This place is a bit upscale and costs a bit more than expected, but believe me it's worth it. The Villa is a new addition to the Sea Dive Resort. It's very new and spotlessly clean. The personnel is very friendly and courteous, but this is usual in Philippines. What is unusual is a level of attention you get there. All the personnel, at the reception, in the restaurant, room service, drivers - all provide the great service and take the best care of you, including answering all your requests. They even make a step further and help you or provide you with what was not requested. :))) We had a constant feeling that those people are thinking about us.
The place is very secluded, swimming and snorkeling is possible just ten steps from the door. Coral reefs and marine sanctuary is at your feet, no need to go far away, you can watch marine life even without going deep into water. Morning dip and evening dip in the ocean is a must. Sometimes, you can see even turtles there, so no need to go to the Apo Island (two-way pass with a bunka boat there costs 6,500 peso).
Food is very delicious, a bit expensive though. But again, you really get what you pay for. Tours are also expensive, but this seems to be normal prices in Negros Oriental. We took a tour to Balinsasayo Twin Lakes and Valencia area. The lake in the crater of volcano is magnificent, we even swam there. We didn't reach the second lake and waterfalls, but this is for the next time because we'll come back there for sure.
From the negative side, I should mention again only the exaggerated prices for almost everything including transportation. I'm comparing the prices with Palawan and Bohol which are a way cheaper. One-way drive to the airport or to Dumaguete city is 1200 peso. Tour to Valencia is about 6000 peso. Diving is of the same price as everywhere in Philippines. By the way, we really liked the diving instructor Gary. He is a real profession, master and naturally-born teacher, also very humorous and nice man. It was a great pleasure to learn from him.
To sum up, I highly recommend this place to everyone who are looking for a calm and worry-free, secluded place with the great service and fantastic marine life. I was a bit concerned about the high prices when booked the vacation there, but all was worth it, and I don't regret that we visited the Villa del Mare.
Couples - Nov 8, 2016