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“Not quite what we expected for an inn”
Review of Villa Juliana Inn

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Villa Juliana Inn
Reviewed 4 November 2012

Booking was a challenge which should have been a sign for us. No emails or fax, only sms and phone calls which can sometimes be confusing. But the contact was polite and seemed kind so I decided to give it a chance. We stayed here because the good reviews from Trip advisor. Unfortunately we were unlucky during our stay.

The establishment does not provide a generator for guests, even for basic electric necessities like the water pump or an electric fan. The room they gave us had no windows we could open so it was quite stuffy. We didn't want to leave the door open because insects might enter the room. The water pump was faulty and was of course useless during the power outage so water was brought in pails from the manual pump ( poso ). On both nights, there was a power outage. We never experienced using the aircon or lights at night. A generator is must if you claim to be an inn in a town where power outages are frequent.

The sheets were quite old and had indistinguishable stains and also seem "thinned out". The cable reception inside the room was terrible which we usually wouldn't mind if only it wasn't raining so we could go out and explore the town.

The food was surprisingly disappointing. Sure the serving was huge but we expected a little more seafood and local dishes rather than the regular menu in manila.( pork chop, fried chicken, more pork etc.) They did serve us some crab, fish and squid but nothing memorable.We even skipped the 2nd breakfast to check out other options in town.

The people were kind and polite, at time too chatty and sharing too much information about their personal lives that made us quite uncomfortable. We came to have a good time, not to share the negativity. The only redeeming factor were the bangkeros, trike drivers and the help.They were all trying their best to help us have a good time despite the uncooperative weather. I think their positive vibes helped bring out the sun on our second island tour.

I wouldn't recommend staying here until they've improved their facilities and their menu. I would recommend the bangkeros, however. The inn IMO is not worth it considering the effort it took to travel to this town.

Room Tip: if you need to stay here, make sure you get a room with windows and specify the food you want to be...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank alias34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 8 of 9 reviews

Reviewed 7 September 2012

You would never ever forget to turn your heads and be amazed by Villa Juliana for its color stands out among other houses/establishments in the town center, it was really beautifully PINK.
We got their package for 3days/2nights with 2 time island hopping to be hassle free. Mr. Roger Reyes, the owner, was very accommodating and was able to offer us additional rooms if we wanted to. Actually, the rooms given to us can accommodate 4-5pax each. As to the food served from breakfast till dinner, it was yummy most especially the Crabs served during our first night. The staff of the inn were kind and helpful. All assistance needed by our group were all extended. The funniest thing about our stay here? ...THE POSO (deepwell)! Unluckily, the afternoon we got there, they're experiencing Power Interruption and they do not have generator. So the bathing after the island hopping, we had it in their POSO. It was an adventure and excitement to bathe with POSO.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank CharmingHoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2012

Since there were 10 of us, they assigned 3 rooms that are all good for 5 heads. We had extra beds for every room. I am thankful that they considered the fact that we will all be competing for the rest rooms and gave us 3 rooms instead. There were only 2 choices of dishes but the servings were huge, good for at least 15-20 people. They also offered free vdeoK which they specially rented for us. I did not see any crawling insect at all. The rooms are all clean and neat. We all felt safe staying here. The owners are very accommodating. They even assigned a personal helper to assist us during our Caramoan island hoping tour. If we would get the chance to visit Caramoan again, we would still choose Villa Juliana.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank GloRy01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2012

Stayed here for one night together with a friend. There's just two of us but they have provided us a room good for 6 people.

Process of booking: Text mr. Roger (or wife). Don't be surprised if there aren't any email confirmation or online payment. You can pay them the day you arrive there. you have to take note that this is not a hotel. It's a house that welcomes tourists.

Room is at 750/ night
we weren't sure yet if we should take the package so we just decided when we arrived there. Got these for only 1500: overnight accomodation / island hopping tour / transfer to and fro the inn and the jump off point and! a sumptuous feast of crabs and squid good for 5 people for dinner and basic breakfast. Not bad!

