Review: Matabungkay Beach Hotel

Last week, my friends decided to go for an overnight trip to Batangas since they wanted to get as much beach experience as they can before they leave Philippines. Prior to their flight, they only had about 2 days left so we thought that the best way to spend it is to go somewhere near. Ergo… Batangas.

It wasn’t much of a planned trip, really. In fact, I only found out about it the night before and worse, I was informed only after I finished eating 2 orders of Garlic Pepper Beef and 3 Peach Mango Pies from Jollibee. Suffice to say, I was in my bloated phase when they called and my tummy was totally out of shape. LOL!

I was busy with my classes that time so it was my company who had to look for a resort in Batangas. He then decided to go with Matabungkay Beach Hotel since his friend said it’s a really nice resort. Several hours before the trip, he called the resort to ask for their room rates. He was told that the cheapest rate is at Php3,999 per night (for 2 pax) in a Deluxe Room and that it comes with free breakfast for two. My initial thought was that it’s quite expensive but since we were told that it’s a nice resort, we figured that the rate is justifiable.

We started our road trip late since we had to pick up our friends at the airport (after their Boracay trip) so I think we left Manila around 8PM already. I remember calling the resort again when we reached Tagaytay and asked them for their lowest room rate and, once again, they said Php3,999 for 1 night. I asked if they have any promos but they said they have none.

It was a long drive but finally, we arrived at the resort past 11PM. My first impression of the lobby area was that it looked nice and clean. I actually love the furniture that they used in their common area. At the lobby, I asked again if they have any promos and they said they have none. I asked what is the latest time that we can check-out and they said they can only extend it until 2PM. I asked them several times for an extension since we arrived late already and we figured that it would be hard for us to enjoy the place if we have to pack up at 2PM. When I told them that I will write a really nice review about their resort, the receptionist smiled and agreed to push our check-out time until 3PM.

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Where’s the lizard?

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Their Deluxe Room is huge. It comes with a double bed and a single bed so if you are a family of 4, this would fit you perfectly. They say the room comes with “Cable Television” but when we stayed there, the cable wasn’t working and they said that it’s because they had a power shutdown so no cable for the night. I brushed it off since I thought it was nice of them to allow us to check-out late. The room also had its own spacious veranda. It was indeed spacious but we didn’t feel the need for it since it was already late and it wasn’t like you can still see any views at that time. Plus, I didn’t really like the veranda at all. It had window screens but the screens itself have holes in it. I didn’t want to risk seeing any lizards or insects  entering our room so I just kept that door closed. Unfortunately though, I still saw a tiny lizard near the bathroom door. I’m scared of all types/kinds of animals/insects and what have you so that sight was not good at all for me. Luckily, one of our friends knew how to catch a lizard so he was able to get it out of our room.

The room came with 2 complimentary bottled water and some free toiletries such as soap, tissue, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush & toothpaste, and some towels. What I didn’t like though is that although the room was huge, it looked quite outdated. Everything just looks old for me. I would have preferred a smaller room with new furniture than the other way around.

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Can you spot the frog?

When you go to this resort, one of the things that you would definitely notice (at night) is the loud noise that just surrounds the entire place. Initially, I thought that it was a big horn being played at night (which I thought was rude) but then I found out that there are A LOT of frogs lurking in their area at night. I actually found one just hopping freely in the lobby area. Like I said, I am scared of all sorts of animals so the sight of the frog hopping just a few steps in front of me wasn’t exactly the kind of greeting I would have hoped for. BUT again, I brushed it off. As long as it’s not inside our room, I’m fine with it.

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Before going to sleep, we managed to order some food at their Cafe since it’s open until 12 midnight. We had Calamares, which was delicious, Pork Sinigang and a vegetable dish that resembled Tempura. I forgot which vegetable it was but my friends said it was good. We also ordered Pumpkin Soup, a slice of cake, Mango Juice, and a bucket of beer. The total cost of it all was around Php1500. When we were finished and were about to leave the Cafe, I noticed a sign that says they have some promos. Something about getting a freebie when you reach either Php1500 or Php800. I was going to ask them why we didn’t get anything for free but because it was already past midnight, there were no more staffs in the Cafe so again, I brushed it off.

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Breakfast time at Matabungkay Beach Hotel is from 6AM – 10AM. We were asked to choose between the “American Breakfast” and the “Mabuhay Breakfast”. The “Mabuhay Breakfast” comes with Rice, fried Egg (sunny-side-up or scrambled), a choice of Tocino, Longganisa or Corned Beef, Juice, and a choice of Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate. Since I didn’t want to feel bloated again, I decided to go for their “American Breakfast” which comes with Bread, fried Egg, a choice of Ham or Sausage, Baked Beans, Juice, and a choice of Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate. I opted for Scrambled Egg and went for Sausage since, in my head, I was thinking that it would be the kind of sausage that is usually served in most resorts. When my order arrived, I noticed that the egg that was given to me was sunny-side-up instead of the scrambled I asked for. I didn’t complain anymore. The Sausage, however, was a HUGE let down. For a room rate of Php3999, I was certainly not expecting to be served with canned Vienna Sausage for breakfast. I am not aware of the exact brand that they used but I’m 100% sure that it was canned and I’m pretty sure as well that it was just ONE can of Vienna Sausage which would have cost around Php17 – Php25 in the grocery store. The bread was okay but I didn’t get to eat all of it since several flies kept landing on top of most of it.

