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“An awesome place for diving and nice resort to unwind”

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Balicasag Island Dive Resort
Charlotte, NC USA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“An awesome place for diving and nice resort to unwind”
Reviewed June 5, 2010

My fiance and I just returned from a 7 night stay at the Balicasag Island Dive Resort and we loved this place.

Balicasag Island is the best diving that I have done anywhere including other places in the Philippines, Australia Great Barrier Reef, Caribbean, Florida, Central America, and Florida. It is truly a world class place to dive.

If you are more interested in diving than nightlife, I recommend you stay at this resort. In Alona Beach the dive operators there will take you to Balicasag Island to do all of your diving and you will spend 3 hours on a boat . I rolled out of bed in the morning, got into my gear and was diving within minutes. Raul was my personal dive master for 12 dives, and he was the best!

This resort is well managed and the staff are warm and friendly. The rooms are very comfortable with aircon and a refrigerator. The food in the restaurant was great.

Balicasag is a gem of an island, and the people there are very down to earth and friendly.
The kids on the island love to smile and practice their English with the tourists. We ventured into the village on the island to buy souvenirs and some of the locals grilled a freshly caught tuna for us on the beach.

I hope this island never changes, and I dream about returning here in the future while I am back at work in the USA. May god bless the people of Balicasag.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank mabuhay_diver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Ljubljana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2010

I stayed at Balicasag for 5 days in the end of February and had great time. Rooms are simple and not that big, but there's a big and private veranda, so it was just fine. Smell in my bathroom was pretty bad (i guess it was water odor...but given the circumstances on Balicasag, I guess it's not something to complain about), but staff was trying to make it better. Island is great, great snorkelling, and u can venture inlands and see how village life looks like. Locals were very friendly as well. Food at the resort was rather bad (I dont eat fish nor meat, so there wasnt much choice), but staff at the restaurant and the whole resort is amazing, they really make u feel welcome. There was some construction work going on at the resort, but it wasnt loud and didnt disturb me much. All in all, it's a great place to wind off, with great staff and superb nature. Not for luxury lovers, but defenitely for nature lovers. Hope to stay there again!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank toru25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BURLINGTON
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2009

Being avid snorkelers we opted to stay at Balicasag Island Dive Resort instead of doing day trips from Pangalo Island. We booked through the Philippine Tourism Authority and prepayed for our accommodation and transfers. Pick up in Tagbilaran went as arranged and the trip out was alright but we were concerned the boat might not make it. Check in was fine and the room was a nice size with efficient A/C, a mini fridge and adequate storage.The bathroom was small and only had cold water in the shower which was surprisingly not that bad. The room was clean with no bugs but was definitely well used.
The island is very attractive with coral/sand all around it. The resort has a pool with a nice kids area nearby. The food in the restaurant was not what we expected - my sweet and sour chicken was mostly bones and the chicken breast my husband ordered turned out to be chicken legs instead - the server indicated that chicken breasts were not really available. After all the great food we have had in the Philippines this was a big let down! No bottle water is provided - at 30Pesos a bottle, it can add up quickly. We discovered on our last day that food and beverage was available in the nearby village at much better prices and better quality.
There is a dive shop but there were no divers at the resort - we had hoped to join in on a dive trip so we were limited to snorkeling from the resort. This was quite good in many places but we were dismayed by the obvious damage done to the coral from the high number of day trippers.
Maybe we were there at an off time, but we felt the service overall was spotty - it was as if they didn't care if we returned so why make the effort. Being budget travelers with average expectations we have paid less for other resorts in the Visayas and left with a much better impression than this place.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Newfie43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Makati, Philippines
Level Contributor
58 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2009

Balicasag Dive Resort is situated in splendid isolation on the diving paradise of the island of the same name. Operated by the Philippine Tourism Authority (yes, something in governmnet actually works!), the resort has duplex air-con units scattered along the beach, punctured by balinese style cabanas (yes, its a government facility). The rooms are basic and simple with its most precious resource (nope not TV) but fresh water showers! Food is plentiful, tasty but since you live in splendid isolation, expect higher prices for drinks. Balicasag's beachfront is quite enjoyable but its the marine life that draws most of the attention (for 200 pesos, a non-resort connected boat guy will paddle you to the nearby fish sanctuary for fish feeding) plus the fanstastic dolphin watching early morning (Feb till April they say are the best seasons) along with their friendly and caring staff!

Overall, good value for money, simplicity, privacy and fresh water showers (and its a government facility).. would love to come back for the quiet and the fishies!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Chris J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Pedro, CA
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2009

I enjoyed the resort very much. It reminded me of being at summer camp with friends. Cute semi-comfy bungalows, lots of great diving, and you see everyone at the restraurant at meal times. The menu did get monotonous after 5 days. I would recommend 2-3 nights max.

They have a karaoke system that you can use after dinner, and a very weathered pool table. Massages are only 300 pesos (6USD) an hour, and they are much better than the Boracay beach rub downs. Again, they have great diving at a reasonable price.

Be aware that fresh water is very precious here, and there is no HOT running water. Plan your showers wisely!

I noticed the other reviewer mentioned the long boat ride. We took the 1hr ride at night with a hand-held flashlight a super low tide. The next few days the seas were too rough for anyone to come in or leave. The manager said the summer has much milder weather and the sand returns to the beach.

  • Liked — The gorgeous blue waters of the island
  • Disliked — The long ride there in questionable vessels
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Coach-on-the-go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2008

It would be difficult to find a better place to snorkel and scuba dive in the Phillipine Islands. There are only 130 native inhabitants of this tiny (30 Hectare) island and the Balicasag Island Dive Resort was surprisingly well appointed for such a remote location. It is about a 45 minute boat ride from Bohol to Balicasag. The resort has beach bungalows that have toilets (CR's - Comfort Rooms) and Air Conditioning, and comfortable beds in each room. The restaurant has only traditional Phillipino dishes with fresh seafood in constant supply, The grilled prawns as are among the best I've ever had. This is not the 4-Seasons but it is a wonderful gem of a resort and a must for serious divers.

  • Liked — The beauty of the resort location -- It's a perfect tropical island.
  • Disliked — 45 minute boat ride (on a very small boat) from Bohol
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Christopher W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balicasag Island Dive Resort

Property: Balicasag Island Dive Resort
Address: Balicasag Island Panglao, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Bohol Province > Balicasag Island
Amenities:
Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Balicasag Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Balicasag Island Dive Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Balicasag Island Dive Hotel Balicasag Island
Balicasag Island Dive Resort Bohol Province

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