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“WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE!!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Crystal Blue Resort

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Crystal Blue Resort
Ranked #6 of 16 Mabini B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2014

While most of the comments are from divers, I found Crystal Blue Resort to be perfect place for snorkeling. The resort was able to arrange a day trip for island hopping, we were able to snorkel around the different islands and had a wonderful picnic....needless to say the snorkeling was fabulous. The water was so clear and had great visibility. The hotel was also able to arrange a day trip to Taal Volcano and Tagaytay. The ocean view from my room was spectacular. The rooms, bathrooms, and the dining areas were very clean. The meals were great and the tropical fruits were mouth watering. I can't say enough about the staff...they were respectful, accommodating, and quite friendly. I noticed that prior to checking out, the other guests were already booking their next stay for Crystal Blue for the following year. My stay at Crystal Blue was so peaceful and wonderful. I would happily return to Crystal Blue...although the next time, I will bring the rest of family so they too can experience the same bliss! Thank you Crystal Blue for a wonderful experience!!!

Room Tip: second floor rooms have the best views
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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 999travelbug2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 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
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
74 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2013

Crystal Blue Resort in Anilao, Philippines

We stayed for 14 nights in October/November 2013. This resort is an inexpensive, relaxed location for muck and reef diving. Fish are mostly small tropicals with some jacks, trevally, and snapper.

The best time to go to the Philippines is said to be in April/May. November is described as the second best time to go. July to October are rainy. Typhoons come July through December.

The tragic "super-typhoon" just passed by, so we skipped diving yesterday due to heavy intermittant rain for 24-hours. The typhoon went south of us, and we are on the west coast, not the east, where they got a direct hit with 200 mile an hour winds. After our day off, our guide selected spots that would be least likely to have rain-runoff---the tiny offshore islands.

From the Manilla airport to the resort, the drive took 3 hours with a brief stop in Batangas at the "HyperMarket" to pick up snacks and wine. While the resort is not luxurious, it works well because it was designed around dive facilities. The hotel could be categorized as 2.5 to 3 stars. There is no pool or lounge chairs for suntanning after a dive.

The dive facilities: There are unheated 3 showers, two fresh water tanks for cameras, two fresh water tubs for washing wetsuits, 2 toilets and ample space for drying your stuff. There is a large camera room with many stations that is convenient to the dive shop. Nitrox is available.

The dive boats are large, stable outriggers with powerful engines and some overhead shade. They own 3 boats and have access to more identical boats if they have a large group. Each boat has two boatmen who take cameras and gear out to the boats, assist with donning BCs and with getting you out of the water. In addition, there is a dive guide who is very attentive.

For our first week, there were few people at the resort, my husband and I had a dive guide and a boat to ourselves. The second week when our friends arrived, we had four to a boat. If you come with a large group or dive club, the boats may be more crowded. I believe the boats could fit five or six people if need be. The morning dives are two tank dives with a one-hour surface interval.

Diving: Most dives are 75 feet or less. The morning dives were the most interesting and were about 25 minutes away on nearby islands. Afternoon and night dives were on the mainland about 10 minutes away. There is no shore diving off the resort, because the ocean front water is mainly rubble. (although we did see a flamboyant cuttlefish there on our check out dive.) My favorite sites were Skeleton Wreck, Layag-Layag, Beatrice, and west of Sombero island. On our last day diving we saw 6 large frogfish on one dive: 2 black, 2 green, 1 white and 1 gray. Then two huge Spanish Dancers on the night dive at Cathedral.

Water temperature varied from 79 to 81 degrees. On the mainland, where there was muck diving, the bottom was mostly rubble and sand. It is not pretty. The visibility was so-so to poor. On the small islands, where there were tropical fish and soft coral, the visibility improved.

A good variety of muck-diving creatures are here, but it takes a good deal of hunting to find something special. While they have some truly interesting creatures, the muck diving is not as good as Lembeh Straights. And while the reef diving off the islands is good, it is not as good as Raja Ampat.

Rooms: We got one of two "family suites" because they are closer to the restaurant and the dive shop. They are about $25 US dollars more a night. Some repeat guests rent the manager's apartment, when the manager is not here. Don't know price of that. The resort has 6 or 7 levels depending how you count...
Level one is the beach and the boats
Level 2 is the dive shop and dive staging area.
Level 3  camera room & bar
Level 4  the management office
Level 5 are the "family suites" with 2 rooms and an air conditioner in each room, a table with two chairs, and a mini-refrigerator. The manager's apartment is also on this level.
Level 6 is the bottom floor of the bank of small standard rooms. These have a patio with two chairs and a table, a grassy area for sunbathing (but no lounge chairs) and outdoor hooks for hanging wet swimsuits.
Level 7 is the upper floor of the building with standard rooms. These have tiny balconies and a view of the islands across the way. If two minutes before a dive you realize that you forgot something, you will need to climb 6 flights of stairs and then descend 6 flights of irregularly cobbled stairs.

Staff: The staff is very friendly. Our dive guide Edgar, spoke good English. The resort offers massage at low prices.

