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“Quiet but close to the action” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Reef Retreat Resort

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Reef Retreat Resort
3.0 of 5 Inn   |   Bulabog Beach, 5608, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 174 Boracay B&B and Inns
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Quiet but close to the action”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2012

We stayed in a Deluxe Suite and it was very well appointed. Fully self contained - self catering for a long stay would be no problem at all, although we only stayed 4 nights.

Excellent bathroom and comfortable bed.

It is located on Bulabog Beach which s heaven if you are a kite boarder - I'm not but they are great to watch, maybe I'll take lessons next time.

It is very quiet at Bulabog beach, but only 5-10min walk to the hustle of White Beach - very easy to walk for a day on the beach then retreat to peace for the evening, or head back to White Beach to party.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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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101 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2012

The accommodation is very nice , the service of the local staff is very friendly . Beware to pay in advance for accommodation , any small change you will lose every cent of it. My advice to you is: book a day or two , if you like the beaches ( I did not like Windsurfing there) extend it - if they are fully booked they are many other place to stay in .

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2012

Immediately across the road from Bulabog beach, with both a Kitesurf and Windsurf centre just steps away, the Reef Retreat is in a perfect spot if you're planning on an active holiday. It's not too isolated, but it feels miles away from the overcrowded, hectic White Beach.

The room was spacious and very clean, with lovely touches like fresh flowers. The only downsides would be the foam mattress and noisy and vaguely dodgy airconditioner, however at the end of a 30+ hour day travelling or a couple of hours on the water, neither were a showstopper. The staff were delightful - so sweet, and really helpful. The hotel has a library where you can swap books as well as cable TV in the rooms, so there's certainly options if there's no wind or you just need some downtime.


I arranged an airport transfer, which I would recommend for first time visitors especially if this is at the end of a long journey. Flights seem to be rescheduled fairly frequently, so rather than arriving in Caticlan, I ended up landing in Kalibo and being bussed to Caticlan. I let the hotel know, and the lovely staff member met me at the bus terminal rather than the airport. It's a multple stage process to get to the hotel (trishaw, boat, trishaw), so while I felt the USD25 for a return transfer was a bit on the pricey side, it was ultimately well worth it.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2012 via mobile

A really nice hotel with a good atmosphere. A very good location if you want to surf or you dont want to stay at the hectic White Beach. Its right on the surferbeach and only 7 min walk from White Beach.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
swindon
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012

I was recommended Reef Retreat by a friend as a kitesurfing base for Bulabog beach in Boracay. From experience, on this side of the island, you expect things to be a bit basic, but Reef Retreat really is a treat. Clean, spacious and within about 30m of the beach - the service is really good!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2012

The location of the hotel is not as difficult to find as some have said. We've managed to get back to the resort with the trikes with no issues at all. If they did not know the resort, just tell them Bulabog Beach, turn at Station 1 from the main road (because there's another turn leading to Bulabog Beach at Station 2). The landmark is the Crown Regency Hotel, that's where you turn right and head towards the end of the road until you hit the beach and turn left. The resort is less than 50 meters away. Also, if you use the little alley just opposite of the Crown Regency Hotel, that will lead you to the beautiful White Beach at Station 1. The walk from the resort to the beach using that alleyway takes about 10minutes. If you choose to walk on the main road towards D'Mall, that would take 15-20 mins depending on human traffic as the walkways are really tiny. Bring torchlights with you as the road from the resort to the main road could be quite dark at some parts. There are some potholes and bumps so it's good to have something to illuminate the road as well as to alert the vehicles. Some vans and trikes are mad drivers and wouldn't hesitate to run you down. Just be careful. On the topic of trike rides, we've paid ranging from 40 pesos (from D'Talipapa back to resort at about 12am) and 60 pesos (from Crown Regency back to the resort, I was too lazy to walk after diving).

