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“Decent But Overpriced”
Review of Ogtong Cave Resort

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Ogtong Cave Resort
Ranked #6 of 9 Hotels in Bantayan Island
Reviewed 6 June 2011

We had to go to Bantayan island for business and pleasure. We were 4 families in all and then some. Total of 9 adults and 4 children. Let me tell you first hand that this wasn't our first choice to stay in. It just so happened that the day we had to go to Bantayan happened to be the last week of vacation before school started in the Philippines and most of the other resorts were jam packed.

I give thumbs up to their shuttle transportation from the pier to the hotel. Travelers be aware that their shuttle is not named as ogtong cave resort but as Sta. Fe beach resort. It is a sister company of ogtong and all their shuttle buses are named as Sta. Fe Beach Resort.

One thing I noticed about Ogtong right away is that t is very very clean. You can hardly see any litter around. Early every morning they have sweepers to clean up the leaves and flower droppings from the ground and I assume they also clean whatever litter they see around. The only gripe about these cleaners is that they do not clean the beach. Their beach does not have any litter but there are a lot of sea weeds washed up ashore. It would be nice if they could clean this up also.

We reserved 1 duplex room and 2 seaview villa rooms. First of all, in their website, What they call their family room for P4,300.00/night was what they gave us but they called it a duplex and charged us P6,000.00 for it. The seaview villa is really what it is on their website. The rooms in the seaview villa are much much nicer than their so called duplex room.

Inside the rooms, it is clean and the furniture is functional. My family and another family stayed in the duplex room. Inside the duplex, although there are two separate areas, Area 1 has 2 single beds a refrigerator(which didn't function) a small dresser and a 2 seater round table. Area 2 had a matrimonial bed, the TV with the local channels a cabinet and the bathroom. That's right the bathroom is being shared by both occupants of the duplex, not only that, you had to pass through the area 2 bedroom in order to go to the bathroom. Although if you step out of the duplex, the pool bathrooms are right beside the duplex rooms.

The food is priced average, although the cooking is mediocre. There are a lot more better eating areas and more cheaper if you go to where the other resorts are clustered.

You see, Ogtong cave is a bit far from the beaten track. If you crave privacy and solitude then this is the place to be. Its kind of hard to travel around if you are a guest in Ogtong. If you were gonna ride one of their trikes, it's 25.00/head. That is standard, don't let them raise prices on you. If you are gonna ride a bike with a pedicab its the same price and you have to ride either or if you want to get around. If you're an exerciser person, you can rent mountain bikes from them for 40.00/hour. You can rent scooters for P350.00 per day but you have to ride a bike/trike to get out of the place and go to where you can rent it. We tried to charter a van to take us from Ogtong to our business site in the city of Bantayan and they wanted to charge us P800.00 for it and that's just drop off and not having the van for the whole day. If you use their shuttle service they will allow you for a fee of P450.00 and again only for drop off and not as rent for the whole day.

The beach is white sand although the water is pretty shallow. When its low tide, you have to walk something like 50 meters to get to where the water is. You can charter a boat excursion going to what they call Virgin Islands for P1500.00/day. Its awesome there and you can go diving and snorkeling if you want. Though I wager that if you were staying with another resort you can still get the same offer from the other resorts since the tour operator of Virgin Islands seems to be the local fishermen.

They have two pools. One pool is for the guests who are renting the cheaper rooms. This pool is also the common pool, meaning those people who just want to swim but not stay there could do so by paying P350.00 so it can get pretty crowded in their. Their second pool is located in the honeymooners suites. This area is gated and they guard the other guests from entering there since only the people renting the suites can have access to that pool. It's P16,000.00/ night in there. However, if there are no guests there, you can ask the management of ogtong permission to swim there. Though this area is still off limits to the day trippers thus giving you a small measure of privacy. The first pool's bottom is irregularly shaped. So be careful because it can go from 5 feet to 9 feet in a hurry. The second pool has a jacuzzi in the center and it is raised above the pools. The water cascades out and drops to the two pools. On one side is a kiddie pool and on the other side is the adult pool. Maximum depth of the kiddie pool is about 1 1/2 feet while maximum depth of the adult pool is 5 feet.

