March 27, 2014

PUERTO PRINCESA TRAVEL DIARY: The Legend Hotel Palawan

On the second weekend of March 2014, I went on an early Summer getaway to Puerto Princesa, Palawan.  This trip wasn’t supposed to happen, we really didn’t have plans of travelling this year since we are trying and planning to have a baby. And because of that we decided to forgo any travel plans and decided to start saving up instead to prepare ourselves when we finally conceive a child. But God surprised & blessed us and paved the way to allow us to be able to travel again this year. This Summer trip we didn’t spend much because almost or half of it is free! Thus we are able to somewhat splurge on food and a day trip to Dos Palmas Beach Resort.




If you were able to read my blog post regarding an invitation to attend one of Club Astoria’s promotional seminar (read about it here) you have an idea that we were granted free accommodations to their tie up hotel in Palawan.


I also blogged about our Boracay trip last October 2013, and you may remember that our flight back to Manila was delayed and was transferred from Caticlan to Kalibo and as a way to we were given free one-way flights (read about it here and here). It was like these series of events was laid out right after the other, thus giving us an opportunity to travel this year.




At first, we were skeptic about availing the free accommodations vouchers that was awarded by Club Astoria because of the numerous unfavorable reviews that we’ve read online. Although there are few who were avail to use the vouchers successfully. We realized we wouldn’t know if the reviews are true or not if we won’t take the risk. I also prayed for it that we won’t experience any hassle in using the voucher.





To our surprise, we didn’t experience any problems during booking and Club Astoria customer service was helpful and prompt in responding to our emails and other inquiries. I even called Legend Hotel Palawan a few weeks and a few days before our flight to check our reservations and the former confirmed that we do have reservations with them. Our 3 days/2 nights Legend Hotel Palawan accommodations came with free airport-hotel-airport transfers and set breakfasts. We paid Php 500 for the transfers and breakfasts for 2 pax, which is very cheap if you come to think of it.


The Hotel
At the airport, we immediately spotted our van service to the hotel because the driver was holding up a signage. We approached him and told him that we are booked at Legend Hotel and he escorted us to the van parked a few steps away from the airport’s arrival gate. We waited for another guest for a few minutes and drove off to the hotel, which is just around 5 minutes away from the airport.




Location-wise, Legend Hotel Palawan is pretty good because it is near the city proper, other tourist spots and well-known food destinations in Puerto Princesa. Commute is easy since tricycles seem to be always available as soon as you step out of the hotel.




Upon arrival, we went straight to the front desk to check-in, which took less than 10 minutes. We were given welcome drinks, keycards, breakfast vouchers and WI-FI password. We were also welcomed by flashing our names on the LCD screen at the lobby.




We noticed that the hotel already shows signs that it is quite old; which is unobjectionable because from what I remember it is one of the first major hotels in Puerto Princesa. But few renovations and overhauling can definitely be beneficial to the hotel.




The  Legend Hotel Palawan has the Filipiñana theme like that of their counter-part in Manila. Function rooms are named after the famous islands and places in Palawan, like El Nido, Busuanga and Coron.




The ceiling of the lobby/buffet dining area is painted reminiscent of the sky which kinda looks realistic and would have been better if the lobby was well lit instead of using dim lights. It is also adorned with strings of Capiz shells that drops in alternating levels which for me, looks pretty elegant.




The Lanai
The Lanai is the area where the pool and open function hall is located. We didn't had the chance to swim in the pool because we had no extra time. We just stayed there just to take photos and while we wait for our tour service to arrive. In one corner of the Lanai is a spot where gym equipment are stacked like weights, dumbbells and bench press, I think this serves as the hotel's gym.




The Hotel Room
The room that the Club Astoria voucher offered was a Superior Room at Legend Hotel Palawan. While we were checking in at Legend, the receptionist told us that they transferred us to 305 instead of the original room because it has not been cleaned and prepared yet and since we arrived few hours earlier than the usual check-in time of 2:00pm. They offered us another room that is ready to be occupied ASAP, which was not a problem, because we can  already arrange our things and start on our exploration of Puerto Princesa.




