This is our “go to” accommodation when we’re in Cebu. The reason is because of its great location—it’s right smack in the midtown area. Restaurants, malls, bars, clubs, massage, Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu Doctors Hospital, medical labs are just a few minutes walk away.
Second reason is the price. Their rates just can’t be beat! Granted, they don’t offer free breakfast, but frankly, free breakfasts at hotels are really nothing to write home about—definitely not worth the extra ₱400 or so you pay for the room rate that includes free breakfast. I’d rather use that amount to buy myself a really hearty breakfast at the many fastfood restaurants in the area.
Third reason is the property itself. It is clean. By clean, it doesn’t only mean that it’s properly maintained, but clean as in we’ve never seen cockroaches, roaches, rats, or lizards inside the premises or inside the room. Maybe we were just lucky but we’ve seen a huge rat at this very established international 5 star hotel in Cebu; and a roach lazily crawling on the mirror of our bathroom at this 4 star hotel in the midtown area.
The lobby is nice and big. It has a huge outdoor balcony, perfect for smokers. It’s also nice to just sit on the bench at night and listen to the city traffic below.
Fourth, the staff. They are courteous and polite. They greet you when you pass by the lobby or when you cross paths in the hallway. The front desk personnel are also courteous and very accommodating. Very professional. The same with the bellboys. They look like they really love what they’re doing.
The rooms are clean and decent. Some are small, some are long. There’s the usual cable TV, aircondition, and water heater for the shower, but no Wi-Fi (they do provide free Wi-Fi for the guests at the lobby). Their deluxe rooms are nice and roomy too. I got the chance to be shown a room right beside the street area (Gen. Maxilom Avenue) but it wasn’t for me, the vehicle traffic was just so hard to ignore. I prefer a windowless room that blocks out any light from outside and the traffic noise.
Now for the part that we liked the least. At random hours of the day, whether day or night, there permeates a “fried meat” smell all over the hallway and even inside the rooms! The smell can become so intense. Although I’m no vegetarian nor a Muslim, but I bet the intense smell of fried pork inside your room can be off-putting to some, and even be offensive to others. It certainly is off-putting to me, the meatlover that I am. UPDATE: We’ve been back a few times since this review came out. We haven’t encountered this thing at all anymore. Maybe we were just lucky everytime, or maybe they did something about it. Who knows. I’d like to believe it’s the latter. Another peeve of ours is the towel situation. Always, as in always, we never get any towels in the room unless we specifically ask for it from the front desk. So after we get back to the hotel, we go to the shower right away and find out too late that there’s no towel! This is the only hotel we’ve ever been to–whether in Philippines, Asia or in Europe–that doesn’t have towels ready unless we specifically ask for it. UPDATE: Nowadays, they go out of their way to check and ensure that we have towels in our room as soon as we check in. Good job!
A minor inconvenience is the lack of in-room Wi-Fi. Gran Prix Hotel, the hotel right in front of Sampaguita Suites JRG has in-room Wi-Fi, but their rates are a little steeper. Like I mentioned, Sampaguita Suites JRG do provide Wi-Fi connection for the guests at the lobby. To their credit, the lobby is spacious and has plenty of places you can sit down and internet away.
All in all, the positives easily outweigh the negatives by a wide margin [UPDATE: now even more so]. The minor annoyances do not preclude us from going there again and again. Sampaguita Suites JRG is easily the best value for your money—hands down.