Sea Dive Resort
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bad food, bad attention to detail, bad owner but g
Let me start with a positive and say that Seadive's location is great. It is in the center of town and everything one will want is within easy walking distance. The front desk staff is fairly good. That is really where the positives end.
Restaurant: The food is significantly overpriced for the market and despite the high price, you dont get a good meal or service. Service is slow and inattentive at best. The taste of their spaghetti was bad enough that I left the plate nearly full and went to another restaurant for a proper meal. Want a real shock? Try the continental breakfast approx p100 for store bought bread and small slice of fake cheese. In their defence, they normally have their own rather tasteless bread but, they were out. Despite this I was refused any adjustment to the price.You get a much better meal and value at places like Bistro and a place upstairs at the corner of the market whose name escapes me. Compare Bistro's breakfast at P140 that gives you a lovely meal of eggs, bacon and a freshly baked french baguette. RATING: Avoid at all costs
Rooms: Rooms are plain and simple which is fine but, our air conditioner didnt work properly, the hose attached to the shower head was broken, the sheets and towels are old, thin and worn and you get quite a lot of noise from the bar below. I spoke to the front desk about the needed repairs and they did their best but, they dont own the place. There are many new hotels opening and while the location may not be as central as Seadive, you get a better quality room. Rating: OKAY, if location is all that matters to you. this is backpacker quality.
Diving: Diving in Coron is great. There simply arent many places you can do this sort of diving. I would say that Seadive is very inconsistent in this area. The boats are comfortable and the lunch served on the boat is actually edible, unlike, Seadive's restaurant. Boats tend to leave late and divemasters vary wildly in quality. All divemasters are locals. There were some equipment problems while we were there but, overall, the equipment is decent. This shop is more expensive everywhere else in town but dont expect that this premium translates into service or quality. Divemasters spend more time sleeping than attending to guests out of the water. In the water, they simply ignore the risk that wreck diving represents. Inexperienced divers are pressured into going inside the wrecks and while I was there, one was actually left inside without a light. Rating: OKAY but, there are other options. This shop is not recommended for less experienced divers.
Ownership: Jim, the American owner seems more interested in inappropriate behavior and sexual innuendo than in proper management. At first one perceives him as a friendly and helpful sort but then, if you are there for any length of time, one begins to see the truth. He is nice to your face and insulting to your back. I heard him more than once tell a female customer how beautiful she was and then as soon as she walks away he says, "I lied... she is big holed, white whale." I am a firm believer in the philosophy of trust but verify so, I took the time to verify some of the man's boasts and lets just say that very little of what passes his lips is accurate.
Overall: Seadive is successful purely because of location. What could be a very nice, quality establishment is only mediocre at best largely due to poor management by ownership. If you stay here, there are other dive shops and much better restaurants outside so take the time to explore
Hit all in one place
I stayed at Seadive because of good reviews and comments but here is my piece, I give my 2 thumbs up for the management and staff for making my stay worth remembering.
The driver took me to a narrow entrance and I walked the narrow passageway adorned with clinging vines and crossed a concrete footbridge that connects to Seadive. I was greeted by friendly staff as I stepped inside their reservation area. I supposed to have a fan room but I changed my mind because I want to have a good view of everything so I took the A/C upper accommodation instead. I can say that I hit the right resort with own restaurant (Seadive restaurant) where you can have free coffee and free wifi connection, dive shop (Sea diver) that offers PADI scuba diving courses and diving services (check their website for their rates), bar(Helldivers), they arranged tour package and selling some souvenirs as well. The accommodation for me was perfect because of the panoramic view of the surrounding islands, the Coron bay. It’s very relaxing having my breakfast in front of the sea watching boats sail.
Sea dive have efficient staff. They respond immediately to my every request and gave what I needed. This is very important because most tourists want a stress free environment where one can just relax and unwind without bothering about problems in hospitality. They made jokes that sometimes made me laugh some are a little ***y but not offending. In fact they provided me all the information for a lone traveler and I am forever grateful for that. I have one experience when my room shower is not working (Sometimes happen). I reported the matter to their front desk offficer and their maintenance responded immediately and He fixed the problem.
