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“Great value for a comfortable room”
Review of El Portal Inn

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El Portal Inn
Certificate of Excellence
Red Deer, Canada
Level Contributor
71 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Great value for a comfortable room”
Reviewed 18 March 2010

My husband and I just spent 4 nights at El Portal Inn and it was very enjoyable, but we wish we would have spent one or two nights out at Alona Beach (on the nearby Panglao island) instead of all our time in Tagbiliaran because Tagbiliran is quite small. This was our first time in the Philippines and we didn't understand the layout of Bohol and surrounding area very well when we booked. Tagbilaran actually doesn't have much itself, but it's about 30 min drive from many great sights such as the Chocolate hills, the Tarsier Sanctuary, and Alona Beach. If you just want to tour Bohol island and see the Chocolate hills, Tarsiers, Loboc river, etc, Tagbiliaran is a perfect base and El Portal Inn is truly great value at 750-1000 pesos per night (less than $25 US). We had the hotel arrange a driver for us to tour Bohol for 2000 pesos and it was a great tour - the 2000 is supposed to be just a driver but our guy spoke decent English and provided info wherever he could.
But if you want to enjoy the island life and get some sun/water activities in, you'll need to get out to Panglao & the beach resorts/chalets, which are all about double the price of places in Tagbiliran. To do a daytrip to Alona beach from El Portal costs about 600 pesos for round trip by trike, which is about the difference in accomodation costs anyways! And it's not very comfortable getting there by trike but finding a metered taxi in Tagbiliran isn't easy.
Within Tagbiliran, El Portal has a pretty good location, close to the pier and the airport. There are a couple of small malls within walking distance of El Portal (about 20 min walk), or you can grab a trike for 25 pesos. Up the street from the hotel is a 24 hour mini market, as well as a gas station with a mini mart and a really great spit roasted chicken place (head up to the main street and take a left and you'll see a large chicken restaurant that only sells take out chickens but they are amazingly juicy and tender).
Our email reservation request was handled promptly by Jose, who also helped arrange the tour(substituting the Tarsier Sanctuary for the Tarsier encounter at Loboc at no extra cost!) and ferry pickup. The deluxe double room was spacious and very clean when we arrived, but there was a damp dirty towel in the wardrobe which led me to believe the cleaning staff had not bothered checking everything over. They don't come clean your room daily unless you leave your key behind at reception when you go out and ask for cleaning. This wasn't an issue, as long as we got rid of all food garbage in our room promptly because, like all places in the Philippines, ants are a common pest in Tagbiliran. No breakfast is included, but they do sell breakfast in their restaurant. Bathroom is a fair size and hot water works good, but water pressure is very low so expect a light mist type shower. TV had a decent amount of English channels. Free wi-fi worked great in our room and staff were super quick to respond when it stopped working once.
At this price point, I feel like the hotel staff provided very helpful and friendly service, and the room was great value so i would definitely stay here again if I returned to Tagbiliran.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Scar604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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126 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
626 reviews
115 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 403 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2010

I am a frequent visitor to Bohol although more usually I stay on Panglao Island but as I had some business to conduct I decided a few days in the city would be more convenient .
The EL Portal is a small modest hotel offering their basic Standard rooms for 950 Pesos per night, exclusive of a pretty reasonable cooked breakfast . My room was clean and perfectly comfortable, decent shower room, functional tv with a selection of programmes and the staff were very efficient and friendly and full of useful local information .
The BQ Mall in the centre of town is a 15 pesos trycycle ride away (5 mins) and the larger Island City Mall about 25 pesos and twelve mins .
I was pleasantly surprised with my stay .

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PutneySW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Makati, Philippines
Level Contributor
22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2010

1) Made a last minute booking, and surprisingly, it was handled well by Ms Thess, one of the Front Desk Staff.
2) Appreciate the FREE airport transfers, the driver, i think his name is Chris, not so sure, was there when I arrived, and made me feel welcome
3) Good of the hotel to be flexible in the check-in time. Honestly, I did not expect the room to be ready when I arrived, for my flight was the first flight of Philippine Airlines, arrived around 7am in the hotel.
4) The staffs are friendly and very helpful. I was on a business trip, out to look for suppliers for our Tour Packages, and I really appreciate the suggestions from the staff
5) In summary, the hotel is clean, safe, has good service and is conveniently located.

Note: This is a bed and breakfast establishment. Please make your expectations realistic. You have to equate the price you are paying versus their offering.

Lastly, thank you Thess, Mila, Rosalie, Chris, and Vergilio (Security Guard) for the good service. Mark and Ian, i think they are with housekeeping are a little shy, but very ready to help you out.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank valueplustraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manila
Level Contributor
103 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2009

stayed there with my family for 2 nights. we were a party of 6. 2 family rooms for only about US$100.00 for 2 nights! Isn't that great? they have cable tv, aircon, soap and towels, ref, glass. that's it.

food is delicious (not included in room rate) and super affordable. only problem is it will take half an hour before your food arrives. so you better order half an hour ahead if you think you'll be hungry after half an hour.

staff are friendly and helpful.

one of the best budget hotels we've stayed in..
:)

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank khrise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2009

Its a great hotel for value...rooms are nice has fridge a/c cable..
staff r nice and 24 hour security..easy walk to mall and food places.
free pick-up at pier.will stay there again.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bundy80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodland Hills, CA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2009

This is a convenient place to stay in Tagbilaran. The hotel is small ( about 15 rooms) but a great value for the money... there was cable T.V. and air-con. All the rooms are on the second floor. The staff was specially accomodating to my elderly parents.

  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ymorris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
42 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2009

I was determined to write a review after my first stay last year, however, never got round to it. When I revisited the hotel last month my stay was again memorable, hence todays rave review.
Firstly, the hotel is great for communicating with, emails are always answered within 24hrs.
Tagbilaran is from a tourist point of view the gateway to the Chocolate Hills, if that is your reason for visiting, let the hotel organise your day long tour of the hills and other interesting sights, they are competitively priced and deliver as promised, I know I have used them twice in the past twelve months.
Transfers from the airport or pier to the hotel are free , and check in is swift with formalities kept to a minimum.
The hotel rooms are basic, however, well maintained with comfortable beds, satellite tv (loads of channels), wifi internet access. The ensuite bathroom is modern and clean , and fitted with a hot shower.
Breakfast is excellent, cooked to order and others services include 24hr security and a swift laundry service.
I am not afraid to leave bad reviews, and indeed have done so, however, occasionally one discovers a little gem ......TRY OUT EL PORTAL.....you will not be disappointed

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank dromedaan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Portal Inn

Property: El Portal Inn
Address: 56 Belderol St, Tagbilaran City 6300, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Visayas > Bohol Province > Bohol Island > Tagbilaran City
Amenities:
Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 38 B&Bs / Inns in Tagbilaran City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — El Portal Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tourist Inn located in the heart of Tagbilaran City conveniently located within one kilometer from both airport and pier. Offering the best value and comfort for your money is what we aim for. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Portal Hotel Tagbilaran City
El Portal Inn Tagbilaran City, Bohol Province

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