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“Very nice stay” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Turtle Bay Dive Resort

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Turtle Bay Dive Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Level Contributor
150 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
“Very nice stay”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2012

I recently escorted a dive group of 18 to Turtle Bay. We'd just finished a stay on a different island and while both stays were excellent, the two islands and resorts couldn't have been more different. Turtle Bay is fairly upscale as far as dive resorts go. Rooms and bathrooms are a nice size, the showers are large by any standard, there's plenty of hot water, and there's a soap and shampoo dispenser. The A/C works great. Rooms are nicely decorated. Rooms have mini refrigerators that are stocked, but of course, there is a charge for anything you take. There's also an electric kettle with coffee and tea, but there's a charge for that as well.

The resort has a fantastic pool and the group enjoyed hanging out there. Lots of fresh beach towels are available at the reception desk. There's a bar by the pool. It's best to keep your drink orders simple, such as beer or a mixed drink. I tried a pina colada, something I thought was easy, and what I got was a terrible coconut concoction that didn't resemble a pina colada.

There's also a very nice, new spa. One hour massages were about $30. There was somewhat of a language barrier with the masseuses and they double booked clients several times. That caused some folks to be temporarily unhappy, but they just chalked it up to "stuff happens".

The resort is fairly new, the grounds are immaculate, and the decor is very tasteful and upscale in the restaurant, lounge and spa.

The food was, in the opinion of the group, excellent. It's served buffet style. It was fresh, prepared daily, and a lot of care went into keeping the menu varied, diverse and interesting. One night they cooked an entire tuna (best tuna I've ever had and I usually don't like cooked tuna), and another there was an entire roast pig. There was a variety of Filipino food, Italian, Mediterannean, seafood, and Italian. There was a different soup every night. Typical of Filipino food, it was heavy on the starches.

Owners are on-site and are very hands-on. They insure that things run smoothly. Just as with any group, there are glitches, but they worked everything out efficiently and satisfactorily. Service is excellent and the staff works very hard to accommodate guests. They're happy to make suggestions and book excursions or call pedicabs.

Laundry service is available and cost about $5 for my husband and I to have a large load of clothes done. Water for your water bottles is free.

There was some initial confusion with the dive staff and the dive routine was not explained upon arrival, something we're used to, but I understand that it was because of a recent turnover in dive shop management. It didn't cause us to miss any dives, however, and once we learned the drill, it was all good. Dive boats are fairly small, but they're the standard sized boats used on Cebu. Our group of 18 had to be split up although we did go to the same dive sites. Dive masters were, for the most part, excellent, especially Rubin. He was fantastic at finding the smallest creatures, including many pygmy seahorses which are less than 1/2" in size. He accompanied us on our whale shark expedition and on our trek to the waterfall and made sure we were all taken care of and had a great time. On a negative note, although we were in no danger, we had a longer safety stop than usual after one 2nd dive of the day, One of the DM's, Ray, grabbed one of our diver's inflator hose while she was doing her safety stop at about 15' and inflated her BC causing her to bob to the surface. BIG NO NO!!

Turtle bay worked for our group, however, it might not be for everyone. If people are looking for a beach, a TV in the room, or an ocean view room, this might not be the best choice of resorts. Some of the rooms claim to be seaview, but they're not head-on facing the water. Although there are no blow dryers in the room, when I needed one I asked the reception desk and they loaned me one.

Overall, I would recommend it.

Room Tip: Rooms in the back are by the pool and reception but have no seaview. Fast wi-fi since the router is...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kpickerell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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235 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
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English first
hongkong
Level Contributor
44 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2012

Turtle Bay was the ideal place for me to unwind and relax. My husband, son and I stayed here for six nights in August and we enjoyed the peace and quiet of the low season, sharing the space with another family and a couple. our stay was easy enough to organise with emails, responses to our emails were quick and everything went according to plan.

