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“Best ever in Davao in this low price category” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel

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Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel
Ranked #16 of 52 Hotels in Davao City
Certificate of Excellence
Brussels
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Best ever in Davao in this low price category”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2012

After a partial nightmare flight travel of 50 hours from Europe to Davao I arrived at the PONCE SUITES UNCONVENTIONAL CENTER GALLERY HOTEL in Bajada, Davao City. A German guy advised me to try this hotel because I am historician and for his opinion this hotel would be a good experience for me. Well, the area around this hotel is populated by relatively very rich filipino families who drive expensive cars. Kublaikhan is not only the most famous designer of Davao but also part of the family who owns this hotel and make it a gallery of Kublaikhan's design arts. So there is not one boring squaremeter to find in this hotel. The manager told me that they are working to improve the catering but for my budget standard the choice of breakfast and meals is very sufficient, and it is easy to go out and walk some meters to have a spicy dinner in one of the Korean restos or a cheap meal at the Victoria Plaza Mall where I also found an ATM. On the other side of the highway at Victoria Plaza Mall you find the immigration office to extend your visa within 2 hours whenever you go there before 10 AM. Robinson's and SM City are also very nearby in just walking distance. The hotel reception is very helpful to call a cab or give advices. At the entrance area you find drinking water for free. Free WiFi available at the resto and in the neigbor rooms. The rooms are clean and standard accomodation (TV, bathroom with hot and cold water for shower, CR, towels, soap, filipino plugs to charge, phone in the room, aircon), the location of the hotel is calm and safe. Only some meters to walk and you can admire the current development of new designs by Kublaikhan. You can catch all information about this artist by reading the information about him in the resto. The staff is very friendly and helpful. I received the promo price and maximum value in this way. I paid a deposit of 1000 pesos at arrival and finally I paid it all with credit card.
I recommend this hotel for people who don't look for luxury facilities and swimming pool but a reasonably priced budget hotel room, may well be business people, couplel, singles, friends ... I would not recommend this place for families (no child friendly areas, no pool).

Room Tip: Rooms next to the resto have WIFI access!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Goddiejens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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85 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 February 2012

This is a must-go to place when you're in Davao. The hotel is situated in a secure subdivision right smack in the middle of the city. ART is all over the hotel-- from the walls to the ceilings. It will surely leave an impact :P

Money wise, the hotel is very affordable. it's perfect for backpackers and those looking for great deals in the city. The price will cost you around 700-900? for an AC room. food serving is good too (p110 for a hearty breakfast of eggs, pork tocino, rice and ice tea). The staff will really attend to your needs to make your stay pleasant.

**PS. the local artist is Kublai Millan. If you noticed the big durian concrete statue at the airport or if you've visited Davao's People's park, you'll be seeing the same work of art by the same artist :)

No. Seriously. If you want a unique hotel experience, BOOK HERE. There's nothing like it :)

Room Tip: Check the rooms before booking :)
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gogo_mariz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2011

The owner of this small hotel is a dentist using the ground floor for her office and living quarters. Her son has been working as an artist since 1998 and is both prolific and very talented. As you can see from their website the hotel is filled with his art, and also the street, the city, the airport and the new city hall in Tagum City. Talented guy!
As for the hotel, the rooms are a step up above backpacker level and only slightly more expensive. There is a variety of rooms, from no-hot-water, noisy a/c and no wifi, up to hot water with wifi and quiet a/c! You only need to ask... Wonderful, helpful, professional staff who all speak good English, good cafe on the 2nd floor serving simple meals for reasonable prices. The neighborhood is safe to walk around any time - even local kids walk on the streets at night. It is an upscale neighborhood even though you may not think so at first glance. The beds while firm are supportive and very comfortable. The rooms and bathrooms are a bit spartan but clean and bright and cheerful.
Easy walking distance to Victoria Plaza Mall - but don't go in... take a Jeepney from outside there to the new Abreeza Mall just 4 minutes away, for 8 pesos.. about 20 cents U.S.- where you'll find a wonderful Starbucks and other useful stores.
Around the corner and down the street from the hotel is the best restaurant in Davao, can't recall the name but something like Ronaldo or Bernardo... not cheap by Phil standards but gourmet food and they have a buffet every evening for 440 pesos - $11 US. It's on the same road as Victoria Plaza mall... sorry I can't be more accurate but the owner of the hotel should be able to direct you. Nearby also is a new $4m gym/sports club for those who plan to stay a while.

Room Tip: See description above....
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank draggindave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2011

I had read about Ponce Suites from travel bloggers who stayed here. From my research about the place, it seemed like a very interesting place at the least. Reserved a room via website and within a few hours, I got an email response from Min Ponce.

The rooms are clean, air conditioner in good working condition. TAt first the TV did not seem to be connected but the The lighting can be improved, though - our room was lighted only by one flourescent light that is going dim. Friendly staff.

The hostel is nested deep within the city at the center of a bundle of winding roads, but it is well known by the locals, so take a taxi and mention the name. Better yet, have an address ready.

