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“wonderful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mike & Diose's Beach Cottage

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Mike & Diose's Beach Cottage
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AABANA Bounty Beach, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013 via mobile

The staying at aabana was wonderful. The location is beautiful , room very nice , price reasonable. what we really enjoied was the kindness and availability of Mike and all the staff. cooking was delicious. we will definitively go back to aabana next time we go back to malapascua !

  • Stayed October 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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127 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Shanghai, China
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

My husband and two small children stayed at Mike and Diose's Beach Cottage for 5 nights in February. We would have stayed longer had we been smart about booking in advance. However, we had never been to Malapascua and did not know if we would like it or if it would be suitable for our 5 and 3 year old who absolutely loved the place. We stayed in Casablanca for one night and then transferred to Casa Bonita for the remainder of our time on Bounty Beach. The cottages are situated in a beautiful lot. We love what Mike and Diose did with the place, making it feel like you are in a heavenly oasis. It's very green and the views of the ocean from the hammocks and chairs are so peaceful. And at that end of the beach, it is much more quiet and you don't get the passing traffic.

After leaving Mike and Diose's Beach Cottage, we stayed at Mangrove Oriental for 6 more nights. Having been on Malapascua for over 10 days, we can say that Mike and Diose's staff are the nicest people you will meet on the island. Their breakfast was yummy, especially the omelet and the banana or mango pancakes. And they work hard at keeping the place clean and in good shape. If you let Mike know a day in advance, his staff can prepare lunch or dinner for you and it's really cheap and very good! For a family of 4, we couldn't believe we ate for less than 60 USD for the whole day!

Mike was so hospitable. He was there to greet us when we arrived at his beach (we chose the personal transfer since we have children - paying 2500 php for the car ride to Maya and 1500 php for our own boat to Malapascua). Mike also helped to arrange for our transport to the next place and calling the manager at Mangrove Oriental in advance to let them know to expect us. He also helped to arrange our transport from Mangrove Oriental back to Cebu. His wife is also very sweet. We only got to see her for one day before we had to leave his place (he was fully booked) and move to another accommodation.

I read the reviews by others who were not happy and I have to say that if you go to Malapascua, you shouldn't expect too much. For one, you should know that even though English is spoken on the island, it doesn't necessarily mean you will be understood! In general, the people are nice but we found it hard at times to communicate. And I can see how easy it might be for someone to get frustrated. Also, the pace and way of life are different. If you do go, it's a wonderful place to slow down and enjoy life as there isn't that much to do on the island except scuba dive, snorkel, sit in a hammock, eat, sleep, walk around...Be prepared and grab cash from Cebu or wherever as there are no banks on the island. If you find the rare place that allows you to charge on your Visa/MC, you will also be charged a hefty 6% commission (they really should do better negotiating the merchant bank fees). There are no hospitals (just a clinic) and so if you have any medical issues, this isn't the place for you. If you have small children, bring provisions like diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, etc...as they do not have on the island. Also, bring face towels if you are used to having them as they are not provided with the room. Many of these things can be purchased in Cebu at the SM mall so if you don't want to drag this from home, you can pick them up in Cebu before heading south to Maya for your boat ride to Malapascua.

We honestly would have loved to have stayed at Mike and Diose's place longer but they were so booked. We met a guy who booked his stay one year in advance! We love this place and would go back!

Room Tip: Casablanca has a loft and my kids loved it. Casa Bonita 1st floor has an outdoor kitchen and the ba...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

I have spent their 4 nights in November\December 2012... and it was one of the most marvellous place i have been in my life...Solo traveller for diving purposes the stay here was simply amazing. Mike was so accommodating & friendly, the place at the end of bounty beach is splendid, delicious breakfast, the cottage are simply perfect... in fact even too big for me :) but suitable for a couple or a family. Thanks again Mike, and that's definitively the place I will go if ever back in Malapascua...hopefully yes!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

My wife and I stayed in Casaviva for four nights during part of our honeymoon. My wife's brother and girlfriend stayed in Casabonita. Both cottages were clean, comfortable, and peaceful. The surrounding gardens were beautiful. The property includes a very nice beach front. Mike (the owner) was friendly and accommodating as was his staff. We enjoyed our stay very much and would stay there again in the future.

There were two difficulties that were not Mike's fault. The first was that upon arrival we had to trek about 1 km from one side of the island (where the water transport landed) to the other side of the island where the cottage was located with about 60 kg luggage and scuba gear. We could have had paid "porters" to do it for us, but we were already overwhelmed with locals "nickel and diming" us for what seemed like just about everything we needed during our travel to the island.

The other difficulty was with the Internet. I badly needed to check work email, but the internet was either not working or dreadfully slow. This appeared to be an island wide issue. To be fair, one must take into account that Malapascua is a somewhat remote island. You should not go there expecting it to offer all the conveniences of home.

My wife and I definitely recommend Mike & Diose's Beach cottage.

