We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“No Choice” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pandan Island Resort

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Pandan Island
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Pandan Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pandan Island
Philippines
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“No Choice”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

We stayed in this resort for 1 day as our last day trip from Apo Reef Diving trip. Basically this is the only resort near Apo Reef that will atleast give you the comfort but I will just give my opinion about this resoft.

The view from the island is nice and the beach is clean which makes it attractive with the tourists. This resort is about 10 minutes away from Sablayan and most of the supply comes from there. Be aware that the water from shower & faucet is salt water, frest water comes from the main land thru what they called water taxi. The management encourages visitors to save water as the toilet are common use and shared by multiple rooms. Electricity source is thru generator so do not expect for airconditioned rooms, television, a wifi or even a power socket. Every bed has a mosquito net as there are insects that bites even at daylight, I would advise to bring insect repellant lotion. There are few selection at breakfast but honesty I was not satisfied with the taste of the food they serve considering it is a bit expensive.

From my point of view, the overall service and amenities of this resort is not worth of what the customers pay. There are a lot of room for improvements on all criteria but the management fails to pay attention on these since there is no competition in the area. I would have recommend this resort if the price is a bit cheaper as this resort is very helpful to all divers who want to visit Apo Reef.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank BackpackerNT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

131 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    51
    41
    12
    19
    8
See reviews for
18
44
18
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Darwin, Australia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013

We stayed at Pandan Island for 3 nights and it was great fun. The rooms are pretty basic, so don't expect too much here. The showers are salt water, however there is a bucket of fresh water to rinse off with after. The restaurant is buffet style, and the food was very good.
Be aware that if you are there for diving ( which most people are on Pandan ) Apo reef is about a 2 hour boat ride from the island. We are not divers, but we tried to take a boat to the reef to snorkel and couldn't get on one as they were always fully booked. We were told by the dive shop that snorkeling is just as good from the beach, and it was ! Also, be careful that there are stingers/ jellyfish in the water, however they are not harmful, just a nuisance. The staff on the island are very friendly,especially Sonny behind the bar. They do their best to make sure you are looked after.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank PerthTravelover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels
Level Contributor
42 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2013

Although the English version of the Lonely Planet says the resort offers free boat transfer to and from the mainland, this is no longer true. As of this writing, local boats charge 200-250 Pesos + 50 per passenger one way. There are no power sockets in the bungalows. As for the bathroom, the tap and shower water is slightly salty but there is a large bucket of fresh water you can use to rinse off. Phones can be charged in the dive shop for free but expect to pay 40 Pesos each time you charge your laptop or tablet. Wifi (for pay) is available only in the diveshop and only until 6 p.m. Also, the doors of the bungalows don't lock. Valuables can be put in a safe at the reception. As for the rest of your possessions, thou shalt trust thy neighbor.

We thought the standard bungalows were a bit overpriced for what they were.

All consumption is charged to your personal sheet. Be careful: we have seen people contesting the bill because they were charged separately for drinks that were part of a set breakfast meal. Also, if any write-up or sign in the resort makes you believe that your kid (younger than 4) will eat for free, know that it applies only to buffet meals. Our friends were unpleasantly surprised.

With these caveats out of the way, everything else is pretty much as advertized.

The food and drinks were reasonably priced despite the resort being the only outfit on the island. Given the 25 pesos charge for a mug of instant coffee, they could splurge on a better brand, though. The buffet is OK but be on time; fruit disappears pretty quickly.

My biggest beef is with the dive shop. Several disconcerting events took place while we were there, including a fatal accident, but I will limit my comments to what I saw with my own eyes. Other divers who were there that week will probably write about their experience. If not, ask away.

Unless you've logged over 100 dives, you are required to complete one local "test" dive before heading out to Apo Reef. No problem there: the conditions in Apo can be rough, and you are almost 3 hours by boat from the nearest hospital. Except: one dive leader was assigned to a group of 7 (!) divers on both our local dives. (at 1,650 pesos a pop, which is a lot, given how unremarkable local dives are there) The dive leader paid almost no attention to the group. He didn't ask anyone about their air consumption. In the end, two of the less-experienced divers, who had been left at the tail of the group, surfaced on their own while the rest of the group continued to dive with the dive leader up front.All dive shops we've dived with so far send at most 4 divers with one dive leader.

