The Best Western Plus The Ivywall Puerto Princesa is a great stop-over hotel on Palawan, with modern rooms, good amenities and friendly service at reasonable prices. We liked the pool, gym, bar and restaurant available, as well as the free airport shuttle, and would stay again without hesitation. Don’t expect any Best Western Rewards elite benefits though – you won’t get them here.
Location: The Best Western Puerto Princesa is located just outside the airport, about 10 minutes ride from the new terminal. The port is about the same distance. On the same street as the hotel are some good restaurants and bars, as well as convenience stores, so you can easily walk to any of them.
Service / Rewards: The Best Western Palawan staff was friendly and attentive. Check in took a little bit of time on each of our two stays. We got all the necessary information about the hotel and our breakfast. Housekeeping had done a good job preparing our room. Staff at the pool bar was just as friendly and had our orders taken and food & drinks delivered quickly. The restaurant staff was quick to refill the buffet and clear tables – we couldn’t have asked for more. Checkout worked just as well and staff was able to arrange a drop-off at the airport with the hotel van, free of charge, on our second stay.
I’m a Best Western Rewards Diamond member, but yet again there were no benefits delivered – no upgrade, no welcome amenity or points. The staff didn’t seem to be aware of any of the benefits they should be offering, similar to other Best Western hotels in Asia.
Room: Our King-Bed room was a lot nicer than what you’d expect at a Best Western in the US – it’s contemporary, held in beige/brown tones and everything looked new and was in good working condition. The bed had very nice sheets and was comfortable. There is a narrow work desk with an office chair, as well as a padded chair in the corner. The room offered plenty of storage, a luggage bench, coffee & tea facilities, as well as a laptop size safe.
The bathroom was also held in beige tones, with a walk-in shower on the left with a partial glass wall, a toilet in the center and a sink-in-countertop on the fight. Three is plenty of space for your toiletries. The provided towels were of good quality, the provided toiletries not so much.
The free WiFi internet was weak and slow at speeds around 1Mbps – enough for some web browsing and email, but not much more. Overall, I was pretty impressed – the Best Western Plus Ivywall is newly built and it shows in the rooms!
Restaurant & Amenities: The BW Ivywall offers a small gym with cardio equipment and some free weights for a basic workout. There is also a pool upstairs that overlooks the lush greenery around. It would have been even nicer on the rooftop! It’s pretty small, but enough for a dip and there are a few loungers to relax.
The pool bar next to it serves drinks and food and we enjoyed lunch there, it’s a nice and quiet location!
Breakfast is served in the ground-floor restaurant. The buffet area is near the entrance and seating is arranged with booths in the center, resulting in a more private setting than many breakfast rooms – a nice touch.
The buffet offered breads, pastries, fruit, yogurt and cold cuts, as well as a number of hot, local dishes. You could also order make-to-order eggs, which we liked! Coffee, tea and juices are available as well. The selection and quality was ok for the price category, but not as elaborate as in similarly priced hotels.
Bottomline: For an average price of $75/night you get a very nice room in a modern hotel with upscale amenities, breakfast and service. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay again or recommend it if you are on a short stop over in Puerto Princesa. You can check for current prices here – it’s often available for less through online travel agents than at bestwestern.com. Best Western’s low rate guarantee is a scam and will not be honored as I found out on this stay. There are no Best Western elite benefits, so you might as well book the cheapest rate wherever you find it!