El Nido Garden Beach Resort

El Nido, Philippines
#13 of 16 hotels in El Nido
Poor (1.5 out of 5.0) 4 reviews
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Based on 46 reviews
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Romantic Travel and Honeymoons Beaches Kayaking
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oreoero's Profile Photo

El Nido Garden Beach Resort-A Nightmare!

by written on May 25, 2009

Before booking El Nido Garden Beach Resort, I checked all over for reviews, including this website. Only thing I found was a youtube vid posted by the owner’s friend and a recommendation posted by Judith Distal, owner of The El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe.

After these finds and communicating directly with them via email, we booked the El Nido Garden Beach Resort because they met our two main criteria...they had beach front rooms and (we were told) 24/7 AC.

We arrived in El Nido by banca, up from Sabang where we stayed at Daluyon Resort, which was a little slice of heaven. We had pre-booked El Nido Garden Beach Resort online and paid 50% down.

When we checked in, we were required to pay the remaining balance for our entire stay up front. I thought this a little odd, but paid nonetheless.

I was soon to find out why.

We arrived at approximately 3:30 PM on April 19. We were led past a very algae-green swimming pool to our beach front room. The room was beach front, but it faced the pool and other beach front cottage across the property.

Once in the room, the first thing I did was to check out the bed, which was as hard as a rock, and the bedspread smelled very musty.

We turned on the AC and started unpacking. When I put my toiletries in the bathroom, I noticed that the handle on the faucet had been broken off and epoxied back on. I didn't think much of it until it broke right off a few 'on-off's' later. I also noticed that the water in the toilet was yellowish-brown. I flushed it and it was still yellowish-brown. So I thought that maybe they were using grey water for the toilet.

We took much needed showers in cold water because the hot water wasn't working. The bathroom floor steps right into the shower and all were made of the same tile, which became VERY slippery when wet. We also noticed that the water coming out of the shower was kind of yellowish also, but didn't seem as bad as the toilet...same with the lavatory. It wasn't until we filled the lavatory with water that we saw that the water was just as bad as the toilet.

The AC was not doing a very good job of cooling, so we plugged in the fan (we wondered why there was a fan in the room with AC.)

There was a decent sized window facing the water, but in front of it was our large TV, so the view of the bay was not really what I would call picturesque.

Upon turning on the TV, we found that it was not hooked up, so I proceeded to do that. There was a supplied DVD player also. Next to the tv/dvd was also the fridge, which was next to the fan...follow me thru on this...there were four electrical appliances right there, but only two outlets, so I would need a power strip or something in order to use all four, which I did need to do later…or I could unplug the fan and fridge to watch a dvd which was not an option.

Also, the lamps beside the bed were not plugged in, so as I went to do so, I found that there was a plug for the lamp on one side of the bed, but the plug for the other side had been knocked into the wall and was unusable.

I began to see why they made me pay all the money up front.

We decided that we didn't want to stay there, so we went to the office and spoke with the desk clerks. We told them about the hard smelly beds, the not so cool A/C, the broken faucet, the need for more plugs, the yellow water, the slippery floor, and no hot water. They both had the expression of deer caught in the headlights....this blank uncomprehending stare.

They pretty much were just mum when I told them I wanted a refund and did not want to stay there. They did not know what to do, except, as regards the yellow water, we just needed to run it for "a long time" and it would clear up. So I asked to speak to the manager. I was told that he would be there around 5:30.

So we went to explore El Nido and find an internet cafe.

On our way back, we stopped by the hotel next door with a similar name (minus “Garden”) and checked to see what their rooms were like. For P3000 (+/- $60) we got a comparable waterfront room on the second floor with AC. The wall facing the water was ALL GLASS and had a fantastic view. The water was crystal clear. We told them we might be back.

We returned at 6 PM and spoke with the manager. He said that they had already replaced the faucet, checked out the AC and found a problem that was being fixed, would supply a power strip, and would put extra spreads on the bed to make it softer, which they did.

He also said that we could check out, but would get no refund because they could have booked the room to someone else if we had not booked it. I explained to him that the room was not worth any where near the $145/night we were paying and he said he would "call Manila" in the morning about getting us a discount.

So I rented some movies and went back to our room to turn in for the night and watch some movies.

We decided not to book a tour for the following day but rather just take it easy and get to know El Nido.

The power went out two times while the movie was playing and we had to restart it each time, as there was no remote for chapter selection. (Also, ALL the movies there are Chinese knockoffs, so the quality is not so good.)

We awoke at 8:AM and lazed around in bed until 9:AM when the power went off.

It stayed off.

