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“A piece of paradise.”

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Blue Cove Island Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Port Barton
Reviewed 22 February 2012

We stayed at Blue Cove for 3 nights in the ocean front cottage. The location was excellent with our stand alone cottage placed on stilts over the sea. There is a reasonably priced bar and restaurant serving food and drinks all day. The food was excellent and the staff were friendly. There is only electricity for a few hours over lunch and again in the evening so bring a torch. We didn't find this a problem at all as we just needed it to recharge our laptop and cameras which we did during the day. We loved our time here and can't wait to return. The rooms are very simple, weaved grass huts, but with comfortable beds and ensuite. The view from our balcony was the best we had in the whole of asia.

Room Tip: Stay in the ocean front view, well worth it for the balcony over the sea, however on windy nights th...
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank 123charlie456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 February 2012

I was there with my wife in December after been eaten by sand flies from coconut island and bored from port barton. we came by boat from sabang to coconut island and then with the boat to port barton and from port barton to this island.

we got the name of the islnd from port barton, from the tourist office but only after refusing to go to another place with sand flies. they don't get a commission from Michael.

we got a perfect hut, perfect in the manner of our dream to have a veranda direct above the sea. very romantic and we stayed longer than intended. we just left el nido to all the other tourists.

there are different type of cottages on this island and lot of space for the maximum 15 travelers.

we had only cold shower and we could see the beach through our wooden floor.
but we never longed for more.
the food was very good and fresh from the sea.
i was never bored about the house reef, i saw daily lot of fish and different types of sea turtles and because i was lucky i saw a sea snake too.
on land i saw turtles and snakes and and....

the way to manila was easier, we went by boat to SAN VICENTE:with a shuttle van comfortable to puerto princessa. this is definitely the best way to go there.

the cons are:

michael should install a proper muffler to his generator.
its not cheap, but worth the money.
beware of centipede, at least check your bed(that is for all asia)

just save some money and go there. for us it was the best spot in the philippines

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank walter g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2012

I normally don't bother writing reviews, but since I went to the Blue Cove after reading a lot of positive ones, I feel like I must do so to clarify some things. First of all, the island is beautiful (the resort is on an island 30 minutes from Port Barton). Having said that, I would not recommend anyone to go to the resort. I have never been to a place with such a lack of 'service' or general friendliness and the rooms are very very poor.

We made reservations by calling the owner. Since we went to the place to be able to do some diving I asked him if it was possible to arrange that with them and he said: yes, no problem you can arrange it at the resort. When we arrived in Port Barton there was no boat to pick us up (normally this is included in the price), the owner had sent a boat to the wrong place (he said when I called him about it) and we were not refunded for the (relatively expensive) boat trip we had to arrange ourselves.

Upon arrival the staff did not know about our reservation and even though there are 5 rooms and just one other couple staying there, we where not aloud to choose a room. There was no service whatsoever (the guys bringing us to the resort were offered drinks, we were not). They didn’t even give us a key. When I asked them about diving they had no idea about it, and didn't bother to help us out with arranging it (diving is NOT possible with the resort). One time I tried to ask the staff about it and walked up to them they greeted me with "what!?" We ended up calling different dive centers ourselves (with our non-local phones) trying to arrange it. There was not service at night; the staff just left a note saying we could take whatever we wanted as long as we wrote it down.

About the rooms: they are very poor (especially the bathrooms) and not clean. There is one nice looking cabin at the beach but the people staying there moved to another place after one night because of the huge spiders and insects crawling the floor at night.

The island is beautiful but I was shocked by the lack of service (and perhaps communication between the staff and owner) and rudeness of the staff. This is particularly problematic since you rely on them completely regarding transport, food, and just about anything on the island. I am having a hard time understanding how it is possible that a place with so much potential is such a mess. Don’t go there.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank HibiscusH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2012

This review comes with some weight. I have just spent 4 MONTHS based at Bluecove from Sept 2011 - Jan 2012. I am 44 years old, have travelled extensively and regularly in Asia for more than 20 years. I have family and friends with interests in a number of island resorts as well as interests of my own.

THE BASICS
Bluecove is about 8ha of jungle with 250m of white sand beach, very good (but not spectacular) coral, 100,000+ tropical fish within 50m of the shoreline (which are mind blowing), ONLY 5 COTTAGES and a capacity of no more than 15 people. The resort has absolute world class food and is incredibly excellent value for money.

