We arrived early afternoon in Puerto Princesa and Janry, Fairy Jane's brother, pick us up from the airport. It is just a short ride to the villa, about 15 min, but when you arrive you feel like in another world. All arround green and just nature, even it is so close to the city center. The mountain view is amazing.
We booked the house for 4 people and we could choose between 4 sleeping rooms. The kitchen is well equipped, everything you need is there, even a rice cooker. The living room is very confortable and enough for 8 to 10 people. As we were only 4, we enjoyed the huge space in the house. There is a TV and the Wifi is working fine. The pool is well maintained with clear water, we used it every day to refresh and start the morning with a swim.
Even there was a water restriction from the local water supply at the time of our visit, we were happy that there is a deep well and we had water supply 24 hours. And the best: the tropical garden. We were offered fresh fruits from the trees, we never seen before. It is relaxing and beautiful. There is also a badminton court.
In the evening we liked to sit outside at the pool or at the balcony to watch the terrific sundown at the mountains. It is calm, friendly and silent. Also there is a housekeeper family at the entrance, but we never really saw them. Only when we needed something they were very helpful.
The only thing that bothering us was the road to the house, it is partly in very bad conditions, so tricycles refuse to go there. But just as we stayed in the villa they started to concrete the road, so soon it might be perfect.
All together we enjoyed our stay, the house is beautiful, the hosts nice, the area amazing. Comparing to a hotel room, which is the same expensive (if you want a pool), there is space, privacy and a beautiful tropical garden good enough for 6 to 10 guests. We will come again!
The property is in a quiet, relaxing location. It’s a bit remote but to be fair this is made very clear by the owner Werner before arrival. The grounds are lovely and the villa has lots of room for a large group to be comfortably accommodated with good facilities. Janry who works for the owners is brilliant, really helpful, patient and went out of his way to make our stay enjoyable. He has great local knowledge of what to see and do.
However, we had a number of problems which marred our trip.
Despite giving our flight number and arrival time to the Werner, the German owner, he gave the wrong information to the driver. This worked out well for us, however, as we ended up paying half of the amount we had been quoted for a transfer from the airport although it was quite stressful trying to contact Werner to find out what had happened to our transport. It might be more helpful to provide a local telephone number to use in the event of problems. The German number we had was not useful due to international call rates and the seven hour time difference!
We eventually gave up making requests for the cable TV to be enabled. It was “going to be sorted out soon” for the whole weekend and never was. OK it’s a first world problem but it’s shame the facility was not provided.
The main problem, however, was the lack of water supply except for one downstairs tap for about 75% of our stay. I understand that in the Philippines things may not always work as efficiently as in other parts of the world and that the owner cannot be held responsible for things out of his control. What was frustrating, however, was that we were given different explanations of the cause and unfulfilled promises about when the issue would be fixed. Explanations varied from a burst pipe to local drought. As the road to the villa was apparently in bad condition due to recent heavy rains I was a bit confused by the drought explanation.
Unfortunately even when water was fully restored none of the toilets flushed meaning we had to use buckets to empty them. Knowing that things do not always run smoothly there is some scope for the owners to improve the villa by providing emergency backup for utilities and installing water pumps to improve the flow.
So overall, although “luxury” is a rather subjective term, I wouldn’t say the villa falls into this category.
Whilst Werner responded quickly to emails and did his best to help us he was obviously limited in what he could do as he was not in the country. Fairy Jane, on the other hand, just seemed to absolve herself of any responsibility. She failed to return our phone calls, visit the villa, respond to our requests to speak to her or make any apology for the problems we were having. As our group were virtually all Tagalog speakers communication would not have been a problem.