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“2013 Adventure”

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Magic Island Dive Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“2013 Adventure”
Reviewed 15 June 2013

I spent last week at Magic Island Dive resort and it truly is a paradise, I have dived all over the world staying on live aboards and in hotels and Magic Island is up there with the best worldwide. They are slick, professional and yet quitely understated. The food was of the best quailty and superbly cooked and presented. The first night the chef noted my dislikes and without any prompt from me cooked a totally different meal for me alone based on my likes, now that is what I call customer care. The staff call you by your first name from the moment you arrive and there is never anything that is a problem, they are genuinely pleased to make sure you have the best time. The diving was exceptional especially for macro photography, the guides will find anything you tell them and they simply don't give up after finding one, they will go on to find different colours if that is what you need. Accomodation is very comfortable with no Mossi's, the resort is small and therefore has an atmosphere of that of a large extended family rather than a group of strangers talking together just because they are there. I took the opportunity on the last day when I couldn't dive because of flying restrictions to go with a guide into the Jungle and come down the mountain following the river and water falls. Don't hesitate to go on this trip, Raymond my guide has a wicked sense humour, speaks perfect English and he will have you doing things that only Bear Grylls would do. All in all I am now looking to get back there with my photographer buddies as soon as I can, alas it could be next year now. I can honestly give Magic Island my highest accolade, you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: All the rooms, of which there are only ten or so at the moment are first class.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank Pete H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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161 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2013

We've had a lovely stay with the magicians from May 23 through May 27. Even before our arrival, the arrangements for pick-up, dives and accommodation was very smooth and extremely quick! Several other dive resorts took 2-3 days just to get back to us with an approximate quote on how much everything would cost, but Magic replied within a day. No strange forms required for just asking for a quote too!

Pick-up was smooth and on-time at the airport - friendly driver and reasonable price. The magic started when we arrived at the resort entrance, where a couple of "magicians" were expecting us! We were greeted by name, and were led to our quaint little cottage which was already cooled by airconditioning - the resort staff actually texted our driver many times to ask abt our ETA so that they can make all these arrangements! The briefings were informative and concise, and we got to dive the very same afternoon!

The surface of the sea is amazingly flat. Very little current, and of course great for diving! I'm grateful the boat crew secretly watched over us when we setup our dive gear every morning. Despite having gone on a few dive trips, things always get confusing for me the first time I assemble the equipment after a few months in between. They were also always there when I needed some extra muscle to turn on the air tanks. Some resorts go all the way to setup the equipment, but I prefer that they allow us to do it ourselves, while making sure we do it correctly.

The dive boats were fabulous. I like the way they coated all the surfaces with non-slip material. The dive guides were really good at spotting pygmy seahorses, which are, in my opinion, notoriously hard to find! They were so tiny! They gave every diver plenty of time to snap pictures before moving on. Dive groups were between 2-5 people per dive. What could be improved would be a spare tank on the boat. One of the divers dropped into the water with her reg facing upwards and lost 30 bar of air before realizing it. It wasn't at all the fault of the dive guide of boat crew, but it might have been awesome if there were a backup full tank available.

The kitchen staff was commendable! They were super friendly, kind and really made us feel at home! They had all our likes and dislikes written on a board e.g. Sarah likes fish, no meat.

I'll really like to go back to the peace and tranquility this dive resort offered again. :)

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jingmei L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
91 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2013

We came here form Oslob with a transfer organised by Magic Island and had some problems with our driver so not a very good start. He turned up an hour early than agreed but becuase we had booked the resort in oslob in my husbands name and Magic Island in mine they couldnt work out who he was there for so he had to wait. When we turned up, bang on agreed time he was already in a bad mood about this. As agreed with the resort we stopped in Kawasan falls and we agreed to meet him back in the car park an hour later (we just wanted to go and look at the falls not swim etc) - we got back in 55 mins and waited.....after 1 hour and a half we were starting to panic and didnt have the resort phone number, only email address. After 1 hour 45 we ended up ringing London to ask someone (at 6am) to look up the resort phone number so we could ring as we were starting to get concerned (especially given he had all our luggage) which is when he turned up like he was completely on time. Unfortunately 45mins waiting in the blazing sun in a car park did not start the trip off well.

However this is where the negative review ends. From the moment we got to the resort it was fantastic. Food was actually outstanding and the communal dining made for lots of interesting conversations. 3 course meals in the evenings sometimes meant we were over full but it was so tasty could not resist. Staff were all great but and we also had a few chats with the owners who were both lovely and friendly and also lent me their camera charger when mine died for which i will be infinitely grateful! Also v good service when i was stung badly by jellyfish on my first day and one of the ladys from the office took me in to town to make sure i found the pharmacy ok.

