We went to Puerto Princesa, Palawan last March 4-8, 2014. With me were The New Mrs. V (wife), Baby Bagyo (baby), Ru-FB (sister 1), and Ninjanine (sister 2). You can read the first part here. That post was also my comeback piece after a three-year hiatus from blogging and needless to say, I enjoyed it a little too much. This is why I’m smacked right in the middle of a possible three-part epic post, detailing every activity we did and every place we went to.
So without further ado, let’s finish this bitch up!
We continue on the 2nd day circa 2pm after our short stint at Robinsons Palawan, about to check in to our 2nd and main hotel.
Read me – UPDATE
This post was supposed to be “Palawan virgins no more – part two”. I originally intended it to cover at least days 2 to 3 of our 5-day vacation. But, lo and behold, I didn’t realize I had so much to say about the hotel. So, it became a semi-review/rant about Microtel.
Microtel by Wyndham Puerto Princesa, Palawan – k lng.
Our relationship with Microtel Palawan did not start on the right foot. Influenced by my wife’s passion to harbor all-encompassing hate, I saw them as mapagsamantala in their marketing. I will not dive into the details of our scuffle with them but I will tell you that it all happened during the booking period. With that said, I will admit that my opinion of this hotel is slightly tainted.
Let’s start with the architecture and the ambiance of the hotel (naknamputs).
Vantage point is at the very front of the hotel. Beside the signage is their main entrance.
Same vantage point but looking left. This is also the side where our room was located.
Same vantage point but looking right.
Same spot but with my back against the hotel (so this is what’s in front of the hotel). The hotel sits on reclaimed land and according to one of the staff, this area is still reached by seawater (through tunnels or passageways, I’m guessing).
This is what you see standing right in front of the main door. (Lovin’ the walis, ha.)
Upon entering, you turn left, enter a 2nd door and this is what you see. The front desk is now to your right.
Baby Bagyo just loves that round sofa thingy.
This is what’s in front of the front desk. The New Mrs. V waiting for her turn to check in. Ru-FB nakasagap ng Wi-Fi at nag-FB.
That’s their front desk. On duty was the less-attractive receptionist who was not named Ice.
This is the right hallway on the first floor. To the right of the TV is the front desk.
This is the dining area where they serve buffet breakfast (when the restaurant is in use).
The back of the hotel, right side (right if you were facing the facade).
The back, left side featuring one of the lazy hammocks. This is not the immediate beach; this portion is elevated as you’ll see later.
The swimming pool.
Another view of the swimming pool showing the restaurant and the small kiddie playground (like).
We’ll never forget that swimming pool because it’s where Baby Bagyo first learned how to swim “all by herself.”
I guess I have nothing bad to say about the way the hotel looks in general. It’s not spectacular, but it’s definitely way above average.
Look at the 4th photo from the top. That’s the front of the hotel; there’s no visible form of sibilisasyon in sight. The hotel is located in the middle of nowhere and is one of those places you stay put on come nighttime. There was this one time The New Mrs. V ran out of smokes in the middle of the night and no one, not even the staff, advised us to go to the nearest sari-sari.
Looking back, I think we would’ve done okay if we settled for a non-beachfront hotel. Microtel’s beach is one that could use quotation marks. You could literally walk 2 kilometers without any usable, swimmable ocean. During low tide, you get a barren sea of sand the size of 10 football fields.
Like I said, the hotel sits on elevated land. This is their beach during high tide, photo taken at exactly 12:19 PM.
Come low tide, the water disappears like there’s no tomorrow. This is the same area; photo was taken at 5:20 PM.
Hotel’s at my back and I’m looking straight. See those two trees? The hotel put lights on them. Seriously, may kuntador dun.
Hotel’s at my back and I’m looking slightly to the right.
Went down the beach, walked straight, looked at the hotel.
Walked a little bit to the left.
Here’s a photo that shows the “sea of sand.”
Just look at the scale of that. See those two dots? Those are Ninjanine and Ru-FB.
Muddy patches everywhere.
Finally reached the end. The open sea—Sulu Sea.
The journey back to the hotel begins.
That is freaking far.
The only use we had for this beach was for our impromptu sandcastle-building session. Sayang lang ang swimsuit ni Baby Bagyo.
For some reason, I forgot to take detailed photos of the room. It was okay, though; I remember it having nice blue floor tiles that were easy to keep clean (yes, those are the things I remember). We got a room with 2 queen-sized beds and they were standard, hotel-issue ones (nice, in other words). It had a beach-view balcony that was really small, probably around 4 by 2 feet. It had a nice flat-screen, possibly a 32-inch one; it had a small ref, a lighted cabinet, and a desk. The bathroom is okay, but I can’t forget my one peeve about it—it didn’t have a removable shower head (the one with a hose), only a permanent overhead one. A removable one is very important especially if you’re trying to bathe a child or hose down sand-filled slippers, shorts, bathing suits, etc.
This is the only photo I have that shows part of the room.
Here’s a little extra something that happened on our last day there. The hotel was host to a kiteboarding event thingy. This was taken from our room’s balcony.
I expected so much from Microtel, especially because I wanted my preformed opinion of them reversed. Had the hotel been A+ at everything—location, amenities, service, etc.—I would’ve still considered them the right choice, but, sad to say, it didn’t.
Final thoughts – pros
They do have a free shuttle service that will pick you up from the airport, bring you back to it, and bring you to nearby spots such as restaurants. But I feel it was already born out of necessity due to its middle-of-nowhere location. Still, it’s a plus. They have shuttle schedules spread throughout the day that can take you anywhere reasonable.
Final thoughts – cons
Ah, here goes. Although explicitly stated on the terms and conditions, I still hoped they would forgo the extra-person charge. We booked a room for 3 that had two queen-sized beds; there were five of us (1 baby). Upon checking in, boom! We were charged Php 750/night per person, which meant 2 x Php 750, x 3 nights — an extra Php 4,500 added to our total cost. Ouch. Okay, why am I ranting about this even if it was already to be expected? Because hotels of this caliber (price range) should not charge for extra occupants, unless maybe if the guests ask for extra cushions or extra breakfast coupons. This, to me (based on experience), is an unwritten rule in hotel management 101 (but what the heck do I know). For one, how do you think people are able to stage bachelor parties in hotel rooms? They (bachelors) sure as hell aren’t going to pay extra for the strippers’ lodging, am I right?
Here’s another thing that pissed me off in a na natawa nalang kami kind of way. This hotel charges Php 150 for Wi-Fi access to the room. Wi-Fi is free at the lobby, but if you want it in your room…pay up, bitch! Seriously? Uso pa ba yun? Pati sa bus libre ang Wi-Fi, ah. Again, especially for a hotel of this caliber.
I also felt the staff did not go the extra mile. They weren’t rude or anything, and to be honest, they did not not do anything we asked or requested. They were polite, as expected, but I just feel a lack of sincerity behind their smiles. I really don’t know. Again, I was just looking for the extra mile or the rockstar treatment (rrraawwkkstar pa naman ako).
Holy ginataang tulingan, Batman, I didn’t realize I had so much to say about this hotel!
Pak shet. I may have to rethink this Palawan series of posts. I’ll just let this one be only about Microtel. This means I may have a possible 7-part novel in the making. Damn.