This is a very nice Dive Resort on the southern end of the Moalboal peninsula. It is only 10 rooms with a pool, bar, good food and great dive shop. It was built and is run by a Dutch couple, Arie and Desiree and until recently visited by mostly Europeans but is now reaching out to the American market. We really enjoyed the international atmosphere. It seems that they will customize a package for each guest but we recommend the Full meal plan and if you are a serious diver, at least a couple of days of unlimited diving.
There are about 10 choices for breakfast but they will try to make something special if you ask. We did not see a tradition Filipino breakfast on the menu so we asked and they made it for us. Lunch is from the menu which has a reasonable number of choices. The Dinner menu changes daily and is posted on the board at lunch. This includes a starter, 2 main entrees, sides and dessert. If you don't like it you can also request something from the lunch/dinner menu. Dinner is served "Family Style". Guests sit at 2 large tables and serving plates of each dish for 4-5 people are brought to the table. It's not quite sit-down but nicer than a buffet.
The staff are young, enthusiastic Filipinos and Arie and Desiree have done an excellent job training them. The rooms are spacious. They are not opulent but do have good AC and hot water. There are also massage tables and if you request a massage, they bring someone in from town.
But if you have read our other reviews, you know we are divers and the diving operation is paramount to our Holidays. This is one of the best dive operations we have seen. The gear room is spacious and each guest gets his own box, pegs and hanger. The compressor is far enough away from the fill room that you don't hear it. The floor is pea gravel embedded in concrete so any sand that is tracked into the room before it is swept out settles between the small stones so it does not get picked up on your wetsuit of booties. There are separate rinse tanks that vary in cleanliness from Cameras to Regulators to BCs to Wetsuits and booties.
Dives were scheduled for a 2 tank dive in the morning and one tank in the afternoon. Mandarin fish (twilight) and night dives are scheduled on request. There is a good dive briefing in the shop before the dive. The tanks are full and there is spare gear on the boats. The banca ties up to a mooring and after the divers drop in, the boat moves to another mooring. Divers go with the light current . It is typically about 50 minutes to the next mooring which works well for the planned 60 minute dives. When they are up north, the boat goes into White Beach for the surface interval. Otherwise you stay on the boat and have bananas, mango and water. The afternoon dives are scheduled to allow time for lunch.
The house reef is Magic Point. You can dive west to Tonga Point. It is about a 6 minute swim (almost a walk at low tide) to this wall. You can request tanks for a shore dive almost any time. Normally currents run North and South but because of its location, the wall runs east/west and there are practically no currents for the shore dive. There are about 30 dive sites along Moalboal. Most of them are different parts of the same wall but there are at least 3 sites besides the wall that are worth going to. They are Pescador Island where you will see sardines, Goby Point which is a shallow sandy bottom with interesting critters and Compton Point which has a airplane wreck but also a sandy bottom with lots of marine life. Along the wall and especially at the top during your safety stop you will see magnificent corral and numerous large Green Turtles. The divemasters will also find frogfish and lots of small stuff.
And as a final note, be prepared for a diving fee of 112 pesos (100 php plus 12% VAT) PER dive that Moalboal charges (much of which is used for payment to the collectors and subsidies for fishermen). At the end of our 11 day stay, it was almost $100 per person. Generally we do not object to these fees but these are extremely high and fishermen are still allowed to line fish along in the dive sites so there are no large fish.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Away from the masses, you'll have a wonderful stay in one of our ten cottages. Enjoy a great dinner in our restaurant or have a drink on our terrace with its magnificent view of Pescador Island. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Magic Island Dive Hotel Moalboal
- Magic Island Dive Resort Moalboal, Cebu Island