plastic (not tiles). (I’m so confused on how to explain this. english skills lacking. lol


As for the room. As I’ve said, it was small but still spacious compared to other hotels in Japan (that I’ve stayed at during my first travel in JP). The beds are really comfortable. We ordered a twin room so we got two beds. The single beds are not really single beds per se, it is a tad bit smaller than what we call single beds in the western world and the Philippines. hehe. But, still it is very soft and comfortable.

HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA BED IN TWIN ROOM

The room is also furnished with a television, an electric kettle, telephone, airconditioning and coffee and tea

HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA AMENITIES 2HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA AMENITIES

And also, I was so in love with their YUKATA’s (sleep wear) hehe

HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA YUKATA

  • VALUE FOR MONEY: 4 STARS
  • LOCATION: 5 STARS
  • COMFORT: 5 STARS
  • AMBIANCE LOBBY: 3 STARS, ROOM: 5 STARS
  • SPACE: 4 STARS (BY JAPAN STANDARDS)

 

Budget Place to Stay in Boracay, Philippines: White Beach de Boracay

Boracay is well known for its nice beach. It is said to be comparable to the beaches in the Carribean, with its powdery white sand and beautiful cobalt-blue waters BUT the good thing in this tourist destination, is that you can have a nice vacation without bankrupting your savings account!

beautiful.

Boracay might seem expensive to anyone, especially for most Filipinos, but because of its popularity, a lot of hostels, guesthouses or even homestays have already mushroomed all over the place, making it a not-so-expensive-place-to-be for your summer vacation!

One of these hotels that cropped up is the White Beach de Boracay. We availed of their early bird promo, by which we reserved our room about 1-2 months before our arrival. We decided to book it beforehand since our vacation will be during a very peak season, as it is would be in April. 😀 The room we stayed in is a quadruple, since we are “supposedly” 4 people traveling together. We paid P2000.00 each for the whole 4 days 3 nights stay.

facade of the garden view white beach de boracay, sorry for the blurry pic, my camera got water/fog on the lens 😀

They have two hotel areas, the other one is situated in Station 1 near Starbucks, which they call as the white beach de boracay beach front view. While the other one is located between Astoria and D’Mall, this area is what they call as the garden view. We stayed in the garden view, since it is cheaper. Although it is not beach front per se, it is just 2 minutes away from the beach, and the serenity during the night is the best. no loud music. just the hum of the air condition! 😀

The place has its own bathroom with hot and cold water, clean white sheets, television with cable and aircondition. There is no free breakfast, but the location is just a few minutes away from D’mall where you can eat your breakfast in the trusted-Andok’s Chicken (for affordable food) or buy bread in Julie’s Bakeshop and other groceries in D’mart.

However, there is no mini-bar but there is a refrigerator where you can put your groceries or liquors. There is also no hot-water boiler/kettle, but you can ask the caretakers who are staying behind the hotel building to heat some water for you. 😀

When we arrived in the front desk/reservation office, which is situated in the beach front area,  the staff immediately gave us orange juice to quench our thirst. And they were very courteous.  They also gave us some snacks to eat. Then, after few minutes, we were guided by one of their staff to transfer to the garden view area. And then…. we immediately put sunblock on and enjoy the beautiful view of Boracay!

This hotel is a hassle-free, no-frills hotel. It is cheap, but clean, and beautiful. There is house-keeping, so you won’t have a problem of staying in a sandy room. Or if they don’t come that day, you can always ask the caretakers.

CONTACT DETAILS:

CELLPHONE NO: 0905 473 2200

TELEPHONE NUMBER: Manila (02) 359 8804

                                                        Boracay: (036) 288 6103

FB ACCOUNT: https://www.facebook.com/whitebeachdeboracay

HAPPY WANDERING!

Budget Place to Stay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Manay’s Transient House

The place where we stayed in Puerto Princesa is called Manay’s Transient House. It is nothing fancy, but I assure you that the hospitality they showed us is comparable to a 5-star hotel. All I can say is that I’m such a happy customer 🙂

Budget Place to Stay in Puerto Princesa: Manay’s Transient house

They might not give you the amenities and comforts of a 5 star luxury hotel, but they can give you their warmest smiles and greetings! And believe me that in this transient house, you are not a mere guest, but you will feel that you are a part of their family. By staying here you will feel that you have brought a piece of  home with you.

