We booked a couple of nights at Dive Link as a bit of an escape from the 500 peso backpacker guesthouse we had just spent a few days in. Throughout our travels in the Philippines we have stayed at places ranging from 450-2500 pesos per night, so have a pretty good idea of what we should be getting at a price point. Now, Dive Link comes in at over 4000 pesos per night so we had high expectations. The service leaves a lot to be desired in this place. There is a sign in the room saying "place this card on the bed if you want the sheets changed" and another saying "if you want fresh towels, place your towels on the floor." We duly put the towels on the floor but when we came back from Coron that afternoon, our room hadn't been touched. The bin was overflowing, there was no toilet paper, and the towels we left on the floor were still on the floor. We spoke to Toto the manager (?) about this and he said that he'd send someone up. A member of staff then shortly arrived with toilet paper and towels and just handed them to us. When I asked if she could empty the bin as well she got noticeably short with me as if I'd asked her to do something way beyond reason. It's not unreasonable to expect the room to be cleaned, toilet paper and dirty glasses to be replaced etc. We spoke once again to Toto who said he'd get the room cleaned, but that they don't normally do it after an "incident" where a guest whose room was cleaned had items go missing. If this is their policy (which is ridiculous) they need to inform guests. I don't feel as guests paying this sort of money you should have to specify everything you want them to do. The next day we once again had to ask for the loo roll to be replenished.
Other than this lack of service, the whole place is dated and reminded me of the abandoned Dharma initiative settlement in Lost! The path to the rooms is lined with upturned bottles which I'm sure looked nice when they were first installed but they just look dirty now. There were also quite a few which were smashed but still lodged in the soil, just waiting for its next trip victim to be glassed. The room is technically air conditioned but the unit in the room was noisy and useless. We ended up sticking with the fan, which incidentally was mounted on a wall made of thin wooden board which amplified the noise of the vibrations significantly.
Breakfast is included and was ok on the first day but on the second day we arrived half an hour into the hour long breakfast service and they had run out of scrambled eggs and fruit, and said they weren't putting any more out. The food which remained was all cold. We had some pretty decent food in the evening at the restaurant though, and prices are in line with what you'd pay in Coron, so that's a positive.
As other reviewers have stated, there is no beach to speak of and they advise you not to go in the water as it is murky and you run the risk of stepping on a sea urchin or a lion fish. They do offer Island Hopping as an alternative, but for 2000 pesos per person instead of the 650 you'd pay when booking on the mainland.
On the way to our room the bell boy pointed out the signposted trek to the summit of the island which we though would be worth doing. Unfortunately the signs cease about half way up, leaving you to find your own way! If willing to brave it it's worth the view though, but it's no mean feat as it's pretty steep in places with no path to speak of after the signs stop.
The setting for the hotel is great and the transfers to and from the mainland are good and frequent (albeit charged at 100 pesos per person after 7pm), and the hotel is generally peaceful (probably because most other people agree with me that it's not worth the money they charge!) In conclusion, they either need to up their game or half their prices.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It is the perfect jump-off point if you want to dive the World War II wrecks in Coron and Coron's little-known coves teeming with marine life. Dive Link will happily make arrangements for those who wish to go diving. There are several types of cottages. All have air conditioning unit, hot and cold shower, and balconies overlooking the Coron waterways. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Dive Link Hotel Coron
- Dive Link Coron Adventure Island Resort Palawan Island