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“Rustic but lovely”

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Liberty's Community Lodge
Reviewed November 27, 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights and really enjoyed it. When we arrived, they kindly upgraded us to a bigger room for no extra charge and the staff were all lovely. If you cant cope with limited electricity and no running water, its not for you but we found this a nice change and it makes us extra grateful for our everyday comforts back home.
Fantastic views from our balcony and they have a great dive-centre too.
Thanks Lee, Pinky, Leo and Jenna for a great stay from Grainne & Stuart :)

TIP: bring some pens & colouring books to hand out to the little kids in the village, as its such a small island they dont have much. They appeared out of nowhere smiling and saying hello to me when i went for a stroll near the school.............and they seemed genuinely grateful for the small gifts

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JennaJen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 20, 2012

The room we stayed in was the most basic category, though we originally booked a deluxe one. It was nice in a rustic way, but really basic. Not only the "shower" bucket, but especially the case that it was more or less open and thereby inviting to mosquitos was not too comfortable. Still ok.
Staff was really, really nice and the island itself is laid back and relaxing. Food was just ok (included in the room rate) and drinks were reasonably priced as well.
Besides the basic rooms, the big issue was the transportation arranged by the lodge: On the way from Dumaguete to Apo, we waited 30 minutes for the car to arrive (the very VERY nice police folks at Dumaguete Airport already wanted to call them to ensure that we did not get stuck - awesome!). Then, we waited at their Dauin lodge for another 2 hours+ for the boat. Tough after long travel time. On the way back, I checked *before* when would be a good time - "It is up to you" (the manager). 11am was supposedly fine, but when I said the next morning early at 10am that we are ready whenever they are ready, it was suddenly "probably more likely 12 to 1pm". In the end, this turned out to be after 2pm and so we arrived quite late and "between ferries" in Dumaguete. When we finally arrived in the next hotel at 6pm, after essentially 8 hours of travel, it was really sad to realize that the island on the horizon, not very far, was nothing else but Apo Island (check whether you can arrange private transport directly if you want to go to Siquijor afterwards).
Snorkeling was very decent just in front of the Hotel (corals in relatively good shape and a big turtle, though be aware of quite strong current) but from what we learned from the staff, the Apo Island Sanctuary got quite destroyed during a Typhoon last year.

Overall, if you are ok with very basic rooms and not a lot to do, you are fine - IF you have a lot of time AND are patient (note that we were patient, just sitting there and waiting), Apo Island will work for you if you are looking for decent snorkeling and a relaxing, laid back atmosphere.
But the transportation setup was horrible. If we just got told, that it will take hours and that we should prepare to depart at 2pm, we'd have been fine (even though then we'd preferred 3pm..). But saying "It is up to you" and not caring at all - that sucked.
I'd still recommend Apo Island, but also give advice to stay on Negros and just do a day trip.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mh_3041
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Upon arrival to the beautiful Apo Island, we were greeted and taken to the Liberty Community Lodge from our boat. When checking in we were informed that they had upgraded us to one of there premium rooms - Treetop 3 - which was very large and had a great balcony overlooking the sea.

The staff at the lodge were all very friendly and the food was good.

We would definitely return here and hope to be back in the philippines soon!

Room Tip: The top floor rooms both have amazing balconies overlooking the sea.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Benpro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2012 via mobile

Got a dorm good for 8 pax. P800/night/pax inclusive of lunch, dinner & breakfast. One bathroom without running water, rain water is stored in tiled water basin (looks dirty). One electric fan in one room, none on the other. Very hot at night esp in summer. Located at the back of the main building, with no pass-thru so climb down then up and back again to go to the reception/resto. Lots of bugs, bring potent bug spray since the nets dont help much.

Hotel staff were great. But the food, terrible. Ironic that they dont have fresh fish, we got served with bad farmed fish tho we're on an island. No seafood. Adobo and sweet n sour dishes dont taste like their names at all. A slice of bread is stale not to mention expensive (P25/pc). 1L water costs P45, in the village store downstairs its just P25.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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2  Thank suman_monster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2012

Very beautiful, quiet location. The views from our balcony were just stunning.

