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“A joyfull, relaxing stay on a paradise island”

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Hippocampus Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 13 Hotels in Malapascua Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 April 2011

Our room, with AC and shower, was in a building on the beach, just 25 meters from the beautiful and quiet sea. The staff of the Hippocampus Beach Resort is very friendly, the food in the restaurant is really great: a menu with great variety is served in a super location: on the first floor above the bar, with an excellent climate.
For us as no-divers, there were enough activities: snorkling, swimming and visiting other islands (with barbeque).
Our stay of 10 days in the Hippocampus Beach Resort was a very positiv experience. We had a lot of fun and no stress at all.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank couplenl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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104 - 110 of 176 reviews

Reviewed 23 March 2011

We arrived in Malapascua and soon got hijacked by one of the local boys offering us a room for the days we were staying at the island, unfortunatly the room he provided us with was so below standard we ended up paying for the room the first day, but did not use ut. Luckily we wandered into Hippocampus and found ourselves surrounded by a loving and wonderfull staff!

The Hotel is located alongside the beach and has a wonderful view of the ocean from the topside restaurant. They are also affiliated with a neighboring diveshop, so if you have a love for the underwater world they can hook you up with any sort of dive deals.

We ended up staying in one of the deluxe rooms and was very satisfied with both cleanliness and roomservice. Clean sheets and toweles everyday!:)

As for the staff i have only wonderfull things to say, they try there utmost best to keep you satisfied. As an example the Owners of the establishment even picked up some medicine for me in the mainland free of charge when i came down with a bad flu and cough.

So sad to leave when you have such a wonderfull experience with such kind people.
All thumbs up!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank peterparker1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2011

We went there to chase the threshers and one day we decided to transfer from Blue Waters (where we initially stayed in - AC with bfast PhP2000) to look for a cheaper hotel and we "walked in" the hippocampus hotel and they gave us a cheaper stay PhP1200 fan room with breakfast for two included. So we grabbed it.

Next day we checked in and they only gave us one set of new towel. The room was nice and exotic looking so we forgave that mishap. We went on with our dives and afterwards chilled in their resto with a nice draft san miguel beer. The next day, we decided to get our breakfast. First the lady entertained us and after we gave our orders she came back saying that we have to pay for our breakfast as it was not included in our hotel room. We tried to argue that they said the deal included breakfast but they kept saying it is not included. The room with breakfast is actually PhpP1900, not PhP1200, which makes their statement a complete lie and they never mentioned that when we asked them for the rates. They fooled us into their hotel.

In the end we paid via credit card with 6% usage fee, whilst others only charged 4%.

We left the hotel feeling duped. I suggest that you try other hotels. But if you wanna try hippocampus, make them write whatever they said on a paper and make them sign or record the negotiation on a video. Then you pay what you agreed to pay for in the end.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank tristesse21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hipporesort, Owner at Hippocampus Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 20 January 2011

And here is the truth:
Guests came the day before their stay from another too noisy resort on the island, booked a room for a night and gave a 500 PHP downpayment. Agreed cash price was 1200 PHP, a special rate (about 20 % discount) we had during that more quiet period here. This rate clearly does not and cannot contain breakfasts, and the opposite by no means was said from anybody in the resort. When checking out guests complained about being charged for their breakfasts and my wife explained that our regular room rate (which includes breakfasts) is 32 Euros (about 1900 PHP) and thus the special walk-in rate of 1200 PHP unfortunately really cannot include breakfasts.
Guests have been charged 1200 PHP for the night as agreed, total bill was 2614.70 PHP, which included dinner and drinks for 765 PHP, breakfast for 430 PHP and 119.70 PHP credit card fee, which unfortunately our bank asks for.

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Reviewed 22 December 2010

We stayed at Hippocampus as we were on a 2 centre diving holiday and our UK travel agent use only this hotel, I think because the dive centre next door is very good. However I believe the dive centre has now built its own rooms so hopefully they can now cut all ties with this place. We were advised to book the slightly more expensive superior rooms of which there are only 4. They are pretty basic but the standard rooms are so much worse - no air con, nowhere to put clothes, no bedside table or lamp, just an overhead bulb. The owners are totally complacent and are more concerned about their many, many dogs than offering any level of service. The local staff who run the restaurant do their best but there's no management. Some guests had booked superior rooms but were given standard rooms and when they raised this, were met with a shrug.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank 74white
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2010

Staying at Hippocampus is one of those experiences where you think, do I want to relive this by reporting on the experience? But you must, for the sake of other travellers. I quite literally owe other people a review of this 'resort'.

