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Villa Marmarine
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Reviews (278)
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Reviewed February 8, 2013

We were two 23 year old backpackers who checked into Villa Marmarine as a bit of respite from weeks travelling in very low-budget accomodation. We visited the hotel on the day prior to our stay to look a nice double room with T.V, fan and private bathroom and agreed to pay 700 pesos. We were told that this had been reserved and to return at 2pm the next day to check in. We arrived the next day, and though it was pleasant to recieve a welcome drink we were made to wait over an hour with no explanation for the delay. We were then led to a dormitory with no T.V, no fan and a shared bathroom with the potential for 2 other gusts to check into our room. All of the staff acted as though this was completely normal, and when we questioned this change the manager told us that the room we had reserved had been given to somebody else. Having already checked out of another much cheaper place with the same specifications we were very disappointed and ask to be moved. The room and shared bathroom we were given was of a very poor standard, felt dirty, exposed to other guests and the elements. This was followed by continuous rudeness and complacency and forgetfullness of the staff, reluctance to help us with tours and travel and a general feeling that we were unwelcome. If you are a younger budget traveller expect to be treated differently from other guests and don't rely on this place to be comfortable just because it costs more.

Room Tip: Either pay full whack for a decent bungalow or don't bother!
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Judge_Peanut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

We really enjoyed staying here. We stayed for 2 nights, but would have stayed longer if we had more time. Our cottage was very nice with an outside bathroom. But the owners and there friendliness made it really special. The beach is quiet but really beautiful. In the restaurant try the prawn with garlic, it's great. We even played tennis on a nice court.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Karin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2012

The rooms and the location are pleasant enough to love this place just for that, but it's when you meet the owner and learn about his life's work that you feel really great about staying here.
I admired Daman for what he does for the island, his kindness radiates from him and his calm and kind presence was what made this visit special.
Like I said, the rooms are cozy and service great, but the character of the owner is what will stay with us...

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Soturimimmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2012

We were given a nice room but decided to try negotiate to the deluxe as the only place mosquito free (we were a little paranoid due to having just had Dengue Fever) was on the bed. However, the deluxe suite had seating inside, mosquito nets (weren't many around anyway) seating on the balcony and a hamock. I would definately pay or negotiate to stay in the deluxe rooms should we go again. A little note, take your sarong with you to use as curtain if your shy and there is not one over the queen bed downstairs. It didn't worry us, but it may do for others.
The rooms are clean and the outside bathroom is a nice treat.
The staff are nice and friendly.
As anywhere in the Philippines, one has to be flexible and open or you will come away disappointed.
The food was so nice that we ate in the restaraunt each night. The menus have Filipino, Japanese and Western food and the staff are happy to help with requests. Remember to order an hour before you want to eat (as with most places in the Philippines).
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and wouldn't bother going anywhere else. Highly recommended.
The beach out the front of the hotel is not really suitable for snorkelling or swimming due to the coral but the staff will suggest good places.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Gezzam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

I'm accustomed to fine accommodations when I go on vacation for a few days. My first criteria is my comfort and service. I also expect value for money and good food on the premises. I'm not a night person. I like to stay in one place unless I have some things to accomplish on these trips. I like the sea and the beach but I don't even know how to swim. It was an odd choice to come to Siquijor , never been here. I wanted to see some healers for my aches and pains. I wanted to see fireflies. I asked my daughter in law to book a place to stay. She had a college buddy who went to the island the previous summer and had good words for a Villa Marmarine. We checked it online and I liked the fact that the owner was a Japanese teacher and seemed to help young teenagers go thru college and used them part time as staff in the hotel. Just before I boarded the plane to Dumaguete, there was a storm raging in the area. I had to take along a caregiver, I'm 61 and like I said had aches and pains. The boat ride that day made me really queasy, when we arrived in Larena, the driver from Marmarine was there waving a placard with my name on it. His name was Michael he said, and that Dagmar (Mr. Harada) was anxious about the boat ride, we arrived earlier than expected. The young man was assistant manager, an experienced diver, driver, fine tour guide. He was among the first graduates of Dagmar's program. We talked about the things I could do on the island enroute to the resort. The first cottage that was available when we arrived was very near the water. It was pretty but had only one queen bed, with nets and a fan. No hot water, but it had a ref with free drinks. I opted to have our dinner served in the cottage, because it was raining quite hard that night. The first thing I requested was a 'hilot' a native type of massage, who arrived at once. She did work me up so well that I asked her to come the next night. It's up to you how much you want to pay her. I have massages all the time, I can rate a masseuse in price and skill. The next day I met Mr. Harada in person. I asked him about healers and he recommended 2 who did well to his Japanese guests. I went to the 92 year old lady in another town using the car of Marmarine. The old lady was kind not ask for a fee for her strange method of healing. I actually felt good when it was over that I did not visit the other one. We just went around the island, visited the century old balite tree and I was able to go up to the roots and utter some prayer to the spirits who live in that tree. When I held those air roots, I could feel something I can't explain...ah never mind about that.
Back to the hotel, I spoke to the cook that I wanted some sushi and sashimi. He made a wonderful meal for us from fresh catch. It was one of the most enjoyable meals I've had in my travels. We were also asked if we wanted to transfer to a bigger room, since 1 was just vacated. It was very nice, big with a second floor. Balconies up and below. Not the posh elegant hotels, but charming nonetheless. So I spent the next 2 days there. Before I order a meal I talk to the cook and he comes up with the goods, just the way I like it.
We went for a ride with some divers to an area off Marmarine, snorkeling with life vests on, guarded by the boat crew, while the divers went 25 meters below. Later we waded by the shore picking up some spiny brown shellfish, which we ate raw with lemon. Yummy, don't even know what it's called. I'm talking too much. The point is for a place that is not frequented like Boracay, Siquijor has a wild beauty and it charms you the longer you stay. The place is undergoing improvements and some new cottages are being added. It is a good place to start on a dive trip, the costs of stay, food, car and boat ride in Villa Marmarine is so unbelievably low. The 3 days cost me less than a day of stay in a hotel. I did not see a single firefly, it was not the season and a typhoon had just been in Siquijor. I realized that people are still more important to me than insects. I like to see the twinkle in the eyes as much as the glitter of the fireflies. The healer and most of all the staff of Villa Marmarine are not spoiled by commercialism. If they were just acting the part of being good hosts, wow they really convinced me. They loved what they do, always smiling and grateful for little things you give them. Before I went to bed on the last night I gave a little token of appreciation to the cashier and told her to divide it among the youth working there. The staff were already asleep for the next day, there would be classes. They all got up and came to thank me. The next morning as we were about to leave, they filed past me in their uniforms smiling and wished me a safe trip home. Mr. Harada walked with me to the car, I told him I liked what he was doing in his resort. He said it was his lifelong dream to educate the youth. I said goodbye and he said... I hope to see you again.

Room Tip: Book ahead, for a place that is not on the usual tourist route, it is quite popular with foreigners. They only have a few rooms. They are adding more. They would give you the best they have.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank witchgoddess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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