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Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort
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Reviewed December 19, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Bluewater Sumilon Island from December 15 to 19, 2013, to celebrate his birthday.

PROS:
- It is a private resort, away from the busy and chaotic city life.
- Snorkelling is more fun in Sumilon. The Coral Landscape is just a few steps away from the hotel villas! The Marine Sanctuary is a good 15-minute swim from the sandbar (just make sure you wear proper flotation device and aqua shoes if you are non-pro swimmers like us)
- The island presents numerous activities to its guests, apart from swimming and snorkelling. Guests can trek to visit the lighthouse and caves. We had free use of kayak and we were able to explore the lagoon and feed the fish.
- Sumilon Island is also a bird sanctuary! You see them flying around the pool and across the pathways of the villas.
- Resort staff and crew are friendly and accommodating.

CONS:
- Resort's inventory management is poor. During our 4N/5D stay in the island, we ordered for salad, a kangkong dish, mojito, salmon, banana split, and they were all out of stock. The kitchen ran out of lettuce, kangkong, mint leaves, salmon and banana. And within those 5 days, it appeared that there were no new food supplies coming in.

We understand that the resort is far from the city, but that should not prevent them from ensuring that their food supplies are complete and fresh. How difficult would it be for the island staff to coordinate with the mainland staff, informing them that the kitchen needs food supplies? There are boats that travel regularly, every hour in fact, from mainland Cebu to Sumilon. There are vans that service guests from the mainland station to Cebu city. Those modes of transportation can be utilized to carry/deliver the food supplies from the source to Sumilon.

I hope the Management of Bluewater Sumilon would do something to about this. The resort is so charming and it gives guests the privacy that they need, but if they do not improve on their inventory management, this will be their downfall.

Room Tip: Choose a villa that faces the beach, any villa from numbers 1 to 12
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Karla Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

Resort is beautiful and well maintained.
Nice Furnitures.
Food is ok.
Crystal Clear waters.

This rating is entirely based on one thing that their staff missed.
I asked what are the activities available and was given everything that we needed, well, i thought we have all the information.

We went to the Marina area and I unfortunately stepped on a Sea Urchin, had i known there are such in that area I will definitely choose to swim elsewhere.

Guests' safety should always be the priority.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank roadlesstravelled1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edison N, Manager at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2013

November 21, 2013

Dear TripAdvisor Reader,

We could not agree with you more. At Bluewater Resorts, we take the guests’ safety seriously. We put thought and effort to keep both our visitors and the island’s natural environment far from harm. With nature, incidents can still happen despite our best efforts. We can only educate and make our guests aware, as well as prepare ourselves to handle issues expediently, if they do occur.

Sumilon Island is a marine sanctuary and the Philippine’s first. Sea life thrives and abounds in its pristine environment. This is what we, as custodians, need to protect. This is what travellers, both locals and foreign, want to see when they visit the island.

The ecosystem beneath our surrounding seas, where sea urchins are part of, is dynamic and in a constant flux. Without going to details, we have little control on these living creatures and the elements that influence them. It is not easy to determine where they thrive, pinpoint specific areas or define patterns where they abound. When information, such as their locations, is not available, we make sure that our guests are forewarned of any hazards and to take extra precaution.

As part of our mandatory briefing for all guests prior to travelling to the island, we inform them to watch out for and avoid stepping on corals and other sea creatures found in the beach (surrounding the island). This is done again as a reminder during an area briefing upon arrival at the island. When necessary, we also post warning and informational signs at designated swimming areas for guests. Our guards are also tasked to watch over and inform guests to ensure their safety.

We are currently investigating your concern, determine if there was indeed a communication breakdown and find ways to strengthen our information processes.

Again, we appreciate your comments and agree that Sumilon is indeed a beautiful place for all to enjoy. We will also continue to put guests safety as our top priority. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact me directly.

Sincerely,

Edison Navas
Resident Manager, Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2013

I stayed here with my family, there are only a few chalets on the island giving it a private feel. The ocean views are amazing and the water is very clear. There is a nice sand bar on one end of the island when the tides are low. It is easy to travel to Oslob (15 mins) by boat to check out the attractions there like swimming with whale sharks and Tumalog waterfalls. Nice food and friendly staff!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank gennaghy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2013

Actually, I'd rate Bluewater Sumilon only as "average" at the moment BUT with the potential to be so much more because the island is gorgeous! This review is a bit late, we went a couple of months ago so maybe there's been some changes…after all, there were some renovations and upgrades going on while we were there.

Sumilon Island itself is tiny but beautiful, clear and gorgeous water over by the sand bar. I think that's really the only place to swim…we were lucky because there weren't many day-trippers when we were there, in fact, we had the sandbar all to ourselves for a gorgeous sunset!

The Sumilon Bluewater was small and not as fully staffed or serviced as the other Bluewater hotels in Mactan and Bohol…but the service was really good! From the pick up at the reception in Oslob, to check in…no complaints. Only service I could find fault with was the Amuma spa massages…it was lovely to get it done outdoors, in a little gazebo overlooking the water, but the massage therapists weren't very good at all and did not seem well-trained enough. I mean, these were 1,500++-peso massages, but they were unsmiling, seemed distracted, talked to each other, etc. One really cannot compare it to previous experiences at Amuma in Maribago Bluewater.

Because I read some trip advisor reviews, I knew that there could be a bugs and pests problem…hence I made sure I brought repellants…it is an island, after all, and some creepy crawlies are inevitable. The resort provides them too but I wanted to be fully armed, so we didn't have any issues.

Food was pretty good…not cheap, but not unreasonable either! And I'm not sure if some of the reviewers are talking about the same place because the food was actually quite good, very nicely presented...and the menu extensive enough for one not to get fed up for a long weekend.

The resort does need some improvement, as the rooms are starting to look a bit dated, but I think that is already in the works anyway. I would go back, and I would recommend it for a short break…it's a beautiful drive down this side of Cebu! :-)

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank chimenebelen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013

My friends and I went here for a day tour, which is pegged at Php1,500.00 on weekdays and Php2,000.00 on weekends and holidays. Pretty reasonable. Inclusions are round-trip transfers from Bancogon in Oslob to Sumilon Island (the island is right in the middle of the sea so this is a must), lunch, island activities like snorkeling, trekking and kayaking and use of swimming facilities.

Pros
- The picturesque views.
- Nice activities (trekking, kayaking, snorkeling), but limited. For families, they do have a children's playground.
- Beautiful sandbar, though it can get crowded with guests

Cons
- The food at the Pavilion was disappointing, It was also limited and when some of the food ran out, they were not replenished.
- Obtrusive service. The staff were too loud, would greet us even when we were lounging or engaged in a conversation, etc.
- The "infinity" pool was too small.
- The changing room was not well-kept (always wet, with slipper marks)

My massage: This was not included in the day tour package so I had to pay Php1,500.00 for an hour of their Hilot Lamang. It was okay, but expensive. The therapist just continued with her massage and did not ask me if the pressure was right, etc.

My recommendation: Go here on a weekday. Not only is it cheaper, there will be less people and you don't have to fight over hammocks, loungers, etc.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Charmel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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