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“Extremely bad service and food”

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Villa Leonora Beach Resort
Ranked #93 of 195 Puerto Princesa B&B and Inns
Reviewed 13 January 2014 via mobile

We booked for 4 nights and left after 2. That the hotels has a really bad geographic spot is ok but the service was extremely bad! We were 6 persons ( all alone in the restaurant) and it took 1 hour and 10 min to get in our food. And then it turned up that it was all uneatable. The chicken was raw inside and bloody. We mentioned it to the staff and they didn't do anything about it. Either did they a discount on the bill.

Don't stay at this hotel !! You will lost both money and time! The service was soooooo bad!!!

Stayed: December 2013
2  Thank Kim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jamaicaManila, Owner at Villa Leonora Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2014

I'm sorry about the chicken, but they did offer to cook it more for you. The food is cooked fresh and is certainly not fast food as in a burger or noodle house. if there are different dishes they try to prepare them all together and not serve them piece meal. Were you not more disappointed you didn't get a discount than the meal.

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11 - 17 of 44 reviews

Reviewed 19 April 2013

What we loved:
- LOCATION. It's around an hour away from Puerto Princesa City. It's along the highway so you'll hear the (very few) vehicles passing by but we were usually tired from our day's activities that we barely notice the noise. We love that it is by the beach, it was very relaxing.

- ROOMS. We booked the fan rooms only but it was all we needed! The cottages were airy and spacious, just right for two persons per cottage. They did offer towels, tissue, and bath soap (no shampoo and toothpaste though, so bring your own).

- OWNERS. Miss Leonora was very warm and very malambing. It was nice talking to her. Arthur was very kind too :)

What we find 'just okay':
- SERVICE. Though she doesn't have that "trained and smart" vibe, the receptionist was pretty efficient and kind of friendly too. The other staff were okay too but I feel they're kind of awkward (for some reason) when guests are around, or maybe I'm just imagining things, lol.

- FOOD. Kind of expensive and usually took an hour to be served. But we have read that in a previous post so we were ready :D But we loved the breakfast menu and the sinigang na lapu-lapu!!! Yum!

What we didn't like:
- There was a gecko in one of the cottages that scared our two lady friends. The gecko was there the entire time we were :D It was funny, though we wish the staff helped us in driving it outside the cottage.

- We were charged P70 per liter when we hired the motorbike.

- We wish you also sell some toiletries and chips... :D

All in all, it was a great stay for us. Food was delicious, resort was clean and right in front of the beach (but the style and design is kind o outdated). We will book again here next we visit Palawan. :)

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Emilygp81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2013

We just finished up our four night stay at the Villa Leonora - and we had a blast. As I looked at different places in Palawan, I was struck by how divided the reviews (both here on TripAdvisor and elsewhere) seemed to be on this property. Now that I've stayed there, I think I understand what's driving that to some degree, and as much as to report our stay, I'd like to address some of the complaints that have been lodged by some other reviewers.

DO:

Stay at the Villa Leonora if you want an out-of-the-way place to stay while you're in Palawan.

Stay in the air conditioned rooms, not the fan rooms.

Expect that the property is a good ways (an hour plus) out of Puerto Princesa - so if it's nightlife you are looking for, do find somewhere else.

Tell the staff what you want. Room cleaned? Breakfast at a certain time? Day trips to make? Just let the folks know, and they will be all over it.

Understand that the road is not far away, and there's no way to avoid hearing it. At this point on the island you have the road and you have the ocean, and there's not much that separates the two. We were so exhausted after every day, you could have run a semi truck by our beds and we wouldn't have heard it. But it's there. The resort in general is so quiet - but the road prevents it from being silent - so just be prepared.

Know that there aren't TVs in the rooms and there isn't WIFI either. But there is WIFI in the restaurant area.

Appreciate that Arthur is an authentic character. A happy-go-lucky guy who is fun to hang out with, but a human being like all of the rest of us. That means there will be times he might rub a person the wrong way. But his is a good guy - and the world needs good guys.


