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)
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
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 :)
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- Also Known As:
- Dolce Vita Hotel Puerto Princesa
- Dolce Vita Palawan Island/Puerto Princesa