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Chas

Bantayan Cottages

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Chas

I stayed four nights on Bantayan Island. I guess the point of going to Bantayan Island is for a beach holiday, I did not check to the right of the pier (as you look at the island), but I would advise anybody after a beach holiday to book a hotel to the West of the pier and specifically from the Budyong Beach Resort westwards away from the pier.

 

The beach between the pier and the small promontory before Budyong is ok, but I found the water was not so clear and though I do not know the prevailing currents I guess you could get any crap from the boats or pier in the water. The beach from Budyong westward was really nice, gently shelving with clear water.

 

I was looking for cheap accommodation and chose the Bantayan Cottages at 500 Pesos a night based on information from the WowBantayan website. There are two cottages in the grounds of a house. No meals are provided, though you can use the kitchen to cook if you wish. The centre of Santa Fe and its restaurants is a short walk offering places to eat and drink. A 5 Pesos per person pedicab ride home.

 

Each cottage is air conditioned, though it did not work properly in one cottage as the knobs just rotate without altering any settings. The CR has a cold shower, basin and toilet. Once you check in the owner basically leaves you to it. The rooms are not cleaned, though clean bedding and towels are available on request. Sand builds up on the floor and the rooms could do with being swept daily.

 

There is free wifi.

 

The room was clean on check in. The bedding and towels were dry, though the room had a musty smell that I think came from the air conditioner. There is no back up generator so when there is a brownout the water supply also fails.

 

The cottages could easily be improved with a little effort. The vegetation in the garden has grown up shielding the cottages giving privacy, but preventing the cooling sea breeze from getting in the room. A ceiling fan is needed as an option instead of air conditioning. They should provide a mop for the CR as the floor is quickly awash, but only the shower area drains.

 

I am not sure I would stay there again, but it was fine for a few days. The mosquitos on Bantayan are a nuisance and I got badly bitten if I forgot to apply deet based repellent.

 

I tried D'Jungle, but walked out after a beer and looking at the menu. The owner lays out the uncooked food for the BBQ at the entrance to the restaurant. That bothered me as it seemed to be available to the flies as well, but maybe they have some method of keeping them off. I ended up eating at the Portuguese restaurant just across the street which was good value and their fries were excellent.

 

The touts on arrival started at 40 Pesos per person for transport to the cottages, this reduced to 20 which I accepted. I believe the locals pay 10 pesos from the pier into the centre of Santa Fe.

Edited by Chas

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Paul

The Portuguese Restaurant must have gone up - WAY UP, in value for the quantity that you get. The last time I was there, I swore I would never return.

 

D' Jungle used to have a weekend buffet, which I assume you are talking about. If so, you missed out on ONE HELL OF A MEAL, mate. Trust me on that.

 

Great review!

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Chas

I missed the D' Jungle weekend BBQ. I was there Monday to Friday. The food was just on display, you choose what you want and they BBQ it for you. They also had a conventional menu. Next time I must try it.

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enoonmai

If you didn't check out any of the resorts to the right of the pier why would you advise anyone against booking a hotel there? I stayed a week at the St Bernard (right) and found it to be very nice. The beaches on that side are not as good but it's a short scooter ride to the other side and quieter. I also walked out of D'Jungle...after waiting over 2 hours for them to prepare 3 meals. Went back for the buffet which was pretty good. The owner told us, "no waiting this time the food's already cooked".

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Chas

If you didn't check out any of the resorts to the right of the pier why would you advise anyone against booking a hotel there? I stayed a week at the St Bernard (right) and found it to be very nice. The beaches on that side are not as good but it's a short scooter ride to the other side and quieter. I also walked out of D'Jungle...after waiting over 2 hours for them to prepare 3 meals. Went back for the buffet which was pretty good. The owner told us, "no waiting this time the food's already cooked".

