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Review of Liquid Dumaguete

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Liquid Dumaguete
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in Dauin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 3, 2013

We’re usually too lazy to write reviews of places we stayed, but we’ll gladly make an exception for this gem of a resort. We ended up staying twice as long as planned (10 days total) and there are plenty of reasons for that…
The Resort:
The Liquid Resort is rather new (was it 1.5 years?) and all buildings (Restaurant/Divecenter/Staff quarters/Owners house/Bungalows) in the resort have been build with native materials, mostly bamboo, from the skeleton down to the toilet paper holder. It’s very well thought through, everything is done with much love even for the small details. Thanks to the Hot Springs in the area there’s a natural hot shower in your rooms. All rooms a cleaned every day. In short: it’s one of the nicest, cleanest resorts you will find in that price range. Be sure to check out their monthly specials for an even better deal: http://www.liquiddumaguete.com/resort/special-offers/

The Food:
Compared to other restaurants one might miss a huge menu with an abundance of choices at first. In the Liquid Resort, there is only a fixed breakfast menu (7am-9.30am), 6 lunch options that change every day (11:30am – 1:30pm) and a set 3-course meal for everyone who signs up at 7pm. We have to admit that we had our doubts about this but it only took a few meals to convince us not to go eat anywhere else during our stay. Everything that comes out of the kitchen is made out of fresh ingredients with fresh fish or meat and lots of veggies and salads. The 3-course meal at night is always a highlight, featuring dishes influenced by many different regions of the world, usually topped off with an incredible desert made by the owners’ mum, who also lives on the premises. She’s also responsible for the delicious cookies, cakes and muffins provided all day for snacks between the regular kitchen hours. Check out the attached pictures to see some of the treats you’re in for.

The Diving:
Like the resort, the dive center and the equipment used are very new. Since the dive center is integrated in the resort, you have everything you need for a dive just next to your bungalows. For courses (all levels from Open Water to Instructor courses are offered) the swimming pool in the center of the resort can be used. The diving itself is spectacular – on the Dauin shore you have a muck diving heaven (saw 4 ghost pipefish (ornate+leafy), frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, all kinds of nudibranchs, pipefish, lots of different juvenile reef fish as well as a wonderpuss and much more in just one single dive!) and on the day trip to Apo Island you get to dive on a huge unspoiled coral reef with pretty much guaranteed sightings of green sea- and hawkbill- turtles. Most of the time you will have your private guide with you, it’s also possible to do a 1on1 dive course with no extra charge! If you want to see what you’re getting into check out the Freestyle Divers Facebook page where a lot of current underwater pictures can be found: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152888396300486.1073741831.280259595485&type=3

Downsides?
The only downside we could think of would be the missing “white sandy beach”. On the Dauin coast, the beach is dark (because of the volcanic ground) and a little rocky (especially at low tide), making it hard sometimes to go for a quick swim in between dives. However, usually you’re here for the diving and not a beach holiday and there’s always the resort pool. Also, sandier stretches of beach are just a few minutes walking distance away.

Do yourself a favor and stay at the Liquid Dive Resort if you’re looking to dive in Dauin or Apo Island! But beware: you might end up staying a lot longer then you plan to ;-)

@Tim and Zoe and the Liquid Team:
Keep up the good work and we hope to see you again some day!

Room Tip: Ask for one of the beachfront bungalows for the best view
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank IggyAndNadja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiquidDumaguete, Owner at Liquid Dumaguete, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2013

Hey Iggy and Nadja, thank you for the lovely review. We had a great time with you guys and are looking forward to your return trip!! See you soon.

