ILOCOS NORTE has definitely made a mark as one of the Philippines’ top travel meccas, given the province’s amazing natural, cultural, and historical attractions, plus fun activities to boot. But, given the influx, how are our hotels meeting the demands of guests?
Many tourists depend on Internet-reviews to check the quality of hotels, restaurants, and other travel-related establishments. The most popular site is TripAdvisor.com which allows reviewers to provide both quantitative ratings and qualitative information based on their actual experience. Guests rate the establishment on a scale of 1-5 based on the following criteria: location, sleep quality, rooms, service value, and cleanliness. The written reviews are very useful for people planning their trip. One would not pay a budget price and demand five-star accommodation, but would expect decent services and facilities. In the same breath, expectations and demands run high when the price paid is high. At the end of the day, value for money weighs heavily.
I will write about the best and average hotels next, but let me devote this post to the bad and the worst.
Most of its numerical ratings range from 1 to 2 which means terrible/poor.
An April 8, 2014 review with the title “Extremely poor and unprofessional service and worst and terrible food,” goes:
“It is certainly not a place to stay. i stayed in this hotel during the Court Legal Researchers’ Association of the Philippines Convention last April 1-5. To my dismay, everything about this hotel is horrible. I am appalled by the unprofessional and poor customer service! Staffs didn’t even know how to communicate with the customers and everything is unorganized. The service in their restaurant was ridiculously slow. The complimentary breakfast was not even good, the meals were not available most of the time. Not to mention that the food taste awful. It was indeed a waste of money.”
Other unfavorable comments are titled “One of the worst hotels to stay,” “Needs tons of improvement,” “Being a new hotel is not enough,” and “Watch out of this hotel.”
HANNAH’S BEACH RESORT AND CONVENTION CENTER
Of 202 reviews, it has been rated 54 times as “terrible” and 45 times as “poor.” This is alarming for a hotel which is one of the most expensive in this part of the country, and which is situated in one of Ilocos Norte’s natural wonders: Pagudpud’s Blue Lagoon.
Here’s a recent review from a guest who visited the place last month (May 2015):
Will Never Go Back. “This is by far the dirtiest hotel my family and I have ever been also. The facilities are old and dirty. The worst part is our room.. dirty with a couple of cockroaches around. The most terrible part is the toilet.. too small, dirty, and super duper smelly. I cannot stay there a minute longer. The smell is so odorous I cannot breath! The value paid is not worth it. Although the view on top of the hotel is incredible, it cannot compensate with our experience in the hotel facilities. On top of that, the hotel admits all kinds of people. No strict policy. Anybody can enter the gate. Security is poor. The worst part is the pool also.. very dirty.. it is open for public use. As much as we wanted to, we never used the pool. Management should do something about cleanliness and old facilities!!!”
Expensive yet terrible (December 9, 2014) “The resort is very expensive. The food in the restaurant is expensive but not delicious. The management seems to be overdeveloping the resort to the point that it is no longer in touch with nature. You can surely find a better and cheaper place to stay in the area.”
Not worth the price (October 2, 2014) “The room rate is expensive, foods are not so good, rooms are not that good as well…to be honest i am quite disappointed with the price here, more expensive than a five-star hotel in other countries I’ve been.”
Out of six reviews, it has been rated terrible four times, poor once, and average once.
A review posted last April 20 bears the title “No way!” and goes:
“Dirty rooms, dirty sheets, dirty toilets, dirty, dirty, dirty! Lousy food, lousy service. Water from toilet was dripping out of nowhere into the room. All hotels were fully booked so we had no choice. Never again! I wouldn’t even want to give it a single star.”
This is corroborated by other reviews:
The biggest mistake is to believe their Ads&Home page” (March 5, 2015) “Never ever there again! There customers must have experienced the same lousy and lazy services like we.The place is deserted and not maintained.They should be portraying their true situation.I deeply regret my four-day booking based on their fake ads.”
Family Room (May 2, 2014) Rented out a family room. Had to pay in full on the first day as per company rules. No wifi. TV is as big as my Tablet. Dirty rooms with cob webs. Exposed wires for accidental electrocution of your wife and children. Rude staff that speak a different language when you complain. And its hella far from the city. The international space station might even be closer. Do not go here….ever. Don’t even think of taking your family. Coming here, even if I had no choice since every hotel was booked out, was a very very very bad mistake. Very very very very…very bad mistake. Very!”
Stay Away! (April 12, 2014) The room that was offered was not what was booked via the screen. The staff, including a supposed manager found the situation very amusing. As the tired traveller , l was just wanting to eat and get some sleep. After a lot of talking and laughing between the staff at my expense, eventually another person was found who was also a ‘manager’. The room that looked familiar with the internet pic came to life. I went go bed hungry and disappointed at the effort to pass off a substandard room to me. I was particularly disappointed at the rude staff and their total indifference. The place is very difficult to get to and certainly not worth the effort at all. The breakfast, despite no dinner the night before was horrible. The only thing going for it was one cup of coffee. Yes, a lot of trouble and money for one cup of instant coffee! Save your money and time and look elsewhere. Oh in addition , the noise ! Coming mainly from the pool area with amplified music!
GREEN NIPA BEACH RESORT
It has been reviewed five times–all “terrible” (Note: The resort is reportedly closed and is transitioning under a new management.)
“This resort is a scam” (November 6, 2011) If you plan to enjoy a few days of resort, don’t put your feet in this resort because it’s a ghost hotel, and i’m not talking about spirits or anything like that. I mean real ghosts as people who are just looking to make money. At first, facilities are neglected, dirty and damaged rooms, no staff, the kitchen is full of mold, and that is why there is no service or food, no potable water, no water in w.c. service, and no where you sit where there are no cockroaches. Dusty tables in the dining room. That is, there is no service that is mentioned in the brochure and you are completely alone in a secluded and abandoned place. This is only intended to warn of the terrible experience I went through.