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“Eat, Sleep, Dive, Philippines Edition”

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Turtle Bay Dive Resort
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Moalboal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 June 2017

Before I start, I should say a few things about the Philippines in general. You are not in the states. The television service is satellite based. In a rainstorm, you may not have a reliable signal. Take a breath and remind yourself that you didn't travel all that way to watch HBO. Second thing...some things may be beyond the staff's ability to control. Be flexible and enjoy all the things that go well. There will be more thing that go spectacularly well than things that go slightly awry.

The grounds of the hotel and rooms are very clean, quiet, and well maintained. The staff is both helpful and friendly. The only problem that we encountered was a lack of water pressure on our first evening. While the management called maintenance to fix the problem, we asked for and were provided with a bucket and tabo. For those unfamiliar with this, think of a tabo as a sort of oversized plastic measuring cup with about a 1 liter capacity. You fill the bucket from the faucet in the shower and use the tabo to wet/rinse yourself. Not completely ideal, but fairly common in the Philippines, and a perfectly manageable solution while the water pressure was restored. That was the only glitch on the trip. Otherwise things were very smooth.

The resort sits at the end of a long and twisting gravel path. It isn't terribly difficult to call a trike cab to get to town. In the actual town of Moalboal you can get basic foods/soda/etc one of the 2 local western style grocery stores (the closest is located next to the McDonald's). We dd this to pick up snacks and light lunch items. If you are trying to get to a local restaurant or shop for t-shirts and other items, plan to ask for a trike to Panagsama Beach area which is where those can be found. Bear in mind that the cab will cost about 300 Php round trip, so the cost of meals in Panagsama vs the cost at the resort tends to be a wash. The menu doesn't change at the resort, so best reason to eat in town is either looking for alternate choices, a more active bar life, or because you happen to already be there shopping. The food at the restaurant is quite good. Be prepared for a little bit of a wait, but as you're on vacation, just sit back and relax.

The dive staff are helpful and considerate. They also know the reef very, very well and are able to find a variety of animals including very small crabs and shrimp. If you are a macro diver, prepare to be very happy. For those who prefer their animals on the larger side, we saw turtles on nearly every dive, there is a massive shoal of sardines, and for the very large, there are the whale sharks at Oslob. The reef is very healthy and has abundant soft corals and reef fish. June in the Philippines is rainy season and it rained a portion of several days on our trip. The rain and related runoff can create some limited visibility on dives closer to shore. Dives further from shore or deeper on walls were largely unaffected. Pescador Island had the best visibility being small, offshore, and having the least direct impact from runoff/silt. One advantage of diving during this time period was that there we had the boat largely to ourselves. We only dove with other guests a few times and at those times, a second dive guide was provided so that we were still diving as a family of 4.

Another side trip worth considering is Kawasan Falls. This is essentially as series of waterfalls that you can hike up to. The largest are at the top and bottom. Both top and bottom falls offer places where you can safely cliff jump into the water (about 30-35ft or 10m). There are also rope swings at both falls. There are canyoneering tours on offer, but I'm not certain there there's a significant benefit vs just hiking up then back down on your own. Doing it on your own is less expensive and allows you to spend as much time as you want. There will be locals who want to act as your guide. They will just fall in step next to you and start asking what you want to do. Although you can't blame these guys for trying to make money off the tourists, the bottom line is that they aren't necessary, they have their own agenda, and they will quote you prices that are about 4x higher than the posted rates. Just politely brush them off and keep walking. It's pretty much impossible to get lost.

As far as overall ratings. They suffered a bit because of the water pressure issue. The problem was addressed in a way that was perfectly acceptable to us, but you are paying a bit more than you might at another location and generally hope for things to work right off. That being said though, the rooms and grounds were lovely and while we could have saved by staying in Panagsama, I wouldn't have chosen to do so. You're staying at a resort, not a youth hostel, things cost more at resorts. Just a reminder.

Room Tip: If kids/parents are in separate rooms, check to be certain where each are staying. You may not be i...
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank KAM80126
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
turtlebaydiveresort, Guest Relations Manager at Turtle Bay Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 July 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

Warm greetings from Turtle Bay Dive Resort! On behalf of the Management and staff of Turtle Bay Dive Resort, we would like to express our gratitude for staying with us and for sharing your experience. We are truly delighted to know that you had a wonderful time with us. It is our pleasure to serve you and make sure that you will have a memorable time at Turtle Bay Dive Resort.

Guest like you encourage us to serve our customers better! We wish you all the best and we look forward to serving you again in the future!

Best Regards,
Ericka Villa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 11 of 266 reviews

Reviewed 12 June 2017

Stayed at Turtle bay for 6 days. Overall, we had a great stay with lots of diving and snorkeling but all in all, the resort was not as warm and charming as other Philippine resorts that we have stayed in.

