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“Really, take it for what it is.... simple and excellent: "simply excellent"”

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Tipolo Beach Resort
Ranked #4 of 24 Moalboal B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Paris, France
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Really, take it for what it is.... simple and excellent: "simply excellent"”
Reviewed July 23, 2012

Looking for a break from hotel-business and a nice trip in early July '12 with my wife, we booked a full week's accommodation and activities with Tipolo Beach resort and Action Adventure.

The simple and clean accommodation was exactly what we wanted and expected. Tipolo's website does not over-promise - - I found it spot-on. The room has AC, which we had to actually switch off during the night because it got too cold (I don't know what other travelers are whining about). The little safe-deposit box and the fridge were also of great use and the bathroom was fine (sink, toilet, shower...what else do you want?).

To our pleasant surprise, our room was cleaned daily (!) and if we needed more toilet paper or towels, both were a 20 meter walk to collect from the 'reception' without hassle. Rachel and the rest of the girls (and a couple of boys) who do the cleaning, cooking, tidying, serving, accounting and all other odd-jobs around the resort are delightful. They are very friendly and down-to-earth. Everyone greets you cheerfully every morning and nothing was ever too much.

This is not an urban resort with five stars hanging on the front door...things just happen at a different pace. Once you switch your mind to this pace, everything just falls into place!

Absolute HIGHLIGHTS:

- the reef just outside the resort (you can walk straight over to it) is gorgeous - we snorkeled there about 5 times and never got bored... I thought this reef was even better than the one at (close-by) Pescador island, even though at Pescador you will have more chances to spot a turtle...

- Tipolo makes its own yoghurt, rye bread, pitta bread, pizza dough (and bakes them in their wood-fired oven), roasts its own coffee and if you have any special wishes,...nothing seems impossible - within reason and with prior notice (we even had a schnitzel-night - yum!).

- We did 4 of the Action Adventure activities (Canyoning, Trekking, Snorkeling and River-Climbing). ALL 4 were awesome; trekking was the hardest (it's quite a hike!) and River-Climbing the most breath-taking... Canyoning was the best adrenaline and Snorkeling the most rewarding (we spotted a school of dolphins and two sea-turtles!). You will need to bring a pair of good walking shoes (that can get wet) and don't forget to pack a uv-protection shirt for swimming... the sun gets quite strong at times. The guides are all very experienced and safety really does come first (ask for Mario - he is a gentleman and tarzan all rolled into one!)

- Cold beer in the evening after a day of activities...priceless!

Downside: it's a two and a half hour drive from Cebu airport... that's the only downside...

We hope to go back to Tipolo one day and find all of our new-found friends in good health and still going strong. It was a very memorable trip!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 3, which faces the sea,...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank MDIRKS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cebu City
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2012

As an ESL Instructor living and working in Cebu City, I try to get out and around as much as possible, and my absolute favorite spot in Cebu is Moalboal. Although many people believe it is strictly a diving destination, nothing could be further from the truth. For the non-diver who wishes to explore /experience the beauty of a tropical reef drop-off easily and safely, it's the best in Cebu and second only to Apo ISland, Dauin Negros. And my absolute favorite place to stay is Tipolo Beach Resort. A short fin-swim in front of the resort is a world-class drop-off teeming with a myriad of tropical marine life, including hard and soft corals, sponges, sea-fans, as well as turtles galore. The turtle population here seems to be increasing compared to visits in the past, when I felt lucky to spot one. Most people have heard that the reefs running parallel to the shoreline were destroyed in a super-typhoon back in 1982. This is really only true of the shallows, and doesn't apply to the drop-off or waters deeper than about 4-5 meters along the shore. When snorkelling in front of the resort, it is a good idea to swim to the South, following the shoreline. No better snorkelling is available in Moalboal, and that includes Pescador Island (for snorkelling). I have noticed in the past, during the SW Monsoon, that alot of natural debris as well as plastic tends to build up along the shore at high-tide, but this is a phenomenon that can't be avoided, and is managed and dealt with in an efficient and timely manner by the owner/manager of Tipolo.
Besides snorkelling in front of the resort, Tipolo offers a variety of action/adventure tours in conjunction with its affiliate, Planet Action Adventure. The tours are varied and priced realistically, meaning they are true value for money, and all day-tours include a scrumptious bbq lunch with beverages included after the main tours. My persoanl favorite is River-Climbing, led by the ever-friendly, always professional "Super" Mario. (I believe he is probably one of the most-liked and respected native tour-guide in the Philippines).
Tipolo Beach Resort is an excellent place to stay, with great service (this IS the Philippines, so OF COURSE the pace is a bit slower than, say, Berlin or NYC) with clean, comfortable accommodation and an excellent restaurant that offers a wide and varied selection. One thing visitors need to keep in mind is that Filipinos in the provinces tend to be a bit shy and uncertain when dealing with foreigners, especially Westerners, so patience and empathy is a must (not to mention being positive character traits in general). Any problems that arise can quickly and easily be addressed simply by bringing them to the attention of the staff, who are ALWAYS ready to help out to ensure maximum enjoyment and satisfaction during my stays. Whenever I have needed anything, or felt that something was not "up to standard", I simply mentioned it to Rachel, the staff supervisor, who promptly set things "right" for me. I visit Tipolo often (at least once a month) and am NEVER disappointed. There are plenty of places to stay in Moalboal, but overall, for my money, Tipolo is the place to go.