I’m a person who is really choosy about the places to stay, so, if I had a chance I will research about every single hotels/hostels in that city, and choose an affordable yet decent place to stay. However, for this trip, I was not the one to book or plan it, since we are in a group, and I’m just a plus one (+1, in Filipino, Sabit). My mom’s office mate was the one to book this transient house. To elaborate, my mom and her office mates attended a convention conducted in Puerto Princesa  and since my mom told me to go. I didn’t say No, because I love traveling and it’s a good chance for me to explore Puerto Princesa.

We are a group of 14 pax all in all. Some stayed in a different hotel, but my mom’s office mates being spendthrift and all, opted to use this transient house.

For the very first time in my life, I’m the one who is in the passenger’s seat—meaning I didn’t do anything for this trip, they were all planned beforehand by other people–I’m not really comfortable with that idea, but still, It is okay, sometimes, I feel like I need a break with my being Yannah-the-know-it-all.. so It was a good break and experience for me.  My mom warned me that I should not expect anything from the place we are going to stay, and so I didn’t but what I did not know is how hospitable the people were. They are really helpful and always smiling– I thought I’m in a 5 star hotel when they shared us those warm greetings. It just felt like home!

I should warn you that this transient house is not for those who wanna splurge, it is very simple, but what made me write a review about it is the impeccable service that they provided us. They are really hospitable. Aside from that, the place is really cheap and clean too! 🙂

HOW CHEAP? Hotel (P1200 per night for 4 persons including airport transfers). So, it is like P300.00 per night. Coffee and Breakfast are also served. Clean Linens are provided. You can also ask for more discounts if you’ll be coming by groups of 10 or more.

They will provide for your needs like airport transfers, van/tricycle rentals and even underground river permits! The owner always serves us with a smile, and they even give you trivia about the place, it is like having a host and a tour guide all at once!

The owners are really nice and helpful…. we experienced how helpful they are…. We needed to rent a tricycle to bring us to the Honda Bay Port, we didn’t arrange it prior to our arrival in the City, or even the night before, hence deep inside me, I know that we’ll have a hard time looking for a ride. Luckily, the owner is very helpful, he told us that he will contact someone for us. Take note that we asked for his help at around 6 am. And amazingly at around 6:30am we already have our driver!

The location is in a residential area but is only a 5 minute ride to the city center, just ask the owner to bring you to the area of choice and they will do it, or just hail a tricycle outside the transient house and your on your way to the city center.

By the way, my mom saw a squirrel (rare in Manila and other parts of the Philippines) in the vacant in front of the hostel. 🙂

The transient house is good for 10 or 12 persons. If you are traveling in a big group like us, maybe this is a good choice for you.

Facade of the main hall/house with our group.. You can spot my mom somewhere there! 🙂

They have 2 rooms, or may I say Cabanas that is separated from the main house of the owners, This is basically a homestay but you have your separate cottages. There are a total of 3 buildings, the house and the two cabanas/cottages/buildings–where guests stay at 🙂

The 1st cabana/room is good for 4-5 persons, it has its own bathroom (don’t expect a shower though, there’s only a pail and a dipper). The 2nd one is good for 6-8 persons (double deck beds), outside of that room is a kitchen where another bed is located, it also has en suite bathroom.

The 2nd Cabana with the 2nd room and kitchen
The 2nd room
other view of the 2nd room
The 1st Cabana with 4-5 pax capacity, this is where we stayed, see the bag and the hat, that’s mine! 🙂
1st room good for 4-5 pax
Room 1 another angle, sorry, I took this photo when we are about to check out 🙂
see the TV??
Bathroom, no shower, just dipper and pail, no flush though, de buhos type, haha, but It is clean though and if you are just staying for few days, and in a tight budget this will do 🙂

Contact Number:  Papa Armi–owner 09198094745

You can also ask him to help you with your underground river permits if you decided to stay in this hotel. 🙂

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OTHER POSTS FOR MY PUERTO PRINCESA ADVENTURE, LIKE ITINERARY, BUDGET, TIPS AND OTHER REVIEWS OF PLACES I VISITED.

