This was the first time I've gone to Puerto Galera and didn't know what to expect. To get there from the port of Batangas, you'd have to ride a "Motorized Bangka" to "Muelle" Pier at Puerto Galera. It took about an hour or so, but I guess it depends on the bangka that you are going to ride. Please do not make the mistake of choosing the Father N Son "Penguins" (Yellow and blue boats) because they tend to fill the boat with passengers before they leave the port. It took us a good 30-40 mins of waiting on the bangka before they decided it was almost overloaded. To top it off, the boat driver didn't seem to know what he was doing, so I admit got a little paranoid. When we got to the "Muelle" Pier, we were greeted by (I guess) one of the porters of the resort, since we arranged a pick-up from the pier. We waited about 5 mins. for the "Multi-Cab" to pick us up, but from the "Muelle" pier, it just took about 10-13 minutes of narrow, winding roads to get to the resort.
Upon entering the resort, we were greeted by Roselyn, one of the more friendly and reliable staff here at Blue Crystal. We signed in and we were quickly escorted to our room. It has a nice facade with double doors and a small veranda. Upon entering the room, you will be able to see the minimal, but rustic decor that makes you feel right at home. It has two lamps beside the bed and opposite the bed would be the big dresser and mirror. Beside the dresser, there is an armoire which houses the mini refrigerator and on top of that is a 21" TV which has cable. The room also has a walk-in closet where you can find an electronic safe to house your valuables. The bathroom has a pretty big tub which doubles as the shower area, wall to wall mirrors, sink and toilet. I have no complaints at how clean the room was when we arrived. It was well-kept and smelled fresh. The position of the A/C could've been better because it was directly beside the bed which froze my brain cells every night.
There were some things that I didn't particularly like about this place and the first of which is the beach. Since the area is like a cove, a lot of the trash and debris wash up on the shore. I don't seem to recall anyone picking up the trash and discarding it properly. Deadwood and trash are scattered all over this stretch of beach (even in the other resorts next to this) and now one seems to care. If you are looking for sand, you'd be very disappointed. The beach itself is rocky and more so underwater. You'd better be prepared and bring along some really sturdy aqua socks if you don't want your feet to get a nasty cut.
The staff here is very friendly. They always greet you with a smile and a warm "Good Morning, [afternoon, or evening]." However, a few staff members still need to be trained a little more because I sometimes felt that I was overlooked a couple of times. One of which was when I asked for an extra pillow and was not given one until we asked for it again the next day [but they redeemed themselves when they gave us 2 instead of only one]. Another incident was when I asked housekeeping to "make the room" and they forgot to take the trash bag from the counter after they removed it from the trash can. Of course, these are very minimal slip-ups that could have been avoided.
Security here is non-existent since there are no security guards and the gates of the property are made of bamboo which can be easily pushed by anyone who wants to come in/out.
Now, there were 3 things that bothered me the most. One was the supply of hot water. There isn't enough hot water when you want it. They explained to me that there was a limited supply of about 100 gallons [give or take] and if a guest decides to fill the tub, everyone else will have to wait 40 minutes for the water to heat up again. So, you don't really have hot water when you need it [unless you have ESP or some special ability to sense when someone is not using it].
Next, don't you just hate it when you're on vacation... sleeping... when suddenly you are woken up by the sounds of screaming children in the morning or drunk people at night?! I know it's a resort (and there are other people there), but I'm there to relax and sleep as much as I want. I don't want to be bothered by inconsiderate, ill-bred bunch of yahoos who think that they are the only people left on earth. It should be the responsibility of the resort to tell these Neanderthals to keep the noise to a minimum so as not to bother the other guests [but sadly, NOT].
Lastly, and probably the biggest of my gripes... was the food. I'm very picky about food and the resort had a restaurant that served all kinds of different dishes such as Filipino, American, Italian, etc. [which costs a WHOPPING P190-P350/serving and P25/8 oz. soda]. The resort provides a complimentary breakfast of your choice. There are several different dishes to choose from, but I always ordered the Filipino Breakfast because I like the "si-log" in the morning. However, it wasn't until the second breakfast that we noticed that there were some missing elements from our breakfast. For example: "Tapsilog" (Beef tapa, garlic rice, egg) with coffee and fruit/fruit juice [they would only serve the tapsilog and the coffee NOT the fruit/juice]. It was only on the last day (and after reading the menu carefully and pointing it out to the server) that we got the complete set. Don't they know what's supposed to go with what?! Yes, it is complimentary (or maybe it's part of what you paid for), but at least the people in the kitchen/restaurant should know that the order is not complete and should not serve it out until it is. The food is insanely expensive, the portions are too small [except for the pancit bihon which was delicious and reasonable at P190] and the preparation is comparable to a low-end restaurant in Manila. Honestly, I wouldn't pay P100 for that breakfast [which actually costs P250]. I wish they would do something about this, so that the guests wouldn't have to leave the resort to eat elsewhere [like we did].
For those of you who are adventurous and are trying to save a few pesos, there is an inexpensive place in town called "Chow Queen." It's not exactly 5-star quality food, but it's not a 5-star price for a 1-star meal.
On the way home, we got the "Brian" Bangka which was scheduled to arrive/depart at 5:30PM but was delayed for almost 2 hours. So we actually left White beach at 7:20PM. I suggest you try to get some other "Bangkas" (other than the ones we got) if you don't want your vacation to be ruined.
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- Also Known As:
- Blue Crystal Beach Hotel Puerto Galera