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Dive Review of Atmosphere Resort & Spa in
Philippines/Dumaguete

Atmosphere Resort & Spa: "Nice staff, very comfortable accommodations, lots to see underwater", Feb, 2019,

by Hollie Lindauer, OR, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 10875 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Viz 40-70í - nutrient rich which made for constantly feeding soft and hard corals, some surge, chop and small white caps, wind would rise and fall, 2-10 mph increasing the afternoon chop. water temp 77-80 degrees - colder than normal, 5mm was a bit cold for me. Air temp 79-83 partly cloudy. I did carry a reef hook but never experienced current.

The resort was heavily booked due to Chinese New Years - 90+ guests with few rooms to choose from when we booked. We selected a large garden apartment, which was on the first floor of a 2 story duplex. These are located closest to the road and a long walk down the lawn (400 yards maybe) past the other cottage type rooms, with their open porches, to the spa, dive shop, small souvenir shop and open air restaurant which sits closest to the water between 2 pools. One pool is for scuba training and lap swimming adjacent to the open air bar. The grounds are maintained daily with a large staff and the compound was well secured. They were building more villas, a dining kitchen and another pool next door.

Diving - the fully and well supplied diving center and teaching center is open 7 to 7. They post on a marker board what, when, who and where. Up to 4 dive options each day starting in the morning at 8, then either a back to back or a return and out again at 10, then out again at 3pm and a night mandarin dive. They were very accommodating about our joining up anytime, with our requests on locations and we cancelled one afternoon due to high winds. They have many other types of tours and excursions offered too - including a whale shark which we didnít do mainly because the holiday crush and I think they feed them to contain them in Oslob.

The rinse tanks are kept well signed and clean. There is a good photo room I didnít use. They give you a box for gear storage and hanging cubby in the open drying room which has a fan that actually dries your suits. After sorting our gear from our luggage in our room they picked it up and set up everything perfectly for us every day. Nitro was free - very nice. I always started with 2500-2700 psi, a bit light but I was coming up with half a tank thanks to the nice profile with a good 20 minutes in the 20-30í range. Dives were an hour. Iíd have liked longer but we were often last up and it did get a bit chilly.

They have 3 types of dive boats, the 2 larger types we went on were outrigger with shallow keel, diesels with head, good shade and sun options, never felt crowded but youíd have 2 or 4 groups launching in an orderly fashion. No more than 4 divers to a guide.
Our first check out dive was a very nice shore dive. We walked with gear from the dive shop to the shore - had assistance walking over the large rocky shore line (thin bootie soles donít make this fun) into the sandy depths to fin up and go. The brown sand bottom slopes gently and youíre at 70í before you know it. Huge pipe horses, stone fish, some pretty hard and soft corals with schools of small butterfly, antheas, lots of nudis - many huge. Very nice for the check out.

The next day we made the cut to Apo. I hope that they do limit access for some less in buoyancy control divers because the corals, anemones and crinoids at Apo are just stunning. Several of the divers looked over weighted so I hope they make an effort to work with divers on buoyancy to protect the reefs and introduce Ďthe bottom is aliveí concept to keep divers from kicking and walking on the corals and sand. ApoĎs been a marine preserve for 80 years. Fields of table and staghorn corals, huge stalked soft coral, huge barrel sponges, stars, crinoids attached to everything, anemones of every type with every kinds of inhabitant, all the decorative typicals of every variety in every stage of maturity - angels, coronet, cardinals, puffers, flounder, spotted stingray, butterflys, lionfish, tangs, scorpion, sea snakes, small morays - ringed, snowflake, yellow and we had a beautiful blue ringed octopus on the wall. Lots of turtles, some snapper and a nice group of jacks - no really large schools or larger fish/ pelagics, doubt I would have seen them with the vis though.

Getting on and off the boat is bit exciting. The crew have to carry all the tanks and gear to the shore, across the rocky shore, through the surf and up about 12í on a matted wooden plank that bounces a bit in the surf. My fin booties werenít as protective as I would have liked on the rocky shore. The crew hand holds you through the rocks and surf to the boat ramp. You and your stuff will get wet - bring a dry bag.
The copious crew sets up your tank/gear on a bench for easy strapping in, then hand holds you to the jump off point. Your giant stride off the boat is a long way down - about 10í. Coming back up, the dive master steadies the ladder which sits between the outrigger and boat hull. You hand off your fins and the guys will steady/lift your tank up the ladder. You should be prepared to ladder up with your weight/gear on, though they would work to accommodate bad backs. Nice dry towels, warm wet hand towels and hot or cold drinks and fruit skewers await on board.