Manila Hotel: Why it should be part of your Manila Itinerary

In my last post, I added Manila Hotel as a place of interest. Not only that there is history embedded on it. The place is also a luxurious place to dine and relax without making your wallet cry that much! 🙂

The preserved Manila Hotel's facade

Well, I already experienced staying in this hotel way back in 2008, it was cool, clean and comfortable—and expensive! 🙂 However, this is not a review for my hotel stay, but an  explanation why this place should be part of your itinerary during your stay in Manila.

Not only that it has a beautiful scenic architecture, it also has a wide spacious lobby, where you can order coffee (which costs (P120.00) or ($2.79USD) and enjoy the surrounding and the feel of being a royalty–err–general. You can also roam around the exact structure where the Generals during the American era walked and danced their hearts out. If you are thinking if there is an entrance fee, nah! there’s none, I already told you that as part of your itinerary, you can just relax your soul and enjoy a cup of coffee here.

So that you can really know the importance of this place, lemme tell you about its history:

BRIEF HISTORY OF MANILA HOTEL:

This hotel was created during the American era in the Philippines. In 1908 when the Americans, leaded by Judge William Howard Taft, wanted to create a city plan for Manila, they also started building this hotel grandly–with high ceilings and 169 rooms.

This place became the hotel for famous individuals and politicians during those times – mind you, it is almost as old as the Malacanang Palace where the Philippine President stays.

While in 1935-1945, General MacArthur and his family made this hotel as their home here in the Philippines, since he was recommissioned in the Philippines as requested by the Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon.

If you don’t know General MacArthur, then here is one brief info about him: he is one of the heroes who helped the Philippines escape the hands of the Japanese. Filipinos love him because he didn’t break his promise when he said “I shall return”.

“He was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the U.S. Army, and the only man ever to become a field marshal in the Philippine Army.” (Wikipedia)

While in December 1941, the Manila Hotel became the command post during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. The Japanese also attacked this place and made the penthouse on fire which unfortunately consumed all the personal belongings and the military library of Gen. MacArthur (Manila Hotel Website)

The Hotel was fixed and restored to its former grandeur and until today, it still stands as one of the heritage sites that the Americans left the Philippines.

NOW: MY YUMMY EXPERIENCE IN THIS HOTEL

So, I decided to go here today (March 10, 2012) to experience again how grand the hotel is and catch a glimpse of history…

I walked through its beautifully decorated lobby. Asked the frontdesk/reception on how much the rates are, and sat on one of the sofa chairs in the lobby while observing the people who passes by 🙂

The Entrance of Manila Hotel... beautiful doors
The elegant lobby of this hotel perfect for making grand entrances!

The reception told me that the price of the rooms are:

1. Superior Deluxe: P7995.00 or 185USD

2. Grand Deluxe: P6995.00 or 162USD — I don’t know why this is a lot cheaper than the Superior one 🙂

3. Sunset/Sunrise Suite: P17343.00 or 403USD

There’s also a pianist who seemingly knows how to play with the piano. Her music is great! I listened to her for 3 minutes then went on to Cafe Ilang-Ilang to have my lunch

Piano in the lobby

Before I arrive in the Cafe Ilang-Ilang you will see the elevators going up to the guest rooms:

The Hotel elevators 🙂 Beautiful Carpet feels like Royalty

Then, I arrive in Cafe Ilang-Ilang: I’m actually pretty scared on how much I will spend for lunch in this very expensive hotel– see, how much I love you, I went there just to check if how much and how yummy the food is 🙂

Cafe Ilang-Ilang in Manila Hotel

I was amazed when I got inside the restaurant! It changed! the last time I went there, I cannot see its beauty, maybe they renovated it; now, its WOW! it is beautiful! an eye-candy! definitely a place of luxury!

After the employee assigned me my table, and she left to get something, I furiously looked for my wallet to check if I still have money to spare! I don’t want the same thing to happen to me when I was inside the MV Logos Hope. 🙂

My neatly arranged table! 🙂 I dined solo, so they took away the other napkin and utensils

Anyway, when the waitress went back, she brought the menu, I flipped the menu in a fast manner and caught myself seriously looking at the prices, and boom! I exhaled in relief–thank God! The prices are not that expensive compared to some hotels!! I hope the waitress didn’t notice me sigh..harhar!. The price ranges from P300.00 to P750.00—thank God!