 

My suggestion was just based on my observation of the beaches and not intended to cast aspersions on any other accommodation on the Island. It just reflected my preference to walk out of my accommodation and onto the beach. No hassle about changing or safety of valuables. I cannot say if the resorts on the beach I liked are any good, they are just in my opinion in a great location.

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Athena

Thank you for your review. Im compiling of interesting places/resort for a visit so your report of your holiday is very much appreciated. It gives thing a fuller picture than just relying on tourist site to my cost before. Especially for places like Bantayan Island which is so far out to go with a family in tow only to be disappointed to the amenities on hand.

 

I especially appreciated your comment on the eateries and how it was laid out. For me, it wouldn't be a problem as it would be up my street but I know the boys wont have none of it and will have a long face which tend to spoil the holiday. It's a relief to hear that there is everything in the island for all types as I would really like to visit the Island. Then nip down to the BBQ to my hearts content without the familys long faces

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m60man

I've been there 3 times in the last 18 months and spent my Honeymoon there. We found it to be very peaceful. Like a step back in time, maybe like the Philippines was in years gone by. Personally if I go that far I prefer to stay in commendations that are water front and have good amenities. The first two times we rented Robert's Beach House, White Sands Villa. Due to Typhoon damage we stayed at White Beach Cottages the last time. A bit off the beating path but nice, private and right on the beach, motorcycles and transport to restaurant area is available. Robert also owns the D'Jungle Restaurant. We eat Breakfast and Dinner there every day. Service and food quality has always been great, you missed out on some good food, the best in the area in my opinion. The evening fare is laid out at the entrance on a bed of ice, never seen flies on anything. One side is fresh seafood bought daily and the other is standard fare like BBQ Ribs, Chicken and Steaks and fresh salads, all excellent. I asked Robert if he could fix me Blacken Red-fish (Cajun), the next evening he came through and it was as good as any I have eaten in Louisiana. Next time give D'Jungle a try and tell Robert, Rob and Lyn said Hi.

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littledavid

Say, I am on Negros and I just got here from the states so I don't know nothin about nothin. But, I would like to find a nice, inexpensive place to enjoy the white sand and clear water. could this be the place, and how do I get there or make reservations? How much? could you send me an e-mail on it please? My address is [email protected]

 

I've been there 3 times in the last 18 months and spent my Honeymoon there. We found it to be very peaceful. Like a step back in time, maybe like the Philippines was in years gone by. Personally if I go that far I prefer to stay in commendations that are water front and have good amenities. The first two times we rented Robert's Beach House, White Sands Villa. Due to Typhoon damage we stayed at White Beach Cottages the last time. A bit off the beating path but nice, private and right on the beach, motorcycles and transport to restaurant area is available. Robert also owns the D'Jungle Restaurant. We eat Breakfast and Dinner there every day. Service and food quality has always been great, you missed out on some good food, the best in the area in my opinion. The evening fare is laid out at the entrance on a bed of ice, never seen flies on anything. One side is fresh seafood bought daily and the other is standard fare like BBQ Ribs, Chicken and Steaks and fresh salads, all excellent. I asked Robert if he could fix me Blacken Red-fish (Cajun), the next evening he came through and it was as good as any I have eaten in Louisiana. Next time give D'Jungle a try and tell Robert, Rob and Lyn said Hi.

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loosehead

If you are on Negros catch a Ceres bus to Cadiz and catch a boat to Bantayan Island.

 

I agree with Paul about the d'jungle buffet. I never expected to get such a high quality meal in a remote place like Bantayan.

 

If Bantayan is too dull for you go back to Cadiz, bus to Bacolod, boat to Iloilo, bus to Kalibo and boat to Boracay, probably the best beach destination in asia and the premier tourist attraction in the Philippines.

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Jeff/Cerelyn/Ky

Here is a review I wrote on tripadvisor.com about Kota Beach Resort at Bantayan Island -

 

 

We read the reviews on this resort, including the comments about horrible service, but we wanted something conveniently located, on the beach, and with modest prices. OK, we got all those things, but there are better choices (more about that later).

