Big disappointment in Dauis
We stayed for three nights at the Seaside Boutique Hotel which appeared to have two rooms. We chose to stay here based on positive reviews from other travelers. It's located down an undeveloped side road about 7-10km SW of Tagbilaran. Having lived, worked, and traveled in SE Asia for over 20 years, this was truly the most disappointing "stay" we have had in a small hotel or guesthouse. Being travelers who can rough it when we need to, we can be ready for just about anything. But we would not consider this a true "guest house" as described in the various online booking sites. You're simply staying at Julian's home, similar to booking a room on "AirBNB".
The name is misleading as it really isn't a " Seaside Hotel". If you should choose to book a stay here, you are quite a distance from pretty much everything. This means local roads, the sea, cafes or street food and any markets at all. One can get to the ocean down a pathway, but this access point is dirty, littered, and had quite a bit of broken glass. One positive is that it is a very quiet home with absolutely no other tourists around (if that's what you want). Owner Julian does have a well used Honda motorbike he'll rent for 500P a day. He is only around in the evening, having to work a day job in town.
There are some issues that this establishment must address out of respect for paying guests who rely on the accuracy of booking and review sites. All of the dining area, bedrooms, and common area need a good, deep cleaning and sanitizing. The bed in our room needed real sheets and a decent mattress. The rooms smell of mildew. The water pressure in our shower was very poor, making tough to take a shower.
Another major concern was food. The meals/dining were just "OK" in quality, yet they were quite overpriced. For instance, our first night we were told that dinner was 295P per person. But on check out we were actually charged 350P for one plate of spaghetti with no fruit, no veggies, and no beverage. Our first morning breakfast was set out for us without our knowledge, so it sat for about half an hour and got cold. The meal was oily scrambled eggs, a little bit of bacon, and half a stale baguette. No butter, no preserves, no fruit, and coffee was a cup of hot water and Nescafe packets.
We finally used the motorbike to find a local fruit stand so we could supplement our meals. We even shared our fruit with Julian and his daughter at the next dinner and were still charged 700P (about $16 for very average food). Bottom line is that there are a lot of issues that need attention before it receives a recommendation to travelers who may be coming from the other side of the globe.
Lastly - before compiling this assessment of Julian's place - I reread both reviews and descriptions of his " guesthouse" listed on three different booking sites. I feel there is some serious misrepresentation in his advertisements. To feature a pool and gorgeous beach in his ad is simply wrong. Likewise with photos of shrimp dinners. His description and photos make it appear to be a clean and well managed place to stay with the amenities and activities nearby. It's not. It's merely his house which is down a very rugged road, and it's sorely in need of some management and cleaning.
Family - Feb 14, 2015