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“Diving with new friends”

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Big Apple Dive Resort
Ranked #31 of 52 Hotels in Puerto Galera
Taipei, Taiwan
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Diving with new friends”
Reviewed 10 July 2014

My buddy and I spent 5 days diving with the Big Apple dive team. Can only say great thinks about Joel, Bunny and the rest of the crew. We were lucky to have great dive conditions, not much current even on the Verde Island day trip. Being the low season, Joel and Bunny were able to let us choose which sites we wanted to visit. There was a lot of macro sea life, the coral was in pretty good shape and the water was comfortably warm without a wetsuit (28-30C). A couple of big titan triggerfish didn't like our presence though.

Both my buddy and I had some small issues with our regulators, but the team there easily helped us solve the problems. I emphatically recommend this resort for the dive team. (We didn't stay in the resort, so can't say much about the rooms. However, the breakfasts in the restaurant was not bad.)

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SharkinTaiwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_Big_Apple, Guest Relations Manager at Big Apple Dive Resort, responded to this review, 11 September 2014
Thank you for diving with the Big Apple...we appreciate your business and look forward to diving with you again.
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115 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
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English first
Moscow, Russia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 March 2014

Me and buddy joined Big Apple dive center for one day trip to Verde island because they were recommended as guys who organize diving at Verde at cheap price including boat, 2 dives and lunch. It would be wise to take with you warm clothes and towels as it becomes cool under a strong wind and when getting wet from waves. The water was 23C, air 20-25C however it was February and the coolest temp you could face in there while rest of months are much warmer. We made 2 dives on the Verde Pinnacle site which is a small rock formation in the sea with circular walls coming down from it. Jason and Guy, the guides, ran a detailed briefing before each dive explaining the dive site and hints about navigation there like staying closer to the walls for safety purpose due to strong currents. The descent technique was to jump from boat with empty BCD and sink otherwise waves and currents could separate you from the group immediately. There’s a high risk of damaging expensive photo gear jumping from 3-4ft however with a small camera like mine G11 I was lucky to enter water with no harm to the camera. During the dive Jason and Guy demonstrated excellent knowledge of the area and high safety standards. We went with the group roundabout the pinnacle close to the walls. The underwater life was just amazing. With just one hour ride from Sabang it's a huge difference in quantity and variety of fish there in Verde! You feel yourself like in a giant aquarium. We saw hundreds of jackfish, tuna, morays, other big fish, nudi branches, glowing worms, 12-15 feet fan coral and lots of soft coral. Surfacing and boarding was a bit tough because of the waves so it is a good idea to have a personal buoy so that you and buddy can be seen from the boat while up and down in the waves, and also exit with some air or get a snorkel. We did second dive on same site, and then full lunch on the shore of Verde just near. The diving was very good however I would definitely not recommend this for starters because of currents and not easy descent and surfacing. Next day we made with Jason another 2 dives visiting Dry Dock (a wreck just 150m from Big Apple and very very gooood with some rare stuff like leaf fish) and Ernie’s Cave (photo-focused drift 500m right from Sabang with lots of macro like nudi branch, lion fish, morays, coral). Both were interesting and the guides did it really well taking care of safety, navigation and also generously giving us time for taking photos of an item from different positions. All in all, if you want to dive with professional and friendly instructors who also have excellent knowledge of local dive sites Big Apple would be a good choice. Of additional advantages are: location in the center of Sabang in a close proximity of main dive sites, seafront restaurant and sport bar with TV offering draft bier and divers fellow environment. Ok for diving. Special thanks Jason and Guy!

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank DimitryVP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_Big_Apple, Guest Relations Manager at Big Apple Dive Resort, responded to this review, 11 September 2014
Thank you so much for your positive review. So glad you enjoyed your Verde Island dive trip. It really is one of the best dive sites in the Philippines, in fact, I don't know a better one. We really do try and make your dive experience here at the Big Apple a memorable experience...See you next time and please spread the word on the great diving here in Puerto Galera...thanks again
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Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2014

Went there recently for a short break and I would go there again. The rooms are clean and the staff is friendly and helpful.

After I have heard that they have a 24/7 Restaurant at the beachfront I was a little bit sceptical about the noise factor, but the rooms are in the backyard and you get not bothered at all.

The price is reasonable.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joerg H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_Big_Apple, Guest Relations Manager at Big Apple Dive Resort, responded to this review, 12 September 2014
Thank you for your positive comments. Big Apple is exactly as you described, moderately priced, clean, seaside hotel. We give great value for your money from rooms, food, and diving. In fact, the Big Apple Resort has the lowest dive prices in Sabang, check around, it's the lowest. Thanks again and hope to see you again soon....
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Luzon, Philippines
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2014

I have been staying at Big Apple for almost 5 years with my long time partner (1-3 times per year we drive down from Manila to go scuba diving)

Often we bring the family and book several rooms. Last month I booked a room for our arrival on the 26th / Christmas for a stay of 8 days. As always, our reservation was confirmed and we prepared to go scuba diving at Big Apple.

Only days before our arrival I received an SMS message from the “smile in your face but cheat and lie behind your back” Jona that our room was canceled!

