Promising but NOT worth it. Look somewhere else!
I would have rated the resort 5 stars in terms of ambiance, exteriors, and secluded location. However, our experience there was less than satisfactory.
I was excited to surprise my fiance with a quiet retreat before our wedding next month before things got more hectic. I was browsing for Bantayan resorts and found the place online. It was advertised as a secluded and tranquil getaway perfect for honeymooners, prenup photo shoots, and weddigs as it was situated along the coast further away from the bustling tourist hub Sta. Fe is known for. I even got the impression that the resort was strict when it came to the number of visitors since they had limited rooms (1 big villa and 2 small bungalows). This was supposed to preserve the tranquility and exclusivity of the place for visitors that needed to spend a relaxing and quiet time at the beach. I loved that the resort had top notch amenities such as a private cove and infinity pool, which probably explained why their accommodations were a bit pricier than others. When we got there, we were amazed at the "little piece of Greece" we beheld. However, we were surprised that there were so much people...probably 30 or more. it turned out to be a family outing (more like an entire clan really). We felt like intruders for walking in on their party since their stuff were scattered everywhere. We were informed that there was miscommunication between the administration and the clan about the number of heads allowed and were reassured that most of them were walk-ins and would eventually leave by day's end.
When we went for a night swim in their pool, they didn't even bother turning on the lights until the other group staying at the villa arrived. Is that normal? I mean, we were paying guests too.
We decided to rent a motorbike to visit the Bantayan proper for 250/day as we liked to travel at our own pace and needed to buy supplies since they didn't really serve anything but breakfast food there. The location also made it inconvenient to go to Sta. Fe proper without your own transportation.
However, we got into an accident along the way. We were told when we returned the bike that another couple - newlyweds- got seriously injured on that same bike before. The caretakers told us that it was because the guy didn't know how to drive the bike. However, we recalled that the vehicle was wobbly and seemingly unstable to begin with. We were informed that the bike was the owner's but then were told again that it belonged to their neighbor, which confused us since they were so inconsistent! The staff wasn't exactly friendly and attentive. We had to ask again and again about things we needed for them to deliver. In the end, we had to pay 1500 for the damages on top of our rental fee but weren't given the chance to talk to the owner personally about what happened. It was too sketchy. I hope they never rent out that bike to other guests again!
Another couple, a local woman and a foreign man, even checked out after just staying for a day. We were told they too felt like they were intruding in a family's outing.
On the day we were about to check out, another big clan arrived - even bringing in their own karaoke system! It felt like we were staying at a noisy public beach. We were grateful to finally leave the place after 2 nights. I'm not sure if they intentionally falsely advertised the resort or we were just misled by the marketing and aren't the intended target market. We were sorely disappointed. The beautiful resort was so promising. Why pay premium when you can just hang out in other nearer resorts with equally wonderful beaches? Kandugyap's still noisy and crowded anyway. I wouldn't recommend it for serious vacationers looking to relax. Sorry.
Couples - May 12, 2017