We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Practical advice with climate commentary”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Ticao Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ticao Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 March 2013

I was part of a larger group of divers travelling to Ticao Island Resort in February. We boarded a Cebu Pacific flight just after midnight from Singapore to Manila and waited at the airport for about 3 hours before boarding the domestic flight to Legazpi. The baggage transfer from Manila to Legazpi was seamless and I would recommend using services of Cebu Pacific. However, during the flight from Singapore to Manila, I would recommend bringing an eye mask if you intend to sleep. When we arrived in Legazpi, we were met by Jessica and her team. We drove for about 1 hour to Donsol, had lunch at Miraya Restaurant before starting our whaleshark interaction (WSI).

During the WSI, the boat would travel up and down the coast with one of the WSI staff trying to spot for whalesharks. This is very different to the tour in the Ningaloo reef in Australia where a light plane spots the whalesharks and sends the GPS location to the captain of the boat. After 3 hours, we still could not find any whaleshark. When I did my internet search, I came to a view that whalesharks in that area is more prevalent in Mar and Apr; perhaps, it might be better to do this activity in these months. Therefore, if the weather is overcast or the sea is choppy, I would not recommend this activity to tourist because the whalesharks would be harder to find. Because motor boats are used, I would recommend bringing ear plugs both for the WSI and for the 2 hours boat journey to Ticao. And if you are on an itinerary, I would suggest travelling first to Ticao and do the WSI on the return journey. We were all exhausted with the overnight flight to Legazpi.

At Ticao Island, the weather was windy most of the days when we were there. The prevailing winds were apparently from south-east; they were not blocked by the terrain on mainland. The waters along the eastern coast of Ticao were therefore choppy and many divers were sea sick during the journey to San Miguel Island, located at the end of Ticao Island. A boat journey that would normally take 45 mins was prolonged to 1.5 hr. I learnt later that the south-east winds become weaker from Jun – Aug; perhaps these would be good months to dive Ticao. The main dive sites in Ticao are Manta Bowl; a 30 mins boat ride in front of the resort and San Miguel Island. Because of the long travelling time, I would not recommend diving either of these 2 sites as a day trip from Donsol. Manta Bowl is situated in a channel that is ripped by current. Because the south-east winds were prevailing, we had choppy surface conditions making it difficult to get into the boat after diving. Therefore, if you plan to dive Manta Bowl frequently, I would recommend doing this in the later months such as Apr onwards for the south-east winds to weaken. It is important for the group to descend together, use the reef hooks provided to stay at the bottom. The current is about 4-5 knots. I would not recommend this dive to beginners or those with less than 50 dives. I recommend wearing a dive hood over the mask to ensure that your mask does not get ripped off by the current. I did 2 dives at Manta Bowl but did not see mantas or whalesharks. I learnt later that if you do see mantas, they would just travel through the channel instead of staying around the spot. Thus, only fleeting moments with the devil fish; instead of sites elsewhere where the mantas stay on a site to be cleaned eg Lady Elliot Island in Australia. Another notable feature which I have observed was the very clear blue waters in the channel after about 5 meters from the surface. The rest of my dives were at San Miguel island which I thoroughly enjoyed because of the abundance of macro life eg nudibranches (a great variety), scorpionfishes and frogfish (my favourites). The visibility here is about 10-15 meters with lots of zooplankton which unfortunately also stings. Thus, if you are diving or snorkelling here, you should fully cover yourself. I wore hood, gloves, 2 mm titanium-lined wetsuit layered on a 1 mm long-sleeved vest. I was stung only on one cheek. During the dive, I heard dynamite fishing and this activity could explain why there were no middle-sized fish in the reef eg snappers, groupers or sharks. The fishes at San Miguel west were small like aquarium fish. Because of the south-east winds, we could not dive San Miguel east. When diving at San Miguel, the boat typically does 3 dives out with lunch on the boat. The dive operation is very good. There were 5 staff members on each boat to help divers gear up.

Similarly, the staff at the resort was all very good, hospitable and friendly. I arranged my trip with Jessica and she is very systematic and communicates well. The food was delicious and I particularly enjoyed the congee cooked in chicken broth in the morning. Although my cabana is air-conditioned, there was no need to turn it on because of the wind. The resort also provides mosquito repellent in the room, in the form of a mat that produces a scent when heated.

We decided to spend 1 night in Donsol staying at Dancalan Resort, hoping to do a WSI the following day. Unfortunately, the weather turned bad due to a typhoon hitting Mindanao/Palawan and no boats could go out. At Donsol, we went to Giddy’s place for a massage and I would recommend that. It costs 20 Peso per person for a trishaw ride to Giddy’s. At Legazpi, we stayed at Hotel Venezia which is also very nice.

Overall, I would recommend staying at Ticao Island resort and Donsol Ecotours but to do this during the months when the sea is calm (Mar-Apr).

