This could be a delightful guesthouse; the greed of the owners prevents that.
When I arrived for a three-day pre-paid stay, I found they had overbooked the last night. Their neighbours and reviews on this site confirm that the owners often do this. Rather than discuss the situation with me, they put me in a dorm room albeit with a door separating my mattress on the floor from the other mattresses. For that ‘privilege’ I paid three times as much as those sleeping outside my door.
It definitely wasn’t what I had booked as this room – and the dorm – are not listed on Booking.com so I couldn’t have booked it. And it was much more basic than what I had paid for.
Elsewhere in Port Barton there are similarly priced places with better amenities right on the beach. In Puerto Princesa, you can get a lovely ensuite in pleasant surroundings for not much more money.
I tried to discuss the situation with the owner but she wasn't interested. Fact is, none of the staff seem very interested in hospitality.
- Breakfast could be decent if served hot but cold fried eggs and cold toast is not so great (so I wasn’t worried about turning up on schedule the 2nd day). No tea, just Nescafe and Coffee Mate; not enough chairs for everyone to sit down to eat; not enough clean cups for everyone to have coffee and no one wanted to do any washing until breakfast was over.
- I had expected somewhere to sit and read but the only place is the breakfast table which itself is in the middle of, well, everything: Laundry, toilet rolls, cleaning supplies, toys, filing cabinets, the reception area, staff (who had conversations over my head as they worked around the area), children watching television… it’s as if a family room was ‘cleared’ by pushing everything to the sides, plopping a table in the middle and adding one metre of space around it for chairs. In a dark room. With yesterday’s dried fish on the table. (On my last morning I found a concrete bench and table outside that I could use but it hadn’t been made clear that this was part of Ferranco’s.)
- Bathroom. I had expected my own but re-reading the description I see this was my fault. Still, even with a shared bathroom I don’t expect one small room with cold shower and toilet (knees bang on wall opposite so must sit sideways) that is shared by everyone in the cottage (up to 12 people?). And to get to the toilet I had to walk through the dorm where people were sleeping, down the stairs, through reception, through the dining area and hope it’s not occupied. Not great if you get a dodgy tummy in the middle of the night.
Some of the advertised amenities that I didn’t get:
- “A hotel room”. Yes, it is a room. But the bed takes up the only normal height part of the room, the rest is 1- 1.5m high meaning even the shortest person must walk around stooped over. To get to the room I had to walk through the ‘dorm’ (a bunch of mattresses on the floor).
- “Double bed”. Well, it was a double mattress, but on the floor, not a bed.
- “Desk”. Yes, just large enough to put a small bag on. Other than the bed, that was the extent of the furniture – no shelves or anywhere to put clothes etc.
- “rooms are equipped with a seating area”. No. No chair or other place to sit.
- “Certain rooms also offer a kitchen with a fridge and a stovetop. Some rooms at the property have a balcony with a mountain view.” I didn’t get any of those rooms – and wasn’t offered the choice. The view from my room was – from window 1, the satellite dish right outside. Window 2, other people’s bedrooms 2 metres away (so limited privacy) and their aircon unit that roared to life in the middle of the night
- “Internet Access”. There was a good wi-fi connection to the router but extremely limited access from there to the internet (around 64kbps – not Mbps, K…) – this is dependent upon the package the owner’s purchase as faster internet is available at other places.
- “Air conditioning”. No. And as the cottage is wide open to the elements, there are mosquitoes in all common areas (rooms outside the cottage may have aircon).
- “Hot shower”. No. Very cold.
I had booked for three nights but left after two; I lost my third night’s rent (pre-paid).
On the plus side, Ferranco’s is clean and the town’s electricity supply has recently been upgraded to 24/7 so no daily blackouts.