Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An undesirable stay at Alobijod Cove, Guimaras

I already tried reaching the cellphone number of Raymen Beach Resort, months prior to our trip to Guimaras. But since I wasn't getting any response from them, I tried looking for an alternative. That's when I found Alobijod Cove on Facebook. I sent them a message on both Facebook and through SMS, and was able to get a response on the latter. There weren't many photos to convince me to book. But I felt like I had no other option since we really wanted to stay by Alubihod beach. Anyway, the booking was settled after a few days. I was able to reserve 2 nights, and wasn't required to put in a downpayment. Great, right?

When we arrived in Alobijod Cove, we went straight to the resort's small tindahan (store). There we met this lady (probably in her 50's) who we introduced ourselves to. Odd as it was, she still had to ask me what room I had reserved. Although she read from the guest list that I was to be expected that day. Anyway, I told her that what we got was a Fan Room (Php1,000/night). 

Construction site -- building new cottages.

Our room wasn't ready yet since they were expecting us to arrive by lunch time. We got their at 8 am. But after waiting 10 minutes or so, she finally handed us a key to our room. Here's what welcomed us upon entering the room:


The bathroom looked old and really needed an upkeep. The door knob was really rusty too. It felt dirty just grasping it. Even the shower system had rust on some areas.


Glitch #1: Not many choices from the resort restaurant

After checking-in, Rubel and I asked the lady caretaker if they were selling hot, cooked meals from their restaurant. She said yes. But after stepping foot into their bare-looking restaurant, and after finding out that most of what we wanted to order from the menu weren't available, we took it upon ourselves to go out of the resort and to check elsewhere. That's when Raymen Beach Resort came to view. We were welcomed there as if we were their own guests.

That's the restaurant. No one's around to eat here, even the few guests who were there (I think we were 2 pairs) 

Glitch #2: No hot water. Water was running low. 

When breakfast was over, Rubel and I went back to Alobijod Cove to freshen up. That's when we realized that there wasn't any hot water. The water from the shower was also running low. So I urged Rubel to ask the lady caretaker for updates. Then more water came rushing from the shower head right after we called their attention. But the mishaps didn't end there. 

Two thumbs-up for their resort's food! 

When Rubel and I woke up from our afternoon nap, we swam by the beach and then headed back to Alobojid Cove for our late lunch. This time, we gave the resort a chance to impress us. So we ordered some grilled pork, corn & crab soup, rice and each a soda. The cook/waiter told us that we'd have to wait 45 minutes before our food gets served. Since we weren't in any hurry, we waited. But thank God the wait was worth it since everything that we ordered were hot, tasty and very hefty in serving. 


Glitch #3: Getting locked out of the resort at 7pm!

After lunch, we went by the beach again. It wasn't until night time when we walked back to Alobijod Cove. It wasn't 7 pm yet when we realized that the resort gate was already chained and closed. Thankfully, it wasn't chained all the way. Rubel was able to untangle it, giving us the chance to enter the premises. That's when we approached the lady caretaker and asked about the gate rules. 

We didn't like how she replied to us when we asked her politely why the gate was closed. She said "'Hindi naman kayo nagsabi. Kung nagsabi kayo na lalabas pa kayo, eh hindi sana kayo nasaraduhan." (You didn't tell us anything. If you just told us that you were still going out, then we wouldn't have closed it.) She then told us that the final time for closing the gate will be 10 pm. So after being oriented with the time, we told her that we were just going to eat dinner at Raymen's. But we promised her that we'd be back before 10 pm. She just nodded. 

Glitch #4: Getting locked out of the resort before 10 pm! 

So after having dinner at Raymen's, we headed back to Alobojid Cove almost immediately. But lo and behold... the gate was chained for real this time! We were complying to the rules. We were already at the gate at 9:30 pm since Raymen's was just a short walk away. We had no means of calling anyone's attention since the caretakers were so far from the gate --- but we could see some of them singing from the restaurant's videoke machine. Rubel had no choice but to climb up the wired fence and call for someone to open the gate for me. 5 minutes after, the chain was unlocked. 

When we walked towards our room, we locked eyes with the lady caretaker, while giving her that questionable look "we just talked about the gate closing time earlier. Why were we still locked out?" 

A photo that I took of Alobihod Cove's gate during lunch. 

Anyway, it was the last straw for us. I had to text Ms. Michelle (the lady who I was in constant correspondence with) that we needed to leave early the next day. She didn't reply to any of my text, so I went to talk to the lady caretaker with my concern. I told her that we needed to check-out the next day. And being the cranky lady that she was, she just shrugged us off and just told us to settle things with Michelle (who clearly wasn't replying). It was only back in Iloilo, when I finally got some internet connection, that I found out that Michelle did reply to my SMS. But she replied to my CHIKKA Messenger, which I had no means of checking since Alobijod Cove had no Wifi. 

Glitch #5: No Thank You's. 

We got up real early the next day to eat breakfast at Raymen's and to inquire if they had an available room for us. Thankfully they had several. So after packing up all of our stuff, we paid our balance to the lady caretaker who was at the store at that time, and then headed out of Alobijod Cove. We left the resort without hearing any 'thank you for staying with us'. The lady caretaker walked us out and was about to hail a tricycle for us when we immediately declined to it. We just had to tell her that we were still eating lunch at Raymen's and wasn't ready to leave yet. 


My Verdict 

I felt a bit uneasy when we were thinking about leaving Alobijod since I initially booked two nights with them. But after the unpleasant experience with the unkept facilities and rude customer service, I knew that leaving was justifiable. My kuya even told me not to worry about them. It was my vacation, so my stay with them should've felt like one. I shouldn't have to worry about anything. It's their fault why they lost my business -- why we left unhappy. 

As soon as we got a room at Raymen's, everything started to feel more comfortable and peaceful. It felt like I was on vacation again. Thank God this beach resort was able to lift our spirits up after a not-so-good, first day in Guimaras. 

How about you? Have you experienced any unpleasant lodging stories while in Guimaras? 

Explore & Be Free! 
Mai