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“First time in Donsol”

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AGM Beachfront Resort
Ranked #3 of 7 Donsol B&B and Inns
Australia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“First time in Donsol”
Reviewed 16 March 2014

Went to Donsol to see the whale sharks. Chose the AGM Beachfront Resort after reading reports on Trip Advisor. Hotel was good for the area and I would stay here again. The staff, (family business) were very helpful and friendly. Internet was basically non existent so leave your computer at home. They have a 'plug in' portable internet device if you need internet, one between all at the resort. Food was OK. Part of the pool was under repair but the main section was fine. Was great to swim after being out on the boats. Rooms are small but tidy. An older resort which is clean but shows age in fittings and inclusions.

Room Tip: We had an upstairs room. If I came again I would probably go for a room on the ground floor
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank BruceRichards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whalesharkindonsol, Public Relations Manager at AGM Beachfront Resort, responded to this review, 17 March 2014
Thank you for your comments, we appreciate it.

The tourist village of Dancalan, where most of the resorts/hotels are situated including the Donsol Tourism Center and boat terminal, is a strip of land about 800 meters to 2.5 km from the town proper. Broadband internet connection has not yet been extended to the village from the town. The “plug in device” we are using, so with the other resorts/hotels in the village, is a pocket WiFi modem which we put in the restaurant so that more guests can connect to the internet. It is actually a wireless device designed to create a hot spot at a limited range. It can support 5 laptops and several smart phones at the same time. Plug-in cable is necessary to re-charge the battery of the WiFi modem using a computer. An alternative would be to plug it in a power outlet in the wall.

The Jacuzzi is under repair to fix a leak in the tiles and pipes. AGM is situated close to the beach making it vulnerable to the South West monsoon from late July to early October. Sea water droplets from the splash of waves on the beach accumulate in the strong winds that move inland. This causes corrosion of fittings, fixtures and appliances in the property. Maintenance work is done regularly especially during the off season (June to October)
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101 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
57 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2014

Warning: Don't stay here on saturdays! A bar nearby turns up the music big time. Very loud techno music for 10 hours straight (5PM-3 AM). Ear plugs won't help... Yes, THAT loud. Ughh! And it happens every saturday, according to the security guard. I felt sorry for the locals who endure this torture every week.

Apart from that, this hotel has some ok rooms, which are located in the 2-storey building, and some really depressing rooms, which are the ones close to the pool. The professional hotel pics show you the nicer rooms only, so I was in for a bad surprise when I was given a room near the pool. However, I was transferred to a better room upon request without a problem.

If you come to Donsol for whale shark watching, cut your stay as short as possible. No nice hotels here.The beach is brown-grey and the town offers little of interest.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank MarOhv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whalesharkindonsol, Public Relations Manager at AGM Beachfront Resort, responded to this review, 16 March 2014
We offer our sincerest apology for the inconvenience caused by the music from the village center about 300 meters away where locals held a public dance every Friday in anticipation of the village fiesta. This activity commences from the last week of January until the village fiesta on 19 March to raise funds for community projects by the youth sector. The weekly public dance ends after the village fiesta. We have complained to the local government officials about this problem but no action has been done to appease the guests. While this phenomenon is steeped in local culture, we are also concerned about our guests who are new to this tradition.

On the other hand, our rooms are commensurate to the price of a 3-star resort. We do not pretend to be a 5-star hotel where all the amenities are first class. We also assure you that the pictures on our website are ‘as-they-are” in all types of rooms’. We did not photoshop nor deceive you with our pictures. We also hope that the higher-priced room, at least, gave you the comfort that you wanted.

Lastly, Donsol is not marketed as a white-sand-beach destination. Our market is geared toward whaleshark watching and other nature adventures. Thank you for these comments as we strive to continue to improve our services and facilities for the pleasure of our guests.
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Copenhagen
2 reviews
Reviewed 15 February 2014

This resort is by far the best in tha Donsol area. Nice surroundings, perfect swimmingpool, the rooms are spaceius and clean. The service is politie, and there is allways someone arround to help you. Walking distance to the whaleshark center. I can highly reccomend it

  • Stayed February 2014
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Helpful?
Thank Svendbent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whalesharkindonsol, Public Relations Manager at AGM Beachfront Resort, responded to this review, 17 February 2014
Thank you very much for the compliment. We truly appreciate your review.
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Manila, Philippines
2 reviews
Reviewed 3 January 2014

