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“Nice resort, great underwater topography” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin House

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Dolphin House
4.0 of 5 Specialty Hotel   |   White-Beach Saavedra, Moalboal, Philippines   |  
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London, England
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Nice resort, great underwater topography”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

My husband and I spent 8 days here in April this year as part of a longer Philippines dive holiday.

We were greeted by the reception staff by name which was a nice touch and given a grass necklace with a present inside (Bracelet for me and free drink for husband) whilst filling in the various forms we were offered a welcome drink which was similar to baileys but with more of a kick, once done we were shown around the resort and then shown to our rooms, we were in D8 which was a deluxe bungalow, this had a large veranda out front with chairs and table, the room itself was large with aircon, fan, minibar and desk.

The resort was very quiet whilst we were there with a maximum of 5 other couples at anyone time, the grounds were well maintained and the pool area is very nice, they were in the process of building a new dive centre so there was some noise but nothing particularly that disturbed. There’s no real beach at the resort and the local “White Beach” (which could be walked to in a couple of minutes along the shore at low tide or within ten minutes along the road at high tide) was ok but nothing special and in places not that clean. The restaurant did really nice food and there was plenty of it (the staff always asked if we wanted more) the only issue was that we had to order what we wanted for dinner that night whilst we had breakfast which was a little restrictive.

There’s a nice games rooms with a balcony above the bar / restaurant where we watched the sun go down with a drink on occasion, the games room itself had a pool table, darts, books, board games etc. The resort did have free wifi but it was very intermittent at times. All the staff were very nice although there were a few mix ups with food / drinks order but nothing major.
The dive centre at Dolphin House is quite small (although a new dive centre is being built currently) with only a few guides, they have two boats, a larger local style boat and a smaller speed boat. Most of the diving is done along the coastline (dive sites are 2 – 5 minutes away) with diving on Pescador island offered every couple of days whilst we were there (about 20 – 25 minutes in the speed boat) it may have been because the resort was quiet but it was often just the two of us and the guide diving and even when others joined us it was a maximum of four divers to a guide. Whilst the viz wasn’t the best and there wasn’t as much marine life as Dumagate (although Pescador island came pretty close) the diving was good, particularly the topography which is some of the best that I’ve ever seen.

I’d say that this was more of a resort with a dive centre than a dedicated dive resort, that said they did offer free nitrox which was a nice touch.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rudy P, General Manager at Dolphin House, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Just a few remarks and corrections on this nice review.
Indeed, since we increased the number of rooms to 30 units our dive shop facilities turned out to be over challenged. Our new dive center, will be ready for operations by July 15 2013, 4 times the size versus before. About 80% of our guest are divers. Our dive center owns 7 boats, not two. 3 Speed boats (90 HP) good for 8 divers + crew, one traditional outrigger boat good for 10 divers, one safari boat 60 foot, traditional out rigger type (actually under renovation till end of June) and two speed boats for other water sport, one 18 foot 90 HP and one 26 foot 200 HP.

Guest “Rudals” came to visit us at “the bottom of low season” and indeed there were only two boats at sea. As the guest writes himself even if low season there are only a few divers, even if there is only one diver, the service is still up 100%. The total dive crew consists of around 20 employees including two marine biologist. Dive excursions are offered 2 to 3 trips a day or in accordance with the guests demand. Most of the time we use small fast boats. Ratio dive guide / divers never exceeds 1 / 6. During low season most of the dive crew is occupied maintaining the equipment, compressors, boats, dive center etc.

Comparing our dive spot Pescador Island (all drop off's covered with coral) to “DAUIN” (black sandy bottoms) is kind of weird! I assume guest “Rudals” means the little “Apo Island” fronting Dauin that can be reached on a long daytrip ex Dauin. Apo indeed can keep up with Pescador Island. Besides of that, by the exception of “Sea-exploreres”, most dive operators around Dauin still bring their divers to “the atrocity”, Whaleshark-Feeding. After just a few days, the whale sharks learn “bubbles and Boats = food. As a result of that, when moving on, these endangered animals approach and stomp boats with their snout, begging for food. Doing so they make themselves vulnerable to poachers or mistake propeller-bubbles with diver-bubbles!...
Our position is clear: Feeding sharks = kills sharks!

