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“Cozy Resort”

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Secret Cove Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Mambajao
Quezon City
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Cozy Resort”
Reviewed January 11, 2012

This hotel felt more like a home. It is cozy with 7 rooms, a restaurant, a lounge complete with mini library and billiards, and a small beachfront and mini pier. The beach isn’t white sand but made of volcanic rocks. However, I found crabs in the coastline! That is perhaps proof that the coastline is alive and pristine in state. Quite true to its name as well because the resort seem hidden. It may be located on the main road but you have to walk further into what seems to be a forest but with a nice garden to get to the reception area. You know you are in once you are greeted by 2 German Shepherd dogs in their cage!

Tom, the owner of the resort is very helpful. He is quite hands-on with everything. In fact, when we arrived at the hotel, he was the first one I saw and greeted me. He already knew who I was so he greeted me by my name. You don’t get that kind of greeting in other hotels so that was quite special. He was supervising the cleaning up of one of the rooms so that my group can check-in early. We arrived there earlier than expected and exhausted from a very long trip so we really appreciated that.

Tom knows Camiguin like no other. I got all my tips from him. It was a welcome change to interact with a foreigner who knows more about my country than me! I sensed that he really loves the Philippines, and in fact he married a Filipina. I felt privileged to know such person.

Secret Cove caters mostly to Europeans so we kind of knew what we were getting into. Their restaurant caters to Europeans as well. Most menus are for Europeans and quite expensive. I was with my friends and they wanted Filipino food so we ended up eating outside of the hotel all the time. Anyway, along the main road are tons of restaurants to choose from.

Location of the Secret Cove is perfect. It is near White Island. In fact, White Island can be seen from the beach front. It is a must to visit White Island if you are going to Camiguin.

The rooms are really nice and quiet. The bed is excellent and so is the hot shower. I had really nice night sleeps on that bed. Waking up with a view of the ocean and the White Island is nice as well. The rates are attractive so for budget travellers, this hotel is for you. But be advised that the rates do not include breakfast.

For the budget conscious who wants a laid-back hotel with nice bare essentials, this hotel is for you. However, if you want a bigger hotel with more facilities, then book somewhere else.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank NeilChristopher A
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, January 30, 2012
Thank you for the great review, it was my privilege to have you and those lovely Philipina ladies
as our guests. I very much appreciate your candid warm review of our resort and hope that you
will returnand try some of our Philippine food, I must apologize as I forgot to tell you that as my staff are all Filipinas & Filipinos we do make every kind of Philippine food you would want to order. We do not list many items on our menu as almost all the other eating establishments that are within walking distance provide only a Philippine menu so it is relatively easy to order what ever specialty you want.
Regards
Tom, Bida & Staff
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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

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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
Waterloo, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
83 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2012

Stayed here for two nights in August. For PHP 1200 it was one of the better value places we found for the area. The room had a double-bed, air-con and mini-fridge but no tv. The room felt simple but was clean and fine. It was in a strip of rooms like a motel that are a few metres from the shore. There's a tiny tiny “beach” and a nice pier and seating/lounging area with hammocks and chairs overlooking the ocean. Restaurant served decent food, although at the higher cost than you could get by walking to the main road. At the time we were there, there were no other guests (low season), and perhaps because of that, the staff seemed more interested in partying it up while the owner wasn't there. We went snorkeling offshore and there's a few fish worth the swim. Overall it was ok stay.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CEMMM
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, January 30, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write your review, I apologize for my staffs behaviour and lack of proper service, my wife and I were visiting family and freinds in Canada at that time, guess they
were more interested in having fun then in doing the work they are paid to do, as they say...
when the cat is away.... I only wish you would have sent in your review in a more timely way, not
4-5 months after you stayed here, as had I been aware of my staffs behaviour upon returning in August I may have been able to do something about it to try to make certain that it does not happen again.
I would like to just bring to your attention that purchasing property especially on the sea, building a Resort with a bar, restaurant, games room, providing free WiFi, local telephone calls, free guide maps etc. etc costs a lot of money especially when you are properly licenced by the municipality and must adhere to so many rules & regulations and always maintain adequate staff
at decent wages and benefits (even in the Slow Season) so when you compare our facility to one that is on a small highway lot, mostly just nipa construction with plastic furniture, staffed by the owners, relatives and mostly underpaid staff using supplies that are purchased only on the island their costs and menu prices will be lower than ours, common sense will dictate that fact.
Regards
Tom S
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Kelowna BC
1 review
Reviewed December 28, 2011

