Great views, poor management
My group of 4 stayed here for 3 nights during the Chinese New Year because most other places in the area were booked.
The Good: the views from the seaside bungalows and the general dining area are amazing. Definitely book the seaside bungalow rather than the garden ones because you will want to sit on the porch for hours looking out at the water and the sunset. From my perspective, the views here (Guindulman) are better than the views from Anda Beach. Game options (ping-pong, billiards, foozball) provide some entertainment. The dive/snorkel sites nearby are beautiful and reasonably priced. The beach is rocky and isn’t suitable for lying out, but it makes for a scenic swimming spot.
The Bad: The German owners and upper management are cold and unwelcoming. The communication between them and the Filipino staff is poor. On 2-3 occasions we were quoted prices that then changed when it came time to embark/pay. The dive shop supervisor accused us of stealing some of his plastic bags when he just didn’t notice that a staff member stored them elsewhere in the shop. When we went on a dive/snorkel trip, the boat did not have life vests and they did not employ the buddy system, leaving one diver considerably behind the group – PADI auditors wouldn’t be pleased. Tomi, one of the dive instructors, was the friendliest and most accommodating of the group. The Filipinos working there are sweet, but seem scared of the owners and don’t have much influence in the operation.
The only guests staying here were northern Europeans, so you will feel like an outsider if you don’t speak German. Even two of my German-speaking Swiss friends felt out of place, so it wasn’t just a cultural difference (I’m American). We asked the staff to set up transportation for us to Tagbilaran, hitting up some tourist attractions along the way for a full day trip. The prices quoted were high (2800 pesos/person) but not outrageous, but we declined when we found out that the owner was going to be the driver/guide himself; none of us wanted to spend the day with him!
After two nights, we needed to switch bungalows because of a previous booking. While we heard about this possibility upon initially checking in, the staff did not confirm with us the night before or the morning of our required move, even though we spent that entire time (5 hours) in the common/dining area. Instead, they moved our belongings for us around noon while we were on a morning snorkeling trip. Fortunately, nothing was missing, but the action itself bothered me, and served as another example of poor communication.
There is only one meal option per evening, the quality of which was hit or miss. We had an excellent BBQ chicken dinner one night but a disappointing cream pork dish the other (went elsewhere the third night for a change of pace). Breakfast was good. The food prices wound up being reasonable, but it was unnerving that we never saw a menu or saw a price tag the entire time we were there, so we weren’t sure what we would pay in the end.
While staying at Coco White Beach Resort wasn’t a horrible experience, the place is operated by people who aren’t trained/interested in the hospitality industry, and there are far better options in the general Anda Beach region. Just a 10-minute walk away is Blue Star Resort, with similar views, same diving/snorkeling access, more hospitable staff, similar prices, and better dining options.
Friends getaway - Feb 13, 2016