After, I ordered, the waitress left my menu, so I happily took a pic of it...
Korean Food Menu and Prices in Cafe Ilang-Ilang Manila Hotel
Other entries in Manila Hotel's Cafe Ilang-Ilang

I asked the waitress on what’s their best seller— I was suddenly shocked on what I said since this might make me buy such an expensive steak! Good Lord! But thanks to thee, there is no expensive steak, and the waitress told me that their best sellers are there Korean menu— so, as a Korean food addict– I tried their Bibimbap which costs 330.00 without the 10%service charge.

I was asked to wait for 20 minutes for my order, I told them that it’s alright since I’m not yet “that” hungry and I will roam around the area first and is expecting to be seriously appalled by its mystery.

Anyway, I roamed around the restaurant and caught myself shamelessly taking pictures! Oh Gosh! If I’m not yet a blogger and I’m just a guest, I will be ashamed of myself right at that very moment… Now, I’m asking myself why I’m doing this?? haha..

Empty Table next to me
Other corner in Cafe Ilang-Ilang

Actually, this restaurant is mainly buffet, so, there’s a lot of buffet stops! Which makes me hungry—Now, I can’t wait for my ordered food! If only I have P2000.00 I will try this “full-filling” buffet.

I think this is Sushi Bar 🙂 Yum! I'm getting hungrier!! 🙂

Filipino Food Area in Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang-Ilang. Look at the Lechon! Yum!
I think this is an Italian Counter in Manila Hotel's Cafe Ilang-Ilang
Wines Wines Wines that costs bucks bucks bucks 😦

Now, I went out to see the pool area which is coincidentally near my assigned table. I went out took some pictures and unknowingly staring at the sexy guy swimming out there—JOKE!

The pool in Manila Hotel-- I guess its quite small... 😦
Look at the cute sunbathing chairs in the pool area. I wanna go there but its so hot, it is 12nn so I don't wanna risk getting an accidental tan! haha! 🙂

Anyway, I went back and sat down while comfortably waiting for my food. I didn’t order any drinks…since you know, I’m poor! haha.  Then after a few minutes, they served me soup. And then I asked myself– Oops, is that included in my order? If not, I should not eat it I don’t have the money to pay for it! They should take it away…— I thought like that for 5 actual minutes when I realized maybe its part of my order, so I sipped it and loved it.

The controversial soup 🙂 The picture shows how fatty it is but up close and personal--I didn't notice 🙂

Then the next minute they brought this seemingly small bowl of bibimbap– a mixture of various vegetable, Korean hot sauce and rice. I was like “Only this?” haha, then I started digging in, and they brought a side dish of Kimchi, and other leafy vegetables.

The Yummy Bibimbap! Yum Yum Yum!
The Yummy Food I got 🙂 Love it! 🙂

I was shocked on how heavy the food was! the rice is different than the usual rice or even usual Korean rice! So, I was like having a difficulty breathing because I was really full!

Then, After eating everything–since in Filipino culture, you should eat everything in your plate–since Filipinos believe that if you don’t, you will be punished by God– so, as a Filipino I pushed myself to finish what I ordered–so, there I was… really amazingly full! haha.

The Taste? all I can say that it is delicious! The yummy sauce they added in the bibimbap is indeed first class! It is yummy with a tangy, sweet, sour, spicy taste which is totally different from all the Bibimbap’s I tasted– trust me on this, I tasted a lot of Bibimbap in my life believing that I will have the same beautiful skin of the Koreans when I often eat this Korean delicacy. Anyway, trust me, its yummy! 🙂

Then, I stayed there for awhile asking for refills of water and looking at my GTab and searching the net… I was extremely happy and my mood meter is high as it can be. I’m glad that I’m dining here even though I don’t have more money to spend.

After being chilled to the bones of the ridiculously cold air conditioning they have inside the Cafe, I went out and relieved myself in the comfort room.. then went out the lobby and took some pictures.

