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“Great place to relax” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Portulano Dive Resort

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Portulano Dive Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bauan
Certificate of Excellence
calgary
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great place to relax”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2012

We went here last September as a group of 3. When we arrived at the resort, it didnt impress us much maybe because of the paint and the design outside of the resort. The swimming pool is a little dissapointment , It was not tiled and there are sea snails but we understand its for diving lessons.Room is ok, its like mexican inspired design with the view of the sea. Staff and owners are very accomodating.Food is good too. Specially the Lunch and Breakfast that we had. What we didnt like :Linens!beddings and towels.Its rough on the skin and the smell is not good.Since they are using white covers they should have atleast check if there are stains on the cover, they should use a better fabric conditioner and use a non transparent curtains. Sun rays pass into the glass door and it become so hot inside the room.Please keep the veranda door closed there are alot of bugs at night.And oh we can smell the dogs up inside our room even at the Lounge area.Do we still want to go back here?Yes. I think they can do something about those minor complains that we have. If you want to relax, read a book and learn how to scuba dive I highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JD0709
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
diveaddiction, Owner at Portulano Dive Resort, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Thank you for your review, we only had a handful of guests in September since there were storms almost every weekend and we were closed for almost the entire month.

We had been recovering from the rains and extreme dampness in September. This could explain why sheets didn't smell fresh. We have never received any complaints like this before, and we have even purchased imported bed covers to ensure good quality. Sometimes this is subjective for each person but for sure we will look into what fabric softener etc., is used and other opportunities to improve this. But believe me we've had guests who are super picky about details such as this and they end up being happy and pleased.

We appreciate the feedback but equally disappointed that our staff was not advised on site, we could have easily addressed that during your stay.

It would have been practical to have advised the front desk of it so that the sheets could have been changed. You cannot imagine how hardworking the staff is and will eagerly address concerns, even install blinds, if you needed them. I'm sure they will be very disheartened to know that they were not given the chance to serve you well.

The curtains are not transparent, they are canvas cloths so that guests have some privacy given that the entire front opens up to the ocean. Perhaps blinds outside the veranda could help in certain rooms.

We have made it a commitment to blend with the environment, thus the presence of bugs in certain season usually during rainy months. The same goes with the sea snails in the pool, very charming for children to play with and just part of the natural habitat we don't intend to clean out, or fumigate out. They're harmless anyway.

They lived here first and we are the intruders so we felt we needed to adjust and adapt.

If you look closely, fireflies enter the room at night, so this is just part of the experience, if you shut the lights, they will keep out of your room.

Our resort is more rustic, cozy and built with natural materials. I must admit, it's not really impressive when you approach it, but great when you're in it. It's funny that you say it's mexican, maybe yes and no, it's our own version of what mediterranean is in the Philippine context, and our guests always compliment us on how we have designed our place. So I guess everyone has his own taste to suit. The building exterior is meant to be rustic and weathered, and beautiful in that way, obviously since it has to withstand the elements.

We have been thinking a lot about tiling the pool, but dive tanks will tend to break the tiles, so that's still under consideration. But we have been thinking about some other improvements related to the pool once we have a little bit more budget, still keeping it as an eternity pool that is salt water since that's still way better than chlorinated fresh water.

Lastly, we must apologize for our old labrador Snork has become stinky the last few months and it's been a problem for us. She's been in heat that month and age has not helped, but we are working on a solution that seems to be working well now, specially since she's no longer in heat.
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103 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2012 via mobile

We love our stay. We enjoyed the experience. Service was good crew was friendly. So perfect for family bonding etc.we'll be back for more. And we wil keep recommending this place. My little princess caitlin enjoyed her stay she wants to stay there for good. :)

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Priafajardo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2012

Portulano is great from the start. I am in Manila for work and couldn't come to the Philippines without getting at least one dive in. As a single femle travelling alone you need to know you have a safe welcoming enviorment. Portulano didn't miss a beat on anything. Wonderful warm staff. Knowledgable Dive team. Clean and inviting resort. Cant recommend them enough, espeically since it was an easy drive from Manila which meant no airplane concerns.

Just a note, there are 2 smaller rooms that dont have running hot water or locks on the door. (All the rest do) They are small bungalos with a bamboo ladder which you climb up into. They do provide a hot water kettle and a bucket after a quick few minutes toward logisitcs works quite well. I have to admit... I LOVED it. It reminded me of being a kid, sleeping in a tree house. If you are up for it, definitely give it a chance.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 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?
Thank Kristinemichele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Coral, Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012

After spending 8 weeks working in Manila, we planned a long needed vacation long weekend at Portulano. This was our first time there. We went based on all of the great reviews and every good word was 100% right. The owners were awesome - super nice and very scuba knowledgeable. I am newer to scuba than my husband, they taught me so much.

Rooms were great. We actually stayed in a hillside fan room. Which is exactly what it say - one the hill and fan no a/c. It was mid-July and it was totally comfortable. Room was basic and perfect even the bed was super comfy. Wall size opening doors with white drapes that flowed in the wind and sleeping to the wave crashing below was the best!

Dives were amazing saw all sorts of things including shark and turtle. They made all of our dives perfect. Note if you dive Nitrox they only have a certain number of tanks available.

Food was great too. So many choices even though it is a small hotel to our standards - about 35 people is max, but they are still adding on more rooms and common areas. It will always be cozy.

Prices were very reasonable for the room and the diving.

When we go back to the Philippines we will stay a week or more for sure!!!! LOVED IT!!!

