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“10 out of 10 for service, location and hospitality”

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Secret Cove Beach Resort
Ranked #4 of 9 Hotels in Mambajao
Kassel, Germany
Level Contributor
21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“10 out of 10 for service, location and hospitality”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2011

It started with the constant reply to my booking request. Tom, the canadian owner of this resort was very fast and informative with his email replies. Upon arrival at Benoni Port we were picked up by a private vehicle and taken to this resort. The rooms are clean, well maintained and spacious enough. More importantly so I was given a quiet room to ensure a good nights sleep because I am a light sleeper. Also the service, and food in the small, cozy restaurants was excellent and we ended up eating there all the time during our 3 days stay. I would like to thank Tom and his wife Bida and the staff for a faultless stay and warm hospitality. I work in the hotel industry myself so I just know to well how hard it is to please every guest. Well done Secret Cove !! We will certainly return to you guys for our next trip to sunny Camigiun.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank J B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
soltom, Owner at Secret Cove Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 2, 2011
Thank you very much Jochen, because you are managing a Hotel in the Philippines and really
understand the daily problems we face (staff, suppliers, services etc) your GREAT REVIEW
is graciously accepted by me, Bida and our staff. We look forward to your return.
Regards
Tom S
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    54
    38
    17
    9
    5
See reviews for
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67
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Davao City, Philippines
Level Contributor
77 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2011

Hi All. Well, we were tripping around and wound up on the beautiful island of Camiguin. Of course, looking for a place to stay is fairly easy. But finding a place where you can truly relax and be pampered all for the right price is hard to find. Enter Secret Cove Beach Resort. Owned by Canadian Tom and his Filipino wife Bida, Secret Cove provided everything we needed for a fun, relaxing stay. The staff are turned on and tuned in. Extremely helpful and knowledgeable of the island and always eager to serve our needs. The resort is located right on the water with a small private beach and a beautiful deck area overlooking the ocean and the small but ever beautiful White Island. Every evening we sat for "sundowners" and drank a great bottle of wine provided by the resort at a very reasonable price.(Not the gouging prices of some resorts!) The rooms were excellent and clean. Well appointed with night tables and a reading lamps. A well stocked bar fridge, (again, without the gouging prices of other resorts). The CR's are excellent, clean and roomy, with hot water and great towels.
Now for the food. With a kitchen outfitted to handle much larger dining rooms, this resort aims to please! The breakfast is unreal and you are served fresh HOMEMADE bread every morning. All the meals are very reasonably priced and made fresh to order. A great menu offers food to satisfy all tastes. Coffee...we are coffee drinkers and it can be a daunting task to get a good cup of joe in the Philippines. Not at Secret Cove...brewed coffee is served "with a smile" in a french press! It is delicious and served hot, with fresh milk...every time!
A member of the CTA (Camiguin Travel Association), Secret Cove works hard to ensure your experience is fun and hassle free. There is a Johnny's Dive Shop right at the resort, motor bike rentals, mountain bike rentals, and boat rentals and tours arranged. Pick up and drop off service from the port of Benoni is also easily arranged and we strongly recommend it! Boat trips to nearby White Island are also arranged and we we found the prices at the resort for all these services to be cheaper than the local guides!

All in all, we had a fantastic stay and are returning in May for another week of fun in the sun, pampering and relaxation from the wonderful staff of Secret Cove Beach Resort.
Thank you to all at the resort...you are all wonderful.

Room Tip: CALL ahead and arrange pick up in Benoni!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Casa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
soltom, Owner at Secret Cove Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 15, 2011
Jim & Evelyn
Thanks for the GREAT review, happy to hear you enjoyed your stay, see you in May
when you return for more of our Paradise Island.
Tom, Bida & Staff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orebro, Sweden
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2011

I had recently stayed a week on Camiguin Island at Secret Cove Resort and I have to say it was relaxing. I went to see Camiguin Island and enjoy the beauty it had to offer and was just looking for a quiet place where I can relax. I found that combination at Secret Cove Resort. The owner, Tom Solski, greeted me upon arrival and was there every morning with his cup of coffee always asking how my night was and was truly interested in my stay. The staff at Secret Cove was outstanding with great service, smiles, and a warmth that made me feel I was at home each day. Secret Cove offered that perfect blend of rustic style with Island hospitality. I highly reccommend Secret Cove to those seeking a quiet place with a family touch. Thanks Tom and hope to see eveyone again......Lee

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank leehpae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
soltom, Owner at Secret Cove Beach Resort, responded to this review, March 15, 2011
Hi Lee
I really appreciate your review, happy to hear that you enjoyed the Island and our Resort. Hope
to see you again. Congradulations on obtaining your Swedish Citizenship, take care.
Regards
Tom, Bida & Staff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
100 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2011