 

The warnings about poor service were absolutely accurate. They must be purposely trying to provide poor service. That's the only way it could be that bad. Even a miniscule effort would make a huge difference.

 

The entire resort appears to have been abandoned. Nothing is cleaned. Everything is in disrepair. The beach was littered with debris. The room was dirty. They did sweep the dining area in the morning (I saw them do it) but that was after we had our breakfast. Our sheets must have been for a smaller size bed because they came off as soon as we got in the bed. The mattress was disgusting.

 

All in all, the place just seems to be totally neglected. They have a prime location and incredible potential but they are wasting it. We walked next door to Budyong Beach Resort and were very impressed. It is also a budget resort (no hot water) right on the beach but they had even swept the sand clean between the cottages. We will stay there next time. The staff that showed us around were also much friendlier than the one at Kota. My advice; if you want a great beach location on a budget, go to Budyong. Avoid Kota unless you want to be frustrated by horrible service and disgusted by the condition of the resort.

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Art

Say, I am on Negros and I just got here from the states so I don't know nothin about nothin. But, I would like to find a nice, inexpensive place to enjoy the white sand and clear water. could this be the place, and how do I get there or make reservations? How much? could you send me an e-mail on it please? My address is [email protected]

 

 

If you are on Negros try Sipalay nice beaches there sugar coloured.

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easy44

Here is a review I wrote on tripadvisor.com about Kota Beach Resort at Bantayan Island -

 

 

We read the reviews on this resort, including the comments about horrible service, but we wanted something conveniently located, on the beach, and with modest prices. OK, we got all those things, but there are better choices (more about that later).

 

The warnings about poor service were absolutely accurate. They must be purposely trying to provide poor service. That's the only way it could be that bad. Even a miniscule effort would make a huge difference.

 

The entire resort appears to have been abandoned. Nothing is cleaned. Everything is in disrepair. The beach was littered with debris. The room was dirty. They did sweep the dining area in the morning (I saw them do it) but that was after we had our breakfast. Our sheets must have been for a smaller size bed because they came off as soon as we got in the bed. The mattress was disgusting.

 

All in all, the place just seems to be totally neglected. They have a prime location and incredible potential but they are wasting it. We walked next door to Budyong Beach Resort and were very impressed. It is also a budget resort (no hot water) right on the beach but they had even swept the sand clean between the cottages. We will stay there next time. The staff that showed us around were also much friendlier than the one at Kota. My advice; if you want a great beach location on a budget, go to Budyong. Avoid Kota unless you want to be frustrated by horrible service and disgusted by the condition of the resort.

I agree with your assessment of Budyong. Although I haven't stayed there in several years, when I did it was friendly, cheap, clean, basic and on the best part of the beach. Great value for the money at the time. Hopefully prices haven't gone up too much. I think I paid 350-500 pesos for a cottage on the beach around 6 years ago.

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Jeff/Cerelyn/Ky

Here is a review I wrote on tripadvisor.com about Kota Beach Resort at Bantayan Island -

 

 

We read the reviews on this resort, including the comments about horrible service, but we wanted something conveniently located, on the beach, and with modest prices. OK, we got all those things, but there are better choices (more about that later).

 

The warnings about poor service were absolutely accurate. They must be purposely trying to provide poor service. That's the only way it could be that bad. Even a miniscule effort would make a huge difference.

 

The entire resort appears to have been abandoned. Nothing is cleaned. Everything is in disrepair. The beach was littered with debris. The room was dirty. They did sweep the dining area in the morning (I saw them do it) but that was after we had our breakfast. Our sheets must have been for a smaller size bed because they came off as soon as we got in the bed. The mattress was disgusting.

