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“Dolphin Frenzy”

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Padre Burgos Castle Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Padre Burgos
Quezon City, Philippines
Level Contributor
30 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Dolphin Frenzy”
Reviewed 24 April 2014

We were apprehensive about the post-yolanda condition of Tacloban airport upon arrival,
but as it turns out, Tacloban airport is functioning with many flights. Tourists, locals, volunteers are aplenty in Tacloban airport. Restoration of the airport is underway.

David himself fetched us from the airport ready with umbrellas as it was drizzling a bit when we landed. Thank you David.
The first hour of the ride to PBCR, scenes on the ground in Tacloban was a mixture of sadness and gladness. Sadness because of the extent of devastation Yolanda has brought to the city of Tacloban, and gladness because people from every race and color are there to help.

UN shelter homes are scattered all over Tacloban, a number of stores are open and people are making do with whatever they have.

After an hour, the scenery transitions to the less affected areas and road repairs are seen to be underway.

Upon arrival at PBCR we were shown to our room. Very clean,quaint and lovely. Split type aircon, safety box, complementary bottled waters, coffee and tea sachets and electric water kettle. But alas, no TV in the room - this, i suppose, is to force you into enjoying the beautiful outdoors that the Resort and Southern Leyte has to offer. There is, however, a common area where you can watch cable TV and DVDs. Oh, and there is free WiFi within the castle resort.

The house pool is super clean. In fact, the whole resort seems to be spotless and impeccably maintained! The beach in front of the resort is very private.
Continental breakfast was ok. Dinner and lunch is always superb! All prepared by Delia, and they are restaurant quality! Delia personally asks us of our food preferences every single meal and always takes consideration of the menu for the kids. Thank you so much Delia!

The Snorkeling tour was amazing, with the reefs teeming with a vast array of colorful soft and hard corals and fish that seem to be untouched and thriving.

But the highlight was the Limasawa Island tour. On the way (inclusive in the tour), we went dolphin watching, and what an experience it was! Groups of dolphins left and right, swimming and jumping right alongside the boat and taking sneak peaks at us that seem to tell us they are as curious about us as we are about them. Priceless!!! We dock on the white sand beach of the island, enjoyed a few minutes of just marveling at the beautiful crystal clear waters and greeneries along the shore while the PBCR staff prepare for us a scrumptious barbeque picnic lunch by the beach . You can't help but be in awe - God is truly the greatest artist ever! After lunch was a two hour walk around the island - through the quiet barrios, towards the National shrine for the First Mass in the Philippines, up 450 steps to Magellan's Cross, then down again through another quiet barrio and towards the beach on the other side of the island where our bangka was waiting and the PBCR staff welcoming us with the much needed jug filled with cold, refreshing water to freshen us from the long trek through the island. You can't get better service than that. David and Delia has definitely thought of everything for the convenience and comfort of their guests. Oh, and just so you know, the tours were guided by David himself, a personal touch we find really special and very much appreciate.

Thank you so much David and Delia for one of the most amazing beach experiences we've ever had the pleasure of enjoying. And thank you to the staff who have also made our stay very comfortable and welcome!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank yama9262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sea_Sun_Sand490, Owner at Padre Burgos Castle Resort, responded to this review, 25 April 2014
Thank you so much for all your feedback, and we are truly delighted that you enjoyed "one of the most amazing beach experiences".

We'd like to take the opportunity to pick up on your comment about TV's. As you say the guest rooms do not have TV's (apart from the Family Room which has a DVD player, but was already booked when you made your reservation). We certainly don't "force our guests to enjoy the beautiful outdoors" but it is definitely the fabulous outdoor attractions which draw most people to this beautiful area and getting away from 'the box' for a few days is an added appeal. Indeed so few of our guests watch TV, preferring instead to relish the amazingly tranquil environment, that we may actually dispense with the virtually unused TV in the common lounge area altogether, although we haven't yet taken that step. The free Wi-Fi gives good internet access in all the guest rooms and public areas so people can keep in touch with important news without the need for TV.

Thank you, once again, for your comments and we are very happy that you enjoyed the amazing, natural and uncrowded outdoor attractions which make this place so special.

David & Delia Warren
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English first
Koblenz, Germany
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2014

We spent 10 beautiful vacation days at the hotel. The location is fantastic and the resort beautifully clean and well maintained. Especially the individual service is a highlight. They ask us every day for our special wishes for Dinner. And the food from Delia has a very high quality. We love it. Also we speak with David our excursions. They have been compiled from our wish. In the area are some beautiful snorkeling places. We love Limasawa and especially the whale shark tours, Fortunately, we have seen on two days two different whale sharks. It´s incredible. We both alone with the sharks, I´m sure, this was only possible, because david has good contacts to the local people. The staff in the resort are very friendly and relaying. We felt very comfortable. Thank´s an all. We can only recommend a visit. Ina and Michael

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2014

My wife and I live in Toronto, Canada and travel to the Philippines at least every other year. I should note that my wife is originally from the Philippines. The itinerary always includes a visit to my wife’s parents in Leyte, as well as a new destination choice (or two) within the Philippines. This year, one of those choices was to stay in Southern Leyte (neither of us had ventured that far south on the Island) at Padre Burgos Castle Resort.