WHO SHOULD COME TO BLUECOVE ?
People who long for the types of ideal paradise resorts that used to be abundant in Malaysia, Thailand and Bali 20+ years ago. People who appreciate the beauty of unspoilt nature....Bluecove has beauty to burn. People who wish to trade night life for peace and quiet. People who are happy to forget exactly what day it is and just relax. The resort is very private, intimate and romantic. It is especially suited to people who love each other such as couples, families and groups of close friends. If you come you will need to realise you are sharing a jungle too, as such you should expect some insects and to sleep under a mosquito net.

WHO SHOULD NOT COME TO BLUECOVE?
Spoilt brat kids spending daddy's credit card and expecting air conditioning, 24hr electricity, CNN and Bloomberg, a currency exchange service and steaming hot showers should definitely NOT come (May I recommend Heron Island Resort on the barrier reef for these people ... daddy shouldn't mind $250pp a night). Likewise if your marriage is on the rocks and you are hoping a resort will fix it try somewhere else or expect this to be your last holiday together (there are just too many couples who are totally into each other here and you will probably feel even further apart than at home). If you can not stand a few insects then likewise book elsewhere.

THE ACCOMMODATION
There a 5 very comfortable, beautiful but basic cottages all with views to die for nestled amongst the coconuts and manicured gardens. Only two cottages have hot water and then only when the generator is running however it is the tropics and the water is never cold. The roofs are very well thatched with grass and reeds in that gorgeous style that has given way to concrete and steel in the "ritzy" multi-storey joints you will find on Penang or Phucket these days. There are double hammocks, set up for snuggling, between coconuts on the beach, a tree house style deck and a dining area are also set over the beach.

THE FOOD
In a word "Brilliant", The bluecove fillet (under $10) is the best fish meal I have ever eaten anywhere for any price and I still want more even after 40+ dishes. Coconut curry fish is wonderful as are any of the bluecove adobos and grills. There is also a delicious home made bacon and very good pancakes at breakfast. I ate around 250 dishes in my 4 months and was not once disappointed! ..... oh even the humble fish and chips are made from Red Emperor delivered daily from the fishing boats. Lobster, crab and the delicious "Slipper Lobster" are all available on request.

SERVICE AND MANAGEMENT
If you expect the crisp, efficient, franchise type, system based "Holiday Inn" type of service then you are out of luck. You are unlikely to receive a standardised welcome pack with your room key at the service desk here. Actually there is no service desk here and I did find my key in my room (after about 3 months) and wondered why anyone would use one in this place. What you are more likely to get is a truly warm welcome on arrival from pretty much every member of staff including the owners of the resort who will meet you as you step off the "banca" boat onto the white sand. If you stay for 4 days or more everyone will know your name, who you are and what you like for sure. The service is personal and is done with genuine care and concern, it is friendly and relaxed rather than professional and timed to the minute. The management here consists of Michael and Melody. They are in my opinion two of the most genuine decent people you could wish to meet. They are completely honest and put people and the environment well before profits. I shows in their prices, their care and their advice. Also in the marine protectorate in the waters adjacent to the resort and the turtle sanctuary both of which they set up. They look after their staff, employ locals and actively support the local community on the island. In short they are exactly who you want running such a special place.

HOW TO GET THERE
BOAT (banca) from Sabang or El Nido: In 4 months I did not meet anyone who said this option was the best thing they had done on their holiday. Most people arrived tired, sunburnt and got wet. It is also the most expensive option. If you do decide to take a long distance boat make damn sure they seas are calm first.
JEEPNEY TO PORT BARTON: really only an option from Puerto Princesa (San Jose Terminal). Only one or two per day and a very rough road for the last 90 minutes. If you are over 5ft10 tall you will get a view of the jeeps roof all the way. If you are over 40 then expect a trip to the chiropractor as well. Total time from Puerto is about 4hrs 30 min to 5hrs depending on the road condition. It's an adventure for sure and fun to do once if you have lived in a city all your life and don't get out much ..... or if you absolutely must go to Port Barton on the way to Bluecove.
SHUTTLE BUS TO SAN VICENTE: This is in my opinion BY FAR THE BEST WAY to get to Bluecove. Shuttle buses leave from Puerto Princesa (San Hose) ever hour from about 7am to 11am and visa versa from San Vicente (Sarn V Sen Tay). They are modern mini vans with comfortable forward facing seats, a view of the scenery ....some even have air con. They are about 50 peso more than the Port Barton Jeep. And take 4 hrs.

