First things first. This is not a sponsored post. I was not asked to make this review. I did so because it’s too awesome not to spread out there. Good lobang must share lah.
So this is where I stayed when I was in Dumaguete. It’s the GoHotel. Operated by the Robinson’s group, it’s a complimentary service to their Cebu Pacific airline. GoHotel aims to be the leading value hotel while still providing a quality hotel stay. Right now there are only five branches, but they still want to open ones in areas where there’s a Robinson’s Mall and where Cebu Pacific flies.
You get a 4 star room while paying the price of a hostel dorm by Singapore standards! Unlike regular hotels, there is no room service, pool, or other amenities. If you require the basic hotel to sleep in while you travel in the Philippines, this place is seriously a leading contender.
Most GoHotel’s are attached to a Robinson’s mall. The one in Dumaguete is right across Robinson’s Place. This is great because you’re not limited to just the hotel. There are a lot of food choices, shops, and even a movie house a stones throw away.
If you’re familiar with the concept of budget airlines, then GoHotel should be easy to figure out. The earlier you book, the cheaper the room will be. So far, the cheapest I’ve seen is Php388 (just S$12!) before taxes. When rooms get booked, the prices increase by the hundred.
By the time I remembered to book mine, I was able to get rooms that cost 588 pesos (S$18) a night, and for a THREE DAY stay including taxes, I paid Php2074.24 or S$63. Try beating that at a local Singapore hostel! When we were already there, my friends inquired what that day’s check-in rate was… and guess what, it was still affordable at only Php999 or S$30 a night pre-tax! Research on the ‘net says that room prices max out at Php3000. :-D
The check-in time is strictly 2pm — there are no leeways for this. If you want to check in earlier, you have to pay half the price of the room for that day. Because this is a no frills hotel, all additional services come with a fee. Case in point — because I arrived early and could not check in, I had to leave my luggage behind. Storing my pack in their luggage room cost me 50 pesos. They also sell complete a complete toiletries pack at the counter, in case you’re not satisfied with the basic soap and shampoo they provide in the room.
Also a weird observation, when I checked in, all I gave them was my name. I never showed an ID or my confirmation number. Then, they made me fill out some forms. After that, I was already able to get my room key. Hmmm… shouldn’t they have at least confirm my identity or did they already pre-stalk me on the internet so they knew how I looked like?
I was able to get a room on the first floor with a window overlooking the rear garden. Great location because that meant I didn’t have to carry my bike up the stairs! The rooms operate by key cards — a lost key card only costs Php100. I still wonder how I lost mine. :-(
My room was equipped with WiFi, lots of cable channels on an LCD tv, a small safe, two small bedside tables, a wall mounted writing table and a towel rack. There was a floor length mirror, and the wall behind the headboard was also mirrored. I think they did that to make it seem like the room was bigger.
Even though this is a no-frills hotel, the bed was INCREDIBLE. The sheets were high thread count cotton, the quilt was soft and clean, and there was even an ergonomic/chiropractic pillow. It was perfect to sleep on.
My room became a black hole of sorts. Every time we would stop by my place, my friends would ZONK OUT. C’mon, just see the photo above and below! Next thing we knew, hours had already passed while we were napping.
There are a few rules that they have: no smoking, and no eating in the room. While I understand both rules, I still found it funny that they gave me a bundle of junk food — some cup noodles, coffee, a bunch of chips, etc — as a promo welcome gift. Where do you expect me to eat this? Hehehe. I admit I opened the chips in my room. My bad. I’m sorry. In any case, thank you Gokongwei family. :-)
The GoHotel was an unexpected gem and I was spoiled by how nice all the staff in the Dumaguete branch were. Every time I would come back to my room, people would compliment my Brompton. They never even made an issue when I folded my bike which was wet from the rain.
I swear the next time I have to book a place in the Philippines, I will check if there’s a GoHotel nearby, and honestly, you should too.