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“Quaint and tired resort but not a bad experience overall!”

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Gustav's Place Beach Resort
Reviewed 5 November 2015

I stayed here as part of a stopover organised by a Philippines-based cycle touring company with which my group was travelling! The owner, Gustav, is a quirky guy with limited English but his wife Irene speaks perfect English. The staff try hard but are let down by a place that reeks of "faded glory"! The very worst thing about this place were the crap beds.....I hate vinyl-covered mattresses...save them for when I have dementia and am incontinent....don't ever make me sleep on one when I'm on holidays, especially when it's in the steamy tropics....and like most of the places I've seen in the Philippines, the toilets are bad news, as was the shower, which only ran cold water. The food was great though and the staff soon figured out that Australians like their beer chilled to the max. The access to the place can be fun!....if you go out at night and the punt across the river is not running, you have to walk a couple of kilometers along the beach from Sablayan.... Quite pleasant as long as you don't trip over the ropes that secure the fishing boats. Oh, if you're staying in one of the two upstairs rooms in the double-storey bungalows, the stairs are hard work!!

Room Tip: If you have difficulty with steep stairs avoid upstairs rooms in bungalow
  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank asturiasparasiempre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gustav G, Manager at Gustav's Place Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 November 2015

Thank you for your good evaluation.
You staid in Gustav’s Place in Sablayan/Occ. Mindoro. Gustav’s place is virtually situated on an island, surrounded by the sea on one side and the river on the other side. We are not a hotel with 5 stars, Gustav’s Place is a simple, clean ressort beneath palms with a wonderful beach according to the circumstances and we are all taking a lot of trouble over our guests well-being. There are many things we have to transport from Manila to us, as they are not available in Sablayan. Sablayan is a little town and not so developed as Boracay, Cebu or other touristic hot spots on the Philippines.
The Philippinian people in Sablayan are in large part very poor and have to work very hard. You have ordered 3 tricycles for your visit to the town with your friends and the drivers were on time and waited for you at the other side of the river, but you refused then to use them despite of ordering them and it was not worth your while to compensate them. We paid them the day after. What do you expect, that this drivers will think about you and strangers, when you pay a lot of money for your trip to the Philippines and then you don’t have a Cent for the drivers of the tricycles?

I don’t speak English as good as Irene, but I am still learning (for us European Australian English is much harder to understand then the British we learn at school, it is usually that we have to get used to it) and that doesn’t mean I am a quirky guy.

Dear guest, your for sure have not been in the steamy tropics, we have an air humidity of 60 till 70% - not steamy tropics. For the mattresses: some people are incontinent or highly sweating or something else: do you think they will pay us a new mattress after their stay? Would you prefer to sleep on a mattress, where before slept someone with incontinency if there wasn’t a protection for the mattress? But we will make efforts and try to change this covers.

The water of the showers has almost body temperature, it is about 30 degrees. As it is very warm the whole day, would you really like to have a hotter shower? You could have also booked a room with warm water, just had to tell us. But you didn’t tell us anything. It is very easy afterwards to talk everything down. Why weren’t you able to talk to us and tell us before, we were there for you.

And as mentioned you don’t have to walk 20 minutes at night under the starry sky along the beach from Sablayan to us – for little money you can take a tricycle to Dulo Malungay and take then the boat to us.

In the house are 2 rooms on the first floor with a great view to the sea and the palms. This rooms can be reached via concrete stairs, of course to climb them after a longer visit to a bar in the night can be fun, we don’t have a lift to this rooms.

We wish you many great holidays in future, maybe hotels with 4 or 5 stars would be better for you, or you try the steamy tropic.
Thank you and god bless you!

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7 - 11 of 60 reviews

Reviewed 25 October 2015 via mobile

Gustavs place is far out of town, you need a tricycle to get to a river, here you cross with a small boat. It operates from 6:00 to 19:00 so having diner in town is either early or not possible. When you get there, via a cute dyke, you get the tropical island resort feeling. The place is right on the beach and you can get a stunning sunset. The beach is black sand, not white but it's a nice beach.

Be warned though, there is nothing to do here. When we were there the internet was not available, the boat was broken so no dive trips, and we were the only guests.

