The Dolphin House Resort and Spa is a ECO boutique beach resort in Moalboal’s White Beach area. If we had to rate it by traditional standards it’ll probably get a 4 star rating, but the extra value you get here is incomparable to any other hotel in the Philippines. This easily makes the Dolphin House the best rated resort in Moalboal.
The Dolphin House offers a really unique experience for people who are interested in nature, especially marine biology. They also generate a big part of their energy using a solar farm, and in general it’s a good place to relax but also learn a bit about sustainable ecological living. If that’s not enough, their house reef has the largest selection of marine species to ever be scientifically surveyed – there are not many better places in the country to snorkel at.
Merely 50 meters away from the beach, this place has a total of 25 bungalow-style rooms available for its guests. This means you’ll enjoy a personal service at all times, as well as a romantic and private atmosphere.
Our experiences with Rudy and his staff were amazing and we respect their hard work and dedication. As mentioned, some guests complain about lack of staff at night time, so it's something we are keeping an eye on.
The rooms are spotless and everything is new and clean. Same goes for the pool, restaurant and all other public areas.
large and comfy rooms which are fully stocked with everything you need. No TV or WiFi though so keep that in mind.
Large and clean swimming pool, which is usually empty so you can enjoy it for yourself. The beach is also nice, but the main attraction is the house reef - one of the best snorkeling spots in Cebu.
This place is good for those who seek peace and quiet. If you stay here, it's highly recommended you rent a motorbike, since it's a 15 minutes drive to the main area in Pangasama.
The price is very fair if you consider what you get in return - a stay at one of the best resorts in Moalboal. The rooms are great and the whole place is clean and well organized, not to mention the whole diving and marine biology setup - so there's a ton of added value to staying here.
Since all resorts in Moalboal are at quite a similar level, the small details make a huge difference. Primarily, your decision should be based upon current price at the time of your visit. The Dolphin house is such a small establishment that rates can really go up during high season, when most rooms are always booked. However, if you visit Moalboal during the low season, or make your booking long enough in advance, this resort represents excellent value for money.
Another thing to take into account is the location. There are no bars or restaurants in White Beach, meaning you’ll have to drive for 10-15 minutes all the way back to Pangasama. That’s also the case if you need a 7/11, a pharmacy or even an ATM. We highly recommend you rent a motorbike through the resort, otherwise you might feel a bit stuck in the evenings.
The remote location does also have its distinct advantages obviously. Firstly, you’ll be far away from the crowd and noise of Pangasama, where nightlife venues don’t close before 2am at the very least. Secondly, White Beach is a significantly better beach to be at. If you prefer to be one with nature at a magical beachfront setting, booking a resort at White Beach is the much better choice.
The Dolphin House staff don't invest too much energy into marketing. Instead, they focus on maintaining a sustainable ECO resort. That's why their visibility on the famous booking sites is fairly limited, and it's hard to find reviews from guests staying there. That said, we constantly collect feedback from guests we send there, and so far response have been very positive.
Tripadvisor is where we found most reviews for this resort, with 260 guests rating it with an average score of 4.5. 93% of guests had either a very good or excellent experience, which is definitely impressive. What people seemed to like the most are the rooms and the friendliness of the staff there. Complaints usually revolve around bad WiFi, especially in the rooms, as well as availability of staff during the night time.
82 reviews on agoda with a rating of 7.4 and 52 on booking.com with 8.1 rating are easy to explain. For some reason, these two sites mistakenly show the Dolphin House to be a 5 star resort, so people naturally get disappointed when they get there. It's yet another example why these sites can't be trusted when going to the Philippines - someone with local connections and experience is a must.
As mentioned, reviews are generally very positive. Here is what most people liked the best:
Among the positives, we also found some things this resort need to improve:
One thing to mention is that many clients complained the manager left early and they had trouble finding staff members to complain to if something went wrong in the evening. When we were there (after 7pm) the resort seemed fully functional, and since we know the owner is aware of this issue we hope it won’t happen anymore.
The first thing that we noticed when we first entered the place was the large and impressive pool area. Even though there’s a great beach right at your doorstep, having a nice pool is a huge plus, especially considering many Moalboal resorts don’t have a pool at all, or only offer a small and poorly maintained one. Another thing you’ll notice straight away is cozy and rustic design of the estate – from the lobby area to the rooms themselves, everything gives a nice warm feeling and makes you feel straight at home.
The rooms offered here at the Dolphin House are another very good reason why you should consider sleeping there. The Standard Room, which is the cheapest one available, is already very large with 30 square meters of living space. Even though this also include a balcony area which is shared by several rooms, it’s still substantially larger than most rooms you’ll find in Moalboal.
While furniture is pretty basic (there’s no TV in any of the rooms for example) – it’s high quality and comfortable. The shower and toilet in particular are newly renovated, water pressure is good and hot water is always available. One thing which was really disappointing is there’s no WiFi at any of the rooms – only in the public areas!
Sadly, we didn’t get a chance to try out their spa services, but reviews say it’s very good. What we can say for sure is that it’s very reasonably priced, so getting a massage can be a nice way to pass the time and relax a bit. The same can’t be said about the Dolphin House restaurant – if there’s a major downside to the resort this must be it. Prices are high, and breakfast isn’t included in the room’s price. Even though the food is decent it’s certainly nothing special and the selection is quite limited.
Dolphin House also offers their own dive club, as well as organized tours such as island hopping and swimming with dolphins and whale sharks. This is where their added value really comes into play, since taking these tours with expert marine biologist can really enhance your experience. It’s also very interesting to learn more about the Oslob whale shark tour, to which they are completely against. Everyone who’s considering taking that tour should first take the Dolphin House seminar if he can.
All in all, the Dolphin House is a solid choice for people who want a quiet beach resort where they can find peace of mind in a beautiful nature environment. It’s especially recommended for couples and young people, since the distance from the main area can be troublesome if you are traveling with small children.
This resort has distinct features which distinguish it from other White Beach accommodations, and they do a very good job at presenting their offer honestly. If the price is right, booking a room at this place is a very good option, and one which definitely won’t disappoint you.
at 30 square meters this room represents excellent value for money. It can comfortably accommodate 2 adults and a child, as an extra single bed can be added on top of the queen size bed already there.
35 square meters of living space, including a small balcony outside the room. This room is good for 2 adults and 2 kids, and comes with either 1 double bed or 2 single beds. An extra single bed can be added upon request.
This 50 square meters room comes with 2 double beds, and another single bed can be added upon request. It offers the best location, right by the pool and closest to the beach.