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“I enjoyed my stay and I wil definitely return”

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Liberty's Community Lodge
Philippines
Level 6 Contributor
263 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 555 helpful votes
“I enjoyed my stay and I wil definitely return”
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Short version -
Apo Island is a fantastic place to visit - totally unlike other places I have been to in the Phils - and well worth staying overnight, if you are willing to make some adjustments.

Liberty lodge is definitely the better among the 4 places to stay in Apo island (cannot call them resorts or hotels by any stretch of imagination!).

For more details and photos, you can see the "Apo island" page on my travel blog - http://expattraveller.blogspot.com/ -

Long version -
Here are 8 reasons why I will always remember Liberty lodge and Apo island...Details on how to book etc. follow this list...

1) Turtles! We saw them every time we snorkelled, just off the beach adjacent to Liberty lodge
2) Lying down on the beach and counting stars (the generator goes off at 10 pm and it gets pitch dark!) ... read point 4 below if you are wondering why I was counting starts...
3) The food and people at Liberty lodge - the food was very tasty, mango shakes are lip smacking, so is the mango sandwich and fish dishes, the staff is very helpful and customer service is excellent
4) Sleepless nights - this was my one complaint- the nights get very stuffy as there is no electricity. And no - keeping my door open did not help! But I did count lots of sheep!
5) Lots of birds - twittering away and comign close to the lodge ... asian glossy starlings with red eyes, Olive backed sunbirds, Magpie robins... wow!
6) The treks, the trails - and the views that followed.
7) The views - The sight of the coral fringed seas from our room at Liberty themselves were absolutely stunning and worth the trip!
8) The peace - No TV, a big library, lots of time to read books, lots of time to ourselves - Apo is one of the few places that still retains it's village like charm, un-altered by tourists (who are not many)

Booking -
I just emailed Liberty (see their website - ) and they promptly replied, confirming the booking. No advance payment needed. (I had emailed Apo island resort too, and they too replied immediately, but they did not have rooms. They have fewer rooms than Liberty)

Getting there -

We took a flight to Dumaguete, and had asked Liberty to arrange our transfer from the airport to their lodge. This is the best way to do it and not expensive.

from Dumaguete airport liberty picked us up in their van upto Zamboanguita (1 hour), thence by bangka (small outrigger boat) (1 hour).

Caution - the bangka is open on all sides, narrow, and while your luggage will be unaffected, you can be sure of getting completely wet due to waves within minutes! Dress accordingly. You have to wade through water to board the bangka. Best to remove shoes and wear slippers.

Rooms -
The rooms are modest, but clean. So is the CR. CR does not have running water or shower, but fresh water is filled daily in a huge tank.

Our room had a thin wooden floor (I could see the restaurant through the gaps!), bamboo walls (I could hear the neighbour waking up at night!) And a balcony with a stunning view of the sea.

The only problem I had was that there is no fan at night (no electricity from 10 pm to 9 am) - the room was very stuffy. If I go next time, I will carry a solar or battery powered fan with me!

Food -
in their restaurant is very good. It takes a little time to prepare, but no one is in a hurry in the island anyway, and you can just stroll down the beach and return if you are bored. There is fresh fish, meat, shakes (very tasty, available only when there is electricity), and surprisingly not expensive. Their mango daiquiri is tasty, and the views from the restaurant too are very good.

Past guests -
While there, do go through the guest comments register kept in the restaurant - it is like a travel book in itself - thoroughly entertaining, with comments by guests over the past five years!

Final verdict
I was glad I stayed back at Apo island at Liberty. If I return, I will stay here again.

Room Tip: Take a sea facing room - ours was deluxe sea view room number 1
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank New_YLOO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Dumaguete City, Dumaguete, Philippines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

I was with my auntie, cousin and my uncle, we were staying at Liberty's lodge for only one night. The day after, we found out that my auntie's jewelries were gone, well not all of them, but one set of diamond earrings and necklace with pendant (which costs over a thousand of dollars). We ask a favor from Liberty's manager to call a police so that we can have a police clearance to bring in USA, but suddenly the manager said that there's no police there and the police from Dauin (another island) can't come to the island because it was too late then, when actually we did the reclamation at 7 o'clock in the morning, then til was 3pm, there was still no police. So we decided to travel back to Dauin and go ahead to the police station. When we got there (at the police station in Dauin), they said that customers often lost their items when they check-inn in Liberty lodge.

