Tepanee is a 3 star beach resort, but it is equivalent to many boutique resorts we visited in the Philippines and even better than many. When it comes to Malapascua, it’s actually one of the best resorts you can find, and with a total of 26 rooms they tend to get fully booked quite regularly. Tepanee is located on Bario Beach, just a 5 minute walk from the most popular beach in Malapascua, Bounty Beach. Thus it offers you intimacy and serenity, while you’re very close to the action if you feel like taking part in it.
While most resorts in Malapascua are mediocre, there are several good ones. The owners Silvia and Andrea seems to take Tepanee to a level higher than the rest of the resorts. The pay attention to the smallest details, and make sure everything is perfect and in place. When we got there they just finished renovating the stairs to make in more convenient for guests, and planting new flowers and plants in the gardens. They told us maintenance is very important for them, as they are not willing to let the standards drop, or disappoint any guest.
But beside of maintenance we have to say that most of all they are excellent hosts. A few minutes after arrival, after half a day of running around Malapascua under the sun, we were already sitting with Silvia under a nipa umbrella, enjoying great Italian coffee, while discussing the resort. In the same time Andrea was talking to some of the guests, making sure they’re having a good time.
[expert_review] The resort is located on a hill, from Bario Beach, up and all the way down to the other side of the ocean. This fact alone has some pros and cons. The good is, that you get a magnificent view of the ocean, and because the resort is built in levels, you get a lot of privacy despite of the number of rooms. The bad is number of stairs that you will climb moving around the resort. It’s not a big issue for a lot of people, but if you have difficulty with it due to age or medical issues, better to consult us on different places to stay.
The owners requested to notify all guests that there are 2 cats and 2 dogs in the premises of the resort. They belong to the owners themselves, and are very quiet and friendly. They aren’t to be moved or taken away from the resort, so guests who are afraid of animals should know it in advance. This is another downside to Tepanee to certain people.
We noticed that several guests complained that there are bugs in the resort. Tepanee is built on a hill surrounded by the jungle. Therefore you can’t expect it to be sterile like the Mövenpick in Mactan. In such a case just inform the reception and they will take care of it immediately.
[pros_cons] They have three categories of Deluxe, Superior and Standard, that you can read about and view the photos below. All rooms are well equipped and offer great value for money. The main difference is the level of privacy and view they offer, though they also slightly differ in size. All of the rooms have natural wooden floor, warm colors, and bamboo furniture, as well as a private balcony. All of this attributes compliment the natural atmosphere of Malapascua.
All rooms have free Wifi, but keep in mind that it’s not really fast or reliable. It isn’t the management fault tough, as they work with all internet providers in the Philippines together. Spending a fortune however is still not enough, and Malapascua, being remote from the mainland, suffers from bad internet altogether. There are improvements expected on this matter from one of the service providers, and we’ll be updated by the ownership once it happens.
All rooms in Tepanee Beach Resort have air-conditioning, ceiling fan, queen size bed, hot and cold shower, safety box, mini-bar, electric kettle, balcony with a sofa, Wifi, daily cleaning and sea view (partial in the cheaper rooms). An extra single bed can be delivered into the room upon request.
Though you can’t really compare Tepanee’s amenities to a 4 or 5 star resort, it does have great facilities. The spa is small and simple, but tidy and well maintained. It operates from the morning until the evening, and you’ll have to make a reservation a short time in advance because it can only accommodate 2 people at once. The prices are also very decent. There is also a little gym, which is in fact really small and limited. It offers only the basic things a gym can offer you, like exercise bikes, and some machines.
There is no swimming pool in Tepanee, but there is a Jacuzzi pool large enough for as many as 10 people at one time. It is open only to guests and rarely crowded. The resort also has a private beach, a small white sand cove with clear blue water, hidden from everything else in Malapascua. The beach is open to outside guests too, and just like the Jacuzzi it rarely crowded as most tourists don’t know about the beach or prefer to stay in the more popular Bounty Beach. By the way, the outside guests are allowed only on the beach and the beach bar area, thus not disturbing any of the privacy of the guests.
Breakfast is included in the room rate, and can be taken in one of these two options: Chiringuito Beach Bar, and Amihan Restaurant. The first is the beach bar in the resort premises. It’s close to the rooms, and directly on the beach, making it a very nice way to start your day. The menu is Italian (much like the owners) with some Asian influences. The menu in Chiringuito is quite limited to the one of Amihan. It is open 07:00-19:00 and also a great place for lunch and snacks.
Amihan is situated right next to the resort (same ownership), and has a wider menu of Italian Mediterranean cuisine with Asian and Filipino influences. It also has more vegetarian and vegan options. Like Tepanee it’s located on a cliff (yes, more stairs), but it has air-conditioning and is possibly the restaurant with the best view in Malapascua. We think it’s better to eat breakfast in the beach bar, and start your day on the beach. Keep dining in Amihan for dinner.
A few more words about the coffee mentioned above. Both Amihan and Chiringuito serve real importet Italian Coffee, brewed in a real high pressure espersso machine. Each portion is vacum packed and sealed, to make every espresso shot fresh and perfect. This is a rare thing in the Philippines, let alone in places like Malapascua. This is another great example of the owners’ strive for excellency.
Tepanee also offers half-board and full-board. We don’t think it’s necessary. There aren’t many restaurants on Bario Beach. There is another good Italian restaurant a couple of minutes’ walk, called Ristorante Angelina, a Thai restaurant and a cheap burger joint. But as we said before, the resort is located 5-10 away from Bounty’s center, with more dining options.
Tepanee is a great value for money resort. Though is some places in the Philippines you will get similar quality for less, keep in mind that Malapascua is a remote island, and that makes everything more expensive. That being said, the rates offered by Tepanee are very fair, and you’ll get your money’s worth. The management take great care of the cleanliness and appearance of the resort, as well as the quality of service. It has good facilities compared to its location.
This is the cheapest category. The main difference is that the rooms are situated in a two story cottages, rather than independent buildings. It has 4 rooms in each of the 2 cottages. It is the budget option of Tepanee, but one that’s high value for money. It allows you to enjoy all of the resort’s facilities for a cheaper price.
These rooms are independent, meaning that each room is situated in a separate building, thus offering more privacy. They also have better ocean view than the standard rooms, and slightly bigger than them. Some already have an extra single bed in that is perfect for a third companion or a child.
These rooms are identical to the superior rooms in everything but one important feature. They have undistracted ocean view and they’re in the sunset’s direction. The deluxe rooms on Tepanee are the best for watching the sunset from the convenience of your private balcony.