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“Comfortable but some rooms could use a new facelift”

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Portofino Beach Resort
Ranked #41 of 53 Hotels in Puerto Galera
Reviewed 28 January 2012

Overall, Portofino is nicely situated, about 5~10min walk from Sabang so it's quiet and next to Action Divers (where we took diving classes) and a wonderful restaurant called Full Moon.

The staff is friendly and accommodating, after we checked-in we asked to see if we can take a look at other rooms and potentially change our room. The staff was kind and arranged another room for us. Every staff we met there had a smile on their face, which was great.

The rooms, unfortunately, are a bit worn down and some of the rooms have a dark wood furnishing. While the rooms are spacious with kitchens, the kitchen counter tops were occupied by ants and the cooking-ware weren't clean.

I would say that the rooms here are good for travels who travel in groups and can utilize the nice big living room but not so much for couples looking for a romantic or pampering getaway.

Room Tip: Ask to see rooms because rooms are furnished differently. Personally, we thought room 21 was a bit...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jack C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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34 - 40 of 68 reviews

Reviewed 2 January 2012

This is very good beach, and all filipino people use this cheap place for relaxing.
Staff is very friendly.
I will prefere this beach then other expensives beach with huge entrance fee.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank Arild V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2011

Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera has a good variety of hotels and scuba diving facilities and is reasonably accessible from Manila for a short holiday. We booked a "dive & stay" package with Action Divers / Portofino Beach Resort; which meant either a low cost room or discounted diving, depending on how you look at it.

With the new toll-ways completed we drove from Manila to Batangas Port in just over an hour and left the car in the secured "park & ride" area; beside the Jam Lines bus from Pasay. It is a short walk to the left from the parking area to the Terminal Building; but through an onslaught of men promising assistance and discounts. Just ignore them.

Outside the secured Passenger Terminal building are the individual booths for each of the various banca-ferry companies and the even larger Si-Kat Catamaran ferry. Departure times are posted; but look carefully yourself for the NEXT departure time, or you may be sold a long wait. Buy your "port ticket" and pay your "environmental" fee and the total cost is about Ps280/pax. First / Last ferry from Batangas Port to Sabang Beach: 08:30 - 16:30.

Proceed through the X-ray machine into the secured terminal; which is comfortable enough with air-con, adequate seating and various food outlets. Sit near your exit-gate or listen for the tanoy-call for your particular boat. The crossing to Mindoro is about 1-hr. One of these bancas sank in 2010 with loss of life; so grab the nearest life-jacket (which make comfortable back-rests).

Someone will always want to carry your luggage on and off the boat for between Ps30-50/piece but, to avoid an argument later, make sure your cash offer is clear BEFORE handing over your luggage. The ferry will arrive at the unfinished "pier" at Sabang Beach; where you will be offered banca service to your resort. Small LaLaguna Beach is a Ps150-200 ride on a small banca (for 3-pax & 5-bags, including dive-gear).

At Portofina Resort we were offered a "double upgrade" from our standard room reservation to a one-bedroom suite; with all the mod-cons and a hearty breakfast included. Unlike a regular hotel, the individual units are owned by, well, individuals; and just rented-out by the resort management. Several units were for sale, but I was not tempted to ask for prices.

Our room was well maintained but rather dated looking, with dark floors, doors and cupboards. The bed was super comfortable and the a/c worked well. Parts of the resort were closed off or under repair; but we were strangely not disturbed by any work being done!

Action Divers is just steps away from Portofina resort on the beach-front. It is obviously a well run and very organised dive operation; offering three 45-minute dives per day; and a night dive if you want one. Every dive went off on time and divers joined and left daily.

From the resort it is a 10-minute walk into Sabang town proper where there are many restaurants, shops and the ubiquitious Disco Bars. There are also several nice restaurants nearby along Small La Laguna beach. We really ate a lot too much and the time went by much too quickly.

In summary the location was fine for us, we were comfortable enough, the staff was friendly, the food was OK and the diving was reliable. But the whole experience lacked any real class or zip ... for the money we were paying.

Room Tip: Upgrade to Out of the Blue, if you don't mind climbing several flights of stairs; or try another...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank SaranganiDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2011

A friend and I booked the Portofino for a two day trip. Once we got to Puerto Galera, we loved it and the hotel so much that we ended up staying for five nights. The hotel is in a great location right on the beach in La Laguna. The atmosphere is very laid back and enjoyable, and we liked the two bedroom we booked very much. The manager was also very accommodating in extending our trip on short notice. All of the hotel staff were very helpful and enjoyable to be around. We had a great time and will definitely be staying at the Portofino on our next journey to Puerto Galera!

