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“Friendly service, relaxed atmosphere, beautiful gardens and comfortable cottages”

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Blue Cove Island Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Port Barton
Manila
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Friendly service, relaxed atmosphere, beautiful gardens and comfortable cottages”
Reviewed November 1, 2012

My wife and I stayed here for 4 nights - we were going to stay for 3 but we stayed on. It was towards the end of low season and we had the whole place to ourselves for 2 of the 4 days. The cottage we had overlooked the beautiful gardens and then onto the beach and beyond that the whole bay backed by mountains. A lovely setting for a relaxing few days. If you're after a few relaxing days, with simple but comfortable accommodation, lounging on the beach (which is cleared of seaweed daily) then this a great option for the cost. The staff were friendly although could have been more attentive but thus didn't bother us, we were happy to help ourselves to drinks and leave a note and it just added to the sense of having the place to ourselves.

The food was fantastic - try the fish in coconut milk or the fish curry - the squid is also delicious. The only thing that was missing from the menu for us was fresh fruit either for breakfast or dessert and for me fresh coffee would have been nice. Also, if you drink a lot of water like us you may want to grab a couple of big bottles - water is not cheap to buy by the small bottle, understandably as they have to transport it. I would say that getting a couple of 5 gallon tanks or a filter for water would be a nice touch for what it would cost.

We used the paddle boat to explore the shoreline to the other side of the island with empty beaches and lovely coral (much of the coral right in front is dead although the reef still supports a small but diverse range of tropical fish). We also took the path to the top of the island for fine views of the surrounding islands and back to Port Barton. Snorkeling gear is free to use and there's even a badminton net.

The native style cottage was very comfortable with a good mosquito net, hot water (when the power as on - 6pm - 9pm but a nominal 100 peso fee per hour to extend this which can be shared amongst all the guests), small balcony and tasteful decor.

Overall my wife and I enjoyed a fantastic stay here and we'd recommend it to anyone who wants to just switch off for a few days and enjoy the quiet island life in a gorgeous setting.

Enjoy!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank dmw_80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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australia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We spent 4 nights at the Bluecove Resort. As mentioned in some of the previous reviews, this is not for everyone. There is sporadic electricity & the accommodation is 'rustic' but quite adequate. It suited us, as we don't need 5 star & we love the peace, natural beauty, & we always make friends with the staff. As a result we were part of the family once again. The staff were great without exception, they made great meals for us, took us out Island Hopping, climbed the trees to get us fresh coconuts, carried our bags etc etc. We were actually the only residents in the resort which was pretty special. Also the owner, Michael, was very good at responding to our questions during the planning stage. Getting to the resort has been written about in previous reviews, in our case we opted for the private van from Puerto Princesa, which took us up the highway north of Roxas then we cut across to San Vicente over a road that had been closed due to rain the previous week. A lot depends on the rain. The main road from Puerto is concrete & in much better condition than we expected from some of the reports. Even the 'corrugated' road from the highway to San Vicente was not bad & rather scenic- I stopped for a call of nature & came face to face with a monkey. The huts can be hot at night & we opted to sleep on the verandah with the mosquito net. Would recommend the 'Ocean Hut' far right end of beach. Transport to & from Mainland is in the Bluecove Boat which is fun. A lot depends on the wind direction - 1st 2 days, it was from the sea, which meant that the beach had some seaweed & the water was rough. For the last 2 days it was from the land, and we could see just how beautiful the water could be, within metres of the Resort. In some cases you could see the bottom in 5-10 metres of water.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank fraser97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Butuan, Philippines
Level Contributor
137 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2012

Blue Cove is a nice quiet place to enjoy getting away from it all. We stayed here for 4 or 5 nights on the cottage at the end slightly over the water at high tide. The beach has nice sand and they have a protected area for seaweed farming which makes the coral and fish to see when snorkelling fantastic. You can walk out through a sandy portion to the snorkelling area, so for just swimming it has nice sand as well. The fish were abundant and a joy several times a day. The cottages are very rustic but for a unique experience some stay for much longer once they arrive. They have a long sandy beach to walk and they are the only resort on this side of the island. You can hike up the center of the island to see the sunset, but a headlamp is required. When the owner was there he cooked up some great food. He did leave the day before we left for the city and I did notice a drop in food quality though, but maybe that has been improved upon. The seaweed is raked up and collected each day. The prices are reasonable. We stayed in the lone cottage at the end which is the most expensive at 1200 Peso. There were less expensive cottages backed away from the beach, but great views from wherever you stayed. Some were adjoining cottages. The electricity is only on when the generator is turned on during the day sometimes and at night always until 10 or 11 pm. The accommodations are basic, but the tranquility and snorkelling are beautiful.

