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“An Exotic Luxury Hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Coral Blue Oriental Beach Villas & Suites

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The Coral Blue Oriental Beach Villas & Suites
3.5 of 5 Villa   |   Talisay, Sta Fe, Philippines (Formerly The Bamboo Oriental)   |  
Hotel amenities
roseville
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“An Exotic Luxury Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Great exotic place,great views of the ocean from our villa, best location if you are a beach lover.
The hotel staff was super nice to all our needs. We have a very big family, they made it possible for all of us to enjoy our family reunion. We had a great dinner by the beach and they had a beautiful musical group that entertained us.

Room Tip: If you have a large family you shoulf choose the 2 bedroom villa with a bonus living room in the mid...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    8
    5
    7
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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English first
Fairbanks, Alaska
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

We stayed at Coral Blue Oriental during Holy week, busiest week of the season, loved the rooms the staff and the professionalism of Arlene Rigillo, the resort manager, the prices are on the high side, but the service was exceptional, and the extra bonuses (towels, cocktails, and much more) they give you made up for the price. The quality of the rooms and the spectacular view are worth the price. The staff helped out as much as they could , the whole island was crazy with tourists as was the Coral Blue, but the staff managed to help out all the guests with proficency, courtesy and speed. I highly recommend this resort and will go back again,,

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

We went there (two guys) for holy week, end of March 2013. The reservation and prepayment for two rooms (2 beach front suites) and 3 nights was made actually 8 months in advance. Due to holy week the price was much higher that usually.
When we arrived the lady at the reception told us that she made a mistake and only booked one suite, instead of two. And she proposed us to share the only room that she had for the first night, and to give us another room for the second two nights (not the nice beach front suits). It was only after a long discussion (and no alternatives since it was holy week and everywhere fully booked), that she was willing to cooperate and to give us as a courtesy the beach front suit for free for the first night. Afterwards we had to get one less nicer room as we booked for the two following nights.

The beach front suite was really nice, an unbelievable view, straight from the bed you could see the sunrise in the morning, the room offered a nice a large balcony, everything made by wood, very originally.
The staff was nice and polite and you could even get a tea in the middle of the night from the security guard.
Résumé: Beside of the booking problem at the beginning it was a very nice stay in a very romantic and great room (beach front suite).

Room Tip: the best room is the beach front suite...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Alta, Norway
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

I would like to give this resort a better score but I can't - the place has so much potential but they have to work with the service. We stayed in Beach suite no 1 for 4 nights. The suite is great, it's all bamboo, spacious bedroom (but not chairs for relaxing) and a very nice bathroom. Deposit box in the room. The best part - the big private veranda facing the ocean with sunbeds and chairs!
The location of the resort is also nice, set on a quite beach.

My rating goes down when it comes to the service: the food is average, and even with a very few guests for dinner, we had to wait for 1 1/2 hour for our steak and pasta!! The staff are nice, but not especially attentive to the resort.
The food is ok, but a little overpriced compared with some of the restaurants down the street in. I booked the massage recommended by the staff, the masseur never showed up at time and the staff didn't say anything.. You can rent motorcycle from the resort, but you will be better of going up the street, cheaper and better quality.

It's a great place but they have some work to do when it comes to service and taking care of their guests.

Room Tip: Beach suite no 1 have private veranda facing the ocean.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Of all the resorts on Bantayan Island, Coral Blue is definitely the prettiest. The entire resort is made from bamboo, and it is right on the beach - always a plus! When we finally got the room we booked (more on that later), we were quite pleased. It was Suite #3, which had a spacious bedroom, a very cool bathroom [stone floor and open shower], as well as a nice, private porch overlooking the ocean. I found the rooms to be very clean, although the towels need replacing [for that much money per night, they should be able to afford real bath towels, not old skimpy beach towels!].

The beach is beautiful and has very few people, though the resort is about as close to the port, where all the ferries arrive, as is acceptable. One of the attractions of going to Bantayan is the feeling that you have escaped the tourist hordes of Boracay, but with nearly as nice sand and equally clear water. Coral Blue has capitalized on the fact that there are not too many "nice" hotels on the island [yet]; there are perfectly acceptable basic hotels just down the beach with equal views, but without the craftsmanship that was put into the Coral Blue. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on Bantayan and, with better management, this small "resort" could be a little slice of heaven...but it is not.

The major downfall of this place is its management. My boyfriend and I were traveling for Chinese New Year, so we knew we needed to book early. We booked in September and received a confirmation from the manager, Arlene. She offered us a special deal, we confirmed, she re-confirmed, but then never got back to us about payment....which appears to be a theme of this place. When we emailed in December to re-confirm our reservation, she had no idea what we were talking about and had given away our room! She managed to "fix" the situation by moving us around during our week stay, but she made it sound better than it was:
- She told us we would be in the Villa, which was supposedly an upgrade, but was definitely NOT. It has open air ceilings, which means you can hear people next to you as if they were in the same room. We were next to a family with children...i.e. not much privacy and very noisy. They seemed to be equally unhappy/surprised with the arrangement.
- The second room was in a house next door to the resort - clean but NOT nearly as nice as the real resort.

The second issue with the management is the owner, Joseph. He hangs out at the front desk all day, but never seems to do anything productive or helpful. For example, he convinced us to arrange a trip to Virgin Island [which was beautiful and a worthwhile trip] through the resort, and we did not get the things advertised. The food was quite basic [especially compared to the people dining next to us with a table full of delicious seafood] and the snorkel equipment was circa 1940...and didn't even work! It probably would have been smarter to just say yes to one of the guys down the street who hang out on the corner and were perpetually offering motorbike rental and/or trips to Virgin Island.