Our white beach, We are at the very south end of “White Beach”. From July to December (south monsoon) the beach moves up north by 80 to 100 m. Jan to July (north monsoon) the beach often extends unto our beach front.
The management
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75 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
    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 (2)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
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English first
Walddorfhaeslach
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We staid for two weeks end of February in this well-kept and friendly resort. The Deluxe Bungalow we had was clean and had a comfy bed. The friendliness and service of the people working at Dolphin House was outstanding. The kitchen team should get a Michelin star :-) All the meals were fantastic and extremely tasty. There was always a choice between multiple options and it was a difficult choice :-) We booked massages two times to relax from diving. It was done well and not rushed to be finished within the set time. White Beach can be reached at low tide straight in front of the resort or via road access at the backside and is a nice long stretch of sand. Our main reason to be there was of course to dive and we were not dissappointed: The dive crew was exceptional, they really made every effort to point out all the fantastic critters living around Moalboal waters and never rushed a dive. We always went in small groups or dove as alone a buddy team on the house reef. It was like diving with good friends, we had a lot of fun with the crew and I think we left in that spirit after the 2 weeks were over. The diving in the area is great and is usually done as a drift along a beautiful coral covered wall. The diversity and number of fish and other creatures and the density of coral is amazing. Pescador Island even with the school of sardines gone is still one of the best dives I have ever done. I am sure we will be back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

We came here after two nights in Club Serena and we really loved it. The walk-in-rate was really reasonable and worth it. The view is spectacular. All staff was really nice. We had one of our best meals in the philippines! The room was very clean.

We didn't dive here but it all looked very professional.

They have a policy against the whale shark feeding what we really appreciate because this has to stop!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scharendijke
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

booked for a week and came back the same trip for more. Excellent diving resort with personal attention, very nice diving the 'silver clouds' are allways around. Very easy entrance and small distance to divespots. Very nice resort, well kept, super relaxed, beautiful garden, good food and massage. People could not be more friendly and professionla. No beach or much to do in the surroundings, sit down relax and dive. hope to be back there one day!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Nice resort, the staff is very nice and helpful and the food is extraordinary. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at its best. They also have a small pool. Everything is very clean and well maintained. The dive center is good; specially free Nitrox is cool. The dive sites are average but for a couple of days quiet ok.
The only thing: the resort is far away from any town, so there is not much to do except eating, diving and relaxing.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Beijing, China
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

We arrived at Dolphin House as 'walk-ins', i.e. without reservation and selected the place after checking out some of the other resorts nearby. The lack of a beach was a downside but since it was only a short walk (or swim) to the White Sands Beach we figured it wouldn't be a major issue and the half-board (breakfast and dinner included) seemed like a good deal for the price.

The room (1B) was basic but functional and adequately equipped with a nice sitting area on the terrace/balcony outside. The beds were a bit hard but ok.

The surrounding area, bar and restaurant area was inviting and the always very friendly staff made the place very familiar and welcoming. Marie in the bar seemed to know all guests by name and always had a smile for everyone. She and the other female staff were truly an asset for the place; they made the place really stand out compared to other places we visited.

The included breakfast was good (choice and quality) and the dinner was excellent, with option to have a second serving if needed. We also had lunch, a very tasty pasta Carbonara.

We rented snorkeling equipment (good quality) and had a few quite good snorkeling sessions, corals and fish life is very good and the submerged walkway is a really good idea to protect the coral environment. Another excellent 'feature' of Dolphin House is the two very nice marine biologists residing in the place, providing very interesting facts and insights about the marine life in the area. I had several really interesting chats with them and was thoroughly impressed with their knowledge and enthusiasm when discussing banded sea snakes and jelly fish. A truly great idea to keep them around, they were absolutely brilliant.

All in all, this is a place I definitely recommend; mainly for the staff (especially Marie, Lillybeth and the two amazing marine biologists), the location, the attention to protecting the marine life, the food and the general ambiance. The only thing preventing a fifth star was the beds; softer and better would make a big difference for me. For people who like hard beds this should be read as a 5-star review.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

A luxeous diving resort with more than excellent food. The diving operation was very professional and attendant personal. Diving at Moalboal was good. And they actively boycot diving with the whalesharks at Oslob.

Joos en Wies

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Dolphin House

Address: White-Beach Saavedra, Moalboal, Philippines
Phone Number:
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Moalboal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 21 Specialty lodging in Moalboal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dolphin House 4*
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Also Known As:
Dolphin House Hotel Moalboal
Dolphin House Moalboal, Cebu Island

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