Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Worst Night at Krystal Lodge | Coron

Krystal Lodge is perfect for a rustic photo shoot but I wouldn't recommend spending the night here.

PALAWAN, Philippines  "'Wag ho kayo dyan. Mabaho." (Don't stay there. It stinks.)

This was an unsolicited advice from a local after he found out that I planned to stay at Krystal Lodge. For some reason, I didn't believe him.

I was extending my vacation in Coron at my own expense and since my wallet couldn't afford the posh resort where I stayed in for free, I had to move out.

Krystal Lodge was described as "rustic, rugged and certainly not for the high-maintenance traveler." I read about this online. Photos looked pretty and since it was within my budget, I checked it out.

Krystal Lodge is along the backpackers' area where rooms start at Php 380 a night.

The little sign that points to "Crystal" Lodge.

From the little sign along the road, it's a 2-minute walk to the actual lodge. You'll pass by cramped houses, couples quarreling, and murky waters that, true to what the local said, had a funky smell.

Surprisingly, Krystal Lodge didn't stink when I got there. It was also fairly quiet and wasn't as cramped. The local was probably referring to the stench on the way to the lodge, I thought.

I found the place quite charming. It was perfect for a rustic photo shoot. 

I've always wanted to try spending the night on a stilted room above the sea, similar to those high-end resorts. "Why not?" I thought. It looked pretty livable. 

The lady offered me a fan room for just Php 500 a night. It was big enough to fit four to six people! From the outside, I peeked at the washroom, which looked, well... average. 

And by that time, my bladder was ready to explode so I hurriedly paid and checked-in.

It was the worst decision. 

Walls and doors were mostly thatched. Pretty, actually.

Nails were used as locks! 

While the room was extra spacious, I wouldn't recommend it here. 

To my horror, there was a spider and cockroach in the washroom. (Usually, I don't mind just one.) There wasn't even a sink or a proper shower, which I didn't notice when I peeked from the outside. 

Worst yet, the shower water drained through a small hole that went straight to the sea below!

The horrendous shower!
Too bad you can't see the hole where shower water falls through.  

I was ready to check-out immediatelyto think that I even planned to stay for two nights! Too bad I wasn't allowed a refund for the first night. I tried convincing myself that I got a good deal since other places were charging more than Php 800 for a solo room.

Since I'd stay for a only few hours and the room was paid for already, I decided to rough it out. 

That night was the worst. I couldn't sleep because the stench of the sea was unbearable. Just imagine the smell of dead rats, garbage, and human waste, mixed with a faint smell of shampoo and conditioner! I could almost see the local rolling his eyes and saying, "Told you so!"

I checked-out that morning.

At night, the water would smell so bad!

Perhaps the description was true: "Not for the high-maintenance traveler." I never considered myself to be one but it made me think: was I? Maybe. But this was too much.

In fact, it wasn't just the stench or lack of plumbing that turned me off. It was also the lack of light in the entire lodge, which made the place seem sleazy. Also, there weren't any generators when the town's electricity would go out. Not only was it extra dark but hot as well!

For those who plan to stay at Krystal Lodge (or the backpackers' area), think twice. Go for it if you're desperate. If not, consider other hotels nearby like Islands View Inn.

Lessons learned: 1) trust the locals' advice and 2) inspect the bathroom thoroughly!

Charged to experience. Definitely.