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“Didn't want to leave”

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Malapascua Exotic Island Dive & Beach Resort
Ranked #4 of 13 Hotels in Malapascua Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 31, 2011

WONDERFUL staff - so friendly. Everyone knows you by name.
Really enjoyed the time here - even though it's a challenge to get here (3 hours drive from Cebu then 1/2 hr ferry) it's well worth it.
Food was delicious every day - though the fullboard menu does have a lot of "heavy" options if you're watching your weight.
There is a dive menu every day so there are lots of options for divers on where to go.
Beachfront is beautiful, pristine.
Rooms are spacious and clean - the showerheads could use some updating.
Free wifi but only in the restaurant area, and the connection was slow. But I guess staying here, one should not want to connect to the outside world!

Room Tip: Get a room near the dive shop
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank TravelTheWorldGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 12, 2011

Our group of 7 divers picked Exotic by recommendation of our local (diving) travel agent. As usual he was right about this place. A very nice diving resort with a more than excellent kitchen.

I can hardly believe the stories below about the bills and bad food.
The facts:
- it is NOT a cheap stay. If you are a backpacker with little money to spend I can see that Exotic is probably not for you.
- it is a luxury resort, big clean rooms, with fan/aircon, good beds, 24x7 power and hot/cold showers. The resort offers a great restaurant, a spa and last but not least a fully equipped dive shop with 5 boats, nitrox and equipment rental.

The matter of the bill is a mystery to me, as we (and most other customers) were asked to pay the bill the night before leaving as the cashier is only there in the evening. It seems to me that if you stay somewhere you see to it that your bill is settled before you leave...

The matter of the food poisoning below is either a freak accident or a snack on the way back, cause the restaurant is one of the best in the neighborhood... they have an asian and a western style cook. They serve a menu for everyone's taste. Hot & spicy, or mild, meats, fish, vegetarian, it's all there. In our group of 7 are some very picky eaters, with easily upset stomachs. None of us had problems.

The matter of staff not paying attention is another mystery to us. The staff is eager to please (and eager to sell, which is logical). They are friendly and helpful.

In short: it was a great resort to stay. We had 25+ beautiful dives, we enjoyed the rooms, the food, the island, the views, the beach, the people and the staff in hotel, restaurant and dive shop. It's not cheap, but it has quality.

Oh, and about the wifi: it's there, but it is the Philippines: don't expect 24x7 or glass fibre speed. Sometimes the internet on the entire Island is offline for a couple of days... being an online-addict myself: being forced offline has advantages too... e-mail me when you have found them...

Room Tip: Ask for rooms 1-12. Nice views, close to beach.
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank DaveNL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2011

Exotic

As Malapascua is a small island we didn't want to turn up without a reservation, so we'd booked ourselves into Blue Coral at the opposite end of the beach. When we approached Exotic they were able to offer us a good rate on both diving and accommodation, so we changed hotels.

Getting to Malapasua is a bit of a mission from Cebu. I know Exotic offer a transfer service but it was pricey. We got a local Cerrus bus from the North bus terminal in Cebu. It had no aircon and took about 3 hrs, but only cost 140PP each. When you reach Maya Bay you then have to wait for a boat to fill up for the 30-40min journey over to Malapascua. The boat cost 80PP each, and to be honest the whole journey was pretty comfortable. I'd go early to beat the heat though. Exotic is then a 10-15min walk down the beach from where the boat drops you.

We stayed in the newly built fan rooms at the back of the resort, and found them to be great value for money. They have a large shared bathroom, and the price included fresh towels every day and you got your bed made! Can't moan at that! The accommodation block is next to the village so there are a lot of cockerels around. We weren't disturbed by them particularly, but then again we did have earplugs! Ask about the backpacker rate when staying here. I'm not sure exactly what the criteria is, but if you stayed in the cheapest rooms you were able to get a better price on diving than the one advertised. We paid 1000PP per night for the fan room which excluded food, but we ate mostly in their restaurant anyway as the food was lovely and fresh.

The dive shop attached is very professionally run, and Exotic has a five large boats so they're able to cater for numerous people. The more dives you do, the more of a discount you get. Equipment hire is calculated per dive not per day, which worked out more cost effective for us. There is also a discount for having your own gear. All extra costs such as government tax and sanctuary fees are clearly displayed so you know where you stand. 

When we were here Exotic had a few big Asian groups staying, so some of the dive sites were a bit congested and some divers weren't very considerate of others. We did a trip to Gato Island one day with only four of us on the boat, and it was probably our best dive in Malapascua. We also did two early morning starts at Monad Shoal and Kemod and saw one thresher shark. You can't predict nature, it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time as some people saw four or five on one dive.

To summarise, we found the diving and accommodation prices really reasonable, and the staff were genuinely friendly and helpful. The resort attracts a more experienced, mature cliental with lots of expensive cameras and gear. If you're looking for a younger vibe you might prefer one of the other dive shops along the beach. Either way we really enjoyed our stay, it's just a shame it was so short.

  • Stayed: April 2011
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3  Thank Grassy_Lemon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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3  Thank MikaelH77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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 reviewResponded 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.
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
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3  Thank Aqueouslover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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2  Thank EuchridEucrow
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

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: $42 - $80 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 & Beach Hotel Malapascua Island
Malapascua Exotic Island Dive And Beach Resort
Malapascua Exotic Island Dive & Beach Resort Malapascua Island, Cebu Island

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