The room: We were given a very large, comfortable room with a huge patio, where we could lounge and have our early morning tea. The beds were reasonably comfortable and the reading light was bright enough. The room was cleaned daily and we could request bed linen and towel changes. There is enough space to store your bags and a large-enough wardrobe so you don't have to live out off your suitcase. The bathroom was clean, large and bright; a few more hooks to hang our change of clothes and more water pressure would have made it perfect.
Food: We opted for the full board plan, which was good as it included drinking water! The food was very good, and we appreciated it even more after our stay in Alona. Fe and Chris, our hosts, joined us at most meals and the apprehensions I had about communal dining were soon dispelled, although our son, who is very shy, found it difficult. The tables were laid out in a way that you could have some space from other guests if you so wished. Fe looked out for the children and even asked the kitchen to prepare some specials for them, when the kids found the food too adult! Lovely salads. Breakfast was the same most days, but as we are not big breakfast people, we had no complaints. One night we were the only diners and were given a set meal, which I wasn't very happy with. I suggested to Fe that if we were the only diners, then we would prefer to order from the la carte menu, and she was kind enough to oblige.
Diving and snorkelling: The dive staff were very good and professional. My husband and son are novices, their diving restrictions were accommodated even though there were two very experienced divers in the group. We appreciated the individual attention and the safety concerns of the staff, and this will be a major reason for us to return to Turtle Bay. Wall diving was a new experience and throughly enjoyable. We did the whale shark tour, and although expensive was the highlight of our trip. As a snorkeller, I think I had a better deal than the divers! But be prepared for a very early morning.
The staff are friendly and hard workers, without being too familiar. A couple of them were new and undergoing training, and I hope they have settled in by now. The gardens are well maintained and the pool is good was a pre-dinner swim.
The resort is some distance from bars and restaurants. So unless, you are prepared to take a motorcycle taxi to nearby White Beach (and I wasn't because of back problems), be prepared to spend all your time at the resort. Or perhaps you could book a taxi; as we didn't want to venture out, we didn't ask if this was possible. Please do your research before you book, as Turtle Bay is not for everyone. But if you are looking for peace, quiet, good food, catch up on your reading (they have magazines and some books in the lounge), and some reasonably good diving then Turtle Bay might be the place for you. I do wish, however, they would change their drinking water policy, and Fe mentioned that they are reconsidering it. We prefer staying in small family-run hotels than large, efficiently-run, but impersonal resorts, and I think Turtle Bay is among one of the best small resorts we've stayed in, thanks to Fe and Chris and their hard work, and work hard they do as do their staff. We wish them success and look forward to our return.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sableHongkong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2012

We stayed here with. Large dive group. Chris and Fe (owners) met us and were on hand to insure all went as planned. We did have a few issues but they were worked out satisfactorily between our trip leader and Fe. Recommend that you have your reservations as that is what the staff will work from. The dive shop was currently awaiting a new manager but that didn't prevent the dive staff of taking excellent care of us. The Whale Shark dive is a must!

The spa double booked a few of the couples but Fe got right onto it.

Room Tip: Rooms 11 and 12 are between the restaurant and dive shop. Large porch with king size beds.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tkring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2012

it was the best time to visit Turtle bay as it was low-peak season. So we only shared the whole resort with a French couple and it was really great to have the peace. They were having renovations but it did not affected the quietness of the place. I so love the home-cooked food and the rooms were very comfy. We were there for the diving it was all worth-it to travel from the airport to Moalboal. Very professional diving instructors and the staff were so friendly especially the owner themselves, Fe and Chris White who personally accompanied us during meals. We truly felt as genuine family guests rather than just tourists. So if you wish to experience a home away from home whilst doing diving in Moalboal Cebu? I highly recommend Turtle Bay and with real turtles can be found just a few metres infront of the resort. good for couples with children surely we will be back.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ramfel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2012

I really enjoyed Turtle Bay. Chris and Fe (the owners) where on hand at all times overseeing that the guests were happy. Food was very good and plentiful though sometimes in the effort the keep the food warm, the kitchen had to play catch up with our big group, but what can you do with a bunch of ravenous photographers? We were on a full board package and it was explained to us that there were water dispensers for guest's use in the main dining area and the in-room fridge was very handy.

Did have an issue with the dive manager (not the dive staff, they were great!), however the issue was quickly rectified by Fe and Chris.

Diving conditions weren't the best due to weather conditions and we weren't able to do the mandarin fish dive. Muck site was pretty silted up and lots of surge so not very productive. Not the result's fault, they can't control the weather.

The resort's water supply is based on a rain water collection system with a large cistern underneath the resort, thus the showers were more like mist generators than a good stream of water...maybe this could be improved.

