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“One of our preferate stays in Asia”

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Liberty's Community Lodge
Seoul, South Korea
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“One of our preferate stays in Asia”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

We stayed for one week at Liberty Lodge with our 2 children (8 and 11) and we really enjoyed it for
- the large family room with view on the village and the sea
- the location in the bay facing west (then everyday we had a perfect sunset)
- being closer to the fishermen community which is benefiting from the tourism
- easy access from the beach to very nice snorkelling and diving with the PADI center
- quite easy access from Dumaguete airport (compared to other very remote and quiet Philippine locations)
- the cosmopolitan traveller community that stops there
- kindness of the staff and locals

There are few aspects that can be improved like :
- the service speed and organization for meals.
- increase the variety of fish served (mainly only tuna in different styles)

There are few things you have to be aware of just in case if you expected something else :
- the temporary closure of the Sanctuary - but there are still a lot of nice places to see marine life
- the beach is not a sandy coconut one but a coral and stone beach with fishermen boats - that makes very nice and interesting pictures
- you have electricity only few hours per day

Room Tip: Family room is great for 4 to 5 people
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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1 Thank cristinaoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2013

Nice staff. The service in the reception was not the best. The prices for a double room differed from the website but there were no way we could convince the lady in the reception to the cheaper price. We went to Marios and had a bette stay.

Room Tip: + All melas included of good standard.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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1 Thank Unevik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kiev, Ukraine
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We stayed in Liberty's Lodge in the beginning of February with my family for 3 nights. In the room for 2550 pesos right on the top od the dive shop. Yes, Apo island worth staying there, because of great diving and snorkeling with turtles.
But let's put aside the beauties and count pros and contras of this accommodation:
Pros:
- It is on the beach front, right on the top of the dive shop. For us it was very convenient, because we left our son in the room for the time of the diving. By this we were able to minimize this time and bring a game elements into it. He waived to us while sitting on the balcony, seeing us loading dive gear on the boat, etc.
- The food was included into the price. Usually we don't like this but here it was very convenient. Some dishes from the menu were nice, like pasta and pizza.
- Good dive shop. We enjoyed diving with Sydney and Arno. They have good gear and everything is well organized.
- They have regular boats to the Malapatay - 300 pesos per person. Bear in mind that they are always late.

Contras:
I am not talking about the problems common for the whole island, like electricity black-outs, lack of the water pipeline, necessity to bring potable water from Negros. I am pointing only things related to the hotel services.
- No tap in the bathroom. So, you have a choice: either to wash your face by the shower or to wash it using the bowl provided for toilet flashing.
- there was no toilet paper, no soap in the bathroom.
- the bathroom seemed not clean enough even after cleaning.
- and the last - check you bill carefully when you leave, they tend to add some pesos here and there.

Next time I would probably stay in one of the homestays, unfortunately the one I liked "Maria's homestay" was full.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Diana180272
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippines
Level 6 Contributor
263 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 554 helpful votes
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
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  • 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.
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.
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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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