The cave attraction is basically just that, a cave attraction. There is water in the cave and the average depth is about 5 feet. If you want to get in the cave, you have to sign a waiver not to hold them responsible in case something happens to you inside. Water drips from the ceiling and there are some small bats inside. Oh and some small fishes also swim in the cave water.

All in all it is a lovely place. Manicured lawns, well tended plants. They have tropical birds inside cages but after all that, there's nothing more. I mean I was traveling with both my sons aged 10 and 5. After swimming and playing with the sand there was nothing else for them to do. I guess what I am trying to say is that they are lacking a bit in amenities especially if you have children. There's just not much to do there except swim.

Oh one last thing, the service. In the other reviews they said the service was horrendous and I was a bit apprehensive when I read the other reviews. But in fairness the staff were friendly and helpful and I had no complaints with the service we got. Maybe they hired new people? I don't know.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Xybertek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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100 - 106 of 118 reviews

Reviewed 30 December 2010

Traveled across the world to spend Christmas with family (2 kids & 9 adults). After careful deliberation, we chose Bantayan Island and found Ogtong Cave from WOW Philippines website....It was a total disappointment!!!! Service was terrible!
We arrived on 24th and since it was Christmas eve, we wanted to use the pool and they said it closes at 5 pm cause there was no lifeguard...i told them we were swimmers, still did not allow us. Then asked if we could use the other pool closer to our room, and they said it was for honeymooners...but none at that time...my nieces felt so sad and my sisters were so bummed!...ocean water was so low, you can walk for a kilometer with no sea water..that's how low tide it was!!! We all ended sleeping on xmas eve!. Next day, we wanted to get a ride from the resort shuttle to drop us off to church on the way to port...they could not even do it!....then asked kitchen staff to cut coconuts for us, they said they would charge us.....oh what a disaster in service!!! And we paid premium amount of money..it was not cheap staying there.

I do not recommend this resort. It does looks nice and relaxing, but after your checked in, you're in for a total nightmare...management needs training on customer service and customer retention.

Pool guy was the only pleasant one, recommending for us to take a boat to snorkel somewhere.

Check out other places to stay.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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6  Thank Glooey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2010

This is my 2nd time in Bantayan Island so I am willing to stay just a little bit off the center of town. The room we got (2nd to the cheapest) is just average, although the bed is not that comfortable to my liking the room and toilet are clean. The staff are helpful and attentive to your needs. The only amenity I enjoyed there is there swimming pool as the beach although clean is too shallow at the time we were there. I little renovation would make there guest's stay much better.

Within the resort is a spring-fed pool inside a small cave, this is where the resort got its name. You can enjoy a cool swim or just be enthralled by the intricate rock cavities carved in a span of hundreds or thousands of years.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kegler747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2010

I want to say this place is terrible and by international standards it is, but after having been in this part of the country for a year or so now I can tell you that it is somewhere in the middle of my Philippine resort quality barometer.
Again the highest spec room, the honeymoon suite is overpriced. As with most places here. It was dated, grubby and badly constructed. The pool was ok, but the beach non existent.
The resort itself is named after the cave in proudly sits on, imagine wooky hole but with bats, fish and stalactites you can actually touch and swim under, that was the best thing, the cream of the crap you could say.
The real crap however was the animal 'exhibits' I understand that ignorance plays a big part in the reason for these animals being kept in small cages and squalid conditions but I just can't abide seeing ignorant people being given the opportunity to have such animals. But that's a whole other story and really the governments fault for not implementing the correct systems to prevent such things etc etc.

I know the resort has terrible reviews but with a bit of work and training staff etc it could be ok, well as long as you stay in the honeymoon suite that is...and don't eat...or look at the animals...or want to go to the beach...

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AHuskyLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2009

I have stayed 3 times at Ogtong Cave Resort in Bantayan Island and I want to share some of my experience with you. Read on if you are planning to go Bantayan Island. If you are Filipino you may not need to read as you already know all I want to say here. If you are foreigner and married to Filipino you may not need to read either as you might already know all I am writing here. If you are a foreign tourist planning to go to Bantayan Island to rest and relax then read on before you go.