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Synapsegaba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (85)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

57 - 63 of 85 reviews

Reviewed 17 February 2013

We went to Donsol to do the whale shark interaction and then to Ticao for some diving. Nice place. Quiet and relaxed. Good for chilling out. Good food.
Closet place to stay if you want to dive Manta Bowl which I recommend for eager divers. Of course not guaranteed but we did see mantas on about 50% of the dives. There have been whale, hammerhead and threshers sharks seen at Manta bowl but I was not so lucky .San Migeul is also a good dive site, its all macro stuff there. The dive operation is very good. Guides are very knowledgeable and experienced. Rental gear is all well looked after.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank soth27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2012

The staff picked us up from Donsol to Ticao Island Resort. And upon arriving Ticao, we were surprised by the warm welcome from the staff. They made us feel like right at home. The staff also remember our names and refer to it everytime they see us. The cabana that we stayed in was spacious and we love the sea facing cabana.
The food served by the restaurant was so delicious and every meal was a different creation unlike some other resort which recycle their food and create new dish from it.
The diving in Manta Bowl was so rewarding as well as we swam with giant Mantas with strong current.
I would say this lover resort even though small but give the best hospitality to the customers.
Thank you and two thumbs up for Jessica, Vicky, and the team for organizing the best vacation for us.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank PeggW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2012

Although I've returned for a while, I feel its only fair to share my great experience with you about this lovely resort.

I've been longing to see Manta again so I did some research on the internet and discovered here. I thought it would be great if I can also get to see Whale Shark in Donsol as well. I've managed to visit during Whale Shark and Manta season in March. Arranging my trip with Jessica from Donsol Eco Tours, the company that owns the resort, was such a breeze. As I was traveling alone, she's been very accommodating and did her best to assist me in every way.

On arrival in Legaspi airport situated close to the foot of the perfect cone-shaped Mayon volcano , I was picked up by a representative from Donsol Eco Tours and driven to Donsol immediately for whale shark interaction. Despite the hot weather, water is cold. But I was very happy with my close encounter with 2 whale sharks!

I was transferred to the resort by an outrigger boat after the Whale Shark Interaction. The friendly staff at the resort warmly welcomed me. I decided to stay at the budget room for a different experience. The room is very basic with shared bathroom. Although there is no air-condition, the fans were good enough to cool the room for good night sleep. There are villages next to the resort.

Food was buffet style and very tasty. Every meal is a pleasure. Try their local concoction, pineapple juice with local spirit(rum?), inexpensive.

The dive centre and their equipment are very well maintained and located at the end of the resort where the dive trips set off from. DMs were very helpful and friendly, so were the boat crew. Everything was well arranged and taken care of, full service. There were not many dive sites we could go to when it started to rain continuously from the third day onwards and visibility became affected. We weren't expecting bad weather during this season. However I had a chance to sight a white Manta and a rare giant black Manta!

Then came the strong winds by the unexpected typhoon from the Pacific Ocean near the island. The storm was so bad that some dive trips had to be cancelled. I thought I could spend a night in Legaspi before I catch my flight back. Unfortunately the storm made it impossible for the boat ride back to Legaspi and I was stranded another night in the island instead. The next morning I braved through the stormy sea but missed my flight due to the delay.

Despite the bad weather, I do enjoy every bit of my vacation in Ticao Island Resort. I guess the key elements that made my stay here comfortable and enjoyable are the simple, sincere, unintrusive, obliging and unpretentious hospitality by the staff. It is definitely worth a visit here, you wont regret it. Thanks to the great team, Jessica, Rico, Vicky. Kudos!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank tommylim-sg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2012

we were travelling to donsol as the last leg of our philippines tour. our plan was to see the whale sharks but before we travelled, Donsol Eco Tour contacted us to inform us that whale shark encounters were on the very low side. we knew that travelling in late June would decrease the chances of encounters and were resigned to Mother Nature's decision!

Donsol Eco Tours, who are affiliated with the Ticao Island Resort, arranged extra dives to make up for the disappointment, which was a nice touch on their part. the fact that they were honest and upfront from the start impressed us. we could tell they were more disappointed for us than we were ourselves!

the resort is a 2.5hr drive from Legaspi Airport. our liaison officer Junray (sp?) was very polite and eager to share the history of Legaspi with us. our boat ride from Bulan jetty to Ticao Island took 45minutes due to strong winds and swells. the boat crew made very sure we were safe by not going too quickly and that we were dry by offering us raincoats. a very nice touch.

when we saw the resort, we were blown away. it has 9 beachfront rooms on well-manicured lawns and 4 budget rooms just behind. horses roam freely on the compounds as do dogs and chicken. there is a ranch feel to the place yet it is very well-kept and classy.

our rooms were perfect. the AC was powerful, beds very comfortable and the bathroom is huge. the water is hot and the jet powerful. drinking water was provided everyday without additional charge or request. the room was always made up when we returned with our clothes hung up or folded!

we had a power outage one night but there were emergency lights in every room. when the water was cut off, it only took them half an hour to fix the issue. we understood from the onset that Ticao Island is relatively cut-off from the mainland and was a stand-alone resort and accepted these tiny issues. the manner in which the staff responded was the outstanding point. they were always smiling and eager to please, rushing all over to right any problem.

the restaurant is airy and keeps the heat out. the food, as mentioned by earlier posts, is fantastic. chef Anton prepares large servings in a buffet style, yet there is no compromise on quality. he even asked us what we wanted for meals and we got the best-tasting meals. as a couple of my friends did not take pork, chef Anton made sure to prepare other dishes to cater to them. Lisa was wonderful serving us, breaking into song and dance ocassionally when retro music played over the sound system.