We flew from Cebu to Tacloban, Leyte, and met relatives who gave us a quick tour of town. Tacloban is now functioning reasonably well since Yolanda, but the damage caused by the storm remains visible everywhere. My wife’s parents reside along the main road about half way (an hour and half) toward Padre Burgos. I am always fascinated by the drive. About one hour out of Tacloban you climb up into the mountain valleys. It is a truly scenic drive that offers a glimpse of what rural life in the PHP is truly like. The decent out of the mountains lands you in the town Sogod. The shopping centre there offers a rest opportunity as well as some eateries, washrooms, and a grocery store. The final leg of the drive to Padre Burgos is coastal with views of Sogod Bay. Although the logistics of getting to Padre Burgos may seem cumbersome, it’s actually a memorable part of the adventure.

Paradise found! The Padre Burgos Castle Resort (PBCR) website doesn’t convey how nice this place really is! Wow! A staff member greeted us at gate, and she led us into the airy, tastefully decorated, extraordinarily clean common area that looks out to the patio, pool, and the Sogod Bay vistas beyond. Complimentary refreshments were offered as well as introductions from David and Delia. We stayed in room #1 of five that was nicely appointed. The rooms have safes, but no TV’s. There is a TV in the common area, and I never saw it on during my stay – a pleasant relief. Free Wi-Fi with a decent signal is available throughout the resort.

In the case of PBCR, the use of the word resort needs to be defined. Staying here feels more like being a houseguest of David and Delia with staff at your beck and call. No timetables, no sign-up sheets, and no line-ups, just you and your wants and needs. In conversation with David, I referred to PBCR at a “poor man’s Necker Island” (Sir Richard Branson’s place in the BVI).

Food Glorious Food! Delia’s amazing cooking skills include homemade bread at breakfast, and customized menus for lunch and dinner that include Filipino, Asian, and even Italian selections in both seafood and meat. You’ll be hard pressed to find food this good anywhere. One complaint may be too much food at dinner, and the wine selection needs some improvement.

During our stay went boating to Limsawa, where we snorkelled, had a BBQ lunch on a beach, hiked throughout the Island, Dolphin watched (and there were many) and then snorkelled again at another destination. Understand that Sothern Leyte is not a commercialized tourist destination with boats, jet ski’s, parasailers and the like parading by all day. Our beach BBQ was our group only - nobody else was there; the beach was ours as were the waters!

We departed PBCR after three nights and went to the Shangri-La in Mactan for a seven-night stay. My biggest mistake on this trip was that I should have had more nights in Padre Burgos, and less at the Shangri-La. Our next trip to the Philippines will include yet another, longer stay with David, Delia, and their truly wonderful staff.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ed H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
los angeles
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2014

This is a fantastic little "resort" that really lets you get away from it all. With only five rooms, it's perfect for anyone who doesn't like the feel of a large, crowded resort, but you still get the amenities like a lovely pool, fantastic massages, and great food. On top of all that, the snorkeling is incredible; we saw so much beautiful coral on the excursions we took with David, the owner and on our last day we swam with 4 whale sharks - absolutely amazing!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank dogsitter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bali, Indonesia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2014 via mobile

Castle Rock is a small family run luxury hotel at the very end of Southern Leyte, Philippines. We came following volunteering after the Typhoon disaster farther north. There is no damage here in the south.

This is a perfect place for both relaxation and beach and water activities. The owners and staff are attentive without being
intrusive...such a great combination!

The location is beautiful and restful. Rooms well-appointed, meals delicious.

If you are looking for a well-run, low key place to relax, this is it!

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank kutuhbali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2014

PBCR is a little gem in middle of no-where.
We arrived at Tacloban airport from Manila and David was there to pick us up.Due to the recent hurricane our 3hrs ride from airport to PBCR ended up being a 4hrs ride, we had to take a longer route due to road repairs on the way.The ride was comfortable and quite beautiful, you can see a lot of un-touched beaches and beautiful country side on your way.
The resort is a little far away and in my opinion there is no best option to reach the resort, whether you come form Cebu or Manila....so basically you can come via any route.

The property is beautifully maintained and looks practically brand new.Staff was excellent and very helpful.Wife and I stayed in the 1st floor room which was quite good, no noise and good sleep.
Since we are vegetarians Delia had to work a lot in the kitchen, but the food was amazing and the mango float is a must try.

