Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Room Review: Grand Villa Resort and Butterfly Center

The road going to Grand Villa Resort and Butterfly Center was a huge challenge considering that their driver, Peachy, was just learning how to drive. They left home early in the morning to avoid heavy traffic and drove slowly to Laguna and arrived at 11:00AM in the resort.

While checking in, the hotel staff at the reception area seems bothered when Rome’s group registered for an overnight stay. She didn't let them in and told to wait until 2 PM. That was almost three hours of waiting!

Rome, who had a tourism degree and worked as front desk officer in a standard hotel in Palawan, knew that it is the standard check in time being followed around the world. The reason behind is for the hotel to allot 2 hours of cleaning and dressing the room up from check-out (12 nn) before check in time at 2 PM. This rule has been very essential especially when the hotel is fully booked. Guests could request a few hours of extension and early check in but that is subject to room availability. Some hotels are charging for extension or early check in but in Hotel Fleuris Palawan, the hotel where Rome used to work in, they allow guests to check in ahead of time as early as 8 AM if there’s an available room without charging their guests extra. They call it COURTESY.

He didn't complain and they stayed in a small picnic cottage while waiting. The kids were tired and bored. All of them were hungry. Food is not allowed to be brought in and the sunken restaurant by the pool has a limited menu to offer. Most of the dishes that they want from the menu were not available. In the end, they decided to have late lunch later that afternoon outside the resort.

Anney, on the other hand, had an ample opportunity with the kids for photo shooting in every corner of the resort. That time, she doesn't need to bribe them. The resort was deserted, green and clean. There were 5 people in the swimming pool area, three of which were resort’s staff.

The resort's policy in check in/ check out time is very strict. At exactly 1:45 PM, Anney asked the staff at the front desk if they could get into their rooms already but the staff declined and told her to wait for 15 minutes more. It was on the 2PM dot when they were allowed to get inside their respective accommodation. The rooms were not pre-cooled and weren’t previously occupied at all!

Their room is nothing special. The shower is tiled, there's water flowing through the faucet, bed is hard, A/C  didn't bring comfort; hot, old and noisy. The TV and the things inside the room are old and not maintained to its brand new glory but everything is clean and tidy. 

There’s an illusion of creepiness behind the Spanish-Filipino inspired resort but the kids enjoyed the activities and the amenities it offers. I'll tell you more about it on my next post. Adios!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Exotic Goan Getaways

Sometimes a summer holiday needs to be a bit more than just sleeping on a warm beach and dipping your toes in to a hotel pool. That’s why we were given Goa holidays. The smallest state in India, Goa is an easy-going and fascinating region with a local culture that provides a gentle sense of mystery and intrigue, which is what draws the tourists back more than the beaches.

Made popular by the yogis and planet friends due to its beautiful scenery and air of calm, more and more families are starting to pick up on the trail. As tourism grows the facilities are rapidly developing, with beach side cafes and restaurants springing up. The accommodation is basic if you travel North but the Southern regions are rather more luxurious.

If you’re fond of your creature comforts and like being prepared, many tour operators are now offering affordable package breaks to Goa. Take Thomas Cook package holidays for instance. Travelling with a well-established tour operator such as this means you will be able to secure a tried and tested hotel with everything you need to get your holiday off to a great start.

The cost of living in Goa is very low, so if you eat out it will be very easy on the wallet as well as a superb dining experience. Let’s face it - people do not tend to travel to Goa in the hope of getting a cheap holiday, it’s all about the country and getting into the culture, seeing the breathtaking sights and learning more about the local way of life. There is of course great wildlife to be seen as well. Take a trip to see a tiger and lion reserve, spot elephants wandering about in their natural habitat and watch giant sea eagles soaring on the breeze. For a vacation that’s a bit more than an everyday summer holiday, try Goa and discover a new passion for living.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Travel Tip: Cut the Cost of Airport Parking Charge

"Park and Fly" option for the constant traveler like you has been very convenient since it has been introduced. Travelers around the world particularly in United Kingdom’s Heathrow terminal 5, the newest terminal at Heathrow Airport and is home to British Airways that offers direct flights to numerous destinations including New York, Milan, Madrid, Bangkok, Dubai, Dublin, New Delhi and Tokyo is offering a wide choice of car park Heathrow terminal 5, ranging from quick and convenient Meet and Greet parking to standard park-and-ride, to long-term car parks, and hotel stay-and-park.

