Thursday, October 10, 2019

When in Guam: A Guide on Airport Transfer, Outlet Shopping and More (Part 2)

I used to think that vacations should be packed with things to do and sights to see. But as I get older, my type of vacation is doing the art of nothing. Just lying on a lounge chair and enjoying the sea breeze. And that was what we planned to do in Guam.

Hello, Guam!
We usually do resort or hotel hopping whenever we travel so that we get to see other parts of the place we visit. And for our second resort, we went with Holiday Resort and Spa

We got this confused with the Holiday Inn hotel and resorts chain. It turns out that this is not part of IHG hence the absence of its logo anywhere. 
One could tell that this resort used to be a very grand establishment with the lobby adorned with marbles and high ceiling. 

We found the staff here more pleasant and we even got a room upgrade to a Partial Beach View Room from a Deluxe Room.
However, like most resorts in Guam, its check in was strict. We did manage to get checked in at 2 p.m. though cutting our wait by an hour. 
Our room indeed has a partial view of Matapang Beach and is a grand spot for sunset viewing. The room condition though was far from Hilton's. 

The interiors seemed dated. The carpet had stains all over making anyone feel a bit iffy. 
The bathroom was more spacious though compared to our first resort though the tub was not as deep. No bidet as well.

At least the bed was comfortable as I fell asleep right away. Plus points too for having more channels than just the hotel's commercial. More brownie points were also scored by Holiday with its reliable (and free) internet connection!
With an average spend of PHP4,500 a night compared to Hilton's PHP7,500, you can easily tell where your money goes. Holiday's pool is almost a joke. It's so small to cater a tenth of the guests. It already looked crowded when three guests decided to take a dip. 

An elevator ride here could get scary too with all the loud noises it makes. One Tripadvisor review even mentioned that each time they take the elevator and get to the floor they intended to go to felt like they escaped death. Funny, but I could totally relate.

Kmart is quite close to Holiday being 15 minutes away on foot. We didn't know though that the road to this popular supermarket chain is a bit dark and scary if walking alone. Also, there's a part that's uphill which makes it a bit tiring especially for elders and with physical conditions.
We were bummed though that our trip to the biggest supermarket in the island was a bust as items were even more expensive compared to buying it in Manila (via Landers, S&R or even Mercury Drug). Best to skip Kmart from your list of places to visit unless you enjoy buying overpriced products. 
We noticed that stores like ABC and Circle K offer better prices for chocolates, liquor and other souvenirs. The only item we got from Kmart that was cheaper compared to other stores was the Guam branded chocolate covered macadamia at $16 for a pack of 5 boxes.
I woke up early the following morning hoping to get a nicer shot of the sunrise. I totally forgot though that Holiday's side of Tumon Bay doesn't offer a good view of the morning sun. So it would be better to score more sleep instead if you're staying here. 
Note that Holiday is not beach front but is a few meters away from Matapang Beach which we checked the next morning.

Though clean, we had to cut our beach time short as there was this off putting stench coming from the nearby zoo which you get a whiff of from time to time.

We opted to stay in instead and just head out for late lunch when the sun's not as harsh. We set an alarm at 3 p.m. to get off our beds and explore Tamuning. 

But it turned out to be still too hot to walk around. My legs got slightly burnt from the afternoon sun and we regretted not leaving later. 
To escape the heat, we stayed in Tumon Sands Plaza and had lunch at Olive Garden.
The service at Olive Garden was very pleasant. It has tempting off-peak hour promos on weekdays slashing its meals by at least $5. We were there though on a Sunday so we can't avail of any of the deals.  
Entrees come with unlimited salad or soup and a side of bread. I got lasagna while R went for a plate of steak and pasta. 
Our meal, though not bad, wasn't that great either. The best ones we had were the unlimited serving of soup and salad which we found very tasty.
I find it so bizarre how the stores manage to survive with the unbelievably low foot traffic in all the plazas. The only restaurant we saw full was JT's Manukan which is a Filipino concept highlighting Bacolod's famous chicken inasal
We headed back to our hotel as soon as when the sun went down and went to bed early for our last resort transfer.

Check-out was fast and soon we were on our way down to get a cab. 

There's a cab counter in front of Holiday and we were told that the rate to get to Guam Reef Hotel costs $15. Since Stroll Guam (local Uber) only charges $10, we tried to get a ride. The app crashed though and it was timely that the cab company offered to bring us to our next resort for $10 instead of $15.

It turns out though that the standard is really $10 not $15 and we didn't really get a discount. So beware and know the standard fixed fare. 

... to be continued.

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