Another Restaurant in Manila Hotel. This one is a Chinese Restraurant

By the way, there’s a total of 4 restaurants in this hotel 🙂

Moving more to the right of this restaurant, I found this hall, this is called Fiesta Pavilion, a convention hall of Manila Hotel. The decorations are really beautiful.

Look at how grand the halls near the entrance of Fiesta Pavilion

After getting enough eye-popping scenery, I sat down in one of the chairs and realized that it is also a cafe; since I wanna stay more in the cold and comfortable place, I ordered an ice-cream. The ice cream costs P142.00 or $3.30USD. Although the taste of ice cream doesn’t have a difference to ice creams sold in the grocery, it’s still satisfying.. 🙂

The elegant lobby of this hotel perfect for making grand entrances!

After that, I started loving the chairs where I’m seated and stayed there for almost an hour. then, I went home 🙂

This place is just the right one to visit after going to Intramuros– which is really tiring! After walking a lot in Intramuros I suggest you go here, relax and enjoy the old yet charming vibe of this so called- Manila Hotel.

It is now your time to see grandiosity and history in one place! you will definitely love its interior!

How to get here?

If you are from Intramuros (if you are following my 3-day itinerary) then you can walk (at least 30 minutes walk) or you can ride a taxi (cab fare is only P50-P70 or $1.16 or 1.627USD)

If you are using the LRT then ride until UN station, get off and take a cab 🙂

Contact them here:

website: Manilahotel

Address: One Rizal Park, 0913, Manila, Philippines
Telephone: (63) (2) 527 0011
Fax: (63) (2) 527 5348

The Oriental Hotel: Legazpi City’s 1st 5 star!

Well, I haven’t exactly stayed in this hotel but we were given the chance to have a peek on how grand and how beautiful the place is…

The Oriental Hotel

Last December 26, 2011, I decided that I wanna eat my dinner in the new posh hotel in the city. So, my brother, friend, nephew and I went to The Oriental Hotel which was formerly known as Mayon International Hotel (MIH).

This hotel is located on top of a hill/mountain, where you can see a beautiful view of the Mayon Volcano during the day and the cordial city lights during the night. When we arrived, the twinkling city lights caught my attention–It made me stared for it for awhile.

Anyway, I want all of you to know that this is not a sponsored post, I just want to share one of the place you might want to stay if you are seeking for luxury and beauty.

They have 3 kinds of rooms. These are the Deluxe, Suite, and Governor’s Room. The price ranges from P6,500.00- P25,000.00 ($163-581 USD). Well, it’s quite pricey but the interior is nicely decorated, and I think the price is reasonable since it is touted as a 5 star hotel.  Moreover, they have this unique color that I don’t usually see in hotels–WHITE. The lobby, the bathrooms, and the rooms are all white–even the corridors! I am amazed yet I’m really scared for the management since this color is really hard to maintain…

The lighting of the rooms makes the wall looks yellow, but it is actually white.

Anyway, this hotel looks like a huge art gallery. Its white interiors is perfect for the exhibition of various paintings and other works of art.

As for the facilities, they do have an elegantly designed Spa which they call as The Oriental Spa; they have jacuzzi inside (which I really wanna try). There prices starts 500-1500 Pesos ($11-35USD).

Well, let’s move on to the FOOD. Well, we ordered 3 varieties, Tinolang Manok (Chicken Soup), the specialty of Bicol– Bicol Express and the Bicol style Bagnet (Crispy fried pork, which is usually a specialty of Ilocos Philippines, but they added coconut milk and chili, which made it in Bicol Style)

Definitely Yummy! (left–Bicol Express, uppermost center– Bagnet, right– Tinolang Manok)

I forgot to tell you that Bicol, Philippines where Albay is located is well-known for their spicy and coconut-milky foods. And here in this hotel is where you can taste real Bicolano food– which is surely yummy and healthy!

