We stayed with Aqua Venture in late October, arriving on a Saturday and stayed till Thursday. The resort gets crowded during the weekends as the locals in Manila usually drive to Anilao (3-4 hour drive depending on traffic) for a weekend of diving. On Monday everyone in the resort was gone except for the four of us!
The rooms are rustic and basic. Only towels and hand soap are provided. The aircon was rattling very loudly but after a day of diving I was too tired to care. I encountered a cockroach and several millipedes in the room during my stay but since I was hanging at the porch next to the sea I didn't really mind.
Where Aqua Venture really shines is the service. Everyone from the cleaner to the chef to the manager is friendly and always smiling. When we had the whole resort to ourselves we received even more attention from them! The food buffet was great with a large variety. When it was just the four of us left, they served the dishes to our table directly, and what a feast we had. Every meal there is at least four different dishes and we got the occasional whole fish - steamed or fried.
There is free Wi-Fi which you get the strongest signal at the dining area but you can also get a relatively strong signal at the porch/bar area and also in the rooms, depending on how far you are.
The swimming pool is very well-maintained and I had a dip there when it got too hot to sun bathe. The snorkeling off the resort isn't fantastic as it tends to be rocky but we still spotted pretty awesome stuff like lionfish, pipefish, plenty of reef fish - wrasse, damsel, anthias, butterfly fish, moorish idol, etc and even the occasional moray eel.
The diving was not too bad. I was very concerned that the boats anchor directly on the reef, killing corals as a result but it seems it is the practice in Anilao. Our dive master gave me a shock when he steps on corals whenever he wants to - no respect for the underwater world whatsoever. I did give the feedback to the diving manager and hopefully something will be done. Otherwise, the corals are healthy and fish plentiful.
In summary, it's a great place for a few days' getaway and definitely great for scuba-divers who want to chalk up dives and gain confidence and experience. Just don't expect the big pelagics although whale sharks were once seen in this area.
- Also Known As:
- Aqua Venture Reef Club Batangas, Philippines - Mabini