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“Good Honeymoon place, but expensive food”
Review of Dolce Vita

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Dolce Vita
Ranked #7 of 50 Hotels in Puerto Princesa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 February 2011

Stayed here for 4 nights and 4.5 days during our honeymoon
Found them via the internet, sent an email and the replies were quick. Deposited some amount to their local bank account to reserve the room.
Package included room with breakfast and tours (City Tour, Underground River Tour and the Hunda Bay Tour)

Pros :
Quiet place but still within the city.
Easily accessible by the local transportation (tricycles)
Very friendly and accommodating staff
Food is not bad
Very nice rooms (canopy bed, hot and cold shower, effective and quiet air-conditioning)
Accepts credit card

Cons:
Food prices are very expensive for palawan (almost 200php for a breakfast of 1 big pancake with fruits and drink) -- but breakfast is included in the package, this is just to give an idea of the price range of the food. I strongly suggest eating out for lunch and dinner. (try Bilao't Palayok along Rizal Avenue for good local dishes and seafood -- try the special coconut shake there)
Internet Wi-Fi is poor in some of the rooms. We stayed in a 2nd floor room and when you are in the bed, you don't get any signal at all. The signal is great in the pool and resto area, though. Not a good thing since in their site, they advertise that in the rooms they have Wifi access :( When asked, the staff seems to be aware of this but didn't exactly inform us beforehand. We could have skipped bringing the laptop with us. Maybe additional routers are needed?
Location is not as accessible as the other hotels (though this may be a pro for other tourists who prefer not to be smack in the middle of the city bustle)
Rooms are not that big. Also, the sun was too bright in the morning - no heavier curtains to shut out the early morning sunlight -- important if you don't want to wake up at 7am in the morning,like us on our 4th day). It's our bad luck that our room faces east, I guess, but the admin should be considerate about this. Not all rooms faces east, though and I don't think that those on the 1st floor get the early morning glare.
Pool is not as big as it seems in the photos and when we tried swimming one morning (Friday morning) (maybe it's just bad timing on our part), there was too much chlorine in the water, i almost gagged. I put on my goggles and while swimming, i can see some of the white particles of the chlorine still undissolved in the water. My husband's cream and blue thread anklet turned white and redish-purple after swimming! Avoid swimming for a couple of hours after they just cleaned the pool (though nobody warned us about this there!). I guess cleanliness is a big deal to them -- not exactly a bad thing, but this is bad especially for children who wouldn't know the difference :)

A General Puerto Princesa Tip When taking the tricycles (we learned this the hard way):
When going to another location from the hotel >> Ask the hotel receptionists/staff how much the fare will be from the hotel to that location. If there's two of you, ask how much it will be for THE BOTH OF YOU. Ask what street your destination is going to be, just to get a general idea (it's not good to be clueless, if you're a true traveler, you will know this already). Go the streets and flag down a tricycle (Flag down an empty one). Tell the driver where you are headed and if they agree, get in. Make sure that they know where it is, some of them don't have all the restaurants memorized, you know. DONT ASK HOW MUCH THE FARE WILL BE. When you get to your location, pay them the amount that the hotel staff told you. You can add tip if you prefer (better), maybe 10-50 pesos, depending on how many of you there are in the ride. Why should't you ask the driver how much the fare is going to be?
First : You already know it since you already asked the hotel staff.
Second : When you ask, you are actually telling the drivers that you are a clueless, tourist and they will charge you the "tourist" rate (sometimes double the rate, though for foreigners this is not really too much). This is not a scam. It is normal behavior among drivers. Some tourist tend to think that tricycle drivers are like personal drivers who will cater to their needs like taking them to ATMs and waiting for them, stopping by other hotels to pick up their friends, taking them from place to place (even outside the city), or worse, looking for some resto or place that no one knows about -- believe me, i've heard enough stories about tourists who think they should get first-world-treatment from third-world-country-drivers and still insist of paying the minimum local amount! So in turn, drivers tend to overcharge clueless tourists. As tourists, you should not be clueless. The Philippnes is a country of hospitable and friendly people who will try to please tourists if possible, but people also need to protect their business. Don't be bumbling around cluelessly and blame the local folk for "taking advantage" of you. Most of the time, it's just self-defense to protect the local livelihood (time and gas, after all, costs money). Most, if not all, are honest people just working --so just do your part. :)