The taste is Amazing! The Bagnet definitely melts in your mouth, while the Bicol Express (pork with coconut milk) is also yummy, and actually, this is the most delicious Bicol Express that I have tasted. The Chef really knows how to tickle our taste buds 🙂

All of the food we ordered are yummy! And for your information, we only paid 1300.oo pesos or ($30USD for this yummy feast). The food served is good for 3-4 persons 🙂

The staff are friendly–which should be common in all hotels– But, what really caught my attention is on how they are very very friendly and accommodating. The assistant head waiter had even given us a lot of tips regarding what food we should order and explained the food, the ingredients and the taste very well.

As for the location, it gives a good view of the Mayon Volcano but the problem is that it is in a hill, so you need to ride their shuttle bus to get to the city center. But don’t worry it is just a 5 minutes ride :). They also offer free airport transfers…

The people are so accommodating that it made me wanna post a review–even though I haven’t stayed in there….

I saw the staff’s eagerness to serve, the posh and modern design of the rooms, and the cleanliness of the hotel– so, I guess, I would say that this is really nice place to stay.

TRIVIA: The present President of the Philippines stayed in this Hotel (Governor’s Room)

To see their current rates, you can contact them here:

Tel No: (+6352) 435-3333 or (+6352) 435-5555

Web: www.theorientalhotels.com

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT ALBAY PHILIPPINES (ITINERARY, HISTORY, REVIEWS, PLACES TO EAT, MUST SEE PLACES ETC.)

Caramoan, Philippines: West Peninsula Villas– A Nice Place to Stay in this Lovely Paradise

The villa is inside a baranggay in Caramoan, it will take you 10-15minutes to jump start your Island Hopping adventure. Although it may not be near the beach, our stay is worthwhile since hailing a tricycle was never a problem, especially if you stay in this place! The place is located near the red church which was built by the Spaniards during the 17th Century, and it is within the center of caramoan.

The villas are beautiful, roomy, has a cabled television, an airconditioning unit and an electric fan, and has its own bathroom which has a water heater. The place is also a wifi-zone (though I haven’t tried it). The decoration is simple yet relaxing. What we had are two single beds which we merged in to one in order to accommodate the three of us.

What is good about this place is the FOOD! they have big servings and all are delicious. It was always a sumptuous meal (Now, I remember how yummy they are! Yum!) You won’t get hungry when you go here!–trust me, this is true, that’s why I gained a couple of pounds when I stayed here! 🙂

Although we are 3 women traveling together, the food served is good for 5 persons or for 3 men….The food served is really is sumptuous, it is really like a festival or a fiesta!! Seafood (giant shrimps “sugpo” and crabs), pork and fish were served during our stay there. These sumptuous meals were only served during lunch and dinner time. Breakfast were the usual Filipino breakfast such as egg, fried rice, tocino, tapa or ham with free hot chocolate or coffee.

This place has its own karaoke and beer place where you can hang out during the night. And also this place was the one being used by the staff of Survivor TV shows. And actually each of the cabanas are named to each of the contestant of the said TV show. And there are also things used by Survivor contestants displayed there (e.g. ball, ladder etc).

As for the staff, they are very friendly and accommodating, you can tell them what you want and they will do it for you, for example, telling them to pack the left-overs (which were left untouched during the dinner) and reheat and pack them for tomorrow’s island hopping adventure. They also give you extra towel if you need one although they already provided you enough towels for your stay. They also cooked us french fries even though it wasn’t in their menu! Moreover, water is also provided; there is a big water dispenser there where you can get your cold or hot water for drinking.

As for the rates, i learned about their rates through my sister who asked how much was the rent there, and they said that one cabana/villa cost at around P1500 room rate only without the meals. Although I’m not so sure about the rates since I did not ask them personally, it is better to contact them directly or hire a travel organizer or buy a travel package. We bought our travel package to a travel operator there, and they put us in this hotel. We paid 4,300 for each persons for 3 days 2 nights stay all were included such as food, hotel accommodation, island hopping adventure tour etc.

I really had a nice stay here in West Peninsula Villas.

Tips:
1. Book early, especially during the peak seasons (march-May) as this is one of the best in Caramoan and tends to sold out immediately. For my trip, I actually did not expect that this will be the place where we will stay since I booked it through a travel operator in caramoan (Caramoan Haven). The tour operator said that this place is the priority hotel;  when there are available rooms they put their guests here.
2. Bring bottles for refilling water. Drinking water is needed for your Island Hopping adventure, you can refill them in the water dispenser found in the restaurant in west peninsula
3. Bring a Lot of Sunblock or tanning lotion (depends on what you prefer)
4. ENJOY!