So I recommend that don't stay here because it's not safe, there's no security. Moreover, you can stay at Canopy/Apo Island Hotel which has 24/7 security and you don't have need to climb up many stairs going to your room. Although it's a little bit expensive than Liberty's lodge, Canopy's place is much better.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank RJBR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Apo Island hotels

London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Limited options staying on apo. Stayed 2 nights, staff were smiley and friendly until I complained, after which the staff completely ignored me, no hello or good morning, just blank looks. I ordered an magnum ice cream. When I opened it i discovered the ice cream had been refrozen. Asked for a new one and was told I would still have to pay for the refrozen ice cream as I had opened it . I was approached by two members of staff told me I would have to pay as they could not resell the product. The manager eventually apologised. When I asked for another ice cream they told me they had run out. There's an option to have food included with your room or not. Works out the same price as they charge more for food on the pay as you go menu, but less for drinks. Food was not great quality. Had to pay 20 pesos to refill water and 50 peso a day for wifi. We stayed in the dorm room where it was very noisy from 5am onwards. Asked various times and people to hire the underwater camera, to be told its either not here or ask someone else. Overall not a great place to stay. Apo is a beautiful island, I would recommend only day trips and if you want to stay on the island try different accommodation.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank amywu53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ladysmith, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We moved to Liberty's after one night at the other resort nearby. We found Liberty's to be greatly superior in many respects. The food was tastier, larger portions, and more choices. This was pleasantly surprising given that the meals were included. The view from the restaurant was excellent and breezy enough to be comfortable in the noon heat.

Our room was basic with a private bathroom and an excellent view from the private balcony. A cold water gravity fed shower was a relief after the bucket system used elsewhere.

All of the staff were very friendly, helpful and welcoming. They were great at helping us re-arrange some of our transport issues. We did not dive but the snorkeling was great. We were not able to get to the Marine Sanctuary due to weather, but the snorkeling directly in front of the resort was definitely satisfying with many hard/soft corals, varieties of fish, and the occasional Hawkesbill turtle.

I would recommend this resort to friends and family. We stayed at Apo Island resort next door to Liberty's and found Liberty to be a much better experience (and value!) overall.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank ceibaforest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Well decorated room with a really amazing view. Good food. Diving facilities a bit old but working. Just nice walking a round in the village. On the evening it where musicans playing drums at the beach (just around sunset and not for too long)
Would like to come back som day.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Diveheart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Donsol, Philippines
1 review
Reviewed December 14, 2012

I loved Apo Island, Libertys Lodge and Pauls diving. Stayed for a full week and enjoyed my self so much within the whole week.
On arriving I was upgraded to a better room, free of charge, which meant that I had an amazing sea view and watched one beautiful sunset after the other.
If you expect true luxury, Apo Island is maybe not the place to go, since it simple (eg. no running water, only electricity three times a day), but Libertys is very well kept and rooms and bathrooms are clean and neat. The food is good considering prices and there is a lot to choose from (think I ordered the same once within my stay), so it is definetly value for money. And the staff is great and really friendly!

The diving is amazing! I did my PADI open water course here, and I can only highly recommend David and his staff. Safety is of high priority here and I felt completely safe jumping in to the water with them.

As for Apo Island, this is an amazing place with few tourist and a lot of village life. If you really want to get into "Island Mode" and completely relax, I highly recommend you to stay at Apo Island instead of the mainland. You won't regret it. And yes, there might be a rooster waking you up in the middle of the night, but come on, isn't that just part of the whole experience. And a real plus is that there are no vehicles on the island, so no noisy horns.

If I ever get back to the Philippines I will defintely visit Apo Island, Liberty's Lodge and Pauls Diving again!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Aguluz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 13, 2012

We stayed for five nights in the sea view room and loved every second of our stay! The staff is very nice and cheerful and we had a feeling of being in a home-away-from-home. The room itself was on the larger side with a good bed (with a mosquito net) and an absolutely fantastic view of the ocean and incredible sunsets. As there is in essence a very limited amount of running water on the island the fact that the toilet had to be flushed with water from a bucket was not a surprise and after a while we got use to it. However the working shower was a positive surprise (we had very limited expectations on this). The electricity worked well when it was on in the mornings and evenings and the hotels own generator kept things running well past 11 pm. Own reading flashlights are however recommended (as on other places on the Philippines as power cuts are not unusual in general). The food in the restaurant was basic but tasty. As for diving I did my AOWD through Pauls diving and found the security, safety and professionalism of David and his team very high.

One important thing to note is however this - if you are to stay at Apo island you need to realize that this is a (luckily still) undeveloped part of the Philippines and the access to electricity and water is limited. So if you want the luxurious resort experience your better of staying at for instance Coco Groove at Siquijor and doing a day trip to Apo. However, if you want to experience at least some part of real Philippines life and hospitality, and have a extremely pleasant holiday, I recommend staying at Liberty's on Apo for 3+ night. As three meals/day/person is included in the price for the room it is fantastic value for money also. You will love it!

Ps. some people have been complaining about the roosters. These are to my short experience a common problem on all the Philippines but the simple solution would be to bring ear-plugs with you if you sleep very lightly.

Room Tip: We only stayed at the see view room so no info on other rooms. However, the rooms above the restaura...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jan M
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

Property: 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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