We booked the budget cottage for four nights: worth the money. You dont need the aircon anyway, even with the fan, it gets pretty chilly in the evening. It is a cozy, convenient place.
Situated right next to anything you would need (convenience store, couple of restaurants, dive shops etc). However, if you were looking for a beach front, you may want to shell out a few pesos more to go elsewhere. There is a nice small beach just about 100 m by walk.
There is a hammock an a couple of bamboo seaters if you would like to just relax at your cottage. The room is dim. The lighting could improve. I think it goes with the 'native' experience. The bathroom is big and very clean. The shower doesn't really work that well though. Have to be patient as a few jets of water hits you. There is no complimentary water. Could look into that. The safe in the room is easy to use. We had a fan room, but the control to the fan didn't work. So had to climb a chair every time we wanted to change something. The sheets got better when we asked specifically for cotton stuff.
The food is good but overpriced (just as any other resort, I am sure). Some dishes are repetitive: the adobo chicken is the same as the dorado steak is the same as fajitas. The burritos were really good. And their fresh shakes are really fresh and very tasty. The kitchen could be a bit cleaner: I saw a dog and a cat walk right in when they were cooking. Nor did I see the staff wash their hands particularly before cooking something. But again, don't think of it like a restaurant; it is more like a kitchen in a home. TIP: eat around the place. Go across the street to Tipolo for excellent pizzas. Or go to moalboal town for some food (cheaper but not particularly cleaner).
The staff are friendly and mostly helpful. If you want your room cleaned or your towels changed, ask explicitly, don't expect it to be done on a daily basis automatically. One significant negative (depends on how you take it, it could be a dealbreaker to some, and just a matter of fact to the others): if you ask for help regarding a car hire, be prepared to be ripped off. We wanted to rent a car from Moalboal to Oslob for the whale watching and then be dropped off at cebu city. We asked the staff hoping they would know something about it. They got us in touch with a couple of people but the rates were unreasonably high and fluctuating (they quoted 5000, 7000 and 9000 pesos respectively. A funny moment, one of the people we were talking to said, to Oslob it is 1500 and from there to Cebu city, it is 2500, totally 5000. We just smiled and found a cheaper driver-ended up paying 3500.) Long story short, don't be gullible: they are helpful and friendly, but don't let yourself taken advantage of. Do some asking around before you agree to a price.
We had a nice and pleasant stay. It was a calm getaway, exactly as we expected for a very good price (they had a further summer discount of 20%, which was not offered to us as we had paid in advance). But would we go there a second time: perhaps not, as we would like to get a seaview/beachfront the next time. Nothing wrong with the place: would recommend it to friends who are looking for an inexpensive, spartan place. Just that, when you have traveled so far to see paradise, you may not want to hesitate spending a few dollars more to get a better view.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mayas Native Garden, is located on Panagsama Beach. Panagsama Beach is an old fishing village, which has become a divers paradise, with the discovery of Pescador Island, Tongo Point and other superb dive spots. The village has developed into a laidback heaven for divers, backpackers, adventurists, sun & cocktail tourists, expats as well as eco tourists. This diverse composition of tourist together with the warm and friendly Cebuanos (inhabitants of Cebu Island), makes Panagsama a unique place to spend your holiday, leave or weekend. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mayas Native Garden Moalboal, Cebu Island