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“Great staff, great location and great resort in all aspects...”

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Hippocampus Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 13 Hotels in Malapascua Island
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great staff, great location and great resort in all aspects...”
Reviewed 18 March 2013

I stayed in this place for 7 days. My primary purpose on the island was to dive. Speaking about that, the resort offered the best diving service I ever experienced. dives were well organized and planned. The dive master and boat crew primary objective was customer satisfaction. My gear was always fully assembled before I get in the water. Can I be anymore spoiled?! Diving was just perfect. No more on this subject.
The second thing about this resort is the food. You actually dont need to go anywhere else to have your meals. The menu is diverse and I have tried almost all of it and it all taste very well. Prices are very cheap as well.
The third thing is spending the evening / night at the resort bar. The second favorite thing I do after diving was to spend time at the bar in the evening checking my mail, FB and chatting with other hotel guests and divers. People from other resorts too used to come and enjoy the evening at the bar. For some reason it was an attraction and one of the busy places in Malapascua at night. The warm staff and quite music might have been the reason...
I was a solo traveller with diving intentions but I've seen several families and couples in the resort and they were enjoying their time as well. Enough said, I recommend for solos, families, couples, divers and whoever wants to enjoy a quite and pleasant vacation...

Room Tip: I chose a standard room with a fan and I was able to sleep because I was always too tired from divin...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank houphad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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157 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
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Beveren
Level Contributor
41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2012

Malapascua island is a bounty island, unfortunately so hard to get there. 4 hours by car from Cebu city to Maya and 30 minutes boating to the island itself where you arrive on the beach, almost in front of your resort. Hippocampus is located right next to Sea Explorers dive center.
I was put up in Hippocampus by the agency because Ocean Vida was fully booked.
Hippocampus has changed quite a bit since i was there 5 years ago, but not the standard (fan)rooms. They still don't have hot shower, no shampoo/soap, no mini bar/fridge, no phone,... very basic.
We only ate there 1 time because we had to wait quite a while for our dinner. Service is rather slow, because the kitchen is a walk away from dining area.
Reception is also run by amateurs, clumbsy administration, sometimes no one there,...
Staff needs some professional training.
They have plastic sun beds to use on the beach for their guests, but some broken, some dirty.

Room Tip: Opt for a luxury room at beach front.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank frogfish99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kyoto, Japan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2012

We stayed for five days in Malapascua. Malapascua itself is a great place to visit with beautiful beach and sky blue ocean. Hippocampus is located right in the middle of the Bounty beach where many dive shops and resorts gather and most of the restaurants are within five minutes of walk. We stayed in the ocean view front room. It was fantastic to see the ocean first in the morning when I opened the front door and sat and relaxed in the front yard in the evening.

The room was cleaned nicely every day and even dusty suitcase was wiped clean the next day of our arrival after long hours of traveling to the island. We were lucky to find the nice resort and stayed there. Hope to visit someday.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank swingingfrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cebu City
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

We are booked for 4 rooms, family with kids. So strange they have DOGS in the resort, not safe for kids, Pets should never be allowed everywhere.Staff does not understand "privacy" in their small reception area. Even when there are guests around, resort staff- with their loud voices, were also in there chatting, laughing and sitting in the area where it's supposed to be for guests. Even if guests kept staring at them, they just stared back and does not understand. Room rate for a FAN ROOM is too expensive for a local resident rate, no TV. No telephones. When you need something, you have to walk all the way out to the front desk. Malapascua is expensive for local residents. They should have a separate/ promo rate for non foreign guests. Ambiance is good, breakfast is delicious, our kids love it. Occasional brownouts in the area, WiFI is Free though only in the reception area. Beach Front is dirty despite Malapascua asking for a "mandatory fee" for all guests to pay for the maintenance of the island. Human WASTES were seen floating in the beach front. NOBODY'S seen cleaning the areas, unlike Boracay. BEWARE of the resort's canvassers!!! Especially the name ARCA NUNEZ. He keeps on claiming he's a cousin of one of the front desks, front desk staff Bechan overheard him, she didn't say a word, then later told us he's not a cousin when we were already complaining. Wherever we go, Arca Nunez kept on following us, selling us packages that are too expensive. He's known to ask for an advance deposit of the packages from hotel guests, and he will never show on the time of the agreement. He will steal your money. Thief and a liar. The resort must be protective of their guests. They should know when the guests arrival time, the moment the boat will dock in front, one staff should meet their arriving guests since all guest arrivals will all be swarmed with canvassers who are so irritating.