Plus:
- Great snorkeling off the jetty. There is no 'beach' but the snorkeling off the pier at the resort is fantastic. There is a drop off as well and we see divers taking their afternoon dives at the resort reef. While snorkeling, we saw sharks, lots of turtles, schools of fish and lots of corals!
- Seaview Rooms above the dive shop are pretty new (probably the newest built rooms). Clean, comfortable, new air conditioner, good hot water and pressure. Also, as it is set on the slope above the dive shop, you get a good breeze and great view of the sea!
- Resort is quiet as it is off the main stretch of beach. Resort compound is nicely manicured and the pool is large enough to accommodate quite a few guests.
- Restaurant staff are wonderful and they try their best to remember your food preferences and when they can, they do try their best to engage with the guests! Keep it up!
- The resort is able to arrange for a reasonably priced motorcycle taxi from the resort to Panagsama beach and the taxi riders that ply that stretch (Panagsama to resort) are pretty friendly. Ask the reception for help if you need a ride to the 'main beach'! The taxi-rider will pick you from where you were let off.

Minus:
- The older seaview room (we moved from an old 'seaview' to the one above) is in pretty bad shape. I won't call it seaview as it pretty looks out to the jetty. Also, the room is pretty tired looking and the air-conditioner needs a spruce up as it wasn't really putting out cold air and the air con unit itself was making churning noises. As the room was located at the bottom corner of a slope, the room gets a little warm and muggy. I would say take the rooms above the dive resort rather than these!
- Food at the resort was ok and tends to be a little too salty. Portions were large but the price was a fair bit higher than what you get at Panagsama beach. If you come in a group with friends, the difference can get significant.
- The resort is about a 20 min ride to Panagsama beach. I didn't try walking but I figure it might take around 30 to 40 minutes.
- The diving along Panagsama and the Moalboal area was pretty good - look out for the sardine ball. However, on one dive, I saw another group of divers (from another resort) manhandling a turtle by grabbing its shell and 'riding' it and preventing it from swimming away. When I saw this, I realised that none of the other divemasters (in our group or in the other group) put a stop to this. Although I was making my safety stop, I dived back down and tugged the divers to stop their stupid act. They promptly stopped and the turtle went its way. However I was still very surprised that none of the other divemasters in the vicinity did any thing about that. While we can debate the reasons why no one put a stop to such a deplorable act, I do think that it is the responsibility of every diver to do what they can to educate and to put a stop to such irresponsible acts.
- Wifi was only available in the restaurant. But if you have your own 3G card, you can get a decent signal from the room.

Overall, the resort was beautiful and we enjoyed our stay (given the wonderful snorkeling around). However, we left feeling that the resort was somewhat 'colder' than the other resorts in the Philippines that I have stayed in where the bubbly and warm hospitality of the Philippine people grows on you.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank jules_s13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
turtlebaydiveresort, Guest Relations Manager at Turtle Bay Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 June 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

Warm greetings from Turtle Bay Dive Resort! On behalf of the Management and staff of Turtle Bay Dive Resort, we would like to express our gratitude for staying with us and for sharing your experience. We are truly delighted to know that you had a wonderful time with us. It is our pleasure to serve you and make sure that you will have a memorable time at Turtle Bay Dive Resort.

Guest like you encourage us to serve our customers better! We wish you all the best and we look forward to serving you again in the future!

Best Regards,
Ericka Villa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2017

From the minute we were picked up from the airport it was pure relaxation and fun. As we didn’t arrive to the hotel until after 10pm, Allan the driver rang ahead to ensure the restaurant stays open for us. The food was very good with lot of choices and different cuisines.
We have enjoyed every minute of our 4 nights stay. Everybody was so friendly, helpful and always smiling. The hotel itself was clean, well kept and actually a very pretty place by the sea. The pool was inviting and perfect for a drink in the warm late afternoon sunshine.
We are a family of divers and Moalboal and the hotel’s dive centre have exceeded our expectation. Their hire equipments are well maintained, the boat crews were helpful and Robin our Dive Guide was very knowledgeable showing us lot of interesting marine life including a tiny seahorse just over a cm long, Frogfish, Electric Clam and colourful Nudibranch. Plus of course the usual colourful corals, the abundance of reef fishes and green turtles. However, our highlight was seeing the amazing huge sardine ball that literately blocked out the sunlight.
The trip to Oslob to dive with the whale sharks was also spectacular and well managed by the hotel team. Basically we just have to get up a few hours earlier to jump into a mini bus, our dive gears and breakfast have all been taken care of. On arrival to Oslob, Ayew (hopefully I have spell his name correctly) a waiter from the restaurant has already arrived and breakfast ready on a table by one of the bamboo dive hut. Robin led us to a spot where we kneed down on the sandy floor and watch the whale sharks for an hour.
I would recommend a trip to the Kawasan Falls, which is only around half an hour by car from the hotel. Again the hotel has arranged it for us and sent Regan from the restaurant as our guide. He gave us some interesting facts of the place and help look after our stuffs while we went for a leapt from the fall and swim.
Thanks Team!

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank WaiShing_Chan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
turtlebaydiveresort, Guest Relations Manager at Turtle Bay Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 June 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

Warm greetings from Turtle Bay Dive Resort! On behalf of the Management and staff of Turtle Bay Dive Resort, we would like to express our gratitude for staying with us and for sharing your experience. We are truly delighted to know that you had a wonderful time with us. It is our pleasure to serve you and make sure that you will have a memorable time at Turtle Bay Dive Resort.