It's a simple resort with no special facilities. Our double room was tastefully decorated and felt homey. We loved everything about it from the bed to the flooring and the view that we had (we were upstairs). It's so windy and cool that we hardly had to switch on the a/c. We actually found that the mattress comfortable but I'm not sure if it was the same as the ones where some other guests had some issues with. There's no hairdryer available in the room so we brought our own but I understand from Matt/Clair that they do have one common one available for everyone's use. Apart from a hairdryer and maybe a kettle for boiling hot water to make hot drinks, there's nothing much missing from the room. The mini bar is very well stocked and prices really reasonable.

The only complaint that I have with regards to sleep quality is not the resorts fault. Surrounded by nature and local families, we were rudely woken up a couple of nights by the roosters that started crowing from 12am throughout the night. Bring earplugs if you're a light sleeper. On different nights, we were tortured by some rather loud not but not at all pleasant karaoke singing by the local neighbor. Earplugs would be your savior. However, if compared to the blasting music on the White Beach, I think we were much better off with the minor disturbances.

There's an in-house massage facility by blind masseurs but we unfortunately did not had enough time to indulge ourselves with. Hopefully we'll get to try them the next time.

Kite and wind surfers would practically be in heaven as Ocean Republic (kitesurf) is right at the entrance to Reef Retreat and Reef Riders (windsurf) is right next door. Everything is literally at your doorstep.

For food, there's a nice little cosy cafe/bar just beside Reef Retreat that served pretty yummy mashed potatoes with doner. We went to D'Mall for all our dinners and had some great lunch along the White Beach. It's not easy to get a trike from the resort to the main road in the evenings especially if you're late like 8-9pm so be prepared to walk but there are plenty to bring you back to the resort anywhere on the main road.

Finally, as another guest suggested, book the personal transfer offered by Reef Retreat to and from Caticlan Airport for a stress free travel. It was great especially for first timers like us.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Padstow
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2011

Back to earth with a bump,after returning from another great holiday at Reef Retreat Resort, Boracay Island.
Since our first visit in 2007, the resort has undergone two additional building phases,which have added to the charm and and relaxing feel of the resort.
Matt, a British windsurfer and his lovely wife Clair,obviously, both take great pride in their resort and home, as they live on site,which adds a special touch.
Whether you are a windsurfer,kiter,want to learn, relax on your balcony/veranda or in a hammock in the lush well kept garden,its all in one place,and Matt and Clair pull out all the stops to make you welcome.
Their staff are equally charming, always happy and smiling,and I thoroughly recommend booking the personal transfer service offered by R/R, to and from Cataclan Airport with one of their efficient staff,a welcome treat when you have travelled for hours!!
Comfortable rooms,immaculately clean,fully aircon,TV, fridge minibar, perfect.
Bulabog is on the windier,quieter side of the island,but only a 10 minute walk or 5 min tricycle ride,to White Beach,which is the tourist central,with its shopping and endless choice of restaurants and bars ,fun,especially after a hard day on the water,but for me its paradise to return to R/R and the lush green lighted garden,the breeze and the sound of the sea from your balcony.
There is always advice on boat trips, dive companies,sunset sailing,golf,buggy hire etc.
We definitely look forward to returning again,and to seeing our friend Whitey the guard dog,who since our last visit has learnt almost impeccable manners.! Well done Matt and Clair, another holiday with great memories

Room Tip: Second floor have sea view and you can guage the wind without getting up if you are lazy!! Suites a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Reef Retreat Resort

Address: Bulabog Beach, 5608, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Boracay
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 174 B&Bs / Inns in Boracay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Reef Retreat Resort 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Bulabog beach, Boracay, Reef Retreat is the ideal place to stay for windsurfers, kite boarders or those looking for a quiet place away from White Beach but is still within easy walking distance of D' Mall and boat station 1 on White Beach. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens all rooms are deluxe with attention to detail and are furnished with a native touch. Hammocks are located in the gardens for chill out time. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef Retreat Hotel Boracay

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