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All reviews water cooler samsung tv iced tea sabang pier floor room wished we could have stayed longer nice tv boat shuttle facilities including free laundry service no elevator prompt response big swimming pool perfect accommodation smaller room the penthouse the hotel offers
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Reviewed 17 March 2015

the trip over is very easy, just a quick 2 hour bus drive from manila to batangas, then a 1 hour roro boat to sabang beach, the bus has wifi and films during the trip very affordable and quick. you can either walk up to the hotel about 10 minutes from the pier, or take a 2 minutes boat for no more than 300 php.
you can also treat yourself with a private car and boat provided by the hotel - contact them for prices and times.

location- The hotel is located on sabang beach which is close to the main pier, and all the restaurants and bars, yet is at the quieter part of the beach so you enjoy your every day peace.

Dive- many dive shops nearby we enjoyed diving with blue ribbon, the hotel staff can guide you to whichever fits your budget and preferences.

rooms- very spacious and clean, seperate bedroom and sitting area with a tv, beds are very comfortable and cozy, kitchen is equipped with everything you need, tv and dvd provided, even an ipod/iphone connection to play your own music. aircon works grea , for a bigger budget-the newer villas are just amazing with seaview and a private balcony.

pool- the pool is great!, beautiful, fun and relaxing, you can have a wonderful fresh fruitshake while on your sunbed with fun music and a great welcoming staff attending your every need.

people- Chris, the owner was wonderful, helping us get settled and making sure we get the best room, for the best price.
had a whole week stay here, and marlon and al helped us get a tour to everywhere we wanted to go.

food- The restaurant is open 24 hours! and cooks the best food on the island! room service available any time you need it , they even made me soup one night when i was sick.
even if you don't stay here, don't miss out on this delicious food.

highly recommended by all standards.

Room Tip: rooms are located on a hill, most take quit a few stairs to walk up, if you are unfit for that ask for one in the lower levels.
  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Yaeli E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris S, Owner at Lalaguna Villas Luxury Dive Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 March 2015

Hi Yaeli
Thank you for taking the time to write such a nice review. It was a pleasure having you both stay with us so long and I am glad we were able to help you finish your extended tour of the Philippines on the right note.

It's great to see some more praise for our hard-working and talented chefs. We'd like to think we offer some of the most creative and healthy dishes found anywhere in the Philippines. Since your visit, we have installed a refrigerated dessert display case in the cafe, which makes it even harder to resist indulging; it is only those stairs between me and obesity. And thanks for the reminder, we should promote the 24 hour operating hours more than we do now.

FYI, for next time, we provide guests with a free shuttle between the resort and Sabang pier, if we know your arrival time.

Marlon sends his regards, and we hope to see you again someday.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2015

A few days after I booked and paid the deposit at Lalaguna Villas, I found out that there was an incoming storm (Amang/Mekkhala, Jan. 2015). I immediately emailed them to ask about their cancellation and refund policy. I was past the refund period but they said they consider special cases where severe weather or health issues are involved. I decided not to cancel because we intended to continue with our trip since Puerto Galera/Mindoro was not in the storm's reported path.

Unfortunately, on the day we were supposed to be there, PAGASA (the Philippines' weather authority) posted a severe weather bulletin assigning Storm Signal No. 1 in Mindoro. I immediately contacted several places in Puerto Galera - ferry operators, resorts, etc. - including Lalaguna Villas to inquire about the situation. Almost all of them replied saying that we should not continue our trip as the ferries had been cancelled due to the storm. Lalaguna Villas replied saying the weather seemed fine. I replied saying that, unfortunately, we will have to cancel our trip as we did not want to put our children at risk. I requested for a refund as they did say that they considered cases of severe weather. We exchanged several emails wherein Chris (the owner/manager?) basically refused to refund. I know that is his prerogative but what bothered me was that his tone was increasingly hostile throughout our exchange. I found it very unprofessional and quite offensive. I filed a claim with PayPal to try to refund my deposit but PayPal denied it because they said they only issue refunds for goods or products and not services.