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Reviewed June 28, 2013

My girlfriend and I were lucky to find this place last minute. There are 8 beach huts at this resort, all beach front. The beach itself is nothing fancy, black sand from the volcano. They are slowly updating all of the huts.. we stayed in hut #8 which is the only hut that they have left to update. That being said, we still thought it was great. The pool is a fair size, clean and really deep (the use it for scuba lessons). They have an awesome 'chill out area' with books, board games, internet access and a good size sitting area. Generally everyone (including Tim and Zoe, the owners) gather in the chill out area during happy hour from 5-7 when they have daily drink specials. Dinner is at 7 PM every evening served family style. They push all of the tables together and everyone eats at the same big table. The price is about $10 American for an outstanding meal with huge portions. The dinners are optional to sign up for (the resort is a fair way out of town) but we ended up eating here every single night and were not disappointed. The dive shop is well equipped and the dive masters are well trained. My girlfriend had just got her open water certification and was still not completely comfortable with diving.. our dive master was very attentive and patient. Overall, it was a great stay for a decent price during low season. We were glad to have found this small gem of a place.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Steve N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiquidDumaguete, Owner at Liquid Dumaguete, responded to this reviewResponded June 29, 2013

Hi Steve & Pamela, Thank you for your lovely review, we are very happy you enjoyed your stay with us and hope that you enjoy the rest of your holiday in the Philippines. Have fun in Boracay and enjoy the AOW course. Hope to see you back this way one day soon! Room 8 is nearly finished!

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Reviewed June 26, 2013

This place is personal and accommodating for a very reasonable low budget resort. We have just spent 3 weeks there and it will become an annual event until we are unable to dive or run out of finances! The management are always accommodating the individual needs of their guests , from special dietary needs to pursuing lost baggage, arranging transport to other destinations and offering other forms of fun such as canyoning or hiking trek through their affiliation with OTT. The staff are friendly and very professional whether they are in the kitchen ,office or part of the dive team. This is a budget resort that excels well above the expectation of the term budget. Their meals are always scrumptious and the interaction during dinner around the arranged communal tables, has been most entertaining and informative. The option is there, to dine at a separate table, but most people seem to enjoy the arrangement. In closing We can only hope that others who have love of diving will get to experience not only the dive sites offered in this area but the warm hospitality which from my previous traveling experience is unique to Liquid.

Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Robynschmidt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiquidDumaguete, Owner at Liquid Dumaguete, responded to this reviewResponded June 29, 2013

Hi Robyn & Doug, thank you very much for your lovey review. We are happy that you enjoyed your second holiday with us and look forward to your third visit early next year! Let me know the dates you are thinking of coming over. Enjoy the rest of your world travels.

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Reviewed June 25, 2013

Let me start off by saying that I really wanted to like this place....that said, everything about this place is really done half way.

I'll start with the diving:

The equipment rinse area looks nice at first glance, then you realize that there is very little water in the tanks...turn on the tap to try and fill them with fresh water and you get a dribble. The shower in the rinse area uses the resorts iron rich hot spring water and isn't good for rinsing you gear unless you want it ruined. So, there's no way to rinse your gear properly.-FAIL

The boat "Sun Dancer" was reluctant to start on the first day we were there but managed to make it through the day. The next day we were told that the boat was full and going to Apo so they put us on the Jeep for diving (we came over 8000 miles and had expected to be boat diving), for the last dive of the day the piled us into their water taxi (a dinghy with a lawnmower motor) for a drift dive...the current was so strong at the exit point that one of our party had the dive computer ripped from his arm and all of us ended up with lacerations on our hands from trying to hold on to a barnacle encrusted buoy line. The next day they rented another boat for the other divers and told us Sun Dancer was available for us...we got loaded up on the boat and after 35 min of trying to start the boat it was obvious that it was dead in the water...they then wanted to put us back on the jeep for more shore diving. -FAIL

The Rooms:

While they are charming, there is no fresh water available for drinking in the rooms and you have to buy water at the bar. The steps leading up to the porches on each cottage could benefit from another piece of bamboo each...they are only two pieces of bamboo for each step with a large gap in between each...several times I nearly twisted my ankle on them. Lighting in the rooms is very minimal and dim. There is only one plug per cottage so if you have cameras and computers to charge expect to take turns.-FAIL

The Lounge Area:

Decor is very cute, however comfort is nearly nonexistent. I'll start with the tables...they have a bar of bamboo that is right in the way of your knees when you sit down...if the chairs were 2" shorter this wouldn't be a problem. The chill out area looks comfy, but it really isn't. -FAIL

The Food:

The food was really hit or miss. Nothing we had was really great, it was at best edible. -OK

