people like Charlene are exaclty the example of the kind of people we DO NOT WANT to have on our houseboats. Actually we hope not to meet this kind of people even in the ticketing office of the underground.
I will tell you why, even if reading the over 100 reviews that we already have in 4 months about our houseboats (8 listings) will problably make you understand yourself the reason.
About one thing Charlene is right: our staff treats the guest like royalty. But she is wrong to say that we treat like royalty only foreigners and not Filipino. You can easily understand it from the many review we have from Filipino guests. I do not know if Charlene was talking about her foreigner husband/boyfriend that my staff told me he was happy and enjoying the place (and apparently saying that to them when Charlene was not close to him).
Charlene is the kind of people that do not even say thank you when you make a present to her …. even worse …. I will give you three examples.
The normal chek in time for Charlene group was 3 pm like for everybody. BUT I wanted to make a present to her so I arranged for her a free early checkin early in the morning. Results? Not only she did not say one word to thank us but as she stepped on the houseboat she started complaining because two guest were still on the houseboat at midday eating lunch!
You can read in her review: “instead of us having the houseboat to ourselves the day it was booked, a few people were catered to for lunch.”
I mean she payd the private houseboat from 3 pm and she got a free early checkin ….
for the transfer of Charlene group I rented the best speedboat you can find in town (that costed to me 40 usd per trip) since they were 9 and I wanted to treat them like royalty. Of course she did not thank for that but she wrote in the checkin feedback: ““The boat that picked us up from the port felt like it was going to break from the waves.” Please note that all the other groups have been on that speedboat really thanked me for the extramoney I have spent to make their trip faster and more confortable.
we give to Charlene three free bottle of wine ….of course she did not tank for that but ….. she said “No, I want instead a free breakfast for everybody” ….I do not have words to comment this … just find them yourself.
She wrote in the review that I changed the menu on the day of arrival. It would be nice if Charlene says all the story and not half of it.
It is true that I forgot to advise Charlene in advance that our menu was different from when she booked since we were not proposing anymore a full meal at 1000 pesos. My fault. We apologised and since she complained immediatelly we gave from the beginning to her the old menu. But after one day she realized that the new menu was better (and cheaper) so she decided to change and choose the new menu …..
It is right, in three days the water stopped working twice and the electricity stopped one time…..
May be I should not even spend one word on the topic ….. but let’s do it …..
In Coron town (where they have the luck to be connected to the electricity and to the water supply) in the 5 stars hotels guests experience daily hours of no electricity and of no water…..
Our place is housboats …. in the middle of nowhere …. we spend a fortune to produce our water and our electricity.
When guests end too fast the first 1500 liters tank of water, our staff have to switch the source from a second 1500 liters tank. It is boat. When guests do not care about the water it can happen that one tank ends before our staff realizes that the level is low and switch to the second tank. So it can happen that we will be without water for the time to switch tank.
Same for the electricity. It can happen that someone plugs a hairdryer without advising ( we can start an emergency generator) so the inverter goes in protection.
Or it can happen than the 2500 usd inverter fails and you need to reset it.
May be Charlene doesnt know anything about boats ….. but she is Filipina and she know Philippines where water and electricity are always on and off ….
She also wrote: “There was a problem with the booking and Paolo could not accommodate us for our final night but he didn’t even bother arranging land transportation for us to the hotel that we were moving to.”
Charlene booked two nights in the Paolyn housboat and last night in three suites of the bamboo housboat that was under construction at the moment she booked it. Over ten days in advance I advised Charlene that we were late with the bamboo houseboat (we are in Philippines not in Japan ….) and we had the possibility that only two suites could be ready for her arrival (so 14 beds in two rooms, they were 9 people). So what happened is that me and all my workers worked for one week day and night to make the rooms for Charlene ready. (actually this is the reason for which I was not there to apologise personally that the water and the electricity went away ….. actually the water even twice ….).
After all this, when two suites were ready, Charlene decided that the two rooms were not enough for them so she went in another hotel and obviously I refunded to her totally the price of the last night (even if it was too late for me to accept other guests).
When we brought back Charlene group in town (always with the speedboat) the van that my staff booked was not there since the van driver misunderstood the location (he went to another dock). Charlene decided not to wait the van to arrive but she asked to my staff to get the tricicle to go to the hotel. So my staff did. I am sorry that the (filipino) van driver made a mistake and did not understand properly what my (filipino) staff told him. Again, Charlene, being filipina, should know that in Philippines services do not work like in Japan. Everybody is doing his best but still things happen. But of course she wrote that I did not bother arranging land transportation for them …..
After Charlene left the housboat, my staff found her cloth sunk in the sea. So I wrote to her in airbnb that we found her cloth and I asked till what time they were in the new hotel in order to bring the cloth to her. Even if she did not reply back to me I asked to my staff to make a special trip with the boat and bring the cloth to her hotel. Again no one word from her (at that point I was not so suprised).
She also wrote “ I was also disappointed to find out that more amenities were being offered to the guests that they were expecting on the day we were checking out by Paolo’s all Filipino staff”.
Charlene group had free Kayaks, free Paddleboards, free snorkeling gears. At that moment we did not have other amenties (now we have a pedal boat and a big inflatable paddleboard where to lay down), so I do not really understand what Charlene is talking about…. May be being more accurate could have helped.
Finally Charlene wrote in the private feedback that my staff did not seem to care about some problems they had. Well you can read from all the other reviews how much my staff (filipino) care about the guests, it doesnt matter if filipino or foreigners.
One thing is true. My staff even cried when dealing with Charlene. They told me she she never stopped complainig all the time.
My filipino girlfriend April always told me that in Philippines they do not like too much filipina that are married with foreigners since most of them become snob, very pretending, and non respectful with the other filipino.
I was always laughing of her because I am also a foreigner and April is a Filipina as well.
Now I laugh less of what April says :)
Anyway guys, if you had the patience to read all this note please consider one thing. If you just feel that Charlene is right, PLEASE DO NOT BOOK OUR PLACE.
We really love our place and we are spending a lot of energy (and money) to keep it clean, pristine, unique and special. We are happy to share it with guests but there is a limit!