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Al del Rio, A Caramoan Resort that Serves the Aura of the Province

If you’re looking for a Caramoan resort or simply the cheapest Caramoan tour package, then this post might give you the best answer, because this is the BEST of WORLD TRAVEL! There are numerous hotels that you can find in Caramoan. One of them offer cheap tour packages with a decent hotel stay, which is the Al del Rio Villa Resort.

**This is an article based from our travel experiences sponsored by TravelBook Philippines and Al del Rio after winning the TravelBook Affiliate’s contest. You can read my winning entry entitled “How to Earn Like Crazy in TravelBook Affiliate”. We are not affiliated to TravelBook PH and Al del Rio, but it did change our own opinion and reactions.

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The Facility

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The Al del Rio Villa Resort is simply a house. It’s not some fancy building with hundreds of rooms where your army of a hundred people can just barge into them. It’s simply a home where they have converted their own rooms into something that the guests can enjoy.
The best part of staying in this Caramoan hotel is the feel of being in the province of the Philippines and the warm hospitality.
“Do you know how to live in one of the remote Philippine provinces? No? Then try there!”

They offer a tree house, a river, some chickens lurking, dogs, a sari-sari store (micro variety store) a dirty kitchen and even a century old tree. Name it, and they might have it!
The Rooms
There were some commotions when we arrived in their hotel. We were puzzled on what room/s to occupy.
 “Am I going to enter this room?”

or the other?

“Who will be my roommate?”
These questions kept on bouncing inside my mind like a super sonic wave when I was trying to figure out where should I start. Every travel bloggers invited were sleepless and tired after an uncomfortable 10-hour ride from Manila, so it was a bit problematic.
In the end, everyone were able to find the best rooms for them with the help of Al del Rio’s staffs after a few minutes of commotion.
In our room, we were four, three men and a lady. There were two beds with four pillows that can accommodate one for each of us, and a pair of blankets that can be used by whoever wants it.
I think the room’s floor area would be more or less 16 sq.m. with a smooth wood as the flooring, and a combination of concrete and wood as its wall.
The room had an approximately 14″ television (according to my roommate it did not work when he tried). A couple of outlets, but only one outlet can be quite useful since it’s near the table where the TV was sitting. The remaining two outlets were somewhat hard to use since they were three to four feet high from the floor and loose.

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Forgive the insolence of intertwining charger cables
Above the flat screen television is a huge body mirror and two flat cords with visible electrical tapes. If I were to be asked, I think it was a bit unsafe.
There was also a stand fan and an air-conditioning unit that will chill your entire nervous system! I will give my credit to this two units as they made our stay very comfortable.  
A spacious cabinet was also sitting in the corner where our things were kept.
There was a bathroom inside the room which was nice to have a tissue but it lacked the soap, shampoo and toothpaste. The shower head was working fine, as well as the faucet just below it.
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The soap and shampoos were our own

Toilet’s flush was awesomely working and we had no trouble at all, except the one or two cockroaches that simultaneously made the comfort room their own hotel room. Don’t worry, they’re dead….. and joining the White Walkers!
ALSO READ: Caramoan Tours Experience

Lastly, the bathroom’s security system was not properly rigged. I mean, the lock was broken and needs some fixing.

Overall, the room was nice and the bed was comfortable. It gave me a good night sleep for two straight nights. After all, a tired traveler only needs a comfortable room to rest.


The Living Room
Just like a typical Filipino house, the living room can be accessed when you enter the house. They have a comfortable looking couch, and a television, presumably with cable connection.

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This is the best shot I got. I only had one shot.

The floor was properly tiled, smooth and clean. You can actually feel the fresh air flowing in this part of the house. If I weren’t so tired, I would probably be seen slacking off in this section.
The Dining Hall
Again, just like the typical Pinoy house, the dining hall was awesomely huge. They had two long tables where guests can enjoy a feast. I’m guessing that two mature lechons can easily fit into one of the tables, that’s how long it is!
The floor wasn’t tiled or concrete, it was plain dirt and soil, it’s actually outside the main house and it’s the first thing you’ll see when you enter their premises. And the dining hall also has a videoke machine– truly a majestic Pinoy style!

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The view from the dining hall.

We dined while some chickens and a couple of dogs were begging for some food. I did not saw any felines, and luckily I wasn’t bitten by mosquitoes at night11 well, it was an open area.

