We stayed at Amihan Villa last July 27-28, 2016 for our Puerto Galera trip. Sharing here our experiences at this Puerto Galera resort. Read on to know what to expect.
Things we LOVE about Amihan Villa:
- Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful view of serene mountain and sea. -- With their floor-to-ceiling glass windows, you can see all the good view that nature can offer. See the mountains and the sea. Hear the birds chirping. Even if you're in bed. Now imagine waking up to that!
- Customer service -- every one of the staff is nice and friendly. The caretaker, Ms Gemma is very helpful. Before our trip, I asked her for directions and I got a reply within 5 minutes! They also welcomed us with cold drinks upon arrival at Amihan Villa.
- Breakfast included. You can choose among the list of complimentary breakfasts. Yes, they have their own restaurant right at the 2nd floor dining area. The regular meals range from 150-350php.
- They have their own generator -- Puerto Galera is a province and the electricity is not stable here. But you don't need to worry if you stay at Amihan Villa because they have their own generator which they can turn on right away when the electricity goes out.
- Wide space -- Wide bedroom, wide bathroom, wide balcony! Add High ceiling and king-sized bed on top of that!
- Remote control, Inverter Air Condition -- Noiseless and convenient cooling system! Hooray to undisturbed sleeps 😀
- Bath tub <3 -- Last hotel I went to that had a bath tub is Solaire Resorts and Casino. It's a rare find among Philippine resorts 😀
- Good phone signal -- We are using globe and there is 3G signal in the area. Some of the staff are using Smart and they have quite decent signal coverage too.
- Close to Casa Mia Resort and Restaurant -- A very good Italian Restaurant owned by married couple Paolo and Angela. We only saw Angela who was busy that moment, but we got the chance to meet Paolo. He was very kind and friendly.
- Free basic essentials - find your free tooth brush, tooth paste, shampoo, shower gel, and soap by the sink in the bathroom.
- Close to the beach -- You're there at Aninuan Beach in 5-minutes!
Things they can improve on
- Bidet shower -- Our room didn't have bidet shower. And we had to borrow dipper or tabo for toilet use.
- Water pressure -- The location being on an elevated area, the push that comes out of the water is a bit weak.
- Hot water -- Yes Philippines is naturally hot as it is a tropical country. But hot shower could really be used at night when it is cold or when the air condition is on
- Towels had stains -- During our stay, we asked for new towels every day. But each time, there are brown stains on them. We did not have any choice but use it since we did not bring our own.
- Dark, dusty, creepy cabinet -- We did not use the cabinet much as its aura does not seem inviting to use. Our luggage can do the job of storing our things anyway. But a repaint to a lighter color would really please guests.
- Can't lock Toilet door -- There is a lock though. But the whole door is a sliding wood which I think got too heavy so the edges got mis-aligned. Maybe it's just in our room. But it would be good if they can fix it.
There are some things that can be helped
- The location of the place is not senior-friendly. Amihan villa is at an elevated part of a mountain and is difficult to climb. It was always a struggle for us going up the villa from the road.
- No ATMs around -- Much like any other place in Puerto Galera. Bring cash before going to Puerto
How to go to Amihan Villa from Makati, hassle-free
This is what we did. These clear instructions were provided to us by Ms. Gemma:
- Go to JAM Liner Taft station. If, like us, you are not comfortable with commuting, you can take a cab which would cost more or less 100php. What we took was an UBER ride. From our place in Makati CBD to Jam Liner, Uber charged us 98php. Note: Use promo code UBER200FREEPH to get 200PHP off your rides around Metro Manila or Cebu.
- At the terminal, Look for or ask the men in Jam Liner uniform for the next departing bus going to "Batangas Pier Derecho". Bus ticket cost us 164php per head at that time. Note: In this area, there will be people offering you help to carry your stuff into the bus. When the job is done, they won't leave you alone until you give them a small tip. It can be 5-10php. But you can always avoid the guy if you don't want his service.
- Batangas Pier is obviously the last stop of the bus. Upon alighting the bus, head to Minolo Shipping Lines booth to get boat tickets. The 2-way or round trip boat tickets cost 600php per person and additional 30php per person for terminal fee.
- There are 2 piers at Puerto Galera. Just tell the staff at the booth that you are going to Amihan Villa so they can give you the next trip to Muelle pier
- Right outside the bus, there will again be people trying to help you get your way to the ticket booths. DO NOT TALK TO THESE PEOPLE! They are salesmen of other shipping lines. If you get tickets through them, the shipping line will add fees on top of your fare and they will give commission to the salesman you talked to.
- Check your tickets and go to your designated Gate at the pier. Wait for your ticket color to be called for boarding. Once called, board the ship and sail...
- When you arrive at the pier (you will be dropped at Muelle Pier), the local government staff will ask visitors (non-Mindoro residents) for an environmental fee of 50php per head. Note: Upon alighting the boat, there are those salesmen again trying to sell van transfer services. You don't need them! Because...
- Minolo Shipping Lines have free van transfers which is already part of the ticket you paid for boat transfer. No extra fees! 🙂 Just go to the van driver of MSL already waiting at the pier and tell him that you're going to Amihan Villa.
How to go back to Manila from Amihan Villa
It's pretty much the same as going to Amihan Villa. This what we did:
- Ask the staff of Amihan Villa for the schedule of the MSL van transfer going back to the pier and choose among the time slots to pick you up. The van will pick you up from the Villa at the designated time.
- When you get to the pier, the local government staff will ask you for a terminal fee of 10php per head.
- Wait for the boat to arrive. An MSL staff will call everyone once the boat has arrived, or ask them for the name of the boat you will ride. Once boat has arrived, board and sail...
- When you're back to Batangas Pier, head your way to where the Bus dropped you. Board the Jam Liner bus going to Buendia/Taft
Breakdown of fare
- 164php - bus to Batangas Pier (per head)
- 630php - 600php round trip boat with van transfers + 30php Batangas terminal fee to Puerto Galera (per head)
- 50php - Environmental fee (per head)
- 10php - Terminal fee at Puerto Galera pier (per head)
- 164php - bus to Buendia (per head)
- 1018php - Total round trip cost Manila-Puerto Galera-Manila
Have you been to Puerto Galera? Which hotels did you look at? Tell us more on the comments section below!