August 21, 2010

Dissatisfaction Guaranteed at The Dawal Beach Resort

the resort entrance (this photo is courtesy of Joseph Molde)

After a 5 hour road trip, imagine checking in at a resort (where you made prior reservations and deposited the requisite 50% down payment) and find out that your room is NOT available. This was just the first of the comedy of errors we encountered at the Dawal Beach Resort - only it didn't feel like a comedy for us who were involved. (but of course!)

I fumed at the hapless front desk staff who could only apologize for the "overlooked detail". The room we were supposed to get was occupied until the following day. We had no recourse but to get an alternative room.

Allow me to backtrack a little: prior to our trip, we arranged for our accommodations and specifically asked for 5 adjacent rooms: 4 quadruple and 1 double. The resort assigned us to two adjacent "cottages" located on the left side of the entrance of the resort and three rooms near the pool area. Theoretically, this was fine. 

But when we got there, we found out that the three rooms near the pool area were not really adjacent to each other. And there was that hullabaloo with our room still occupied. In reality, we were booked on rooms that were really far from each other. As we were all quite tired after the 5-hour trip, we felt that we had no choice but to settle in as we were all eager to freshen up, lie down or dip in the pool. But then HB prodded me to try to look into the other available rooms that were nearer to our companions. To cut it short, we finally settled into a smaller room near the pool area.

While the rooms were tastefully furnished, the bed sizes were small. (I think, you, dear reader, will agree that a room suited for double occupancy would have either 2 single beds or 1 queen sized bed at the very least.) Alas, they fitted their rooms with single and double sized beds only. The extra mattresses were very flimsy and were charged at Php 400 each.

We were also dismayed with the meal arrangements. When we inquired, the resort staff said that we could bring in our own food for a minimal corkage fee and minimal cooking charges. It turned out that the cooking charges were unreasonably priced. We were even charged for a "deposit" for the use of their pot and pan. In the resort's restaurant, some in our group tried to order but most of the food listed in the menu were unavailable!

The little things piled up and we had to stop ourselves from getting really mad so as not to ruin our mini-vacation/team building activity.

the resort as viewed from the beach entrance
(this photo is also courtesy of Joseph Molde)

On the positive side, the Dawal Beach Resort is a huge property fronting the beach and the island of Potipot can be viewed easily from its shores. Also, I must say that  the resort's facilities are quite extensive. Aside from the kiddie and adult pools, the resort was equipped with other recreational facilities such as billiard tables, table tennis, and dart boards. There was also a separate bar area near the beach entrance.

the reception area

the adult swimming pool with slides

the restaurant

billiard tables and table tennis

Dawal Sports Bar and Grill

The resort's overall design and landscape are impressive. I also noted the collection of bonsai scattered all over the property.

impressive bonsai

And to be fair, the rooms do look nice both on the inside and out. The bathrooms were modern and hot shower was readily available.

poolside rooms

poolside rooms

poolside room interior

row of standard rooms

standard room interior

pink cottages

standard and deluxe rooms

building with dormitory type of rooms

If only they would train their staff to be more professional. And they've got to do this real soon.

No comments: