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Coral Bay Beach & Dive Resort
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Reviews (207)
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All reviewscoral bayfishdive resortother islandstwin islandsremote islandbeach fronthour boat ridewatch the sunsetcold watersouth beachbeautiful islandloud musicnatural environmentcoron busuangabeautiful surroundingsprivate beach
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Reviewed April 24, 2012

Me and my wife staid at the resort during our Honeymoon in
Philippines. The place is located on an Island (40 mins by
Van and another 40 mins by boat) far from Coron town.
The place is amazingly designed to integrate with the
surrounding nature.
The stuff was very nice and helpful and always had time for
us if we needed something. Our deal included three meals a
day, and the food was excellent (big breakfast), in addition
to that, you can order food and extras from the bar.
We stayed at a Deluxe room with a sea view and a fan. The room
was made of bamboo with bamboo furniture, exactly how we
expected to find in a tropical island resort (much better
then the new Western resorts which popped like mushrooms
after the rain in Thailand islands). The room had a big window
facing to a balcony with a big bamboo hammock in front of the sea,
which was excellent because we had nice sea breeze during
the night. Electricity is running from 6PM to 6AM which is
nice, but you don't actually need it. We didn't even used the
WiFi at all (they have it, but only near the reception). We
scuba dived in there house reef, which was nice (but not more
then that). The diving equipment was in a very good condition
(most of it is new). I can write much more, but I will
summarize the review by saying that the best thing about the
place is that I can't wait to go back there.

Room Tip: I think the best room is room number 11, because it's the most quiet and the location is the best in the resort
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Adir C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2012

Hopefully this review is helpful to anyone who goes to this resort who is not a scuba diver. My girlfriend and I are not certified and have very minimal experience, and we found out that they do not have an instructor there that can certify us, so we did not do any scuba diving.

Pros:
- Unbelievable setting, very secluded and remote
- The reef right off the dock was fantastic for snorkeling, just as good as the Great Barrier Reef as I can remember it, and is right there at the hotel
- The FOOD, I am a very picky eater, but my girlfriend and I loved the food, lot of things to eat in the buffets, most of it was delicious, the cook is great and friendly
- We used the free kayaks a few times, there are good opportunities to kayak through the mangrove forest on one side of the resort at high tide, and then go kayak to a secluded private beach on the other side of the resort
- If you want a private cottage, we had one (number 17), but beware it is a lot more expensive than the rest (we did not realize this when we booked), but nonetheless very private and removed from all of the action in the middle
- Most of the staff was very friendly, especially the restaurant staff and bartenders

Cons:
- Overpriced for what it was, the room was expensive and any add-ons were overpriced (such as snorkel gear, $10 USD cocktails, etc)
- The female owner did not even say hello at check in, which was weird because I had emailed her so much before arriving, and was generally unfriendly the entire trip. We told her we wanted to go on an island hopping trip one day (where you pay per boat, not per person), so we were hoping she would find out if anyone else was interested when they checked in, she never bothered doing so. She would seem to be best friends and ultra-friendly to some guests and not others (including ourselves), never really made much sense. If you are going to own and personally operate a small resort, try to be a little more friendly and outgoing, especially if you are charging extremely high prices (if I am going to pay a premium, I want service with a smile).
- As for the day trips, prices were very expensive unless you got a lot of other people to come along, which is not always easy because the resort might not have many guests at that time, and a lot of people are there to go diving, so they have their own plans. We were forced to not go on the trip we hoped to Coron Island because we would have had to pay $180 USD for the two of us, so instead we had to pick a shorter trip to snorkel at a gunboat wreck. Again, the management did not help to find other guests to come with us (we ended up asking other guests at dinner if anyone was interested).
- Although we enjoyed our day activities, there is not much at all to do if you are not a scuba diver. There is not really a true beach to lounge on, and there is only so much kayak-ing and snorkeling you can do. We were there for 2.5 days and 3 nights, and that was more than enough.
- Similarly, there is not much to do at night after dinner. Other than the pool table, there are no activities or anything to do besides go back to the cottage to camp under the mosquito netting.
- Very important, there is only generator power from 6pm-6am, and there is only a small oscillating fan in the room. It was not the most pleasant sleep. And there is no escape anywhere during the day to get some cold air or fan.
- Lastly, our boat trip back to the airport consisted of six of us getting absolutely soaked with sea water and salt spray because our boat drivers were trying to set a new speed record. After that brutal 50 minute constant shower, we had to sit a barely air conditioned van for an hour to the airport. Great way to start a 30 hour trip back to the USA.

All in all, the resort is very picturesque, and the island is a great remote destination and place to visit in the Coron Island region. I would probably try to find another similar resort next time, or recommend to another person, that has all the same charm and scenery (which is similar all over the area), but more features at the resort and maybe at a better value. Again, if you are looking to scuba dive, that is a different story, and maybe this place makes more sense to you.

Room Tip: If you want a lot of privacy, but you are going to pay a lot extra for it, stay at unit 17. Otherwise a lot of the other units are like right next to the reception or dining area and have thin walls and little privacy.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Charles B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
trimixPhilippines, Manager at Coral Bay Beach & Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2012

Sorry to hear, that you wanted a Open Water License, and did not think you could get it.
we are 3 instructors, here, so it would have been easy for you, with one more nights stay. The Open Water course takes 3 days, - You arrived on the first, and left at the last, so not time enough. And as remember, the rate PHP. 15.000 were to expensive for you?
Regarding Island tours, - I asked all guests, - every day, but noone wanted - so it was not possible for you to share a boat with anyone, as nobody wanted to go with you.
As a manager, it is not always I shake hands with all arrivals (we have around 30-50 guest here), - sometimes I am busy with book keeping, mails or other desk jobs. The 3 Desk staff girls we have here, are really sweet and helpful, and should be able to serve you.
I spoke to you every day, regarding tour/sharing guests, your departure etc.
We are sad, that you did not enjoy your stay.
Kind regards
Monica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2012

Palawan is a very nice place with beatiful beaches, clear water and nice landscape. I definitely recommend everybody to come here. But not to stay in this hotel!