Guest like you encourage us to serve our customers better! We wish you all the best and we look forward to serving you again in the future!

Best Regards,
Ericka Villa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2017

Although this resort is not the most luxurious it is clean and has everything you really need. The absolute highlight of this resort are the friendly and helpful staff. Everyone from the reception girls, restaurant, cleaners and dive centre were always helpful and willing to assist you anyway they could. The diving was also great with easy access to dive sites with lots of beautiful wildlife to see. When we weren't diving the peaceful resort made for sitting outside on our room patio an absolute pleasure. This is honestly an excellent resort and I would definitely go back to spend more time there.

Room Tip: Rooms by the restaurant didn't wi-fi that worked.
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  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Christopher C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
turtlebaydiveresort, Guest Relations Manager at Turtle Bay Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 June 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

Warm greetings from Turtle Bay Dive Resort! On behalf of the Management and staff of Turtle Bay Dive Resort, we would like to express our gratitude for staying with us and for sharing your experience. We are truly delighted to know that you had a wonderful time with us. It is our pleasure to serve you and make sure that you will have a memorable time at Turtle Bay Dive Resort.

Guest like you encourage us to serve our customers better! We wish you all the best and we look forward to serving you again in the future!

Best Regards,
Ericka Villa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2017 via mobile

Stayed for 2 nights as I had a break in my travel itinerary.. Don white was easily accessible via email regarding pickups, checking in etc.. We were greeted in reception with cool glasses of mangoe juice which was much appreciated after the long drive from Cebu..
The room was clean, comfortable, air-conditioning and fan worked well.. TV wasn't working on arrival and front desk receptionist fixed it immediately without hassle.. WiFi was available in reception and restaurant..
Food was good without being exceptional and always served quickly. Must try the mangoe shakes which have my girlfriend especially liked..
Pool was clean and warm and nice shaded lounge chairs. Poolside bar had popular music playing and again drinks well priced and served promptly..
One thing that stood out from my travel experiences back home in Australia was the level of customer service Always with a happy welcoming smile. Staff were always easy to find and extremely helpful without being to obvious.. Gardens had beautiful flowers and nice green grass..
A special mention goes out to young CJ the dive instructor and owners son. Due to fear of being eaten by sharks back in Australia lol... I've never tried to scuba dive before. He took me initially on a learn to scuba dive course. Instruction was excellent.. First he took me directly out off the rock wall to the house reef just 50- 100 metres offshore. I was amazed at the quantity of green turtles. Everywhere you looked every few minutes another turtle would appear sooo close. Also some nice corals and an array of small colorful fish species. The highlight was the next day when we took a 15 minute boat ride to white beach. The sardines were Amazingly stunning. Shimmering, twisting and turning.. Also even better corals, fish, more green turtles and also one hawks bill turtle. Also CJ stayed with me during all dives and even took a heap of video and still shots of me and the aquatic life..
Overall I'd highly recommend this resort overall for a quiet peaceful stay and great diving.. Thanks :)

Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Andrew T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
turtlebaydiveresort, Guest Relations Manager at Turtle Bay Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 June 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

Warm greetings from Turtle Bay Dive Resort! On behalf of the Management and staff of Turtle Bay Dive Resort, we would like to express our gratitude for staying with us and for sharing your experience. We are truly delighted to know that you had a wonderful time with us. It is our pleasure to serve you and make sure that you will have a memorable time at Turtle Bay Dive Resort.

Guest like you encourage us to serve our customers better! We wish you all the best and we look forward to serving you again in the future!

Best Regards,
Ericka Villa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2017 via mobile

The place is a bit more expensive than others, but the standards are definitely better. The rooms are quite big, but the bathroom was not clean out first night. The dive center doesent check a single thing, you could be a dive master or a new paid with one dive, no briefing, no checks. Not sure if that's everywhere in Philippines but as a dive master I would have expected a bit more. Staff is nice and friendly, food is good. You need arround 300pp for a return trip to town if you want to go for dinner somewhere else.

Stayed: May 2017
Thank Bask87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2017

The hotel is nothing luxurious, but it´s very clean and comfortable. The highlight of the hotel is the staff: everyone is really nice and helpful, from reception desk to the restaurant or dive center. The food in the restaurant is fairly good.
It is located 10 min far by motorbike from Panangsama beach.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Victoriavaldes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
turtlebaydiveresort, Guest Relations Manager at Turtle Bay Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

Warm greetings from Turtle Bay Dive Resort! On behalf of the Management and staff of Turtle Bay Dive Resort, we would like to express our gratitude for staying with us and for sharing your experience. We are truly delighted to know that you had a wonderful time with us. It is our pleasure to serve you and make sure that you will have a memorable time at Turtle Bay Dive Resort.

Guest like you encourage us to serve our customers better! We wish you all the best and we look forward to serving you again in the future!

Best Regards,
Ericka Villa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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: $103 - $162 (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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