Just spent two weeks at Secret cove, and loved every minute of it. The rooms are clean, Air conditioned with cable tv and minibar. Room prices are very reasonable too. As a previous restaurant owner I was particularly impressed by the food from Tom and Beda's kitchen. Quite an international selection indeed. My favourites were the Fried rice dishes, the Spaghetty Bolognes and the Chicken Gryere. The bar caters to all tastes, but Tom has an exceptional selection of Scotch whiskies on hand. I spent two or three evenings on the hammock watching those unbelievable sunsets .The staff were great, and owners Tom and Beda Solski were very helpfull. I'll be back.
George Cameron
Kelowna BC

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank George C
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, 2012
Hi George C
Thank you for the great write up, were very happy to read your compliments about our Resort
especially about our meals and especially because you were in the restaurant business and know how difficult it is to consistently provide excellent meals, your two week stay confirmed our reliability and consistency. Look forward to your return visit.
Regards
Tom, Bida & Staff
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Singapore
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2011

Located on the beach of Camiguien, this is a wonderfully relaxed hotel. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful. The rooms are very affordable and clean. The hotel is also located just along from Johnny's Dive 'n' fun, an excellent dive shop. Although there are several good eating spots within walking distance we found ourselves eating in the hotel resterant as the food was amazing and surprisingly diverse. Try the ostrich steak if they have it!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AdamInSing
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, December 11, 2011
Good Day to you.
Thank you for the great review of our small economical Resort, so happy to read that you enjoyed our facilities, food and service. Hope you will return for another visit and some more diving.
Regards
Tom, Bida and Our Staff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2011

Just spent two weeks on Camiguin and stayed at ther Secret Cove Beach Resort. I can not say enough good things about the time spent there. The atmosphere, food, grounds, accommodations and especially the staff were great. It easy to fall in love with the place
(especially the staff ). I will be going back another time. Thank you Tom. Brida and all the staff for a wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cariad66_11
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, December 4, 2011
Hi Cariad 66
It was great having you as our guest for the two weeks. I am happy to read that you really enjoyed your stay at our Resort and this Great Island. Thank you for taking the time to
submit a review, we are looking forward to your next visit.
Regards
Tom, Bida & the Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cagayan De Oro
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 28, 2011

Just returned from a great stay at Secret Cove Beach Resort. I was very impressed with everything about the resort. The rooms are very clean and the shower is hot. Check in was a breeze, the staff is friendly and the location can't be beat. A great place to swim and relax.They also have a pier/dock of sort in which you can do some fishing off of if you bring your fishing rod. I would recommend this beach resort to anyone looking for a great place to stay in Camiguin Island!! Can't wait to return!!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rick G
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, November 10, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to write a review, I very much appreciate the great rating you
gave to our Resort on your review. Look forward to having you as a repeat guest and I hope
you catch some fish as my staff will be happy to prepare it for you.
Regards,
Tom, Bida and the Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2011

Let me just say me and my now wife had a great time here. A little about my trip here. I am a US contractor working in Afghanistan and came back to see and marry my fiance at the time. We decided to come to Camiguin to spend time together before we went to Davao to be with her family.
I started out emailing Tom 2 months ahead of time, getting information and feedback. He was most accomodating with everything I asked, never rude. When he left to go home, his assitant Shela she was most pleasant. So I already had a good feeling of this place, and it didn't let me down.

We arrived and were greeted by both Tom and his Shela by name. She quickly led us to our rooms to get settled in. We already knew ahead of time there isn't much of a beach, and no pool. That didn't bother us, we just wanted to be water front, and in nice clean room. We also liked that it is very close to the White Beach Area. Just take a short walk down the beach and get a boat to take you out there, no problem.
That night I was asking Tom about Camiguin, and he was very forthcoming with where to go, and what to see. Secret Cove has a motorbike, and car rental availible. For 450p a day for a bike, I quickly scooped up the offer for 2 days of rental around the island. The food here is very good. Me and my wife tried most of the menu when we were there. It is all very good, and served pretty fast compared to some places on the island. The young ladies (bartender and cooks) are very hospitable and fun to be around. Me and my wife sat down and talked for about 2 hours.
Plus Mambajo is not far away as well as the Sunken Cemetary. So it is good spot on the island to stay at. We had a great time. This island and resort is out of the way and very pleasant. But not too far out that you don't have anything you need or want. Like a Hot shower, it felt great.

Thank you Tom and Bida, Shela, and the rest of the staff of Secret Cove. We had a blast and will come back.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Josh S
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, October 14, 2011
Hi Josh S.
Congratulations on getting married here in the Philippines. I want to thank you for the great review you wrote on our Resort and Restaurant, also the many compliments you made to our staff. We are happy to hear that you really enjoyed your visit to our Island and our Resort and that you are planning to return.
Regards
Tom, Bida & the Staff
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 #5 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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