I am writing from my room on the sixth floor of the Tumon Bay Capital Hotel having stayed six nights. I am leaving tomorrow. I loved it. I really loved it.
The Capital Hotel is an old hotel that is past its prime. It is a bit dilapidated and has a DIY feel. I know that there are a lot of tools in what used to a restaurant bar, and I guess that the manager (rather than a professional) uses them.
There is no restaurant (only some cans of soda and beer in a fridge behind the reception counter).
But the prices, room size, view, and location, more than make up for it.
The view is nice. One can see the sea and in March the sun go down- between the Outrigger and the hotel next door under renovation - and the Tumon lights at night. The balcony is great.
There is a little bit of a community atmosphere to the hotel since the hotel is crescent shaped so going on the balcony allows one to say hi to other occupants (not that I have).
The rooms are big. The air conditioning works. The TV is flat screen about 30 inch and fine. There is a smallish clean looking pool on the ground floor with loungers. I saw some Japanese tourists use it. There is a Water-Worldy, slide thing called Tarza (50USD for adults) right next door. Not cheap but great if you come with children of that age.
But why bother with the water world or pool? The Capital Hotel is only 300 metres from the beach. My informant, a Chomorran employee of the University of Guam, told me that it is okay to go through the hotels on the sea front to the beach. I walked through the Plaza-mall (at the base of the slope down from the hotel) through the Outrigger to the beach every day dressing my wet suit and a shirt. ON the last day, today, I just wore my wet suit and reef shoes. No one complained. I hope I was not trespassing. There is a tap on the beach for washing off your feet before going back through the outrigger lobby. If I did not know this/ or do this, then the Capital would be inconvenient since it is a fair walk to the nearest more obviously municipal beach access at the centre of the bay.
Anyone who complains about the slope down to Tumon (about 100m) of fairly steep slope is unfit. If you have a BMI less than 30 it should be no problem.
Tumon Bay has a very strong current which runs parallel to the beach towards the North (i.e. towards the Capital Hotel). This means that if you walk down the main street in Tumon you can cross into the beach via a municipal path (there are some blue railings a little further south of "Osaka Convenience Store" for instance) and the swim, aided by the current, at Michael Phelps speed, back to the Outrigger, and then up to this hotel It is about 1500 metres but the current makes it half that length, depending on the swell.The higher the swell the stronger the, almost always Northward current.
The rooms, like mine, near the wifi transmitters at least have good FREE wifi. I think that there are 9 rooms and a central cleaning room, per crescent shaped floor and the wifi transmitters are (on my 6th floor) outside the 603 and my 606. The guy in 609 was using his computer in the corridor so perhaps likewise 601 may not have good wifi reception. The other rooms X02-X08 should be okay.
The safes are behind reception but I left my valuables in my room. According to a Tumon police officer, there is very little/no theft from locked rooms. Sometimes people leave their rooms open for a while, or the bar thing (that allows you to open your door just a fraction) gets in the way and stops the door from closing and then there has been theft. That said I did not leave my money in a pile on the desk.
Some people have not liked the mattresses. I think that if you weigh more than 100 kg / 200 pounds then you may find the beds too wobbly bouncy.but they were fine for me.
The pressure in the showers sometimes falls to from a trickle to even zero when many people are using them. If you can wait 10 to 20 minutes I don't think this is much of a problem. I am on a business trip and so it was a bit of a nuisance after going for a swim, and then finding I could not wash the soap off my face just before going to a meeting but fortunately I had a litre of water! No worries. I heard one person complain that their shower did not work. I guess that in an old hotel like this there are bound to be some plumbing issues.
Most of the staff are really nice and very helpful, but there is one young Chomorran or Micronesian (judging from his face) guy who is really terse. He does not say "Hafa Dai" (the standard Guam greeting) or even respond to my good afternoons. He is only one of the staff to refuse to take my key but, with his headphones on, seated, he gesticulated to the key return box. I guess he is not paid much. I wish he could be paid enough, or trained enough to realise that he is working in the hospitality industry and we the guests are on holiday, so a greeting, and if not a smile then at least not being ignored would really help us enjoy his great hotel. I don't want him to get fired, but I hope his boss (he may be the son of the boss? But the boss looks Chinese) asks him to be a little nicer to the guests. We are okay people!
There are three rental bikes but the only one of the three big enough for me (5 foot ten/175cm) is broken. The front gear does not change (I could cope with that) and the back tire rubs on the frame (I could not cope with that). I may bring a smaller slick tire and hire it for a week, or go down to Convenience store osaka to rent a bike and likewise want to change the tire from tractor wheel to smaller slick.The wheels on all Tumon rental bikes are the mountain bike 26 inch variety with tractor tires. I am going to purchase some mountain bike slick tires before I next come!
There is a laundry room (where the hotel washes its towels etc) which one can use for 7USD per load including drying! Wow. I will come back from Guam with clean clothes.
There are no kettles in the rooms but one can hire one for 4 USD for the duration of your stay.
There are good large empty fridges in the rooms (no mini-bar carp). Just go down to one of the many ABC/K mart stores and stock up. ABC offers the best exchange rates (yen to USD) in town.
There is a scuba diving outfit using a room on the ground floor of the hotel with cheap scuba diving tours.
Due to the slope up to the hotel, and the mattresses, I would recommend the Capital to anyone who is not overweight. Even if you are, and don't mind mattresses that are a little bouncy (they don't seem to have the separate springs in individual pockets) then if you hire a car you can park right in front of the hotel and drive down to one of the municipal beaches.
But beware, the currents - along the beach - seem to be strongest at these. About 8 people die of drowning in Tumon bay a year apparently. Don't go out to the reef. If you get caught in the current do not fight it but swim diagonally into the beach and expect to walk a long long way back to where you entered the water. The current is beach-parallel so the problem is panic. The only place that the current or "rip" takes you out to sea is in front of the Westin or Reef hotel where there is an orange buoy marking the start of this sea-ward rip. I swam past it and did not notice but since the water is so shallow (stay well below breast height) it is not a problem. The problem is panic. Go with the current.
There is a free microwave oven on a little table in the lobby. Yes. In the lobby. That sums up the feel, the generosity, the DIY-non-glitzy-friendliness of the Capital Hotel. I am going to go down and heat up my doggie bag of Chinese food and eat it on my balcony. I love the Capital Hotel!
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, TripOnline SA, 5viajes2012 S.L., Expedia, Evoline ltd, Hotels.com, Cancelon and Ebookers so you can book your Tumon Bay Capital Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Tumon Bay Capital Hotel Guam