Had 4 days on Bantayan Island prior to Sinulog in Cebu City. My girlfriend and I were taken with the island. Dinner at White Sands....Hi Robert. The happy and friendly people. It was festival time and we had such a wonderful time. Renting a motorbike is a must because it is relatively cheap at 300 pesos per day. I'm sure you can swing a better deal by the hour or for more than one day.
We stayed 2 nights at Santa Fe Beach Club and 1 night at Octong Cave Resorts. What a great disappointment in both establishments which are owned by the same company or owner as advertised at both resorts.
After getting over the initial shock of having the pier in site of the beach and with what seems to be petrol or oil tank drums in their back yard. We settled in for two nights figuring we would only use the place to sleep. We spent no time on the beach because of that wonderful view. The staff were friendly enough so no complaints there. The rooms were satisfactory as well. We had the large room right on the beach with matrimonial bed and single. We made a visit to Octong on day 2 and we're much more satisfied with the accomodations, beach and view or so we thought.
We were given a tour of Octong by staff and were shown the rooms and that cave (it holds stagnant water - there was a film on top of the water as you entered into the pool). The beach was nice at low and high tide, there were two pools for us to use in addition to the cave according to staff. The staff seemed nice enough, and the transfer to Octong from Santa Fe was easy. We took an early check in and planned to enjoy our stay at Octong on the beach and in the two pools.
I can say that with our stay at Octong we never felt like guests. We were perhaps more of an inconvenience to staff. For instance we were told that we cannot use the upper pool despite it being shown to us as an enticement to spend the extra dollars to get away from those oil drums at Santa Fe. When I tried to use the pool I was told that we were not allowed because we were not paying guests of the rooms near the upper pool. When I told the guard that we were told we can use the pool, he proceeded to tell us "no". I then asked how many people were staying in the upper rooms and he indicated "none". I called the front desk and they allowed us to swim in the pool but apparently my swim trunks were not to regulation. Speedo's are only allowed in the upper pools and surfer swim trunks are unacceptable according to the gardener who made it his mission to give me a hard time. But it was ok for him to walk around with no top on and his pant line below his underwear which was showing. By this time I was livid and had enough. A great disappointment in our accomodations there at Octong. The meals too were a disappointment because the food we wanted on the menu were unavailable. Crab was abundant everywhere else but not at Octong. There are better establishments to stay when on Bantayan such as Marlin's Beach Resort which looked very nice. Stay clear of the Octong and Santa Fe BC if you want to complete a wonderful stay on the beautiful island of Bantayan.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.