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Qi Palawan El Nido Reviews
Could be better Feb 01, 2015
We booked a beachfront room for 3 nights and have good expectations considering that some reviews seem to rave about the place. The cost is more than Php7000 but with VAT and service charge, it adds up to almost Php9,000/night.
We are aware that it will be about 45mins bumpy ride so we booked the van as recommended by a previous guest on their review. The van cost Php2000/way unless you are sharing with other guests and splitting the cost. We cant bec we have boat tour that ends later in the day. The cost is fine. We are expecting it to be worth the pain and extra cost to get there.
The van ride felt more rough than we expected even with the van and having it for all ourselves. I am guessing that the van seemingly less new and the driver driving a bit fast makes the experience more bumpy than normal because the van we used going out was more new and the experience less rough ride.
We were asked for our choice of welcome drinks and while we are being "checked in", we were asked some questions that felt a bit more personal and maybe unnecessary. We were asked if we know that no ATMs are available nearby and we nodded yes. Then we were in a way asked about our level of cash so probably in slight surprise, my companion answered "we are loaded". To which I laughed hard to make light of the situation.
We were asked what kind of work we do. I find the question a bit nosey although we tried to give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they just wanted to make some small talk. I said I'm in banking which was followed by question of which bank so I answered. My companion mentioned his but no further questions. I would like to think that they were curious about me bec I said I'm from Manila. I prefer not to think that they might have a biased thought of me being with a foreign companion and them thinking that we are just like the other foreigners in company of a Filipina prostitute. I don't look like a prostitute but sometimes people generalize when they see a Filipina with a foreign man.
We love our cottage. It is wide and high ceiling giving us a lot of space. We love the outdoor bathroom and we were joking that the only missing is an outdoor jacuzzi. The toilet is separated from the bath and I liked that. The toiletries are labeled with eco-friendly stuff and smelled nice. The soap looks like homemade with some gel looking cubes that makes it look cool. There's a separate face soap so that's a nice touch. They have a sign that says they can provide hairdryer upon request. They can do your laundry for Php120 which we availed and it can be ready in a day.
They have yoga classes although none was being held bec the co-owner Bettina who conducts yoga classes is a bit ill so she just assisted us to use the yoga tapes.
We also availed of their massage services and my companion liked it because he got what he asked for - a hard massage. I asked for medium but feel it was more soft massage so I requested for more pressure. There was more pressure after I asked but it went back to soft. I had so many massage and somehow I don't feel satisfied with what I got although it felt relaxing somehow. Massage costs Php600 for an hour and they ask you to shower before the massage. In Manila I can get Php300 for a good massage so I was hoping at least same level of skills even though the price is twice.
It is great to wake up from the resort because the sun rises there from the beach. It is a great sight. If Bettina sees you awake, she will either ask you if you want coffee or have someone come to you for that. I appreciate that extra gesture. It is very nice esp bec they wont charge you for that.
Breakfast is included and you can choose 3 from the choices. In excess of 3, you will pay Php50 for additional options. It is small amount to pay for the extra which we did in two breakfasts but we thought it might have been better if they just didnt charge for extra. I don't think that the type of customers who are willing to pay their cottage rate would be abusive with their breakfast requests.
We were offered island hopping tours but we declined because we thought of just relaxing after having 2 days of island hopping from our previous resort. Besides, my companion has some injuries that he prefer to heal for the time being.
They have a pool which I liked however, like the beach, it felt like we cant enjoy it much because of the sandflies. I had allergic reactions to the bites and still suffering from them as I write this.
I wasnt happy with the food and the shakes and juices were just ok. However, I find them quite expensive because everything (except for sandwiches) are priced Php400 and up plus VAT. Even salad are priced Php400. I felt like our previous Cadlao Resort wasnt that expensive and yet the food tasted much better and portions seem very generous esp on my seafood order. The service is pleasant although there has been a series of mistakes committed with our orders or with the absence of cutlery.
Overall, I am not fully convinced to book again because I would have preferred I could use the pool and beach as much as I want without worrying about the sandflies. Also, having extra charges for the room rates doesnt rub me right because I would have preferred to know the price upfront. Even Shangrila clearly state the total price upon booking so that there are no surprises. It wasnt a big deal for us (even though it adds extra 32% on the cottage rate) but it gives off a bad taste. Same with their suggestive tipping which they printed at the bottom of the bill where they suggest 3 columns of tipping starting from 5% of either the total bill of just food & beverage. It feels sneaky.
The cottage has already been charged with 20% service charge so I find it a bad taste to suggest tip for total bill. We have been quite generous in tipping during our trip esp bec we still have a lot of cash left and it was the last stop of our El Nido trip so we wont have to worry about cash back in Manila. However, because we find some of the pricing process quite sneaky, we didnt feel generous to tip a lot in there.
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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