Panglao Regents Park Hotel

I try to be a positive person, I really do. Having traveled since before I could walk and live abroad in developing countries for the better part of the last decade, I feel that I have a fair and equitable gauge on what standard of comfort to expect when I’m booking a hotel. I try to avoid rushing to judgment about an establishment or a service, and always look for the good things before writing reviews as not to sink anyone’s business unduly.

Panglao Regents Park HotelThat being said, the Panglao Regents Park hotel sucks.

But it doesn’t suck just for what it IS, but what it pretends to BE.

Let me explain. The Panglao Regent Park is a white, gleaming, modern building encompassing two parts – the older west wing and then the newer main building across the street.

It’s advertised as a three-star hotel online and when I walked through, I found a nice pool, outside sitting area, and a clean and modern gym. However, walk-ins had to pay 300 Pesos ($6) – pretty expensive for here in the Philippines, so I actually just booked the hotel for two nights for about $30 a night to take advantage of the gym (for free) and other amenities.

Once I checked in, I found very quickly that this hotel is slipping into marginal standards and not keeping up with its image, potential, star-rating, and, most concerning, it’s online description.

First off, I mentioned that I was excited to use the gym, but they informed me that they charge hotel guests 100 Pesos to use it. They charge hotel guests? Not only is that outrageous, it’s not advertised online or anywhere else. I asked her to produce that in writing and she couldn’t or wouldn’t.

I was brought to a decent but straightforward room by the porter at first (who didn’t offer to carry my bag?), but the aircon didn’t work in that room. I mean, it turned on, but nothing significantly cold blew out. “Wait five minutes,” he said, but after ten minutes, we still didn’t have cold air. So, they transferred me to another room (a lot of walking up and down three flights of stairs carrying my own bag, which is fine).

But the new room they put me in had the same aircon problem, and after twenty more minutes trying to figure it out, I surrendered and just accepted the room. But even with the fan whirling overtime and the AC on full blast, it was soon hotter in the room than it was in the 90-plus degree heat outside.

The Wi-Fi also doesn’t work in the rooms, and barely is usable in the public areas because so many people are on it. The hotel also had a power outage all afternoon, making it even hotter. They did have one generator, but there was no AC at all in public areas like the lobby, restaurant, etc. So the only choice was to sit and swelter. Even taking a shower wasn’t a relief because the water stunk like sewage, and I didn’t even trust it to brush my teeth.

In the end, I said screw it and walked down to the beach, where it was twenty degrees cooler despite being outdoors. And I’m checking out a day early just because this place…sucks.

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Peter is a digital nomad who largely writes from Asia, Europe, and South America. Always following the "vibe," he sets up shop in hostels and AirBNB's and continues to entertain us with wild stories from life abroad. Ask him anything in our community forum.

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