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Jessie and I arrived in Puerto Princesa, Palawan on July 17th, 2011. We had a pleasant flight on a clear day with no turbulence. At the airport, were picked up by Microtel’s courtesy van and taken to our hotel, the Palawan Microtel.
It is a little way out of town, Not far but far enough to give it a remote feeling.
Right away, you’ll notice a significant security presence. Jessie and I were treated very well, treated like royalty or at least first class travelers. A nice touch was when the Microtel Hotel staff offered us each a cool towel to refresh and cool off with. It was very welcome. The trip to the hotel took less than 30 minutes in a nice air conditioned van. We had also dealt with the hassles of two airports which always leaves me feeling a bit like an old bull in a herd of cattle. That extra touch of the cool towel was a very good first impression.
We had zero problems at check in, it went perfectly. Once in our room, we found two nice queen sized beds with Western style beds. My back is so use to less quality these days. It was nice to enjoy a “real” bed once again. Though I do have a mattress and box springs at home, it isn’t the same as I was use to living in the USA. It hasn’t been a problem for me though.
The grounds are very nice. The hotel is surrounded by mangroves but most have been cleared out directly in front of the hotel. It provides a beautiful beach scene with a nice breeze and even a life guard. Though I only saw the life guard on Sunday. At other times, security staff doubled as life guards.
The locust or other similar type creature spent the whole day singing its tune. I suppose that could bug some people, it reminded me of the Southern USA and I rather enjoyed it. There is also a pool that is enjoyable.
We are now on our second day and we spent an hour in the pool last night. After walking along the edge of the resort yesterday evening, I found myself itching around my feet. I had noticed a tube of Off in the bathroom. Jessie pointed out a tiny little note on the wall too. It warns of sand mites and the need for Off. It wasn’t a problem during the heat of the day but it was in late afteroon. That helped me find my way to the pool. That is to stop the itching!
I had hoped to go to the Undegrround River today but I just am not feeling well enough to do it. I will try again tomorrow.
Palawan Microtel Has Some Flaws
Palawan Microtel is nice but there are some inadequacies. There is no room service which to me is a bit of an issue but not a huge one. You can go to the restaurant and take it back to your room if you like. The restaurant is nice but is not air conditioned. In the Philippines, it is common for restaurants and hotel lobbies to have no air conditioning.
While wireless Internet is available in a Palawan Microtel room, at least in theory, it cost P100 an hour and you have to buy 5 hours worth. I expected a much lower cost per day. In fact , Jessie and I both thought it absurd you have to pay for internet in the room considering that we were paying around P3500 for each night. I paid the P500 on Monday but could never get it to work. They did refund us the P500. Considering the location of Palawan Microtel, the connection fees and reliability are understandable. Palawan is still very remote. Many areas are still without electricity.
I went to the lobby yesterday to use the Internet so that I could reply to comments and any customer service that someone may need. The connection speed is horrible. I couldn’t do anything. In an act of desperation, that I expected to fail, I tried my virtual private network (VPN). That should have slowed it down but it didn’t which means the provider is slowing it down intentionally. Most providers can’t detect what you’re doing once you’re on a VPN. Normally, first connecting to the other side of the world slows things down quite a bit. The VPN allows me to browse the web from a server in the USA. That worked but it was still slow in the hot hotel lobby.
I was a little surprised to find that the Palawan Microtel does carry Coke Lite. It can be hard to find in the Philippines so that restored them a bit. I woke up this morning and they are out of Coke Lite. I asked Jessie to find out when they would get more and the answer she got was later. After thinking about it and being fully awake, I realize it was a stupid request in the first place. I was just in a bad mood because I was awake haha. However, the outage is not really Microtel’s fault. Jessie went to town and the grocery store is also out. These things are part of living in the Philippines.
Later we did find Coke Lite in Puerto Princesa but it was hit and miss. Microtel Inn never managed to get any more in while we were there.
The Palawan Microtel provides two trips into the city daily. Jessie was headed into town but missed the van. She waited about an hour in the lobby for a trike to pick her up. I am lucky to have Jessie. My blood sugar got low, probably because I had a regular sugar filled Coke this morning. That can cause a diabetic’s body to over react to getting the sugar back down and then sending it too low. I had to get another one and after that I was fine. That is my own fault, I shouldn’t have had the first one. I don’t even like them. I am one that find it hard to let my habits go and don’t deal with it well when they are taken from me. Yeah, yeah, I should do better.