Initially, we ended up canceling our daytrip to Apo Reef because we were afraid of being put in a group with someone who may empty his bottle in 30 minutes, effectively forcing us to abort our dives as well, regardless of how much is left in our bottles. Given the five hours on the boat that the day trip would involve, and a bit shy of 10,000 pesos per head it would cost, it wasn't a risk we were willing to take. In the meantime, other divers started voicing their safety concerns over dinners, which only cemented our decision not to go.

If you are, for some reason, coming only for local dives, don't bother. Whatever we saw (turtles, rays, lionfish, etc.) we saw in the first five meters. The most interesting bits of the dives were like snorkeling with scuba gear.

If you want to go to Apo, check out other providers. If you still end up on Pandan Island, insist on smaller groups of similarly-abled divers.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank michalprgbxl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2013

My husband and i just spent a few days on Pandan Island. We were drawn by rave reviews of Apo Reef and positive feedback both here and in the latest Lonely Planet.

In short, we found the place to be very basic, the food ok (but you dont have any options!), and the diving - while good - not worth the trip.

First, about the "resort": know that the listed "bungalows" are more huts in need of repair. There is no fan or AC which makes it very hot & difficult to sleep when there is no breeze, and we regularly found cockroaches in our room. The toilet is quite nasty as it is badly structured resulting in the water never quite draining fully. Other guests also complained of nails sticking out of the floorboards.

As for the diving, we had to pay $40 for a pre-requisite "check-out dive" around the island which is sub par. (Note: We are both PADI Adv certified, & I have done 100+ dives. Noone has ever asked me to do this!) Then, we ended up paying over $200 per person for a day of 3 dives at Apo Reef. We had good visibility at Apo - 20 metres - and saw a few sharks. However, its hardly a diving mecca as acclaimed by the lonely planet. I'm glad i went, if only to know that the place is overrated.

If you are in a budget, and want a quiet place to chill out - not minding the heat and general unkempt state of the place, i can maybe see the draw. We also met quite a few interesting people out there. However, know what you are getting into. Otherwise, there are many other places you can go for a quiet beach, sun, and a bit more comfort. Know that i would not recommend this to anyone and will not return...

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank WinKz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2012

I have been to Pandan Island before for day trips but this time made a 5 night stay. I had paid and made my booking six months prior. When we arrived I was told that the specific room I had booked had been taken. I specificlly asked for a see view and was told that is was confirmed. They found us and our partners a room futher back. It didnt take long to realize that the French owners had given the room to his french buddies. We being english wernt as good. I will never return again.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rod D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2012

It takes some time to get there but it is worth it. We stayed in the Bronx bungalows, the cheapest option and it was great. The owner is a very friendly french man, who is so kind to every one of his guests. the staff is so gentle, they even babysit my 5 year old son while i was out diving. the food is spectacular from breakfast to dinner. make sure you try the pancakes.

you can deposit your money and your valuables conveniently with the reception with no worries at all. this is also a great islands for kids, my son met so many friendly people from all over the world and made friends even until today.

make sure you get cash at the airport of manila, just on the other side of the airport is a gas station with an ATM. ( the ATM at the airport did nit work for me) VISA is big , mastercard not so much. its much better than getting a bad exchange rate at the airport...

The dive center mariposa is great just 2 steps from your bungalow. dive sites are fantastic around the island. make sure you book also the boat trip to apo reef. my sonand i had a great time on the boat.
unforgetible diving and great food for 2 days.

it is great to do also some adventure hiking to the other side of the island. wild jungle with misterious birds singing and wild beach on the oether side.

start you day with snorkeling and say hello to the many turtles that are around.
yes we will come back!

