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“The place to be”
Review of Tugawe Cove Resort

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Tugawe Cove Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caramoan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 August 2013

We were in Tugawe 2 years ago. I can say that we are a well travelled couple (me, 38 countires, and my husband, 44 countries) and this resort is one place that we will always go back to.
Even before we arrived in Manila, Ms. Col and I had been communicating already regarding the whole package. She informed us about everything that will take place during our visit in their resort. They even suggested options on how to fly to the nearest airport (which didn't have a bearing because we bought our plane tickets already). How long the boat ride would take etc. Now, because we don't have a local bank and we don't use paypal, we had a problem sending them the payment prior to our arrival. I thought they would turn us down due to this money payment thing but instead, they just told us to pay the manager on site, Mr. Herzon, once we are in the resort.
Our flight from Manila was so delayed (3-4 hours) that I thought we would miss our boat ride from Talisay port to Tugawe. I was texting Ms. Col the whole time stressing that they wait for us. In return, all she did was calm me down and assured me that the boat will be there waiting for us. And yes, they patiently did.
Yes, the boat ride was rough (due to tropical depression that week) and long (that's what you pay for exclusivity) but we never had a problem with that. We actually enjoyed the boat ride taking pictures of just about everything.
When we got to the resort, we were met by Mr. Herzon and Nilda, our personal butler. We were given drinks and sitted in the dining area near the beach shore. Just imagine, there was a tropical depression and it was raining like crazy. But still, excellent service was given. They were so concerned about us not getting wet while they just ran around trying to make sure all our needs were met. We were served late lunch. Food was really great. Chef Edsel cooked really good local Filipino foods for us. I am a chef by profession and still, I appreciated the food that was served to me.
Our room is spacious with great views of the inside lake and the ocean. We were just not able to enjoy the balcony due to the tropical depression. We loved the room. Slept well, watched TV, shower with strong pressure.
The package included the island hopping. It was great. Enjoyed every bit of it. But the highlight was the boat ride during the night to see the bioluminescent planktons. They even shut down the lights near the beach area so we can play with the planktons on the shore. It was really fun.
The resort was still under construction when we were there but honestly, I don't remember being disturbed by that.
We really had a great time. The staff was so amazing even to the point of making sure we get back to Lagazpi City safely via Virac. Due to the tropical depression, we cannot make it to Talisay port in time to catch a ride that will take us to Naga City.
I highly recommend this place. We can't wait to be back :)

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Johjoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tugawe Cove R, Owner at Tugawe Cove Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for posting your review even though its been a year since your visit. Your review is important to us.

We are continuously improving our services, while maintaining our strengths. We hope that on your next visit, you will have more enjoyable experience. We are planning to add more fun activities and amenities.

Sincerely,

Ms. Col Magtuto

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191 - 197 of 223 reviews

Reviewed 13 August 2013 via mobile

Their staffs are The best. The location is perfect. Food is great and affordable. Getting caramoan is a bit difficult especially when ur not into boatrides. Rooms are great but you need to climb those stairs. Infinity pool has the perfect panoramic view. Their staffs were so accommodating ang they are willing to make maximum adjustments for their clients. Their staffs never left us, they even accompanied us to cross those gigantic waves in the middle of a typhoon. This is the perfect paradise!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank jacyjoaquin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tugawe Cove R, Owner at Tugawe Cove Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2013

Dear Guest,

Everybody in Tugawe cove are so happy to read your review. We aim to continuously improve our services so that guests will have an enjoyable vacation. On your next visit, we hope to surpass your expectations.

Sincerely and best regards,

Ms. Col Magtuto

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Reviewed 13 August 2013

Since we had ample communication with the resort prior to our arrival, we already knew what to expect. The resort did not disappoint in terms of the view and facilities. We travelled by land from Manila to Naga, got a van to Sabang Port where we took the public boat "Harry" to Guijalo and were promptly picked up by the resort boat and taken to Tugawe. We were welcomed by Herzon with a refreshing drink of orange and cucumber and were escorted to the restaurant while our rooms were being prepared. During this time, we were introduced to our personal butler Erwin and were asked to order lunch.
Fortunately for us, all the negative experiences I have read about in the other reviews did not happen to us. Our butler was ever-present and attentive and made sure our stay was comfortable even arranging our island hopping trip and accompanying us to make sure we were safe all throughout. The meals prepared by Chef Edsel were delicious. We were advised what to order and what was available, which was really great. We even made friends with the resort's pet hornbill, Kevin.
Wifi signal was good in the restaurant and I could even get a signal from our cabana. Cable TV signal was good as well and we enjoyed watching the Gilas FIBA games.
The only thing that marred our trip was typhoon Labuyo which had us stranded in the resort for an additional day. Fortunately, the resort's Naga staff, Joms, rebooked our return trip to Manila and coordinated with us all the time. After the storm, resort personnel made arrangements or us to travel to Naga by land as sea travel was still not available using public transportation. Thanks to the staff, we arrived at Naga safely and was able to catch our return trip to Manila.
We are looking forward to returning and especially excited about the improvements being made, most particularly the funicular which will give a much easier access to the hilltop rooms and the restaurant and pool.

