Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bluffed by the Bluff House

My family decided to spend the holidays in Bohol. Since I had been there before, I took it upon myself to plan everything - from the itinerary, tickets, tour, driver, and accommodation. Planning one during the holidays when you're on a budget is not easy. Believe me, I know. The hotels and resorts are fully booked, even the homestays are booked. After calling a loooot of numbers, I was so happy and relieved to find a quaint little secluded house with its own access to the beach still available - the Bluff House. I asked them whether they required a reservation fee from me to which they replied that there was no need. Satisfied that I had the accommodations taken care of, I moved on to planning other things.

Ahhhh... Isn't the Bluff House quaint?


So the day comes, after a day of touring Bohol's countryside, my family was looking forward to a night of rest. It was already approaching 7 pm when the tour ended and it was already getting dark. Earlier in the day, I sent the caretaker a text message informing her that we will be checking in around evening. This time, I sent her a text message that we were on our way. Having no map to guide us, it was up to our driver to decipher the address provided and for us to ask the locals. Good thing there were still some we met on our way and that they were very helpful.

I was on the phone with the caretaker asking for directions. We were traversing the rough road very slowly and we were already near the Bluff House when she realized that we weren't the follow-up party of the group currently staying there. When I heard this, I blew up! Literally! It was already late in the evening, how am I going to find a place to stay given that it was peak season and the budget?! I felt accountable to my family since I was the one who planned the whole thing. I was so pissed at this screw up that I couldn't stop myself from screaming at her. I don't know how much I spent on my phone bill that night alone but I demanded that she find us a place to stay. I also called Rose/Rosemarie, the manager of the place, but she ended my call. The next day, she sent me a text message apologizing about the screw-up and how she just got her phone back (explaining her very delayed response). But from what I gathered from the caretaker (she slipped) the night before, they had already spoken and she had been notified asap.

When we finally found our way to the Bluff House, we were met by the guard. I told him I wanted to see the caretaker and he told me he couldn't let us in given that there were already people inside. Apparently, he was already aware of what happened and was washing his hands about the whole thing, how he didn't have anything to do with the screw-up. I didn't care whether he was part of it or not, I just wanted to see the caretaker, the one I was communicating with the whole time. Later, I found out that the guard was actually the caretaker's husband. Hah!

Anyway, to make a long story short, my demands got us somewhere since the caretaker actually found us another house to stay at (no not the Bluff House). They charged me PhP 3,000/night for that new place because, according to them, the house was bigger but I beg to differ since we were expecting a warm bath that night and the shower wasn't even working. So my family and I had to content ourselves with taking a cold bath using the age-old tabo & balde. I was just relieved that at least we had a roof over our heads that night. The very next day, I called some hotels in Tagbilaran, and thankfully, I found one with a family room available. I contacted the tour driver again to fetch us and give us a ride to Tagbilaran. I insisted that the caretaker pay for the PhP 200.00 difference. I know that's a really small amount to quibble over but given the circumstances, she should be happy that that's all she's shouldering. To her credit though, she was apologetic the whole time and she did try to make-up for it.

It was one of the most harrowing experiences I've been through. And as what my sister said, "bluffed by the Bluff House"! Haha!


The Bluff House
Lalao St, Catarman,
Dauis, Panglao Island,
Bohol, Philippines


1 comment:

Rose Voisin said...

Dear Rye,

I am very sorry that you have encountered such a bad experience with us. I'm very affected that our guests have to go through this.. The said experience has taught us to be more careful with handling our bookings to avoid the same mistake again and also to strictly collect a deposit before arrival. My staff didn't take things lightly and we are all shamed because of this. I apologize again and I hope you can come and visit us in your next trip to Bohol and we will make you feel the difference in a different circumstance. Please give me a call if you can and we hope to be able to make up to you.

Good luck with your current projects and all the best.

Rose
The Bluff House
Bohol

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