I went to the office and the manager met me there with a smile on his face, saying that he had "talked to Manila" and they had authorized a $25/day discount, but he was going ahead and making it a $35/day discount.

I said that was all well and good, but what about the AC? I thought it was 24 hour. He said that it was not, that it was tied to El Nido power, which is on approximately 16 hours a day. I told him that the main reason I booked there was because I was told it was 24/7. I told him to check his emails and he would find where someone had told me that.

He said he would.

I then inquired about tours. He said that their tours were more expensive than others, but they offered more than most others...better food...better service, and that kayak and snorkeling equipment were included (very much what was said in the favorable review I mentioned). I thought that sounded great, so I book a tour for the following morning,

Back to the room for showers/etc. As instructed, we ran all the water (shower and lavatory) for a LONG time....LOOOONNNGG TIME....still yellow. So no showers.

We then went to get breakfast in the restaurant that their website boasts offers world class dining. We had two choices for breakfast...A ham and egg sandwich, or a bacon and egg sandwich. After some disappointed comments, they finally agreed to fix us scrambled eggs, garlic rice, and bacon.

After breakfast, we went off to explore El Nido. We went to various shops, sari sari's, grabbed a bite of lunch, and went to an internet cafe, where I checked back with this Web site to see if there were any late breaking reviews.

Sure enough, a week before, someone must have stayed in our same room, because the water faucet broke for them and they had same issues with bedclothes, water, etc.

After reading that review, I was pretty ticked off, so upon our return to the resort, around 4:30 PM, I asked to speak with the manager. He had just gotten back from the tour and would be in the office around 6 PM.

I notice that one of the young men who worked there was carrying in from the water a box of what appeared to be supplies for the tour, which included the snorkeling equipment. The masks and fins were the very cheapest you can find. The fins were cheap yellow rubber and secured with just straps that go around the back of your ankle, rather than the ones that your entire foot fits into. VERY CHEAP.

We went to dinner and when we got back, the manager was there. I asked to use the internet and I called up the Trip Advisor review I referred to earlier. I read thru it with him and told him that these same issues from a week ago were still a problem.

I informed him that due to this bit of news online, the dirty water and the misrepresentation of the A/C, we were going to check out by 8AM the following morning, that we expected a refund, and if he did not comply, I would call the El Nido Health Dept. to inspect our room.

H\I don't know if there even IS an El Nido Health Department, but he agreed to do so, after he "talked to Manila." But we should know that if we took that action, then he was going to charge us full price for the two nights we stayed.

NOTE: The reason I put "talk to Manila" in quotes, is that there was an older man there on the property who seemed to be really in charge and who I think was the owner. I believe strongly that HE was "Manila."

So we checked out at 8AM the next morning and checked into the lotel next door for less than half the price and had a very pleasant stay for the following 5 days.

In closing, I strongly urge that you DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER staying at El Nido Garden Beach Resort under any circumstance. Your exciting adventure in El Nido will be severely diminished if you do (in my opinion.)

Unique Quality: Totally mismanaged property. Unprofessional manager, Clueless staff. Could be a nice place--instead--a DISASTER.

oreoero's Profile Photo

El Nido Garden Beach Resort...A Nightmare

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on May 25, 2009

First off, I want to say that I believe that the very favorable review prior to this one is suspect. The syntax and spelling are very "Filipino English", not New York, and some of the things they say are almost word for word what we were told by the resort management when we were there.

OK...The review...

Before booking El Nido Garden Beach Resort, I checked all over for reviews, including this website. Only thing I found was a youtube vid posted by the owner’s friend and a recommendation posted by Judith Distal, owner of The El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe.

After these finds and communicating directly with them via email, we booked the El Nido Garden Beach Resort because they met our two main criteria...they had beach front rooms and (we were told) 24/7 AC.

We arrived in El Nido by banca, up from Sabang where we stayed at Daluyon Resort, which was a little slice of heaven. We had pre-booked El Nido Garden Beach Resort online and paid 50% down.

When we checked in, we were required to pay the remaining balance for our entire stay up front. I thought this a little odd, but paid nonetheless.

I was soon to find out why.

We arrived at approximately 3:30 PM on April 19. We were led past a very algae-green swimming pool to our beach front room. The room was beach front, but it faced the pool and other beach front cottage across the property.

Once in the room, the first thing I did was to check out the bed, which was as hard as a rock, and the bedspread smelled very musty.

We turned on the AC and started unpacking. When I put my toiletries in the bathroom, I noticed that the handle on the faucet had been broken off and epoxied back on. I didn't think much of it until it broke right off a few 'on-off's' later. I also noticed that the water in the toilet was yellowish-brown. I flushed it and it was still yellowish-brown. So I thought that maybe they were using grey water for the toilet.

