I have stayed at Alegre Resort 5 times over the past year and each visit is sheer bliss. Each time I return to Alegre there is a bottle of red wine in my room as a thank-you gift and it's a nice touch. My most recent visit was the 6th and 7th of February 2012.
As others have expressed, the resort is located 1,5-2hrs drive depending on traffic North from Cebu City along the coast. When booking the resort on the hotel website (or on other discount hotel websites) you can opt for a package that includes round-trip transportation from Cebu City, but as others have wrongly mentioned it is not included in all packages so make sure to read the package inclusions carefully before booking. Personally the transport is a very nice perk. If I had to pay extra for the service I would book somewhere closer to Cebu City like Shangri-La where it costs 300pesos (7Can dollars) for a taxi ride.
I usually visit Alegre weekdays and avoid the busier weekend and that makes the resort feel deserted at times even when the occupancy rate is around 75%. The resort is very well spaced and somehow it never feels crowded.
As mentioned before the resort is spread out above a cliff and overlooking the ocean which offers truly stunning views but also alot of walking up and down to get to the beach. If you are older or have limited mobility this can be an issue, but to me and my wife it's a plus and allows us a slight workout and keeps us in shape.
The restaurant is located overlooking the ocean and during the day offers sweeping views. On a clear day off to your left in the distance you can see Leyte, and to the right slightly you can see the Camotes Islands. In the evening if you sit near the railing the rope lighting makes for a very romantic dinner. Prices for meals are expensive for the Philippines and have increased 30-40% in the last year, but not out of line with other resorts such as Shangri-La.
The food is good and well presented and yes sometimes the service can be slow, (food will come 20-30mins after ordering) but you are on vacation not waiting for a flight at the airport so relax, have another drink and enjoy the evening. There is a German head chef working at Alegre and I have seen him a few times when there are other German guests he will often come out to speak with them and mingle abit when he is not busy.
The grounds are truly beautiful and very well maintained. The beach does have white sand but is not fine powder. The sand particles are ground up bits of coral and shells which makes it very easy to find small shells while walking the beach. The aqua sports is located on the third cove. Snorkel gear rental is not free as others have mentioned, but a one-time snorkel gear rental or one-time kayak rental is included in some packages. Read the package inclusions carefully.
They also offer jet-ski rental, several different snorkel trips offered on the Alegre banca, diving trips, padi certification, deep-sea fishing, and some evening-sunset cruises on the banca boat. All the activities mentioned are very expensive even by Western standards so make sure to inquire carefully about pricing before booking.
The resort is supposedly German owned and there is a German manager, but I have never seen a German manager at any time during my stays at Alegre.
I will now point out some of the negatives to Alegre, and some of these points are major and some minor but they should be mentioned.
The biggest negative is the pool. It looks great and a refreshing dip in the pool can be a nice treat after being at the beach all day or in the evening surrounded by romantic lighting after a nice meal but the pool requires major work.The filter pump system can be heard working in the room next to the stairs but it is all an illusion. Every suction point in the pool doesn't work, there is no water filtration or water movement in the pool and this problem has been going on for the past 6 months. Touch all of the suction vents in the pool and there is no water flow, the pool is stagnant with no chlorine treatment of any kind. That makes parts of the pool bottom slimy to the touch. The sides of the pool have become black in some sections and the blue paint is flaking off and when feels slimy to the touch.The lights underwater give off a nice glow after dark but are not properly secured and they are very loose when touched and with low electrical codes in the Philippines is just an accident waiting to happen.
Rooms 14-15 are older and have the older smaller bathtub. The lock to the small toilet area was broken in room 15 last trip. The matresses are getting kind of old in all the bungalows I have stayed in. Good quality European mattresses would make all the difference. Also the whole bathroom setup can be challenging if travelling with someone you are not very close with as the door to the toilet area is a see-through shower door. If a full-sized wooden door was installed it would eliminate the possible awkwardness. There are full sized wooden dividers that section off the bathroom area for more privacy but they are a pain in the rump to use honestly.
The TV's in the rooms are older and sometimes the remotes are broken and you have to get up to change the channel on the TV manually. There are only a few channels on TV. 12-15 if I remember correctly so don't expect alot of choices. The lack of TV channels didn't bother me, I just mention it in passing as I just arrived the morning of the Negros-Cebu earthquake and I turned on the TV to figure out what was going on, and more TV options would of been helpful.
All the bungalows I have stayed in have a door to the other adjoining room that can be opened only upon request from the front desk and can be great when someone you know is staying in the next room as you can walk freely from one room to the next. The downside begins when there is a smoker in the next room and even when the door is locked the smoke will still make its way under and into your room. I am a non-smoker so thought I would point that out. The whole adjoining door system seems outdated and they should do away with it. Much easier to open the sliding wooden doors on the balcony and use that as a way to gain access to the other room.
The pluses to staying at Alegre are.
The grounds are so well maintained, perfect and so very beautiful. The quiet nature of the resort makes you well rested. At night usually only the sound of waves on the beach, the wind rustling though palm trees and the occasional gecko can be heard, very very peaceful.
The staff are very helpful and never over-bearing. Some OJT's (On Job Training), students of hotel and restaurant courses working for job experience are hired in the dining room from time to time. They provide excellent care, just sometimes slow service due to there lack of knowledge. The checkin staff are excellent and are always around to solve any issues and they provide great service.
The balconies provided with each room are amazing to sit and relax. Good place to have a drink in the evening or let snorkel gear dry out and are a real bonus feature.
Each bungalow has it's own hot water provider and that makes for some nice long hot showers, a great treat after a long day at the beach, or lazing around the pool.
The beach area and marine sanctuary is just amazing. The amount of coral is stunning! I would recommend going out from the main cove (middle one) and snorkeling directly away from the beach. At first you will encounter some small weed beds and then some broken and sun-bleached coral sections, do not be discouranged! Keep going! After that when the water gets over 10+ feet the water clarity improves and the ocean bottom reveals a stunning array of coral. Some very large table-top coral with lenghts of over 20ft can be found in that section with many different types of sponges and coral, breathtaking! Three quarters of the way out you can see the white sand bottom 35ft below and there are some nice large coral outcroppings that appear and are 20 ft high and attract some nice fish. At the rope sectioned off limit on a calm day you can see the bottom at 50+ feet and a few bigger fish, after the rope the bottom drops off into the depths. On the other roped off section on the aqua sports side there are some large impressive table-top coral spanning 30+ ft, very cool.
While the number and amount of coral species is very impressive the number of fish is not as good as in other places off Mactan. The resort needs to do a better job to protect the fish population and to educate the local fishermen so they do not strip the fish resource bare. Mostly smaller reef fish at Alegre.
A few days stay at Alegre is just prefect for me and my wife and allows us to rest and recharge our batteries. A week would be too long and we would get bored.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Cancelon, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly and Travel Book Philippines, Inc. so you can book your Alegre Beach 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:
- Alegre Beach Hotel Cebu
- Alegre Beach Cebu