Kathleen & Todd

Room Tip: Go for the hillside. Beds there are not as stiff. Best nights sleep in years!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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?
Thank yourkat76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
81 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2012

We ended up at Portulano courtesy one of our friends who is a dive-master. Most of us, in the group knew how to dive and were generally drawn to the idea of learning and of course getting away from the craziness of Manila. We arrived in the middle of the night (almost) and the boat trip signaled the start of an adventure. Although we were fashionably late, we were still treated to dinner and we had drinks till late at night sitting on the terrace on the hammocks and looking out at the sea. It was just one of the many awesome location choices available.
Next morning while the trained divers proceeded to do whatever it is that they do - 'going boldly where few others have gone before' and all that, we started our intro diving course with Arnel, the owner and one of the instructors. He made the theory lesson and the first session in the pool,just pure fun and his sense of humour even makes you laugh underwater. After that we went for 2 open water dives with him, and it was an out of the world experience.
In between we were treated to great meals, along with conversation amongst people from all over - belgium, indonesia, UK etc.
The rooms are decorated with little knick knacks and all, we chose the twin bed options, with a balcony overlooking the water. Comfy beds, working a/c, hot water - what else does one need ? The meal menu is fixed but has enough for everyone, although the vegetarian with us was not very impressed but even he had more than enough. The training is excellent and so are the people who help out with the equipment. Tank and Snork, the resident labradors keep an eye on proceedings all the time.
If I get the option of going back to Manila, i would no doubt spend a week at Portulano and get my diver's license .. this is a sentiment which is shared by other intro divers who went with me. Portulano is not just a great place to escape and dive but also to chill and forget the worries of life. Learn to Dive, or experience one of the many excellent diving options nearby if you are an experienced diver, enjoy the sunsets and chill out with food and beer .. Two thumbs up !!

Room Tip: Everything is beach facing so no worries about choosing !! That's the best part ..
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Abhijit_Singh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2012

I stayed here for a week in the fall of 2009. If you are a serious diver and just want to dive in peace, this is the place to go. You are quickly transported from backwoods Philippines to prehistoric Philippines via a boat connection. There are no roads, and the resort itself is built into the side of a steep hill right on the water. You can dive solo right off the pier, day or night. The most diving freedom I've ever experienced, aside from Habitat Curacao in the Caribbean. The reef (as of 2009...things unfortunately can change rapidly these days) was in great shape, with lots of wildlife. I played tag with a cuttlefish for almost an hour one day. The staff is great, the food is authentic local cuisine (I think), the owners are frequent residents and are great to talk to, and the property itself is fantastic. Great views from everywhere. For those that care, the air conditioning worked great, too, although we only used it at night. There were a lot of repeat customers when we were there, of all nationalities (Singapore, Netherlands, Japan, US, and locals), and all serious divers. Will most definitely return when we're back on this side of the globe.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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?
1 Thank HowDidIEndUpHere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Makati City
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2012

Choosing Portulano was more of an act of serendipity. I had a selection of resorts but for some reason Portulano's website, reviews, and photos drew me in. I was there to do a little soul searching read books during my two night stay. I didn't want a TV nor did I need it for the first time in my life. I just wanted a place secluded and quiet where I could think and find joy in nature. And I did. The room I took was P2,800 a night and included all meals, buffet style. The room was the least expensive of them all and did not have any air conditioning. And for the first time again, I didn't mind not having air conditioning (when I'm the type that loves the cold). The breeze was perfect and the sound of the waves so gentle, that tranquility began to set in. From the verandah, dining room, and from my bedroom the most glorious sunset one could imagine would take your breath away every single day. In a land known for sunsets, this place blessed me with the most beautiful ones. And for that I'll go back to Portulano. The service is good and the owners Anthony and Carmella are so personable and friendly. It is a great place even for non-divers like my self, an ok place to snorkle, and a truly romantic spot. The only drawback is the food which isn't so great. Aside from that - go there!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 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?
2 Thank ClutchCrowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
diveaddiction, Owner at Portulano Dive Resort, responded to this review, February 26, 2012
Dear Clutch Crowe,
Thank you for your review and we are glad you enjoyed your stay at the resort. We are quite eager to know details of why you felt our food wasn't so great. We've received been receiving good reviews about our food specially from our inbound guests, so it's important for us to know what we could have missed out, specially now that we have been expanding our menu to accommodate long staying visitors. While we do understand that tastes differ, we want to make sure we are able to serve the best and therefore looking forward to your inputs. We hope you can give us more details, eg. which menu in particular you encountered so it can help us improve our service as much as we can. Please do send us a private message at carmela@portulano.com or through Tripadvisor.
Best Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Portulano Dive Resort

Property: Portulano Dive Resort
Address: San Pablo | Anilao, Batangas, Bauan, Luzon 4201, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Calabarzon Region > Batangas Province > Bauan
Amenities:
Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bauan
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A boutique resort in the more quiet side of what is popularly known as Anilao, Batangas. Portulano Dive Resort provides snorkeling and scuba diving services to Anilao/Mabini, Bauan, Tingloy popular dive sites. Wake up to the gentle sound of the waves with rooms directly fronting the sea with a bedside view of the ocean. It's a great place for both divers, non-divers having lots of private space to lounge and relax. Design and architecture is inspired by mediterranean colors accented by local materials and artistry. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Portulano Dive Hotel Bauan
Portulano Dive Resort Batangas/Bauan, Philippines

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