To be clear, I'm not looking for payback or sourgraping because I did not get a refund. I actually thought twice about leaving this review because part of me just wanted to put this whole stressful matter behind me but I realized that other TA members might benefit from my experience so here it is. Based on other people's reviews, Lalaguna Villas is a good enough resort and I'm not discounting that. If you're set on going here, I suggest you use a booking site or some other option where you will have a chance to get a refund in case your plans change. Another thing to think about is how you might be treated. I really appreciated that a lot of the resorts I contacted in Puerto Galera did not try to tell us to risk the weather and proceed with our trip just to get our business. They put people's welfare and safety over business. Sadly, I cannot say the same about Lalaguna Villas or Chris specifically.

I seriously wish the resort all the best despite everything. I really was looking forward to our stay here as the place seems very nice. I'm hoping they will consider this as constructive criticism and try to improve their customer relations, if not by being more considerate but at least by being more professional and courteous in their communications.

  • Stayed: January 2015, travelled with family
    • Service
15  Thank princepesa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris S, Owner at Lalaguna Villas Luxury Dive Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2015

Like millions of others around the world, I use and rely on user reviews before making travel plans and selecting a hotel. It is a powerful tool for the consumer to have; on the sell side, we all welcome praise where warranted and constructive criticism is even more valuable to ensure our product is everything we want it to be.

But the system has a darkside, in the (thankfully rare) situations where a guest uses this forum for their personal gain, rather than objectively informing others.

Here we have a distressingly inaccurate version of events, containing, amongst others:
- monstrous and absolutely untrue accusations about lack of care for the safety and lives of children;
- omits extremely relevant facts, such as our offer to credit the deposit in question in full against a future booking, an offer graciously and thankfully accepted by all others similarly affected;
- makes disparaging remarks about my tone in our correspondence although the transcript will reveal unfailing courtesy in the face of her increasingly strident tone and outrageous accusations.

If space permits, I will happily include the entire transcript of our correspondence with the reviewer at the end of this response, otherwise it will be posted on our website so that others can make a decision based upon the true facts. I will also include our submission to PayPal, which is definitive and will be sworn as an affidavit in the inevitable defamation proceedings which must follow.

Briefly, to fill in the gaps omitted by the reviewer:
- The booking was made prior to the holidays announced to coincide with the Pope's visit. We were inundated with inquiries and completely booked out. There was a severe weather forecast which turned out to be wildly inaccurate.
- The coastguard did order ferry services to be suspended, but a number of private boats crossed in both directions, as evidenced by the fact that some guests left on the day in question, and others arrived.
- The reviewer had a 2 night booking, but did not travel to the port to observe conditions first-hand or to engage a private boat, and yet makes the accusation that I was willing to risk the lives of her children by stating, in response to her inquiry, that the sea "...is as flat as I have ever seen it".
- Nor did the reviewer attempt to travel the following day. On the contrary, she was demanding a refund at 7:50am on the day of arrival, hours before she was even entitled to check-in. I am inclined to speculate that she had other reasons for cancelling but I have no evidence of that apart from a complete failure to attempt to travel here.
- I made a mild observation that due to the combination of unfortunate circumstances, the resort would lose 2 nights of revenue, not just the one night covered by her deposit, which provoked a stern reprimand and brief instructions about how to run a resort.
- Ultimately her claim is based upon the unavailability of her preferred transportation service rather than an actual case of severe weather at, or en route to, the resort. We do not offer a ferry service and therefore we are unable to guarantee it. If she had booked our private transfer service and we were not able to honor that booking, that would of course be a completely different situation and a perfectly valid claim.
- Despite her animosity, I offered to credit the deposit in full against a future booking, surely the best outcome one could hope for but which she declined. I made the same offer to others who were pleased to accept it, and nobody else held out for a refund instead.
- Instead, the reviewer opened a dispute with PayPal, which is supposed to be a mediation process, but 3 minutes later escalated it to a claim. Perhaps the mediation might have been a helpful process. I responded fully to this thinking it was necessary and to protect our reputation, but PayPal later advised they claimed no jurisdiction.
- I guess this kind of "review" was the inevitable next step, although I am shocked that anyone could be so self-righteous as to distort the facts and context to such an extreme.

Many people have suggested it would be easier and less time consuming to refund the woman her P3000. Yes, it would be easier; yes, it would have saved me many hours worth of correspondence. And yes, it would have avoided the damage caused by her "review" and her rating, which has already dropped us 3 places down the charts. But there is a principle involved here, and I can't allow us to be bullied by blackmail.

Lalaguna Villas is an extremely and uncompromisingly ethical resort. We pay all our workers well above the minimum wage; we recycle avidly; we sponsor, at present, 2 scholarship students; we conduct a community works program which has already benefitted a number of schools in this vicinity. We provided free accommodation during genuine typhoon weather, and support a number of aid programs. We use batteries and rainwater rather than consume the scarce resources of power and water in this area. We are responsible corporate citizens and community members who are not at all inclined towards exchanging principle for profits. It is preposterous to suggest we would encourage a guest to risk their lives to travel here, or that we would ignore a valid claim for a refund, in the pursuit of profit above people or planet.

Chris Shannon
Director and Shareholder

PS I just realized I cannot include the unedited email transcript as it would reveal the identity of the reviewer, which is not permitted. I will make the necessary croppings and append it shortly, In the meantime I must submit this post as I am keen for the aspersions made in this review to not remain unchallenged any longer than they have already. (It was Valentines Day when I noticed the review, and I had even more important promises to keep, until now.)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2015

Sabang is one destination that is redeeming itself after losing out to Boracay, Laiya and White Beach (PG). And what better way to redeem itself than through LLV. It is a jewel in Sabang: tasteful modern rooms and bathrooms (some with private jacuzzi), complete kitchen facilities, fantastic views, friendly and very accommodating staff--and the biggest pool in Sabang! If you arrive/depart via Sabang port, they have private boat service to take you to/from the hotel. Upon arrival, they give cold towel, frappe iced tea and light grilled sandwich. Perfect after more than 3 hours of road and sea travel. The gym and clubhouse are small but still serve the purpose to work the muscles and play a few games.

The steps to upper rooms may seem daunting but the view from your balcony is truly rewarding. Breakfast is not included but still, you won't regret ordering their Hearty English Breakfast.

This is a place that is run by someone who really knows how to manage a hotel. Definitely the BEST hotel now in Sabang!

Room Tip: Take one of the newly constructed rooms. The room above the clubhouse is perfect for a small family.
  • Stayed: January 2015, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Ma Cristina W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2015 via mobile

I've been to Puerto Galera before and this time stayed at the LaLaguna villas and was by far one of the best resorts I've stayed at. The staff were amazing and polite and would always offer drinks by the pool and make sure my stay is perfect. The villa I stayed in was clean the bed was comfortable and had a view of the beach and ocean. The pool was quiet and very relaxing. Although some construction is going on I asked a staff member about it and sounds amazing and I'm looking forward to finding out about it the next time
I come to LaLaguna Villas! The food was extraordinary the chef Bernie certainly knew how to cook!
I can't wait to come back to LaLaguna villas next time!

  • Stayed: December 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Anounymoustraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2015 via mobile

We spent four night in a group starting with 10 members on the 1st night and finished with 25.
Though the villas distribution was not so easy, the owner was very accomodating... And so was his staff as we checked in.
The quality of the rooms was great, the jacuzzi worked well, the view from the top floor's terrasse was outstanding to watch NYE fireworks from.... But most of all, the 25 of us felt as in a five star hotel in terms of quality of the service, included the didicated cooks and f&b manager.
Only downsides: the very high staircase to get to the bedrooms (but the higher the floor, the better the view) and the poor quality of the beach front (compensated by the size of the pool).
Thanks Chris and team for the great stay!

Stayed: January 2015, travelled with friends
Thank asiatravelersteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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