First time I went to Bantayan Island was December 2008, second time was March 2009 and third and last time was June 2009. I and my wife took a public bus from Cebu. It took us over 2.5 hours in a very uncomfortable none air-cone bus journey to reach Hagnayan Port. I recommend you to take public bus rather than taxi from Cebu regardless of how uncomfortable it might be. Because road is narrow and very dangerous thus at least you are in a large public bus which might give you a bit more safety, at the same time you will feel and experience how the Filipinos travel on a daily basis. Once you arrive to Hagnayan Port hang on to your luggage before so called porters grab it. It is not a question that you give few peso to porter to carry your luggage but do you really want to have an unpleasant experience about haggling how much to pay especially if the porter expects to get paid a lot more because you are a foreigner? My advice is carry your own luggage and be your own porter. Do not worry about millions of poor Filipinos who are trying to earn a few peso. You work hard for your money and earned your holiday thus only worry and care for yourself. While you are waiting for a ferry you will be harassed constantly by peddlers. Do not buy anything nor give any money to beggars regardless of how poor they look like God forbids if you buy anything or give few pesos you will be swamped so your choiceI . You will have about 1 hour 20 minutes to cross to Santa Fe. Maybe you thought the harassment is over well you will be surprised. Once the ferry berthed savage hungry pests will attack your luggage to carry thus hold on to your luggage dearly. It is a long walk from Jetty. You will be virtually attacked by these savage hungry pests nonstop trying to sell you all kinds of things or outright begging. If you are unfortunate enough that you did not make any reservation with resort owner to pick you up at the port may God help you. These hungry pests do not know the meaning of no thank you thus telling them no thank you will not be enough to get rid of them. You may have been coming to Philippines before thus you may say I know how it is in Philippines but wait until you experience these savage hungry pests at Santa Fe Port only then you will know what I mean. Especially if you are travelling from overseas plus almost 3 hours none air-cone very uncomfortable bus ride plus another 1.5 hours ferry ride you will be dead tired then you will be attacked by these savage hungry pets. Of course if you are Filipino no one will bother you . But if you are foreigner all I say is may God be with you and give you a lot of patient.

Santa Fe Beach Club and Ogtong Cave Resort are both owned by same Filipino Chinese businessman. If you really want to rest well give a pass to Santa Fee Beach Club as it is next to port and these Savage Hungry Pests will not leave you alone. Go to Ogtong Cave Resort. Because you travelled so far and came to isolated place does not mean the place is cheap. In fact it is more expensive than other places. Myself I could not afford air-cone rooms so I choose small fan cooled room which is hardly called a room. Probably your garden shed will be larger and more comfortable. But never mind you choose what your budget is.

You can choose honeymoon suit costing P18,000 plus. However if you are taking none air-cone bus to travel to get there saving money then you are willing to pay P18,000 for honeymoon suit? That means you are outright stupid and in fact if you are that stupid you should pay even more. If you are that wealthy to pay that much then you should hire private plane from Cebu-Mactan Airport to fly to Bantayan Island then enjoy Honeymoon Suits. Even other rooms costing P3,000 to P4,000 is over my budget it maybe within your budget. My point is if I go that far isolated place why would I pay such an exorbitant rate? You may say it will be empty if so expensive. Well it is true 3 times I was there except during the Christmas time some nights we were the only guests. But owner is so wealthy he could not careless. He is using the resort as his own private resort entertaining his family and friends. There are more staffs than guests at all times. Staffs are meticulously maintaining the place only if they spent half the time looking after their paying guest would be better appreciated. Thus do not expect any service but you may enjoy watching staff working hard, meticulously maintaining the place. Almost all will pretend if you are not there at all. The staffs seem to forget that they are in service industry not in gardening and paying customers are their bread and butter.

Despite all Ogtong Cave is still the best resort in Bantayan Island. If you ever decide to go there you better make reservation in advance ask them to collect you right from jetty so you are not being harassed by these savage hungry pests. Do not expect too much service thus entertain yourself make the most of it and get out of there. It is highly unlikely you will ever go back however owners are so wealthy they could not careless whether you go back or not.