Oh yeah, they also failed to have us picked up at the airport in Cebu despite 3 emails from my boyfriend to Arlene to confirm this. When we arrived to the resort on our own accord, Arlene tried to make up some story about how someone was waiting for us at the port, instead. Not true. And the fact that we had her email confirming our pick-up made her unfortunate attempt at lying moot.

All in all, I would recommend the resort for its facilities [if you are in one of the suites overlooking the ocean] and because of the awesome resort pug [Max!!!], but be wary of the booking and email often!

Room Tip: Definitely book either Suite 3 or 4. The Villa is not as nice as advertised!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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peadarseoul
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

The Coral Blue Oriental Villas & Suites is an overpriced and somewhat neglected
resort that does not live up to its grand name. Other reviewers seem to have stayed in their Ocean View villas, but this review pertains to a stay in one of their Beach Suites. Based on my three visits to the Philippines, I don't feel I am being unduly harsh in this admittedly unfavourable review.

The resort offers one of the best beachside locations on Bantayan. Alas, that alone is not enough to rescue the place, and the problems with this resort seem to lie with an owner who is charging relatively high prices with very little in return. With taxes, $150 is expensive for Bantayan.

These so-called "suites" are little more than spacious huts. Although there is enough extra room to park a compact automobile inside the Beach Suite, it is of little use as the room is devoid of many of the basic amenities you would expect from a resort in this price range.
And when I say basic, I mean basic.

For instance, there is no seating for a couple in their own suite! There is just one bamboo chair and a huge empty space in the room where some kind of sofa should be. On mornings when it showers, you are stuck in the lobby as there is nowhere to sit in your room and the balcony is drenched with rain. We had to eat breakfast on a lobby table elbow-to-elbow with two other guests as there was nowhere else to go! Aside from basic furnishings, the frugal owner has invested very little thought or money in providing basic amenities such as a kettle or a safety deposit box in the room. All you get in the bathroom is a toilet roll and a few toothbrushes and soaps thrown in a pile (literally). Lastly, the bed is small and queen sized at best, so don't count on a comfortable night's sleep. Overall, the level of comfort is more akin to a backpacking hostel.

Despite billing itself as "romance" and "indulgence" you will find little of either at Coral Blue.
We had to share our balcony with the couple in the adjacent hut. So, there is very little privacy during your stay as four people out on a little balcony feels more like a cramped cafe terrace than a resort getaway. The other couple beside us were perfectly nice, but that's not really the point. A certain level of privacy is expected on beach holiday to relax with a book or chat with your partner without feeling like you are not alone. (Keep in mind that the only place for a couple to sit in the "suite" is on the balcony.)

I will not go into detail about the security arrangements for passports and cash, but suffice to say they are beyond a joke and involve putting items of value in a paper envelope wrapped with some brown tape and then leaving them in a cupboard with a lock that could be opened with a butter knife. Some other rooms seem to have boxes, but ours did not. I was tempted just to stuff our valuables under the mattress.

The staff are nice, but not especially attentive to the resort. Discarded cigarette butts were littered all around the sun beds we used, and we had to request that our room be cleaned when we returned in the afternoon. Islanders are very friendly in general on Bantayan, but we did not feel much of a welcome at Coral Blue.

Be aware that the breakfast included is only for a mediocre "continental breakfast" with powdered juice and instant coffee. If you prefer to have brewed coffee, canned juice and a choice of items to eat, then you have to pay extra for their other breakfasts. Alas, this was a waste of money as the options advertised were not available. We ended up with a couple of sad looking eggs and Wonder bread despite the promise of cheese omelets and whole wheat or rye bread. We ended up going outside and paying for a proper breakfast in the village. Again, this kind of penny pinching just does not arise at properly run resorts.

Having just come from lovely and much less expensive accommodation on Malapascua Island, it was a real let down to stay at this establishment. It's a pity, because with a little care and investment, this could be a great place.

Final tip: Avoid swimming in the stretch of beach in front of Coral Blue at low tide as the jagged coral rocks underwater are quite hazardous to bare feet.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrington, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We stayed for 6 nights in a suite room, looking out over the sea. The room was very spacious and comfortable, with air con, ceiling fan and safe box included. The staff were extremely pleasant and would help with any information about the island, trips, hiring of bikes, boats etc. Rooms were cleaned on a daily basis. The hotel has a small bar and two speciality food evenings, a steak and a seafood evening, both of which seem to be popular with ex-pats altough we did not try them. The hotel has it's own private small beach with sun-loungers available in an elevated position off the main beach area. The bar is open during the day to provide drinks/snacks etc.

The resort of Santa Fe is quite small and about 5 mins walk from the hotel with approx 6 or 7 bars/restaurants serving all kinds of foods for beakfast, lunch and dinner. We prefer the quieter evening scene so this was ideal for us. I think we ate in most of the restaurants and the food was of a good standard in each, if the service was a bit slow...but after two or three days we got used to this and just went with the flow...

We really enjoyed our trip which was made even more special by the friendliness of the people and would recommend this for couples and families who are not looking for too hectic a nightime scene

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Coral Blue Oriental Beach Villas & Suites

Address: Talisay, Sta Fe, Philippines (Formerly The Bamboo Oriental)
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Bantayan Island
Amenities:
Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Bantayan Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Coral Blue Oriental Beach Villas & Suites 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
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Also Known As:
The Coral Blue Oriental Beach Villas & Suites Bantayan Island, Cebu Island

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