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“Many many thanks”

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Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Port Barton
Certificate of Excellence
Belbroughton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Many many thanks”
Reviewed November 3, 2013

This is a strange review, having booked but never arriving. I felt that I must comment on the trust and integrity of Mark the owner, who repaid my booking in total within 12 hours of my request.
The Resort looks stunning, and it's a bonus to know that the owner is such an honourable person.
When the new nearby airport opens we may well pay you a visit.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank MarkMarg111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SecretParadiseResort, Owner at Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary, responded to this review, December 25, 2013
Hi.Thanks for the strange review but greatfull for it. We have terms and conditions that all our guest must read and agree before payment is made. If guest cancel within this policy, we do our best to refund asap. Thanks.
Warm regards Mark
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240 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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English first
Manila, Philippines
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 7, 2013

When we get to the resort, we had lunch fresh seafood lovely food, very welcoming staff
Our room was very clean with a comfortable big bed with T.V.
And we went snorkeling and finally we saw this beauty of underwater world of paradise, we saw beautiful and colorful big fish and coming back is to see this turtle eating grass so we followed it until its gone for m that was the most excellent experience ever had.

Next day, we do the hiking to the turtle bay viewpoint and i was surprised that up to that hill was a beautiful spot view of the resort and you can even see the small islands in the other side.

for the 3rd day we do the Island hopping very nice.

We had a very good experience at secret Paradise Resort and we will be back and we will stay longer next time.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Luv y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SecretParadiseResort, Owner at Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary, responded to this review, December 25, 2013
Hi. Thank you for your review. You both done lotts of activities for 3 days solid. Sorry we could not extend your stay any longer as we were full at that time. See you again soon.
Warm regards Mark
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Madrid
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2013

We stayed their for 3 nights. The place is amazing and its is really well organized for the lack of resourses they have available. We really admired the effort of the owner to try to preserve the environment. It´s a treasure. Despite being in the middle of nowhere there are many things to do: snorkeling, hiking, relaxing etc. The food is good, not very expensive and the staff is really nice. I highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank IMCMadrid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Secret Paradise R, Owner at Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
Thank you for you review and glad you had a great time with our activities and mostly relaxing in Paradise. like us on facebook.com/secretparadiseresort to view our new Turtle video and photos.
Warm regards Mark
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Darwin
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2013

We spent a fantastic 4 nights at the Secret Paradise Resort and left totally relaxed. We watched monkeys in the forrest and tons of birds and butterflies. The marine life was amazing, I didn't expect to see much as Im so scared of boats that I usually stay on the beach. I saw dozens of tiny tropical fish only feet from the shore, the water was so clear and calm I plucked up the courage to canoe over the coral reef. We saw turtles, lion fish, and small reef sharks as well as hundreds of beautiful fish. The walk to the lookout is well worth the view. The resorts restaurant serves a selection of Asian and European dished which were all great and the staff were all friendly and knowledgable about the area. Will will definitely be back to Secret Paradise, hopefully it stays a secret!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GEMLAW1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Secret Paradise R, Owner at Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
Thank you Gema for your review. I am so happy that our hard work protecting and preserving our Nature Reserve & Marine Sanctuary, when guests like yourselves really appropriate it. Glad you saw all the marine life you did, carry on spreading the good news please. Also when your both back, we can have a re-match at billards !!! Take care.
Warm regards Mark
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Leiden
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 8, 2013

We very much enjoyed our stay in Secret Paradise Resort. The landscape is stunnig. Great place for birding. The staff is very friendly and accomodating, and made our two daughters feel at home. Food was wonderful! Visibility in the lagoon is not always good: but that makes an underwater encounter with a green turtle all the more exciting... Compliments for the efforts to preserve the 26 ha and the reef. When we were in Port Barton (July 2013) sandflees make playing on the beach bit difficult - but there are many small islands nearby with white beaches and no itchy sandfleas.
Jan van der Ploeg

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JanvanderPloeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SecretParadiseResort, Owner at Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary, responded to this review, September 14, 2013
Hi, Thanks for your review. We are pleased you enjoyed our resort and also said our food was wonderful. We have changed our head chief 6 times in the last 14 months due to poor reviews on food, but our new chief i think is the best so far.

I am also happy that you found our resort free from sand flies, but you were bitten in Port Barton lots. This means our racking and spraying the beach is working, along with the free coconut oil we give our guest.

Hope to see you all in the future.
Warm regards Mark-resort owner
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Turku, Finland
Level 6 Contributor
217 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

The resort consisting of a central building with several small bungalows is situated in a beautiful bay only reachable by boat. The main building has a reception, a restaurant and some very basic rooms. Also the bungalows are very basic. At this resort you come pretty close to nature and nice snorkelling can be enjoyed directly from the beach. There are however a few cons to be aware of. In a paradise like this electricity is of course available only a few hours/day. This isn’t really any issue as long as you are aware of it. However, if you like to eat well, this is not your paradise. Even though the menu in the restaurant is quite impressive, only a few basic dishes are usually available and the pricing doesn’t correlate with the rather poor quality of the food. Unfortunately there are no other options than to accept this or to starve, while there is only this one eatery in the area. It was surprising and disappointing to notice that no seafood was available in a location just a few meters from the ocean. During our stay fresh fish was served only once.