We visited in the last week of Jan and our visit was basically to catch a glimpse of a whale shark, but unfortunately the weather conditions were not favourable and we didn't see any.I must say that David and the spotters tried a lot to find one and we covered a lot of area, but it was just not meant to be.We did go to Limasawa island along with David and had a great day, water did get choppy on our ride back and we saw some Dolphins in between.David's boat was quite nice,comfortable and filled with food and we were practically munching on snacks the whole trip.I would advise people to get a massage at PBCR, Delia recommended it to us and it was just what we needed after long day trip.

I admit that it is a little expensive and it takes time to reach the place,but you do get Paradise in return.
I would have loved to spend an extra day at PBCR just relaxing on their private beach.
You can either come here for whale sharks or just to relax in total peace.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank FTP86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1,626 reviews
126 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2,289 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2013

David and Delia are great hosts and the staff at this resort are fabulous.

The place is a lot better in the flesh than what is shown on their website or on tripadvisor. The place is immaculate and very well maintained. David completely rennovated this place from a shell. A real credit for the fantastic job done. It's not your typical hotel or resort. Very boutiquish if that's a word ;-)

The resort is located with great ocean views and a pool. Being a 5 room resort you won't have the crowds here.

We had room 1 which is located near the dining room. I believe this is one of the larger rooms. Expect to hear some noise of cutlery etc in the morning. If you want to sleep in ask David for one of the more quieter rooms.

No tv or fridge in the room but there is a shared lounge/tv room. Wifi is provided, is mostly good for surfing and emails but slows down depending on the number of users.

Delia cooks up some wonderful dishes. We opted for half board on 2 of our 3 nights and the culinary dishes provided were excellent. On the first night we let Delia surprise us with each course and we weren't disappointed. Make sure you try the Kiliwan-delicious. In fact all we tried was delicious.

My one and only criticism is that I guess it needs to be explained a little better that if you don't opt for the half board each night you are charged 1250 pesos pp as compared to the 1050 pesos pp. Because we had the half board for 2 out 3 nights we were charged an additional 800 pesos. Had I known this it would have made good economic sense to have opted for half board on all the 3 nights we stayed.

Weather wasn't kind to us as we had rain on and off and the whale sharks were also not around so we opted to go to Limasawa Island and saw dolphins on the way home. Weather was quite rough going home but we made it back safe just as the light was fading. David's banca is in very comfortable and in good condition.

Our stay inclusive of meals and transfers certainly wasn't cheap but PBCR does cater for that special market. Is also not easy to get to so expect to loose a good part of your arrival and departure day travelling to and from the resort. David does offer a reliable transfer service.

The resort is well worth a visit!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank tommomelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sea_Sun_Sand490, Owner at Padre Burgos Castle Resort, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
Thank you so much for your feedback, which we really appreciate. And it is good to clarify what 'half board' means.

'Half Board' is a rate which includes our superb 4-course dinners as well as breakfast for every night of a guest's stay. The supplement for the half board package is currently 1,050 pesos per person per night, on top of the 'Bed & Breakfast' rate. The price of the same dinner 4-course dinner taken on an ad hoc basis is currently 1,200 pesos per person. (This price is itself a 10% discount from ordering each of the 4 courses separately.)

Your original booking was for Bed & Breakfast but you informed us in advance of arrival that you wished to upgrade to half board. On the 2nd evening of your 3 night stay, after a late and heavy lunch, you decided just to take a single dish from our 'light meals' menu rather than the full 4-course dinner. You therefore paid 1,200 pesos for each of the 4-course dinners you enjoyed on 2 nights plus the price of your light meals on the other night, because this worked out slightly cheaper than paying the half board supplement of 1,050 pesos per night for all 3 nights.

Regarding travel times, the beauty and attraction of Padre Burgos is that it is an unspoilt and remote area well off the mainstream tourist trail, but nonetheless offers a wealth of wonderful activities. Of course, such places are more time consuming to get to. It is, however, possible to schedule both arrivals and departures without eating up too much holiday time with travelling. The first morning flight from Manila or the first morning ferry from Cebu will both get you to our resort by 9am, while the late afternoon flights to Manila and the evening ferries to Cebu allow time for activities such as swimming with whale sharks, sailing, dolphin watching, caving, etc on your departure day.

Once again, thank you for staying with us and for your feedback, which helps clarify the issues around half board rates.

With very best wishes,
David & Delia Warren
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Padre Burgos Castle Resort

Property: Padre Burgos Castle Resort
Address: Tangkaan, Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte Province 6602, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Visayas > Leyte Island > Southern Leyte Province > Padre Burgos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Padre Burgos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An idyllic family-run boutique hotel and PADI dive resort, with luxurious facilities and a friendly and intimate atmosphere. Superb location with great private beach, beautiful corals and stunning sea views. All guest rooms beautifully furnished and decorated, with air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. Guided scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming with whale sharks, dolphin watching, island hopping, sailing, kayaking,swimming pool, private beach, free Wi-Fi, bar and fine-dining restaurant. Local activities include land tours, caving, waterfalls, wild monkeys and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Padre Burgos Castle Hotel Padre Burgos
Padre Burgos Castle Resort Philippines

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