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“A Unique Get-Away!”

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Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Port Barton
Certificate of Excellence
Makati City, Philippines
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Unique Get-Away!”
Reviewed November 26, 2011

Not for the faint-hearted and for the City Mouse!

I brought a team of 28 people (Makati Colleagues) for a great, fun, memorable team building event. It was unlike any other team building events we've experienced in the past...

Why?

1. Travel: by air, land, and sea! (Plane-Van-Motor Boat)...super experience!

2. Food: Prepared by ate Lisa, their local cook, with her own twist...food was based on what we were craving for. This was pre-arranged buffet to make sure we didn't have to worry about it and simply enjoy the resort.

3. Staff: Super friendly and super helpful. Graciously carried our heavy (super heavy) trolleys from the plane, to the van, to the boat, to the resort, to our rooms!

4. Activities: We had 2 days of team building games, mountain trekking, top of the mountain picture taking (great view)

5. Outreach (Corp Social Responsibility): Connected us with 2 fishing villages where the kids sang and danced with us while we also sang for them and taught them the art of Origami :)

6. Biggest BonFire: they prepared a bonfire along the shore for us the dance, play games, and sing, during the night...of course great time to take photos with jump shots :)

7. Rooms: Your island experience of sleeping with mosquito nets (brought back childhood memories...) BUT I heard they have brought in new cotton mosquito nets from the UK (wow!)

8. Power: They have provided us with the schedule for the power (similar to the other resorts in the area). This simply reminded us of Boracay when it was still 'paradise'...BUT I heard heard that they already added generators and will have power all night with air-conditioners...

9.PRIVACY: My number one criteria for a get-away! they have limited cottages so the staff seem to be focused on your needs and wants! We can wear and do anything away from the eyes of the crowd!

Everyone's planning their own trips to be back there soon!

We're back there for a quality celebration of the New Year with my family...can't wait!

Donna

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank baguiolover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Manila
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2011

first off, let me start by saying i like to travel and experience new things and am reluctant to give any establishment a bad review even when deserved, because i make all the excuses in the world for them. especially small, family type run resorts like this one.

but i can't let this one slide. when i think about the money i wasted? after all that research and preparation and excitement of finally going on a much needed vacation with my partner? did i mention the money i wasted? yeah that's right. this vacation was so bad, it could be in a movie. you name it, we experienced it. bad food? check. rats and insects in the lodging? check. no airconditioning, no electricity for 16 hours of the day (CONVENIENTLY LEFT OUT OF THE WEBSITE THAT THEY CHARGE YOU PER HOUR FOR THE USE OF THEIR MUCH BRAGGED ABOUT GENERATOR) ? check. the worst kind of sleep, the worst kind of stress, check check. this is literally the vacation that you would need a vacation FROM, right after, in order to de-stress. to cap it all off, did i mention this resort wasn't exactly cheap? CHECK.

here's the low down. we stayed in secret paradise last sept 23-25. weeks prior to this i was in constant email communication with the owner (a certain Mark) the entire time, which bode well, here i thought was an owner who went the extra mile for his guests. when i couldn't pay through paypal, he even provides me with a bank account in manila where i can deposit the payment. full marks for Mark for all the virtual service. At this point i fully expected him to be at the resort when we arrived but sadly he wasn't.

maybe this is the reason he keeps operating the resort even in hurricane weather. because he obviously has never experienced his resort when there's a hurricane in the philippines. because if he has i'm sure he would reach the same conclusion we did less than a day after we checked in: THIS RESORT HAS NO BUSINESS OPENING WHEN THERE IS A STORM. BECAUSE IT IS NOT AT ALL PREPARED TO OPERATE UNDER THESE CONDITIONS.

im not blaming the resort for the storm. of course not. BUT, it is reasonable for any guest to expect that a resort which stays open and accepts guests under such bad (TERRIBLE) weather conditions would have some sort of contingency or back up plan as to what to do with their guests, especially since the resort isn't cheap. i think it is reasonable to expect that the staff (who said this was NOT the first time they encountered this kind of a storm) would at least make sure and make every effort to check on us, make sure we were comfortable, okay and SAFE. but the lay out of this resort is such that the main house where all the staff stay (all of 3 by the way) is about 30 meters from the cottages. not a big deal in sunny weather but in a storm? at night where there are NO lights around? freaky and scary at best and a safety hazard disaster waiting to happen at worst.

on our first day, when we were waiting in our cottage for our food and 3 hours later no one has come not even to check in on us (the storm is raging outside our cottage as we wait) we finally decided to brave the walk to the Main house in unfamiliar terrain in order to ask what the hell is going on. is no one going to come to us to see if we were alright? the staff clearly did not know how to treat guests under these kinds of stressful conditions. they claimed that they were trying to contact us through the intercom...well guess what? the intercom is of course broken. which wouldn't be a big deal in a hotel i guess. but when your cottage is located some 30 meters away from the main house, instant communication in times of emergencies is a must.

