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“Great dive resort and dive operation”

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El Galleon Beach Resort & Hotel
Ranked #14 of 52 Hotels in Puerto Galera
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Coral, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
79 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Great dive resort and dive operation”
Reviewed October 15, 2012

I spent 19 hours on two planes, 2 hours by car in Manila and 1 hour by boat to get to this dive resort. I expected something that would be worth my while and it exceeded my expectation.

The resort is beautiful - right on the beach. The room is clean and comfortable. I had the basic room (no Ritz Carlton) but it worked just fine for me. The resort staff was pleasant and friendly. Everyone was happy to be working there. As soon as the boat docked, the staff grabbed my bags and took them to my room. Check-in took less than a minute. They were waiting for me. 

The food there was incredible. Great local food (pancit for one) and Indian food. They have a French chef that was wonderful. The meals were delicious and reasonably priced. The hotel has a bar that overlooks the water and the view was great.

The diving was very different from what you get in the Caribbean.

The dive operation is Asia Divers. The dive staff and the entire operation was top notch. They put most (actually all) dive operations in the Caribbean to shame. There is a dock that is the largest I have ever seen. It has storage spaces for up to 100 divers at any given time. There were no more than 20 divers when I was there. You handed the dive staff your gear and you don't have to worry about it for your entire stay. They haul it to the boat and clean it for you when you are done. For Nitrox divers, they even analyze the tanks in your presence and you sign off on it. Asia Divers is right next to the resort and it is the BEST run dive operations I have ever seen in my 40 years of diving. The dive masters (Josh, Eric, Alli, Ruben and Jamie) all know how to show divers macro sea life. Alli even dived with a magnifying glass to look for the really small stuff. You get a hot face towel after you surface and when you get to the dock, they hand you a warm towel. The boats were never too crowded and we did back flip entries in a highly organized manner. with the exception of Verde Island, all dive sites are close to the resort so you don't sit in the boat for a hour to get to the dive site.



What you see in the Philippines are very different from the Caribbean. You see very colorful feather soft corals, huge black frog fish (the size of a cat), eels, electric clams that buzz away at 70 feet underwater, gigantic clams, large cuttle fish, lots of nudibranchs and of course Nemo! I saw a juvenile sweetlips swimming like crazy to fend off potential predators. 

The visibility was not very good the week I was there due to some rough weather the week before. But as Jamie was saying, if you are shooting macros, you don't need much visibility. The currents at some sites could be tricky and unpredictable. You will find yourself swimming against the current more often than you are used to.

The dives at Verde Island is especially treacherous. It is definitely not for inexperienced divers. In fact, the dive masters will not take any newly certified divers to Verde Island. The current was extremely strong and could easily lift up or push down a diver 30 or 40 feet in a few seconds. At another dive (canyon wall), I had to abort after narrowly missed smashing my face against a huge coral reef with the current pushing me towards it at great speed. It pulled me down 30 feet in a split second and the viz was near zero and I lost all visual contact with my dive party. I aborted the dive. That's where training and experience came in handy. Several very experienced divers also came close to aborting their dives.



Some other dives were very smooth and tranquil. We were just drifting along with a slight current at 60 to 70 feet and seeing all that beautiful sea life passing by.



In sum, I cannot say enough good things about the resort and the dive operation. They are true professionals. You will also meet lots of people from Hong Kong, Australia and Asia.

Room Tip: I picked the pool side room. Not too many stairs to climb.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Norman W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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216 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 (60)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
45 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012

The hotel is basic. Clean, well equipped and well located. Staff are friendly and pleasant.

I completed the Discover Scuba course this morning and it was excellent. Pete is a friendly, professional instructor, and I really enjoyed the course. The ocean dive at the end of the program sealed the deal. I'll be back for more.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank ChristopherDillon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hebden Bridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2012

My second time in El Galleon and it dawned on me this time what is special about this combined resort & dive shop. Total relaxation mixed with total professionalism. It's like being one of the family when you're there and you are treated like it. No hassle, no pressure, go at your own pace and fantastic Asia Divers Dive Instructors. Thanks to Pete and Ian the Boat Crews, thanks to all the girls on reception and behind the bar and all the happy smiling waitresses each and every morning, and thanks to Alan (owner) for always having time to talk to the punters, in fact the whole team are so friendly and we just love it there. Can't wait to be back guys!! Beer at around £0:80, a main meal run at around £3:00, you can't go wrong. And the dive sites are fantastic and close to the resort.

