Stuck In The Barrio With Sky High Prices

by Bob Laing
(Angeles City, Philippines)

IN MY OPINION, I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU NEVER STAY AT THE ALTA RESORT, CORDOVA, CEBU, PHILIPPINES. There is no beach on or near Alta Resort. Alta Resort is located in an isolated place with no other restaurants, bars or attractions for at least 11 kilometers. Cebu City, the main shopping and business area is located an expensive 45 minute to one hour taxi ride each way. I am retired and on a budget and I can not stress enough how isolated and expensive this place is.


When we checked into Alta Resort on Dec 6, 2007, the owner offered us free transportation to the beach, more than11 kilometers away. We went to the beach and then asked the driver to take us to an inexpensive restaurant. The driver took us to Mactan Shrine and the restaurants were very substandard and then driver took us back to the resort 15 kilometers each way. The next day on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2007 the resort Manager gave us a bill for 350 Pesos for taking us to Mactan Shrine. No one told us there would be any charge, not even the driver.

I am retired and live on a budget and I can not stress enough how isolated and expensive this place is. For example, their Alta regular Cheeseburger cost 270.00 Philippine Pesos, a chicken burger cost 240.00 Pesos and these are without French fries or rice. An order of plain rice costs 100 Pesos, Garlic Rice Cost 110 Pesos, Ice Tea cost 70 Pesos, San Miguel light Beer Cost 70 Pesos, French Fries cost 150 Pesos. etc. PLUS YOU ADD 12% PHILIPPINE SALES TAX AND ALTA RESORT’S OWN EXTRA 10% SERVICE CHARGE TO EVERYTHING YOU PURCHASE AT THAT RESORT. THIS IS PRICE GOUGING AND I BELIEVE THE PRICES AT ALTA RESORT ARE COMPARABLE TO PRICES IN AMERICA.

My wife and I came to Cebu to celebrate our anniversary and the vacation has been a complete nightmare and a disaster. We hoped to stay at a beach resort in an area where we can walk along the beach and eat and drink at various restaurants/bars, maybe go dancing and watch the sunset together. None of this happened. We were stuck in a very isolated place in the barrio. If you stay here and want to go into civilization such as SM Mall, Alaya Mall etc. in Cebu City you will probably pay 700 to 800 Pesos or more each day just in taxi fares alone. The owner of Alta resort DOES NOT provide complimentary transportation into Cebu City.

For the complimentary breakfast given to guests this includes juice or coffee and two (2) pieces of toast, butter and jelly only. If you want to order Alta Big Breakfast and they do not give you much food (they do not even include potatoes or rice with their limited, expensive breakfast). Plus you have to add tax and their own 10% service charge again to the 300 Peso breakfast.

It is very hard to sleep at this resort since the flight path of landing airlines is directly overhead us.

We asked the manager for a refund so we could move into Cebu City to enjoy the last 2 days of our disaster ridden anniversary and he refused. I ask to speak to the American owner named Larry and he refused to talk to me. I was told if I leave I forfeit the cost of a room P2500 Pesos. We wanted to leave on Saturday and per their own policy we gave them 24 hour notice of cancellation. The Manager refused to refund any money unless we left on Saturday and forfeit 2500 Pesos (approximately $60.39 U.S. Dollars) so we stayed another night at this lousy resort (resort from hell) since my wife did not want to loose 2500 Pesos. My wife spoke to the Assistant CEO and they gave us give us a refund of 2500 Pesos for Sunday only.

My suggestion is if you like to walk and go out to numerous restaurants and bars with reasonable prices do not come here. These people refuse to honor their own refund policy. I felt like I was held being financially hostage in this lousy resort. This is the first time I went to the beaches in Cebu and the beaches we went to are lousy. The prices for food and drink are exorbitant.

I strongly suggest you go to Boracay about a 1 hour flight away. They have a beautiful 7 kilometer white sand beach that does not get hot and you can walk and go to more than 50 bars and restaurants. Imagine Boracay is the 7th best beach resort area in the world and the prices there are at least 50% less than this lousy resort and other beach resorts we went to in Cebu.

We really despise the people at this resort. They refuse to honor their own reimbursement policy. I bet this resort probably only gets 1 or 2 return guests for the whole year. I bet people want to leave this resort frequently and ask for refunds all the time. Imagine the American owner - Larry even refuses to talk to us. I saw three other guests do what we did and bring in beer, drinks, snacks etc. from SM Grocery in Cebu City (about 45 minutes each way and a 700 Pesos and up round trip taxi ride).

IN MY OPINION, THIS IS THE RESORT IN HELL. We had a miserable anniversary here at Alta Resort and it was very hard to sleep due to the noisy airplanes overhead. If you like staying in an isolated place in the middle of nowhere then you would love this place. Also, there was no telephone in our room.

On Sunday, after getting our refund we stayed at a beautiful hotel in Cebu City that cost 300 Pesos less a day and this included a great buffet breakfast. We had a great last night and good food too! We had a great last night in Cebu

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