Booking accommodations for romantic holiday trips are a bit tough (I mean, expensive), especially when looking at the last minute.
Matt & I had booked a trip to Puerto Princesa for our quick holiday, in celebration of our 7th monthsary. We booked it only about a week before our holiday so we had to rush in finding a proper holiday destination. We wanted somewhere nice but won’t break our bank. Thankfully, after a handful of hours of research, we found Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort, which ranks highly in trip advisor (http://www.tripadvisor.com) as 2nd out of 29 recommended hotels in Puerto Princesa.
Unfortunately, their hotel website was not working so I had to search it online to see whether I can find travel agents connected to this hotel. I found a deal for Daluyon Resort at www.whl.travel. We’ve never used this service before so we were a bit hesitant in the beginning, but after several more hours of research and seeing that we have limited choices in terms of getting a hotel with a great location & good reviews (not to mention reasonably priced), we decided to try and book through WHL travel.
We found the online service to be quite good. After booking our reservation they immediately sent our email confirmation & request for payment the following day. We booked a double standard room with breakfast and stayed there for 3 nights. The total cost of this was P15,528.24. Booking is required to be secured with credit card payment (either on the booking page or using paypal) as they are able to reserve the room for you for only 24 hours, after which they are unable to guarantee the reservation.
Our short romantic holiday:
After landing in Puerto Princesa, we met a driver outside of the airport who offered to take us to the hotel for P2,500. This was P500 cheaper than the original offer of WHL travel as well as the other drivers outside of the airport. I understand P3,000 is the standard fee (one way) from Puerto Princesa Airport all the way to Sabang . We had a van all to ourselves and our driver, Jimmy (if I recall his name correctly – sorry I’m very bad in remembering names) kindly offered to drive us back to the airport on our return trip for the same rate. This was P1000 savings in total so we agreed. He offered to take us on a city tour during our holiday if we wanted to but we said we were going to think about it and just let him know.
Coming from a midshift work the day before, we barely had any sleep. So even though we had eaten breakfast at the NAIA airport and the view to Sabang is actually beautiful and relaxing, 2 hours into this journey made me very exhausted and a little sick to my stomach. Thankfully after what seemed like forever, we have arrived and this outstanding view is what welcomed us. All I could utter was, WOW. There were hardly any people on the beach and I wanted to splash in the water immediately, however, after such an exhausting journey, we crashed right in our bedroom. It was early evening when I woke up.
Our room was basic with a king size bed. From our room window you can see the ocean. It’s beautiful holiday destination. The “native” interior of the room felt cozy although after closing all of the wood blinds it was really dark inside. The room has both fan and air conditioning, TV & phone. The bathroom was standard size and clean. There are posts in the room that promote how the resort highly values its commitment to the environment. In fact, it’s solar powered.
You can get free WIFI at the front desk area. Sometimes I would get a signal from our room, but hardly. The TV signal is not good, so the hotel offers movies which you can borrow for free and play on the DVD. Even the mobile phone signal sometimes is bad. It’s probably due to the fact that’s it’s in a remote location; it’s pretty far away from everything. For a person used to the city life that offers all of these amenities in a standard hotel, this could be a disappointment , however, when you’ve got such outstanding views of your surroundings and with the love of your life, you wouldn’t really care at all. In fact, it’s very nice to be away from it all and just be in the moment, relax and enjoy each other’s company.
After seeing how far it is from everything, I was originally concerned that we had limited choices for food while staying at the island because of its remote location. Thankfully, the resort actually serves good food. With the exception of the pork chop which was dry and boring, everything else was great.
We love the food served in our resort. One night we tried eating at Sheridan hotel (http://www.sheridanbeachresort.com/), another resort near Daluyon. They had a lovely dinner set up by the beach , which we loved so much; unfortunately the food didn’t live up to our expectation. It’s nowhere near the food served in Daluyon. Quite frankly, I could go to a jollyjeep in Makati and get a better tasting food. We paid for an overpriced romantic dinner meal by the beach (about P2,500 per person from memory) but food was really crappy. I honestly thought it was a joke that you could have such a great set up and serve such a crappy food. Thankfully we didn’t stay there. We saw this resort as well on our research and we thought it looks beautiful what with the amazing Olympic size pool that came with it. It’s a beautiful resort, but I would have been very disappointed had we stayed there. Matt and I are big food lovers, so the food had to be good.
While strolling around we saw this unbelievably cutesy little animal they call, Palawan’s bear cat ; got our photos taken and they made a souvenir shirt of it.
They also had this snake around for tourists who want to hold and take photos with them. Matt was so brave to try this but I wouldn’t dare. Ewwwww!!!!!!! Super scary!
After about 20 minutes of waiting, we got souvenir shirts printed with our fave bearcat photo for I think around P500 or P600 for 2. We thought it would be great to later remember our experience while wearing our matching t-shirt (cheesy I know, haha – but we love it!)
Of course we also did 2 of Puerto Princesa’s highlights, such as visiting the underground river, and riding Sabang’s Zipline.
On our last night, we also booked a massage service in our room, which was really great and relaxing. The staff are staying in the resort’s staff accommodation so it was easy to arrange this with them.
With the exception of the underground river boat tour which we booked on our own, everything else was charged to our room (food, cocktails, drinks, massage & Sabang Zipline ride). After 4 days in the best holiday destination, we spent roughly around P10,000 for everything else on top of our accommodation which we had paid online before. We found this to be quite cheap since we ate tons of delicious food, we had loads of drink and we also had the massage and the zipline ride for 2). This was cheap considering the bill in one of our monthsary dinner dates at SALA in Makati was really close to this one.
Even though we did a lot of things on this trip, it didn’t feel rushed because we took time and decided when we got there what we were going to do. We just wanted to get away for a while and celebrate our monthsary together chillaxing by the beach. Thankfully we were in a great location and we achieved both chillaxing and doing lots of fun activities together.
If you’re looking to “get away” from it all, Daluyon Resort in Sabang Puerto Princesa is definitely your place to go. It’s perfect for couples and families alike. The limited number of guests in the resort made us feel like we had the resort all to ourselves. Most of the time, we only see the other guests over at breakfast. Aside from the amazing food, service is great. The staff were friendly and accommodating.
The resort is close to the Underground River (about 15-20 minutes by boat) and the Sabang Zipline (about 5-10 minutes by vehicle or 20-25 minutes of walking from the hotel to the starting point of the monkey trail, and another 10-15 minutes of trekking to the start of the zipline, depending on how physically able you are).