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architectyaun
Cebu City, Philippines

Not Perfect but still Very Good

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Aug 4, 2022
Sure, there are newer/nicer hotels in the area but nothing beats the location where you are at the beach within the city.

The good:

- Location is the best. Short taxi ride away from major establishments in Davao; Jollibee, Mc Donald's, Chowking are just by the entrance gate if you like fast food.
- Wide choice of menu at the restaurant. The price is reasonable. I ate here during my entire stay. Loved the ambience at night at their Lobby Cafe;
- I arrived early so the check-in staff brought me to their Air-conditioned Lounge while waiting;
- Spacious Room. Was upgraded to a room with a beach view after my initial booking got cancelled by Agoda & has to go through a lengthy 2-hr discussion with Agoda. Loved the wooden flooring of the room & the old-world charm of the room too. The king-size bed is comfy. Appreciated the block-out curtains since I'm not a morning person;
- Room rate is reasonable given the size of the room;
- Prompt response to my inquiries via facebook prior to my stay;
- Courteous security guards especially the ground roving guards;
- Spa is the best. You should book their signature offering;


The bad:

- Room needs renovation. The paint is chipping off. There's an old smell of the room especially the wardrobe cabinets so I didn't use it to store my things;
- Staff at the restaurant needs re-training. I decided to eat lunch upon arrival but I was told by a male staff that if it's not buffet, I should stay outside. So I stayed outside but all of the outside tables are taken 'coz there's a School Graduation Event. I was just standing there by the restaurant door & no one cared to greet me so I asked a female staff if I can stay inside. I was served eventually & was put in a corner. Gladly, this female staff (forgot her name) took care of my needs but the 1st impression upon arrival has been damaged;
- Aside from the beach, one of the reasons I booked this hotel is the gym. But sadly the equipment of the gym aren't working. At least, the dumbbells and a bench are there so I had still completed my scheduled workout;

The can be easily improved:

- It's expensive to renovate & in the meantime, what I can suggest is just to take care of the old smell of the room. It's clean & it smell disinfected when I arrive but after awhile, the old smell replaces it. I think a simple solution would be to use a reed diffuser;
- Pls tell housekeeping to clean the balcony too. It's dusty especially the railings. And don't forget to let them put slippers too;
- There's no hot water & the cable TV isn't working. The block-out curtains have a gap in the middle so sunlight can still go through. This can be easily addressed by maintenance.

Overall:

The prompt response to my inquiries, the relaxing view of the beach, the nice ambiance of the cafe/lobby at night, the pleasant spa, & the spacious room/comfy king bed made up for the imperfections of the room amenities. I will still stay again in this hotel given the reasonable rates they are offering (less than P3,000/night). But if you are the type of person who stays in the room during the entire stay, this is not the hotel for you as the room amenities will let you down. But if you like to roam around, dine at their restaurant, swim at the beach/pool, experience their spa & don't really mind about room amenities, then this is the hotel for you. It's really value for money.
Date of stay: July 2022
Room Tip: Request for Building 3, short walk to the beach/pool & a serene/private location. Ground flr...
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Problem with this review?
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Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao, Marketing at Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao, responded to this review
Responded Aug 30, 2022
Dear Architect Yaun,

Greetings!

First off, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to you for taking the time to write this detailed review about your recent stay in our property. We're delighted to know that you had a memorable stay despite us having several areas for improvement. We're also very appreciative of your suggestions as it helps us navigate on how we can serve our guests better and deliver the topnotch hospitality and service that they have come to expect of us.

We look forward to your next stay!

Sincerely,

HOTEL MANAGEMENT
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 18, 2022

A decade ago this used to be an excellent hotel. Now it's rubbish. Poorly maintained and sad rooms....dirty floors water I the bathroom floor.
Was given a room with no hot water....the system is down is the excuse! The no reply from from the front desk.....no reply from the manager....just endless ringing.
And I paid top price.
Do not use this hotel.

Date of stay: July 2022
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank L581NAroberts
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed June 12, 2022

The space, the views, the beautiful gardens.
Its unique in Davao city.
Breakfast buffet is above average. Dinner is good too.
Its well located, quite close to the airport, SM mall, and the ferry port to Samal Island. There are also food outlets and a supermarket within walking distance, if needs be.
Staff are generally friendly, and happy to help.