Television isn’t a major issue for me but the satellite connection in my room is not very good. It is good enough and very clear but then about once per minute, the set displays that there is has lost satellite connection. I assume this is true throughout the Palawan Microtel but I’m not certain. I suspect it isn’t just the hotel though, probably all of Palawan.
None of these things would prevent me from staying there. Microtel Palawan is the only Palawan beach resort in Puerto Princesa. If I don’t choose lower cost accommodations on my next visit, then I will likely stay there again. I am very happy with them overall.
Palawan Microtel Staff Is Incredible
The staff of Micrtrol in Palawan were flawless. I can’t complain about the staff that I have dealt with. I am not pleased with some policies but the staff itself is extremely attentive, friendly and pleasant. The staff really does make staying here pleasant. It is hard to be overly critical when you see the people on the ground working so hard to do everything right.
When you go to the restaurant, they don’t wait for you to call them. If you even look around the room someone will be there to see if you need something. They noticed I was hot and brought a fan. I didn’t ask for one.
Palawan Microtel Restaurant
Besides its fantastic staff, Microtel also has fantastic food in the restaurant. If you like fresh crab, they’ll take it out of the tank, while you watch it wiggle its legs in protest as it heads to the kitchen.
Their pork skewers are very good an cost about P150. Two skewers is not really enough for me so I went back later for a repeat. For round two I choose to seat at a table near the beach but that is where I encountered something biting my feet which I assume were the sand mites.
I had been out in that area several times but it was during the heat of the day and I guess sand mites like the heat and sun as much as I do and they did not bother me then.
The first time I went in I mentioned it was hot to Jessie so they put me under one of the ceiling fans. When they noticed that I also turned on my battery powered fan, one of the staff brought a fan from the back and plugged it in to help cool me of. After that, I didn’t notice the heat again so that worked. As I said before, the staff is unbeatable.
About half way through our visit, the Microtel in Palawan updated their menu. They added pizza. I love cheese so that is always welcome. The pizza was okay.
Security At Microtel Palawan
There is a guard house at the entrance with an armed guard and metal pipes extending arosss the road with a stop sign.
We were greated by additional security when we exited the van. They were not security guards but looked like hotel management. They had holsters but I was unsure if they had weapons. The holsters appeared to be empty. Perhaps backup in case something does go wrong.
I observed the uniformed security guards following proper gun handing protocol when handing a weapon to another person. That is an indication of proper training and that they actually follow their training.
On Sunday, some nearby kids followed me to the hotel. That happens a lot to me. I try to be friendly as I know there have been enough rude expats before me. The guards were quick to send them on their way. They were not begging, just curious about the friendly white guy. They were well behaved children.
Romance and Families At Microtel Palawan
Microtel is not like most places I have visited. There are no loud or drunken expats. Well some might be drunk but I couldn’t tell.
There are a lot of couples here, often a older white guy and a 30 something year old Filipina. There are also many Filipino couples here.
Tonight I witnessed a young lady escorting her young man out to the beach in a blindfold. She had arragned for a candle light dinner on the beach. How sweet. 🙂 I hope she remembered some Off for the sand mites or it may turn out to be a much nicer thought than it is as an activity.
Lots of romance in the air though. I noticed another couple bundled up in a chair on the beach about 1am.
There was also a lot of families and kids here. Most of the people that are here fit into this category. However, it may not be typcial. I had a hard time getting a room because there is a convention here. The week before and the week after were no problem but this week I couldn’t get a room directly at all. I had to go through a travel agent that must be buying rooms in advance. The travel agency also had a better rate than I could get online.
People staying at the Palawan Mircotel are a bit more wealthy than what I usually encounter, especially among expats. Since I most often travel on the cheap, I usually encounter others that do that. Even in those place one will often encounter the upper class of Filipino.
The food pricing at the Palawan Microtel was not expensive. Our four nights and five days came to a total of about P3o00.
The beach at Microtel Palawan is nice. I’ve seen some people complain about it online. I found nothing wrong with it. Sure their is low and high tides and the expected lack of water at times but that’s just the sea. Low tide does come in longer and last longer than it does in Bantayan.
The beach is clear, not a lot of rocks , didn’t see any sea urchins and not many sea weeds floating by. I found the beach to be just fine.
I hope to return to Palawan and I would stay at Microtel again without a second thought. The only reasons I would stay at another location would be to lower my cost or so that I could review another location on Palawan. The Palawan Microtel offering a beach, great staff and a swimming pool makes it a very enjoyable place to spend your time while in Palawan.
To see the gallery of photos from our stay at the Palawan Microtel click here.
Filed under: Philippine Resort
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