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.
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- Also Known As:
- Ogtong Cave Hotel Bantayan Island
- Ogtong Cave Resort Bantayan Island, Philippines - Cebu Island