my partner and i had literally stayed the ENTIRE 3 days cooped up inside their BEST cottage (the Kingfisher). which looked ok enough at the onset. but at night mice running around and squeaking became a constant companion. aside from the howling, RAGING wind rattling our windows, there was nothing else to listen to or watch because it gets PITCH black as soon as they cut off the generators. At 10PM. by the way the air cooler was also broken. there is no air conditioning in the Kingfisher cottage as claimed in the website. an air cooler is not an air conditioner. (and it was broken, like a lot of things.)

i have beef the most about this limited electricity i was not prepared for. i really hope they updated their website already. because while they boast that they are the only resort in the island with a generator (24 hours) what they don't mention is they charge you 100php per hour for the use of this electricity outside of their assigned usage time. and those hours are from 10AM-12NN. and 6PM-10PM. So we only get 6 hours of electricity for the price we paid. I would imagine the logic for this was in a resort like this you don't really care to stay indoors. Most of your day would be spent outside the (STONY) beach. Right? But that option should have been disclosed nonetheless. Especially when in a storm and from the time you wake up to the time you sleep you can't really do anything but stay inside the cottage. We watched movies in my laptop the entire time. Then when the battery would run out and we couldn't charge it, we would try to sleep. In the heat of the room which had to be closed because again of the storm. It wasn't pretty.

These are the things that have to be considered when operating a resort. Everyday we prayed for things to get better and it didn't. One thing is for sure, this is an unforgettable vacation. For all the wrong reasons.

We did talk to Ariel who was the pinoy manager of the resort and i forget her name but the lady who was also the cook and the server at times. they're friendly enough. and apologetic for the storm. but that was it. it seemed they were helpless to answer our questions on the electricity (which i think they should have just turned on the entire time as a way of compensating us) or the sheer lack of foresight on why this kind of resort would stay open even on conditions like this, their inability to take care of their guests, the bad communications set up they had going.

what a waste. and did i mention we were the only guests at the resort? *don't be fooled by the ads. the beach is rocky and not really good for walking on or swimming in barefeet.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank Katrina F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quezon City, Philippines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2011

I just want to share with you my experience at this beautiful resort!

The location is perfect! Fronting the cottages is a sea that is so beautiful - not too angry waves - just enough to sing melodious sounds of waves. At the sides of the water and at the back of the cottages are green mountains that complete the "nature" feel of the resort. The place is very relaxing as it was not too crowded. I feel that I'm really far away from the hustles and bustles of the city, far away from the stress of work...The surroundings "massaged" my soul.

I felt the staff's warmth the moment we stepped on the shore. We were greeted with refreshments - coconut juice fresh from its shell! The staff were fun to talk with. In the course of my conversation with Ariel, we discovered that my best friend (who hails from his hometown, Tacloban City) was his schoolmate! Small world! Oh, all the food served were great!!! Yummy!!!

I received news that they have fixed their WiFi signal. Also by December, they will have permanent Smart signal, and air-con units in the 3 cottages.

Overall, the resort is a great place to have a vacation at, especially if you really want to be away from the noise of the city and you just want a total relaxation experience!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank carl_tarun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary

Property: Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary
Address: Turtle Bay | San Vicente, Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan Island 5300, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > San Vicente > Port Barton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Port Barton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secret Paradise Resort is the only official turtle sanctuary endorsed by the government and WWF-Philippines. We are the only Marine Sanctuary & Nature Reserve of its kind in Palawan, set in 2 private coves with a 4km private coastline, lined with coconut trees and 4 private beaches with our own waterfalls. Our exclusive 90 hectare Nature Reserve has plenty to offer everyone, from hiking to kayaking to explore our 4 beaches, snorkel with the turtles and fish in our Marine Sanctuary called "Turtle Bay", or just view the beautiful 2 house reefs. Tour activities ranging from Island hopping with waterfalls, Underground River tours & more. Private transfers to/ from the resort from any destination in Palawan. Situated between Port Barton's Marine Park and Sabang's world famous Puerto Princesa Subterranean Underground River, voted one of the 7 Wonders of Nature in the World 2013. All our six cottages are detached beach front. All our 8 accommodation have air-con, mini bar, 24 hour hot water showers, safety deposit box, balcony with hammock & private beach loungers. All superior cottages & rooms have LED satellite TV/DVD. Free WiFi- snorkel/mask/kayaks. We accept credit cards/ currancy. Why share paradise with 100 other guest. Relax and experience true paradise in nature with us. ... more   less 
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Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary Port Barton, Palawan Island

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