Forget about Bethel Guest house. It has good location but too generic (and pricey!). Or Coco Grande--the sound of rats running on the ceiling is not on your bluelist! Or even Harold's Mansion where the restrooms are peppered with mildew!
Each time The Girlfriend pins down a visit to Dumaguete, I would hop around looking for nice and clean hotels days in advance. One hotel after the other, I'd ask for tariff and see the room for myself. I'd write a mental note about the plus and minus points for each property. What we look for in a hotel are: firstly, it should be within our budget (Php600 or less). Secondly, it's location. Last but not least, it must be clean, with aircon and with no musty smell. A distinct character the place evokes would be a plus! The works.
It was a sheer stroke of luck that we discovered one hotel during one of the busiest weeks of the university town. We came from a trip in Apo Island and headed-off to Duma to spend two nights. To our dismay, all the hotels were fully booked! With our backpacks, we hopped from block to block hoping to score any room. Nil!