The Staff:

Most of the staff was quite nice. None of them seemed overly surprised when we cut our 10 day stay short and left, and none tried to convince us to stay. I really don't blame the staff for any of the faults Liquid has. -PASS

The Management:

The owners left on a trip our second day there and we left before they returned. However, I got the feeling that they were far more concerned in turning their resort into an instructor and dive master school than actually running a dive resort. All of the responsibility for the failures at Liquid falls on the shoulders of the management. Having only one boat might be ok if it was reliable. -FAIL

Bottom Line:

This place might be ok for a backpacker who maybe wants to get in a couple of dives on a trip, but it's not for serious recreational divers.

Room Tip: The best room is at another dive resort.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank MacGyverDXS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiquidDumaguete, Owner at Liquid Dumaguete, responded to this reviewResponded June 26, 2013

Hi Andy, Very sorry that you did not enjoy your stay with us here at Liquid. Let me answer your issues -
water - water can be a problem in this area and we are in the middle of resolving this. The rinse bins all have fresh water (we do not like to rinse gear in hot spring water) which is intermittent during the day times. We have just installed a holding tank, pressure tank and new lines which will solve this problem.
boat - for safety reasons we have a maximum capacity on our boats and will arrange day trips the following day for those who miss out. In our email correspondence it was explained that we also offer shore diving. Sorry we had engine issues, I am sure the dive staff tried everything they could and unfortunately there are times when boats have mechanical problems. We try our hardest to fix and maintain our boats to minimize this.
rooms - as a budget resort we do not offer free drinking water in the rooms. It is stated quite clearly that our rooms are basic, tidy yet comfortable. As mentioned above we are in the process of adding fresh water to all the rooms, but it was explained in email correspondence that the rooms had only natural hot spring water at this time. There is a large charging area in the Lodge for cameras and computers.
lounge area - as for the height of the tables...sorry, I guess. We will get more cushions and pillows for the chill out area.
food - this does surprise me as we get very good comments about our food on a regular basis. Having no traditional menu we are more than happy to cater towards specific dietary requirements.
management - this was the first holiday we took in 2 years. we were away for 2 nights. our diveshop manager had informed us of what happened with your group and we believe he acted accordingly. As soon as we returned to Liquid I emailed Andy to say sorry that he and his group had not enjoyed their stay and I was interested to learn why so that we could help resolve any issues and hopefully avoid any further similar issues with further guests. We care greatly about all our guests not just the ones doing courses. Unfortunately I have not received a response, until this review.
bottom line - we advertise for flashpackers and backpackers and this is clearly stated on our website and in our email correspondence.
We are once again very sorry that you did not enjoy your stay with us but are happy that you did have a great time at Atlantis which is a very different resort to Liquid and obviously more suited to your needs.

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Reviewed June 19, 2013

We were there from 4 to 9 June 2013. We did lots diving in the area, days and nights. We stayed at Liquid dive resort, it was a remarkable stay. We love it there. Breakfat and lunch was always great with quite nice choices. Dinner always family style, all the guest and resort owners and staffs sitting together in a big table. They always serve the delicious home made bread. Don't forget to try the incredible cookies, cakes and muffins.Very pleasant experience. Zoe and Tim always there to make sure that our stay enjoyable. Prices are moderate. The rooms have no air condition but fans really work well. The pool always warm for using the water from nearby natural springs. We party there almost every nights. The dive masters, Jun and Allan always make our dive pleasant. Jim and Julia also very capable instructor as some friends doing rescue and nitrox course there. All the staff was very helpfull during our stay. Very nice trip all together.

Room Tip: All the rooms have sea view, I stayed at room no. 6 and it was fine with me. Short distance to the d...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Suria_Nataadmadja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiquidDumaguete, Owner at Liquid Dumaguete, responded to this reviewResponded June 26, 2013

Hi Suria, Thank you for the lovely review. Very happy that you and the ladies enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

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Reviewed June 9, 2013

Spent 2 months at liquid from mid March till May undertaking my Divemaster course. Liquid is really nicely set up for divers. Has a great boat crew, great instructors & really good kitchen staff. In fact everyone who works at Liquid was great and really contributed to making my stay memorable. The house reef "Mainit" became my favourite on the Dauin coast as it continually surprised with the marine life, in particular the school of inquisitive Chevron Barracudas!
Oh... By the way, awesome cookie and cake selection baked daily made me happy!