-- Michael M.
USA, Houston, Texas

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

I stayed in AABANA Beach-and Watersport Resort with my boyfriend in November. We choose this place according to the reviews on tripadvisor. It proves that it was a really good choice. After I booked the room, I received by mail some very useful tips to travel in Malapascua: how to take the bus, recommand dive shop, etc. We were staying in CASABONITA, very spacious, clean and comfortable. You can choose have breakfast on the beach or on the balcony. The banana pancake was yummy yummy! I strongly recommand this place if you go to Malapascua.

  • Stayed November 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

As someone who likes to leave very little to chance when travelling, I have used Tripadvisor reviews with great success over the years and stayed in some amazing places. Having decided that Malapascua would be an ideal place for my partner, her daughter and I to spend Christmas together this year to help me recover from heart surgery, my research led me to Mike and Diose's. It sounded as if it was just what we were looking for in every respect and when we left Manila 2 days ago, we were looking forward to a really relaxing 4-day break there.

Communication by email with Mike had been very smooth indeed and the unit he reserved for us sounded perfect as it appeared to completely meet our needs. The pictures of the Casabonita unit on his website looked beautiful and the reason it particularly appealed to us was because it offered self-catering facilities. These were particularly important for us as I have to follow a very strict specially prepared diet due to medical reasons.

In addition, countless reviews indicated that its location makes it a haven of peace and quiet, well away from the noisy bars which characterize other areas of the beachfront. Consequently, this was a much-needed holiday that we were all really looking forward to.

Malapascua is not the easiest island to get to, so after travelling for some 25 hours, my partner and I were ready to just chill out and enjoy a dose of Mike's much anticipated hospitality. His instructions as to how to get there and what we needed to do enroute to ensure a comfortable arrival were extremely helpful and could not have been clearer. He told me who to contact and when, highlighting that I shouldn't text him personally because he was not available as he was on vacation.

Consequently, I followed his instructions to the letter, texting both other numbers that he'd given me at various stages of our journey to keep his staff informed about our progress. I updated them when we were leaving Cebu, which bus we were on, when we arrived in Maya and even the name of the boat we'd boarded to get to Malapascua. He had specifically requested we do so (in his own words) "so we can fetch you there and also get your luggage".

We didn't anticipate a problem of any kind because I'd received a response to the texts that I had sent his staff and assumed that somebody would be there to help us carry our bags as advised. We were therefore rather surpised to be met by a young Filipino lady who told us that it was a 10-minute walk to Mike's. She instructed us to give our bags to 2 young boys and after they took our bags, we then walked to our cottage.

After we arrived my partner gave the 2 young boys what I thought was an extremely generous tip for their trouble and yet their response was to demand more. In order to avoid a confrontation, my partner duly paid them extra.

When I discovered what had happened I called one of the boys back to express my amazement at his attitude, but he simply laughed in my face.

The housekeeper then showed us the upstairs studio we were renting which was every bit as beautiful as we had imagined. It is very tastefully furnished and does indeed have a beautiful location at the end of the beach. The incredibly loud music which was coming directly from the plot next door was hardly the peaceful reception we had expected, but given that it was still only 4pm we just did our best to ignore it.

The first major issue arose when my partner wanted to start to cook. When booking the accommodation, Mike had informed us that we were paying US$55 a night for an upstairs studio containing "a little kitchen with gas stove". What we were given instead, however, was a completely empty cupboard and 2 disconnected gas rings. Rather worryingly, there wasn't a single knife, fork, spoon, plate, pot or pan or indeed a cooking utensil of any kind. With the gas rings disconnected, there was clearly no appliance to cook on either.

When I went downstairs to enquire, I quickly discovered that there was absolutely nobody on site who was in a position of any kind of authority. When I asked who exactly was in charge over the entire Christmas period, the receptionist pointed to a Filipino lady saying she was "the caretaker". At this, the caretaker's response was to turn her back and walk away from me. I explained that I needed to speak to someone in charge and so the sfaff called Mike who had gone away to spend Christmas in Cebu. (I was never able to determine where Diose was).

Upon speaking to the owner, the very least I expected was for Mike to be somewhat apologetic on the phone but to my complete amazement, he was exactly the opposite. When I told him about the occurance with the luggage, he firstly denied that my girlfriend had paid the boys so much money. (This was quite some accomplishment as he was over a hundred miles away at the time.) Rather provocatively, he then said that my girlfriend was crazy for paying them so much money. (I stress again that this was the sum of money requested by the 2 young boys who the receptionist had told us to give our cases to.)

He then claimed rather contradictorily that I had been to blame for the incident with the luggage because I hadn't texted him personally to let him know my time of arrival and that his staff had waited an hour for me in vain. The fact is, I hadn't texted him personally because he'd instructed me not to. Instead I'd texted his staff (as he'd requested) and this had evidently worked because someone had indeed come to meet us on time. The problem was with the boys his receptionist had told us to give our cases to, and I found his calling my girlfriend crazy for simply doing what she was asked to do extremely insensitive to say the least (not to mention offensive).

When I then raised the issue of the kitchen, he again told me that I was to blame for this misunderstanding, as he'd supposedly stated clearly in his email that use of the kitchen was for long-term tenants only. This was a downright lie. His email contains no such information. His staff were standing next to me when I made the phone call and they too were reading his emails which I had in front of me. Like me they could only find confirmation that our accommodation included a kitchen in the unit. This information is also clearly stated on their own website, so for the owner now to try to claim otherwise was insulting.