Vicky, i believe, manages the resort. and she is a wonderful lady. upon arrival, she saw to it that we were fed quickly, having been on the road for more than half a day. Josephine briefed us on the resort and important details and send us on the way to our food. Vicky would constantly update us on the whale shark situation in Donsol and explain our options.WOW! they just wanted to do their best to get us an opportunity, even when we were resigned to diving Ticao Island only.

Marvin, who manages the dive centre, is a humourous character. we took to him easily as he was always smiling and doing his best to engage us in conversation. his knowledge of the dive sites was important to our photographers as he actively sought to locate our wish list targets. Marvin also shared his vast experience of diving the Philippines with us and always reminded us that we were on holiday, so we decided when to dive and how many dives to do! "it's your holiday, please enjoy yourself. tell us what you want and we'll do it if it's safe." special mention to our other DM Zanzan who took special care of the photographers who were always lagging behind. and to the captain Jojo and the hardworking boat crew. we had coffee, tea, towels always waiting for us after each dive.

though we didn't see any mantas at manta bowl, we knew Marvin and Zanzan tried so hard. the macro diving was very good however, a we saw no less than 3 different critters laying eggs or holding a clutch. we had 3 engaging interactions with octopus and were blown away by the beauty of the coral-encrusted walls, all hiding amazing critters.

my friends tried horseback riding as well and it was priced so low we are ashamed to even mention the price! there were 3 paddle boats available for use to explore the river next to the resort. a pool table was also over-utilised by us.

though we didn't see the whale sharks of Donsol, we were blown away by the beauty of Ticao Island Resort and her staff. we really hated to leave but have already made plans to return in March, smack in whale shark season. the travelling is worth it for this well-kept secret of a gem.

Room Tip: all the cabanas face the sea and have large balconies. the budget rooms are blocked by the cabanas...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank hankyspanks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2012

It was our first time in the Philippines and we were greeted by helpful and friendly staff at Ticao Island Resort. The staff made our stay extra special. The accommodation was superb. Food was so delicious that we always go for more helpings in the buffet style layout. It was different food served everyday and freshly bought and cooked for all guests. Diving was exceptional. Our dive guide JoJo is a world class diver. The boat crew does everything for you, they even give you a nice clean towel when you surface and almost feed you with the deliciously prepared packed lunch and coffee. The staff arranged for us to visit San Jacinto on a motorbike and it is worthwhile visiting this little town. Vicky and the girls, the kitchen staff, all the crew in the dive shop and boat crew are always there to help with a smile. They make our stay so enjoyable that we want to return for another holiday there. We love Ticao Island.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Alleycat789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2012

Our objective was to dive Manta Bowl in Ticao. We made arrangements for a 6 dive package with Ticao Island Resort.

I must say the airline, airport and boat transfers were all in order. Even our one night stay in Legaspi with another hotel was all done with no hassle.

Ticao Island Resort have very helpful staff, Comfortable and clean rooms, good food, etc. Make sure the chef serves squid with coconut milk cooked the Bicol way. It is something to die for!

The dive guides are very good. Though we didn't see any mantas, you know he tried his best to exhaust all opportunities. We did see 2 eagle rays and 2 white tip sharks. Oh well, we'll see if we can revisit again when the manta rays are in abundance. Current is quite strong so best to get some experience in current diving.

Manta or no manta, this is the resort to stay in.

  • Stayed: April 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Hardrightx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Ticao Island
31.7 mi away
Fernandos Hotel
Fernandos Hotel
#3 of 5 in Sorsogon
35 reviews
78.7 mi away
Tugawe Cove Resort
Tugawe Cove Resort
#1 of 1 in Caramoan
223 reviews
45.6 mi away
Misibis Bay Resort
Misibis Bay Resort
#1 of 2 in Cagraray Island
780 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
451.6 mi away
Pannzian Beach
Pannzian Beach
#1 of 4 in Pagudpud
89 reviews
23.7 mi away
Elysia Beach Resort
Elysia Beach Resort
#1 of 2 in Donsol
212 reviews
279.2 mi away
Treasure Island Resort
Treasure Island Resort
#4 of 18 in Olongapo
86 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Ticao Island Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Ticao Island Resort

Address: Tacdugan | San Jacinto, Luzon, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Luzon > Bicol Region > Masbate Province > Ticao Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ticao Island
Price Range: £11 - £47 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travel Book Philippines, Inc. so you can book your Ticao Island Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Ticao Island Hotel Masbate

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing