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Reviewed February 25, 2010

This was my first visit to the Philippines and I started at Sunset Aninuan Resort, directly as a result of customer reviews on Trip Advisor. I travelled solo from England (a late 30's bloke) with the intention of moving around and exploring the islands using Sunset Aninuan as a starting point, but I was quick to discover that Aninuan and the area of Pueto Galera had so much to offer there really was no reason to leave. I originally booked for three nights and ended up extending to seventeen. It was wonderful.

Not only is Aninuan a stunningly beautiful environment but the warm hospitality of the owner, Lexy and the resort staff far exceeds any I have experienced elsewhere. With a love of life working at the resort, and her natural flare for people, everyone is made to feel welcome and comfortable but not overly pampered, there is not that uncomfortable 'over-niceness' that you often get in hospitality. This is genuine.

Location. Puerto Galera is easily reached from Manila, there are regular buses to Batangas Port (1-2hours), and from there frequent boats to the resort. The resort arranged a taxi for me from Manila airport (3500php) which was very straight forward. I recommend arranging with the resort before you travel if you want a no fuss trip, but the buses are easy if you are used to travelling in Asia. Note that port charges a port tax and an environment tax as well as the cost of your boat ticket. The Roro (car ferry) to Balatero, Puerto Galera was the smoothest and cheapest ride but only goes at certain times and doesn't go direct to the resort however the resort jeepney can be waiting for you when you arrive and is simple to arrange.

Sunset Aninuan resort itself is 5 minutes walk across the rocks to the lively White Beach. It's far enough away to be out of earshot of the beach parties and close enough to go for a day/evening out or just to pop to the shops. The resort is blessed with being located next door to a extensive privately owned property, the beach of which can not be commercialised and is free for public use. So you have this wonderful long stretch of unspoiled beach on your doorstep. The resort is set with a backdrop of palm covered hills and mountains.

Activities I can recommend:

Kayaks
Sunset Aninuan has it's own selection of kayaks which are free for all to use. Taking one out at sunset or paddling around to White Beach to watch the fishermen and holiday makers on banana boats, jet skis, wind surfing and para-sailing (all of which you can do too) was great fun.

Swimming, Snorkelling and Diving
The area has a vast amount of excellent snorkelling and diving. There is a reef you can easily safely swim out to from the resort and if you want more the resort has a boat that can take you to the best spots in the area. Sabang is not far away for scuba dive centres and dive excursions leave from the nearer towns too.

Walking
There are regular walks on Wednesday and Saturdays (Hash House Harriers). I joined one of these and it was a highlight. Lexy can advise you on when and were and often goes herself. The walks take you into places not on any tourist path. We went up into the hills through the little farming communities and up to some fantastic views of the island. You can walk along the coast or up into the hills directly from the resort and there are a couple of great little waterfalls within about 45 mins for a walk and a refreshing dip.

Golf (or NOT)
Go to the Ponderosa Golf course even if you don't play golf. It is in such a fantastic nearby location up in the hills with amazing views and there's a bar there that serves their homegrown and excellent coffee. It's well worth playing a round on the eccentric 9 hole course which was great fun even for a non-golfer like me.

Night Life
Resort: You don't need to leave the resort to have an great evening. There is a good variety of dishes on the menu, the good pizza is often mentioned in reviews but don't miss out on the lovely fresh fish. Also important is the good wine there, not easily found elsewhere locally, likewise with the coffee. There is a well stocked bar for beers, cocktails etc and just chilling out watching the sunset is a daily delight. If you're up for being sociable all other guests I met were delightful and Lexy is often around and great fun to hang out with.

White Beach: If you want to party there is White Beach which is lively and an easy walk there. Get a tricycle (2 mins) (the islands ubiquitous taxis) or walk on the road if it's dark (15 mins). Mindoro Sling is a the local cocktail and gives a killer hangover, stick to beer!

Puerto Galera (The town): A 15 minute tricycle ride away (100php) you will find a fantastic French Restaurant - Le Bistro D'Agathe at Muelle Pier. I had a couple of excellent meals here. Fantastic french cuisine and wine at a lovely peir-side location.

Spa/Massage
I'm not really into the pampering thing, but i did try a massage at the resort on my last day (250php) and wished I'd had one on my first! Fantastic. They also offer manicure and pedicure.

Security
Since the resort is located away from the town and other resorts there are not many outsiders passing by or wondering around. There are safes in the rooms which will fit a small laptop but i didn't feel the need to use one. The staff at the resort are a family of great integrity and I felt 100% I could trust them. I never felt the need to lock my room and I felt the need I could leave valuables with the staff with 100% confidence.

A note about the rooms
There are different types of rooms at the resort and at the time of writing the photos on the resort website do not reflect that. The cheaper rooms are not pictured. These are more 'rustic', they are charming but since they are clad in bamboo can be a little dark and the bathroom of the room i stayed in was in need of renovation. I upgraded to the more expensive deluxe room as it was lighter and more modern. Check carefully what you are booking before hand. I should point out that visitors would frequently come wanting to check out of neighbouring hotels and into Sunset Aninuan, so I guess that speaks for the rooms and hotels elsewhere.