Room Tip: If the cabin over the water is available you kind of have the peace and tranquility of being off on...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tws4nr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macau
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2012

Bluecove is a wonderful place with caveats. I think the easiest way to express this is simply to list the pro's and con's.

Pros:
1. Only 5 cabins so very private and peaceful.
2. Pristine beach and crystal clear blue water.
3. Good food and the french toast at breakfast was amazing.
4. Snorkeling is the best out of all the resorts that we visited (Secret Paradise/Coconut Garden)
5. Boat transport from the island (self organised with RoyJen thoroughly recommended)
6. Picturesque and relaxing

Cons:
1. Communicating with the owner in advance was challenging and a little ambiguous but don't give up
2. Transport by road from Puerto Princesa was long, rough and uncomfortable!
3. Limited menu
4. Not much to do apart from relax and unwind
5. Lacks customer service and motivated staff
6. Generator would be noisy and annoying for nearest rooms if you paid the extra to keep it running at night.
7. The turtle sanctuary - forget Free Willy, free those poor turtles!

In summary I think Haggard_Traveler & GrantBoayan do a very good job providing an objective review of the place. Thanks to their reviews we knew what to expect and I was a little worried how some people in our group were going to cope with the heat, no mod cons and the insects. But the laid back beauty of the resort manages to override anything that it lacks and we all left feeling a bit of affection for the place. I'm sure it is what Thailand and Bali used to be like.

As way of an afterword, although we were recommended not to take a boat transfer from Sabang due to the chances of the sea being rough and the local boats being noisy. One of our highlights from our trip to Palawan was our journey back to Sabang on the large RoyJen boat. This private boat cruises up and down between El Nido and Sabang stopping off at secluded coves for some snorkeling or fishing. Okay so we may have been lucky because the sea was calm but it was such a relaxing way to travel and the boat was as quiet as a library compared to blue cove's own boat.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank FollieAdeux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puerto Princesa, Philippines
Level Contributor
47 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2012

When bad weather forced the cancellation of our scheduled island hopping bbq lunch our boatman took my family here. WHAT A GOOD DECISION.
I loved the place. Beautiful beach, romantic cottages, and a TOP CLASS restaurant with extremely reasonable prices.
For anyone wanting a 'get away from it all' break, look no further.

Room Tip: If you are island hopping from Port Barton, forget the BBQ lunch. Just ask the baotman to take you h...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank PalawanEnglishExpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2012

Blue Cove Tropical Island Resort (www.bluecoveresort.com) is a unique and rustic getaway that provides an incredible experience for the right sort of person/couple. As many of the other reviews have indicated, this is not the place to come if you are looking for five star service. In fact, there is not much “service” at all – the staff are rarely seen or heard – which only adds to the secluded feeling of being on your own tropical island. This is also not the place to come if you are looking for any sort of nightlife or evening entertainment. Other than the five bungalows, the restaurant, and a few outbuildings, the resort property is blissfully free of development. This place does not feel like a resort, but rather, feels like playing Robinson Crusoe for the length of your stay.

The opportunity to experience nature in this environment is top notch! The sounds of the birds, insects, and other critters of the night make for a memorable morning wake up call. Just in front of the resort is some wonderful snorkeling with some equipment available for use by the guests. On a calm morning, this is a fantastic way to wake up and enjoy the diversity of the underwater world. There are small boats (bangkas) that can be used for free – the resort provides paddles and life jackets. If you have the time and can enjoy a day paddling around the island, the bird life is fantastic (I saw several kingfishers and other colorful birds).