If you are foreigner have a short time in Philippines to rest and relax please do yourself a favor do not torture yourself with almost 3 hours very uncomfortable none air-cone bus ride then almost 1.5 hours ferry plus waiting periods meaning almost all day travelling to get to Bantayan Island then being harassed by Savage Hungry Pests then when you are in the resort get no service whatsoever despite paying such a high rate so does it all worth it? The answer is no it does not worth it. Please trust me do not torture yourself forget about going to Bantayan Island, go to Bohol or Dumaguette and get more value for your hard earned money. After all if you do not believe me then go and experience yourself. Once you have experienced then share it with others.

Zeki Altintas
Perth - Austalia

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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239  Thank Altzeki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2009

It would be good if I could score this resort 6.5 to 7 out of 10 but three out of five will have to do.

The resort has an impressive entrance and main building, as well as a pleasant open-air restaurant.

The gardens are (as one might expect) beautifully manicured: the main swimming pool is adequate although the side wall tiles show evidence of cracking. It also lacks shade.

At low tide the cove on which the resort is situated has a couple of small beachesL tiny in fact.

The seawater is devoid of all but the smallest marine life, presumably as a result of dynamite fishing over many years that would have destroyed any corals.

The standalone villa in which I stayed for the 10 per cent off room rate (off season) of P3150 a night was pleasant, with an instantaneous hot water service that worked well. The mini-bar was of a decent size, but the twin beds had foam mattresses that were not the most comfortable.

The villa had a table and two chairs inside it, as well as a rather useless dresser positioned next to a wall. I could not obtain good reception on any of the four TV channels, and since breakfast was not included I ate fruit outside on the verandah, nicely furnished with a wooden bench seat, maybe teak, a teak or similar table and two platic chairs.

The aircon was a tad noisy, but was effective.

part of the resort, for honeymooners at a much higher rate, was off-limits and had its own, more modern pool and hacuzzi. Although some of these honeymoon suites were occupied when I arrived, I did not see the jacuzzi in operation.

The piece de resistance of the resort is the small freshwater cave in the middle of the resort, with a set of steps down to it. It is pleasant: the water is cool but not overly cold.

As is unfortunately typical of the Philippines, the otherwise pleasant staff lacked local knowledge. For instance they did not know the hours of the Internet cafe 1.5 to 2km away (it's 0800 to 2000 weekdays, 1300 to 2000 Sats, closed Sunday) and is also the local SuperFerry agency.

It was also disconcerting to see a number of caged birds ranging from a rare Electus parrot to I think a Philippine eagle. None belong in cages, however clean!

It was easy to arrange snorkelling to Virgin Island and a dat tricycle trip to Bantayan and Madridehos.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled solo
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4  Thank Victorianlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2009

Decided to spend a couple of days at Ogtong Cave Resort - definetely a mistake.
Nice surroundings, a little outside Santa Fe village and market. Big garden bordering on the sea. Few other guests 1-2 couples.Decided to go for an aircon bungalow since the fan bungalows were very basic.
We were asked to pay for the full 3 days at check in - a wise move since we would probably have left early if we hadn´t. Bungalow was OK, a bit damp and moldy and the plumbing did not work too well - all excusable had it not been for the unfriendly atmosphere in the hotel. Arriving in the afternoon after a long journey we asked for pancakes as listed in the menu and were told than pancakes were only served in the morning - so the chef and the four waitresses did not get any business from us. Around the garden many signs told you what to do and especially what not to do - one ammused us in particular: "Access to pool stricly honymooners only" hmm... not too many honeymooners around
Everywhere staff was carefully grooming the garden - if only they had spend half as much time grooming the guests.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank mamadoc3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ogtong Cave Resort

Address: Santa Fe, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Bantayan Island
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 9 Hotels in Bantayan Island
Price Range: £37 - £67 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ogtong Cave Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Ogtong Cave Hotel Bantayan Island
Ogtong Cave Resort Bantayan Island, Philippines - Cebu Island

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