Room Tip: For guests who does not like aircons, ok to get a fan room, NO wifi in rooms, only in their mini rec...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank regcoeli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2012

It's not the fanciest resort and definitely not as luxury as some others around, but the experience of staying here is very-very pleasant. It has the nicest atmosphere and has a feeling of a jungle inside as well as being right on the beach.
Restaurant is great and the breakfast is awesome!
Standard fan-rooms are very simple, with a nice balcony facing the garden, nothing special but comfortable, and we're spending the whole day on the beach anyway.
Sea-view rooms look amazing, right on the beach! Next time we'll try to upgrade there.
We've looked into other resorts around the island and didn't regret our choice for a second, next time will come back to the Hippocampus for sure!

Room Tip: Standard rooms are in the nice garden, Sea-view rooms are right on the beach
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Evgeny D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2012

Honestly the rooms are not so bad. They are decently clean when you first get there. But thats about where it ends.
They will not make up your room automatically. I knew it was a budget resort, but come on, some towels or change the sheets everyday since you are sleeping in non aircon rooms wouldnt kill them. After asking them to clean the room, they did change the sheets, but just left everything else as is. No cleaning up the trash that we had piled together nicely, no sweeping really not much at all.
The owner or any management is not seen. The place is left to run by the staff. While there were one or two of them that are nice, they seem to follow the oldest one theres general disposition of being rude and lazy. Talking on her cellphone when she walks up to your table. Not responding to good morning or thank you, giving you bad looks and ignoring you completly. One morning i went back to sleep after doing the thresher shark dive early in the morning, i woke back up at 1030 and went down to eat breakfast. She told me that i couldnt. I took this not so well. I had already paid for the breakfast(I paid my complete payment pre arrival which the owner forgot about and tried to get more money from me) and i kinda figured i was entitled to my meal when i chose to eat it. Well they finally gave it to me, served with a horrible attitude to go with it. Oh and Bacon, eggs and toast take 30 minutes at this place. Set your watch by it.
They had about 1/4 thier menu the 5 days i was there.
Really, the ONLY thing they have going for them is they are right next to a very nice dive operation. They will continue to survive off of this, but new management would really do this place a big favor.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank diverXyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hipporesort, Owner at Hippocampus Beach Resort, responded to this review, 13 April 2012
This comment is not very nice and we will take it very serious. Unfortunately without any precise information of room no. and date it is not easy to find out precisely what went wrong. Obviously the problem occured in one of our standard economy rooms. This is how we generally handle our room service:
room cleaning ('cleaning only' in our terms), which means sweeping the floor, collecting any garbage and more intensely cleaning the bathroom is done every day. Complete clean-up ('housekeeping' in our terms), which is a complete make-up of the room and includes change of bedsheets and towels, is done every second day. Myself and my wife routinely (several times a week) randomly check rooms and so far have not yet encountered major problems. Also we have not received a single complaint regarding inadequate housekeeping in 6 years, so this complaint came somewhat surprising. I would really consider the schedule as perfectly adequate, so what went wrong? The housekeeping lady responsible for our 8 standard rooms is with us for 6 years now and never gave us a problem, so I am hesitating very much blaming her. The only thing I can imagine, is that the questionable room was erroneously being considered non-occupied and thus no cleaning was performed, but this is very difficult to find out now. It would have been so easy to address the problem during the stay. Either myself, my wife or both of us are permanently staying in the resort and always available. Of cause it is a complete nonsense, that our resort is run by the staff, we would not do this for a single day. However we have to take the criticism, that none of us (my wife or myself) obviously have been able to meet and great the complaining guest. This is not good and certainly not what we are trying to do, this needs improvement and we will work on it. Lastly: unfriendly staff. This is difficult to believe. On an island like Malapascua, where skilled workers are scarce, and thus mostly people with limited professional background and experience are employed, our prime staff requirement is a friendly and helpful personality. Considering this together with the naturally very friendly mentality of Philipinas the complaint of unfriendly treatment is strange. It is also in sharp contrast of what we hear from other guests. To conclude: we obviously failed to satisfy this complaining guest, we have to to better, even if it is not always easy. We will continue working on it. Burkhard Freund
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paranaque, Philippines
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2012

we stayed here for 3d/2n...the room is clean and cozy...nothing fancy about the place but just right for relaxation.... the food is great although the service is quite slow... Malapascua is a must-see and must-visit place if you are looking for tranquility and closeness to nature.... what surprised us a lot is that we were able to see a 'baby' thresher shark along the shore of bantugue even though we didn't go diving!!!!..:) talk about luck!!!! hahaha!!!!! Also, during our stay, we seem to be the only locals there (besides the local villagers, of course)...Great stay in malapascua..:)

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank rona_len
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

Property: Hippocampus Beach Resort
Address: Daan Bantayan, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Malapascua Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Malapascua Island
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Malapascua Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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