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“Disappointing”

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Dolphin-House Resort-SPA-Diving
Certificate of Excellence
Seoul, South Korea
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

The +
- nice view on the sea from restaurant
- nice staff
- dives on Pescador Island
- tasty dishes, always prepared with a great care
- swimming pool
- cleanliness
- wifi everywhere

The -
- compulsory check dive on the housereef, even if dived during the week before unless you are a divemaster
- rental diving equipment quite old but did not experience any leakage or whatever
- lack of help at diveshop to prepare the gear
- dinner is a compulsory set menu with a choice between 3 mains at 900 p. No a la carte menu
- poor amenities in rooms (shampoo, shower gel, etc)
- blankets are not big / long enough
- room decoration is a bit outdated but most local wooden furniture is beautiful
- no sandy beach just in front of resort (rocks)

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank LTHCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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251 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2013

If you are reading reviews I assume you are curious about the 5 star claim this property receives on the booking sites. This is not a terrible place to stay...but if you are under the impression this is a top-end resort you might want to keep looking. Here is my review...
-Staff/Service - 5 star
-Restaurant - 4 star (wildly overpriced @ 960 pesos for a fixed menu dinner but was good)
-Common areas - 4 star (pool, bar, billiards, ping pong, badminton)
-Rooms - 3 star (basic amenities, weak wifi, weak air con, terrible bamboo beds that creek with every movement)
-Dive center - 3 star (awful equipment but a fantastic staff) If bringing your own gear you have no worries.
-Owner - 1 star (arrogant - better off if you don't talk to him but probably won't be a problem as he tends to ignore guests)

Lastly, if there are only 4 rooms occupied don't you think it would be nice if they didn't put all of us in consecutive rooms!? I was only there for 2 nights but why not upgrade the couple that was there for 10 days!

Do you ever wonder how some places get the star ratings they do? Typically I don't write negative reviews and wouldn't have done so if the Dolphin House was advertised as a 3 star. As with any star level you will naturally have expectations and this place fell well short.

Room Tip: Let them show you multiple rooms and perhaps ask for an upgrade if off-season.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Matt M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rudy P, General Manager at Dolphin-House Resort-SPA-Diving, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Please keep a fair attitude!
It is somewhat a pain in the neck to see how some guest would try to obtain additional discounts by hinting that they “would be very pleased to write a good review.”
The person and his fellow who wrote this review benefited from our “Off-Season Special” Summer rates – less 20%. On top of that they were able to avail an additional reduction by booking the cheapest room category through a last minute sell-off hotel internet platform. Upon arrival, the guest noted that we are off season and expected a free upgrade which we did not grant them. Staying only for 2 nights they expressed interest on doing several activities such as going diving several times, participating in a waterfall excursion and doing a river climbing trip. We did all we could to please them and upon departure, I (the manager they are criticizing in a harsh manner) was giving them a lot of tips and advice for their next itinerary, Negros Island. It was a very pleasant and most friendly goodbye and the guest confirmed that they were more than happy with their stay at Dolphin House.
They also filled out our indoor resort evaluation form with which they responded to 15 questions as follows: 8 times “outstanding”; 6 times “good” and one question with “average”. As one can perceive, it was very surprising for us to read their review now, which appears to us like a retaliation for not getting the additional free upgrade.
Dolphin-House is qualified by most tour operators as a 5-star “Boutique Resort.” This means that we do not have - nor do we want to have– the amenities and “style” of a classical 5 star hotel with hundreds of rooms but in certain fields we offer a service and quality you will not get from most. We are highly focused on diving which is also the main reason why people visit us. We run our own Marine Biology station in our Diveshop and we dive in very small groups with a maximum guide-to-guest ratio of 1 : 6 among other features. We offer fine dining experience and a food quality that easily surpasses the “everyday-the-same” 5* hotel buffet. About 90% of our guest appreciate these and other aspects and qualify Dolphin-House as “outstanding” and “beyond their expectations.” The reviews – even here on tripadvisor- do confirm this picture.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2013

My husband and I spent 8 days here in April this year as part of a longer Philippines dive holiday.

We were greeted by the reception staff by name which was a nice touch and given a grass necklace with a present inside (Bracelet for me and free drink for husband) whilst filling in the various forms we were offered a welcome drink which was similar to baileys but with more of a kick, once done we were shown around the resort and then shown to our rooms, we were in D8 which was a deluxe bungalow, this had a large veranda out front with chairs and table, the room itself was large with aircon, fan, minibar and desk.

The resort was very quiet whilst we were there with a maximum of 5 other couples at anyone time, the grounds were well maintained and the pool area is very nice, they were in the process of building a new dive centre so there was some noise but nothing particularly that disturbed. There’s no real beach at the resort and the local “White Beach” (which could be walked to in a couple of minutes along the shore at low tide or within ten minutes along the road at high tide) was ok but nothing special and in places not that clean. The restaurant did really nice food and there was plenty of it (the staff always asked if we wanted more) the only issue was that we had to order what we wanted for dinner that night whilst we had breakfast which was a little restrictive.