  • Stayed: March 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Thank Bigtrip2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiquidDumaguete, Owner at Liquid Dumaguete, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2013

Hi Alec, Thanks for the lovely review. Glad that you enjoyed your divemaster course with us. Hope to see you back here for your instructor course soon:) The cookie jar misses you.....enjoy the rest of your travels!

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Reviewed June 2, 2013

With some time on my hands, my resort of choice was Liquid Dumaguete, located in Dauin about 16km South of Negro Oriental’s main town in the Philippines.

Long-time friends Tim & Zoe, had expertly managed the Exotic resort in Malapascua before buying a plot of scrub land by the beach and realising their dream by designing and constructing a ‘flash packer’ dive resort by the sea. Designed by divers for divers, the center piece of the resort is the purpose built pool to facilitate dive training as well as for guests that needed to escape the searing heat.

The well appointed huts were all beach facing and built in harmony with the surroundings. One was never without a view of the azure waters and the bar / dining area was cleverly situated on the second floor above the dive shop and training room. The structure of the evening meals was such that the guests were encouraged to mix - promoting the relaxed and personable atmosphere that Liquid has cultivated.

The slick dive operation was skillfully managed by fellow Brit and PADI Instructor Jim who went about his business with calm competence and with the whole dive operation being overseen by recently appointed PADI Course Director Tim - a personable and entertaining Canadian who had previously conducted my Assistant Instructor course. Interestingly there was also an Instructor Development Course being conducted at the resort and it was interesting to see the IDC candidates being put through their paces the same way I had been 5 years ago!
Zoe, with a degree in hospitality and years in the field behind her went about running the resort with unobtrusive efficiency.

As for the diving, there are two types on offer. A string of reef & muck dives pepper the Dauin coast line where it is possible to see turtles, eels and a whole host of critter delights such as ornate ghost pipe fish, frog fish, nudi branchs and seahorses.

Slightly further afield is the world famous Apo island, a marine sanctuary with cobalt blue seas, pristine reefs and infinite visibility allowing an endless vista over corals and plunging drop-offs.

Uncharacteristically I decide not to dive myself out this trip and spent time ‘top side’ exploring the nearby Twin Lakes. The Twin Lakes are crater lakes 900 meters above sea level on South Negros Island. Surrounded by virgin forest, it is one the most beautiful places to visit in the region, and a real adventure to get there!

Should you fancy a trip to Liquid Dumaguete, discounted rates can be obtained through Freestyle Divers based in Singapore!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Boothtel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiquidDumaguete, Owner at Liquid Dumaguete, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2013

Hi Terry, Thanks for the lovely review. Hope to get over to Singapore to see you one day soon. Until then, keep writing those articles and see you back here at Liquid at some point in the future.

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Additional Information about Liquid Dumaguete

Address: Km 12.5, Bulak, Dauin, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental 6200, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Negros Island > Negros Oriental > Dumaguete City > Dauin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Dauin
Price Range: $53 - $99 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Liquid caters to the modern day traveler that can do without Television, mini bar or a private butler, but still wants a comfortable place to hang their hat. A budget PADI 5* IDC dive resort based in a quiet beach location 25 minutes from Dumaguete city. Scuba diving in the Philippines is amazing, explore it with our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Resort. Liquid Dive Dumaguete is your home away from home where you are part of the family. Affordable, comfortable modern facilities with a native twist set on a large beach front property with views of Apo and Siquijor Islands. Whether you are a flashpacker, backpacker or holidaymaker Liquid is the place for you. Talk to like minded travelers over family style dinners after a day of world class dives. Our team understand the need for comfort on a budget in a friendly relaxing atmosphere and that's exactly what we offer, after all we live here!! - eat, sleep, dive...live - it's that simple ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Liquid Dumaguete Dauin, Dumaguete City, Philippines

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