I explained this to him and stated quite clearly that we needed the kitchen, due to the fact that my food needs to be specially prepared due to my heart condition. HIs response to this was to suggest that we check out and rent accommodation elsewhere. I found this comment so rude that I told him I would quote him on that on Tripadvisor and duly handed the phone back to his receptionist.

As a hotel manager, I don't think it's asking much to be sympathetic to your guests' needs and in light of the facilities he himself (and his website) had led us to believe we were renting, I found his comments disgraceful.

To be fair I think he was aware of the unacceptibility of his remarks because he asked to speak to me again. He didn't apologize but he said he would pay for me to eat in a restaurant. I explained to him that this wasn't the issue, since I can't eat most restaurant food anyway. It was the lack of our own kitchen that we'd been told we were renting which was the issue that concerned me.

He then offered us to stay for half-price and to use their so-called 'Filipino dirty kitchen' in a hut about 30 metres away. I explained again that this wasn't about money, as I was not looking for a price reduction. Instead I just wanted the accommodation I had paid for which would enable us to cook the food I need to eat, and to do so as arranged in the privacy of our own unit.

As suggested, my girlfriend used the facilities in their dirty kitchen that evening and unwilling to move on the first of our four nights which we'd booked over the Christmas period, we decided we'd try to stay if we could. The problem was we subsequently found that we couldn't.

Having relied on all of the comments on Tripadvisor that this was a quiet part of the island, the never-ending droning of the disco beat which had been in our ears non-stop since our afternoon arrival began to become a problem when it continued to echo throughout the entire unit long into the night. It's no exaggeration to say that it felt as if we were staying right above the loudspeakers of a discotheque playing the most horrendous music imagineable. Sleep was absolutely impossible and at 2am in the morning my partner and I actually had to raise our voices to hear each other speak while lying in bed talking. It was even difficult to hear the TV which we turned on in an effort to distract us. At 3am I turned my computer on to search for alternative accommodation potentially available nearby during the coming days and it was only through exhaustion that I eventually managed to fall asleep at around 4am.

When I awoke at 8.40am, the silence that greeted me felt magical. For a moment, I was even optimistic that we'd be able to stay there after all, until 2 minutes later when the floorboards started thudding again as one of the songs we'd heard 5 times the night before again began reverberating through the walls and furniture.

I went down to find a memeber of staff to talk to, in the hope that I could explain that the very least a hotel should offer you is an good night's sleep. I spoke to two members of staff whose reactions were exactly the same. They both laughed at me, shrugged their shoulders in complete lack of empathy and asked me what my problem was as the fiesta was only for 2 days. (Days we could have coped with - nights we couldn't.)

Needless to say, that was the final straw and shortly afterwards we followed Mike's initial advice and checked out after just one night. My partner, her 6-year-old daughter and I struggling through the fully-booked beach resort of Logon on 23rd December in scorching heat with 3 suitcases and a rucksack in search of accommodation over Christmas wasn't exactly much fun. However, since remaining at Mike and Diose's clearly wasn't an option, it proved the only viable possibility available to us.

What I found most worrying at Mike and Diose's was the lack of management on site. I'm told that he's a nice guy and I genuinely believe it. Despite his comments claiming I was responsible for all of the problems which were of his or his staff's making, he made me a very generous offer. The problem was, he couldn't offer us the accommodation he'd told me we were renting, and ultimately and more importantly, he couldn't offer us a decent night's sleep either. I realize he wasn't responsible for the defeaning fiesta going on 24/7 right outside his fence but that said it was rather appalling to be told on the phone by the owner himself to leave and to then subsequently get the feeling that none of the staff left behind in his place cared whether we enjoyed our stay or not. I certainly feel that both he and his personnel fell a long way short when it came to offering us the customer service that his accommodation appears to be renowned for.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

Mike has beautiful beautiful cottages which with German standard, super clean, dry, comfortable. It is almost at the end of the beach, right beside the big dive shop Exotic, so you have your peaceful away from the crowd and it is direct on the white sand beach with super good price compare to other big resorts on the island. Mike is a super nice guy, guided me on the island on my first day and introduced me nice cheap dive shop. The staff in his hotel are all lovely. Thanks Mike, hope I can come for another holiday soon.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mike & Diose's Beach Cottage

Address: AABANA Bounty Beach, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Malapascua Island
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Malapascua Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A beautiful little Beach Resort on the peaceful East side of the Bounty Beach Malapascua. Fantastic priceworthy solid Cottages with Aircon, Sat-TV, Value Safe, WarmWaterShower, Refrigerator, Big terrace, WiFi Internet connection. White Sand clean well-maintained beach.Still under construction but full operating, friendly Service and Best price / value ratio. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mike And Diose`s Beach Cottage
Mike & Diose`s Beach Cottage Hotel Malapascua Island
Mike & Diose's Beach Cottage Malapascua Island, Cebu Island

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