Just 10 minutes away from Puerto Princesa International airport lies Dolce Vita hotel, a 3-star hotel so different from similar accommodation in the country. Dolce Vita is a breath of fresh air – From the moment you enter the front yard, the classic architectural design is evident, giving a strong hint of its Spanish and German origins. The tent-like exteriors and the octagonal room design, coupled with wooden accents in the right places are undeniably soothing to the eyes.
The property was originally designed as a private villa for the German owner. There were a few guest rooms for friends coming over from all over the world and as the number of visitors grew, they started recommending the villa to their friends which later led to its opening to the public in 2006.
The fact that it was initially built to be a home gives the whole place that rare homey ambiance that you can hardly feel in most hotels. With only 20 rooms in the compound, personal service is always guaranteed which makes it one of the best budget hotels in Puerto Princesa. So, if you are looking for a quiet place to relax, away from the main road but still accessible to restaurants and bars, and have a limited budget then Dolce Vita is the right place for you.
Dolce Vita is a small boutique hotel and with this size, the staff is able to deliver fast services to the guests on a personal level. Staff can easily remember a guest’s name and they can efficiently answer customer’s needs without much delay. Even if it is a small hotel, the front desk is open 24 hours.
The villa may be a bit dated but the grounds and the pool area are always maintained and cleaned. The design of this hotel is quite unique and is like nothing you have seen before, making your stay there very interesting and special.
Compared to other budget hotels in Puerto Princesa, rooms in Dolce Vita are a little bit smaller. However, the design is better, with its octagonal rooms and canopy beds and beautiful balcony.
The kidney-shaped swimming pool is quite small, maybe because the property was originally designed as a home and not a hotel. The fact this is a small hotel would have made it tolerable, but the problem is there is no decent beach nearby either.
The location of the hotel is a bit far from the main road which is good because it means there is no traffic noise at night. Bars and restaurants are just within walking distance. The surrounding area is not be very high-end though.
Dolce Vita is cheaper than most 3-star hotels but offers so much more. Guests will get more for their money here than in other places of similar quality.
All rooms in Dolce Vita have their own balcony and mini-refrigerator. Toiletries are also provided and hair dryers are given upon request. In other budget hotels, such as Rema tourist Inn for example, the fridge is only provided upon request, toiletries are insufficient and no hair-dryers are available. Furthermore, Dolce Vita’s villa suites offer an attic playground which can also be converted to a room for 2 or a loft-type kiddie room. The magnificent ceiling is intricately designed with rattan wood which cannot be found anywhere else. Wi-Fi access is very good in all public areas but can be a bit weak in the rooms.
Online reviews on Dolce Vita are really excellent. You wouldn’t find almost any negative comments, apart from some minor complaints. For example, most guests complained about mosquitoes but given that the climate is tropical and there are trees and plants everywhere, mosquitoes are a problem anywhere. The staff are attentive enough to prepare mosquito coils in the restaurant but it cannot be said in other public areas like the garden and the pool.
Guests love the quirky design which makes the hotel pretty special. Some guests even commented on the Marilyn Monroe statue in the courtyard and they found it to be endearing and funny. Food is also excellent for a very affordable price. Breakfast is superb and it is especially impressive since even five star hotels sometimes are not able to score very high in that field.Dolce Vita Hotel got a score of 4.5 with TripAdvisor and 56% said they had an excellent stay while only 1% gave it the lowest score possible. With Booking.com, overall score is 8.7 with staff garnering 9.1 and Wi-Fi being the lowest at 7.8. Finally, Agoda rated the hotel 8.3 with 353 reviews.
What do guests love about Dolce Vita?
Some things you might want to be aware of are:
This is one of the better budget hotels in Puerto Princesa, and provides tremendous value for money. It offers its guests comfortable rooms and top quality service. If you want to feel like you are home without paying too much, then Dolce Vita Hotel is a great choice of place.
The upper level suite is 20 sqm and can accommodate 2-4 people. . There is a balcony and an attic playroom which can also be a kiddie loft-type bed. The room is equipped with a king-sized canopy bed, dresser with mirror, table with 4 stools, mini bar, and built-in cabinet.
This 20 sqm room is designed like a native Filipino hut and is separated from the Villa. The room is equipped with its own terrace, 2 double beds, mini bar and built-in cabinet.
The size of the family room is 20 sqm and it can accommodate 4 people. There can either be 2 double beds or 1 double bed and 2 bunk beds. The group room is almost double in size (36m2) and can is good for 6 adults.