We checked in on 2 occasions, both for short stays in May 2022.
Each room was tired looking, desperately needing renovation. The showers have to be manipulated to work. A bare wire sticking out from the kettle looked dangerous. Twice we had to request towels.

Both times on check-in, there was a sense of disapproval from the staff regarding my (long term) girlfriend. There was a pause while they chose the word "partner" , and asked for her id.....A long pause...
It made her feel uncomfortable, judged.
The bookings had been paid for in advance, or we wouldn`t have returned after the first check-in.
Waterfront hotels should have professional staff dealing with guests, who are able to welcome clients without demeaning them .

We have travelled much of The Philippines together. From 5 star hotels to bed and breakfast establishments, its almost always the staff who make or break the stay.
Most of the time they make it.

Not this time.

Date of stay: May 2022
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank yenomit
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed June 1, 2022 via mobile

The Waterfront - Insular Hotel Davao , one of the "oldies" in the hotel business located in this sprawling super clean city with so much high rise buildings sprouting both for office spaces and of course for the booming tourism here (again -semi post COVID) . I first experienced the then Insular Hotel Davao ( not yet partnered with Waterfront group) back in the mid 90's . When it probably was the best hotel in the city , offered a nice bar (vinta bar) with someone playing the piano , food was very inviting , nightlife , crowd , ambience was 8 out of 10 combined. Hotel staff were different, more respectful , accommodating and pleasing . Not to take away anything from the present staff working , its usually management who calls the shots and trains their staff.

Back then after a long drive coming from the province of Sultan Kudarat ( 120kms away) , the minute you stepped in the hotel you wouldn't want to go anywhere anymore. The drive would be so tiring that after a bottle of White wine , served with your choice of seafood - grilled tuna , fresh shrimps , oyster and everyone's favorite inihaw na baboy (grilled pork belly) with hot steaming rice. That was it . No time for coffee nor a cigarette , it was straight to the comfy bed and cold airconditioned room blasting away. Now its a bit different , aircons not working properly , didn't even bothered checking what was being offered on the menu, waiters didn't know what to suggest for finger foods .... But how can I complain it still felt like being back home. (Of course I had to transfer room, one with an aircon blasting) . Overall it a 5 out of 10. Thank you Insular Hotel . We had good times together before. It's kept in my memory bank! Cheers.

Date of stay: June 2022
Trip type: Traveled on business
Thank patrickmH3745ZF
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed May 13, 2022 via mobile

Room 311/316

The good:
2 nights stay, first night in 311. We noticed that resort was half empty when we checked in, arrived early at noon, only one staff at front desk dealing with an exiting client issues, waited 30 mins for assistance, room wasn't ready, told to return at 3pm. That was fine, we returned at 630pm all good, but I asked for a room upgrade to pool side view, one available next day. So yes, the view is a world of difference instead of looking at a roof, big thanks for the upgrade. Very competitive beds, very beautifully kept grounds, very good breakfast buffet, and helpful and friendly staff.

The bad:
Very outdated room bathrooms, shameful for such a beautiful resort, slow drainage, and really feels like a cheap motel trying to stay alive, c'mon waterfront, fix it. Air conditioning was not good in either 311 nor 316, thermostats felt like just fixtures to look at. Furniture in rooms was acceptable, tv channels ok, WiFi abysmal and almost non existent. I came to this resort in 2005, and not much has changed in the rooms except newer tvs, and carpeting removed.

Overall:
This is a beautiful landmark and serene resort in a growing city, it deserves updates. I would even go as far as to say I liked it better than the Dusit Thani next door, because it offers what no other hotel in Davao City does, serenity, very friendly and helpful staff, a beach, great big pool, immaculate groomed grounds, but please fix it.

Room tip: Building 3 is closest to water, get a room there
Date of stay: May 2022
Trip type: Traveled with family
2  Thank hawagz
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed April 25, 2022 via mobile

So many problems
Pool
Was green, restaurant still
Not serving the proper
Menu using covid as an excuse everywhere
The other restaurant 5 dishes unavailable and no wine the only bottle they had was off
Every time everything was blamed on covid !! We had an upgraded room but the wi fi didn’t work

Date of stay: April 2022
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Dreamer58856439469
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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