There’s a nice games rooms with a balcony above the bar / restaurant where we watched the sun go down with a drink on occasion, the games room itself had a pool table, darts, books, board games etc. The resort did have free wifi but it was very intermittent at times. All the staff were very nice although there were a few mix ups with food / drinks order but nothing major.
The dive centre at Dolphin House is quite small (although a new dive centre is being built currently) with only a few guides, they have two boats, a larger local style boat and a smaller speed boat. Most of the diving is done along the coastline (dive sites are 2 – 5 minutes away) with diving on Pescador island offered every couple of days whilst we were there (about 20 – 25 minutes in the speed boat) it may have been because the resort was quiet but it was often just the two of us and the guide diving and even when others joined us it was a maximum of four divers to a guide. Whilst the viz wasn’t the best and there wasn’t as much marine life as Dumagate (although Pescador island came pretty close) the diving was good, particularly the topography which is some of the best that I’ve ever seen.

I’d say that this was more of a resort with a dive centre than a dedicated dive resort, that said they did offer free nitrox which was a nice touch.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Rudalls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rudy P, General Manager at Dolphin-House Resort-SPA-Diving, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Just a few remarks and corrections on this nice review.
Indeed, since we increased the number of rooms to 30 units our dive shop facilities turned out to be over challenged. Our new dive center, will be ready for operations by July 15 2013, 4 times the size versus before. About 80% of our guest are divers. Our dive center owns 7 boats, not two. 3 Speed boats (90 HP) good for 8 divers + crew, one traditional outrigger boat good for 10 divers, one safari boat 60 foot, traditional out rigger type (actually under renovation till end of June) and two speed boats for other water sport, one 18 foot 90 HP and one 26 foot 200 HP.

Guest “Rudals” came to visit us at “the bottom of low season” and indeed there were only two boats at sea. As the guest writes himself even if low season there are only a few divers, even if there is only one diver, the service is still up 100%. The total dive crew consists of around 20 employees including two marine biologist. Dive excursions are offered 2 to 3 trips a day or in accordance with the guests demand. Most of the time we use small fast boats. Ratio dive guide / divers never exceeds 1 / 6. During low season most of the dive crew is occupied maintaining the equipment, compressors, boats, dive center etc.

Comparing our dive spot Pescador Island (all drop off's covered with coral) to “DAUIN” (black sandy bottoms) is kind of weird! I assume guest “Rudals” means the little “Apo Island” fronting Dauin that can be reached on a long daytrip ex Dauin. Apo indeed can keep up with Pescador Island. Besides of that, by the exception of “Sea-exploreres”, most dive operators around Dauin still bring their divers to “the atrocity”, Whaleshark-Feeding. After just a few days, the whale sharks learn “bubbles and Boats = food. As a result of that, when moving on, these endangered animals approach and stomp boats with their snout, begging for food. Doing so they make themselves vulnerable to poachers or mistake propeller-bubbles with diver-bubbles!...
Our position is clear: Feeding sharks = kills sharks!

Our white beach, We are at the very south end of “White Beach”. From July to December (south monsoon) the beach moves up north by 80 to 100 m. Jan to July (north monsoon) the beach often extends unto our beach front.
The management
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Walddorfhaeslach
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2013

We staid for two weeks end of February in this well-kept and friendly resort. The Deluxe Bungalow we had was clean and had a comfy bed. The friendliness and service of the people working at Dolphin House was outstanding. The kitchen team should get a Michelin star :-) All the meals were fantastic and extremely tasty. There was always a choice between multiple options and it was a difficult choice :-) We booked massages two times to relax from diving. It was done well and not rushed to be finished within the set time. White Beach can be reached at low tide straight in front of the resort or via road access at the backside and is a nice long stretch of sand. Our main reason to be there was of course to dive and we were not dissappointed: The dive crew was exceptional, they really made every effort to point out all the fantastic critters living around Moalboal waters and never rushed a dive. We always went in small groups or dove as alone a buddy team on the house reef. It was like diving with good friends, we had a lot of fun with the crew and I think we left in that spirit after the 2 weeks were over. The diving in the area is great and is usually done as a drift along a beautiful coral covered wall. The diversity and number of fish and other creatures and the density of coral is amazing. Pescador Island even with the school of sardines gone is still one of the best dives I have ever done. I am sure we will be back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
2 Thank Steffen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2013

We came here after two nights in Club Serena and we really loved it. The walk-in-rate was really reasonable and worth it. The view is spectacular. All staff was really nice. We had one of our best meals in the philippines! The room was very clean.

We didn't dive here but it all looked very professional.

They have a policy against the whale shark feeding what we really appreciate because this has to stop!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cenj C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scharendijke
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2013

booked for a week and came back the same trip for more. Excellent diving resort with personal attention, very nice diving the 'silver clouds' are allways around. Very easy entrance and small distance to divespots. Very nice resort, well kept, super relaxed, beautiful garden, good food and massage. People could not be more friendly and professionla. No beach or much to do in the surroundings, sit down relax and dive. hope to be back there one day!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Inge W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Nice resort, the staff is very nice and helpful and the food is extraordinary. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at its best. They also have a small pool. Everything is very clean and well maintained. The dive center is good; specially free Nitrox is cool. The dive sites are average but for a couple of days quiet ok.
The only thing: the resort is far away from any town, so there is not much to do except eating, diving and relaxing.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank magstk72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dolphin-House Resort-SPA-Diving

Property: Dolphin-House Resort-SPA-Diving
Address: | Saavedra Beach, Moalboal 6032, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Moalboal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Moalboal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Dolphin-House Resort-SPA-Diving 5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dolphin-House Resort SPA Diving Cuisine A resort in symbiosis with the reef. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin House Hotel Moalboal
Dolphin-House Resort-SPA-Diving Moalboal, Cebu Island

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