Our Apo trip was about 6.5 hours first visit, our second was 5 hours. While you try to leave at 8 not everyone gets it together or checks their gear plus itís time consuming getting onto the boat with a half hour round trip to the coast guard station where you all don life vests on board, then the 45 min each way to Apo - with an hour to an hour and a half between dives. The dive sites in front of the village has maybe 20-30 boats on moorings so you do see some other dive groups but with the limited viz itís not super distracting. I also never worried about getting hit by another boat although I was aware of where our boat was and kept our guides fins in view.

Our next day we requested 2 back to back boat dives to get back by 12:30ish for lunch and before the afternoon wind came up. Our local guides alerted each other with good finds and were rightly proud of their reef protection. One dive had 4 sea horses including a thorney all beautifully visible and 5Ē large. A small cuttlefish, a tiny frog fish, giant frog fish and ornate frog, green mantis shrimp in the grass and small yellow, dragonet, huge Spanish dancers, juvenile devil fish, scorpion fish, juv emperor angel, ringed pipefish, harlequin shrimp, lots of morays, some gorgeous coral mounds in the sand.

During our stay most of the guests were European/Brit, a few Americans, some locals too and we did have Chinese with the new year. A good percentage were divers. Smoking is allowed which can affect your outside enjoyment of your terrace. No smoking in the restaurant.

There were a lot of children of various and all ages during our stay maybe due to the holiday. Sometimes this was a bit uncontrolled in the dining and outside gym area but not really bothersome. We did have a small baby with a resort nanny on the dive boat one day which was crazy given the difficult ramps up and down into the boat from the rocky waters offshore the resort. Management agreed although the carefree diving couple left the next day - phew!
If you do have kids I canít imagine a better place to take them. All the staff are amazingly thoughtful and kind - sincerely enjoying having them around and clearly accommodating.
We did have one kid learning to dive on our boat - age 10 wow. We only had one difficult 2 dive day with a teenager who was knocking the guide in the head with her fins and just terrible buoyancy. The guide tethered her up to him so for half of each dive she was somewhat contained and we were able to spend the full hour underwater. All that said the dive guides made sure we never had difficulties and were very thoughtful about our dives.

On rooms, the single story singles and duplexes are in the best location. Again ours had residents above which was occasionally noisy with tile floors and was closest to the road and to the resort entry. We had many passerbyís which meant we locked our doors (more from the guests than locals) and stayed fully dressed on the outside porch and visible areas. We also were near a water pump that was noisy cycling every couple minutes all night long. We waited a bit too long in our complain to management to get the noise resolved so they thoughtfully adjusted our bill.

Our room had a living/dining and kitchen which was nicely furnished and we could have shopped/cooked but did not. Large tv in living and one in bedroom. If you visited with a family or group of 6 or 8 these rooms would be great.

WiFi was generally very good with a few cut outs. They use several 110 v appliances which meant we could pony off their transformers - with our standard American plugs.
The bedroom was large with 2 twins pushed together and a 3rd twin against the wall. 2 separate quiet wall ac with handheld remotes service the bedroom and living. Walk-in ample closet and the unconditioned bathroom is large with 2 sinks and open shower. The first night our room had a heavy insecticide smell which fortunately wore off. Not sure if they spray between guests or if there had been a problem. There were some mosquitoes and sand flies, not an issue with the breeze at the restaurant and our being conscientious about closing off the door to the bathroom.

They provide filtered water in room dispenser and at restaurant. Weíre not terribly conscientious about the water and I did get some diarrhea which I seem to do every indo trip as well - might just be me. I canít resist the green salads and raw veggies so I always carry cipro and a zpak which resolves things.

Dining - we did the full meal plan but werenít always hungry for dinner because we just ate too much. The food is good to great - lots of options including gluten free, vegetarian and there was always seafood and meat options. Good breakfast options. I think the bar offered lighter fare. But it was full service in the open air dining with 2 or 3 courses for all meals. The coffee isnít great, that might in part be the cream/milk. Yogurt just not great either - thatís pretty typical to all pacific islands - beautiful fruits instead. Thank heavens I didnít try the deserts till my last night -wow were they great. They will accommodate any dietary request.

Itís not an intimate resort but all in all, Iíd go back.
Websites Atmosphere Resort & Spa   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving palau, wakatobi, philippines, tahiti, fiji, raja ampat, belize, honduras, little cayman, cozumel, red sea, maldives
Closest Airport Dumaguete Getting There There are many flights available from Manilla to Dumaguete. Alternatively you can fly to Cebu and have a long drive to Dumaguete.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 77-80°F / 25-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-70 Ft/ 12-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Often the 60 min. limit was enforced. If we had a diver that was out of air we needed to come up also.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Report currently has 2 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Greg Bruce in WA, US at Mar 18, 2019 11:48 EST  
Great report- thanks for taking the time to post it!
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