My wife was with her family at this resort last november. She came back dissatisfied with the place. When they arrived, the room was not yet ready- despite being reserved and confirmed. The wooden walls had some sort of wood dust (for lack of a better word) peeling off.. As per the resort, the room was cleaned already but they found dust and had it recleaned. What really struck her was that the rooms had a musty smell. Her aunt, who came from canada, spoke with the management but nothing came out of it. The bed mattress was o.k. but the sheets were really old. The bathroom had molds. NO hot water.
Like the other report, the rooms were made up and garbage removed only every two days. This as not a big negative for them. Overall, she said that the actual resort did not mirror what was in the website. If she were to go back to camiguin, she would probably try somewhere else.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bigwawao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
soltom, Owner at Secret Cove Beach Resort, responded to this review, March 1, 2011
The fact that you did not stay at our resort is the reason that I believe your review to be clouded. Yes it is true that the rooms were not ready when your wife and her family arrived,
even though as you say they did have a reservation. Check out time is at 12 noon, we can not evict a guest earlier because there is a reservation coming, your wife and family arrived before noon, the rooms were not cleaned at that time but it didn't seem to be a problem because her
group were anxious to leave and do an around the Island tour. Contrary to what you stated, when the Aunt spoke to me I
immediately had my staff go and clean the rooms properly, there was no dust or musty smell after they completed the cleaning, also the hot water worked fine once I showed them how to turn on the water
heater, they are obviously use to a central water heater. We clean clean the rooms daily and remove the garbage, we change the bedding and towels every second day.
We do not have old sheets, bedding or towels as you stated, which makes me wonder if it was as you have stated, why did they remain for 3 nights when there are so many other resorts on the Island, if it was as you stated, why stay.
Respectfully submitted
Tom S.
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Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2011

Secret Cove is one of the best places to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the metro. We chose the resort as the owner (Tom) is very proactive in providing information in our trip. We even greeted by him upon arrival to the resort and he was nice enough to offer us a drink after a long travel.

Secret Cove has a very competitive price for their rooms. When my cousin and I first saw the beach view and how tranquil the place is, it just blew off our tired bodies. the view from the gazeebo was just mesmerizing (it is nicely situated near the break water and you have a good view of the white is.).

The food, I would say is at par to the restaurants that Ive been in but I would suggest a broader menu list that would cater local cuisine (this is only a suggestion =D ). I would say that the pork steak we ate is delicious but a bit pricy considering we are only on a tight budget. We also manage to taste the breakfast and the potato wedges are delicious! but then again maybe a more diverse selection of food would be better.

The snorkeling experience was awesome! thanks to mang Chopel who was very polite and kind during our trip.

The room I would say is fair enough to its price but I have several things to point out. The overall interior was just enough but I would say a bit dirty.We saw several dust on the tables, chairs and the door although we did not brought this up but we just simply noticed it, but for future guest I would suggest to address this issue as they may have a different view to this. another point is that there are no available hangers for us to use (Again we did not brought this up as we dont mind it =D) . I would as well suggest a more revised interior of the room that would compliment the overall ambience of the island (I am not saying room is not beautiful but needs further improvement).

There are 2 negative points that I have. One is that there is no wifi signal inside the room and we need to go outside for us to avail of it. Second is the laundry service, we were planning to check out around 9 or 10 am but unfortunately the staff gave us 1 item (underwear) that is not ours! We waited for it for 1 hour but we decided to just get dressed and ask the staff on the reception area. fortunately they found it. But 1 thing noticeable was that the clothes were not well cleaned and it has an unpleasant smell. I brought this up kindly to the staff and they simply stated that the clothes are not all dry. I just gave a sigh of relief instead and decided to let it go as we are in a tight schedule that day. I suppose a fabric conditioner may prevent the smell and I would even be glad to pay for it if its not part of the laundry service.

To sum up our stay. The Island is beautiful and worth the trip. Given the facts we raised, if these were addressed definitely Secret Cove resort would be worth every penny you spent.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eugene101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
soltom, Owner at Secret Cove Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 8, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our Resort. Your suggestions are much appreciated. I will have the Manager check all the rooms for clothes hangers and to ensure that they are properly cleaned. Regarding the WiFi our internet provider also provides the
router which provides the WiFi, the signal varies in strength a great amount and they have told me that is the best/strongest signal that is presently available in the Yumbing area. I will also
speak to our staff about the laundry service as there has been a few times lately where they
are not doing a proper cleaning job. Again thank you for taking the time to write and tell me.
Regards
Tom, Bida & Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2011

This was our second stay at Secret Cove. The staff were almost all holdovers from the previous year and their spontaneous 'welcome back' greetings were instantaneous. The beachfront setting is still meticulously kept with great daytime and sunset views. The rooms are either basic (popular with divers) and which we chose, or with upgraded amenities. The restaurant is still a real asset of the resort wth good filipino food, but also excellent N. American style options with some fine entree choices. Of some note as well, the bar has an extensive - easily the most extensive on the island - Scotch selection. The staff was untiringly helpful in arranging land transport and tour options. The owners are exceedingly open and hospitable with guests.
We're already looking forward to next year......

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Elwood8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
soltom, Owner at Secret Cove Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 8, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to write a great review of our Resort. Hope you guys enjoyed the
trip to Butuan and got to check out the river boat trip at Riverside Marina. Hope to see you again
next year.
Regards
Tom, Bida & Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2011

Okay, to lay down the facts: the price per night is 1,400PHP, which includes a queen-size bed, TV, mini-fridge, shower with hot water, and standard AC. Not too shabby and the beach view is nice. You can get pizza from the bar and rent a motorcycle for about 400-500 PHP/day. They will also wash your laundry for a reasonable rip-off price (like all the resorts here -prepare to pay double the prices when compared to Cagayan de Oro or the like).

This place a several issues that were a deal-breaker for me and my partner. The first one is the fact that the food is bad and expensive, so you will end up looking for another place to dine.

Second, their laundry service botched our clothes, ending up ruining one of my partner's dresses. And the rest wasn't that white anymore either.

Third, we had cockroaches in our restroom, after one managed to climb up from the toilet during a water outage. Just two, but that was disgusting enough and when I reported it to the owner, he blamed me for luring them in. "Do not eat in your room!" The same attitude shone through all the service, since he was very eager to prevent any adjustments to be made in any policies.

Fourth, speaking of policies: they change towels and linens only every second day. And clean up the room. And take out the trash (remember cockroaches?). You end up paying for half the service while the employees simply laze around in the bar, doing nothing. That's bad management.

Fifth, the karaoke bar. It's at the other side of the road, maybe 50-100m from the resort, and they really turn on the volume every night. While it doesn't prevent sleep, you can forget peaceful evenings, if that is what you would like to have. On the flip-side, if you like partying, you'll know where to go. It's not a big place, though, just really noisy.

Sixth and final: the place is a little bit dirty and a little bit run down. For the price, it really should had been in much better shape. And since we needed to eat and do our laundry elsewhere anyway, we ended up going to a nearby Caves Dive Resort, which really had much better services and rooms, but no hot water. Out of all the choises on this island, just don't choose Secret Cove. It's not worth the price. Frankly, I can't understand why some of the people before me have given this place full 4-5 stars -unless they are bought men.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank x10110001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
soltom, Owner at Secret Cove Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 2, 2011
I felt bad when I read your review stating so many negative issues about our Resort, I have to wonder
Why you continued to extend your stay for 5 nights and would have stayed longer had we not
Already been fully booked. Regarding the Facts as you have stated them I would like to make the following corrections and comments. The room as you describe it is P1600.00 per night not P1400.00
The food could not have been so bad and expensive as you order Pizza’s a number of times which you always ate in Your room ( I had told you by doing so you attracted insects, mice and rats)but you chose not to heed the advice from someone who has lived here for more then 14 years. The item you describe as being ruined by our laundry service was not your partners "dresses" as you stated in your review but A simple T-shirt which your partner said had cost her P100.00 we apologized and paid her and let her keep the shirt so I do not understand why you would make such an inaccurate statement, the same with your statement about the
Karaoke bar, it is almost 200 meters away, must by law close at 9 pm (enforced) and the sound can not be heard
At the Resort at all. In closing I would like to say that your final statement about our previous reviewers being “bought men” is again very inaccurate and insulting to our guests. I sincerely hope that you will find a place that you enjoy to stay at and can make positive comments about.
Regards
Tom S
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secret Cove Beach Resort

Property: Secret Cove Beach Resort
Address: National Highway, Yumbing, Mambajao, Mindanao 9100, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mindanao > Camiguin > Mambajao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 Hotels in Mambajao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Secret Cove Beach Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A quiet Quality resort well known for its excellent kitchen & bountiful bar, ideally located five (5) kilometers from the Mambajao Airport on an acre of land fronting the Bohol Sea and picturesque White Island. We are a Canadian / Filipina owned & managed seven (7) room dive resort with a very good restaurant, well stocked bar, a games room with billiards and a small library. We cater to tourists, scuba divers, adventure tourists and travelers who would like a comfortable place to relax. We are D.O.T. accredited and have been D.O.T. accredited since September 2000. Bida & Tom Solski ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Secret Cove Beach Hotel Mambajao
Secret Cove Beach Resort Camiguin/Mambajao

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