The owners are really nice, no doubt!

Since this is a typical province house (with just brightly colored paint), there is no wifi. Also for general info for Caramoan, there's no signal coverage for Sun users, so be warned. Globe works fine.



  • Stayed: March 2012
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4  Thank kcms2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2011

This hot pink-colored inn, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Reyes is hard to miss on the street. The accommodation is located about 15 minutes by tricycle from Guijalo Port in Caramoan (FYI: the tricycle ride should be p20 per person, not p30). It is also about 15 minutes by tricycle to the area where you catch the boat to go island hopping/exploring. When you enter the house, you are instantly welcomed by oversized vases, family photos, around the house. Mr. Reyes was accommodating and attended to our needs during our overnight stay. The spacious dinner/lounge area was a cozy hang out spot to just sit, chat and sip hot chocolate or coffee in, after a day out on the beach.

Pros: The rooms are great if you’re just looking for the basics – they are comfy, not to mention very brightly colored rooms, complete with A/Cs. The same goes for the bathroom – it has all the basics. The place is just a 2-minute walk from the town shops/sari sari stores and a 5-minute walk from the picturesque 17th century St. Michael church, oldest church in Caramoan. The dinner (which included Chicken Adobo, Grilled Pusit, Bicol Express – which was free and loaded with chili - and Crab curry) and the breakfast were pretty satisfying. Great value for price overall for the rooms and food.

Cons: The room we stayed at didn’t have any hangers or clothes hooks in sight. We did find ways to address that (using tables, picture frames as makeshift clothes hangers/racks). Oh, and there’s no hot water (not that that would be too much of a deal breaker in a tropical climate). Also, you can’t book via email to get an email confirmation for your booking. You have to either call or text Mr. or Mrs. Reyes to make and confirm your booking/room reservation.

Room Tip: These are tips of Caramoan in general: If you have no restrictions with time on your vacation, ta...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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4  Thank LGR_1118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2011

If you have low expectations this is an acceptable option. At least it is one of the cheaper options in town. The rooms are pretty basic. We looked at several of them before deciding on one. Most of the rooms do not have windows or toilet seats and there is a lot of mold on the walls. Although in fairness we looked at other guest houses in town and they all had the same mold issues. We did have a fair number of cockroaches in the room however, so we slept with the lights on. The owner is pleasant and is willing to help you organize tricycle rides etc. But be careful of arranging an island hopping tour with him as he booked us a boat that refused to take us to any of the islands. It was more of an island "hop" tour. We were back at the pier in less than 2.5 hrs. The boat driver made some lame excuse that it was too dangerous to stay out any longer - all the other boats didn't seem to have any problems. Seemed like a big scam to us. Whatever you do, do not pay the money to go to Gota beach. It is really a disappointment. The beach isn't that nice and all it really has to offer are the old Survivor sets which doesn't really justify the 300P/person entrance fee. Really in all honesty we didn't really see the appeal of Caramoan. The beaches aren't that nice and it is super expensive to stay here and troublesome to get here. Not sure what all the fuss is about.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Wendy2223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2010