Palawan is great :) I recommend Dolce Vita to people who prefer quiet places to spend time in :)

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank kenshen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 January 2011

Since we were really stressed out we just needed a place to unwind with not much around. We found Puerto Princesa to be great for that purpose. Unless you want to take a boat trip or see the underground river there is not much to do. So we basically hung out in the courtyard of the Dolce Vita and had a wonderful time. It is quiet, spacious and very welcoming. It might not be the best of places when you're into adventures but it is great to wind down after wards.

Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
1  Thank cookehand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2010

From arrival to departure, the hotel staff were very courteous and accommodating. Even the German owner, Robert, was always ready to assist and never failed to ask us if we're ok, or if the food was ok. The octagonal-shaped rooms are clean and the food is good. Dolce Vita is also into travel and tours so they did ours. They made our 5-day vacay a very pleasant and memorable one. Not to mention that they even went the extra mile by arranging a free romantic poolside dinner on our anniversary night. They even made our room extra special with the petal-laden bed and candles all over... Truly, at Dolce Vita one can experience the sweet life... We can't wait to be back...

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank l0tusp0nd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2010

Staffs greeted us with smiles & complimentary drinks...The place is beautiful, better in person than in pictures. We chose a room at the second floor & the one with a beautiful decorative ceiling made of rattan.We really enjoyed our stay.Excellent service, food is great, room is clean... it is a HOME away from home. Two thumbs up!!!.... We are planning to go back there soon :-)

Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
1  Thank PopieSha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2010

Stayed here last October with a number of friends and family who were visiting Palawan. I found the hotel originally through TA and booked for the whole group of 13. They arranged prompt pick up from airport. Rooms were great and quite unusual (check out the strange 'play-house' beds by some rooms), staff were pleasant and open air bar great for evening drinks.

Our group split into smaller groups as we travelled to Sabang and El Nido for different trips, however everyone (and some friends we met) who travelled back through PP used Dolce Vita again as we were all very pleased. Price very reasonable - I'm sure you can get cheaper in PP, but this is a great option.

  • Stayed: October 2009
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2  Thank StevieAck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2010

We booked our stay around 2 months prior to our visit. The hotel has a nice website with contact information and a lot of pictures, so it was fairly easy to call and inquire. The people I talked to, Chris and Noemi, were very accommodating. They sent me a quotation within minutes. Even though it was peak season, they were kind enough to hold our reservation for a long time before we confirmed our booking.

Upon our arrival in Puerto Princesa, they sent a van to pick us up for the 10-minute drive from the airport. They gave us welcome drinks and helped us check in. Our room was neat, cold (a major plus in the tropical heat!) and spacious. We had two twin beds with clean sheets, big duvets and soft pillows, airconditioning, cable television, wifi, an intercom, and hot and cold water plus toiletries in the sink and shower. We also had a quaint garden set outside our room. There was power failure on the island on the first night, but the hotel promptly restored operations with their generator. Accommodations also came with filipino or continental breakfast which we could have in our room, in the restaurant or by the pool.

The members of the staff were excellent; they were always polite, well-groomed and very pleasant. They made our stay comfortable and even helped us make lunch and dinner reservations.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank fkt7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2010

Really a wonderful place to stay in Puerto Princesa.
Friendly staff, superb service.
Very refreshing!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled on business
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3  Thank K_go_0917
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dolce Vita

Address: 4 Victoria Romasanta St., Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island 5300, Philippines
Phone Number:
Region: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > Puerto Princesa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Puerto Princesa
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Princesa
Price Range: £31 - £58 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Dolce Vita 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dolce Vita Hotel Puerto Princesa
Dolce Vita Palawan Island/Puerto Princesa

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