It's not a resort, first and foremost. We booked through Sea Explorers which meant that the welcome was fine - a fresh mango shake at the restaurant above the dive ship, however booking through Sea Explorers also meant we were not told about the 'fiesta' going on the weekend we arrived.

Coming in from Singapore, we were looking forward to a relaxing 3 days of diving. However, the fiesta - as were told anyway when we were there - lasts from Saturday morning until Monday morning and is enjoyed by locals twice a year. Endless hours of horrendous, pulsating music with the most bass you've ever heard. The sounds permeate the island and the only way to sleep is with quite magnificent ear plugs (we had one pair yet two people) and during the day you had to speak quite loudly in the room - and our room couldn't have been closer to the noise. Our room also overlooked a construction pit of garbage and debris - again, not something we were informed about in advance.

The weird thing about the fiesta is that it took 3 asks of 3 different people to finally piece together that it was going to to last 48 hours. It's as if no one wanted us to know the true story. I finally asked a local at the Sea Explorers shop quite simply, "when will the music stop" and got the answer. We live in Singapore - we can come whenever we want. I couldn't believe no one had the decency to tell us when we booked or even when we arrived.

We stayed in the resort 2 nights only - we originally booked 4 nights - as once Saturday night arrived, we could not face the prospect of 2 more nights of one of us quite simply not sleeping due to the fiesta. Note that Hippocampus just shrugged when we asked how they could help us get through the experience - a bit of 'well this isn't great for you but nothing we can do." They could have honestly cared less.

We didn't care about a refund, we didn't care about them doing anything - the resort is so awkward that we just wanted out. The dogs are smelly (from a distance, really) and bark during the night - it's disconcerting. There are birds caged up in quite tall wire mesh that wraps around - it was strange, on a tropical island. The birds seemed jailed in a way. Our first room had a toilet that clogged after one flush so we had to be moved next door. The a/c was big enough to cool a walk-in closet in the States, but nothing more - no reason to have one really if it isn't fit for the purpose. The towels were just......old and limp. The garbage from the construction site next door created a view which was just completely uninspiring and depressing.

The best part was leaving! We left for sleep at Ocean Vida, a couple of doors down, quite literally on the other side of Sea Explorers - a lovely new resort run by a German couple who are cool. We wish them much success as they quite literally saved our holiday. They worked out with Sea Explorers head office that one night at Ocean Vida would be free due to the experience at Hippocampus, and we happily paid for the 2nd night there. The resort is right on the beach, has excellent sound proofing, great design, plush towels, a great bed with nice linens, and just overall, just lovely.

The last awkward touch came when we were getting our breakfast at the restaurant after the move (as well, we paid for the room and it came with breakfast, so although we moved next door, why not pick up our breakfast anyway), the manager - a woman, no idea of her name - asked if we had moved as she wanted to rent out our room. We stared at her blankly. I had no idea what to say as we had paid for the room in advance. So here we are, we've moved, and you want to make more money on the room even tho we already paid? And you have nothing to say about the fact that we moved in the first place? Unbelievable really. I just shrugged her off. I honestly couldn't begin to have the conversation.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank jarchangeli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hipporesort, Owner at Hippocampus Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 January 2011

