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“Blissfull” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Evolution

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Malapascua, 6013, Philippines   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2013 via mobile

Absolutely wonderfull place.
We have spent now 2 weeks travelling around the Philippines and this is by far our best experience even though we arrived not so long after the typhoon.
They have done an amazing job rebuilding the place.
The beach is beautifull and clean, which is not always the case in the Philippines depending where you go...
The catering manager Anton will do his utmost best to please you, great professional!!
The food is fresh and very good, their caipirinia cocktail is simply addictive.
Very good standard rooms, spacious, clean, modern, safety box in each room, brand news AC system, absolutely no down points, or maybe one... There are no glasses to put your toothbrush in...
The restaurant and bar staff is absolutely lovely and will also do its very best to please you!
The diving instructors and masters are very nice as well, Pernilja is an absolute darling!
The dives with Threasher sharks are breath taking but be warned, very early, breafing at 5.15 am, that's the price to see them!!!
I highly recommend with no hesitation.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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43 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

Back a few days ago from an incredible six days on Malapascua. I had decided I couldn't sit on the sidelines without helping in person. Best decision I've taken in a very long time.

I soon found out that Evolution divers was one of the groups most active in getting the island back on its feet. Matt Reed, one of the owners, is constantly bring in huge volumes of relief goods and building materials, and has been offering use of his boats at cost, to volunteers who need them for relief-related activities.

One of the big worries on the island is that tourism will suffer significantly and for a protracted period of time, as many tourists imagine that scenes of looting and dead bodies represent the situation in the whole of the Visayas. This could not be further from the truth. There were no deaths on the island, and the mood is calm and even joyful.

Luckily, the Thresher Sharks are still at their sites, and other deep dives are also intact. The amazingly white and long Bounty Beach is as gorgeous to swim on as ever, and resorts and diveshops along it are slowly getting back to working order. Evolution have been diving for a week already, most of the others expected to re-open by mid-December, and their team appear to be top-notch.

Basically, Malapascua is still a great place to come diving and hang out on the beach. The added attraction should be that now your presence is more important than ever, as many tourists have cancelled, imagining that there are riots and dead bodies around... In reality, though 99% of the population lost their roofs in the typhoon, about the same proportion, 6 days later, were already walking around calmly with huge smiles on their faces. These resilient people are so relax and joyful, they have an awful lot to teach all of us - this may well be the best souvenir you will bring back home.

For those of you who like to get involved, there are lots of relief initiatives on the island. My favourite is Anna Reed (contact her via Facebook; she is Matt Reed's wife), who is setting up "Rebuild Malapascua", rebuild islanders' houses and set up a badly needed medical clinic. Other good initiatives include projects through Divelink (ask for Anna Aposa or Gary Cases), who have projects to rebuild the school, and also to increase awareness of the importance of protecting the sharks and the reefs.

Please go to Malapascua, it's a trip you won't regret, and will never forget.

  • Stayed November 2013, 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
    • 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.
Reading, United Kingdom
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights in September and selected Evolution especially for the location and the diving. The accommodation is basic but clean and the food at the bar is quite pricey but very tasty. The office staff are helpful and the bar staff are very friendly (they always remember your name). I had a couple of disappointing dives (sandy bottom and no sharks), but the rest of the diving was amazing and well organised. The instructors are friendly and informative, especially Danny who gave us lots of useful advice, Gino who pointed out all of the best sea creatures and Jojo who found a great spot for us to watch the thresher sharks. I would recommend Evolution if you are looking for a well established and safe dive centre with friendly staff.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

Spent 3 days of diving at Evolution, planned for 6 dives and end up with 10!
Sent few emails to few dive shops in Malapascua and David is the first to answer.
The way they entertained my email makes me feel like this is it!!
I enquired if they have a budget room and they're very accomodating to suggest me next door, Aabana guesthouse which I will spare in another review.
So I went and was greeted by Isis, who's very2 nice and lovely and she showed me the way to Aabana and made sure I'm in good hand.
All in all the diving is totally amazing, service wise. In terms of dive sites, it's a bit of hit and miss depends on what you're looking for, or your expectation. I did 2 shark dives (it's a 5am dive and the boat ride takes about 30mins to get to the dive site) and saw the Thresher Sharks both times. The other dive sites was mostly coral dive sites and my fav would be Bagtong Bato followed by Lapus II. The coral garden is just to die for and a heaven for Macro enthusiast. I dove with all their local dive master; Jo, Alex and Gino and they're really-really good and professional. They showed me the seahorses, pygmy seahorses, shrimps, crabs, and in one of the night dives I got to see Mandarin fish mating!! I also did few dive with Dannie, one of the instructor there and eventhough I'm not taking any course with him, I could tell that he's really professional and I feel most comfortable diving with him.

