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“Great place to get away from it all!”

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Turtle Bay Dive Resort
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great place to get away from it all!”
Reviewed 5 March 2013

I truly enjoyed my stay at the resort. The rooms were so clean and the food was excellent. The diving was amazing. I'll surely be back soon. A big thank you to all the staff who made my stay worth it.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank scuba_mikee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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258 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
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Sacheon, South Korea
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2013

I stayed for seven nights at Turtle Bay, and my rate included breakfast.

First, I was very pleased with the dive operation. A new European couple had just taken over management of the dive shop and I liked what I saw. I rented a BC and regulator and was very satisfied with its quality. They did a good job of varying the dive sites, keeping a good dive guide to diver ratio and matching diver abilities. The boat crews were great. They made it easy gearing up and getting back on to the boat. The dive sites are close and the diving was decent. There was an active and easily accessible house mandarin dive. Four to five dive days will probably be sufficient.

I found it easy to book through the Turtle Bay website, and while at the resort they did not charge me an extra fee for using my credit card. As for the resort itself, I had a garden view deluxe air conditioned room and it was comfortable and properly serviced (nice front porch). I really liked the fan on the ceiling. I didn’t see any advantage to a “sea view” room.

The resort does not provide complimentary water in the room. There is a refrigerator with water bottles, but if you drink one you pay for it. You could refill the bottle at the restaurant. When traveling in countries such as the Philippines I have become accustomed to hotels providing two daily bottles of complimentary water, especially at dive resorts where they do not want you dehydrated. If everyone else can do it, why can’t Turtle Bay?

The resort grounds are attractive and well maintained. There were steps down to where you store you dive gear and board the boats. The pool area is nice, and that is where the covered bar is located (not a sea view). It would have been pleasant to have a spot where after a dive a person could view the sea while having a beverage of their choice. Also, some good menu bar food, even if it is only available 4-7 PM, would have been agreeable.

They asked that I order my lunch and dinner in advance. After a while this felt like a hassle, and it didn’t always work. At the breakfast buffet you had to order and wait for your drinks. It would have helped if they placed out pitchers of juice, water and thermoses of coffee and hot water (tea) for people to serve themselves. These are very easy to prepare and refill, and people will be a lot more patient with a cup of coffee in front of them if they have to wait for eggs or more pancakes. It will also free up a lot of staff time.

Some meals were very tasty, but overall I thought the food and drink were a little pricey for what I got. And, that they needed a different approach to how it was served.

The staff was friendly: the resort just needs some tweaks. The week prior to my arrival at Turtle Bay I stayed at a dive resort on Malapascua Island. At this resort my room rate (included breakfast, two daily bottles of water, two packages of Nescafe, tea, etc.) was similar, but the food service and other amenities offered were superior, and I rated it five stars. In its current configuration, with any decline in the dive operation, Turtle Bay would slip to three star territory.

For your information, it cost 150 pesos (one way) for a tricycle to Panagsama beach and I recommend going. There were a variety of small bars and restaurants to choose from. I had a good tuna pizza at the Tipolo restaurant.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank pazz2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 257 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2013

I had a wonderful 5 night stay in this beautiful tranquil resort. Pick up at Cebu airport was quick and took just over 2 hours. The grounds are beautifully looked after as are the communal areas and the cute cottages. The owners , who I met briefly, are justifiably proud of this little piece of paradise they have created.

I dived every day whilst here . The first dive of the trip and my first every ever in the Philippines was with 5 whalesharks in Oslob. This trip , although expensive, was very well organised by the resort. We left at 5 and were in the water before 7, so had these beauties to ourselves and a few snorkellers. People from the village help with scuba gear assembly and getting the divers in an out of the water....it is a very tricky shore entry. My helper told me that this job helps him feed his family and that the villagers have grown to love the sharks.

Diving from the resort was also extremely good, we saw turtles on all the dives , as well lots of beautiful coral and plenty of fish. Robin the dive master was a extremely good guide , very observant underwater and he and the boat crew couldn't do enough for the guests out of the water. There were often very choppy conditions on the surface and I really appreciated their help....thanks guys.

I also really enjoyed the food and found the staff, particularly the dining room and reception staff, sweet and lovely and friendly.

I really would highly this resort , particularly as a first stop as everything is soon easy.

Room Tip: I had room 4 which was near the sea and had a lovely outlook ....perhaps a little view better than s...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ire123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lebanon
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2013 via mobile

If you want to go to turtle bay just ask before you go about the taxes you have to pay and if you've been asked about the whale shark dive its not worth to go and you pay like 200$ for nothing and you pay for a boat ride extra and it's a shore dive .
Its really disappointing to pay for nothing .

