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“Very nice place”

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Malapascua Exotic Island Dive & Beach Resort
Ranked #4 of 13 Hotels in Malapascua Island
Certificate of Excellence
Gävle
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Very nice place”
Reviewed April 14, 2011

Stayed 6 nights at Exotic and enjoyed em all. The staff is very friendly and helpsome and the whole place is cozy.
The restaurant and the food i found only beaten by Angelic (the italian restaurant at the opposit beach).
The diving and the divemasters was great, the equipment need some upgrade though.
Earlier post about unintrested staff i must say i sharply disagree about, maybe they have been told to shape up :)
One thing that has to be taken in to concideration is the noise from the local village.
I had a room in the backyard and during the days the noice was almost more then i could stand.
But overall I like Exotic very much !

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MikaelH77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2011

I had a similar experience as one of the reviewers had earlier experienced. This place is a SCAM!!

My friends and I stayed in February for 3 days. I told them I will be leaving/checking out early on my 3rd day. The receptionist said, "It's okay, just leave your billing information." I left early to go to my next trip, then the owner "Dick" started calling me on my phone. The owner was screaming at me and telling me that I didn't pay. I told him, "Hey listen, Dick! I left my information with your receptionist staff because I'm at the airport." He said he's going to call the police to get me arrested. Either that or he wanted me to wire transfer him via Western Union, but he'll double the charges on me. I was so pissed!!

Also, their food was horrible. I had to get myself medically examined in Manila because I had a bad stomach ache and fever after I left Exotic Resort. I was vomitting on the way back home. Lab results I had amoeba. Their food is dirty!

DON'T GO HERE OR THE OWNERS WILL RIP YOU OFF OR PUT BACTERIA ON YOUR FOOD!!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
23 Thank 0ut0ft0wner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DUTCHPHIL, Owner at Malapascua Exotic Island Dive & Beach Resort, responded to this review, June 1, 2011
We would like to make clear the true events, which took place.

The matter to which the reviewer refers occurred on 8 November 2010 (not February 2011 as stated). The guest left the resort in the early morning 4AM without paying his bill of Php 22,000 (approx US$500) and without leaving any contact details. As a criminal act had taken place we informed the local police and were also lucky to obtain a cell phone number from a third party. So our Manager (not the owner “Dik” as the reviewer incorrectly states) telephoned the guest to request payment of his bill. He did then pay his bill and we did not contact the guest again. However the guest later placed a negative and unreasonable review with TripAdvisor, which we responded to. We thought that this was being an end to the matter but we were disappointed to read another negative review about the same incident from the same group of 6 people after 5 months, which also contained untrue information. This had only one goal, which was to harm our company and not to make a genuine review. I am sure that TripAdvisor would agree that the reviews should not be used as a tool of revenge.

Since my name was used incorrectly in the above review I would like to make it clear that I never had any communication with the reviewer.

Exotic Dive Resort is a well-respected resort with a 14-year reputation and thousands of happy customers (many of whom has posted a review with Trip Advisor). So we would like the readers to make their own conclusions about the above review. If they have any questions they should feel free to contact us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Ont
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2011

My 2 travel companions landed on shore on the front door of the resort by banga boat, it felt like i was landing on fantasy island! The first thing i noticed is that this resort is all about customer service, our every need was looked after efficiently and with a smile. We had booked the small huts without AC and they were basic, clean and being in the shade and on the beach caught the ocean breezes at night to stay cool. The restaurant had a menu with a nice variety for all tastes from traditional filipino food to pastas, all was very tasty. The staff knew us all by name after the first morning and made the experience so much more personal.
As for the diving although the water was a bit rough during our first 2 days, we stayed 4 we were taken to well protected sites. The diving was fabulous with such wonderful variety of marine life. I had a super night dive and was enchanted with the mandarin fish and abundance of seahorses. The dive staff were professional and made sure we were well looked after. I was so impressed when one of the divers in our group misplaced his dive mask and couldn't find it, and they held up the boat while one of the deck hands ran back into shore and the shop to grab another mask!!!!
My only sadness was having to leave at the end of 4 days and i really wished i had booked for longer. I would go back again in a heart beat , and recommend this PADI 5 star resort for its top notch service.
One thing i would like to stress , is that this is a lovely quiet island , its a place to relax, read a book , spa, dive, explore. If your looking to recharge your batteries and be spoiled then this is definitely the place to come and hang your fins.......

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Aqueouslover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2011

We weren't able to stay here because of it's popularity, but after cruising the other restaurants on the beach we always came back here. The staff were by far the friendliest and most attentive (I have no idea what the other reviewers were on about!). Even though we weren't staying there they remembered us and our names, were quickly on call every time, and were more professional than some restaurants back in Australia (and not just the over-friendly, mostly-disinterested bar-girl type of mentality that is easily found and always disappointing - these staff were awesome!).