Hope this helps!!

Room Tip: Contact and reserve to them early as possible (if during peak seasons, at least 1-2 months before your arrival in Caramoan)

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT CARAMOAN/ ITINERARY/ HOTEL REVIEWS/TIPS/PLACES TO VISIT/HOW TO GET THERE ETC. 

Macau Casa Real Hotel: A “So-So” Hotel

Right after my stay in this hotel, I put a ranting of my bad experience in tripadvisor. But, suddenly, now I understand some of the aspects of what happened… what made me feel bad is that I expected too much for this hotel and it definitely failed my expectations…

As for the objective part (no bias whatsoever):

This hotel has a good location if you wanna visit the places in downtown Macau, such as Fisherman’s wharf or the other major casinos, but this hotel is far from the well-known Venetian and City of Dreams.

The rooms are simple and lighting is poor (the lighting is so deem). Clean Bathrooms and with complete complimentary bathroom stuff (toothpaste, soap, toothbrush).

No noise coming from the outside so you can sleep very well…

In my review below, the italicized sentences/ words are what I added for my current post.

And here starts my ranting:

Summary: Bad experience with the Chinese staff, especially with the front desk staff and the security guard. BAD TREATMENT TO HOTEL GUESTS, room is like of 3 star hotel, no view, so little window. Location is near to some sights but far from the major sights such as Venetian and City of dreams.

EXPERIENCE:
Well, I decided to book my stay (with the help of my travel agent)  because of all of these wonderful reviews from the other tripadvisor members. I decided to get this hotel because of the alleged  nice service, nice and spacious hotel rooms and such— and because of this I got a good impression and great expectation from this hotel however, everything failed.

Before we went to this hotel on December 25, 2010 we came from a 3 day stay in Hong Kong and we are kind of tired and the temperature was beating us to a pulp (we are not used with the temperature of 4 degrees celsius and because of that we haven’t explored the city as soon as we stepped in macau. (Maybe that is one the reason why I got so angry with them… and also we just stayed in L’Hotel Nina in HK so I’m expecting somehow a good room to greet us, anyway, I understand them already… Forgive..Forgive…Forgive)

We stayed in the hotel, and the front desk staff (Chinese) gave us a room in 629 and 534. the other as triple room while the other is with double beds. So, we first went to the other room (534) where my brother and his son (3 years old) and wife will stay; we found that it was quite nice, with a big window and seems to be fully refurbished (though there is nothing to see in the window; there’s no view) so there I was expecting too much that our room will be much better or the same with them.

However…

When I opened the door of 629, it is nothing like the other room downstairs, It is old, with a little window and without a view and the bathroom is eeking dirty and the flush does not work quite well.

So…

I’m disturbed of what I saw therefore I called the front desk staff and asked for change of rooms but I spoke with a Chinese girl employee and she did not grant our request even though I told her that I’m willing to pay for a higher price but she just ignored me coldly and said that we should be contented of what we got (Woahh?! What a thing to say to a paying customer… be contented of what we got???!)  My head seems to be blurry and I’m really angry of what that staff said; (I’ll understand if you just said there is no available rooms! But you said be contented of what you got???! Now, my head is spinning again!)

I had stayed in a 3-star hotel in Macau called the Best western Taipa Hotel and I might say that it’s much better to stay there instead of here since at least the service there is good and is nearer to the main attractions (Venetian and City of dreams),  moreover, they price there is much more cheaper and…Taipa Hotel has big rooms and big windows with a view!

This so-called 4 star hotel room wise— the best western taipa is much better, roomier, cheaper and cleaner than this one

More bad experiences:
After we walked the city the day after we checked-in and we are just waiting for my brother from the comfort room. My mom, who is 58 years old, kind of closed her eyes in one of the couch in the lobby, because she is tired (and the weather seems to be singing a lullaby) but not as enough to be called sleeping, one of the staff (one wearing black and seems to be a security guard) was rudely pointing his index finger to my mother (who is also looking at him, since my father alarmed my mom) and he still continued to go near my mom and he did not say a word but shook his head after seeing that my mom was fully aware of what he is doing.

