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“Philippine / European charming” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Camiguin Action Geckos Dive & Adventure Resort

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Camiguin Action Geckos Dive & Adventure Resort
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Mambajao
Certificate of Excellence
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Philippine / European charming”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2012

Our stay was relaxing and very enjoyable. Geckos is very quiet with no tvs or loud music and guests seem to be readers. Many guests at that time were German.

The grounds are lovely. Recent storms had damaged the gardens but repairs and new plantings were already progressing nicely. Our bungalow was clean, well kept and comfortable. Fan and mosquito netting were more than adequate and comfortable. And we loved sitting on the nice porch. There are air con bungalows too if that is essential to you.

The restaurant food was very good. Friends we were travelling with stayed at the next resort over since Geckos was fully booked and they happily came over to eat. Prices do vary, but there are excellent economical menu items as well as more expensive options.

Michelle was very attentive to daily needs and both she and Uli were spectacular when our exiting travel plans went awry. Gracious and totally helpful.

If we get to Cameguin again, we'll definitely stay here.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NancyLee_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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188 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    130
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    7
    8
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

We were first staying at the Bayan Bakasyuhan hotel with my loved one (high standard resort), and finally cancelled our last nights to enjoy the Action Gecko. Even so we had to take the traveller room with shared bathroom, our stay was much more amazing and romantic than the first resort. As we came, a welcome note with our names was written on the bed using grass, very exclusive and high standard service :)

The staff is amazing, always smiling and willing to help you. You can feel they enjoy working there. The managers are amazing too, very accessible and friendly. The food is great, the cocktails are nice and the menu is very original and full of promotions.

This place is directly on the beach, on of the best ones. An empty beach, only used by couples on the sunset and a few nearby friendly fishermen. Amazingly romantic for a morning or evening walk. This place is also great for adventurous travellers, with motorbike rental to visit the island, diving equipment for rent and so on.

Once again, the best place to stay, with very affordable prices (travellers rooms are even very cheap !), amazing staff and beautifull surroundings.

Definitely the place to stay, we will come back there !

Fred & Fennie

Room Tip: if your request the room 3, its a traveller room, but with a queen size bed and directly nearby the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank frederic s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dumaguete City, Philippines
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

Stayed 3 nights at Action Gecko's over All Saints holiday. Despite the resort being fully booked, we still felt a world apart in our peaceful little corner of Agoho Beach. Staff took the time to learn our names, owner Michelle was always available to answer questions or help arrange boats and bikes. Food was excellent, breakfast - lunch - and dinner (order your dinner early to ensure the freshest fish from market and a free rhum & coke cocktail). Three of us stayed in the last traveller's room available, and we were thrilled with our luck (especially after seeing what other nearby accommodations looked like…). Yay for Action Geckos!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Amy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at Gecko's for a few days. Read all the good reviews here on Tripadvisor, so we thought it would be worth our money.

The resort looks nice. The restaurant is cosy and the bungalows are spacious and clean. The travellersrooms are a bit crampy and overpriced. They cost 800 pesos a night. Shared bathroom.

We stayed at a beachside bungalow which costs a whooping 1900 pesos a night. Nice bathroom with a hot shower. Broken mosquito-net and the matress was really bad. The bungalow was nice, but 1900 pesos? Way overpriced in my opinion.

Not only the bungalows but also the food was overpriced. High prices, small portions and the quality of the dishes was quite bad.

+ Location: close to Mambajao
+ Friendly staff
+ On the beach

- Price/quality
- Food
- Motorcycle rent and transfers to, for example, the port are also way overpriced

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BlueWithFlowers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels
Level Contributor
41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2012

My girlfriend and I have just spent 5 nights at Action Geckos and I would quite happily have stayed there twice as long. The resort has so much to recommend it that I'm not really sure I can do it justice in a short review.

To start with, I should point out that from a dietary perspective I'm not easy to cater for, as for medical reasons I'm really restricted as to what I can eat. Consequently it's not easy for me to find a dish I can eat in a restaurant here in Manila, never mind down south on a tropical island in Mindanao. I needn't have worried though. After emailing Michele in advance to let her know what my dietary requirements are, I got an instant reply to reassure me that they would cook the food exactly how I wanted it.

To be honest that was an understatement. I ate 3 meals a day at their outdoor restaurant the whole time I was there and each time they asked me what ingredients I wanted left out or added and how I'd like it cooked. In addition every meal was absolutely delicious. I'm a fussy eater and I really enjoy my food, so satisfying my appetite given the restrictions I've got was quite an achievement. They have undoubtedly got a very talented chef in their kitchen.

Furthermore, the accommodation itself was great. We stayed in Bungalow 4 which is the furthest of the four from the beach, but it still boasts a great location and view. It simply meant that instead of sitting on our veranda with the waves almost on our doorstep, (as is the case with Bungalow 1), we were about 30 metres away from the shoreline. It didn't make any difference to us. The bungalows are staggered in such a way that you are looking out onto the sea and palm trees, irrespective of which cottage you stay in. Sitting reading on our porch whilst swaying gently in my rocking chair with the sound of the waves lapping against the rocks was an incredibly relaxing way to chill out.

The bungalow itself was rustic and tastefully decorated and the large King size bed was extremely comfortable. The small geckos that crawl across the ceiling are really cute and they obviously do a great job of eating the mosquitoes. We had a net draped over the bed to protect us but we never needed to use it.

Another huge selling point is the customer care you receive at the resort. I found the service to be pretty much exceptional, whether it was corresponding by email in advance or arranging trips, booking transport or ordering food after our arrival there. Everything ran as smooth as clockwork. Michele was frequently on hand with a friendly smile, asking whether we needed anything and she is evidently extremely efficient at managing her staff, all of whom were courteous and hard-working. The resort itself had a really good vibe about it from the moment we arrived and given that 20 local Pinoys are employed there, it's clearly putting money back into the local economy. In addition, it also means that there's always someone ready to attend to you.

Indeed, given that the entire staff and management were so friendly, I found it intriguing that I chanced upon a review by a Filipino family who stayed at Geckos last month and complained bitterly about everything they could think of. Having stayed there myself now for almost a week, I found their criticism laughable. Geckos isn't a resort that is particularly suited to a family vacation and it isn't advertised as such. Instead it is a place where couples and groups of friends stay in order to find time to relax together in an extremely pleasant atmosphere. As for the family's claim that the foreign managers show nothing but indifference to locals, you only have to spend an evening there to see that everyone is treated with the utmost respect. Michele is also really proficient at languages and she even speaks the local Visayan dialect, in addition to French, German and English. Europeans and Pinoys alike couldn't ask for a more welcoming host. My Filipino partner enjoyed our stay at Geckos just as much as I did, and I've no doubt that we'll be going back there for another holiday in the future.

It is worth noting that electricity can be an issue at times on the island as a whole. However, I was grateful that we had only the one brownout during our 5-day stay and even then the electricity was back on within a couple of hours. To put that into perspective, the resort I stayed at in El Nido on Palawan automatically turned off the electricity for 8 hours every single day from 6am-2pm. The one power interruption we experienced at Geckos was nothing in comparison.

There are numerous trips that you can do on Camiguin and if it's golden sand you're looking for, White Island is only a ten-minute boat trip away. We asked Michele and Uli to arrange all of our trips for us and we were really happy with every one of them. During our island tour, Michele even took the trouble to phone ahead to the restaurant where we were booked to have lunch, so that they would cook the food exactly as I needed them to. She also purchased a 5 kilo basket of lanzones fruits from the local market for us on the last day and had it waiting for us as we prepared to leave. The price per kilo was a quarter of what we pay here in Manila. In addition, she organized our ferry tickets back to Cagayan, as well as our pick up on the mainland and transport back to the airport. Nothing was too much trouble for her and customer service simply doesn't get any better than that.

To sum up, Camiguin is probably not to everybody's taste. It's very laid back and the nightlife is non-existent, so if it's action, noise and the in-crowd you're looking for, you're better off going to Boracay. Personally, I much prefer somewhere far more natural and as yet uncommercialized and both Camiguin and Geckos exceeded my expectations in every respect. I will definitely be going back to both as soon as I get the chance.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Sidney_Ruff_Diamond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mandaluyong, Philippines
Level Contributor
75 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

PROS:
- Payment: Accepts Paypal though initially they had not mentioned about this option and have previously advised me to send airtime credit details to them
- Location: Pretty good and locals generally know where Agoho is and will be able to point you in the right direction; very close to White Island across
- Staff: friendly, conversational, helpful, and laid back
- Price is hard to beat
- Booking and Reservation: Easy to communicate and book / ask questions through e-mail. They usually respond on the same day

CONS:
- Payment: As mentioned above, they have initially told me to pay via airtime credit, a process I'm not familiar with; Hopefully they would be able to have direct credit card online reservation in the future; the Paypal way is ok but I hate the extra charge :D

Overall, I wouldn't think twice about staying here and bringing my friends over again when we get the chance to go back to Camiguin.

Room Tip: The traveler rooms are good value for money!
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank verargulla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steffisburg, Switzerland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2012

We stayed form 3 until 19 September 2012. For us it was the first holiday in the Philippines and it will not be the last one on the Philippines thanks to the friendly staff of Camiquin Action Geckos!
The journey from Switzerland to Camiquin is not a simple one. We got a lot of help from the management of Camiquin Action Geckos. For example which is the best way for us / which is the advantageous airline. They arranged us also all the drivers which have been punctually at the airport or at the harbor.
The welcome at Camiquin Action Geckos was warm and very friendly. After showing us our nice cottage with sea view, we got an introduction to the resort (diving / eating / activities on the island).
During our stay one or two Taifun touched the Philippines and we had some electricity blackouts. The staff arranged everything so that we barely noticed the lack of electricity (and beneath: It was very romantic)
My boyfriend did the PADI Open Water Diver and I have done the PADI Rescue Diver. We both had a great time doing our certification. After the first week we went diving around the Island. The staff of Camiquin Action Geckos made diving possible even with the worst weather conditions (roughly sea, heavy wind).
The staff organised all the other activities for example Zip Line / Hawaiian Night / Hot Springs.

Thanks again to the staff and especially to Michelle and Wing.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sarahfurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Camiguin Action Geckos Dive & Adventure Resort

Property: Camiguin Action Geckos Dive & Adventure Resort
Address: Agoho, Mambajao, Mindanao 9100, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mindanao > Camiguin > Mambajao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Mambajao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Camiguin is one of those best-kept secrets that attracts divers and those "in the know". Diving is not 'my thing' but in this jewel of an island - still relatively unspoilt in comparison to Panglao Island - Camiguin Action Geckos is definitely the best. Why? Simply because of the foreign (European) hands-on management that look after your every need. The personal touches from the attentive staff are worth the money alone. Trips up the volcano etc are easily arranged, the rooms are clean and the beach bungalows/cottages excellent. Food is international and the beach BBQ a great way of meeting the other guests. Go - but don't tell too many friends."Every island on the Philippines should have a place like this." - LonelyPlanet Sightseeing/Attractions Tip: No swimming pool, but with Ardent Hot Springs only 3 km away, who needs one? Avoid Ardent Hot Springs at weekends unless you want to share one of the pools with 30 others. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Camiguin Action Geckos Dive And Adventure Resort
Camiguin Action Geckos Dive & Adventure Hotel Mambajao
Camiguin Action Geckos Dive & Adventure Resort Mambajao

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