 

All in all, the place just seems to be totally neglected. They have a prime location and incredible potential but they are wasting it. We walked next door to Budyong Beach Resort and were very impressed. It is also a budget resort (no hot water) right on the beach but they had even swept the sand clean between the cottages. We will stay there next time. The staff that showed us around were also much friendlier than the one at Kota. My advice; if you want a great beach location on a budget, go to Budyong. Avoid Kota unless you want to be frustrated by horrible service and disgusted by the condition of the resort.

I agree with your assessment of Budyong. Although I haven't stayed there in several years, when I did it was friendly, cheap, clean, basic and on the best part of the beach. Great value for the money at the time. Hopefully prices haven't gone up too much. I think I paid 350-500 pesos for a cottage on the beach around 6 years ago.

I think that the price for their best cabin (about 6-10 steps from the waters edge) is PhP1500-1700. They have lower priced cabins off the beach but it seems like ALL of them have at least a view of the beach. I was most impressed by how much effort they seemed to be making to make the place nice. After the comical lack of effort at Kota, that was extremely appreciated. They also seemed genuinely nice.

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udonthani

just spend 10 days there (again).

 

I wouldn't bother with any of the foreign restos on Bantayan and from now on will always stay in Waccaba Haus from now on where well appointed self-catering studios with full amenities are 5,900 a week, plus 850 per day if you extend.

 

search this site for Waccaba Haus and a couple of threads will come up about it. They've upgraded since I was last there a year ago and they now have in-room safes and electric kettles.

 

I suppose the D'Jungle buffet isn't too bad at 295 per head, but as is usual with these sorts of buffets, the food isn't that great.

 

ate a spectacularly crap Pie, Mash and Pea meal at Kiwi Kottages, the only kano meal I've eaten in the month I've been here. I doubt whether I'll bother with anyhing like that here again. They couldn't even be bothered to serve it with gravy.

 

most pinays would be happier at just a barbecue joint than somewhere like the Balikbayan resto in any case, but if I did want to eat out on Bantayan I'd go to the excellent pinoy eatery in Bantayan town, Peiples, where two people can stuff themselves silly, with drinks, for only about 250. The same amount of food in one of the foreign restos, with a much smaller choice on the menu, would cost you at least three, and probably four times that. Basically, these foreign resto owners expect tourists to subsidise their living in the Philippines by overcharging massively for pretty much exactly food a Filipino business person is ready to sell for much less. They try to claim that the food is different and better quality, thereby justifying the higher pricing, but it just isn't.

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udonthani

If you are on Negros catch a Ceres bus to Cadiz and catch a boat to Bantayan Island.

 

as usual with the transport infrastructure in the Philippines, it's just not as easy as that sounds. You have to plan ahead. There's only one boat that goes back and forth (I heard there used to be two, but one sank some years ago), therefore it leaves only once every two days, and the days of the week change from week to week, and month to month. You need to somehow find out which day it is, and that is not as easy as it might seem - you can be reasonably sure the Bacolod tourist office will probably not know, for example. We tried calling them, and they said they had no idea.

 

what the hell is the matter with them?

 

also it leaves early in the mornning ostensibly at 8am (or at least it did last year), but they might leave earlier if they think its full enough.

 

I had a right palaver with this boat once. There were these hyperbolic Filipino weather forecasts that were predicting stormy weather, which my girl's mom had seen on the tv and been on at her by text message not to sail on account of it being too risky. In the event, the day dawned and the weather was pretty good, not stormy at all - but by the time I'd talked the girl into getting the boat after all, and our trike arrived at the port, the boat, a two storey wooden hulled vessel that looked a right maritime mess, was give hundred meters into its four hour journey. We'd missed it, and it was only 7.30. They'd told us when we went to the port to check out the times the day before that it left at 8.

 

if you're going to get this boat you need to 1) find out what day of the week it sails and 2) get to Cadiz the night before, stay there, and head to the port in the morning, allowing plenty of time. Travel is just very seldom all straightforward in the Philippines.

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