We took much needed showers in cold water because the hot water wasn't working. The bathroom floor steps right into the shower and all were made of the same tile, which became VERY slippery when wet. We also noticed that the water coming out of the shower was kind of yellowish also, but didn't seem as bad as the toilet...same with the lavatory. It wasn't until we filled the lavatory with water that we saw that the water was just as bad as the toilet.

The AC was not doing a very good job of cooling, so we plugged in the fan (we wondered why there was a fan in the room with AC.)

There was a decent sized window facing the water, but in front of it was our large TV, so the view of the bay was not really what I would call picturesque.

Upon turning on the TV, we found that it was not hooked up, so I proceeded to do that. There was a supplied DVD player also. Next to the tv/dvd was also the fridge, which was next to the fan...follow me thru on this...there were four electrical appliances right there, but only two outlets, so I would need a power strip or something in order to use all four, which I did need to do later…or I could unplug the fan and fridge to watch a dvd which was not an option.

Also, the lamps beside the bed were not plugged in, so as I went to do so, I found that there was a plug for the lamp on one side of the bed, but the plug for the other side had been knocked into the wall and was unusable.

I began to see why they made me pay all the money up front.

We decided that we didn't want to stay there, so we went to the office and spoke with the desk clerks. We told them about the hard smelly beds, the not so cool A/C, the broken faucet, the need for more plugs, the yellow water, the slippery floor, and no hot water. They both had the expression of deer caught in the headlights....this blank uncomprehending stare.

They pretty much were just mum when I told them I wanted a refund and did not want to stay there. They did not know what to do, except, as regards the yellow water, we just needed to run it for "a long time" and it would clear up. So I asked to speak to the manager. I was told that he would be there around 5:30.

So we went to explore El Nido and find an internet cafe.

On our way back, we stopped by the hotel next door with a similar name (minus “Garden”) and checked to see what their rooms were like. For P3000 (+/- $60) we got a comparable waterfront room on the second floor with AC. The wall facing the water was ALL GLASS and had a fantastic view. The water was crystal clear. We told them we might be back.

We returned at 6 PM and spoke with the manager. He said that they had already replaced the faucet, checked out the AC and found a problem that was being fixed, would supply a power strip, and would put extra spreads on the bed to make it softer, which they did.

He also said that we could check out, but would get no refund because they could have booked the room to someone else if we had not booked it. I explained to him that the room was not worth any where near the $145/night we were paying and he said he would "call Manila" in the morning about getting us a discount.

So I rented some movies and went back to our room to turn in for the night and watch some movies.

We decided not to book a tour for the following day but rather just take it easy and get to know El Nido.

The power went out two times while the movie was playing and we had to restart it each time, as there was no remote for chapter selection. (Also, ALL the movies there are Chinese knockoffs, so the quality is not so good.)

We awoke at 8:AM and lazed around in bed until 9:AM when the power went off.

It stayed off.

I went to the office and the manager met me there with a smile on his face, saying that he had "talked to Manila" and they had authorized a $25/day discount, but he was going ahead and making it a $35/day discount.

I said that was all well and good, but what about the AC? I thought it was 24 hour. He said that it was not, that it was tied to El Nido power, which is on approximately 16 hours a day. I told him that the main reason I booked there was because I was told it was 24/7. I told him to check his emails and he would find where someone had told me that.

He said he would.

I then inquired about tours. He said that their tours were more expensive than others, but they offered more than most others...better food...better service, and that kayak and snorkeling equipment were included (very much what was said in the favorable review I mentioned). I thought that sounded great, so I book a tour for the following morning,

Back to the room for showers/etc. As instructed, we ran all the water (shower and lavatory) for a LONG time....LOOOONNNGG TIME....still yellow. So no showers.

We then went to get breakfast in the restaurant that their website boasts offers world class dining. We had two choices for breakfast...A ham and egg sandwich, or a bacon and egg sandwich. After some disappointed comments, they finally agreed to fix us scrambled eggs, garlic rice, and bacon.

After breakfast, we went off to explore El Nido. We went to various shops, sari sari's, grabbed a bite of lunch, and went to an internet cafe, where I checked back with this Web site to see if there were any late breaking reviews.

Sure enough, a week before, someone must have stayed in our same room, because the water faucet broke for them and they had same issues with bedclothes, water, etc.

After reading that review, I was pretty ticked off, so upon our return to the resort, around 4:30 PM, I asked to speak with the manager. He had just gotten back from the tour and would be in the office around 6 PM.