First of all the resort is extremely overpriced. You can get the same standard and location for half the price or less. The food here has very bad quality and all of us staying here were equally disappointed at every meal. They serve a tasteless buffet with few options which most of the time is cold.

On top of that the female owner is very unfriendly and and has no feeling for service. We had an issue with the transportation to the airport where she first told us we need to leave 7 hours before our flight because they did not have any boat. Travelling with a baby it is not optimal to sit at Busuanga airport for 5 hours and wait just because the resort can not sort out the logistics. In case they have these problems it is better to not include the airport transportation. The way she handled the whole situation was extremely bad with no feeling for guest service but fortunately her husband came in last minute and kind of sorted it out. And to add I find it very strange that the female owner does not even say hello to her guests while being very visible in the resort.

Being an expat living in Manila I have had the luck to experience a lot of beautiful places in the Philippines but this resort is definitely one of the worst resorts I have seen considering the price.

Stay away!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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10  Thank Tibor R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
trimixPhilippines, Manager at Coral Bay Beach & Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2012

I’m sorry but we did everything we could for you. You are for sure one of these persons where it’s terrible, to be a hotel manager! Just look at your other reviews.
Normally I don’t use time on answer reviews but on this one I have to react:
You are from Sweden, Stockholm actually, where I come from and speak your language perfectly, which, I used a lot of time to do with your wife and parents in law, they were very happy for the stay here, they were specially amazed by the food quality. I did not talk a lot with you, because you at no time seemed like you wanted to, and behaved like a 27 years old teenager! You have a 20 month old girl but you don’t have a proper life jacket for her so I lent you my grandchild’s personal jacket! On the last day you want to show off in front of your parents in law, and tell how the infrastructure should be. I admitted that my secretary made a 1 hour calculation mistake but I corrected that, I even pressed the limit, so your transfer time became almost too short. I got my secretary to call the airline to hold the gate open especially for you and your family; you arrived 43 minutes before take off!!!! In the morning your father in law asked if they could take a walk in Coron town before going, I have to say sorry but due to your son in there is absolutely no time!
I know that you are the type who wants special service for discount, but my wife and I are very hard working so sorry that my wife didn’t treat you as a movie star.
Last; you call yourself an Expat! - You have been in Manila for 3 months?
Welcome to the Philippines. I have stayed here 8 years and traveled here 30 years! Long before you were born.
Best Ulf Winther

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2012

After reading good reviews here on Tripadvisor, I chose Coral Bay Beach & Dive Resort for our 4-day family vacation in Palawan.

We were a family of 14 and I wanted something that was clean, safe, had good food and lots of activities to do for us all. We stayed in one of the big oceanfront cottages with 4 units, with 2-4 persons per unit. The rooms were clean and comfortable.

This resort was really good for snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, hiking and canoeing.

The owners are Danish living part time on the island, and they run electricity between 6pm and 6am daily, as part of their environmentally conscious practices.

On the negative side, I must say that it was alarming when our boat pickup did not carry a single life jacket on board. So once we reached the resort I made sure the office was aware of it and they assured us that life vests would be available on our island hopping tour and on our boat trip back for our airport transfer. I raised this with the owner and they told me that they have done something about it.

Overall, this 4-day vacation was fun for the entire family. We enjoyed the food, the island, the activities, the warm staff.

If you want peace and quiet, this is the place for you. For those who want night life, or karaoke, you will have to find another resort where you can do that. We certainly missed our karaoke during our stay there, but we managed to do more hiking with the kids.

Thanks to Coral Bay staff & owners for making our stay memorable!

Room Tip: We had the big oceanfront cottage with 4 units and it was perfect for our group of 14. There were no cottages beside us.
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Sunset_Paddlers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2012

Pro:
Great food, stunning location, nice rooms, good snorkling. We absolutely had a fabulous time here. You can really relax. The food is also great. The daytrip to Black island was also lovely

Con:
- staff is truly friendly but kind of distant and submissive. They didn't really interact and act really shy. This was our first destination in this country and we we're surprised with the contrast with staff and locals in other parts of the country. On other islands they were outgoing and had lot's of fun with each other and tourists.

- Kayakking...
We went kayakking and the only instruction they gave us was: go back when the waves come. And so we did..We had a really hard time returning because of the waves. In the middle of the sea we decided to get into one kayak together and tie the other one to the other kayak. This way we finally could move forward. We're both in our late 20s and workout on a regular basis. I'm adding this to point out the waves were indeed really tough.

Exhausted we took a break on a nearby beach. On this beach a local discovered our kayak was broken. We could't return and had to be led through the jungle by these helpfull people. The scary thing was that the moment we changed kayaks in the middle of the sea the kayak could have rolled over. Normally that's not such a big deal. But this one was broken and would have filled itself with water!

Now in this situation you could point out it was our own fault. Maybe on some level.
But we thought they were accountable for:
- not warning their guests how rough the sea can get in a matter of minutes.
- checking the kayaks daily
-not sending out a boat if you see the sea is rough and your guests have been gone for hours!
- no apologies by the management

Our advice: check the kayak and stay close to the resort in case the waves show up

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank RoadtripNicaCosta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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