DON'T

Expect a resort like the Sheridan. It's not that. It's just a little hotel right on the ocean.

Expect it to be in the heart of Puerto Princesa, because its not.

Be surprised that it takes longer and costs more to get there because of its location.

Stay in a fan room unless you are budget constrained. They are bamboo instead of concrete and that's going to mean more bugs and more noise.


At the end of the day, it's a lovely place. The physical plant is well-maintained, the staff are very friendly, and anything you want to do, they can arrange for you. Could you find other ways to do your Island Hopping, etc? I'm sure you could. Could you find ways that cost a few hundred pesos less? Probably? But for me, my vacations are not exercises in "How many pennies can I return home with?" They are a chance to relax, unwind, and get away from the regimen of daily life. And for THOSE things, the Villa Leonora, Arthur, and his staff were just right.

One last thing - if you want to go on the Underground River Tour (we did - and had a great time) PLEASE let the Villa Leonora folks know 2-4 weeks ahead of time. Nothing is surer to disappoint then to arrive there and think that you can start working on getting your passes then. They are limited and these folks need as much lead time as you can possibly provide them.

Room Tip: Air con rooms only....
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank MichiganTed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
villaleonoraresort, Owner at Villa Leonora Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2013

Hi Ted, hope the rest of your stay in the Philippines worked out well.

Thanks for the honest informative review. Yes we are a little more expensive than going island hopping from Puerto Princesa, but you wont be sitting in a boat with 20 or 30 other tourists, so you get a bit more of the personal touch.

Cannot stress enough how important it is to book the U/G River as far in advance as possible as there are times when it is fully booked up to 3 weeks in advance, especially during holiday periods.

Regards to you and your wife. From The Staff, Arthur and Leonora

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Reviewed 17 February 2013

We stayed at Villa Leonora four nights and had a very relaxed and enjoyable time! The grounds are beautiful and it's right next to the beach. The rooms are clean and nice and the atmosphere is really chill and relaxed. If you want to stay out of Puerto Princesa and relax for a few days or just break up the trip going up north, then Villa Leonora is the place. Be aware though that there are no minimarts or shops in the area, but then again, you can get everything you need at the resort restaurant. There is a water cooler in the restaurant/reception area where you can fill up your water bottle for free.The staff is super friendly and Arthur, the owner is the best! Such a fun guy who really helped us with everything we needed from arranging accomodation to transport. We took a jeepney to Port Barton and Arthur made sure we had a seat on it (as there is only one/day and is already full once it gets to San Rafael..) but not just any seats! We got the best ones; right up front, next to the driver! Thank you Arthur for all your help!! Cheers and stay cool!! :)

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Maailmalla8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2013

I am very happy with my stay at Villa Leonora, the resort has a nice garden and the bungalows, or the house with aircon, is just a couple of steps from the beach. The staff is very helpful and the couple that owns the place very welcoming, I got to come with them to a family celebration. Good food and a great experience! Also, internet is unusally fast in the restaurant compared to in Puerto Princesa, which was perfect since I had to do a lot of work during my stay.

Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
2  Thank Karin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2013

This resort is really nice. Best location in the area (San Rafael). If you want to stay some place closer to the underground river and away from Puerto city i would recommend you to stay here. Its quite and the beach close to the resort is ok, with a nice sand bar about 200 m further in the ocean. I recommend to you to see the waterfall nearby. Really nice and unspoiled.
The owner of Villa Leonora is a guy from Newcastle (but lived in Palawan the last 22 years) called Arthur. He is also one of attractions here. In a good way. A warm and funny guy. He will make you feel welcomed. He also likes San Mig.. :-)
There is only one negative comment about this Resort. The restaurant. The coffee. Im not sure if the english owner is more used to tea, but they should provide a better coffee.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Thomas B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
villaleonoraresort, Owner at Villa Leonora Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2013

Thank you for a nice review Thomas. I will definitely do something about the coffee.

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Reviewed 7 May 2012

Due to problems with my flights, i ended up arriving 12 hours later than my friends, but i still had a driver come to pick me up which was a good welcome.