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What’s great about Matabungkay Beach Hotel? Well, their facilities are more than enough to keep you entertained. They have pools for kids and adults. They have a souvenir shop too so if you forget to bring some swimwear, you don’t have to worry anymore. They have billiards table, tennis courts, a full basketball court, a beach bamboo raft, and a whole lot of water sports facilities that you can enjoy. My friends got to use the billiards table and the basketball court free of charge. They knew ahead that there is a basketball court in the resort so they brought their own ball. I don’t know if the hotel will charge you if you use their ball.

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We didn’t go swimming in the beach. I was hoping to soak a little but found a lot of moss near the shore so we just used the pool instead. They have big pools and are very clean. I think that apart from us, we only saw one other group in the resort so we felt like we owned the place.

We checked-out at almost 3PM and, at that time, I really did feel that even though we arrived late at night, it was still a good trip overall. I thought that the staff were courteous and very accommodating so we were all smiles when we left the resort.

Now… Here’s the thing. A few hours ago, I tried to check their Facebook Page to make sure that I get their Resort name and address correctly and there I found one of their posts offering 60% room discount until the end of September. This means that their Deluxe Room will just cost Php2760 – but without breakfast.

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I was very surprised to see this post because I did ask them several times if they have any promos and they said NONE. I called them a few hours ago and pretended to be a new customer first and inquired about the promo – they said it is valid until September 30. When I told them that I already stayed at their resort a few days ago, Ms. Jen Credito (if that’s her real name) suddenly said that the reason they didn’t offer the promo to us is because we were walk-in guests.

First and foremost, there was no mention on your Facebook post that this promo is not available for walk-in guests. Second, we did call you hours before we arrived and we did ask if you have any promos so technically, the term “walk-in guests” no longer applies. I left your resort thinking that despite finding a lot of mishaps, the experience was still good but now, I just feel cheated. You said payments are non-refundable but I feel that we deserve to get the extra money that we paid you. We booked 3 Deluxe Rooms, each costing Php3999 and came with disappointing breakfast options so YES, I do think that we deserve to get Php1239 for each room that we booked.

I told Ms. Jen to tell their manager about it and I told her I am expecting a call from their manager by tomorrow. I’ll update this post once I get a call from them.

*Update (September 9, 2015 – 8PM): I called them again since nobody called me back. I got to talk to Ms. Jessa who happens to be the same person who allowed us to check-out at 3PM. Yes, she is definitely the nice one. She listened to everything that I had to say. She said that she was the one that got us registered that night. She also said that the reason she never mentioned about the promo is because when we called them, the woman I talked to told her that the rate that was mentioned to me was the Php3,999 so she thought I was already okay with that rate. She assured me that she will talk to the supervisor regarding this matter and promised me that their supervisor will call me tomorrow.

*Update (September 10, 2015 – 12PM): Ms. Jessa called me and told me that she already talked to their supervisor. She said they can’t refund the extra money that we paid but that they are willing to offer us their 60% discount even if we decide to stay at the resort after September. Are you kidding me??? So you want us to go back to that same place where I felt cheated and you think that charging us Php2760 next time will make me feel better? Why would I want to go back and pay you more money if all I was asking for is the extra money we paid last time. Geezz! I told her never mind. I told her to just text me the name of the supervisor so that I can let my readers know everything. After the call, I went back to sleep.

*Update (September 10, 2015 – 4PM): When I woke up, I checked my phone and found no text from them. I tried to call the same mobile number that was used to call me in the morning but there was no answer. At that point, I decided to call the landline number posted on their website/Facebook page and, finally, I got to talk to Ms. Tin, the Reservation Manager in the Makati office. I told her the story again and she told me she will talk to the staff at the resort and that she will call me again.

*Update (September 22, 2015 – 11AM): For more than a week (since the last time I spoke to Ms. Tin), I have not received a single text nor call from her. I tried to call their Makati office twice last week but failed to talk to her – either she’s on leave or on a meeting. Today, I tried calling again and the woman who answered the phone said that Ms. Tin will arrive in the office in the afternoon. I then told her details about my complaint and she told me that from what she knows, they will be giving me a free overnight stay at one of their rooms (without breakfast). She said she thought I knew but I actually had no idea. When I talked to Ms. Jessa (receptionist at the resort) before, she told me that her supervisor only said that they will allow me to avail of their promo even after September, should I wish to go back. Now, I am told that I don’t have to pay for it. It’s not finalized yet. She will have to confirm it to Ms. Tin later to make sure her information is accurate. I will be waiting for a text or call from them within the day. I hope they won’t forget.

*Update (September 28, 2015 – 9:20PM): Finally, Ms. Tin called me for an update. We had a misunderstanding at first because I was under the impression that they wouldn’t give me anything at all to compensate me for my troubles. She said that the supervisor at the resort really did say no to refund and no to free accommodation so she (Ms. Tin) had to do her own investigation first. She said that that is the reason why it took her that long to contact me. She also apologized about making me wait and said that the people in the Makati office did not know that she was on an emergency leave that’s why I wasn’t advised about it when I called. She told me that she personally talked to their General Manager to inform him/her that she has decided to give me a free accommodation in a Deluxe Room (without breakfast) as a form of compensation. She said that I can use the free overnight stay anytime from October 1-30. On top of that, she also said that if I decide to bring other people with me, she can also extend their 60% promo to the other guests. And oh, she also told the staffs at Matabungkay to give me the VIP treatment. Thanks for all these, Ms. Tin. I’m glad that you understood where I was coming from. I look forward to having a better experience the next time I visit.

Matabungkay Beach Hotel

Address: Brgy. Matabungkay Lian, Batangas, Philippines

Website: http://www.matabungkay.net/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Matabungkay?fref=ts

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