It’s not acceptable for a regular guest of many years! She didn’t even try to help, instead, she dropped my call and never answered all my calls since then!

My partner and I were left on the beach at arrival despite having confirmed reservation with nowhere to stay over Christmas...that is NOT the way to re-live the Christmas story!
Big Apple and the lying front-desk manager did NOTHING to help. The fact that we been staying there 1-2 times a year and have spend several hundred thousand peso at this resort seemed to make NO difference at all!

So, don’t book and trust BA for they don’t care about their regular/returning guests at all, and you cannot trust their reservations!

Room Tip: Book to other resorts.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank DR0bins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_Big_Apple, Guest Relations Manager at Big Apple Dive Resort, responded to this review, 11 September 2014
I want to sincerely apologize for the poor service you received from one of our employees. That employee is no longer working for the Big Apple. In fact, the entire management staff and all employees from that time period are no longer employed by the Big Apple. The Big Apple is now staffed with new management and new employees dedicated to providing the best customer service possible. We appreciate your business over the past 5 years and again apologize for the poor customer service you received. On your next trip to Sabang, please stop in and talk with the new Big Apple manger about the positive changes we have implemented.
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Travellers are raving about these Puerto Galera hotels

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2014

On 20 Dec 2013 we emailed Big Apple the following email:

We are a group of 17 people (12 are divers, the other spouses) and we would like to book 8 rooms at your resort, plus diving trips for the divers.

One of us has stayed at your resort before and it looks like your resort would be perfect for our group.

We are based in Amsterdam and will fly to Manila and rent a bus to go to Batangas and take a longboat to Puerto Galera.

The period we would like to stay at your hotel is Mon 17 March arrival and March 26 departure.

Can you let us know if that is workable for you, and which rooms will be available during that time?

We received no reply whatsoever.
We resend our booking request on 22 Dec and again on 2 Jan.
And although we received return receipt, we received no reply.

Clearly this resort is not interested in attracting business, so on 9 Jan 2014 we wrote the following:

We assume you are too busy to even reply an email and do not want our group to stay at your resort.

We understand, and we have this morning confirmed out booking with another resort who were happy to have our group in March, both for accommodation, food as well as diving.

We wish your resort all the best, for you must be booked 100% full 365 days per year to not even show the courtesy to reply our emails.

I am sure you do not mind that we let the rest of the world on Tripadvisor and other sites that you are too busy to book any more rooms for 2014 and too busy even to reply to booking/reservation emails.

All the best.

As accustomed by now; no reply.

Needless to say we booked our whole group at an other resort happy to have our business.

Klaas Vermolen

Room Tip: For a good room and responsive service; do NOT book at Big Apple but book one of the other resorts.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank KlaasVermolen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_Big_Apple, Guest Relations Manager at Big Apple Dive Resort, responded to this review, 11 September 2014
We apologize for the lack of communication and bad customer service you received. The Big Apple management and staff from that time period have all be terminated and are no longer associated with the resort. Sincerely hope on your next tip to Sabang you can give the new management and staff a chance to regain your business.
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Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2013 via mobile

We had booked this place for about 2 weeks, ended staying one night and leaving the next morning.
The place is a total disgrace.
Our first room smelt of urine and the bathroom ceiling and half of it had fallen off...
We asked for another room and in the shower was a bucket for you... No water from the shower tap...
The whole place is dirty with drinks, food and other stuff lying around the pool and everywhere until the next day...
If you are a couple or a group Of friends DO NOT GO THERE!
If you a single guys that want to pick up easily however that might be a place for you...
Other than that the price is highier than other MUCH nicer places around...

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank AlexandraM60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_Big_Apple, Guest Relations Manager at Big Apple Dive Resort, responded to this review, 14 September 2014
Would like to apologize for the condition of our resort during your visit. New management and staff have been in place now for several months and are addressing the problems you mentioned.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
leicester
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2013

For single men this is a great place for you to meet the locals and have some fun......... if you are travelling as part of a couple or family then this is not the place for you.

Our room was 500 pesos a night and it was definitely a case of you got what you paid for - a dingy dirty room with cold water and full of mosquitoes. However of course 500 pesos is very very cheap and we heard that the more expensive rooms are lot nicer. On the plus side the staff are really friendly, always happy to clean the room, change towels or generally have a chat with.

The food was expensive (compared to nearby restaurants) but very tasty.

The location is good, right on the beach although we preferred White Beach on the other side of the island.

Room Tip: Choose a room away from the bar, it gets pretty rowdy!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shelly_here
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_Big_Apple, Guest Relations Manager at Big Apple Dive Resort, responded to this review, 14 September 2014
Thank you for your review. You are quite right, you get what you pay for, however, the problems you mentioned have been noted and corrected. No matter what the cost of the room, it should be clean and comfortable. With new management and staff on station, we are addressing the problems that have been mention in other reviews. And yes the food is tasty and is now better than it ever has been. We have a new chef on staff from Manila, a trained culinary grad, and you can sure tell the difference. Great tasting food and huge portions, next time you are in Sabang please stop in to see the changes we have implement a sample the new menu.
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Additional Information about Big Apple Dive Resort

Property: 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 #31 of 52 Hotels in Puerto Galera
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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