Even though the management eagerly poisoned the sandy beach every morning, there were a lot of sand flies causing itchy rash.

All common credit cards are accepted but paying by credit card is extremely difficult. It took us well over an hour to check out and pay the bill due to bad connections. Paying by cash is thus a good alternative. The staff members are friendly and service minded.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Henrik W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SecretParadiseResort, Owner at Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary, responded to this review, September 8, 2013
Dear Mr Henrick W and family..

Hope you are all well. Thank you for saying our bay is “beautiful” and nice snorkeling, in your review.

It seems that you have made a lot of false statements that are just not true. Maybe this is due to you writing a review 9 months after you left the resort and forgot a lot of facts.

Disagree 1,
You state in your review you stayed in January , you actually stayed from December 26th 2012 to Jan 2.

Disagree 2,
You state we have a few cons, (Please name some) that we only have power a few hours, this is true in 2012, but from Dec 31, 2012 we run our new large generator a Guaranteed 13 hours a day and often longer. 5:45pm to 6:00am (12hours) and 12:00noon to 1:00pm (1 hour) . Maybe you forgot about your stay on Dec 31 and January 1st. We guarantee still to run our generator 13 hours a day even in low season and even if no guest, this is because we need to keep our WiFi and cell-phone repeaters charged a minimum of 13 hours a day.
Also since June this year all our 6 cottages and superior room have air-con, hot water shower and mini bars as standard ,as our guest suggested this. You can see all the new upgrades on our website. Superior cottages/ rooms also have satellite TV.

Disagree 3,
Please before you book a room in the future, please view the website to see descriptions and pictures of your room. You call our cottages and rooms very basic and small. We have upgraded all cottages now, but last December you could of booked a superior cottage with air-con, mini bar and satellite TV. But you chose the cheapest detached cottage that only had hot water shower 24 hours,WiFi, private balcony and personal safe as standard and your 4 children in the cheapest fan room.
Thank you for the picture you have posted of your cottage, I am sure other reader will see it is NOT so small cottage, like you quoted.

Disagree 4,
It is surprising that you did not look at our website before you booked to see our amenities including photos of the resort, accommodations, restaurant and our 4 private sandy beaches set in a 70 hectare nature reserve and 28 hec Marine Sanctuary.
A few things you forgot to mention when quoting us as very basic resort with few amenities was our free kayaks, our exclusive 4 hiking tours in our nature reserve, our private marine sanctuary with 2 house reefs with many turtles, our island hopping tours, our speed boat tours, free billiard table, badminton, volley ball, our cel-phone signal and the only semi island resort in Port Barton that offers, air-con, hot water shower, satellite TV, free WiFi and a native sauna.

Disagree 5,
We speak to our guests before they leave the resort for their constructive criticism, it was a shame that you did not mention that you thought we were eagerly poisoning the sandy beach every morning, this is to reduce the sand flies and its eco-friend solution that does not harm anything but the sand flies.
The Western side of Palawan which have fine white sandy beaches do have sand flies sometimes through the year. As you can read on most internet websites. But our guest are very please we try our best to reduce this problem and give our guests a more comfortable stay.
Note: We are the only resort in Port barton that spend the time and money to do this. We also offer you our free FREE virgin coconut oil, but refused to use.

Disagree 6,
Maybe you forgot, but your signed bill states you had fish 3 times while you was here, not once only as you stated.

You also stated that your credit card took over an hour to work. Please note, on Jan 1st new years day, most signals either WiFi, cell-phones and credit card machines are often difficult to connect.

I personally spoke to you before you left the resort and you said your family had a great relaxing time and especially enjoyed our party new years eve with fire works and camp fire.

Please advice any future resorts before you leave if you have complaints. This is so they can do something about the complaint straight away, rather than getting a incorrect bad review 9 months after you stayed at the resort.

Thank you
Regards Mark - resort owner
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San Francisco, California, United States
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2013

If you are looking for a desert paradise off the beaten path, Secret Paradise is definitely your best bet. We stayed here for three nights and took a scenic 4.5 hour trip from Puerto Princesa through the forest, across a bumpy road, through the sleepy beach town of Port Barton and across the sea to the island. It's a magical place - one of those places that feels both very intimate and infinitely vast. It's intimate because that there are only six or seven bungalows - so for the most part, it feels like you have the place all to yourself. The actual space is enormous: you have a huge bay with virgin coral reefs filled with fish and giant sea turtles, a hiking path behind the main island that goes up the hill and no less than four pristine beaches that are accessible by kayak, allowing you to create your own retreat at any time. The food on the resort is both Filipino and Western and features tropical fruits, local seafood and fresh meats. The staff is also remarkably accommodating - we needed help arranging a day trip to Sabang and then departing to Taytay and they helped us arrange the transfers to both places. Highly recommend this place - hope that it stays a secret!

Room Tip: The Orchid cottages offer good value for the money.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gbh2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Secret Paradise R, Owner at Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary, responded to this review, September 9, 2013
Thank you for your positive review. Glad you had a great time and even swam with the big turtles.
Hope you make it back here next year when the bumpy road of Port Barton should be completed in cement.
Warm regards Mark - resort owner
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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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Also Known As:
Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary Port Barton, Palawan Island

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