My Bad Experience with The Alternative (El Nido)

We went on an El Nido, Palawan trip last Feb.9-13. We were budget travelers so we exhausted what we can do to scout for a cheap accommodation. We spotted 'The Alternative' since it's room is reasonably priced at P800 a night, twin sharing. We'll be staying for 3 nights so splitting the cost for 2 will only damage our wallet at P1200- not bad right? We thought that this is just the right place we are looking for- not pricey but pretty ( as per photos we've checked).

Mid- January, we decided to have a reservation. We asked for 3 rooms and 'MYLA', our contact in The Alternative, said we need to deposit P1200 via M Lhuillier- which we did right away. Several days before our trip we called again Myla, just to make sure our reservation is still OK.

The DAY
It was another 6 hour ride to El Nido after we touched down Puerto Princesa. It was a tiring trip and the last 2 hours was really bumpy due to rough road (Hello, El Nido Mayor- you better act on the infrastructures).

We arrived at The Alternative around 6.30pm, EXHAUSTED but still excited as it is our first night.

We approached the front desk and inquired regarding our reservation.

Blyth( my officemate ): May reservation po kami..

Erica ( the lady at the front desk): Ay, wala ng room..

We were like, HUWAT???? Ganun na lang yun?

Blyth: Panong wala ng room e may reservation kami?

Erica: E kasi tinatawagan ko kayo, di ko kayo makontak. Kahapon pa yung reservation nyo- Feb 8. E di kayo dumating. Hinintay ko nga kayo hanggang ngayong 6pm, kabibigay ko lang room nyo sa iba.

Suddenly, I felt my blood rushing through my head. Gusto kong magmura sa galit!

Me: Paanong Feb 8 e today (Feb 9) ang flight namen? It's impossible we will make a reservation ahead our flight.

Erica: Eto ang nakalagay sa calendar namen o..Feb 8.. kahapon ko pa nga kayo tinatawagan. Kaninang 12pm tumawag din ako, can not be reach na kayo.

Blyth: E wala kasing signal ang Sun saka during that time, nasa flight na kami..

I was really getting pissed off at this fat lady. Ganun na lang kadaling i-cancel ang reservation? I told her it was their negligence for writing it at Feb 8 instead of Feb 9- and now we might not have a place to stay. ( During that time, finding an accommodation is really hard since most places are fully booked already.)

So what's the point of reserving when she would cancel it if she wants to? And without even an advise! Besides, if it was really Feb. 8 as she was saying, dapat tinawagan na nya kami on the same day and asked why we haven't check in. Hindi ba dapat kami ang magsasabi if there are any cancellation?

We assumed some foreigner inquired and gave our rooms to them. Masama ang ugali di ba?

We asked if we can have our reservation fee back. She said she will confirm with 'Myla' if there had been lapses on their part.

So wala pa palang guarantee na ibabalik nya? Kung tutuusin, kumita pa din naman yung kwarto dahil ibinigay nya sa iba. So why not return our money? May tawag sa mga taong ganyan. Ayoko ng sabihin kung ano. Umpf!

The Alternative- sucks big time!

We left the place really pissed. I can swear that lady forever. I even told my friends I will report them to the police should they decide not to return back our money. (Erica said we can go back the next day and talk to Myla as her schedule is from 8am onwards.)

And not even an apology on their part! Kami na ang naagrabayado, di man lang marunong mag-sorry ang babaeng yun.

Bwisit talaga. Luckily, we found a room. It was only good for two but it was spacious enough to accommodate us 5. Now, that was a breathe of relief.

It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.At Shore Pass Lodge, we were able to haggle at the price of P1400 for this new room originally priced at P1300 plus 2 extra mattresses at 300 each- airconditioned pa!.Winner na din ang P500 discount. If we do the math, that's :

P1400 x 3nights= P4200

P4200/ 5pax= P840

Not bad for 3 nights right? Mas nakatipid pa nga kami ngayon. Mabait pa din ang mga lambana at ada sa amin. =))

***
We went back the next day to talk to Myla. From the start she was already apologetic. She claims she really thought our reservation was Feb 8. But she called our number on Feb 9 just to make sure we are pushing thru. (Apparently the number she called was a company phone. Our officemate answered the call and assured her that we are already in flight). So alam pala nila talagang darating kami. Masama lang talaga ang ugali ni ERICA- The Alternative's manager.

Well, moving forward, it was a happy trip at El Nido despite the mishap at that place. Just in case you're planning to make reservation at The Alternative, think again! You dont wanna experience what they've done to us.

I'm recommending SHORE PASS LODGE instead. Not only are the rooms great, mabait din si Kuya Ricardo, the care taker. He was really accommodating to all our needs. I dont think we will receive the same hospitality if we stayed at 'that' place.

Shore Pass Lodge

The roof deck of Shore Pass Lodge..Walang ganyan ang The Alternative! :))

Contact SHORE PASS LODGE at 09072269213 (Look for Kuya Ricardo).

About Allan Bough

Allan works full time as a Recruitment Head for an IT Solutions company in Makati and juggles blogging along side. He’s fond of travelling, a certified beach and nature lover and would want to explore more of Earth’s riches. A former community theater director, a pre school teacher and a frustrated Star In A Million contestant, Allan hopes of conquering the big stage for a spotlight one day. Conversation and people are his passion.
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