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“Snorkeling from Polaris Beach & Dive Resort”

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Polaris Beach and Dive Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 29, 2014

Our group of 11 snorkelers spent 4 nights at the Polaris Beach and Dive Resort, using the resort's several banca boats to visit the very close off-shore reefs. Usually no more than a 15 minute ride from the resort itself. Our rooms were very nice, food was excellent, staff very attentive, and in the evenings you can sit out by the beach front and watch spectacular sunsets. A little difficult to get to, but once there, you'll be glad you did.

Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
1  Thank sgitlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 - 31 of 87 reviews

Reviewed May 5, 2014

Polaris Resort is an ideal place to enjoy a relaxing holiday, and offers access to a number of snorkeling and scuba diving sites around the island. It is one of 3 resorts (as far as i can ascertain) operating on Cabilao Island, a small island on the west coast of Bohol. (There appears to be another resort nearby which appears abandoned.)

Polaris is a small resort. Guests are welcomed in the restaurant, the office/reception desk is a small room at the side. If first impressions count for anything, then having a big smile on arrival counts for a lot. The simple but elegant decor & personalised welcome on the blackboard at the entrance set the mood for an enjoyable stay.

The path to the rooms winds through a lovely garden setting, past the main section of a sculptured pool and over a small bridge with the pool continuing underneath. To reach our tree-house at the rear of the resort we continued past the standard rooms and a giant chess set, through the billiard table/library area, past the small store/giftshop, a tree-house lookout, the villa, and through more of the garden.

Each room has the name of a star, planet or constellation (Polaris, the name of the resort, refers to the "north" or "pole" star). Our tree-house was named "Saturn". The furnishings were bamboo (chairs, tables, wardrobe), with a mosquito net over the bed and a separate bathroom which was simple but spacious. The rooms also have a balcony with bamboo chairs and table. The tree-houses have fans, not aircon, and electricity is not available during the daytime but i'm not complaining, as i prefer doing things, or doing nothing in a picturesque setting (as the case may be) when i'm on vacation, not sitting around in a room.

The resort overlooks the sea, and features several hammocks, sunlounges, table & chair settings, and a boat shaped bar in the sea-side/lawn area of the garden, as well as a path along the edge of the short drop to the water. Massage is available. The restaurant is good and features a range of different cuisines.

Diving and snorkelling are the main drawcards on the island, apart from simply relaxing (but i won't go into details here because that deserves a separate review). Cabillao Lake is about a 20 minute walk from Polaris and is a nice place to visit, although the walkway is in need of repair so take care if you journey out to the viewing platform. Cebu Island is visible across the strait (a small pair of binocluars is handy) and watching the boats go by every hour or so provides some additional entertainment. In the evenings and early in the morning there are hundreds, if not thousands, of hermit crabs scuttling about along the paths and through the gardens.

A stay at Polaris is definitely one of those occassions where the sum is greater than the parts. I rate most of the features as very good, but the overall experience is excellent.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank gregs3071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2014

Cabilao island is a fantastic remote getaway, surrounded by pristine seas. My girlfriend and I spent 3 days here and all of them were incredibly relaxing, lounging by the incredible pool, walking along the coast or exploring the tiny island with its very friendly villagers.

The owners are exceptionally friendly and pay every attention to detail to ensure their guests have a great time. They even gave us a lift to Cebu on a dive boat because we were struggling with transport problems.

Brilliant place, thanks so much!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TLovatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2014

The resort is nicely built, well maintained and very reasonably priced considering the location and the amenities : swimming pool, free billiard table, darts, small library ( 90% german) and wifi in restaurant and other public areas.
The restaurant caters for many tastes, italian, german, french, filipino and "international". I've tried all but the filipino dishes, I strongly recommend the italian, but although I am french and picky I have been satisfied with every order.
Diving is the big attraction, and the dive shop is working in the most professionnal way with good equipment and well trained friendly staff. The dive masters/instructors/spotters have a sharp eye for tiny critters, and every dive is a thrill for macro photographers : Nudibranchs, shrimps,
crabs are always on the list.
Prices are very reasonable.
Family with youngsters and non-diver in the party can enjoy a clean pool, a slide, a small tree-house and plenty of stretchers and gazebos on the premises.
Above all, the staff is not only friendly - as in most places in the Philippines - but they are all professionnal and helpfull.
What more can one ask for ?

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Ariel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

Excellent resort in Cabilao. 1/2 of the reefs were damaged by the earthquake, but the wall near the resort was in great shape. Dive guides were excellent. Reckon this is the best choice of resort on the island. Easiest to travel to resort directly from Cebu through the hotel.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank WCUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2013

The resort is quite well arranged, most of the things are proper, so mention only things that needs noticing by future guests.

1. Hot shower was not even warm for the whole week, only the last day of our stay we enjoyed it, despite our daily complaints.
2. Dive center has no tea or coffee for divers after dive even water should be bought from the bar
3. Internet connection is only 2048/256 satellite link, so be prepared to get up at night in order even to check your e-mail ;)
4. Cook is very fond of flame and most of the food is overcooked ;)
5. Check your daily bills, just in case, you are warned ;)

Despite this, this resort is one of the best in Philippines we have ever visited ;)

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank ReedCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2013 via mobile

Enjoyed my 6 days stay with Polaris...

The services were excellent, all staffs able to communication well in English and fulfills all of our special request...

Loves the Dive sites and the natural habitat and of course with the experience Dive Guide - Allan giving us wonderful experience underwater..

Day trip to Bohol was wonderful, with all arrangements to make the trip smooth and happy.

Best place for single, couple and family for retreat and relax...

Will go back again for another Dive experience!

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
1  Thank Eveline L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Polaris Beach and Dive Resort

Address: Pantudlan, 6327, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Bohol Province > Cabilao Island
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Cabilao Island
Price Range: $34 - $74 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 22
Also Known As:
Polaris Beach And Dive Hotel Cabilao Island

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