Room Tip: Don't expect the Burj Al Arab, this is a Dive Resort and Asia Divers are part of the Set Up. Roo...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
55 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2012

Firstly a confession, I have stayed at El Galleon on many occasions during the last four years, and although I keep telling myself to expand my horizons and go elsewhere (and have done so), I keep finding myself back at El Galleon. There is nothing bad to say about the place, everything from the location, the service, the food, the bar is first class. It is a great base for anyone whether young families or older groups of friends. Diving of course is the main reason for visiting, but there are other attractions also, including trips to White Beach, Talapanan, walks up to Sinindigan Light House and so on.

Having recently returned from my last visit, I now look forward to my next trip at Christmas.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Trevor W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HK
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2012

This was our second time in PG but our first at El Galleon and Asia Divers. We went at the end of June which is the start of the off season but it could not have been any better! The diving was fantastic, the dive staff superb and the accommodation perfect for our needs. We are already planning a long weekend in a couple of months. Have to add that the food is the best in the area, and the staff are super friendly. Nothing more I can really add but will say once again a big thank you to Asia Divers and the El Galleon team - see you soon.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KellieHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2012

If you are a scuba diver or just a visitor, EL Galleon has it all for a restful and enjoyable stay. All the staff and other guests make it the friendliest Resort to stay at on Small Lalaguna, it is the easiest place to walk into and say hello and even after the shortest of stays becomes the most difficult place to say good-bye to. Every aspect of your visit is catered for and nothing is ever a problem to help you enjoy your vacation. A must for all to try.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank trickygeorge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2012

This hotel was absolutely perfect for our needs. It is joined to the Asia Divers Centre, which is known for being the best on the island.
The hotel and surrounding area are beautiful, the staff could not have been more helpful, both when we were staying there and also before we had got there. We sent countless emails with questions before we left our home country, and every one was answered swiftly, and politely. Our flight was delayed on the way out, and they refunded money to us for our missed nights stay. The flight delay had nothing to do with them!
We only ate in the hotel once, but the delightful French Chef, comes highly recommended. He is a treat to chat to.
The pool is rather small if you are wanted to spend a lot of time in it, but the sea is literally within touching distance from the restaurant.
The breakfasts are slightly limited in choice (we were half board, so had to have the buffet), but everything was delicious and cooked to perfection.
I can't recommend this hotel strongly enough, to divers, couples, families or those travelling alone. There are plenty of friendly people to chat to and make friends with.
Thank you El Galleon for making my holiday so special.

Lucy (from London)

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the pool. Most rooms are similar. We stayed in a twin room, and these are tiny...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Milliner7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Galleon Beach Resort & Hotel

Property: El Galleon Beach Resort & Hotel
Address: Small Lalaguna, Puerto Galera, Mindoro, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mindoro > Oriental Mindoro Province > Puerto Galera
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 52 Hotels in Puerto Galera
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — El Galleon Beach Resort & Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Renowned for its serene and quaint beachfront surroundings fronting Small La Laguna Beach, Puerto Galera, Asia Divers and El Galleon Beach Resort and have thirty air-conditioned rooms that blend into the tropical hillside. Majestic views of Sabang Bay and Small Lalaguna Beach, with a restaurant which extends to the water’s edge offering a great value in European and local cuisine, a small pool for learning how to dive, spa, and all the hotel amenities and necessities one needs to totally enjoy his/her stay. The dive facility is less than a year old and there is nothing like it in Asia! We have a diving platform with a large pontoon where boats can easily dock making it easy for guests to get on and off the boats. Divers have their own crate for storage in a spacious area, a dedicated camera room; you are well looked after by the crew who are there to help you with anything you may need. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Galleon Beach Resort And Hotel
El Galleon Beach Hotel Puerto Galera

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