I don't need to tell you to explore the place -- you will feel an irresistible pull before you even see see the entrance. A "Thinker" statue contemplating atop his "throne". A big brass (?) eagle resting over the the sign bearing the hostel's name. And inside, every hallway has its own theme: pen, watercolor, chalk, "found" art, photography, mosaics, collages, aphorisms, hair (yes, hair)....

Don't forget to go up to the top floor where you can see the interesting twisted lamp posts and the lizard carved out of a log serving as an entrance to the room where the artist and his family stays. The Ponces left no space empty. Even "emptiness" is an art. And in the morning, visit the restaurant. The morning sun thru the wide windows shed quite literally a whole new light on artwork, and art appreciation.

Definitely recommended for solo travellers, backpackers and travelling with friends.

Room Tip: WiFi-accessible rooms is by request.
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lilytaiga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2011

For someone who has traveled a lot, there are few accommodations that really make an impression, an old train station in Nova Scotia; a coffeehouse in Amsterdam; a cattle station in the outback of Australia, and now the Ponce Suites.

Seriously, if you are going to be in Davao, take the reduced budget and stay in this safe and well-serviced place. Min and George are great hosts and the staff is eager to please.

If they could put some nicer chairs in the rooftop cafe, I could/would have stayed there for hours. Regardless, I doubt that you will be disappointed.

And enjoy the chicken adobo. It's top-notch!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank bear_dee_arr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2010

Ponce suites provides everything you need in budget accommodations. Food was ok and cheap. The breakfast eggs did arrive a bit cold, but I liked their pancakes. The stirfried veggies were also nice -- and actually vegetarian. The owner spent a lot of time in the cafe and even let us try a number of tropical fruits for free. Wifi in the restaurant and lobby is strong and fast. Occasionally we even got wifi in our room, but I wouldn't count on it. As far as the room itself, we stayed in a matrimonial on the first floor ("F"). In comparison to the rest of the hotel, the rooms were really stark--white walls and only one painting--but clean. Location is great, just minutes to Victoria Plaza, and well sign-posted so cabs can find it easily.

The real amazing part of this hotel, however, is the intensely prolific artwork of the owners son that fills every square inch of the public space. From the moment you land in Davao, you can see his durian sculpture out by the taxi stand. When you go to people's park, you see many of his other statues. So you feel you are really soaking up the local artistic scene when you stay in a hotel that is essentially his gallery. With the price tag being so low, there is no way we will stay anywhere else in Davao.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank HistorianAsia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2010

Fits our Budget, Walking Distance of Downtown
I like luxury as well as the other person, but when I’m on a fast-paced vacation, trying to do all the sightseeing and outdoor adventures as can possibly be managed in a week, I don’t see the point of spending top dollar for a room that I will only get glimpses of in the minutes after waking up and rushing to prepare for another day outside.

In that sense, Ponce Suites was a fantastic discovery, tucked inside a quiet residential area, yet within walking distance of Victoria Mall and the Torres Restaurant Row.

Our room was twinshare, costing about P800 per night. Each bed had a pullout mattress. By this time, I only had one companion—the others had left earlier for Manila. I wondered, if we were still a group of four would we have spent only 200 per person per night? The rates give very good value for money, especially to groups of friends or a family, then as the room also had AC, TV, and bathroom. Most of the wall facing the street was taken up by a glass window, but a thick curtain provides shade and privacy.

Bohemian-Looking yet Cozy
Inside and outside the hotel was covered in art, from framed sketches to photo collages to art installations to weird sculptures. Attached to the building’s façade are giant eagles, men and women, and a durian. Even going to the bathroom was a sacred (or weird) experience; on one of the bathrooms on the second floor, there is a huge cross looming over the toilet.

But I really liked the coziness of the second-floor café, which lets in a lot of light during the day. Creeping vines cover up much of the glass wall so green light plays inside the room. And I loved the rooftop café, which like most of the hotel doubles as an art gallery for Kublai’s work (Kublai is a famous artist in Mindanao; also the son of the hotel manager). Bamboo chimes line the railings, so that with every breeze, tinkling music is produced.

To eat durian, Davao’s evil-smelling fruit of the gods, we went up to the rooftop café.

Friendly Management
The hotel owner and manager, Miss Min, was really nice—and pretty. She gave us her mobile number so we can call or text her in case we get lost or need directions in Davao.


I was really surprised to discover Ponce Suites, a hotel that gives affordable yet very capable service, with great appeal to backpackers. I’d rather stay here than in a fancy hotel.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank smichellebc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel

Property: Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel
Address: Corner Roads 3 and 4, Dona Vicenta Village | Bajada, Davao City, Mindanao 8000, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Mindanao > Davao del Sur Province > Davao City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Davao City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel is a small family run hotel located in a quiet location but only a few minutes walk from the business center of Davao. With 32 rooms, this hotel offers the guest a unique experience as, as the name suggests, it is also an art gallery with artworks by the owner's son, Kublai. We also cater for seminars and functions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel Davao/Davao City

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