My husband, daughter and I decided to celebrate the New Year in Donsol. Our main reason for going is to be able to swim with the whale sharks. AGM is a budget friendly B&B. You really get bang for your buck. We're also concerned about security. Most of the other resorts in the area don't have a gate that closes off their property. AGM has a gate fronting the street and the back gate leading to the beach, both are securely locked at night. Rooms are pretty basic but kept clean. They have nice smelling towels and sheets. Basic for us is aircon, cable and refrigerator, all of which functioned well for us. The food is great! It's not gourmet but more reminiscent of good home cooking. I recommend their sisig, squid, prawns and bicol express. The omelets are good too! You will never have a problem communicating with the resort staff and manager. They are all very accommodating and they really go the extra mile to meet their guest's needs. The only downside to our trip was that we didn't get to swim at their infinity pool which was taking them forever to fill up. Seriously, we stayed there for 4 days and it never got filled. The beach is ok. It's best to swim early morning or late afternoon when the sandbars form. They have a calm ocean, no big waves at all. I wish the locals would start cleaning up their shore because trash is starting to accumulate at the beach. One of the reasons I recommend swimming when the sandbars are there is because it'll take you farther out where the sand is fine and the water clear and clean. The manager and I suppose one of the owners of AGM, Mae, lives within the resort compound. She's great! Such a nice and kind lady. Her brother Leo, we never got to see him though, is always prompt in replying to my email enquiries. You will also never run out of things to do in Donsol. My family enjoyed interacting with the whale sharks and the firefly boat tour.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank AngelaHarper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whalesharkindonsol, Public Relations Manager at AGM Beachfront Resort, responded to this review, 4 January 2014
We are delighted for the objective review of your stay at AGM. Glad too that you appreciated our brand of customer service, home-style cooking, cleanliness, and security. Our room rate is commensurate to the facilities and amenities available in the property. Whale shark interaction and firefly watching are the adventure activities that Donsol offer at its best. Unfortunately, the commissioning of the infinity pool was delayed due to circumstances beyond our control, one of them is unfavorable weather condition that setback the laying out of tiles. We sincerely apologize for this. The pool has since been filled up, the water treated and ready to use.

Coastal cleanup is a challenge we are faced in Donsol every year after the typhoon season. The flood waters from the huge Donsol river dumped debris and garbage from the interior villages to the shoreline of resorts near the mouth of the river. The local government usually schedule coastal cleanup in January when there no more typhoons are expected to hit the place. Swimming during low tide way beyond the sand bars is a smart idea.
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Hyderabad, India
Level Contributor
89 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2013

Went there to watch the whale sharks. So none but had a wonderful,hospitable stay for a couple of days. Very basic accomodation but very nice for this town, with very friendly service and wonderful owners.Great food .

Room Tip: Take the ones on the left as you enter as they have aircon.Also better in the middle as it is quiter
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank nikrang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whalesharkindonsol, Public Relations Manager at AGM Beachfront Resort, responded to this review, 4 September 2013
The management of AGM Beachfront Resort wish to thank you for the nice review of our place during your visit to Donsol. Please contact us for whaleshark sighting advisory should you wish to come back in the future.
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Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2013 via mobile

We stayed here after going first to gaddys place which was shut. The prices were very good and we got a free upgrade as it was off season. The owner arranged firefly watching for us and diving for the following morning, which was tricky as it was off season and a typhoon was brewing so most people had shut up shop. We ate some dinner in the resturant which was good, although the menu was limited due to it being off season ( we were one set of 2 in the whole hotel ). She also arranged a van to take us back to legazbi after our dive came back late to ensure that we didn't miss our bus. A good choice and we were glad we stayed there.

  • Stayed July 2013
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Helpful?
Thank theresa m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whalesharkindonsol, Public Relations Manager at AGM Beachfront Resort, responded to this review, 20 July 2013
We are glad you were able to catch the bus. It was indeed too late when you left Donsol.
Many thanks for the nice review. Hope to have you again when you come back to interact with the whaleshark. Just send us an email for advisory on whale shark sightings. Our website has a page to contact us.
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Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
156 reviews
143 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2013