When I phoned Legend Hotel and Club Astoria, I requested that they reserve us a room with a queen or king size bed, both said it was noted but not guaranteed; after all, it would still depend on the room availability. Due to the fact that we were given another room that was not the one originally reserved for us, the room that we got had 2 beds, 1 double size bed and 1 single bed. Again, we were ok with it.

The room was large but very basic. It is clean but will always remind you that it is already aged. Our room was located at the 3rd floor of extension building connected to the main building by a bridge, which was very near to the pool area.




The bed and linens are  clean but the mattress was kinda too firm and not the most comfortable for us, but I was fine with it.




The air-conditioning is ok as well, even if it is just a window-type. For the size of the room that big, I find the LCD TV small, but at least our room has LCD TV unlike in the other rooms that still have the CRT ones.


 


There were ample spaces where we can put our stuff and the open closets are huge and contained hangers. There is an available coffee-making facility and a mini ref. But there is no safety deposit box that can be found.




The Bathroom
Our room’s bathroom in Legend Hotel Palawan is pretty decent and comes with basic toiletries. We didn’t use the shampoo, soap and toothbrushes because we brought our own. I find the soap kinda weird because it didn’t make enough bubbles/lather and had beads that seemed like a body scrub more than a soap.




I commend the hotel because they have a readily available heavy duty hair dryer inside the bathroom and I need not call their housekeeping to bring me one. Fresh and clean towels are also at hand.




The toilet has a bidet that is not the usual bidet that you will see because it  emerges from somewhere in the bowl and it isn’t just one but two. We were pretty amazed by this feature of Legend Palawan’s toilets.  I like their rainfall shower head that is fixed on the ceiling and the water coming out of the faucet and shower heats up in a few seconds too. Additionally, foul smell isn’t present inside the comfort room and tiles doesn’t have molds or mildew.


 


The Service
The kind of service that we experienced from the Legend Hotel Palawan is just ok or average. But, yes, they were all polite, helpful and efficient. Every time we ask for something they are fast to respond and know what they say and do. One time I asked for a socket adaptor for my camera charger, the front desk handed one to me ASAP.


touchdown Puerto Princesa Airport!

On our last day at the hotel,  since we still have a Honda Bay Tour to do, we need to check-out before we proceed with our activities. The front desk just asked us to fill out a form for the luggage that we will leave with them/ Checking-out was as fast as during our check-in. I even asked “Are you sure ok na?” and the front desk replied, “Yes ma’am”. I was surprised how fast check-in and check-out were, she just radioed someone and we were ok to go.

What I noticed was that the staff don’t usually smile a lot. Although, most often than not, they’ll greet you when you see them.

Also, whenever you take  a trike to go to some destinations around the city, the guard gets the plate number and the contact number of the trike driver as part of their security measurement. This in turn made us feel safe. So the every  time that we would need a trike driver we would only use the service of one tricycle driver which is Bryan. Bryan has attended a seminar at the Palawan Tourism Office, so besides driving you to the places you want to go in Puerto Princesa he will can also serve as your tour guide. If you’re not very picky with what transportation to use, availing of tricycle service and tours will save you a lot.


The Food
What we enjoyed most about our stay at Legend Hotel Palawan was the food. From what was emailed to us in our reservations, our accommodation came with daily set breakfast; but when we showed the breakfast coupon to the staff at Tanglaw Restaurant (located at the lobby of the hotel), he told us to just proceed at the buffet area. I didn’t  bothered to ask anymore to verify if we are really suppose to eat buffet.




But by the looks of it, they didn’t seem to serve any set meals. We really enjoyed our breakfasts especially that we had lots of choices.