Room Tip: The best rooms are those at the hilltop where you get a good view and easy access to the restaurant...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Dr_Bingcarlos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tugawe Cove R, Owner at Tugawe Cove Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your wonderful review of Tugawe cove. All reviews are important to us so that we will know our strengths and those we need to improve. We share all reviews with our staff so they will also learn and grow and improve.

We are looking forward to your next visit.

Sincerely,

Ms. Col Magtuto

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2013

We stayed aug 4to 6 w friends . Positive comments - 1 excelent view. 2 pool is fantastic 3 resto overlooking d ocean 4 spaciuos room5 friendly n patient staff. 6 food is average. - negative. - rooms w plenty of insects 2 out of order intercom3 water colored brown ( kadire!) 4 very poor maintenance5 staff - no training at all 6 no manedger on duty 7 . You hav to climb 200 steps of stairs before u reach d resort ( not recommended for elderly) 8 front desk toilet is vry dirty. Over all comments Sayang ang ganda ng resort !

Room Tip: Villa305 for d best view
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank 9,321,234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tugawe Cove R, Owner at Tugawe Cove Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2013

Dear Guest,

Your review is very important to us. Thank you for reviewing Tugawe cove. We have taken steps in improving our services especially on the points you have raised in your review. Please be assured that they have been corrected. I hope that you will visit us again and experience the improvement we have implemented.

Sincerely,

Ms. Col Magtuto

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

Its much nicer in the pictures than in real life. Especially, when you see the stairs. The beach was not the best, you have to go island hopping to see gorgeous beaches. The pool was small, but with breathtaking views. Some of the rooms need work. We asked to be transferred because of this. They need to have a proper massage area, not near the resto, somewhere secluded.

Most of all I love our butler, She was attentive and nice.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank butterflyexistence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tugawe Cove R, Owner at Tugawe Cove Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2013

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for your time in reviewing Tugawe Cove Resort. Your observations are well noted. We have in fact started improvements of our cabanas and surrounding areas. We are also happy that you liked your butler's service. Please provide us her name so that we can convey your appreciation to her.

I agree that Caramoan is getting known for having gorgeous beaches. We hope that you will find time in the near future to visit us again.

Best regards,

Ms. Col Magtuto

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Reviewed 15 June 2013

We stayed in Tugawe from May 24 to 26 and I have to say that it really is a naturally beautiful place as seen in the pictures, I can only imagine the amount of work needed to carve out an essentially hillside resort.

I have to add, though, that the management probably has to improve on the maintenance of some of the resort's facilities. The first suite that we had, Room 301 (among the biggest in the resort), had a broken faucet, a broken bathroom door knob and a bath mirror that needs replacement (see picture). We did point these out to our butler, Milan, and he readily offered to find us another room. He transferred us to Room 205, which was a lot smaller but was otherwise well-maintained.

Like some of the previous reviewers have noted, the pool area needs to be constantly maintained as well: the pool beds are not securely anchored to their pegs and might cause people to fall over. There was also a wooden deck by the pool without any sort of railings, and which had some nails sticking out, I'd think it would be a bit dangerous in the evenings when some guest might request to have a table arranged in that area for some night swimming/drinking.

The beach is not powdery white as claimed in the resort's website; yes, the area between the lake and the beach seemed to have been artifically-laden with finer sand, but the natural shoreline of the cove is a bit pebbly, so you might have to bring with you some slippers or aqua shoes, specially if you intend to snorkel and do some island hopping.

We elected not to do the island hopping thing since we wanted to make the most of the Php 8,000.00/night price tag of our stay IN the resort. Sure they do offer a package which already includes island hopping and full-board meals, but what I found weird (when I was emailing with the resort prior to booking our stay) was that they do not have a package that includes the room and full-board meals ONLY (for those who are not keen on the island hopping tour). They only suggested to me to book the full package because the island hopping tour is actually only optional. I was like, what?? You want me to pay the same amount as those who are going island hopping when I only want to include full-board meals? Not fair at all.

In the end, we chose to just book the room and pay for our lunch and dinner a la carte, which turned out to be, in our case, more sensible. Be warned, though, that should you choose to do dinner a la carte, you should be at the resort's restaurant early or ask your butler to have your orders prepared by the kitchen beforehand, because by past 8pm, the kitchen is already closed and they can not accommodate any further request/order. Of course, we didn't know that because we were on vacation and chose not to follow a strict schedule of when to sleep, when to swim, when to eat... so we were forced to avail of the dinner buffet on our first night. And yes, that was the dinner where in the buffet selection included french fries with cheese sauce as the requisite "vegetable dish", along with pork barbecue and another main dish. Made me chuckle a bit.