Food: The food varies from very good to mediocre, but is mostly good. Shrimp, calamari, fish and chicken are very frequently on the menu. Some soups are excellent. Beer is inexpensive. The wine tasted odd. Best to buy some on the way into the resort. It is all buffet; you even get your own coffee, water or ice tea. The staff sitting nearby are there just to clear your plates when you are finished.

Room Tip: The "family suites" are closer to the restaurant and the dive shop.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lindaruthe2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2013

Like a great summers day, the good just kept coming. We were there for a 10 day underwater photography workshop and was impressed with the quality of the whole package. Mike the manager and photography expert was informative, had a great sense of humour and helpful. The rooms were comfortable and quite. All of the house staff were extremely respectful and the dive masters were wizards, how do they find all those critters and keep four wandering photographers together. Special thanks to Ray the Chef, such great food!

  • Stayed June 2013, 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?
2 Thank NewZealandSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2013

The resort is very well set up for diving especially for underwater photographers. The camera room is excellent with individual work stations with power, lighting and storage space. The dive boats are the banca commonly used in the Philippines and are comfortable to dive from but with limited shade. Fortunately all sites are within 35 minutes or so travel from the resort. The dive deck at the resort is fine with separate areas for scuba gear and cameras. The staff look after your dive gear and take it to and from the dive boats and change tanks during dives. The guides are very knowledgeable and helpful. The food (buffet) is tasty and varied. The rooms are smallish but clean and the AC works well. There were a couple of water outages during the 10 days that I was there in May 2013. All the facilities, rooms, reception, restaurant, bar, camera room and dive deck are on different levels so going up and down the fairly steep stairs is a bit of a workout!. This resort is principally for diving and there are no shops or restaurants nearby. There is a jacuzzi but it wasn't operational during my stay.Transport to and from Manila airport was very well organised. I would go back again.

Room Tip: All the rooms require some climbing of stairs
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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?
2 Thank Nautilus127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Island of Hawaii, Hawaii
Level Contributor
63 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2013

We just spent 10 days at Crystal Blue. We were attending an Underwater Photography workshop. So the trip was all diving and camera work. We left for the trip not really knowing what to expect. What we found was a very pleasant resort, very well maintained and run. Mike the manager, does an amazing job. We all felt comfortable and there was nothing we could ask for that the staff was unwilling to try and do. The rooms are a bit small but they were clean and the a/c worked very well. We had all the hot water we wanted and there was daily maid service. As we were diving all day we were rarely in the rooms so the size was no issue. There is a very comfortable lobby to longe in as well as very pleasant dining room all open air with fabulous views of the ocean and other islands. The Camera facilities are the best we have seen. the dive area is very well laid out with plenty of showers, rinse tanks, drying areas and storage. The dive staff was very professional and very good at guiding. The resort is located in an area where there is nothing else to do- nowhere else to go and eat, sight see, shop etc. there is no pool- so if you are not going there to dive, be prepared. We found the food to be just fine, not great but by no means bad. The Kitchen was happy to accomodate any special requests as all the meals are buffet style. the only small complaint we have is that the restaurant staff did not offer any real service other than clearing dirty plates. The ocean water was very warm and the diving was delightful- really good Macro subjects. Mike is an excellent photographer and was always willing to offer advice, suggestion etc.
We will be going back again next spring. Make sure you have a massage early in your stay, as they were excellent and inexpensive- If you wait until the end of your trip, you will be sorry that you missed a chance at having more!

Room Tip: Upper rooms have balconies and views, but have more stairs. well worth it in our opinion.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 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?
1 Thank drbw1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Traverse City, Michigan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

My wife and I spent two weeks there in April of 2013. The rooms are very nice, comfortable, and clean. The room was made up daily with fresh towels and bottled water. A/C worked great. Food was good and plentiful. There was usually two different meat selections, pasta, veggies, etc. Soft drinks and beer are reasonably priced. Dive operation is top notch. The camera room was near the dive area and very well laid out. We did two morning dives, went back to the resort for lunch, then back out for a single afternoon dive. DMs were great. We had the same DM and a private boat for the entire stay which was awesome. Overall it's a wonderfull place to stay and we would definitely go back.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cdoyal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

We stayed 10 nights at the Crystal Blue resort last month, rooms were spacious & clean, food buffet style but put out in small amounts so always fresh.The hotel &dive staff were all excellent also plenty of fresh towels for after diving so no need to pack any.

Room Tip: Lots of steps as the resort is on a hill so plenty of exercise!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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 Gail5768
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Crystal Blue Resort

Property: Crystal Blue Resort
Address: Anilao, Mabini, Luzon, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Calabarzon Region > Batangas Province > Mabini
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Mabini
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Crystal Blue is a year round dive resort in Anilao, Philippines. Our resort is focused on providing a superb platform for the professional or budding underwater photographer and divers. Our Camera facility, rinse tanks and dive decks are designed for organization, in a relaxed atmosphere. Our chef is waiting to create something wonderful to eat while discussing the days adventures. Our rooms are all AC and have wonderful views. We want your trip experience to be memorable and not break the bank, so while we provide all of these great amenities and more we do so at a value. The Philippines are a very special place and Crystal Blue would like to invite you to experience the one-of-a-kind hospitality that we are known for. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda so you can book your Crystal Blue Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Crystal Blue Resort Batangas/Mabini, Philippines

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