I had the chance to peek on some empty rooms and I can say that all have simple design and decoration. The size depends on what type of room. All rooms are made of light materials so expect to hear voices coming from other rooms if you are not lucky to have a silent neighbor. If ever you have this kind of problem, don’t hesitate to inform the front desk and they will do the explanation to the person concerned like what I did. I had a great and sound sleep the next night and no human alarm clock the next morning. For me the best accommodation is the deluxe room located at the 2nd and 3rd floor of the resort with its own veranda. It is also one stair away from the rooftop where you can try their hammock and enjoy the sea breeze blowing to your face. You can also have a view of Coron town, Mt. Tapyas and the sea.
What I also like is their prompt reply to myqueries which is very important on making travel plans. They even called me on the final stage of room reservation and if I saw the driver at the airport. They made a good impression by doing that.
If you are on a very tight budget they have fan rooms with common bathroom for only P400.00. Other room rates are as follows:
A/C Room (ground floor) – P900.00
Fan Room (2nd Floor) – P800.00
Superior A/C room – P1000.00
Deluxe A/C room – P1400.00
All rooms are clean with private toilet, hot and cold shower and the charge for extra person is P150.00 and P200.00 for extra bed.
They also accept visa and master card payment but with 5 % surcharge.
My only suggestion, They should work on making their WIFI reach the rooms especially on the upper floors to lessen the number of guest at the restaurant who just checking their favorite social networking site.
All in all, I can say that I had a great time at sea dive where I met new friends local or foreign tourist alike. Because I’m satisfied , I bought a Coron Seadive resort souvenir shirt for P250.00.
Unique Quality: Nice View, free wifi and good location
woRST FOOD ever
we did not actually stay here, but we had our early dinner at their resto which I REGRET the mOSt. We should have eaten somewhere else instead. They have this menu about which and what food to order best discussing the content (ingredients) ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT THEY WILL just SERVE YOU REHEATED LEFTOVER from another dish. Disgusting. When I complained at the waitress, I overheard the kitchen staff laughing at it and making nasty comments about their customer's concerns.
good location poor service
It's an OK place to stay, due to good location and good value accommodation plus a few extras you get staying in the bigest operator in town. But the food and staff are below average, and it's better to chose another operator for your dives
Sea Dive - simple but clean hotel
I have stayed in this hotel in December 2010. It is better to book in advance during high season as it is recommended by all guidebooks and there are no so many hotels in Coron town, you can do it by e-mail without any payment.
Hotel is located near the Pier and very close to market and everything. They have good dive center but I didn¡¯t use it. Also you can book the boat and train/boat tickets on the reception.
I have booked Superior Aircon Room for 1100 php, and they give me the room with the best view in the hotel, it has 2 big windows on the 2 walls so it has fully panoramic sea view (look in the attached pictures). The room number is 200 and it is located on the terrace on the fist floor (which we call 2nd floor in Russia and on the site of the hotel :) . Breakfast was not included but you can easily buy yummi food in the caf¨¦ near reception, actually it is one of the best places to eat in Coron and usually crowded. Only one big minus of the hotel that there is Karaoke bar around so it can be noisy even at night.
Staff was not very helpful but friendly; boat to El Nido departs from the hotel or from the pier, which is just 2 min walk.
Directions: Near the pier
We stayed in SeaDive for over a week. First we stayed in the cheapest option, PhP 280 (now 300) for a fan room with shared bathroom. The first day was noisy because of the compressor of in the diveshop next door so we changed to the opposite side and we couldn't sleep because of the noise of the washing machines and the insensitive staff who'd talk loudly in front of our window even very early or very late in the day. The toilets were completely neglected and the fire extinguisher was gone (pretty scary in a thatched straw hut). Then we moved to a bigger better room which was twice the size and price (PhP 560; now 700) which also had a nice bathroom inside. Just when we were celebrating this, it started raining and the roof started to leak from 2 spots, so we had to move the bed to the middle of the room. We also realised that this was not a new but a neglected problem.
This is the thing with SeaDive; the staff is kind of friendly and it is not the most run-down place in town but there is the energy of laziness and neglect around. There was continous epairs going on also and this can be expected quite often because of the natural covering of the huge concrete building needs to be replaced every year or so.
