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“Highly recommended for excellent diving and dive instruction”

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Portulano Dive Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bauan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Highly recommended for excellent diving and dive instruction”
Reviewed January 3, 2013

I'm a US resident but nevertheless manage to be a regular at Portulano. I obtained my advanced open water certification from Arnel ca. 2008 and have been back two more times since. Arnel and Carmela are perfect hosts--warm, laid back, and knowledgeable--and that's reflected in the great crowd of divers they attract. It's easy to show up solo and have dive buddies instantly. The house and boat staff are all excellent, as are the dive masters that help out now and again (Winston led most of my dives on the last trip and was great all around).There's tons to see in the house reef and surrounding sites. I'm eager to see the new additions and renovations to the facilities on my next visit.

There are plenty of places to dive in the Philippines, and even in Batangas, but I keep coming back to Portulano. Highly recommended for divers.

- Mike

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mtrido
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Prague, Czech Republic
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

We stayed in Portulano for 3 days and overall had an okay experience.
Plus:
The staff is really friendly; especially Daisy was very helpful. Quality of the food is surprisingly good for such a small scale, remote resort. The diving opportunities are great and not too expensive. The place is quiet and relaxed also because of its isolation.
Minus:
Rooms are very basic and not clean (including the linen). Very basic and dark bathroom. WiFi connection is hopeless and only accessible in the lounge, but even then not very stable.
Avoid this place if you do not like dogs: there are two big ones roaming around the property freely and although harmless they do seek your company even if you do not want them to. And they smell awful; you can smell them at the pool, during meals and if you are 'lucky' one of them will sleep outside your door and you can smell it in your room.

Overall we had an okay stay, but we would not go here again. If you are into diving and do not care too much about your accommodation: by all means go there. But if you expect some comfort (and the place is not cheap mind you, so you would expect some) you should consider other options.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Conihor
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, January 2, 2013
Dear reviewer,
Thank you very much for your feedback which is much appreciated. To be honest, this seems to be the final straw since we have been having trouble with our dogs and have already decided to house them away from the resort grounds and guest areas. We are even seriously considering for them to be adopted. While it's sad for us and other guests, they have been becoming a nuisance because one of them is already quite old and is hard to maintain unlike before. I suppose it was also hard for us to determine this because they are very well liked by most of our guests and are often concerned when they are leashed or kept.

We've recently added 4 new rooms with very high ratings and commendations from our guests, we have found them to be so much better than our older rooms since we have had a bit more budget in setting it up. The next step happening this January is upgrading the rest of the rooms to catch up with the new ones. This includes linens, towels etc. So it seems we are on the same page on this one.

Overall, we have still received exceptional reviews from our guests staying this long holiday so we are hopeful that we can only get better as we move in to 2013.
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Luzon, Philippines
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2012

I arrived here, not knowing anyone a little after Christmas 2010, the directions provided were accurate, although between myself and the driver we managed to get a little lost, a call to the resort, describing where we were elucidated a good set of directions to get us the last few km to the parking area.
I was met by one of the resort staff, who helped me transfer my baggage to the boat for the short ride round the point to the resort. Upon arrival it was very apparent that this was going to be one of those places where I could truly relax, no TV, no phones unless you had a good signal on your cell and no internet without a 3G dongle.
; total relaxation. I got to meet other guests, and made some friends quite quicklyMy girlfriend was due to follow me to the resort a couple of days later; in the mean time all the staff, and particularly Carmela and Arnel made me feel very welcome and a part of the family.
I got my dives in for the next few days, before my girlfriend arrived, the water was warm and clear, the enthusiasm for sharing their local dive sites was infectious and both Carmela and Arnel led dives, Carmela with camera in hand to document where she could all the exciting fish, corals and other flora and fauna.
I had a secret plan for New Year's to ask my girlfriend to marry me, all of the staff and other guests knew about this and gave us some space as midnight arrived; I popped the question and to my huge relief, Kathy agreed to marry me. We rejoined the other guests, staff and Carmela and Arnel to celebrate the new year and our engagement, with fireworks and sparkling wine, this still brings tears to my eyes as I remember this most happy and best ever New Year' Eve, thanks to Carmela and Arnel and all the staff and guests at Portulano for making this such a special holiday

Room Tip: The upper tier rooms probably have a better breeze so you can stay cool with the AC off to save the...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank garybyrne69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
calgary
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • 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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2 reviews
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Priafajardo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Kristinemichele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Coral, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank yourkat76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Portulano Dive Resort

Property: Portulano Dive Resort
Address: | North side of Anilao, 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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