Room Tip: Personally I use the room for sleeping and spend the whole day snorkelling, biking, trekking, and di...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
6 Thank Gorex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 226 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2012

Moalboal Panagsama Beach is only for Scuba Divers, they need no one else. The coral reef in front of the hotel is a totally wasted resource. The Tipolo Resort rooms are brutally hot (impossible for the tiny AC unit to cool the large room) not even a fan, unfurnished (great backpacker feel) with the most uncomfortable beds in the Philippines (2 yrs travel comparison and a sore neck&back to prove it). The nails in the patio furniture will rip you swim suit so be careful. There is no security with the ocean side open 24 hours a day. Had to chase someone off my private porch & keep all my things locked up. Locals sit on the hotel property near the upper garden and try to sell things. I payed P1650/night with no breakfast.

The rooms are arranged around pleasant landscaping with one side open to the ocean. The beach is only five feet wide at low tide which most people know before going to Panagsama. The beach has six inches of trash so bring boots if you want to walk on it. The water front is the trash dump for Moalboal. Trash floats on the top the water for a hundred feet from the shore. The jetty next to the hotel extends into the ocean and can get you past the trash if you want to swim. The water is full of thousand of microscopic jelly fish which will burn your skin. You need a diving suit to snorkel at the reef in front of the hotel to avoid burning your skin. If you can protect your skin, the coral reef 80 feet from the hotel is truly beautiful with 1000s of tiny but colorful fish. It is best to use scuba gear because you will not get all the trash caught in your hair.

The hotel has one of the top restaurants in town, however, bring exact change, they steal yours (sorry no change!!!) Other people have commented on this, so the owner participates in this scam. The best restaurant in town is by far the Lantaw (above a dive shop) with its wonderfully creative food, 2nd floor panoramic ocean views & < P500 meals for two with drinks. Hanna's (+10% service) & Marina (Ayala Mall Italian Chain) also have good but more expensive food.

Panagsama Beach is a 3 hour bus trip from the Cebu City South Bus Terminal (P107). It is P40 motor bike or P60 tricycle ride for two from Moalboal to Panagsama beach 4km. At the Ceres Bus Station Moalboal, drivers will take you to Cebu Mactan Airport for P1000 (5 people) or P800 if you bargain.

Room Tip: Don't Stay Here....
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank mjdztep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Tipolo Beach Resort, responded to this review, July 15, 2012
It's a pity that you seem to have had such a negative experience at a place that, overall, has received consistently high ratings from travelers from all over the world. It seems that the majority of your "complaints" are minor things that could easily have been addressed had you taken the initiative to simply speak to any of the extremely friendly and helpful staff. Would it have NOT been possible to request a fan, for example? Based on my 6 years experience as manager at Tipolo Resort, NOT ONE of the "problems" you cited is unmanageable, with a bit of initiative. To say that this place is for divers and not snorkelers is pretty unrealistic. Most our guest find the house reef a great place for snorkeling and it is also an indisputable fact that the drop-off is beautiful and as lush with diverse tropical marine life as it has ever been. Not to mention more turtle sightings now than at any time in the past. As for trash, it is a natural phenomenon that occurs with change of season from NW Monsoon to SW Monsoon, which brings debris from the island of Negros during high-tides. The owner of Tipolo Beach Resort is a staunch supporter of a clean/green environment , so she can't be held responsible for that, but always makes an effort to keep the waterfront at Tipolo tidy. In retrospect, it appears that you have some kind of vendetta against the place. Steal change? A scam? We really do think your review was as far off base as one could be. Of course we respect your right to express yourself, but a bit of perspective wouldn't hurt.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cebu
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2012

The Tipolo beach resort is quite the best choice for me and Mary, when we go to a trip to the south of Cebu Island. Not only the reasonable prices and the great view across the sea to Negros letting us come back again and again. We do appreciate the silence and the friendly staff. The additional offers of joining the planet action team to discover the mountains and waterfalls and caves are just awesome. Moalboal is not just the divers paradise. In fact adventurers should not miss it as well.

Room Tip: You must try the freshly self made jogurt from the menu and the adventure tours of the planet action...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank klaus_biesel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2012

the rooms were spacious, very well serviced daily, the restaurnant was average, staff a little indifferent, very close to the beach, and plenty of local eating options at resonable prices.
They organised our amazing trip to Oslob to swim with the whale sharks, a must do, was a very uncomfortable 2 hour drive, but worth every ache

Room Tip: there are several rooms that are up stairs and face a very uninteresting road, get beach facing
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jenny074
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2012

If you're vacationing in Moalboal, the odds are good you're there to dive. To that end, my fiance and I spent five very relaxing nights at Tipolo. One of those nights happened to fall on her birthday, and the staff there was very accommodating in arranging for a cake to be discreetly delivered.

Tipolo Resort is part of a triad of business' that are pretty much indistinguishable from one another when you're actually there. When you approach their little complex, the first thing you're likely to see is The Last Filling Station restaurant, on the far side of the restaurant seating there's Planet Action adventure tours (and bike rentals), and in the back you'll find an iron gate leading to a garden path and the structures that make up the Tipolo Beach Resort.

The rooms are set in a circle around the path, all with a view of the water to some extent. We were in room 2 which was a great spot to just sit on the porch and watch the dive boats coming and going. With Pescador Island visible in the distance, there was always some activity on the water. The garden itself is small, but immaculately maintained. Should a leaf fall onto the path during daylight hours, it wasn't likely to sit there for more than a few minutes before someone came along to sweep it up.

The rooms are pretty small, but functional. Let's face it, you're not going to Moalboal to sit in your room. So functional is all you really need. There isn't much more than a bed, refrigerator/minibar, small safe (too small for even an iPad...but big enough for our phones and wallets anyhow) and a bamboo shelf/hanger unit. I've seen some complaints about the beds, but we didn't have any problems with ours. I've also seen complaints about the Saturday disco down the street. Room 2 is closest to it, but with the air conditioner on, it didn't disturb us in the least. If you haven't spent much time in the Philippines, the bathroom might come as a bit of a shock. The shower, sink and toilet aren't separated at all, and share a common floor. This is pretty common in the Philippines. You get used to it. Everything was clean and well maintained.

Now, on the negative side, the mirror in the bathroom was way too low. I had to hunch over to shave in the mornings and the beach is really only a beach while the tide is out...and then it smells far too bad for anyone to really want to hang around. Once the tide comes in, the water comes right up to the stairs. They do have lounge chairs up above, but I seldom saw anyone using them.

While we were in Moalboal, we had a chance to see a lot of the other resorts. A couple of them had nicer rooms, but cost three times as much, there were cheaper ones as well...but they tended to be a bit scary. Tipolo is a great budget choice. It's inexpensive while still being safe and secure, perhaps a little on the stodgy side (which is a plus in my mind) and overall, very comfortable.

We're very likely to stay there the next time we're in Moalboal (and we will be back...we had a blast).

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlantic Beach, NC
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2012

We very much enjoyed our stay at Tipolo. They arranged our private transport from Cebu City (the driver was actually early for pick-up) and private transport to the boat going to Negros. We were in the end unit (I believe #8) which had a nice view from the porch over the water. Since we were the farthest room away from the Saturday night disco, we could only barely hear a bass note over our AC unit- not enough to keep a light sleeper like me awake. The food at the restaurant was the best we had in Moalboal. Tipolo is within easy walking distance to everything you want to do in Panagsama Beach- this includes Maya's which is right across the path from Tipolo's restaurant. I'm not certain why this is listed under B&B in TA.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AB28512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tipolo Beach Resort

Property: Tipolo Beach Resort
Address: Panagsama Beach, Moalboal 6032, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Moalboal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 24 B&Bs / Inns in Moalboal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Tipolo Beach Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Tipolo Beach Hotel Moalboal
Tipolo Beach Resort Moalboal, Cebu Island

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