In terms of service, I do appreciate that they offer butler service, and Milan, our butler, seemed genuinely nice and ready to be of assistance. However, with such a huge property, there were times our butler could not be located when we would ask for him at the reception. And the other staff too, could hopefully be trained further on how to be more customer service-oriented. Yes, they were all nice and had ready smiles in their faces, but they were a bit lacking in the professional service level one might expect for such a highly-touted resort. There has to be a sense of urgency in delivering client requests, and the ones in the restaurant should likewise be trained to make suggestions or, at the very least, know what is available should whatever you want to order is not. In that aspect of customer service, there is definitely still a lot of room for improvement.

Last thing I want to address is how they handle their transfer services to and from the resort. Since there was just two of us with light luggage (just a backpack for each of us), it turned out more practical & sensible to just get a Php 500.00 tricycle ride from Virac airport (in Catanduanes) to Codon port (for the boat pick-up), than arrange for a Php 1,500.00 land transfer (outsourced by Tugawe Cove Resort to their contacts in Catanduanes). I hope, though, that they do not charge a boat transfer fee per head for guests to and from the resort anymore. Shouldn't that be a part of their room charges already, since they are using their own boat anyway and are not outsourcing the said service?

Heading back to Manila (via Naga, this time), we also chose not to have a land transfer arranged for us from Sabang port in Camarines Sur to Naga airport. I know that they normally drop their Naga-bound guests in Talisay port (also in Camarines Sur), but I informed Mr. Herzon, the service manager on duty, that we wished to be dropped off at Sabang port (where public utility vans to Naga are apparently readily available) instead of Talisay port, and he said that our request could be accommodated.

Unfortunately, that request was not communicated to the resort's boat operators, so we were dropped off at Talisay port instead (after a 3-hour boat trip, instead of a normally 2-hour one due to rough seas and an over-booked boat). We were at a loss on how to get to Naga airport since Talisay port on a Sunday is deserted and there was nary a public transport in sight for some time. We no longer contacted the resort for any assistance anymore since we were pressed for time and could not spare another 15 to 20 or maybe even 30 minutes waiting for a car to pick us up should we belatedly request for land transfer via the resort.

We just contracted a tricycle for Php100.00 to bring us to the next town, Goa, where there were supposedly public utility vans to Naga City. When we got there, however, there were no vans available and there was a long line already waiting for the next one, so we instead hired a public utility jeepney for Php 1,000.00 to bring the two of us to the airport. While we might have saved a few hundred pesos doing that instead of arranging for a Php 1,500.00 land transfer, the psychological distress it caused (we were afraid we might miss our flight; Naga City airport is 1.5 hours away from Talisay port) was just not worth it and I was regretting my decision not to have a land transfer service from Talisay. However, when we got to the airport and met with some of our co-resort guests also flying back to Manila, we were told that the land transfer they had arranged through the resort did not come to pick them up and they also scrambled to find another service to bring them to the airport. Whether there was also any miscommunication between our co-guests and the resort and their land transfer provider, I can only guess.

I do hope our and our co-guests' unfavorable experiences in this land/boat transfer thing are isolated cases and are not the norm for guests of Tugawe, because such an experience would definitely overrule any guest's favorable memories of his/her stay in Tugawe Cove Resort. This beautiful resort holds a lot of promise, I just hope they bring their service to the next level.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank SonnyTheThird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tugawe Cove R, Owner at Tugawe Cove Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2013

Dear Guest,

We sincerely appreciate that you took time to write a review regarding your experience in Tugawe cove. We have taken note of all the observations and experiences you had and we have already taken action in improving our service and our facilities.

We hope that when you come back, you will see the improvement and development of Tugawe cove. We are looking forward for your next visit.

Regards,

Ms. Col Magtuto

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2013

The place itself was beautiful, the waters were crystal clear, island hopping was nice, our butler was attentive. The rooms and villas were well furnished and modern but not exactly 5 star. The place itself is really picturesque, with the planning and lanscaping well thought out. I especially loved the pool's design.

Food was so so. It is the homey and resort kind of food.

The cons that kind of soured the experience were the really long stairs from the beach to the restaurant and our rooms as well as the miscommunication about our reservations, which ended up with us using a very new room with incomplete fixtures, though nice nevertheless. The travel as well is daunting as it is long, with the boat ride on the outrigger that can get uncomfortable after 2 hours, but I think that is the price to pay when you go to a place which is not yet commercialized but really pristine and virgin.

Room Tip: Villas at the top are quieter, but if you wish to save yourself the stairs trek, I would suggesting...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank SPuen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tugawe Cove R, Owner at Tugawe Cove Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your time and effort in reviewing Tugawe cove and in giving tips to other guests. We also recommend to guests to fly to Virac, Catanduanes because this is the shortest route, with boat travel taking only 30 minutes in good sea condition.

We have taken note of your comments. We already started improvements including options in going up the hilltop aside from using the stairs. Hopefully, on your next visit, all improvement will be in place and you will have a more enjoyable stay.

Regards,

Ms. Col Magtuto

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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 Tugawe Cove Resort

Address: Bgy. Colongcogong, Caramoan, Luzon 4429, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Luzon > Bicol Region > Camarines Sur Province > Caramoan
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caramoan
Price Range: £90 - £149 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tugawe Cove Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 27
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