There are a few important things to know about this resort. The breezy, atmospheric restaurant is the ONLY option for eating unless you bring your own food. Guests have a choice of dining in the covered beach-side restaurant or sitting at one of the two tables up in the charming "tree house." Breakfast is not included in the price of the room. Choices are extensive and include pancakes, eggs, rice and meat. If you plan to eat dinner, you need to place your order by 6pm. The dinner options are very tasty and there is a lot of fresh local seafood available, along with some chicken and pork, but options are very limited for vegetarians. Staff are very accommodating, however, and will prepare variations of menu items (i.e., vegetable curry or pasta with vegetables). It is worth mentioning that there are no snacks or salads available and the availability of fruit is limited (bananas were the only fruit available throughout my stay, and these ran out).

Drinking water is quite expensive for the amount you will need for such a warm, humid climate. The resort charges 90 pesos for a 1.5 liter bottle or you can purchase refills (with your own bottle) for 30 pesos. Ironically, buying a bottle of rum is nearly the same price.

Staff are only at the resort until shortly after 7pm when they go “home” to the other side of the island. After 7:30pm, there is a security guard on-site

One of the charms of this resort is its small size. Accommodation is limited to a maximum of 10 guests in 5 bungalows. Each bungalow has an en suite bathroom, fan, and mosquito net. The most expensive option is a spacious, stand-alone bungalow at the far end of the beach perched over the water. Occupants of this secluded bungalow will enjoy two verandas, one with shade and one open to the sun, as they experience the stunning views and sounds of the surf. The mid-range option is a “duplex” bungalow, where two bungalows share a common wall, located in the garden set back from the restaurant. These are the only two bungalows with hot/cold water available. There are also two stand-alone bungalows set back in the garden against the hillside forest with views of the ocean. These are the least expensive price option and are perfectly adequate, if not strangely close together.

Be advised that electricity is only available for a few hours in the evening (provided by a generator that can be heard at times). This means that the fan provided in the room will stop working when the generator is turned off at 9pm. Given the limited electricity, there are no cold drinks available.

Unless you arrive at Blue Cove by privately arranged charter boat, there are only two options to get to Albaguen Island which involve a combination of land and boat transport. The resort charges 800 - 1000 pesos per couple for a one-way boat pick up from San Vicente or Port Barton to Albaguen Island (you need to text or call ahead to ensure the boat is waiting when you arrive). By far, the best way to get to the resort is through San Vicente. There are both public jeepneys and also private air conditioned shuttle vans that operate in and out of San Vicente. The alternative, to travel through Port Barton, requires a 25km journey over a rough and sometimes flooded road that sees little public transportation. I was told that only a couple of jeepneys per day make the trip into Port Barton from Puerto Princesa - and there is no public transport that will take you all the way to Port Barton if you come from the north. So, unless you are coming from Puerto Princesa or can connect with the morning jeepneys, you will need your own private vehicle or you will have to find your own way to Port Barton from the highway junction. If you get to the highway junction to Port Barton and you have missed the jeepneys, hiring a tricycle is an option (there are plenty waiting at the junction) which allows for good views of the jungle as you bounce and bump your way up and over the mountains to the coast during the 1.5 hour ride. The cost of this option should be around 500 to 600 pesos.

All in all, Blue Cove provides a memorable experience for a certain sort of traveler. If you are lucky enough to visit Blue Cove outside of the high season, there may be a night or two when you are the only person/couple staying there. Not many places in the world offer this sort of island experience. In my opinion, it is an experience not to be missed.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Haggard_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yangyang-gun, South Korea
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2012

We stayed at Blue Cove for 3 nights in the ocean front cottage. The location was excellent with our stand alone cottage placed on stilts over the sea. There is a reasonably priced bar and restaurant serving food and drinks all day. The food was excellent and the staff were friendly. There is only electricity for a few hours over lunch and again in the evening so bring a torch. We didn't find this a problem at all as we just needed it to recharge our laptop and cameras which we did during the day. We loved our time here and can't wait to return. The rooms are very simple, weaved grass huts, but with comfortable beds and ensuite. The view from our balcony was the best we had in the whole of asia.

Room Tip: Stay in the ocean front view, well worth it for the balcony over the sea, however on windy nights th...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank 123charlie456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Cove Island Resort

Property: Blue Cove Island Resort
Address: Albaguen Island, Port Barton, Palawan Island, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > Port Barton
Amenities:
Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Port Barton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Blue Cove Island Resort Port Barton, Palawan Island

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