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.
- 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