It’s literally been years since I’d been to Puerto Galera, and before the summer ended, I asked Hali to go there for a short getaway. It was a stressful time for us, and so we specifically looked for a place where we could not only relax, but also pamper and indulge ourselves. We’d chosen AV Suites.
AV Suites is a hotel resort located in Aninuan, which is one of the quieter parts of Puerto Galera. Here’s our hotel review!
Our stay at AV Suites
Hali and I stayed here for four days in the summer of 2022.
AV Suites lies on top of a hill, with a splendid view of the Mindoro Strait and the surrounding Malasimbo Mountain. It’s an intimate hideaway ideal for those who want to have a quiet vacation in Puerto Galera and enjoy its attractions, but without the crowd.
It’s only a 5-minute walk to Aninuan Beach and a 10-minute ride to White Beach.
Hotel facilities include a lounge area, dining area, and a kiddie pool and a snap-worthy infinity pool with a view.
Our room is a Premiere Suite. I specifically chose this one because I read that it has the best view of the outside.
It features a king-sized bed, a bean bag, a flat-screen TV, and a spacious bathroom with a bath tub and hot & cold shower. Ample towels were provided. There were essential toiletries including dental kits, shower caps, soaps, and shower gels. I was surprised at this because the listing indicated no toiletries included. There were no shampoo or conditioners though, which was fine because we’d brought our own.
As mentioned above, the best feature of the room is its view! It has floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a balcony where you can see the outdoor pools with a backdrop of the ocean.
I loved the room from the moment we walked in. In fact, there was even a welcome message awaiting on the bed, including a basket of dried flowers and balloons. Hali and I loved the level of extra, especially considering that we weren’t really there for any celebration.
The room served as a great home for a few days for us. It was nice and comfortable, exactly what we were looking for. In fact, we dedicated one whole day just staying indoors, hanging out and doing nothing or watching videos online. I particularly enjoyed the hot tub and wish I’d brought something for a bubble bath. If you’d been following me, you know that I have a great love for hotels with bath tubs. I also liked the decoration details, like the beautiful stained-glass bedside lamps and the wooden chandelier.
Something worth noting though is that lower part of the bathroom walls is transparent, so whenever someone is using the toilet, you can see their feet!
AV Suites has a kiddie pool and an infinity pool overlooking the ocean. Since the hotel resort isn’t that big, we had ample opportunities to enjoy the pool on our own.
It was raining intermittently during our stay, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the water. The pool is deep though — it starts at 5.5 feet and then gradually slopes to 7 feet deep. It’s a good thing there were floaters available. When we’d get tired from swimming, we’d just grab one and then float away without a care in the world.
Beside the hotel’s reception area is the dining area, which extends into the balcony. The menu consists of Mediterranean and Filipino meals. The food here is expensive, which I guess is to be expected given its isolated location.
AV Suites offers complimentary breakfast, depending on your room package. The complimentary breakfast includes eggs, ham, toast bread with jam and/or butter, and your choice of coffee or juice. Again, it was just okay. I find the eggs a bit salty, and I guess I still prefer rice meals. There are other breakfast items, but for P200-300 each they seem overpriced to me.
In general, we find the food as alright, but not impressive. For the price, I was expecting better-quality food. AV Suites does not allow outside food, but as far as I know snacks are allowed and there is a water dispenser for refilling water bottles. I appreciate the last part, since not all hotels offer this option.
There are only a handful of restaurants nearby, so if you’re staying at the hotel and not doing tours, your choices are limited. There is a Japanese home restaurant a few minutes away that we liked, called Azikaya Abe Chang. It’s run by one woman and she makes everything from scratch. Their rice meals and sushi were great.
AV Suites is only a 5-minute walk away from Aninuan Beach. This is a long stretch of beautiful beach surrounded by coconut trees, perfect for sun bathing and swimming. It’s a huge contrast to the White Beach, which is a commercial area bustling with shops, restaurants, and people offering water activities and tours.
I prefer Aninuan Beach because I could actually swim here. We’d been to White Beach and it seemed to me that even the water was crowded with jets and floaters.
Aside from these, AV Suites also offers their own tours around Puerto Galera, but they have a higher markup compared to tours offered outside. We looked for a travel agency and booked a basic island hopping tour for only P600 per person. It’s a 3-hour boat tour to the Underwater Cave, Coral Garden, and Giant Clams Farm.
I was amazed by the great condition of the coral gardens, considering how popular Puerto Galera is. The activity was fun and it was certainly one of the highlights of our stay in Puerto Galera.
We had an amazing time at AV Suites.
I loved the room and the facilities, especially the outdoor dining area where we could hang out with hot chocolate at night and the infinity pool with the ocean view. I also appreciate that the hotel WIFI is fast so it is easy to stream, and we were not bored even when we weren’t doing anything.
The fact that it is built atop a hill means it has splendid views all around and it’s far away from the tourist crowd. For people who want to get away and relax, it’s a great choice. The downside is that it’s far from most commercial establishments. If you want to have easy access to shops and restaurants, you may want to book in White Beach instead. Also, the food in the in-house restaurant can be improved.
Another potential issue is accessibility. From the main entrance, guests need to walk up a set of stairs to reach the hotel grounds. So it’s not friendly for seniors or those with mobility issues. In addition, at the time of our visit, the main gate was not marked. We didn’t know we were using the side entrances the whole time, and those were very steep and tiring. We only found out about the main gate on our last day!
Service-wise, the staff was very friendly and helpful. They can help you call a tricycle, so you won’t have to stand outside to wait. On our checkout, I had an issue with billing, and the receptionist was proactive and handled it really well, so at the end we left with happy hearts.
Here’s a short video of our stay:
How to get to AV Suites
AV Suites is located in Barangay Aninuan in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. It is formerly known as Amihan Villa.
From Manila, you need to head to Batangas Port where can can either travel to Balatero Port or Calapan Port.
Via Balatero Port
Balatero Port is the main port in Puerto Galera.
- From Batangas Port, take a fastcraft (Island Water) or regular ferry (Montenegro Lines) to Balatero Port. Travel time 1 hour for the fastcraft and 1.5-2 hours for the regular ferry.
- At the port, hire a tricycle to take you to the hotel resort, which is 10 minutes away.
Via Calapan Port
This is a longer route, but it’s an alternative option in case you miss the ferry schedules to Balatero Port.
- From Batangas Port, take a ferry to Calapan Port. Travel time is 2 hours.
- At the port, ride a tricycle to the terminal. Then ride a jeep or van to Puerto Galera. Travel time is 2 hours. From the Puerto Galera terminal, hire a tricycle to take you to the hotel resort, which is 20 minutes away.
Book your stay here
Book your stay at AV Suites via Agoda.
You can choose among the Twin-Sharing Suite, Deluxe Suite, Family Suite, and Premium Suite. Bookings come with complimentary breakfast.
Check in is 2PM, checkout at 11AM.
Here are some tips before you go!
- I highly suggest either getting to Batangas Port super early or (better yet) booking your ferry tickets in advance, especially during summer. On weekdays, there are fewer trips and tickets may sell out early. Click here to book Batangas to Puerto Galera or Puerto Galera to Batangas.
- There are also private boat services from Batangas Port to Balatero Port, which cost about P1500 per person with 45 minutes travel time.
Did you enjoy reading about this AV Suites hotel review? If you have other questions or comments, let us know below!
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- AV Suites Boutique Hotel
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Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).