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Portofino Beach Resort, Sabang, Puerto Galera

Portofino Beach Resort, Sabang, Puerto Galera

Based on the website, Portofino seemed to have a great façade and structure. The reviews on Tripadvisor was divided, with some saying that it was great, some claiming that it’s a vacation wasted. We decided to book anyway because it was coming close to Easter week and we still have not decided on a resort.

While doing the negotiations the girls were really very helpful and friendly and went out of their way to make the trip convenient. They required no advance payment from us, provided directions via text and sent a guy to fetch us and carry our things when we reached Sabang.

It was a fair walk along the alleys of Sabang from the main road and the beach before we got to Portofino . The front of the resort seemed good and well-maintained, but I was immediately disappointed at the sight of the tiny pool crowded by chairs and tables around it. We checked in and was greeted by the cheerful Abby, then were shown to our room shortly thereafter.

It was at the back. I asked if there was any possibility of having a beachfront room but we were told that it was only available that day (Wednesday) and we would have to move back to the back come Thursday. That would have been too much of a hassle so we settled for the back room. The hallways were nice with the red vigan tiles, but the view was not good, with some construction work going on.

Standard room at Portofino

The room was quite old and very outdated. I was telling H that it would’t be half bad if the following changes were made:

  1. Bed linens should have been replaced – the design seemed straight out of an 80’s catalog, the A-Ha inspired pattern
  2. The lights should have been changed – softer focus lights, brighter instead of the incandescent bulbs that give the rooms a sterile feel
  3. Furniture could have used a fresh coat of varnish – washed out wood which looked very old, and unrepaired broken shutters on the cabinets
  4. Get rid of the hideous plastic plants and flowers – Fake. Tacky. Fake. Tacky.

These quick fixes would have dramatically made the room more likeable.

We were quite hungry so we decided to hang out by the pool to have some food. Nothing was really jumping out so we decided to have the calamares tempura (150.00). While waiting for it, H was complaining about the lack of lounge chairs, as he had been going on and on about wanting to sit on a lounge chair and do a bit of reading. After having the tempura and being disappointed by it, we decided to look at other resorts and try our luck on available rooms.

Just a few steps away was AB Mabuhay Dive Center, which incidentally, he’s stayed at before with some of his friends (“I wonder why I forgot about this place..”) the rooms were not facing the beach but at least it was looking out at the pools (there were two). Luckily, standard room #27 was available. We asked to be shown around and after a quick survey, we decided to put a reservation for two days.

Getting back to Portofino , I left H to deal with wriggling out of our reservation. I did feel bad about it since the girls have been really helpful, but the thing is, I didn’t really want to spend the entire holiday either in a dark & depressing room, in a resort where I can’t even lie around by the pool. We had to stay for that night, understandably, but we were able to check-out the following day.

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