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“Great for divers”

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Big Apple Dive Resort
Ranked #30 of 54 Hotels in Puerto Galera
Reviewed 22 December 2011

I have stayed here twice in the past year. The first time I stayed in a deluxe room, and this month I stayed in Condo B for 13 nights.

The dive shop here is first rate. The staff is professional, friendly and accommodating. I took my Advanced OW class here and have logged about 50 dives with Big Apple. The resort is right on the beach so it's just a 5 minute walk from the shop to the boat. Most of the regs, BCDs and wetsuits are relatively new. Many of the dive sites are world class, and even if you don't stay at the Big Apple I would suggest using their dive shop to experience them.

As far as the rooms go, most are clustered around the pool. The "deluxe" room I stayed in during my first stay was rather spartan but adequate for me - I dived 2 or 3 times during the day and just needed a place to crash at night. If I was traveling with a partner I would definitely upgrade to a superior or condo.

I would never stay in a fan room. AC is a must have in the Philippines all year round. I made the mistake of getting a fan room once and I'll never do it again.

The pool is the best that I saw in Sabang, clean and well maintained. During the day it is sometimes used for dive classes but there's still enough room to swim. There are some nights when some guests hang in the pool until the wee hours of the morning even though it's supposed to be closed at 10 or 11PM.

The condo I recently stayed in was worth the money. Condo B was on the third floor of a building adjacent to the Big Apple and was private and relatively quiet. When I checked in the AC in the bedroom was weak but I complained and they changed the unit. The refrigerator and kitchen were clean. The unit was a bit worn but still suitable. The best feature was a large private balcony which had a view of Sabang bay. It was great to sit on the balcony in the morning and have a cup of coffee while watching the ships in the bay.

One thing that annoyed me was that the safe in the condo did not work. As a matter of fact, there aren't any safes in the regular rooms. To store your valuables there is a small locked room available with lockers across from the receptionist. You have to provide your own lock for the locker. I would much prefer to have a safe in my room.

I don't like the restaurant Some dishes on the menu, the pastas for instance, are okay but most aren't very good. I usually ate cup noodles in my room or went to other restaurants in the area. The bar is always open if you ever get thirsty.

Be advised that Sabang itself is rather seedy - a few discos and girlie bars. The place isn't really suitable for couples or families. There are quite a few single men who don't come for the diving but rather to hang out in the bars.

In short, if you're diving in Sabang and you want a reasonably priced hotel with a good dive shop then the Big Apple is a good choice. It's not luxurious but it doesn't pretend to be either.

Room Tip: Stay in Condo B or C if you can afford it
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank RadarKing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 - 81 of 121 reviews

Reviewed 9 November 2011

We have stayed here several times in the past. It's relatively cheap and convienient for short trips.
The downfall is the online booking system is terrible or the way it is interpreted by the front office has a major problem.
You book, pay deposit and hopefully the room you booked is available when you get there.
Emails stating that you want to dive on arrival are basically ignored with no guides available when you arrive as "The message didn't get passed on".
The rooms are run down but clean most of the time.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank 00A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2011

Dove with Big Apple in May 2011. The staff is friendfly, proffecional and really know the divesite. The atmosphere is really relaxed and the choice of divesite is made together with the customers. Ex. someone want currents the try to select a divesite with currents. Someone want's to photograph macro, they a good macro site is selected ant the dive is slow to allow time to take pics.
Oh, the restaurant IS tourist priced but the food is GOOD and the service friendly and polite

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tomas B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2011

I spent a week at Big Apple and have zero complaints. My room was comfortable although spartan. I slept well every night I was there. The restaurant food was decent, although somewhat expensive for the area.

As mentioned, I was there for a diving course and that's what Big Apple is all about. The beach at Sabang is not the kind of beach where families hang out and play....it's just what you walk across to get to your dive boat.

If you are looking for a place for a family vacation, Sabang in general is not the place for you. It is somewhat seedy with no shortage of pole dancers and street walkers. There is little for families there.

Because I didn't want to waste a lot of time getting to the resort from Manila, I opted to pay for a private car to and from the airport and also pay extra for the private boat to the resort rather than relying on the public ferry. I could have saved a lot of cash by not doing this, but I don't regret paying the extra cash and the drive to and from the airport was in a nice SUV with a very friendly driver.

Despite the splurges, I still stayed at Big Apple, got my PADI open water cert and return tickets to Hong Kong for under $800 USD for the week.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled solo
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2  Thank LenLangevin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2011

I came to dive and chose Big Aple as it seemed pretty central with a dive shop attached. I stayed in one of the expensive rooms (2000 pesos per night so not exactly breaking the bank!) which was a good call as these are at the back away from the 24 hour sports bar so not noisy.
The food is ok, had a mean imported Aussie lamb shank whilst here, thanks Neil! the management are very helpful, the girls in the bar cute and the diving was a lot of fun. I have to thank Guy and Jason from the dive shop for all the good diving and always being flexible in arranging itineraries.
All round great value for money and the best place to stay in town
Will I be back? I already have!

