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“What a Treat”

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Magic Island Dive Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 10, 2012

My wife and I just spent 10 glorious days at this little gem

Staff, food and diving excellent, there was nothing that even I would complain about

From the minute they picked up, to the moment they drop you back at the airport, you feel as if your getting a holiday way above what you've paid for

Room Tip: I think we had the Bridal Suite (probably the best), but I had a look in on one of the other rooms a...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank missing243
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 5, 2012

We had a group of 9 that stayed at Magic Island from March 17 - 24, 2012. From the moment we arrived all of us felt welcome. This is a very quaint personable resort that takes care of your every need. The food is superb, the wall diving was great, and especially the staff (all 30 of them) are extremely friendly and helpful. If there is any thing special you may want - all you have to do is ask. That covers everything from the diving to the rooms to the food. Ari and Desiree and the entire staff go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. I have traveled the world in my 20 years of dive adventure and would I stay here again? Most definitely!

Room Tip: All rooms were nice
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Jim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2012

There is a right time and a right place for everything, and as novices, and well-above-average-aged divers, Magic Island Dive Resort was dead right for us.From the welcome, briefing and encouragement, what started as a slightly mad idea turned into an enjoyable reality, despite considerable trepidation and difficulties from us pupils. The unflinching professional support from Arie and Eef, our instructor, brought us to Certificate success.
The limited number of simple but well appointed cabins and the secluded position of the Resort have encouraged a flow of repeat business from a select group of keen, experienced and enthusiastic diving couples who put their diving and their photography well ahead of other leisure pursuits. Evenings were spent mingling easily during meals at the long dining tables. Food was always well prepared, interesting, varied, and more than ample.
Desiree has developed a well disciplined and effective, highly responsive team for whom nothing was too much trouble.
This Resort with its own house reef was an excellent place to start our diving experience and has left us keen to continue forever 'downwards'!
Arie encouraged us to undertake the on-line theory training. This proved effective, both in time and operation, and provided a good perspective on the potential diving experience.
Standards both in the resort and the Dive centre were well ordered and effective and it was good to see our names clearly in place on the racks, ready to for our gear alongside the long experienced divers. This made us feel part of the family from the very beginning. The staff too seemed to know our names from the start. Both Arie and Desiree were often around, chatting and encouraging and engineering suitable flexibilities in schedules and additional services as required.

We must thank Desiree, Arie and Eef and all their staff for getting us diving, in the most enjoyable way. Thanks for your patience and professionalism

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Beelhouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2012

There is simply not enough that I can say to describe my experience there in October. The diving was fantastic! Arie and Desiree's staff pampered us both in the water and at the dinner table. The resort is small and secluded and I could have spent my entire visit to the Philippines there without complaints. The dive masters gave thorough briefings and really did a fantastic job finding the critters for us. I loved the diving area, it was clean and orderly (separate wash tanks for cameras and gear a huge plus)with a special "Thank You!" to Arie for coming up with a voltage converter. The house reef is a TON of fun to dive. Lots of critters and turtles as well, never did find the pygmy seahorses there but others in my group did. I would not hesitate to return there.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank h8mondays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2011

Have been to Magic Island for 5 nights and it was great! Diving was new to me and we went to Magic Island on a friends advise. I got one-by-one lessons from a very good instructor who was very strict though friendly and funny in his lessons. My friend already got his Padi OW so he could join the boatdives from the beginning.
Magic Island is a real dive resort. Everything and everybody is about diving.
Somethings to know before you go: Magic Island is a social place. Breakfast, lunch and diner is al together at one table. It is possible to arrange a seperate table, but it is a strong and very enthousiastic group. So be aware of that. And almost everybody who stays there loves to dive. Pictures, stories and experiences are shared during every meal. The social aspect of the place makes it a very good place for single travelers to go. Because you will never sit or eat alone!
Don't want to make a dive? Lay down next to the pool, read a book, get a massage, go snorkling, take a walk to Moalboal town, or use the free WIFI.
Rooms are clean, personel is friendly and knows everybody by name, the owners are like part of the group, resort is very clean and well taken care off and the ambiance is relaxing and amazing.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank AngelaB84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2011

The resort is beautiful, clean, intimate, and magical. The staff is friendly, helpful, and knows your name. The meals were great, especially the desserts. Dining on the patio at night overlooking the water really is a magical time. We enjoyed a great couples massage. The dive crew is awesome. We visited some wonderful diving spots. The dive shop is clean and organized. Each diver has thier name displayed and a spot for everything. Magic Island Dive Resort is a place we would return again!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Scott Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2011

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.

Room Tip: The resort is quiet and all the rooms are nice
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank 2skidivers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Magic Island Dive Resort

Address: Tongo, Basdiot, Moalboal 6032, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Moalboal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 40 Specialty Lodging in Moalboal
Price Range: $67 - $76 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Magic Island Dive Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 10
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 
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Also Known As:
Magic Island Dive Hotel Moalboal
Magic Island Dive Resort Moalboal, Cebu Island

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