Room was lovely with shutters meaning you could have a great breeze and hardly needed the air con. pool was clean and nice sized and the grounds and dive centre equipment was all very well looked after. All in all fantastic resort.

I did 4/5 dives (cant remember) and i must say this is really somewhere for people that like critters. Saw some nice little stuff but nothing large and not even many schools of fish (except for at Pescador).

I would give the driver 1/5 the resort 6/5 and the diving 3/5.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank ryattman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barcelona
Level Contributor
71 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2013

What can I say?
excellent stay, rooms are simple but comfortable,
staff very friendly and helpful
dive center very well organized, the diving is incredible, remember going to Isla Pescador
and food was, WOW, they really know how to cook!

next time in Cebu we we'll repeat for sure

Manuel.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mLao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2013

I was recently in the Philippines and had the chance to spend only a couple of days at Magic Island in Cebu. I did not want to leave. It was the last stop of 3 resorts that I visited and what a way to end the trip! The property is absolutely beautiful, the food was great, and the staff could not be any better, they were so good to us and really made me feel welcomed. I celebrated my birthday there and they treated us to a delicious birthday cake and decorated the dinning area for me as well. The property is very unique in its design, the dive area is down stairs and from the water it looks like a castle built into the rocks, which is really what it is!. The diving right off the house reef was a true highlight of the trip there. The dive sites around the resort requires very short boat rides and the boats where really easy to get in and out of. You must visit here!

Room Tip: All of the rooms are very nice, all surrounding the pool and looks to the ocean.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
8 Thank Warren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2013

We have over 600 dives apiece and have experienced the best of the best at magic island. Starting when you step out of your private SUV ride to the resort (2 1/2 hours from Cebu airport), every employee greets you by name...customer service at its very best. There are only ten private rooms because the owners want to keep the experience intimate. Diving is world class...too many turtles to count, frogfish littering the reef in every color imaginable...best mandarin fish experience anywhere, saw at least a dozen pair doing their dance at dusk. Easy diving, three brand new boats and state of the art dive shop. And did I mention the best customer service imaginable. We were the only Americans during our eight night stay...magic island stays busy by advertising to a European crowd...I'm afraid once word gets out in the states, I will have to book my next reservations a year in advance.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mikkibetker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northamptonshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 December 2012

From the word 'go', this was a fabulous holiday. As a group of ten divers who had never met before, we were given a very warm welcome by Cocheng and all staff. The resort has a wonderful relaxed feel which I'm sure helped us to bond as a group by the end of the first day (OK, the bar helped..!). The dive guides are very knowledgable and ensure that you don't miss a thing underwater and there is ample opportunity to do additional/different dives to suit yourself.

OK, the detail: The resort is exceptionally clean and friendly, with good facilities. The staff are amazing and always trying to make you feel special. The food is high quality and if you don't fancy what's on the daily menu you can change it to suit your mood. I have never been on holiday before where I have had no desire to leave the resort - this was certainly the case at Magic Island. Our group had virtually the whole resort to ourselves which was an added bonus.

The dive centre has all that you need and you have the option of 32% nitrox. You are allocated your own space to hang/stow away your personal gear for the duration. Equipment is available to hire at a reasonable cost. Two dives in the morning with the obligatory bananas/mango's/tea/water inbetween(!) then return for a delicious lunch. Additional dives are then possible in the afternoon/evening.

Our whole group went for the option to visit the Kawasan Falls on the last day - don't miss it!

One minor niggle - we were informed that breakfast on the last day would be at 0600 in order to get ourselves sorted out and get to the airport on time. The whole group was present at 0600 and sat patiently waiting in the restaurant until the staff turned up at the usual time of about 0620. I suspect that the briefing to be ready at 0600 was intended to give us a bit of a 'cushion' but it was entirely unecessary.

Overall - fantastic!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ben B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Magic Island Dive Resort

Property: Magic Island Dive Resort
Address: Tongo, Basdiot, Moalboal 6032, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Moalboal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 34 Speciality Lodging in Moalboal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Magic Island Dive Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Away from the masses, you'll have a wonderful stay in one of our ten cottages. Enjoy a great dinner in our restaurant or have a drink on our terrace with its magnificent view of Pescador Island. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Magic Island Dive Hotel Moalboal
Magic Island Dive Resort Moalboal, Philippines - Cebu Island

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