Here are some tips on how to get a cheaper rate:

1) Book in advance - Definitely, large amount of money equivalent for another vacation would be saved if you book in advance. Travelers could save almost half of the published price.  To obtain the discounts, holiday makers must book at least 30 days ahead of time.

2) Park off-site - There's always a number of independently operated car parks close by. The downside would be the transfers to and from the terminal that can take a little longer but there are also car parks that offer shuttle services. Choosing this option  can be markedly cheaper.

3) Use price-comparison websites or Apps - There are websites or applications on your phones or internet that could help you compare and decide what's the best prices and services that might fit your need. In finding authentic apps or price-comparison websites, read reviews to make sure its not a haux.

4) Go straight to a parking agent - Avoid middlemen or fixers. Go straight to a parking agent of yor chosen car park service.

5) Check out hotel stay-and-park deals - Should you have a scheduled early flight, I suggest to stay the night before in a hotel near the terminal. If you also need car parking, it won't necessarily be an indulgence as many hotels offer bargain stay-and-park rates.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Entertainment on the Go for Digital Traveler Like You

This post brought to you by DISH. All opinions are 100% mine.

The old fashion way of planning our dream vacation meant waking up at unholy hours to line up at the railway reservation counter, frantic calls to travel and tour agents for the best deal, research on how to get to a destination, gathering travel guides, inquire what to see and eat as also what to wear on those trips and finally packing for every need.

Fast track to the present time, the birth of browser becomes traveler’s best buddy. All that I mentioned above will only took just a few mouse clicks or taps on the phone's app to plan the trip. From mapping a route if you're walking or using public transportation, booking domestic and foreign flights, to making hotel reservations, everything can be done online.

I agree, it's more upsetting losing a smart phone during a vacation than luggage. But entertainment obsessed travelers would be more upset about missing their favorite primetime shows and series.Introducing DISH's "The Hopper" for a traveler who is always hopping from one destination to another but wants to be entertained. The Hopper is a Whole-Home HD DVR available only from DISH. Only the Hopper lets you watch live and recorded TV anywhere and instantly skip commercials in recorded primetime TV on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. Plus, you can record 6 different shows at the same time during primetime and store up to 2,000 hours of your favorite shows.

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It has a features that designed to utmost entertainment because DISH believes you should be able to control how, when and where you watch TV.  It lets you transform your computer, smartphone or tablet into your TV and enjoy your same TV from home–anywhere! With Hopper you could watch TV on your tablet or smart phone while waiting for a flight at an airport, watch recorded TV anywhere you want even without an Internet connection when traveling just by transferring your recorded TV programs to your iPad with their free app before you leave the house and you can enjoy your favorite movies or shows on flights or keep your kids entertained during a long road trip, even when you're offline. With the cheapest packages starting at $24.99, you could get the Hopper FREE when you sign up for DISH (For 12 months with 24 month commitment. Restrictions Apply.)

Now you don’t need to buy iTunes movies and shows just to be entertained while on the road. It's a holiday! I'm sure you can't wait to go to your planned destinations this coming summer season.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Travel Tip: How Can You Get Free Wi-Fi Access at Any Airport?

Before going on to Rome's next destination, here's a digital travel tip for a digital traveler like you. Haven't tried it yet but maybe its true, I just found it on one of my favorite website, 9gag.

If you're trapped in an airport because of delayed/cancelled flight, you might wanna kill time and boredom browsing the net. What if your laptop/iPad/Smart Phone doesn't subscribed in data plan? 

This might work! Please limme know if its working. Ok?