The food is typical of the Philippines (when was the last time you went to a great Filipino restaurant...) but the portions were good. Yes, there are cheaper places to eat if you want to find them. Expect the standards of breakfast food, pizza, pasta, burgers/sandwiches, salads, and local items, as well as some more extensive main courses. It is one of the biggest menus on the island so we didn't get a chance to go through them all, but we were always content with out choices. Again, typical of south-east Asia tourist area travel (and especially the Philippines), the food hit a comfortable spot rather than blew the mind, but this is what we expected so we weren't disappointed.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank EuchridEucrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2011

I stayed at this dive resort in January of 2010. While there is much to like about this resort--comfortable accommodations, reasonable prices, right on a lovely beach--it's not enough to overcome some serious shortcomings.

First, the good.  I booked the simplest of accommodations and was quite comfortable.  As I recall for around 900 pesos, I was able to book a fan only room with two beds literally steps from the beach.  This was obviously no luxury room.  But AC was entirely unnecessary as shade from trees, the fan and cool sea breezes kept the room very comfortable all day.  The beach is quite lovely, with several hammocks hanging out front of the resort. The compound is located at a quieter end of the island, so there's little to interrupt a relaxing stay.

So, the bad.  

To begin, be aware the resort has a policy that forbids you from diving with any other company as log as you stay at the resort.  If for any reason you are dissatisfied with their diving or staff, you either move to another resort (incurring charges, see below) or you get charged double for diving (once with the other company, once with Exotic).  To their credit, they are upfront about it.  But it just seems wrong to me. If they are so good, why would anyone choose to dive with another company?

Second, the food is average, but on par with most restaurants on the island.  However, the waitstaff is extremely slow and apathetic.  Staff is a lot more interested in chatting amongst themselves than keeping an eye out for waiting customers. I'm sympathetic, since it must be incredibly boring for them on the island, but still, when politely raising a hand or saying, "excuse me" gets you nowhere, and walking up to them to tell them you want to order is required, something is very wrong.

Third, I feel like everything beyond the room rate was charged at an inflated price.  I was quoted a price for transit from Cebu City to Exotic of about 7500 pesos.  It's only 3000 pesos to hire a cab from Cebu, one way.  For reference, by meter it's about 1000 pesos to 20km or so outside of Maya, when the meter rolled over.  So it's a fair price, considering there is likely no fare on the return trip for the driver.  Any cabbie is delighted to come pick you up.  Get his card or mobile. Arrange before he leaves, or call when you want to return. Save yourself 1500 pesos from what Exotic charges.  They're doing the same thing as you when you book a cab, basically. Also, some simple bargaining and getting people at the dock together allowed each of us to pay only 120 pesos per person on a private bangka to the island.  They leave regularly, and there is also a public boat option, but which leaves only when there are a number of passengers.  It puts Exotic's 1200 peso price for their bangka in perspective.  It isn't as difficult or expansive as they say on their website.

And last the hotel staff is extremely apathetic and unhelpful.  I booked a stay for 5 days just a few days before arriving.  Unfortunately, by the time I arrived, I was unable to dive since I had contracted a flu.  I stuck it out for three days, hoping to get better, but didn't.  On the morning of the fourth day, I gave up and decided to go back to Cebu City, since there is little to do in Malapascua besides dive.  I expected to be charged for the fourth day, though I hoped I would receive a discount, and to not pay for the fifth day.  The cashier, however, charged me full for the first day, and knocked off 20% for the fifth day. When I politely complained for several minutes, pointing out that I had a rather obvious flu, and had brought a large bag of dive gear so was clearly intending to dive, I made no headway.  The cashier and manager both basically ignored me, not making eye contact and not replying to anything I said, after once stating it was "policy".  For such a small amount, it's really not about the money.  I expected more understanding from a dive resort.  I understand it's a business, but nothing during my stay stay made me feel they cared anything about me other than the cash in my wallet.  Exotic could have easily turned me in to a returning customer, perhaps even recommending their resort to other divers.  Neither will I do after my experiences there.

  • Stayed February 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank SeeForYourself
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2011

My wife and I are travelling the world for a year and hence do not generally tend to book in to the more expensive places in the countries we visit. We booked into Exotic before we left some 6 months before booking a fan room with cold water to keep the price down. During the run up to our stay the communication from the resort was punctual and informative, answering any questions or doubts we had.

Room
The room was very comfortable and one of only a few rooms right on the beach. Costing 1200peso we were very happy with it and room service cleaned it every day. We met numerous other guests staying in the smarter and more expensive rooms who were very happy with their accomodation and being right on the beach didnt seem to be an issue, the furthest rooms are 30 seconds walk away!