Fresh air will surely knock on your skins as they come and pass by to refresh your soul. This will surely be a huge change of pace in your traveling experiences if you try this resort in Caramoan.
I will give a 2.5-star rating in the Al del Rio’s facility out of 5 stars.
Factors such as cleanliness, equipment reliability and especially safety measures greatly affected my insights.  A couple of fire extinguishers in the plain sight would be nice. As a guest, this actually put myself at ease when finding a fire extinguishing unit along the hallway. Some of the outlets in our room were weary and might cause a problem in the future. While the visible flat cord with tape was one of my concerns as well.
The dogs and other pets may be harmless, but some guests might be frightened by them. I think the management should at least confirm if the guests are okay with them around. It’s for the safety and cleanliness of the dining hall. But for me, it doesn’t really matter, it’s the feel of the “province”, but the problem is, the world isn’t me.
Lastly, the kitchen need some major improvements.

Service

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“A good customer service makes a traveler’s experience more unforgettable”.
Simply put, the Al del Rio staffs were very accommodating and they gave us a very heartfelt customer service. Accommodating a group of more than 15 travel bloggers was not an easy feat, but the Al del Rio staffs did their very best!
Mau, the manager of the hotel and the tour guide of our Caramoan island tours was very friendly. She always wore her smiles as we sail through the blue seas of the Caramoan Islands. If it wasn’t for her, our Caramoan tour would be incomplete!
She was very friendly to all of us, and has always looked upon each and every one of us. Her passion in guiding us was well established. And I think that her future guests will also experience the same or with higher level of customer service from her and her staffs.
Even though the Al del Rio’s staffs were so awesome, no one is perfect, and their service still need some improvements in different aspects. Two of the notable aspects would be the time management and safety orientation before and during the Caramoan island tours
With this, I will give a 4 star rating for Al del Rio staffs’ customer service. Kudos to all of them!

Food

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Nothing beats a resort which offers the local’s best dishes. Al del Rio gave us the opportunity to munch a couple of fresh sea foods and two of Bicol’s finest dishes, the Laing and Bicol Express.
The cooking techniques used may not be the best, but it still gave me the feeling of living in the province, fresh and no worries. 
Our whole stay weren’t just full of sea foods. We also tasted the tenderness of native chickens, some spicy longganisa and eggs.
A couple of Lapu-Lapu made my dinner very astonishing as well as the juiciness of the sea crabs. The sting-ray dish was exotic but it turned out to be good. While the squids…… I wasn’t able to eat them, they swam to the others people’s stomach.
Even though we had eaten a couple of fishes, we weren’t able to savor the mouth watering shrimps or lobsters and shells, since the harvesting were too hard.
Overall, I will give a 3-star rating out of five for the food served by Al del Rio while we dined in their hotel.

A menu list would be nice for an additional upgrade to the food service, so that guests can choose on what dishes will be served on the table. Also, an improvement in cooking techniques will surely boost the reputation of the Al del Rio’s cuisine.

The Budget Friendly Packages

  Al del Rio does not just offer lodging for a whole Caramoan trip. They also offer island hopping packages that will surely make your stay worth it!
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 al del rio a caramoan resort

al del rio a caramoan resort review

Al del Rio Contact Details

Contact Person: Mau (Manager)
Hotel Contact Number: 09177350742 / 09051363319
Official Website: AldelRioCaramoan
Official Email:  [email protected]
Facebook Fanpage:   Al del Rio Villa Resort
Private Van for Hire / Service : 0947-858-2514 ; 0947-374-2954 ; 0926-417-1344 (Find Sid)
Location: Bikal, Caramoan, Camarines Sur, Phil


 
How to Go to Al del Rio in Caramoan


From Manila / Cubao to Caramoan ALL LAND TRIP

1. Take a bus from Cubao or Pasay going to Naga City. (Est cost: 800-1000 PHP from 8:30PM-9:00PM)
2. When the bus arrives at Bicol Central Station or Naga City Central Station, take a bus ride going to Caramoan via Florencia Bus, MRR Bus, or Raymond Bus.
3. You’ll arrive in the Florencia or Raymond Bus Terminal after an estimated travel of 4 hours. You can also be dropped off at Bikal, Caramoan.

Verdict

Al del Rio is a Caramoan resort that offers one of the cheapest Caramoan tour packages in a “home-stay” style. They have a couple of decent rooms for lodging, a slightly above average foods served but has an excellent customer service and communication. You can feel the warm hospitality of the whole Al del Rio crew while in their service.

While they take pride on the “aura of being in the province“, the Al del Rio is still not a hotel for all travelers. They can be a good vacation site for some, but they can also be a no-go for others that want a condo-like hotels. As for me, the aura of the Al del Rio was unique, it was a game changer especially for those who lives in the highly urbanized area like Manila. I actually recommend it to those who wants a different angle in their traveling experience. A three-star rating would suffice as my overall Al del Rio rating.

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