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Rick_HSeattle
Seattle

Undiscovered gem

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 Jul 2020
Artistic dive is my single favorite place in the Philippines. Sipalay is a beautiful place with long white sand beaches, bountiful reefs for snorkeling and diving, some of the most reliably sunny weather in the country, friendly locals and the best part is, all of this is still relatively undiscovered! Sipalay can also be defined by what it is NOT there; mosquitos, other tourists, vendors on the beach, crowds, jet skis, overpriced food and lodging and everything else you see in more famous destinations.

There are three dive resorts in the area. Of these, Artistic dive has the best location, most reasonable prices, friendliest staff and is the best value for the money. The Swiss owner Arthur Muller and his Filapina wife Evalyn spent 20 years designing and building the resort and the surrounding community including all the road and utility infrastructure and maintaining it in perfect working order so guests are always comfortable and well taken care of. The pool is gorgeous and a welcome swim every day to cool off and enjoy the scenery.

The staff is very friendly and helpful and learns the names and needs of all guests so most of your needs are taken care of without even asking. The kitchen is fabulous and serves great food including the best pizza in the Philippines. I also recommend their Thai style curry and grilled jumbo prawns in garlic butter, yum!

I always enjoy staying there on my visits to the Philippines. It is so beautiful, peaceful and fun to explore all the snorkel sites easily reached from the long beach. Sunsets are perfect all winter long and all the rooms have nice views. Sipalay also has a wonderful daily fruit market with some of the sweetest, juiciest fruit found anywhere in the Philippines. Tricycle will take you there in a 20 minute ride into town from the resort.

I hardily recommend that if you are in Negros at some of the popular areas like Dumaguete, that you take the little side trip and spend a few days in Sipalay at Artistic dive. It’s a couple hours to the west and a world away!
Date of stay: March 2020
Room Tip: Rooms along the beach are most convenient although the upper rooms have more beautiful expansive...
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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Reviewed 22 October 2019

Great visibility when you dive/snorkel. Boat is parked right in front of the beach. Tessa (massuese) provided such a relaxing, sleep-inducing massage after a long day of swimming. Simple, clean rooms. Will be back! Also food was nice.

Date of stay: October 2019
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank cecilialewis
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 5 June 2019 via mobile

Been here twice already and it's always worth it. Great food, clean amenities and always smiling staff. The pool is clean. The beach is right in front and you can enjoy Island hopping or diving. Hope to see you guys again soon.

Date of stay: May 2019
Trip type: Travelled solo
Thank Roxy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 27 March 2019

Artistic Diving
White Beach Resort
Punta Ballo, 6113 Sipalay City
Negros Occ. Philippines
I came from Sipalay City (Sealey’s Inn), it costs me 200 PHP for a tiny tricycle to go to Artistic Diving. The time was about 20”. Artistic Diving CHARGES for everything extra; wi-fi in MY room, I brought my own regulator with computer & prescription mask BUT they still charged my for complete rental unit as IF I had nothing, ALL meals (I thought I had free breakfast?)
The room is fairly nice with a mini-fridge, closet & shelf space 2 beds (single/twin & queen), a small table & NO wi-fi in my room (It costs extra for wi-fi. I thought wi-fi was FREE. WiFi IS air, right?). The TV has “around” 56 channels of which X are in English; HBO, CNN, Al Jazeera, NBA Premium, Warner TV, AXN, History, Asia News Network, The bathroom has 2 towels both big & small, liquid & bar soap, tissue & shampoo. The TV had no USB plug-in, per my emails, but they brought me another TV with a USB plug-in. NICE!
The wi-fi is; non-existence in my room. The wi-fi in the restaurant & lobby area is pretty poor (I tried to sign into Yahoo & got my user name BUT NO page for password sign-in. I tried it, like, 15 times IN 2 days), (It takes > 20” to download a Jeopardy episode. The Jeopardy episodes are 19”. You need to try one tab ONLY. That seems to work BUT it takes forever to download a podcast! To download a podcast it takes FOREVER & usually less than 80 kilobytes a second, BUT far less AS USUAL. I had 1-2 kilobytes a second!
TEN minutes ago a 30 minute video, to download, was 33 minutes left...NOW, it’s 35 minutes left! OUCH! It TOOK an hour to download a 30” video! OUCH AGAIN!
I HAVE a suggestion…………...Upgrade your internet!

Room tip: Depends on your price range; from backpackers to luxury, man!
Date of stay: March 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank salemnobody
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 3 March 2019 via mobile

My sister and I booked a room in the backpacker's accommodation whilst the rest of our group stayed next door as the hotel is full. Although we have to use a shared bathroom and toilet, we were very impressed with it's standard of cleanliness. The couple who owned and run the place were wonderful. And credit goes to all the staff too for being so lovely and accommodating. Good wifi connection only at the reception and restaurant area which is good enough for me. Watching the sunset from this place is to die for. On our last night/dinner at the restaurant, it was very kind for the owner to give us a complimentary drink-much appreciated. Thank you for making our stay a memorable one.

Date of stay: February 2019
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank RV-Dillon62
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 12 February 2019

We stayed from 31.1. to 8.2. at Artistic Divers, Punta Ballo Beach, Sipalay.
The resort is run by a Swiss/Filipino couple since more than 20 years.
The first impression was "nice view, pool and organized". Then we saw the room, which was a bit small, but OK. Later I realized all the rooms are not that big, but when you have tree beds for only two people you can remove one bed to have more space for your stuff, which we did. But we are special with all our diving equipment and cameras and lights.

Then we meat Rainer, a German dive instructor, who explained us the dive sites, how the base operates and about the dive schedules. Now I was realizing this is a great place for experienced divers who like to do filming, pictures and no stress.

The restaurant serves very good food and also some Swiss specialities like Roesti, which we know from Austria also. They have good personal which knows how to deal with European guests. You can also eat on the beach and watch the sunset or simply enjoy the awesome view to the wide open see.

I am a very picky person and I couldn't find anything which was not functioning. The only thing I recommended was to change the WIFI access point configuration to another channel/bandwidth, which we fixed immediately.

We meat a couple and we went diving with them. We, as experienced divers doing underwater filming and very slow diving, dove more or less alone. We liked this a lot, because every guide is always bored with us and will freeze anyway in the water. We also could extend the dive time which we appreciated a lot. In fact you are diving in a buddy system as usual in Europe.
The dive spots are very nice, only the visibility was sometimes not so good. But this is something which is highly depending on the weather conditions.

After the dive you can rinse your stuff in enough water. I mention it, because in Apo Island you even can't shower your body well and there is no way to rinse the gear.
Arthur, the owner, has several wells who have always water, even in the dry season. Arthur, his wife and the employees always work to keep this place as nice at is is. Arthur is also constantly improving things.

I really can recommend this place for a relaxing stay with great diving experience.

THX for all, we will definitely come back!

Date of stay: February 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JasminJ_1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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