Review: (Airbnb) Manora Guest House in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
We enjoyed staying in Aurora’s Manora Furnished Apartments with Wi-Fi between Jan.4-10. We chose the Manora Guest House because there would be plenty of room for 3 guests (Bill, my mom, and myself), we’d have Internet access plus, it was just the next town over from Cebu City closer to the Port where we would have to jump on a ferry to our next adventure to Bohol. It was a special trip since none of us have ever been to Cebu and I flew my mom, from Manila, to see a different part of the Philippines. Fairly new travelers renting from owners versus staying at a hotel, you always have some doubt if the ad matches what you actually get upon arrival. Happy to say that the pictures, represented on Airbnb, matched what we saw when we walked into the apartment.
Review: Manora Furnished Apartments (Wi-Fi)
• We had great communication with Aurora prior and during our stay from Jan. 4-10. We were coming from the City of Legazpi via Cebu Airlines and communicated our arrival the day prior. It was nice of Aurora to have sent her daughter and employee, Juan, to pick us up from the airport. They had a sign with our names on it to make it easier to find them outside the baggage claim.
• The next morning, Bill had inquired about hiring a car & driver. Aurora phoned a service that charged 5,000pesos for a city day tour. I had to remind Aurora that she emailed me a quote of 1,200pesos for the car, 500pesos for the driver and, in addition, bring back the car with a full tank of gas. After that, she helped arrange for Joe, the driver, to take us on a Cebu City Tour. She helped create a nice itinerary and explained how Joe (a backup driver, not her normal driver who was on vacation) might go about touring us around. We returned from our day trip and Juan requested additional $ for gas. We asked how much. He said, “500pesos.” So we paid it. Then Joe, our driver, returned minutes later with 300pesos change and a receipt for the gas that only cost 200pesos. We appreciated his honesty.
• (Staff) We asked Juan if they offered laundry service and what the turnaround time would be. He said we could have our laundry done and returned by the next day so we gathered our items. We were a bit sticker shocked when the bill arrived. 660pesos for maybe 2kilos of laundry which isn’t enough to fill a carry-on. We didn’t expect it to be so high as we’ve heard from locals that Cebu is typically more affordable than Manila. But in Manila, we had 3.4kilos of laundry rushed for same day service and it was only 360pesos. I wish we asked how much it was or Juan confirmed with us how much it would be before we agreed to the laundry service. On another occasion, we visited the office to ask for assistance in dialing a local number. Aurora nor Juan were in the office and the boy who was there refused to help us.
(Arrival) This has only been our 3rd Airbnb experience… all in the Philippines (Airbnb Makati Studio in Manila #1, Airbnb Makati Studio in Manila #2). We’re given our keys to apartment M4. So far this is the 2nd Airbnb property, where only upon arrival they turned on the refrigerator and a/c. I guess they are conserving electricity. But I don’t know how expensive it would be to turn these features on maybe 30 minutes prior to a guests’ arrival so we walk in comfortably? Hmm.
(Amenities) -Cable TV did not work. Aurora’s son was the initial technician to try and get it working but the problem seemed to be something with the cable hookup and not the cable box we had. It was a pre-existing problem they’ve had in the past Aurora said and had to ask the cable company to send someone. The cable tv was fixed on our 3rd day. -The toilet upstairs has a weaker flush than the downstairs toilet. -Enjoyed hot showers with fair water pressure.
(Noise Level) It’s a residential area so the only passerby’s in tricycles or cars honking was minimal compared to a stay in the city.
(Air Quality) We were hoping the air pollution would be better than staying in Cebu City. It probably was for the most part, but on our last night, we returned from a day out, and the master bedroom smelled like smokers combined with pollution possibly from cars. My mom and I slept in the other room that had twin beds. I noticed that the master bedroom door to a balcony had a semi-large but thin crack in it. Maybe that’s how the smell seeped in? Also, the stairway window was cracked open permanently hence the living room/kitchen area stayed cool from the a/c downstairs but the stairway/upstairs walkway would be warm.
(Compliments) Aurora had a nice, outdoor eating area a few steps from the apartment and the office where you can cook breakfast. They offered complimentary eggs, bananas, bread to toast and such. It was a good way to chat with Aurora and any other visitors of the Manora Apartments.
We’ve heard that internet in the Philippines is slow and can somewhat be unreliable. We were quite happy with the Wifi here which allowed us to research things to do while in Cebu and used the connection to teach my mom how to use her iPad and learning to email.
The Manora Guest House Apartments have a front gate with a full-time security guard.
What’s Nearby and Getting Around
If you have a phone where you can download the GrabTaxi or EasyTaxi apps, these services might help hail a cab for pickup at the Manora Guest House. Otherwise, it can be quite a challenge to find one unless one passes by at the main street.
When you don’t need a car & driver for the full day which will average ₱2,000 from Aurora, here’s some insight on approximate costs getting around:
• Manora Guest House to/from Airport = ₱330 Taxi
• Manora Guest House to Pier 1 = ₱145-160 Taxi
• Manora Guest House to/from Gaisano Mall / Supermarket = ₱30-50 Tricycle (3ppl) | ₱60 Taxi
• Want to go on a Day Trip to Olango Island to eat at a Floating Restaurant and go bird-watching at the Wildlife Sanctuary? (1) Manora Guest House to Angasil Port, Lapu-Lapu City = ₱450 Taxi (2) Jump on a pump boat (motorized boat) for ₱10/pp and disembark at the Santa Rosa Wharf
• Want to go to Oslob to see Whale Sharks? Check out the South Cebu Bus Terminal where it’ll be a 3-3.5hr ride for ₱155/pp to ride the Ceres Bus which leaves every 30 minutes.
• If you need to renew your Visa, Cebu Immigration Office can be found on the 2nd floor at the J Center Mall.
• Nearby Restaurant: Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant (5.5km away from Manora Guest House)