We went in the quiet season and got upgraded to a larger room with a balcony. The room was clean well decorated. There was no running water, but we were given a large water tank and our room had a toilet. The generator often went out around 8.30pm so lots of early nights!

Beautiful beach, great snorkelling and we saw turtles. The sea was a little choppy and the beach was a quite rocky.....so a little dangerous in windy weather.

The food was good, the boat ride across a little pricey - easy to get a jeepney down to where the boat goes from.

Def recommend this place for a 2-3night stay and then you'll probably be ready for a proper shower!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank sharpysharp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

We stayed here for three days. We got a bigger room with running shower ( cold water only) but i think it was a Delux room. The seaview from the room is fantastic, room was specious and overall the feel about this resort is nice and positive. But we weren't that satisfied with the food , which is included in the price. If you stay here for more then 3 days, you basically keep repeating two or 3meals. No drinks included.

The staff is friendly, but the mangager at the reception "forgot" to return us some change, when we paid upon leaving. Also she charged us a different amount for the room then previously agreed with her and she charged us for diving which we never did. We had to ask her several times for the money back. Somehow, after all this, we didn't believe, this was all a coincidence
The owner stopped by ones or twice ( a Philippino lady ) and we overheard she was telling other guests, that she has no profit from running the place, just from diving. Again, something we couldn't believe. She didn't look like Mother Theresa after all.... ;)

But if you are after beautiful views, great diving and snorkeling ( if you are lucky and it's sunny )!! then missing this place is a mistake.
Snorkling outside the resort was fantastic, one of the best in Philippines. We saw a few turtles just outside the hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Vendula S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2012

Overall we had an nice stay, service we got was very good, pickup and drop off worked great and diving was excellent.

We came from Dauin and were picked up with a van and driven to near Malatapay for 30 minute banca ride to Island. The boat wasn't too big so prepare to get bit wet. Luggage was stored in dry container so that is not a problem. If you are traveling with small children (as we were) it might be good idea to bring life jackets for them. Drop off was in similar fashion, we had a boat + van ride to Dumaguete with zero problems. Pick up prices are also very reasonable compared to some other places.

We (family of four) stayed at tree top, which is one of the three rooms in the highest part of the resort. The room was big with two separate rooms and attached bathroom. Big balcony offered views to the bay and over the Apo village. Electricity is on in the morning from around 8.30 AM to about 11 AM then few hours after noon and from 6 PM to about 10 PM. There are fans in the room but since the electricity is turned off for the night it might get hot. Beds are equipped with mozzie nets so it's no problem to sleep with windows and balcony door open. Bathroom has running water (from the tap) so washing and toilet flushing has to be done with a bucket.

Meals are included in the room price which is good since there aren't that many options to eat out in Apo Islands but after a few days the menu starts to look a bit limited. Food was good though and shakes excellent. Service was friendly and prices for drinks (not included in room price) were reasonable.

Attached dive shop provided good service, almost all dives I did were just me and the dive master. Dive masters are local guys who know the waters inside out. During our stay the weather was bit rough for a few days but since there are dive sites all around the island there's always some more sheltered spot to dive in. Sadly the actual Apo Island marine sanctuary was out of bounds because it got damaged very badly during typhoon last December. But still the sites available were very good indeed. NIght dive just outside the resort was phenomenal. Snorkeling at the nearest beach was also good and you can see many turtles at the farthest end of the beach.

Liberty's is a nice place with friendly atmosphere. The Apo Village also gives the same feeling. People seem friendly and helpful and even the T-shirt sellers are laid back. I really recommend the place for diving, snorkeling and just for general unwinding. However if you're looking for swimming pools, all day aircon, cable TV and such, this is not a place for you.

Room Tip: Cheapest rooms and wood/rattan and located above the restaurant so they might get noisy.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank peehoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Liberty's Community Lodge

Address: Negros Oriental, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Negros Island > Negros Oriental > Apo Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Apo Island
Number of rooms: 28
Also Known As:
Liberty`s Community Hotel Apo Island

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