The restaurant is good to spend time in rainy days and has free wi-fi and free hot drinks, but the food is very expensive and not so great (the fruit juice is only canned for the same price of the real fruit juice in the next door restaurant, and they also change menu items without letting customers know (like homemade bread into plain toast or butter into margarine). Since there are plenty of alternatives around, I don't see any reason to have more than a special meal here. (The next door La Sirenetta Restaurant right on the beach is much better value for similar prices).
They have two great terraces where you can sit and inhale the sunset views
or laze in a hammock after a tiring day.
I think,the diveshop is the most expensive in town (+500 more expensive for 2 dives and about 1.000 more expensive for 3) and they are not very friendly. Don't ask them if they rent snorkels or fins, even when you rent their kayaks. They basically just take advantage of being the only diveshop in town which is also a part of a big hotel. But as soon as you get out of the door there are other diveshops (six at the time we were there). Next door Coron Divers were great although their diveshop and gear didn't look as polished. (see separate entry)
The place also has a bad reputation among the people of Coron. They say they have "jealous" business and even tell stories of some racist attitudes of kicking out locals to take in foreigners. But it remains the biggest reasonably pricedaccommodation in the center of town where you can sit right by the beach.
Although we enjoyed our time there to a certain extent, we felt it's a shame that one of the first big places in Coron is being such bad example. We hope the newer ones don't follow their example.
Unique Quality: Seems to be the only wi-fi restaurant in town at the moment.
Room for improvement
Upon recommendation, we stayed at the Seadive Resort for two nights... until we were able to find alternative accommodations. Needless to say, we were not impressed. If you do stay there, try to get a room on the 2nd or 3rd floors because we felt the rooms on the first floor were too close to the noisy hallways and smelled of mold and seawater.
However, we were not impressed by the thin walls. We could hear nearly all that went on around us. But the final straw that broke the deal was when we had rats... not just one, but two. The tidal changes push the rats up into all of the buildings along the waterfront. The concrete substructure with the grass mat wall linings make for a perfect dark nesting ground for the rats...
The first ran across our room and up the wall through a small hole to its nest. Management came in and "fixed" the problem by plugging the hole. The problem was that there was a second rat still hiding under the bed that no longer had an escape route. It proceeded to run laps around the room, over the bed, and through our luggage. I managed to trap him between the window and the screen. After this incident, we quickly noticed how many corners and surfaces had rat dropping on them. We managed to get the night's stay for free, but checked soon enough.
Unique Quality: If you are on a budget, the 560PHP rooms with fan, electricity and hot water should be good enough (see 2nd photo)
The restaurant is decent, but there are much better in town. Breakfast however is worthwhile.
They do have internet, laundry, and a good quality dive center. We continued to visit for drinks on the balcony and use the dive shop, we just avoided the rooms.
A benefit is that this is one of the few places that does take credit cards.
Directions: Down a long walkway that is about 50m from the Jeepney/Tricycle/Bus terminal.
Hotel by the bay
Seadive is built above seawater. We spent afternoons at the rooftop where you can see the sunset and the hills nearby. The rooms are good enough for the price. I think it was P450.00 for a double bed. The resort is a short walk from the jeepney and tricycle terminal and the public market.
Unique Quality: The resort has a scuba diving facility and motor boats for rent abound in the area. It has one of the best restaurants in Coron.
Directions: From the public market walk towards the main road then turn left to about 30 meters. A sign post leads towards the interior alley leading to the resort.
Dive Link Resort
Dive Link Resort is located in Uson Island, Coron, Palawan. It’s about 10 minutes boat ride away from the port in Busuanga. If you’re booked with Dive Link, there’s really no problem going to the resort and back because they take care of everything – transportation, food, tours, fees. It’s the most stress-free vacation I’ve ever taken.
Dive Link doesn’t have a white-sand beach but they have a single small pool. You don’t spend a lot of time there anyway since most of the time you’re away island-hopping, snorkeling, etc. With regards to the accommodations, they have several simply-furnished cottages. We were booked at the Saging cottage which was good because it’s close to the pool and restaurant and the wireless internet hub but bad since from that distance, you can still hear the loud videoke singing late into the night.
Food is good. If there are lots of guests, they serve buffet. Otherwise, the food (3 viands) is just served at your table. There’s not a lot to do within Dive Link itself but it’s just as well, because after a whole day of activities you just want a good place to sleep.
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