Friday, October 11, 2019

When in Guam: A Guide on Airport Transfer, Outlet Shopping and More (Part 3)

We were so happy that Mother Nature was on our side the whole time we were in Guam. With clear skies and short light showers, we got to enjoy frolicking on the sand for days. And to end our trip, we decided to go with one of the best resorts in town.

Hello, Guam!
Guam Reef Hotel is one of the highly rated resorts along Tumon Bay and we opted to save it as our last resort during our Guam trip. Located at the center of Tamuning, it is just a few steps away from several plazas, Duty Free Shops and UnderWater World. But more than its prime location, we were excited to lounge around its beach front and enjoy the view from its infinity pool. And we were surprised that this 45 year old resort has a lot more to offer. 
The front desk staff was a lot warmer here with its head initiating small talk with us about living in Manila. They also upgraded our room to Infinity Twin Room from Beach Twin. We had to wait for 2 hours though before we got to check in despite requesting for an early check in. 
Our Infinity Twin Room (PHP7,500 per night via Agoda) was pretty spacious. Equipped with two twin beds, cable television, mini fridge, coffee and tea nook, balcony with sunset and partial beach view and a bathroom with bathtub and bidet seat, we were set to have a comfortable stay. 
Guam Reef Hotel also gets extra points for reliable internet as well as water dispenser in our room! There's even microwave and ice maker in every floor of the hotel.
We were told upon check in that there are complimentary pizza and fries served by the pool from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Luckily, we were booked from Monday to Thursday!
It wasn't good but kills hunger pangs. 
The infinity pool looked really big in photos but it wasn't that huge at all. The pool looks and feels a bit crowded when there are about 8-10 guests swimming around. 
The whirlpool is a better option if you want a bit of privacy. 
Or just head down to the beach and snorkel around. You can grab masks, life vests or floaters by the towel counter. And its use is complimentary too!
Just like in Holiday or Hilton, there weren't a lot of fish by Guam Reef's beach front. The corals were almost beached and you'd be lucky to spot a few small fish here and there. 
On our first night, we decided to check the restaurants across the hotel. There were a bunch of Asian restaurants and we zeroed in on ramen.
We went with Fuji Ichiban which we noticed to have a few branches along the hotel road. We've read that service isn't its best forte but food's good. 
Service was indeed not warm and quite slow on requests such as water or tea refill.
We found the ramen bowls Soy ($9.50) and Tonkotsu ($9.75) just okay. Though flavorful and I enjoyed the complex textures brought by bamboo shoots and bean sprouts, it lacked umami to be on the same level as the ones we've had in Japan (and Manila). Perhaps it would have been better if they added garlic and allowed its guests to choose the noodles' firmness.

Oh, and don't be fooled by its "iced tea drink" at $2. It's literally just tea and ice. I wished that I just got one of my tea bags from the hotel and made my own iced tea. 
We headed to the beach tower the following morning for our complimentary breakfast. The buffet is located at the topmost floor of the hotel giving diners a nice view of Tumon Bay. 
The spread is limited but ample to cater to most guests' preferences.
We went down to the pool area afterwards for a quick dip in the pool before going to Micronesia Mall. But the pool was quite full already at around 10 a.m.. We did notice though on our way for breakfast that the pool was still empty at 8 a.m.. So we' figured that it would be best to head there earlier the next day. 
A free bus shuttle to Micronesia Mall is available in front of Outrigger (which is just a few meters away from Guam Reef Hotel). We decided to check the mall out to see if we could score better deals than from Guam Premier Outlets. And it turned out to be like our Kmart experience. The shops aren't really offering good deals with most priced even more expensive than in Manila. 
Payless Supermarket (not connected to Payless shoe store) also proved to be not true to its name with its products being a few dollars more expensive than in ABC or Circle K. I'm still confused with why these relatively hard to visit supermarkets charge even higher than small or convenience stores. I guess I'll never really understand. 
We felt bad wasting a few hours going to this mall but the day was saved by Onigiri Seven, one of the highly rated restaurants in the neighborhood. 

We tried its tuna poke bowls in fresh and creamy spicy as well as some onigiri and rolls. 
The fresh tuna poke bowl was a lot better than its creamy spicy version. In fact, R and his cousin H found the creamy spicy poke way too spicy. 
The onigiri (roll?) was massive! Priced at $2 per piece, you could get your fill with just two or three! I liked unagi more than salmon as the salmon filling was the dry fillet type.
Best to skip the rolls especially if not freshly made. 
After 6 days of staying in Guam, we've already established the fact that it's not worth it to head out. Hence, we opted to just stay in and enjoy the resort. 
We got up early to enjoy the pool. And we did. There was barely anyone at 8 a.m.. More guests came in around 9:30 a.m. or so and we were already ready to move down to the beach
Since we went for a morning swim instead of grabbing breakfast, we got to use our meal coupons for lunch instead at Yoshoku-Ya Sango, Guam Reef Hotel's in-house Japanese restaurants. 
We had two bento options to choose from--Pork Cutlet or Shrimp Tempura, all served with rice, cream of broccoli soup and a glass of iced (and) tea. We decided to go with one of each. 
And I was impressed with the hefty serving sizes. I was thinking it'll be small considering that these were complimentary meals. Also, both were good. Crunchy on the outside and juicy and fresh on the inside. The soup too was amazing!

We visited DFS on our last night and noticed that the prices were not really that attractive. Though some cosmetics such as Benefit are cheaper here by PHP500 compared to Manila's retail prices.

Check out the next day went smooth and everything was done in under 5 minutes. 

As we wheeled out our bags, I noticed that there's actually an airport bus shuttle at DFS. Unfortunately, we were told that we had to reserve in advance and there were limited transfers with most scheduled in the afternoon. So we were left with getting a cab again. And since we were getting from the hotel, the rates were fixed at $25. Don't bother to haggle as it won't work.
At least we conveniently got to the airport with 2 hours to spare. 

And just like when we arrived, the airport was still close to being empty. We got our tickets and passed through security in less than half an hour! Though we're talking about lean months here so it might be different during summer.
Overall, our Guam trip was relaxing and definitely recharged us. But if you're into doing several activities a day, Guam might be a bit boring for you. It's really a quiet island with limited water activities and tons of not so good shopping centers. 

Will I visit again? Maybe. I did like that the beach had zero trash and that the places I wanted to go to are quite near each other. But I think I'll still skip doing an island tour.

Click here for PART 1 and PART 2.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments or other recommendations? :)