Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gigantes Hideaway Inn 2017 Experience

Finding a place to stay at when you are traveling can be really tricky. You don't know what surprises the place will bring you. It can either be good or bad things, right? Well, it's a good thing that information are available over the internet nowadays. You can search almost all places with recommendations from bloggers and backpackers so hindi ka nangangapa in the place you're going to.

Before our Gigantes trip, my sister and I looked for a nice place to stay. As I have mentioned on my previous posts, we would like to DIY as much as we can.

Gigantes Hideaway Inn is a famous place to stay in Gigantes Island. I would say famous because most travel bloggers who stayed here recommends the place.

Why Gigantes Hideaway Inn?

There were 3 resorts that my sister looked into: 

Gigantes Hideaway Inn - was really responsive on my text messages. They answered my questions although I felt bitin at some point since their answers weren't direct to the point. Probably because they were trying to offer packages and I am looking for a DIY fees, so it might be a reason they can't quote me a proper price. We later on decided to book their accommodations only since my sister managed to rent a local boat from a relative.

Rosewood Resort - was also on our list but they were really hard to contact. They respond to my text and facebook messages after a day or so which isn't really helpful if you're cramming to find an accommodation for your upcoming trip.

I also tried to contact Arjan Resort but they were closed during our trip due to family problem, says the person whom I sent a text message to.

To make sure we have a place to stay at, we settled in Hideaway Inn.



Since the island doesn't have a phone coverage, except on a certain part of the island they called "Call Center" as other blog says, I was really worried that it will be hard to communicate with the hotel. I thought wrong since they reply to my messages quicker than the other two resorts.

During our stay, we weren't able to make calls or even texts since literally no phone signal is available. 



Gigantes Hideaway Inn offers packages which includes Island Hopping including tour guide, Boat transfers, Full board meals (breakfast, Lunch and dinner) add accommodation of fan room. This complete package costs Php2,185/head per adult and kids 7 years old and above while 6 years old and below are free of charge. This package meant a public transportation from Estancia to Gigantes Island at 10am and 2pm the day of your arrival.

Since we were 10 pax at the time of my inquiry, and we weren't sure if we can make it to 10am public boat, I asked how much it will cost for a private boat for transfers and island hopping. This way, we could manage our own time and plan our own itinerary. The amount will be at Php2,500/head which we felt quite steep.



The Inn charges Php200/head for their fan room while additional Php500-1,100/per room (on top of the Php200/head) for air conditioned rooms. 

Originally, my sister booked an air conditioned room for Php1,100x4 adult (Php200/each) = Php1,900 while I found the Php200/head fan room comfortable since I want to experience the "probinsya style" which was a bad idea after all. Lol! I have Jami with me and it's quite humid at some point. One fan isn't enough for him and me plus Nanay who would stay in our room too. I decided to upgrade to air conditioned room at that instant. They offer rooms good for 3 or 4 occupants. Rooms good for 3 are rooms inside an old big house with 4 rooms, a huge living room, kitchen (with no equipment) and an outdated, dirty bathroom. I paid Php200x2 + 500 (for AC room) = Php900.




The AC room for 3 persons gave us very basic things. It has 1 double bed and 1 single bed, a fan and an AC. We also have 3 pillows and a very small blanket. Hehe! You know I could live in this, di naman ako choosy. What's important for me is that, Jami can comfortably sleep at night. I wasn't just really happy with the restroom since it looked dirty, stinks, and old. It has a very old plastic drum that's broken and looked really dirty. No sink available but a broken and old mirror. The water supply isn't good so kelangan mo muna mag ipon ng water sa sirang drum before you can take a bath.

Nanay wasn't glad either since she doesn't want to stay in a very big house tapos walang katao-tao. Haha! Talk about scared of ghosts. 

The room given to us was a makeshift room made from wood. For me, it looked like an old dining space that was converted to a room. Our walls were made from woods that divided us from living room and the kitchen. I wasn't happy since there were three other rooms in the house and it seem to be deserted so I can't understand why we can't occupy that.