I would give Evolution a 5 star if not for these reasons:
- No one really cares about log book and you have to catch the DM many2 times to get them to sit down and do the log book. Eventhough they put a remark on the board that logbook signing at 5pm, no one is there to do the logbook actually. Except for Dannie and he remembers everything and go through what we saw into details. I wish I had more dives with him!
- No free hot water for drinking, let alone free coffee and tea for divers! Maybe I'm too used to this freebies, being cheapskate backpacker, but it'd be really nice to have hot water to drink after every dive. I understand that they have a cafe attached and all that, but we also did a day trip to Gato Island and was given lunch without any hotwater provided on the boat, let alone some juice to wash down our lunches. At the end of this trip I felt like I cought pneumonia due to this!
- Craic house: The food is really2 nice which is a plus point, but it's a dry area and you have to be like 95% dry to be sitting there. Which is weird because their furniture is waterproofed and it's by the beach and attached to a dive shop. This is part of the reason why no one hang around after dives to do the logbook or mingle around because there's actually no proper place for divers to hangout after dives! Trick: you can be semi-dry but make sure you're not in a wetsuit/bathing suit to enter the restaurant. Even if you're in a dry wetsuit/swimsuit, the servers would be jumping!
- Evolution dive boat: Their dive boat crawls when there's big swell. What I noticed was after the shark dive one day, we were like overtaken by other dive boats as our diveboat is struggling through the swells. Maybe it's the rainy season causing the sea to be abit rough, but I've experienced dive boats with no problem going through big swells like that..well like the other boats which overtook us and leave us behind like no one's business.
- Their properness makes lack of social interaction between guest and dive staffs. Well this is definitely personal preference that I like to mingle around and be with friendly people.

All these are just small matter and shouldn't stop you from diving with them.
Another plus point that I find about this place is, apart from theire clean toilet with nice deco, I used my personal gear and they really took care of it and I almost forgot about it until Gino return it to me before I left the island. It just shows that how much the service here is very personalized and you're really in good hand when diving with Evolution.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Hong Kong, China
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I have just come back from a 5 night stay at Evolution. The sole purpose for our trip was to qualify in our PADI Open Water Dive course. Our instructor, Daniel, was absolutely fantastic. He was so thorough with explaining everything and offered a lot more information than was supplied in the book. We both felt that his expertise was hugely valuable in helping us understand everything to get us qualified and actually gave us much more insight than the basic requirement, which was great. His instructions when underwater are so clear that we both felt in incredibly safe hands the whole time. He was excellent and would highly recommend learning with him.

The accommodation is very basic but fit for purpose because we were so busy studying and diving that we hardly spent any time in the room. The food at the Craic House is also delicious - we highly recommend the jalapeño quesadillas, tuna steak and spicy meatballs with quesadillas (a special on their menu). All washed down with a chilled San Miguel Light!!

Thanks to all the lovely staff at Evolution. We had a great time and very fond memories of our introduction to the exciting world of scuba diving!!

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Hong Kong
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

We did our Padi Open water course at Evolution Diving and we had a great time. ESPECIALLY our Dive Instructor Daniel Holmstedt was very competent, experienced and really fun.

If there would be one thing that should be improved in future then its some of the dive equipment. Some of it seems a bit old and its not what you want especially when you're a beginner.
But overall a perfect place and worth to go.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

On a long school break, I decided that I wanted to get my Advanced Open Water certification, and that I wanted to do so diving somewhere where I could see big things (i.e.: sharks) and some macro as well. Malapascua fit the bill. I got a tip about Evolution Diving, and decided to follow up. I e-barraged David with a million questions about logistics and planning, all of which he seemed happy to answer. After everything was set up, I already felt confident that I was in good hands.

With the helpful private land/water transfer, I made the 6-hour journey from Cebu airport to Malapascua painlessly. When I got to Evolution, we were immediately down to business, and I was already in the water within one hour of getting on the sand. As I completed my dives for my certification, it became clear to me that the Evolution divers take diving seriously. Their passion and dedication to diving is clear in the care they take to do it right—to take care of the reefs, to help students with their form, to chat with you about diving machinery, and in the case of my trip, to quickly and attentively care to a diver who felt at risk of decompression sickness upon surfacing. I was totally impressed with the way that Evolution cares for their divers, their environment, and for the sport itself. Moreover, they accomplish all of that with smiles and laughter, jokes and fun. I never felt an air of pretension—just a desire to make me a better diver and to have fun.

The accommodations were great and the food was delicious, but it wouldn't have mattered if it weren't. The diving mattered to me, and the diving was spectacular. It was hands down the best diving vacation I've ever been on, if not one of the most memorable vacations of my life. I'm really thankful that I had such a great and hospitable experience with these divers.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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 Evolution

Address: Malapascua, 6013, Philippines
Phone Number:
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Malapascua Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Malapascua Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Evolution is small and friendly owner operated resort that provides everything you could need to enjoy Malapascua's great diving. We have 12 rooms with a choice of AC or Fan, all within a short distance from our golden white sand beach. The resort is home to one of the most highly rated restaurant on the island, where you'll find food for all palates, and a great selection of vegetarian dishes as well. Just let us know what you need to make your trip great and we'll do our best to make it happen. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Evolution Malapascua Island, Cebu Island

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