Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A biyahera's view of Divelink Resort, Coron

[January 27, 2012]

It was my first time to ride AirPhil Express. And it was also our first time to visit Coron. At the onset of our journey, Airphil departed on time (unlike our Bohol flight via Cebu Pacific). We also got to land 15 minutes earlier than expected. Apart from that, it was also my first time to ride a prop plane (propeller), so it was a scary experience for me having to feel all the bumps up in the air. There was also another setback to that specific flight, and that was the plane's airconditioning. Believe it or not, we were sweating throughout the entire trip; and I felt claustrophobic just feeling the heat inside the airplane. It was definitely something that we had to charge to experience.



Moving forward, we landed in the airport of Busuanga (a tiny airport) just 30 minutes after departing from Manila. And the first thing that I looked for was the airport baggage carousel. But there wasn't any. Although there was this wooden, J-shaped unit where the baggages were manually dropped on by the airport staff. 


Anyway, when we finally got our bags, a nice lady called out my name from outside the airport. It was Ms. Cherry, our tour guide (we bought this particular deal from Cleverbuy.com.ph, and booked the trip via J2 Travel & Tours). She lead us to our shuttle ride, from which we traveled another 30 minutes by land towards Coron's town proper. And when we finally reached the harbor, she lead us to our final ride, on board Divelink's boat (banca). We traveled another 10 minutes by boat to the resort. 


Divelink Resort looked very promising in their website photos. But the actual scenery was also quite lovely to say the least. The exterior aesthetic of the resort was eye candy to me. But the bridge was a long walk from the resort. More so, the strong winds kept us from reaching the resort a lot faster than expected. Crossing the bridge was kind of scary actually, as the winds were strong enough to push us off the bridge if we got off balanced. Thank God we kept focused! =P


The good thing about our arrival was that we were welcomed with courteous greetings and warm smiles from the Divelink crew. They also served us welcome drinks (cold orange juice), and were asked to sign a piece of paper before checking into our room. We also found out that our standard room was upgraded to a bigger unit (as repairs were being done with the other standard rooms). Now the room that was given to us wasn't much to our fancy. It was simply just bed space with clean T&B. But given the situation, our room was still suitable for living in.

Anyway, should you choose to book in this resort, you might want to read up on a few Pro's and Con's to help you decide on a future stay with them (based from our own experience):

PRO's:

-Free airport/harbor transfers
-Free pick-up and drop-off to/from the harbor via Divelink's boats (until 7 PM)
-A very nice staff that never fails to smile and greet you
-Nice ambiance
-Pool and Kayaks are free to be used by guests
-The pool is clean and well-maintained
-Lots of trees and plants
-Unlimited drinks during breakfast (which is complimentary by the way)
-A great view of the sea, especially when you're dining by the restaurant, or lounging by the pool area

-They have a separate space for their La Isla Kamayan Bar & Grill (open from 6pm-2am)
-There's free access to WIFI (signal ranges from the restaurant up to the pool area)


CON's:

-The resort only had one TV, and the Family Room up the hill has it! The function room is situated further up the hill of the resort (you're going to have to do a short climb if you wish to watch some TV - the use of the TV room goes on a first-come-first-served basis too!)
-*Here comes the obvious*.. no TV in any room!
-The food from the restaurant aren't that great; so should you wish to find better food choices, it would be best to eat by the pier area (more options to go around)
-Boat drop-off's and pick-up's are only free up until 7PM. Divelink charges by the hour and per person after 7 PM (Php100/person)
-The resort has no electricity from 9am to 5pm. But there's electricity after 5 pm as Divelink uses a generator (according to a local vendor that we talked to, the whole of Coron experiences black-outs everyday!)
-Gecko's are abundant in the resort! So expect to wake up in the middle of the night to their 'TUKO' sounds
-Our room, which was the Mangga room, was at an unlikely spot.. we were told to anticipate the fall of any mango fruits on our roof, at anytime of the day or night. We were startled by it one time that it did happen (at 5 am!)..
-Beachfront by the sand is brownish and rocky but manageable


I know there aren't much Pro's to my list. But we've come to realize that for the price that we paid, we still enjoyed what the resort had to offer. We realized that we were paying more for the view, and for the service (which was excellent by the way!). Also, the electricity being gone during the day was not missed at all, since we were always out on tours. 

But so far so good, I would probably book them again for a future stay. Divelink is in fact, just 10 minutes away from the pier (by boat), and just 30-45 minutes away from the major islands (like Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, etc.).

Anyhow.. Our Coron tour's are up next! For now..

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

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