Not really wanting too much of a hassle holiday, we chose to go through the hotel for our day trips to Honda Bay and the Underground River - perhaps if we had chosen to do it privately, we would have had a slightly cheaper deal, however we all got in the minibus and were transported no problems - the vans were a bit rough and ready, but this is the Philippines, and I didn't expect any fancy cars ferrying us about. The views to and from the locations were amazing, as well as the scenery once we arrived at Honda Bay. We had to wait quite a while for the boat which was a bit of a pain, but let us stock up on sun cream and try some local goodies from the nearby stalls. Once on the boat, we were taken to a reef to see the fish - nice, but very busy. Then took a trip to Starfish island which was very picturesque. We then went to another island for lunch, where we had a fantastic dinner of grilled fish, pork, rice and vegetables - excellent food. Accompanied by a banana fruitshake or fresh coconut, it was perfect! We then had a few hours to sunbathe and swim in the crystal clear waters before heading back.

Sabang for the river was also great fun - we did the Zipline (extra to the river package, but we couldn't resist) as well which had fantastic views, but involved a bit of a sweaty walk through the jungle to the platform. After that, a lunch similar to the day before with drinks was all included and tasted excellent. The boats to the river had to be pre-booked so we had a timeslot - this was all pre-arranged by Arthur at the hotel. We had no problems, and the river (and monkeys) were great!

The sunsets and lightning storms across the water from the hotel were phenomenal. The scenery of Palawan truly is spectacular.

Unfortunately, the restaurant seemed to take forever to cook the food, however after the first night, we just booked it well in advance and enjoyed some drinks whilst we waited! The rooms were fairly basic, but with good air conditioning. As we were only there for a few days, we weren't bothered about having any cleaning done, however the bathroom issue of not being able to dispose of the toilet paper in the bowl and putting in a basket should have been disposed of daily and wasn't - in a hot country, not a good idea.

I was a bit disappointed with the distance away too, as it seemed to take forever to get there - i think you could get somewhere better for similar money nearer to Honda Bay which would be better. The food quality was very good, but selection was limited. The rooms were very basic but (fairly) clean. I think we ended up paying more for the trips, but we enjoyed the day so were happy.

The beach was a bit rough and pebbly, but once in the sea, it was lovely and sandy underfoot, and very clean. Most of the time the beach was underwater, but not a problem as there were sun loungers you could lie on.

The best bit...a massage! Get them to arrange a time with you - the girl was absolutely fantastic, and for an hour PHP800 - although 'expensive' compared to some asian prices, it was heaven.

All in all, we had a fantastic time, but that was due to us being a large group of friends and ignoring the annoying parts of the trip...would i go back to Palawan? Most definitely yes, but Villa Leonora...probably not.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Kate M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
villaleonoraresort, Owner at Villa Leonora Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 May 2012

It is nice to receive a constructive opinion such as this review. The food in the restaurant is prepared and cooked from scratch, it is not a Macdonalds. We do advise guests to try and order in advance.
The issue of the wastebaskets in the bathrooms how now been resolved. Also the issue of waiting for a boat for island hopping, as we now go direct from the resort by boat.
The guests plane had been delayed several hours , yet the driver was waiting. When a person who has waited for so long for their flight is tired, then any journey seems to take forever.
Thank you for your constructive comments and also the good things you pointed out

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Additional Information about Villa Leonora Beach Resort

Address: Sitio Dacutan, Barangay San Rafael | San Rafael, Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island 5400, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > Puerto Princesa
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #93 of 195 B&Bs / Inns in Puerto Princesa
Price Range: £15 - £25 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The resort has eight air conditioned rooms en-suite with hot water showers. All rooms have double beds. Additional beds can be installed on request. Children under 5 years free. 5 to 12 years full. The resort also has 5 fan rooms en-suite with cold water showers. We arrange tours and are close to all the major tourist activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Leonora Beach Hotel Puerto Princesa
Villa Leonora Beach Resort Palawan Island/Puerto Princesa

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