Stayed February 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank lamzou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
turtlebaydiveresort, Front Office Manager at Turtle Bay Dive Resort, responded to this review, 12 November 2013
Thank you for your feedback. The rate for our Whale Shark diving is actually below $200. The tour includes; transportation, breakfast, cottage rentals, dive tickets, etc. Regarding the Dive Center charges, we would only bill a boat dive if you have exceeded your pre booked dives and we would always verify this with our guests first but shores dives are not charged as it does not require a boat.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2013

I didn't mind that the resort was a bit far away from everything and that there were no beach. All of that would have been fine as long as the food would have been good. Now instead we had to go to the neighbouring resort "Magic Island" for lunch and take a 15 min bumpy tricycle ride (P 350 return) during the evening for dinner. I liked the room and the garden even though I wouldn't consider it being "sea view". Snorkelling was fantastic and we saw turtles almost every day. With some TLC in the kitchen, more attentive waiting staff and a wider selection for Patrick in the pool bar this could be a real gem.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mrs_Explorer_yolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taichung, Taiwan
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2013

Dive shop:

Top marks for friendliness, enthusiasm, professionalism and attention to detail. Boats are good, captains very experienced, guides and dive masters very attentive and helpful. The young Danish / French couple that recently took over management are responsible, professional, helpful and friendly. What they lack in local knowledge is more than made up for by their staff. Most of the boat captains and dive guides come from several generations of local fishermen and know the sites intimately. The shop might be a bit short on rental gear but I brought my own. Prices are entirely in line with usual rates in Moalboal.

Were I able to stop the review here there would be 4.5 stars on the overall rating.

Resort:

The bungalows are very pleasant and spotlessly clean, if a little spartan. Grounds are beautifully laid out and immaculately groomed. It's a shame the bar was build near the pool and there's nowhere to chill within sight of the ocean with F&B service or much shade.
I doubt the owners have ever tried to use a wireless device on the property as there is wifi service available only very close to the reception (and who hangs out there?) or in the restaurant. Even within those limited areas, wifi is very sporadic and drops connections all the time. If you came to get away from the outside world, this could be an advantage. It made me want to toss my iPhone into the pool.
The 'sea-view' rooms are a joke. You'd have to go lean over the edge of the verandah and look 90* to get a glimpse of the ocean, and the compressors for the neighboring dive shop are right behind the bungalows.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the workings of the kitchen are confusing to say the least. The serving staff are charming and friendly but quite incompetent. You'll be asked mid-morning and mid-afternoon to order your next meal. This didn't make much sense when few rooms were occupied as I'd ask for dinner to be ready at say 7:30pm but would get called into the restaurant to eat at 6:45pm. Once the rooms filled up, the food wouldn't be ready on time and, as happened a few times, if they forgot to ask you to book food in advance it could take an hour for even a simple dish to be prepared. It seems the kitchen and bar are run for the ease and convenience of the staff with little concern to the needs of guests. For example I'd order a beer at the bar and wait ten minutes while the blender was washed from the last drink order before getting it. When paying 100PHP for a beer sold in other resorts for 45PHP, I expect a little better service than that.

Quality of food itself was easily bettered by resorts in the area with room rates only half of what Turtle Bay is asking. Breakfast buffet selection is very limited. Much of the menu tastes very much the same, and although not bad it soon got boring.

I've gotten used to having at least two bottles of water per room per night free of charge, since the last thing a dive resort wants is dehydrated divers. Turtle Bay is asking 100PHP for bottled water which costs 19PHP in the village. 45PHP for a teabag is similarly ridiculous. I was initially offered wifi access for 100PHP per day, but luckily it wasn't added to my bill or an argument about that would have ensued.

Overall it's a shame that such a great location and quality infrastructure are being spoiled by poor staffing and management. Turtle Bay is priced like a much more luxurious resort but has service quality you'd expect in a budget backpacker guesthouse. A budget traveler would be just as happy in one of the many places around Pangsama for half the price. Non-diving spouses did not look at all happy.

Room Tip: Forget the 'sea-view' rooms near the restaurant. No view and noisy compressors running behin...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank wingstaiwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Margaret River, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 February 2013

It was my first time at Turtle Bay. On arrival you are greeted by many smiling faces and surrounded by beautiful gardens, pool, spa and peace and quiet. A wonderful place to unwind. You cant help but relax here. The staff are very helpful and suggested many things to do around MaolBoal. I highly recommend Onsloe diving with the whales a once in a lifetime experience. I went snorkelling and found this probably the best way to see them. There are also waterfalls nearby but ran out of time as spent too much time in the water. Went snorkelling every afternoon out the front of the resort and saw something different everytime-many varieties of fish and of course turtles. I didnt dive however a group that was staying there at the same time went 3 times a day for about 10 days, they always said what a great time they had and saw many beautiful things. I recommend a package deal as you get unlimited water refills and a fresh variety of international meals everyday. Wish the owner would write a cook book as would love to have brought home a few receipies. Anyway i highly recommend this resort if you are looking for a friendly, clean and relaxing stay.

Room Tip: highly recommend the seaview. king size bed, huge room and the closest to the ocean
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marie-Claire W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Turtle Bay Dive Resort

Property: Turtle Bay Dive Resort
Address: Tongo, Moalboal 6000, Philippines
Phone Number:
Region: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Moalboal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 35 Speciality Lodging in Moalboal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Turtle Bay Dive Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique family run hotel and dive resort with 27 well equipped air-conditioned rooms. Choice of villa room of 2-story hotel block. Set in landscaped tropical grounds giving onto the shore front. Reclaimed beach and great coral house reef. Easy access to over 20 dive sites. Restaurant serves buffet meals and a la carte snacks and meals. Food comes highly recommended by guests. Free Breakfast and Free WiFi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Turtle Bay Dive Hotel Moalboal
Turtle Bay Dive Resort Moalboal, Philippines - Cebu Island

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