From El Nido take a bus or a shuttle to the San Vicente junction (about 40km past Taytay) then pickup the shuttle going from Puerto to San Vicente.

LOCAL BANCA - Bluecove will then arrange a local banca to pick you up from either San Vicente or Port Barton. The trip takes about 50 minutes from either town and the view is spectacular.

THINGS TO DO / HIGHLIGHTS OF MY TIME HERE
1. Walk to the viewing tower (30 min for Americans, 15 min for Swiss, 7 min for Locals): this is arguably the best view of Port Barton 310 degrees uninterupted from a robinson cruso. style wooden tower.
2. Snorkel: Especially early morning or late afternoon. During October and November there were turtles 100m off shore most days. There was also a school of yellow strip fish in excess of 100000 (no exaggeration) from Nov-Jan just 50m off shore that surround you and are so thick you might not be able to see through them. Visibility on a bad day is about 12m visibility on a good day is 35m. The water is clean and clear. The corals are very good and there are plenty of angel fish and nemos. At dusk and dawn large pelagic fish come in to feed....I never got sick of Mike and Melody's front yard!
3. Lie back in a hammock with a loved one, look at a thousand stars through the coconuts and listen to the waves lap onto the sand.
4. Order Bluecove Fillet for two for dinner, then sit across a flame lit table and watch her eyes as she takes the first bite.
5. Definitely do a boat trip and take lunch on a deserted beach ..... it is soooooo well done. I bet you don't forget this lunch in a hurry.... go the pork kebabs for this one unless you're jewish.

FINALLY
Just come if you fit the bill. Low season might be best if you have a choice as the water is totally flat from about May until the end of November and during my time it never rained for more than a couple of hours even when there were cyclones / monsoons in Manila and luzon. ITS A WORLD CLASS PLACE IN A STYLE THAT OLDER TRAVELLERS REMEMBER WITH A SMILE FROM EAR TO EAR. SOME OF THE VERY BEST VALUE ON THE PLANET FOR THE RIGHT PEOPLE.
Grant S

Room Tip: Check out their website. it is completely accurate.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled solo
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14  Thank GrantBoayan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2012

Astonishingly beautiful at its best,its quite simple cottages don't expect for a 4 star, there are times that the water is super super clear, but also there are times the water is choppy, due to the typical Northeastern weather during the time of Jan to April.this affects to all the rest of the resort in port barton as well as in the other island resort. the food here is excellent and afordable. best tasting special fillet and absolutely fantastic.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ursulakyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2011

A lively reef with the clearest water and an estimated thirty thousands fishes in single shoal
and some bigger fish feeding on them, all in snorkelling range.
An abundance of turtles without a single jellyfish to be seen.
A variety of stunning accommodations that can sustain 10-15 guests.
An exquisite "special fish fillet" like nothing we have ever tasted.
Fantastic management and the best attitude toward tourism we have encountered around here.
We spent 10 days in a a truly great place, and can honestly say we had the perfect island experience.

Luba and Kavi

Room Tip: try the duplex
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kavi k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2011

Had a great one week holiday on the resort.
The food is mainly based on the fresh food that is locally available, and the tast is superb.
Just outside the resort there is a reef, which is good for snorkeling, however during our stay the visibility was not always perfect (rainy season).
No Jellyfish or sandflies during our stay.
The cottages are basic, and for guests who are expecting luxury, not good enough.
For us however it was no problem at all. Decent musquito nets, and a cold shower (one of the rooms does have heating) The electricity runs only from 1800 to 2100 (or longer upon request) but that adds to the charm of the stay (drinking beers by candlelight)

To summarize:
for good food, friendly staff, relaxing stay blue cove is a good option
if you expect a 5 star resort for less, don't go.

Room Tip: there is one room with hot water shower.
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Blue Cove Island Resort

Address: Albaguen Island, Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan Island, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > San Vicente > Port Barton
Amenities:
Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Port Barton
Price Range: £19 - £43 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
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Blue Cove Island Resort Port Barton, Palawan Island

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