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“Agreat overall experience”

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Turtle Bay Dive Resort
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Moalboal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 March 2013

We have just completed a 6night stay here at this resort.
We had a transfer from Cebu airport which takes about 2.5-3 hours,the trip itself was an interesting experience in its self.
We booked a garden room,and as most have commented already on the sea view rooms,I don't see any advantage in the sea view rooms,but that is my personal opinion ,some travellers may want that regardless.
Our room was unit 8 next to the pool and pool bar,again as others have said the room was immaculate ,big bathroom shower,air con and ceiling fan,comfortable bed,during our stay ,our room was serviced everyday,and we returned from diving each afternoon to an immaculately clean ,serviced room,the grounds ,gardens within this resort are also faultless,the owners obviously take a lot of pride in this establishment ,one must remember that this is also where the owners live and Fee is very proud of what I would determine to be her home.
And the effort that the local workers put in is a credit to all.
Meals and drinks
1.meals
We had paid for full board, so after reading everyone's moaning in previous threads I wasn't sure what to expect,we specifically came to dive, and as a diver at the end of the day you just want to be fed,
Well personally I couldn't fault any of the meals,we don't eat breakfast so, I cannot pass judgment on that, but I will pass judgment on lunch and dinner

On everyday at lunchtime we had, obviously soup, which everyone has commented on,but there was always 1 fresh salad and 4 main dishes to choose from,all hot,freshly cooked and very good, they try and cater for everyone's taste as well as a little of their own culture,this was followed up with fresh fruit.
dInner was the same followed by a dessert,
This was buffet ,not al a carte, so be for warned, I do know that Fee (owner) went out of her way, and always asked if there was something else she could get you if you didn't like what was served,
I know she made burgers for a teenage woman ,who was staying there,so I personally don't understand some of the flaming in threads below.
The restaurant girls were brilliant and they cannot be faulted.
Drinks ? Yes you will always find these cheaper outside of any resort in the world,be it water, soft drink or beer, this is how the world rolls, so either pay the prices at the resort, or go into town ,and get your own,
Yes they charge for most things ,so ask before you purchase, this way ,it will stop you moaning in forums like this.after you have paid your bill, don't take every resort to be the same ,be it water or anything else,each resort has their own pricing structures,and just because the last resort you were in didn't charge you doesn't mean the next one won't.
Diving
The dive operation is run by a young couple,Hendrick,and Fanny,they have a wealth of overseas dive industry experience , and they run the operation faultlessly ,nothing is a problem,and once you get a feel for the process,on how everything works,it's a breeze,all you have to do is enjoy your dives,again everything in the dive prep area is immaculate,and I feel this has some of Fanny,s influence placed here,the boats are safe and good for the sites you visit,the dive masters are very good, and don't hurdle you like cattle ,they sit back and allow you to enjoy your dive,pointing out the odd subject ,but always giving you a sense that they had total control.
Overall if I was asked would I ever go back there ,the answer would be defiantly ,
Please note if you are not a diver and were planning on 7-10 day stay ,you might want to reduce that by a couple of days,.

Please note,we have dived and traveled a lot of the world,so this was not our first trip to a dive resort.
Craig Tanya
NZ

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank stransky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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155 - 161 of 266 reviews

Reviewed 7 March 2013

First off I wanted to say that this resort is absolutely beautiful and well maintained. Some definite positives:
-The location is away from town so it is very peaceful at night. A short ride can get you into town (find your own motorcycle driver, don't ask the resort to arrange or you will be ripped off)
-The rooms are priced reasonably (Caveat below...) with all the facilities needed for a relaxing vacation.
-The rooms are spacious and the grounds excellent.
-The workers at the dive shop and restaurant are wonderful and super helpful. It's amazing how at home they can make you feel. I wanted to give special props to Ceejay (Owner's son), who was a great dive host and a great person to hang out with--he showed a lot of maturity given his age.

Unfortunately, the diving options around the resort were unimpressive and not worth traveling so far for. The only special one I saw was the pygmy sea horse, other than that very minimal sea life to be had. But also, I went for 5 days during January so I'm not sure if that factored into it.

Here are things that I found could be easily fixed to make the experience even more wonderful.
-Everything is significantly more expensive at the resort than going into town (understandable but way too much). The most ridiculous one was for calling a motorcycle for going into town. It costs 300 pesos round trip, but if you call one yourself or go hail one outside, it can easily cost less than 100 pesos round trip.
-There are lots of wonderful day trips to be had (I highly recommend river climbing and whaleshark) and the hotel charges over 2X the cost for these trips just for arranging.
-Food quality is inconsistent. Some days the food is wonderful but others worse. To avoid this risk, you can take a short ride (via motorbike) and find cheaper options with a wider selection
-Food selection for breakfast is minimal. Room rates are often breakfast inclusive and the breakfast can definitely be improved. One of the days by 9AM there was only toast and cold eggs left.
-The resort charges a lot of add-on charges despite the modest hotel rate. Don't get me wrong, the overall costs are still reasonable but nobody likes the feeling of having to pay for something other hotels would not charge for. This included public internet (only available in restaurant and lobby), "open bottle charge" for beverages purchased from outside resort, daily drinking water charge (Honestly this item is great, but just hate not knowing about it beforehand), etc... Honestly, I wouldn't mind paying up front to cover several charges for a slightly higher rate.
-Lobby staff were the least friendly out of all the people at the resort. Also, some maps or information at the reception would go a long way towards helping guests figure out what to do
-Room cleaning. I was surprised about this. I'm not sure if it was a mix-up or what, but my room was not cleaned for several days in a row.

Overall, it was still a great and relaxing experience and you will enjoy it as long as you know about the existing improvements.

Room Tip: Avoid getting a room by the side entrance leading to the restaurant. Unloading in the morning can g...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Steve M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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2  Thank scuba_mikee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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2  Thank pazz2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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4  Thank ire123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2013

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
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 reviewResponded 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.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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1  Thank Mrs_Explorer_yolo
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

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 7 Hotels in Moalboal
Price Range: £61 - £96 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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