My partner and I stayed in Mangrove Oriental during our Easter holiday and we had the best time. We chose to stay in Mangrove because of its location. It's far enough from the busy Bounty Beach so we got the privacy and relaxing atmosphere, which was our main reason for choosing Malapascua (neither of us are divers and sightseeing/relaxation was our main reason for going to the island). The Bounty Beach was accessible by foot, it took us less than ten minutes to get there.
The highlights of the resort are the following: (1) Fantastic location -- Mangrove is in a unique location in that it is situated in the highest point in the island, giving guests the best view of Malapascua from the hilltop restaurant. It also has access to 2 private coves, a lagoon, forest trek and lovely gardens. Even though it's not near the Bounty Beach, it offers something different that other resorts do not have (2) tasteful interiors -- we got a beach cottage and we were pleasantly surprised with the way it was decorated with pretty oriental cabinets and other trinkets. The newly refurbished restaurant/reception was also charming. It's obvious that whoever decorated the resort's interiors had a well-thought out aesthetic framework (3) Excellent food -- seafood was fresh and absolutely delicious. Staff member Wendy gave us a "farewell dessert" of banana, limoncello and rum. We appreciate such thoughtful gestures.
I cannot comment on the security of the place but we were able to leave our laptops, cameras and cellphones inside our room/cottage without anyone taking them. The housekeeping staff also took the initiative to watch over our luggage which we left outside the cottage as we settled our bill at the reception.
The resort can further improve by: (1) providing better meals when dining outside the resort. We were given sandwiches as part of our island tour package, perhaps they can offer something more substantial. Some resorts (i.e. in Palawan, Bicol) have their boat crew double as chef and prepare/serve meals onsite (grill some fish/seafood in the island) while guests explore/swim. (2) giving divers the option to claim their 'free' breakfast after their dive. As divers usually leave early, they are not able to avail of the breakfast which is served until 10am only. (3) more economical transfers -- one of the pricier components of our trip was the transfer, it cost us 4,500 pesos (one way) to travel from the Mactan Airport to the island. If the cost cannot be lessened, perhaps the resort can organise a "carpool system" where guests from the resort (or other resorts for that matter) and coordinate and leave at the same time to lessen the cost. (4) Having a designated staff member discuss the guests' activities during their stay (a sort of activities coordinator) and give some tips on timetabling.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay in Mangrove. Josephine was an engaging host while the rest of the staff members, though shy, were generally competent, helpful and pleasing.
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- Also Known As:
- Mangrove Oriental Hotel Malapascua Island
- Mangrove Oriental Resort Malapascua Island, Cebu Island