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“The worst service on the Philippines”

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Turtle Bay Dive Resort
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Moalboal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We traveled as a group of divers. The territory of the hotel is quiet clean and beautiful. The main disadvantage of this place is staff. Very slow and unqualified. Terrible food, untasty buffet dinner, very poor breakfast, unwashed papaya at the breakfast. The personnel tried to persuade that the juice from the can is fresh mango juice. Mojito cocktail is made of tequila and cola. This is our third resort in the Philippines during this trip, but the worst service. However, the diving is excellent.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Maria M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 3, 2013

Lovely and quite and out of the way, nevertheless only a 10 minute ride into Moalboal town. Bungalow was nice and comfortable with large bed and bathroom, air conditioning, ceiling fan, small fridge, kettle with tea/coffee/sugar/creamer. Nice veranda overlooking the garden with views out to sea. The room and veranda were cleaned every day. We had one small problem in the room which was dealt with quickly and efficiently. Food was excellent - we were on full board basis and had buffet at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food on offer was different every day and the staff were very friendly, corteous and efficient. Dive staff were also very friendly, knowledgable and well trained, and the boats were comfortable and well maintained. I am a photographer and the guides went out of their way to find macro subjects for me. Would not hesitate to recommend to friends.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank ADS13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2012

I stayed at this hotel during a diving trip with friends and I enjoyed the experience. Staff was courteous and helpful, our bungalow and bathroom were large and comfortable if simple, with a fridge, free coffee and tea, a small veranda over the well tended garden close to a nice pool. The decoration of the hotel, specially the lounge and bar areas, is really beautiful, made very tastefully with craft objects from Philippines and other far east places.
We were the only guests at the time except for a couple that did not dive, so we had everything for ourselves. In spite of that, when all the group went together to the restaurant for the buffet-style meals, the food often came in too small plates, so it was too quickly depleted. Other than that, the food was good enough, specially soups and dinner deserts that were served at our table.
Dives were nice, specially at Pescador island, but not first class, and 3 diving days seemed largely enough to enjoy the place. Dive staff was very helpful and attentive and made every effort to make our dives as pleasant as possible.
I can't comment on value because this was part of a package trip that included also other places and services.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank elviatger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2012

45 pesos for a tea bag, the jug didn't work, nor the bedside light, no tv in room, seemed once they had your money they wouldn't even help with baggage an made themselves scarce, it is remote area so hard to get to town , overall everything twice the price it should be, an they don't miss a thing when charging

  • Stayed: November 2012
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3  Thank Hazy3113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
turtlebaydiveresort, Public Relations Manager at Turtle Bay Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2015

Thank you for your feedback. We would like to clarify that tea and coffee in your room is actually FREE. With regards to luggage, we have staff all over the resort to help guests with their needs and everyone is notified daily of the check out dates.

Turtle Bay Dive Resort is located in an area where guests can have peace and quiet. The location is a mere 10 minutes from Moalboal Town so its not a remote area. Thank you once again for your feedback and we wish you all the best.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank kpickerell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank sableHongkong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank tkring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 7 Hotels in Moalboal
Price Range: $80 - $127 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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