Before going to Caramoan, there are a few things that you need to know beforehand. Caramoan is a typical Philippine province - it has a nice little town and many barangays. It is mostly beaches, mountains, hills, and dirt roads. Although when we went there, there were already cemented roads, but they're not yet 100% constructed. So if you want to explore it, be ready as it will be a bumpy ride. There are only a few cars as the only way to reach Caramoan is by sea travel on either a small or big motorized banca (wooden outrigger boat).
There were only two of us, it's quite a disadvantage as most tour packages accepts at least 10 people for their cheapest price (around 4,500 per person). I inquired 2 other resorts - West Peninsula, CMC Villa, and they could only give me a rate of 5,500 per person if there were only two of us coming. The others were too expensive for a non-beach side resort (La Casa Roa at 4,200 per room for two nights, Rex Tourist Inn at 1,500 per room per night, Vista Del Mar at 1,200 per room per night). An air-conditioned room at Villa Juliana costs only 700 pesos per night.
I contacted the owner, Roger, and asked if they were also offering complete tour packages. Apparently they do, at 3000 per person, no matter how many you are in the group - even if there were only two of us. This package includes our accommodation for 3 days and 2 nights (with air-conditioning), island hopping (the common package, the near islands, which costs 1,500 if done separate from the tour), food for all those days and nights, and transportation.
The room, to my surprise, is actually pretty decent. I read other people's blogs and expected the rooms to be very uncomfortable - threadbare, hard pillows, no blankets, no towels, has cockroaches, etc. It was the opposite. The entire inn, painted previously in yellow, is now painted in a light shade of pink. I normally despise pink, but the color actually looks quite pretty and not tacky. All of their rooms have 2 beds, at least 1 queen size and 1 single bed, so even if there's just two of us, we had a room good enough for three people. The comfort room is quite small, but decent. It was very worth it for 700 pesos a night! The only thing I didn't like was that they didn't have a hot shower. I knew this beforehand, but then again, I was on a tight budget and wouldn't want to pay a thousand more just to have a hot shower. The pillows were soft, and the blankets and bed coverings were okay - not high-end, but comfortable enough to sleep in. The TV in our first room wasn't working, and it was okay with us, but the owner's wife asked us if it was working or not. I think they had it fixed earlier, but the technician wasn't able to fix the transmission properly, so not all TV's had good reception. She asked us if we wanted to transfer to a room that had good TV reception and we did - for free. Sometimes the rooms have blankets and towels already, but if they don't, you can always ask them for it. They're very friendly and hospitable. Their service is not top-notch like a hotel service wherein everything is ready for you, but they're very accommodating. It feels like you visited your friend's province and stayed in their house --not everything is ready, but your host will always be willing to serve you anything you need.
The food was cooked by Roger and served whenever we were ready. If you didn't say anything specific, they will be the ones who will think of what to serve you. If you are allergic to certain food though, be certain to tell them in advance so they can prepare. You can also tell them what food you wish to be cooked. It will be nice if you tell them hours in advance, but far greater if you tell them days before. Again, it's like staying at your friend's house in the province - you can ask for coffee/chocolate/merienda/fruits at any time of the day. Their servings are really big! We always had food good enough for four people - and there were only two of us! We were a bit embarrassed that we couldn't finish all the food (even if we wanted to, because it was good).
Our tricycle driver was kuya Mar (Marcelino San Pablo - 09185854864), who is a very friendly old man. He would tell us stories about himself, about the roads, the people, and the province of Caramoan. He drove us to the Grotto on our first day. We arrived at 1pm so we were tired and decided to skip the other parts of the tour (caves, island hopping half day).
On our second day, we had our island hopping at the nearer islands (1,500 if you pay separately for this). We spent the whole day bathing in the sun and enjoying the nice beach. The great thing about Caramoan's island beaches is that whenever some other group/boat comes along into "your" island while you're there, you can hop back on the boat and transfer to an island if you wish to be alone. We visited three islands - Matunkad, Lahus, and Hunongan. The best beach that we saw was Matunkad, where we stayed the longest. In this island, there is also a big mystical bangus (milkfish) to be found in a lagoon. To get there, you will have to free-climb the rocks (which are sharp and high). Be sure to wear slippers or shoes so your feet won't get hurt. You can't swim in the lagoon though, for it is actually quicksand. But the bangus holds a very interesting story (ask your guide).
To get to the farther islands, you need to pay more. One farther island (Sabitang Laya) cost us an extra 500 pesos from our pockets. It was a really beautiful island as well, with a wonderful view of the sea, and great rock formations.
We had breakfast on the third day and left early so we could still go wakeboarding for half a day at CWC. The tour is flexible, so you get to choose what you want to do.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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18  Thank scarletsally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Juliana Inn

Address: Caramoan, Luzon, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Luzon > Bicol Region > Camarines Sur Province > Caramoan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Caramoan
Number of rooms: 35
Also Known As:
Villa Juliana Hotel Caramoan

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