I notice that one of the young men who worked there was carrying in from the water a box of what appeared to be supplies for the tour, which included the snorkeling equipment. The masks and fins were the very cheapest you can find. The fins were cheap yellow rubber and secured with just straps that go around the back of your ankle, rather than the ones that your entire foot fits into. VERY CHEAP.

We went to dinner and when we got back, the manager was there. I asked to use the internet and I called up the Trip Advisor review I referred to earlier. I read thru it with him and told him that these same issues from a week ago were still a problem.

I informed him that due to this bit of news online, the dirty water and the misrepresentation of the A/C, we were going to check out by 8AM the following morning, that we expected a refund, and if he did not comply, I would call the El Nido Health Dept. to inspect our room.

H\I don't know if there even IS an El Nido Health Department, but he agreed to do so, after he "talked to Manila." But we should know that if we took that action, then he was going to charge us full price for the two nights we stayed.

NOTE: The reason I put "talk to Manila" in quotes, is that there was an older man there on the property who seemed to be really in charge and who I think was the owner. I believe strongly that HE was "Manila."

So we checked out at 8AM the next morning and checked into the lotel next door for less than half the price and had a very pleasant stay for the following 5 days.

In closing, I strongly urge that you DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER staying at El Nido Garden Beach Resort under any circumstance. Your exciting adventure in El Nido will be severely diminished if you do (in my opinion.)

Unique Quality: Totally Mismanaged Property. Could be a nice place, but instead is a total disaster. Non-professional management, Clueless staff.

DO NOT STAY HERE!

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on April 14, 2009

We recently stayed at this hotel and had the worst experience ever. It is definitely not worth $145 (US) a night.

The room and furnishing was very old, especially the mattress and pillows. There was dirty water coming out of the tap in the bathroom sink and in the toilet bowl. I thought that this was normal for the island but when we moved to a different hotel the water was much cleaner. The tap handle in the bathroom sink was also broken. When I mentioned this to one of the staff members I was told it was broken by a previous guest and that I could still use the tap without the handle. There is a TV in the room but you could only view 1 channel. You have to ask staff in reception to change channel for you.

Continental breakfast is included in the rate but all we got was coffee/tea, egg and bread. Every morning we had to look for a staff member to serve us the breakfast.

There is no electricity in the hotel from 6am - 12pm and from 4pm - 6pm. This was standard across the island however one would think that if the hotel was charging guest $145/night they would have a generator. When I asked one of the staff members if the hotel had a generator, I was told that there was one but there was no diesel for it. I could not believe that they had not purchased diesel for the generator, but then I guess why would you for only two guests? When more guests had checked in the following day, the generator was put on. I was so mad! My partner had been sick with fever for two days and the staff had done nothing to make his stay more comfortable.

The room was not cleaned on a daily basis. When we checked in I found peanuts on the bedside table and this was never removed from our room. On one occasion, we asked for the room to be cleaned while we were out. When we returned the room had not been cleaned. My partner had to go and find the housekeeper to clean the room and all she did was make the bed. She did not change the sheets or towels and did not remove the used cups from the room. We had to ask for clean towels and had to leave the used cups on the table outside the room.

The staff have no customer service skills and are definitely not trained in dealing with complaints. I believe this is strongly reflected by the lack of management. When there is electricity you’ll find most of them in the reception lobby watching TV! The two staff members who look after reception are incompetent. I found dealing with them extremely painful as most of the time they didn’t understand me. When I requested to check out early they just stared at me and wouldn’t let me check out and when I finally spoke to their manager (by phone), he was equally useless!

We would have checked out of the hotel the first morning but couldn’t because of the 50% deposit we paid when we booked. We had booked for 5 nights and so after 2 and a half days we asked to check out. We were told we were not allowed as it was passed check-out time. I requested late check out and was happy to pay the difference but because it was after 5pm we had to pay for the full night. If it hadn’t been so difficult dealing with the staff and trying to get in contact with the manager, we would have managed to check out before 5pm and not at 5.45pm!!

We ended up moving to another hotel, which had better facilities and much cleaner for a third of the cost.

If you intend on having a good holiday, stay somewhere else in El Nido!!!

Judithdistal's Profile Photo

Garden Resort

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on December 1, 2008

El Nido Garden Beach Resort is located within the heart of El Nido town.

Unique Quality: All rooms are within the beach front and swimming pool area and have the following ameneties:

- Flat screen television
- Air-conditioning with remote - control
- In-room safe
- Dining area
- Mini bar
- Refrigerator
- Hot and cold over-head shower
- Towels and toiletries

Directions: At Beach front

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El Nido Garden Beach Resort

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Address: El Nido, Philippines

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Amenities at El Nido Garden Beach Resort

  • Swimming Pool

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