Wifi
The resort has a good, fast wi-fi connection and you can even get a decent signal on the hammocks by the beach.

In summary
I can't recommend this place enough for anyone. It caters for singles, families and couples equally well and there are enough activities in and around the resort to keep any age group happy for many days - and of course it is perfect for just lazing around. I stayed 17 and could have stayed a lot longer. I can't wait to go back. Thank you to everyone there for a very special holiday and to all the other Trip Advisor reviewers who lead the way to this fantastic place.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled solo
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4  Thank moe247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 25, 2010

The place is like a small get away paradise...The manager Lexy is real professional and makes you feel like home from the first minute...The relaxing spots are many in the hotel and you ll be bored to listen only to the wave sounds...Food is also very good(fresh fruits and fish every day)...the rooms are just perfect for what they are supposed to offer in a place like this...They are clean, with aircondition and with hot shower and wireless internet !...Tv also but why to bother to turn it on??Service is also one of the highlights...everyone reads your mind and help you with a smile in their face...
Try the endless empty perfect beach right on the feet of the hotel and enjoy snorkeling in the near reef...be aware of the jelly fish and the mosquitos at night (a repelant will do)...Most of all dont miss the diving there if you are up too...it swill be the best experience ion your life...(BadLadz dive center I recommend,safe organized,fan.A german and an english own it)

Try also the best mango margarita!!

I definately recommend without hesitation fors someone that wants res and nothing else....

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank Panos1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 23, 2010

This was the second time that we came to this hotel and again we were amazed by the service that is offered by Lexy and her staff.
The rooms are big and clean, the food is good, special meal requests for young children are no problem at all and the staff is really friendly.
What I especially like at this hotel, is sitting together around the bar in the evening and chat with the international guests. This is really a hotel where you feel comfortable and at home.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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Thank blardo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 28, 2010

My boyfriend and I spent the summer of 2009 in this place. He chose this hotel amongst the hotels in Puerto Galera because of the good reviews this hotel is getting from past visitors. He made the right choice.

Some people don't like the fact that this resort is far from the busy Sabang beach. It's good to stay in Sabang Beach for a few hours but if you want to relax and sleep, Sunset at Aninuan could give you that. I like the ambiance that the hotel gives to visitors. It is an ideal place to have some intimate conversation with your partner while having a glimpse of the sunset. And a good place also to have fun with your spouse and kids. The hotel offers you good service from their staff but can also give you space when you just want to relax and have some quiet moment. I have to add that the staffs really treat you well with a smile and are quick to respond if you need help.

The owner Lexy also sees to it that you are having a great stay and would even suggest some fun activities for you to do. As per her recommendation we did try Banana Boat, Para-Sailing, Kayaking and trekking to nearby Tamaraw Falls and Aninuan Falls. I also like the fact that she treats her guests like a family member which is rare for hotel owners.

Food tastes good and well prepared; although in few occasions we opted to eat in nearby Mexican and Italian restaurant for some gastronomic experience. The rooms are clean and well maintained and in case we prefer to have our room cleaned Sarah, the housekeeper, is quick to respond. Security wise you are taken care of in this place and I have to thank the security guy who took care of us during the night when we thought that everyone else was already sleeping. I have to commend also Matet and the guy (forgot his name though) in charge of everything while Lexy was away. These 2 know how to interact with their guests and even if Lexy is not around you know you'll be well taken care of by them.

When it comes to amenities it's good that they have wifi, bar, mini-library, kayak, some sports equipment, hammock and toys for kids to use. The only thing that I don't like is their soap and shampoo. Overall, it’s a nice place to stay.

Puerto Galera can offer a lot of activities for you to do but at the end of the day it is best to stay and relax and have a quiet moment with your partner by the beach as the sun sets. And Sunset at Aninuan gives you that.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lynnona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 26, 2010

We came for a week end of relaxation but finally ended up staying over a week. Lexy and her team made us feel so special.
The hotel is clean, the rooms comfortable and really the best food we could find around Puerto Galera (which I have to admit, is easy to achieve) Do not forget to enjoy the delicious pizza. The included breakfast can be consumed any time during the day and the price are really decent.
There is many activities to enjoy around the hotel, but its beautiful and quiet beach will make you stay pretty close of it...and you will have the time to enjoy kayaking, fishing or snorkeling (all equipment included....)
Evening time, we found ourselves relaxing playing billiard or fuss ball with some other very quiet guest or enjoying the WI FI on the beach....instead of going to crowded place like white beach (10mn walk) or sabang and its known night life (30mn jeepney).
The bar on the beach is really a nice meeting point and a sure place to enjoy the Sunset different every night....
Bruno & Marie Ann

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sellchocolate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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