TRANSPORT
We decided against using the resorts transfer option from Cebu city and unless you're on holiday and want the convenience of an air-con car and easy boat transfer then i would advise taking the public option which was a fraction of the price and relatively easy. (feel free to contact me for more info on this should you wish).
On our return Exotic gave us a free ride round the bay to meet the public ferry which was greatly appreciated.

Eating
The restaurant was fantastic with sand floor next to the beach. The menu is incredibly extensive and you could eat there for months without tasting the same dish. Price wise we decided to explore the other restaurants along the shore, most of which were comparable in price. There are some cheaper options but you're free to eat where you like if you want to stick to a low budget. The food was delicious and generous and we found the service to be punctual, contrary to other reviews.
A word of advise would be definitely do not book the meal packages, it certainly is cheaper to eat off the menu unless you have a huge appetite! We actually booked the breakfast package for 400pesos per person per day and felt we would never get near that value. I spoke to Yoyen, a very helpful lady at reception, who took the meal package off our bill so we were free to eat as little as we wanted. Also not doing the packages leaves you free to explore other options although you may find yourself coming back time and again to Exotic.
Drinks are reasonably priced with a happy hour on cocktails between 5-7pm meaning 2 Gin and Tonics for 85pesos!
The resort is also the only place where you can get beer on draught that tastes fantastic at the end of a days diving.

DIVING
Obviously a major part of the resort the dive centre was well run and organised. We were staying over New Year with a lot of other divers around yet never felt like the staff couldnt handle the workload. There were organised schedules each day and most of the time we found ourselves diving in groups of four or less on the 8 dives we did.
Equipment was good, site knowledge excellent and plenty of local guides with good knowledge of where to find the fish.
Dive boats were in good repair with free tea and coffee on board. There are 5 in total as well as smaller boats so the resort can work many dive sites at once.
We found the price per dive to be reasonable although do check the extra charges levied per dive. Its best to do multiple dives per day to keep the fees down and you get good discounts when doing 4 or more dives.
Another good thing to note is if you book in your dives early the day before you can pretty much chose which sites you want to go to and they will accomodate your choice.
Exotic was also the first resort on the island and their experience of running a dive operation really shoed through.
Specialisations were comparable in price with other dive resorts throughout the Philippines in areas such as Bohol and Moaboal.

WIFI
good connection considering you're on an island, we were told it only worked in the restaurant but it seemed to work fine in our room. It crashed a few times but all the staff knew how to reboot the modem so no problems here!
Great for checking e-mail/facebook. Not the best if your uplading photos etc.

STAFF
having worked as an Event Manager for a fair few years i would say the staff were attentive, charming and clued up.

PAYMENT
check out was smooth and well organised. Try to take enough cash for your stay as card payments incur a 3% surcharge

Overall a very slick operation at a reasonable price provided you dont go crazy! The resort offers everything you could want from an exotic island dive holiday with the experience to back it up.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Sammason80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2011

I have to say I am surprised by some of the negative comments posted about Exotic, I have nothing but good things to say!

My Wife and I travelled to the Philippines in Feb/Mar 2010, after extensive research I decided we would stay at Exotic while on Malapascua Island. Prior to our arrival I had a multiple email conversations with the then manager Zoe, all emails were answered very quickly and booking was done with ease.

Upon arrival we were very impressed with the location of the resort, it is located at the quiet end of the beach and is very peaceful with a very clean beach in front of the resort. Our room was basic but still very clean and no problems to report. We found all the staff including the owner to be very friendly and always stopping to say hello. We ate some of our meals at the resturant which we found to be very nice, the resort is also close to all the other resturants and bar with a short walk down the beach.

While at Exotic we did our open water dive cert and I went on to do my Advanced as well. Since then I have dived every weekend with lots of different dive shops in different places - you can be assured that the dive operation at Exotic is very well run and operates with a high degree of safety! The beach out the front of the resort makes for a great place to chill during a service interval.

Next time we are in the Philippines I will visit exotic for another stay and some awesome diving :-)

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wondering_Kiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Malapascua Exotic Island Dive & Beach Resort

Property: Malapascua Exotic Island Dive & Beach Resort
Address: 6013, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Malapascua Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Malapascua Island
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Malapascua Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Malapascua Exotic Island Dive & Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you are thinking of diving or staying in Malapascua consider us your first choice. We have everything you need for a relaxing, exciting, enjoyable stay with first class facilities and service. Exotic is the pioneer dive resort on Malapascua. The first dive shop to open on the island in 1998, Exotic has grown over the years and is now the leading dive resort on the island, without compromising its original laid-back charm and outstanding service. Our continued expansion is a result of our customer’s loyalty and desire to revisit and share their Exotic experience with others. Why not come and see what brings people back to us year after year? ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Malapascua Exotic Island Dive And Beach Resort
Malapascua Exotic Island Dive & Beach Hotel Malapascua Island
Malapascua Exotic Island Dive & Beach Resort Malapascua Island, Cebu Island

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