Meanwhile, my sister's room that are good for 4 occupants looked better and they have their own restroom. I forgot to mention that electricity is only available from late afternoon to 6am the next day so to make the room cooler, you can open the windows and doors in the morning. You'll just have additional guests by then - the flies. =D 



Included on Hideaway's package are the full board meals. They would refer to it as Buffet style but when we were there, it was plated, so it was Buffet-plated meal. They serve seafood only so if you are a fan of seafood, then it's a feast. For some who aren't, it's kinda tricky. For I am a very picky eater, I had trouble liking the food since it's very new to me. Lol! I don't eat a lot when traveling so it wasn't an issue anyway. I'm sorry for I have no photos of their food. I will work on it on my future travel. =) Their buffet-plated meal are for php185/head which includes 3-4 types of seafood viand and rice. Gigantes are rich in scallops, fishes and squids so expect that these are the food they would likely to serve.



One thing that I am not really happy about was their services. When we came to Bulubadiang Island, where their hotel extension is, a guy approached my sister and said that he was the tour guide assigned to us for our entire stay. Since we have our own boat and the boatmen/relatives could take and tour us to our destinations, we opted not to take a tour guide from Hideaway Inn. We advised him that we only wanted the accommodations and that we will take care of our island hopping etc. He said it was okay so we proceed with our island hopping and went to Hideaway Inn in the late afternoon for check in. 

Since our relative brought food with them, we asked them to cook it for us for a fee of Php150. Came dinner, we asked what they have in their menu that we can order. They then asked if we have our tour guide because he's also in charge of everything like food, accommodation, etc. So meaning, the tour guide isn't just for touring you around but also in-charge of everything you might require. Because we wanted to DIY and didn't opt for a tour guide, we ended up with only ourselves with everything we need in the resort. We asked if we can buy whatever they can cook for us but since they offer "Buffet" food, we could only buy if there are extra serving. 

It was kinda frustrating knowing that they can't help us with our requests because we only paid for accommodation and not their "package". They were expecting our own boatmen to assist us throughout. Pano naman mangyayari yun? Our boatmen doesn't work in the resort. It's as if they were trying to explain to us that we need to get a tour guide if we want them to assist us. We were leaving early next day, it won't be practical to get one either. We contented ourselves with the food brought by our relatives and ordered two of their "buffet-plated" meal. 

We checked out early next day so we can go back to Estancia port before lunch. We asked how much do we have to pay in total and noticed they weren't organize at all. They are not even sure how many food we took on lunch. We paid them and just before we left the hotel, a lady approached us and said we haven't paid the drinks we took for dinner. I can't believe it wasn't even included on the final bill we paid. Anyhow, I was really glad we're leaving since I can no longer tolerate the services.

My Take 


These were our experience of the resort. It may be different from others who took their packages. It seemed that they advertise their packages too much, they failed to offer good services for those who prefer DIYs. Or probably because they thought we were locals because of our relatives and our own boat so they lack the assistance and services they usually provide to tourists. Even so, would it only be fair to treat every guests fairly?

If I will be asked if I'll recommend the resort? No I won't. I will not go back there at all.

I loved Gigantes Island and there's so much I have yet to see but I'll sure try other resorts. We were told by our relatives that the owner was the first tourism officer of Gigantes Island so it was probably the reason why it was so famous, but then there were other resorts that looked well-maintained.

When we went to Gigantes Island, I lowered the expectations of the resorts since it wasn't like the ones that we see in Manila. I am totally aware that this will be a pobinsya-like way and that I have no complaint on that. I just thought that based on the reviews that I have read from other bloggers, that this resort will give us a homey and stress-free stay. For the amount we pay, the resort is not well-maintained. Oh by the way, the tour guides were having their drinking session on their mini bar while we eat dinner. At first I was thinking there were guests too, but later on realize that they weren't.

Please also note that their swimming pool is no longer available. If it is, I tell you, it's really small. I wasn't even in the mood to take pictures of the resort because I don't recommend it at all.

This summarize our stay on Gigantes Hideaway Inn. This is not to ruin their nice online reviews since this resort's target customers are those who are backpacking. For family with kids, look elsewhere or get a tour guide and pay more so they could accommodate your concerns.

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