I asked him what his problem but he did not say a word. I just thought that there should be no sleeping in the lobby. I might say that the policy is okay, but hey, my mom is not really sleeping like a pig in the couch, it seems that she is just tired and unknowingly almost fell asleep of waiting for my brother. Moreover, the action of pointing instead of informing us gently and professionally that there should be no sleeping is such a rude way of stating the policy knowing that we are one paying customer.

The rude way on how they treat their guest is a big no-no! (No sleeping signs in the lobby anyway! if they doesn’t want a guest falling asleep accidentally then they should put a big damn sign of NO SLEEPING! (Okay, Now I understand that Sleeping in the lobby is really a no-no to hotels…. and MAYBE the reason the security guard just pointed his index finger is because MAYBE just MAYBE he doesn’t understand English… okay.. I’ll understand.. I’ll understand.. Forgive.. Forgive…)

The same guy who showed that bad attitude with my mom, also showed a bad thing with my 3 year old nephew. This happened earlier than the incident with my mom but I never put it into heart (but amplified because of the incident which he did to my mom).

My 3 year old nephew, so excited of the next hotel we are staying at was so energetic that he is quite running to me and to my brother, however, that guy stopped my nephew by saying loudly “Hey! Hey! Hey!” then holding him to the arms  and with a louder voice said  “stop running”. Such a rude way of stopping a little boy knowing nothing in such kind of a thing. furthermore, if they don’t want running then put a no-running sign! (Oohhh!!! This is making me crazy! I remembered this again! That guy is really rude, he should be fired! This is not making any good for the hotel… I know that running in the hotel lobby is bad but he is just a kid… he doesn’t know anything about these “rules” Tsk! So Bad!)

The way that the employees of this hotel treats their guests are very RUDE! however, this being compensated with some Filipino staff who were very helpful to us such as Alex and Aileen. They helped us for the places we should go. As well as for the bell boys who always helped us for our luggage (they are very helpful) and I commend that.

This is the only hotel that I experienced such BAD TREATMENT to hotel guests. Alright, this hotel have such good service in terms of some of your employees but some of them TREATS YOUR GUESTS RUDELY! and we experienced such.

LOCATION:

One good thing about this hotel is the location, near the macau ferry terminal (but it won’t help you if you’ll ride the Cotai Strip ferry from Hong Kong since it uses the Taipa ferry terminal; you can use Turbo Jet if you like but make sure that the arrival terminal will be in Macau ferry terminal since it uses both of the terminal/ports.

The hotel is also near to Sands and the Fisherman Wharf, as well as the Grand Prix museum and Wine Museum—It’s just walking distance (Good right?!) However, nothing much to see there—(I realize, how angry I am when I was writing this post..haha). Better to spend your day in Venetian (you will enjoy taking pictures there and it is such a good place to spend your day shopping or taking pictures)– Venetian is far from here, it crosses a long bridge before getting there so taking a cab is expensive (as for filipino standards) take the bus instead if you are on a cheaper budget.

DINING:
the breakfast buffet doesn’t have much to offer. They also served some spoiled food, my father said that one of the sausages he got does not taste the same as the others. And I tasted it and indeed it is spoiled (the smell says everything–Or maybe it just smells that way???)

The staff in the buffet takes time before getting the used plates. Kind of annoying since the plates are crowding the table already– though not a big deal

The taste is not that excellent– just okay– however the carbonara pasta they served had caught our attention since the taste is great but far from excellent (But in fairness to them, the taste is really good! Thumbs up!!)

there are also stores or dining stalls near the area and they offer in good price and they have english menus and the taste was excellent. (we dined near the overpass going to fisherman’s wharf, quite behind the hotel and it was great!)

Okay, so if you wanna stay here then you can… this post is just mainly my experience with them maybe yours will not be like this 🙂

Lessons Learned:

  1.  Don’t be too picky (You might be irritated by the front desk staff)
  2.  Don’t close your eyes in the lounge area
  3. Don’t run in the lobby
  4. If expecting too much.. Stay in a 5 star hotel

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