please let me try to put some of the statements into a correct light:
Obviously the author of this comment was booked to our place by Seaexplorers and the arrival day was last november 19, just the day when a local fiesta in our neighborhood starts. Comments on the noise level are more or less correct and I fully understand the guests disappointment about their stay. What is not correct and very unfair is to blame us for not informing them in advance. We told all agencies about the fiesta (SeaEx are located next to us anyway) and we did not have any contact possibility with the clients prior to their stay. Fair enough that SeaEx finally decided to give an upgrade to a quieter location. Precise duration of this fiesta is almost impossible to tell in advance, as decisions are made on very short notice depending on incoming sponsor money and other factors. The 4 days around nov 20 are a annual nightmare for us, so we try to avoid short stays over this period as much as possible, also my wife managed to shorten the duration from 3 to 2 days last year, not an easy task, believe me. Please also rremember that it is only 2 or 3 days around november 20, when we have this problem, the period december to october is quiet and very relaxing here.
Also correct is that the backside of the guest rooms was facing a neighboring construction site with the usual piles of construction materials, not a nice view, but please also consider that that was only visible from the hallway leading to the room entrance. View from the room itself, which is facing our natural garden area, was undisturbed. Also as you may imagine this construction site does not last forever and our neighbors in the meantime significantly cleaned up.
next, dogs: yes we do have 5 dogs here, all rescued from total neglect or in one case from an already burning charcoal fire. They are not as well trained as I wish, but they are clean, cared for, vaccinated yearly and sterilized. Most of our guests have fun with them, but a small percentage generally dislikes dogs and has a problem, unfortunately the authors belong to this group. At least we can offer everybody a big, nice and 'dogfree' restaurant here.
next, birds: we have a small collection of philippine birds here, which we took over from a frenchman giving up his hobby a couple of years ago. They mostly live in aviaries, which would pass any european zoo standard. We are proud to have bred white-eared brown doves (endemic) and more so the critically endangered nicobar pidgeons here. Six nicobars, all hatched at Hippocampus, have been donated to an important breeding station in Subic Bay last year.
Lastly the comment from my wife about renting the room a second time: I am happy to give a price money of 100 USD to anybody managing to rent out one of our superior rooms during the annual fiesta. Really such a comment would not have made the slightest sense and certainly never was given.

Burkhard Freund

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Reviewed 20 July 2010

We stayed at this resort on the beach in Malapascua island, Philippines purely for scuba diving in July 2010, which is low season but nonetheless reasonably busy with tourists.

The island itself has quite limited infrastructure (water, electricity, internet, etc.), but most tourist amenities such as resorts, guest houses and dive shops along the beach appear to cope quite well and provide reasonable service in the circumstances. The scuba diving is amazing and we used 'Sea Explorers' next door to the Hippocampus resort.

Our experience at Hippocampus was rated poor for the following reasons:

- Quality of restaurant and catering: Simply tables and chairs in a covered shack on the beach with a sand floor. Many flies and constant annoyance accordingly. There was very little choice as most dishes on the menu were unavailable. The preparation, cooking and delivery of food was poor,

- Zero TV and poor / unavailable internet service, both in rooms and public areas.

- Management attitude: The resident owner / managers were very 'hands-off'' and left almost all day-to-day operation to apparently unskilled and untrained local staff. Only when we decided to leave early after 3 nights of a pre-booked 6 nights stay did the husband interveen to demand a 'cancellation fee' of the full room rate for 6 nights, less breakfast for 3! Needless to say we refused, whereupon he insisted this was 'industry standard practice' and accused us of being 'unfair'.

Finally it proved impossible to pay the balance of our account by credit card since the resort's terminal was out of service, which staff informed us was not unusual. WE had to be taken to an ATM on the main island of Cebu by the transfer driver in order to pay in cash!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Twerpic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2010

We went to Malapascua purely to see Thresher sharks... which were duly delivered on Christmas day. You have about a 50:50 chance of seeing Threshers on any given day.... so give yourselves at least 3 days on the island to maximise your chances.
The Hippocampus is one of the established resorts on the beach front, making it a short stroll next door to the dive centre. The hotel itself is basic but adequate. We stayed in a room without A?C or hot water and to be honest did not miss either.
We arrived on the 23rd Dec which is right in the middle of the islanders party season. The parties go on until sunrise and are very nosiy... if you can't beat them...join them.
Service at the hotel was very relaxed and you need to just sit back and enjoy the views while you wait for your food or drinks. Having said that, the service is far better than at many neighbouring establishments.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Surreyscuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hippocampus Beach Resort

Address: Philippines
Region: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Malapascua Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Malapascua Island
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Malapascua Island
Price Range: £30 - £33 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hippocampus Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hippocampus Beach Resort is centrally located on the main beach of Malapascua Island, Bounty Beach. Totaling 18 rooms with three different categories, including basic fan standard room, superior air conditioning rooms, and deluxe beachfront air conditioned rooms. It has a beachfront bar and restaurant with beer garden, tables on the beach, and bean bags for sunset happy hour. In house scuba diving school, Devocean Divers, and in house Kitesurfing school, Malapascua Kitesurfing. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hippocampus Beach Hotel Malapascua Island

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