My Thoughts
Remember I said awhile back that there was no safety deposit box in the room? Well i have a story to share, and I don't know if this means something is being proved or what. When we entered our room from our trip to Dos Palmas, we noticed that the coffee making facility (coffee sachets, mineral water botles, coffee mugs), the tissue paper rolls  and the towels in the bathroom were replenished and the beds were made up. I told him I didn't call the reception or housekeeping to clean our room up or I didn't put a "make up room" sign on our door. We both felt very uneasy about what had happened and we immediately checked some valuables that we left inside the room. Anyway, we completely forgot about it and just let it passed since nothing was lost. Our concern was nobody informed us before and after that somebody would enter our room, clean it and replace the toiletries etc. Just a suggestion to Legend Hotel, inform your guests if you're going to enter their room to clean it up, because we were ok with it, but they might get in trouble with other hotel guests.

Overall, I can sum up our stay Legend Hotel Palawan a comfortable one. It isn’t awesome per se,  if it’ll be based on how beautiful or how great the hotel, the food and the service are; but it is wonderful because it was for free and we were treated very well.

So the next time you get invited to some promotional event, if you have the time to spare, why not go for it? You'll never know what surprise you may get out of it. Being skeptic at times is ok, but sometimes letting your guard down will give favorable outcomes in the end. Living a life full of skepticism and cynicism about other people and businesses will get you no where. One must always have the courage to take a risk and have a leap of faith.

Well I'm proud to say that we are one of those few who took the risk and were able to make use of the free accommodation voucher. If only we have the money to avail of a membership with Club Astoria, we wouldn't have think twice about it. Well, prayers work, as evidenced by this Summer trip, who knows, God will bless us more in the future and we will soon have the luxury to enjoy Holiday Ownership/Timesharing.

latest additions to our growing ref magnet collection :-)


Thank you Club Astoria, thank you for making it possible for us to visit Puerto Princesa. We really enjoyed our trip to Puerto Princesa, Palawan!


The Legend Hotel Palawan:
www.legendpalawan.com.ph
Malvar Street, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan 5300, Philippines
Telephone: (048) 434-4270
24/7 Central Reservations Office
Telephone: (632) 702-2700 to 04
Mobile: (+63917) 7022700
E-mail: centralreservations@legendhotels.com.ph
Website: www.legendhotels.com.ph

Club Astoria Holiday Ownership:
www.clubastoriaplaza.com
Astoria Plaza, 15 J. Escriva Drive (formerly Amber Avenue)
Ortigas Business District, Pasig City Philippines 1600
Telephone: (+63 2) 910.0555 loc 8022

Puerto Princesa Tour Assistance/Licensed Tour Guide:
Bryan Elivera - 09152788528

Sorry if this blog post seems disorganized, I'm kinda not feeling well today and a little feverish. Don't worry I didn't caught Malaria, I usually get sick when there is extreme weather change. But please do visit my blog regularly, this is just one of the few blog posts I'm writing about our Puerto Princesa trip.


Read about my Puerto Princesa Travel Diary blog posts here:
Go & See:
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Kuyba Almoneca, Your Alternative to the Palawan Underground River
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel, & - Puerto Princesa Baywalk
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Palawan Special Battalion WWII Memorial Museum
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Emerald Playa Beach & Nature Park
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Dos Palmas Island Resort
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Where to Buy Souvenirs
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour Part 1
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour Part 2
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Irawan Eco Park and Zipline
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Crocodile Farm and A Peacock I've Never Seen Before
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Mitra's Ranch & Baker's Hill
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Binuatan Creations Handloom Weaving 

Eat:
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Badjao Seafront Restaurant
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: KaLui Restaurant
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Bona's Chaolong
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Kinabuchs Bar & Grill
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Rene Saigon Vietnamese Specialties
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: White Fence Country Cafe

What I wore:

Sleep:
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary:  The Legend Hotel Palawan
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Purple Fountain Courtyard Inn


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1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had so much fun. I hope i'd get there someday. what a lovely place

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