Room Tip: The A-E rooms required a short 20 meter walk outside the resort but were very nicely appointed. Fam...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SLS_Photo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
Level Contributor
78 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2012

Accomodation- 5/5, rooms are clean and aircon works efficiently. Pool and common areas all tidy, new spa impressive but not manned.Masseur called in from outside when necessary.
Food - 3/5. We found the food fairly average, it cost double compared to outside and there even we stayed for a week, many items were repeated. The starter is always soup, then main courses are a combination of international and Phillppines dishes. Desserts was fruits 4 nights out of 7. When my wife feedback one evening that many dishes were overcooked, the lady chef did not come out to speak to us but instead gave us a dirty look instead! The owners were not in residence at the time and I feel the kitchen are just going through the motion.
The rest of the staff are great, Novo,the new waiter tried his best around us and reception did their duties efficiently. If you do not like dog noises, the chef is allowed? To take her little white dog to work ,and she barks and whines for hours ,so it can be a small irritation. We are dog lovers and did not mind,but not everyone would be happy.
Diving -3.5/5. Marine park have ensured the coral and reef are in great condition.lots of tropical fishes and good for macro. Not enough large fishes as fisherman fishes all around the marine park. And the Sardines are gone! Hope they have gone deep and not a km down the coast, which means they would have gone to market by now! Dive staff very friendly ,good at spotting the small stuff, very safe diving.
Overall, I would recommend this resort, if we go again , I would not go full board, if you walk out the front gate for 200M or 5 mins, you can eat at the TonggoGrill. Beer is Php. 30 instead of 80. One would be hard pushed to spend more then Php.400 on food.

Room Tip: If you get a room close to restaurant ,WiFI signal can reach you room, you do not have to hang aroun...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank toothfairy723
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
turtlebaydiveresort, Owner at Turtle Bay Dive Resort, responded to this review, June 3, 2012
Thanks for your review. Sorry that you did not find our family style meals exceptional. My wife - Fe - takes a special interest in the preparation of the meals and never repeats dishes in two weeks unless by special request. I think that when you were staying with us, my wife was taking a short vacation in Tokyo.
Our prices are higher than some of the local restaurants which have native open sided buildings. Our costs are higher as our restaurant is set in the landscaped resort grounds with all the amenities but most importantly our food is sourced fresh from Cebu City where we can be sure of the quality and hygiene. lastly,w e do not serve reef fish as we want to preserve the stacks in the sea around Moalboal.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2012

This was a return trip for us (couple from Canada doing a dive holiday). Our first trip in 2011 was excellent with the hosts, Fe and Chris, present and always ensuring all was well. Of all the places we stayed in 2011, Turtle Bay had the best food and we were looking forward to a repeat. This time the food was below par and over priced (almost double that charged by similar local resorts). Fe, although, we were told was on site, did not make an appearance. Previously, her hand in the kitchen was very apparent and appreciated.

A recent addition to the resort, a Spa, was present, however not staffed and not operational. Wander in to the games room (billiards, darts, pétanque) and you will find every pool cue with a broken tip, only 1 dart (no feathers), garbage and construction material leaning against the walls. As there is no beach and going into town is not really an option, other things, such as food, spa, pool, games, are important.

Internet - extra charge
Water - extra charge
Instant coffee in the room - extra charge

Diving and the dive shop was excellent, however the room and board was disappointing this time. Whale shark dive was a waste of time (see other reviews) and I would echo the sentiment to avoid it.

We will stay elsewhere next time.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeff_and_Dianne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
turtlebaydiveresort, Owner at Turtle Bay Dive Resort, responded to this review, June 3, 2012
We are very sad that we did not match up to your expectations on your 3 day return stay. I recall talking with you over dinner; I only wished you had expressed your concerns to me so that I could have rectified them immediately. I have corrected the problems reported in the games room and reminded the staff in charge to ensure that all equipments is in top condition.
My wife - Fe - was busy for a while overseeing improvements to recently added new rooms and so was not spending so much time in the main resort.
For clarification, please note that drinking water is fee of charge for guests on full-board. The coffee and tea facilities in the rooms will be free of charge next season i.e from November 1 2012.
We have one in-house masseur and we are currently looking for an additional masseur. Thus, at the moment, when there is a big demand for massages, we need to bring in outside help.
Thanks for your feedback, even if belated. We prefer to be advised of problems when guests are here so that we can rectify any problems immediately. We are always looking for ways to improve our guests experience during their stay and welcome input from our valued guests.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Turtle Bay Dive Resort

Property: Turtle Bay Dive Resort
Address: Tongo, Moalboal 6000, Philippines
Phone Number:
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Moalboal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Moalboal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Turtle Bay Dive Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique family run hotel and dive resort with 27 well equipped air-conditioned rooms. Choice of villa room of 2-story hotel block. Set in landscaped tropical grounds giving onto the shore front. Reclaimed beach and great coral house reef. Easy access to over 20 dive sites. Restaurant serves buffet meals and a la carte snacks and meals. Food comes highly recommended by guests. Free Breakfast and Free WiFi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Turtle Bay Dive Hotel Moalboal
Turtle Bay Dive Resort Moalboal, Cebu Island

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