Room Tip: Email ahead if you want a specific room!
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Logan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2011

We just got back from an unbelievable trip to the Phillipines, that we really went into kind of blind. After spending a few days in Manilla and other parts of the Country, we made out way to Puerto Galera and to check into the Portofino Beach Resort. Upon checking in we were immediately taken care of by the staff and bartender. Gave us advice what to do and what not to do when it comes to shopping, eating, traveling, etc...The hotel staff was EXTREMELY accommodating from day and minute 1. By the second day, we met the owner/manager, Bill, who like us, was also American. Bill has lived in the both the States and abroad for many years and has done an absolute great job with this hotel. We spent a lot of time picking Bill's brain on how he made this transition and were very impressed with him and his hotel/staff. They are very good with putting everything you need/want on your Room bill so you don't need cash every time. (If you decide to visit Puerto Galera, you will understand the importance in this.....only 2 ATMs on the Island and they are NOT easy to get to!!) Many places you will run into here will not take credit card of any kind. Bill has no problem doing this and for a very small percentage. (I want to say 3% is all) He even went as far as to put all of our scuba diving bills on the end charge. We were referred to "Action Divers" which is only a few feet away from Portofino Resort, they also did not take credit card. But like I said, Bill knows the owners over there very well and they take care of it for you! The rooms were excellent in my opinion. They have an amazing water view, refrigerator, safe, Air conditioning, kitchens, Cable TV, and beds....what else could you want?!?! If you are expecting to find the Ritz Carlton in Puerto Galera....it does NOT exist ANYWHERE on this island. But the Portofino gives a great Island atmosphere with nice rooms! Oh, they also have a full menu and kitchen onsite! We ate everything from American to Filipino Foods....and they were all great. From talking to Bill, he plans on making this part of the resort even bigger and better in the near future.

All in all we absolutely loved it here. We were originally scheduled to stay 2 days and we ended up staying 6. If you have any questions about the rooms, scuba, things to go, places to go, or anything in between, Bill and his staff will take care of you. All star experience.

Room Tip: Talk to Bill...he will take of you!
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Mike D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 31 May 2011

ChvyRado, thanks so much for your very kind words. We really enjoyed having you and your friend stay with us and hope to see you again soon. Good luck in your new job.

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Reviewed 3 April 2011

This resort is not what it appears to be. The rooms are run down, musty and unclean. There is not a beach as shown in the brochure or on line pictures and no place available to sunbathe, not even at the pool. The biggest insult was when the manager arranged our transport back to the airport. He assurred us that he would have an eleven passenger van, which would be capable of taking the eight of us and our luggage to the airport, after we paid the extra 300.00 pp over and above the 6000.00 pp. On arriving at the port, we found there is not an 11 passeger van and we had to pay another 3000.00 pp to use two vans. When I telephoned the hotel to ask them about this all I got was the run around. If you are looking for a very nice place to stay for the same price go to the Mermaid Dive Resort, none of were divers but that doesn't matter, it is a great place to stay.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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5  Thank BandJCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 18 April 2011

This review is suspicious as its source cannot be verified. The first part of the review has been copied from another review and we responded to its considerable inaccuracies there. The second part has been copied from a private email between myself and a guest over a minor mistake made by the transportation company on their return trip to the airport after they had checked out. What has been left out is that the transportation company owner has accepted responsibility for the confusion, admitted they made a mistake and has offered to refund the additional money that the customer paid but the offer was turned down. The author of the email has also denied posting the review.

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Reviewed 30 December 2010

I can't say enough good things about my stay at Portofino. This was my second stay at this resort. We previously stayed their in 2006. I was able to get two large family rooms to accomodate my extended family. The hotel management ans staff went out of their way repeatedly to ensure that our stay was a success. The rooms we clean and well maintained. The food served beachside was excellent. The staff arranged a diving trip for us as well.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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Thank World_Traveler1558
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Portofino Beach Resort

Address: Small la laguna Beach, Puerto Galera, Mindoro 5203, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Mindoro > Oriental Mindoro Province > Puerto Galera
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Galera
Price Range: £44 - £117 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Portofino Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Portofino Beach Resort is located on prime beachfront in the lovely Small La Laguna Beach area of Sabang, Puerto Galera.The Spanish-Mediterranean style buildings nestled among a grove of coconuts and other exotic tropical plantings combine to create an environment of quiet intimacy and relaxation. Our restaurant menu combines the best of Mexican, Philippine and International cuisine. Your privacy, comfort and leisure are assured. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Portofino Beach Hotel Puerto Galera

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