Room Tip: Pay up and get a quite superior room at the back
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  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank Hamish F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2011

Our stay was great until the last day. I took an Open Water Diving Course. I trained with Peter. He is a great instructor. I recommend him highly.

Everything was going great and I was going to leave positive feedback. We ate there for dinner, as we had 3-4 times. It's a little pricy but good. I ordered some fruit flan and gave a little to my 3 year old daughter. The next morning, we both had violent cramps, diarrhea and vomited. The hotel staff didnt take us seriously until my daughter threw up in the lobby area. They all started passing blame around like it was a football. No one would take responsibility, apologize, show any concern, or offer any compensation. We were about to get on a boat back to Batangas, so being sick wasn't the best thing. Needless to say, I threw up on the boat, on a street in Manila, and had an awful day. When I got home, I needed medication and couldn't work properly for several days.

I e-mailed the manager Neil about it but have yet to receive a reply. It's been over a month. I was going to give him a chance to make things right before posting this.

Room Tip: The double room is only about $40 US for 4 adults
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  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank Bucheonman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2011

This is a sprawling beachfront resort with 30 units but it has a very intimate feel. There is a large pool with plenty of lounge chairs and a shaded area for those not wanting to get tanned. As there is not much of a beach in Sabang Beach, the pool is most welcome.
Condo A 3500p
While Condo A is quite large and beautiful, there were several problems that were not resolved during our 1-week stay, including: the water temperature and pressure in both showers, the AC’s in both bedrooms not working properly, and a leaking toilet in 2nd bathroom. Despite the problems with the condo we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Having wine and cheese on the large balcony with a view of Sabang Bay was a great way to unwind after a day of diving. The kitchen is fully equipped with a microwave, toaster oven, full stove with oven, and large fridge (but no coffee maker). The master bedroom/bathroom has a Jacuzzi. The second bedroom is small making it difficult to access the drawers and cupboards when the daybed is extended. It has its own separate bathroom with tub and shower. There is hot water in all faucets except the 2nd bathroom sink. The leather-look sofa and love seat in the living room were most comfortable. There are 27” (approx) TV’s in the living room and Master bedroom with several movie, sports, and international news channels. The beds are comfortable – my only complaint is that all the sheets were pilly.
Condo B 2700p
The rooms and balcony in Condo B are considerably smaller than those in condo A, however, the kitchen has a full fridge and stove with oven, but no microwave. The dining table comfortably seats 4. Towels are replaced daily and sheets changed every 2nd day. Housekeeping needs to be instructed to thoroughly clean bathtubs and toilets and how to dust shelves and furniture.
During the two winters that I have been traveling in the Philippines, these two condos had more of a feeling of being home than any other accommodations I have stayed at.
And despite the fact that both condos are directly above the Indian restaurant and 2 floors above the resort’s 24 hr sports bar, the condos are very quiet.
The resort also has deluxe rooms at 1100p. Superior rooms (2000p) near the pool are spacious and bright. I was told by someone who stayed in a poolside room that it can be noisy with people partying well into the night. It appears that all rooms come with a TV, mini-fridge, and have shared or private balconies.
Re. The restaurant food
We ordered room service from the in-house Indian restaurant on two occasions. The dishes were very flavorful. We also ordered room service from the main restaurant twice. The chicken filet with baked potatoes, and salad was quite enjoyable. The roast turkey with roasted potatoes, mixed vegetables, gravy and cranberry jelly tasted of home and was quite substantial (350p).
Re dive shop
This is a small PADI dive operation having only one boat, though they rent additional boats if needed. The diver to DM ratio generally was 3 or 4:1. All but the “DM in training” are actually PADI certified instructors, so you are getting high quality dive masters.
All staff that I encountered, especially the receptionist, were most friendly, pleasant, and helpful. Major credit cards are accepted and without any additional charge.

Room Tip: book well in advance for either of the 2 condos
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  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank driftdiver1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Big Apple Dive Resort

Address: | Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera, Mindoro 5203, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Mindoro > Oriental Mindoro Province > Puerto Galera
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 54 Hotels in Puerto Galera
Price Range: £14 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Best value for money resort with the cleanest and clearest Pool around! Lively Sports Bar and Cafe Party Bar and New Indian Restaurant! Friendly staff! Open to serve food and beverages 24HRS with a variety of special menu items daily! LIVE SPORTS on the BIG SCREEN. Happy Hours: 8am - 8pm in main bar, 5pm - 8pm in Sports Bar, 12noon - 8pm in BA Cafe! HQ Billiard Tables and Great Music! FREE WIFI! Nintendo Wii! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Big Apple Dive Hotel Puerto Galera

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