Monday, September 21, 2009

I own(ed) ‘My Little Island Hotel’ in Camotes

Yep it’s a hotel called “My Little Island Hotel” located in the town of Poro, Cebu. And yes that is in the island also named Poro, part of the Camotes Islands! That is the first and only hotel in the island so far. Oh yes, you can check-out their website via this link as I probably am not telling you things that are already said in that website!

How’d I get there anyway?
Fault of the fastcraft hehe! The thing is, the craft’s schedule is not so tourist friendly. Imagine arriving at night, so you just look for accommodation even if it will still charge you a whole day’s fee. And it being night-time and your first time in a remote island, you wouldn’t wish to travel the distance to some resort or check-in at a so-so never heard of inn, right? Thus, the choice was My Little Island Hotel. They’re not cheap, but at least they fetch you from the port.

Arrival
Emerging from the small fastcraft, I scanned the number of people standing at the pier and the vehicles parked there. Well, I immediately knew who was there to fetch me. Hunch really. I just knew it and I can’t explain why. When I approached the man with a baseball cap and khaki shorts I said “I’m here”. He answered “good evening sir, I am Randy, let’s go”. And I said “whoa, ako lang guest nyo na dumating ngayon?”. And he said smiling “yes, sir”. So I left it at that and just told myself that not so many people travel on a Thursday. Hmm, the van traveled for a time on dark roads lined with everything you could barely see on a dark rural night. Randy told me the hotel is actually 11 kilometers from the port. Oh my…

Declaration of ownership
On arrival, a guard opened the van doors for me, picked my backpack and walked with me to front desk where the manager was waiting and ready with the registration form and pen on the desk. After I signed the form, he gave the room key to another crew and told me “Welcome to My Little Island Hotel, sir. I am Joel, that is Jairus of housekeeping who will show you to your room, Randy here is in charge of front desk and Manong Gualberto guards this place overnight. Since you are our only guest tonight, just think of it as you own the hotel and we are all at your service”!

See?! I OWNED IT! Randy even joked that by following day I may have “co-owners” as they expected at least two couples as guests!

The Hotel
So let us describe ‘my’ hotel, okay? Just the things and events I experienced while there really. And here we go!

My room. Ah my room, it reminded me of a hotel I stayed at in Pattaya. There are a scattering of daintily arranged kalachuchi flowers. Not that they looked grand to me, but my amazement was drawn towards whoever is assigned plucking these flowers and meticulously arranging them at various parts of the room. Don’t they run out of these flowers?! Well, during my stay, they did not!

It’s a real hotel room with real hotel-style and hotel-quality furnishings and fixtures you would not expect in such a remote place. But like many older hotels in the world there is no exhaust system at the bathroom. Well, toiletries like soaps, shampoos, toothbrushes, etc. are custom-made for the hotel – which – I know a friend who collects them would very much cherish! Ah there are even two pairs of custom-made slippers and the personal ref under the TV is well-stocked! Its even equipped with a DVD Player, lots of discs with many more various titles available for free at front desk. Why the DVDs? Aha! You see this hotel has cable TV with an admirable number of channels. However, that cable TV is available ONLY at the lobby! Any other such box you see in the entire building does not have TV signal – cable or not hehehe! Why so? Secreeeet!

Well, let’s fill you in on that as I know most people’s criteria for checking into a hotel includes availability of television (which by the way I consider a ridiculous necessity when vacationing)! All rooms have cable TV plus that one at the lobby. CATV all supplied by the only available vendor, DREAM Satellite TV. You know, that cable TV product where each TV set has a corresponding white disc planted up and outside of houses or buildings? Yes, that’s the one! However, since they are expensive, subscriptions for all 15 guestrooms were terminated when the hotel went bankrupt. Bankrupt?

Ah yes, the story is, this facility was formerly a mansion of one of the prominent surnames in the area (and the province, I should say). Then it was converted to a hotel that it is now. However, during its heyday where all 15 rooms were purportedly hard to grab as they were always full, she, the owner, went big time into gambling etc. that in the end she encountered problems with the mortgage of the property and so on. Then came some rescue plans where the hotel accepted partnerships (original owner with minimum participation) on and off, whatever whatever until my visit where the “major owner” is supposedly Australian who was back down under while I was at the hotel. Now that made me more of the owner during my visit hehe! Enough of that!

The Other Rooms
This is what I am excited to report to you. If I already liked my room, hear this… all other rooms are better! I mean those rooms not the same as mine. How do I know that? I went to see everything! I owned it, remember?! Ah hehehe, the crews were kind enough to show me around for lack of any one else to serve or entertain! And there are stories that come with those rooms! Like? Like the suite is the favorite and the only one that a politician will stay in the entire island wherever said politician may be having a function at. Another room is the favorite of another politician with the requirement that the adjoining room be assigned to his company (usually aides or bodyguards). The beauty of those two rooms is that they join each other at some kind of a porch so there is easy movement if you wanted to hide or get away from anything. Oh don’t ask me about the views because everything has a fantastic view of the pool and the foresty greens and the sea. And you must watch out for the sunset.

Hmm, let’s stop here for the meantime, but I assure you this hotel will sporadically appear in my next blog entries for you to hear more! Promise!

3 comments :

  1. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It is the old what goes around comes around routine. Did you acquired lots of links and I see lots of trackbacks?? Hvar Island

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  2. Thanks Rinkesh hehe. Why? should these be for sale? Naah, these are just my stories for friends and family, and some like you who like it. I know links but I don't know what a trackback. You can educate me more if you like :)

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  3. the hotel looks simple but luxurious.. quite interesting.. btw, can i ask what tourist spots to expect in camotes island?

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