Room Tip: it is a great experience for a child to live in the bronx bungalows, you are right at the beach!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Scyphozoa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
121 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2012

One could probably write chapters on this small piece of heaven on Earth… Well I guess by just browsing thru the various types of reviews you will easily understand that for Pandan there's no room for the middle or average: it's just that you will hate it the first day - what no fridge and no AC? Goodness me... and run away (as some have apparently done) or you fall in love with it for the rest of your life. Because Pandan was built as a dream! Dominique (who has since then become a great friend of our family) is one of those idealistic French guys of the late 60ies (called 68ards) who left European "civilization" to create a nest somewhere in this tiny island in Western Mindoro.. We first heard about it from friends who used to go there every year for 17 years! babies who used to crawl on the white beaches were coming back with boy- and girlfriends. We spent the 2006 Christmas holidays with the whole family and we fell in love with it so much that we decided to go there every year and we did until we left unfortunately the Philippines.. What is it exactly? too much to describe in words or capture with digital pictures, it’s the magic of Pandan. The sea, the beaches, the corals (picked up scuba diving over there!), the fish, the turtles that come nest in the island, the wild forest, the animals, the pet parrot (kids named it bonjour..), the smiley face of Sonny welcoming you with a cold drink in the open bar, the voice calling for lunch or dinner " Aaa la bouffe!..", the turkey and the great Christmas dinner prepared by Denis (the chef). And for a few days, you were totally disconnected from the World, from TV, stress, cars, offices, and all the BS and little games we all generally intoxicate our lives with... This could be quite harsh for some, almost initiatic.. Did you ever find yourself in front of yourself in heaven? It can be terribly boring if you are not really prepared to find yourself and invite the child in you for a peaceful walk on Pandan white beaches...

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank R S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Pandan Island
40.2 mi away
Sikatuna Beach Hotel
Sikatuna Beach Hotel
#2 of 2 in San Jose
3.0 of 5 bubbles 54 reviews
48.4 mi away
Montani Beach Resort
Montani Beach Resort
#12 of 51 in Puerto Galera
4.5 of 5 bubbles 127 reviews
16.0 mi away
Apo Reef Club
Apo Reef Club
#1 of 4 in San Jose
4.0 of 5 bubbles 40 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
34.1 mi away
Grace Island Resort
Grace Island Resort
#2 of 6 in San Jose
4.5 of 5 bubbles 13 reviews
2.0 mi away
Sablayan Adventure Camp Beach Resort
45.3 mi away
Infinity Resort
Infinity Resort
#5 of 51 in Puerto Galera
4.5 of 5 bubbles 128 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Pandan Island Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Pandan Island Resort

Property: Pandan Island Resort
Address: Pandan Island, Pandan Island, Mindoro 5104, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mindoro > Occidental Mindoro Province > Pandan Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pandan Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pandan Island is a private island with a small resort on the West coast of Occidental Mindoro, Central Philippines.Since the island was 'discovered' and the resort established in 1986 by a French adventurer, this tropical island retreat has been voted time and again as one of the top resorts in the Philippines, not in terms of luxury (we do not have air-conditioned rooms, room service or cable television networks on the island) but for it's life close to nature and it's personalized atmosphere. Pandan Island is for people who like to spend time in tropical surroundings where you are woken up by the singing of colorful birds, where there is only a palm tree between you and the sea, where you still know your neighbors.All bungalows are built in native materials, like coconut lumber, bamboo, sawali, cogon grass to let them blend easily into their tropical surroundings. Care has been taken to provide a simple yet comfortable atmosphere with a maximum of privacy for all who need to get away from hectic life. Since all the electricity on the island is provide by a solar system our bungalows do not have air-con or fans.T he bungalows are built directly by the sea separated from the beach only by palm trees and / or bougainvillea bushes with the breeze from the sea providing for ventilation.Each house has its private gecko (lat. gecko gecko) that is believed to bring good luck to the house it inhabits.Besides spending your day in a hammock or exploring the few secluded beaches, we offer a wide range of activities to choose from. Scuba Diving in the coral gardens around Pandan or around the nearby Apo Reef is the most popular and exciting activity to engage in but we also offer you the possibility to explore the jungle rivers of nearby Mindoro by kayak or visit the small coastal town of Sablayan and meet its friendly inhabitants.However you choose to spend your vacation, our staff will do their utmost to make your stay on Pandan Island a relaxing or adventurous experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pandan Island Hotel Pandan Island

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing