Saturday, October 17, 2015

Club Tara Review: What You Need To Know (What to Expect and Not to Expect)

I have recently shared and blogged about our fantastic experience in Sohoton. This time, I am going to share about the resort where we stayed for the the night we've spent there. I felt like I have to share this one. 

I always say, that I have to experience things before I could comment on something. I've heard stories, but I want first-hand experience. Thus this trip (booked) at Club Tara for accommodation.

As we were welcomed by the view above, the jaw-dropping view made us all expectant of an astonishing experience. And we did except for the part that I have to share here.

I am not a hospitality management expert, I am neither a tourism degree graduate or something and perhaps my opinion won't matter, but I promised myself, this experience deserves a space on my blog. 

So, what's in Club Tara?

No "Hello Sir/Maam! Welcome to Club Tara!" upon arrival.

The amazing view of the villa, which one of my readers said "like Maldives" is really something that would invite more tourists. And the pictures are true, they're not edited. As I've posted above and on my Sohoton Experience blog.

Also included as free in Club Tara would be the "Kayak" and the "Long Board" (did I get the spelling right?)  but yeah, for water sports adventure. I tried the "Kayak" and it's an amazing experience. There's also a pool for free and a billiard hall (naks!) where you can also play for free.

Now, it's not just those things I've experienced. More specially, I've experience some unfortunate events.

As we entered the premises. I noticed that the entrance wasn't so clean. When we arrived (I suppose they were expecting us), but it seems like they're not at all prepared. We were housed in the dorm type room, which is way too okay for me. I am used with backpacking so, it wouldn't be an issue. Some of the beds were already prepared, but not everything is ready. 

Even if we're on a dorm type room, there's only one bathroom and one rest room for all 13 of us. Is that what dorm-type rooms should be? I don't know either. Was just asking. There's gonna be traffic during bath time, and wash time. But yes, I could bear that one.

Next experience is, the water is a little bit salty. As mentioned, (we are warned) that the tap water would be coming from a deep-well, and since it's an island, surrounded by sea water, we'd expect it to be salty. So it's fine. 

Travel tip #1: Just bring your lotion to moisturize or minimize the different texture of your skin after the bath. 

Call of nature came, and I have to use the comfort room. It was okay, I entered and it was clean. Seems like it's prepared for me haha but when I hit the finish button, it didn't wipe out what I've just deposited. Tsk tsk tsk. It was a huge situation for me. And I didn't expect that from a resort like Club Tara! Wow! I needed to call my friends, to get me the pump. So it would flush. Tsk tsk tsk.

I went down to also ask for assistance after the situation. I wanted to take a bath. I want to take a bath using the water which is not salty, yes, but they were not that accommodating. Seems like they prefer watching the show on TV. haha again, not the response I'd expect from a Club Tara.

We were so tired for the day's adventure, that we needed to sleep. But despite our need for sleep, we also need to eat. So, after an hour or two of power sleep, we woke up to find food. Thank you to our friends, we were able to eat. However, I also wanted to try out their food. 

I expected it to be "pricey" since it's a resort and in an isolated island, the cost of bringing the food, preparing it, and handling inventories, all taken into consideration, would make it reasonable to have a little bit expensive menu. It's fine. Apart from the very limited choices, I was advised that they don't have some of the items in the menu, plus, fruits included in the set menu is not also available. Again, it's okay, but when the food is served P400+ (US $10.00) I am shocked, how it's incredibly and poorly served. Aggggh!!! For more than US $10.00???

It's really not a resort type serving! :( Grilled fish with vegetables? Seriously? And the orange juice? Are you kidding me?

Travel tip #2: They are not going to charge you for corkage if you bring food. Bring as much food as you can. Don't rely on their menu or food. 

It was the worst food service I've ever encountered in a resort! Tsk tsk tsk!

I let it all pass, I know I needed to be thankful for the great day experience. I don't want to ruin it. So we ate what we could from the food they served. 

We enjoyed chilling out with friends, thanks for the Jose Cuervo my friends! haha

Next day, I tried the Kayaking, it's a must-try experience, go farther from the shore, and you'd see how great the view really is. 

As we're done with the Kayak adventure, we went to try swimming in the pool. But when we stepped into the pool, agggh!!! The water is as slimy as okra's extract. And it's not guaranteed that it's clean. I felt our body will be itching the entire day, if we ever try our luck swimming there. So, I went straight to go for a bath using the fresh water (not the salty one) at a poorly located water tank.

Travel tip #3: Maybe, you can request that the pool water be replaced the night before so you could enjoy their small swimming pool, should you wish to try it too.

I seldom write negative comments, I don't want to. I don't want to magnify. But, as a traveler, I also want to warn future traveler about Club Tara's overrated service, and not-so-good accommodation. 

Make no mistake though, they have the grandest view and design. Feels like an out-of-the-country view is worth trying. Just don't expect much from them.

No "Thank you for coming Sir/Maam!" as you bid goodbye to the place!

Travel tip #4: Since their crews are not in uniform (not all of them), then you might have to ask if they know something about what you need. Just ask. They won't charge though. :)

If I am going to rate Club Tara:

Sanitation: 1/5 that being that the room is reasonably clean, but seriously? Clogged CR? What's that? Tsk tsk tsk! I hope the management would do something about that. If not, because it's really how it is in an island, then atleast warn the guests.

Service: 2/5 it's the worst of all the resorts/inns I've visited. Really not commendable. :(

Price: 2/5 unreasonable! Not worth my pennies.

Place/Resort: 2/5 I can barely give that rating. The place and the resources (natural) in the area are promising, but you needed to improve a lot. It's great that the Kayak, Billiards, Long Board, Pool, are for free, but it's not enough. People have to be satisfied with service, sanitation, etc. 

This is just an honest observation. And yes, if you would ask me, will I ever visit Sohoton again? Definitely yes. Would it be with Club Tara again? I'd have to ask a lot of questions first, think a lot of times, and perhaps say "no!" 

I am not recommending it for accommodation. I have yet to explore another resort/inn or any accommodation apart from Club Tara. 

#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #doroadventures #laagPinas #laagAsia  #suroyWorld #SohotonPH #ClubTara #SurigaoPH 

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