We stayed here in mid February and, although we did see a whale shark (and a couple of manta whilst diving), we would definitely advise coming in the peak season of April where, apparently, sightings are far more common – we did speak to people who went home disappointed after seeing nothing. AGM Guesthouse is a very solid choice with a decent and reasonably priced restaurant. The rooms are quiet, albeit a little cell like, and have little character. Still, decent value for the cost and easy walking distance to the tourist centre, where all the whale shark spotting boats leave from – just rock up and put your name down for a particular time/day and they will find other people to share the cost of the boat hire – or not, if you want a private boat. After a few days we moved to the Elysia Resort (more expensive but in a different league in terms of quality) which is equidistant to the tourist centre but the other end of the beach. AGM was a solid, budget hotel - no pool but has small garden area, which is good as Donsol has no real beach to speak of. On the way from/to Lagaspi airport, take time to stop and get a view of the magnificent volcano that is featured on a Philippine bank note. We thought about climbing and might do so at some point in the future (although it did recently erupt, killing a few folk).

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank johnny_5_bellys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whalesharkindonsol, Public Relations Manager at AGM Beachfront Resort, responded to this review, 20 June 2013
Many thanks for the objective review of AGM. Our rate, is indeed, reasonable and commensurate to the facilities and amenities that we have. A meager size infinity pool is in the planning stage and, hopefully, operational by next year. This is in addition to the cable TV in every guest room and free WiFi in public areas. Our aim is to provide leisure activities after whale shark watching and other nature adventures.

There is really no guarantee of whale shark sighting every single day. The “butanding” as they are known locally, is out in their natural habitat, NOT fed nor enclosed in a net, caged as in other parts of the country. We take pride in this practice and protocol developed by Donsol Tourism Office and WWF. The animals are free to roam and hunt for food in their natural habitat. This is the challenge and excitement of whale shark watching in Donsol. It really helps if tourists stay longer, say, from 2 to 3 days to go whale shark hunting.
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Additional Information about AGM Beachfront Resort

Property: AGM Beachfront Resort
Address: Barangay Dancalan | Barangay Dancalan, Donsol, Luzon 4715, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Luzon > Bicol Region > Camarines Sur Province > Donsol
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Donsol
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
AMENITIES: All rooms are air-conditioned with private toilet and hot/cold shower. Cable TV is available in our guest rooms. Wi Fi is available in public areas only. The stand-by generator set guarantees power supply during power outage. Room rate does NOT include complimentary breakfast. ROOMS, ETC: 1. Standard Room - with queen-sized bed, good for a couple, 2. Premium Room - with queen-sized bed and a single bed, good for 3 pax. Additional person on a roll out bed. Maximum of 4 pax. 3. Twin Room - with 2 single beds good for 2 Pax. Additional person on a roll out bed for a maximum of 3 Pax. 4. Family Room - with 2 queen-sized/double beds. Additional person on a roll out bed for a Mmximum of 5 pax. 5. Function Hall - Our function hall can be rented for parties, reunions, weddings, and other occasions at. The place, which has a seaside view, can accommodate 100 persons. 6. Picnic Huts can be rented for daytime outings. Check in: 12:30 PM; Check out: 11:30AM TRANSPORTATION: We provide airport transfer to and from Legaspi City airport and other tourist destinations in Albay and Sorsogon Provinces for a fee. DINING: Our restaurant caters to any gourmand's hungry cravings. We offer freshly caught fish, crabs, shrimps and other sea foods. Meat lovers will have their fill of tender meats prepared to satiate any epicurean's appetite. Vegetarian foods are also prepared according to guest's preference. TOUR PACKAGES: We arrange tour packages for AGM guests (who prefer to have their activities ready when they come) and clients of accredited travel agents for an additional service charge. Our Tour Packages include any or a combination of the following: • Accommodation • Food • Transport to and from Legaspi City airport • Whale shark interaction • Firefly watching • Island hopping in San Miguel and Ticao Islands• Diving in San Miguel and Manta Bowl • Legaspi City Tour (Cagsawa Ruins, Lignon Hills, Old Daraga Church, Embarkadero) • ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) Adventure from Cagsawa Ruins • Albay Tour (Legaspi City Tour, Mayon Volcano Rest House and Huyup-huyupan Cave) • Sorsogon Tour (San Benon Hot Spring, Rizal Beach, Bulusan Lake and Barcelona Church) • Transport to Sabang Port (gateway to Caramoan, Cam Sur) from Donsol. Travel time is 4 hours by land. SWIMMING POOL with JACUZZI: Free use of Pool for hotel guests. Walk-in pool users are also welcome. Please contact the management for rates. The Jacuzzi is available for use of hotel guests and walk-ins for a fee. Please contact management for the hourly rate. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Agm Beachfront Hotel Donsol

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