The one star review is because of the cockroaches in our bathroom and the bed with a rubber mattress (which gets really sweaty in this heat). The dinner was bland and the rice smelled like it was cooked in an ashtray.

We checked out the next day.

Stayed: October 2015, travelled as a couple
Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gustav G, Manager at Gustav's Place Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 November 2015

There are 2 possibilities for visiting the town: use the small boat - by arrangement or on arrival/departure - anytime possible, or you walk along the beach within 20 minutes you are in town.

As you wrote that there is nothing to do. We do organize different trips to the surroundings, as well as snorkelling and diving trips mostly to the Apo Reef. We are very sorry, but during your stay our router for the internet broke and unfortunately it is not possible to buy a new one in Sablayan as it is the same with many other for us necessary things. We managed it and the internet is working again.

The diving boat was not broken, we had to bring it to the river because of the typhoon. I don’t know why you thought it was broken.

I controlled the bungalow myself, but I couldn’t find any cockroaches. Did you take a photo? If you really saw some I would like to apologize for that. I would also like to apologize for the rice, which of course we didn’t cook in an ashtray, but our new cook boiled it in too hot water and unfortunately served it to you. Sorry! We will take better care that this never happens again. But why didn’t you tell us this all immediately during your stay? It wouldn’t have been a problem, the satisfaction of our guests is very important for us.

The mattress is for hygienic reasons (no rubber!), so that you can always sleep on a clean bed.

Best regards


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Reviewed 24 July 2015

The place is really nice to have I quite small stop in an area no to crowded with tourist.

You'll have to walk around 15min. on the beach before crossing the hanging red bridge to get to the "center".

Accommodations are pretty simple but do we really need more ?
A small little bungalow with bathroom fan electricity and view at the see.
No city noise...but waves, geckos and insects...(reminder you are in Philippines)

Food was good and well served and all people really friendly and helpful.

We did only one day trip on app reef...which I think is enough. The boat isn't the biggest one but for eight - ten people during one day it's good but I wouldn't stay a few nights on it with so many people. The trip is expensive but most off it goes in fees for the rest Gustavo didn't ask us much clearly less than some trips from Coron.
Still the trick is to find enough people to go with in order to share the price of the boat's fuel.

I maybe just thought that the food and the place was a bit expensive for the region and the price in local restaurant but it was quite the beginning of my trip and in comparison with the rest I saw after the price was fair.

Last advice good place to stays for a few days but unless you have plans in the area I wouldn't stay to long neither.

  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Alexis M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2015 via mobile

Very friendly and serviceable staff. You can notice they work hard for you to relax.
I would say it is great as a boys trip as we were Not picky, not looking for great comfort and used to much independence underwater.
If you are looking for something beyond the above, I don't think it will be for you.

Apart a few unfortunate things (boat mechanic, unscheduled night in Tents) we spent a great boys trip of two nights and two days at gustav and on the boat on Apo Reef.

Food was sufficient and ok, dives were adventurous and the master very relaxed, the boat just suits for naps and diving gear.

The price was the key argument (very reasonable) and the staff was much more friendly than in Pandan.

So go there but be aware!

Ps: as a tip, go to Pandan first do snorkeling, watch the price and staff, then call Gustav to fetch you and spent the night at Gustav prior to take off to Apo!

Stayed: June 2015, travelled with friends
Thank pjay P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2015 via mobile

I am not wasting time writing about the room 800 php it's what I expected with little competition and one of the few places offering Apo reef. Not simple, just dirty and cockroaches. The food however is very simple!
The diving comment, please read if it's why you are visiting the illustrious Gustavs: I am a dive master travelling the Philippines for 5 weeks diving a lot of the beautiful islands.
1: the boat is supposed to be a dive boat and yet the dining area? is twice as big as where you put your kit on! 2: I paid twice as much as anywhere else in the Philippines
3: I thought because of the remoteness of the reef oxygen would be on board?
4: I also read most live a boards do a check on AOW divers with less than a 100 dives as the currents are unpredictable! As we jumped in for the first dive we got asked "is everyone advanced?" We had not shown our qualification card, asked when our last dive was and signed any liability disclaimer(if in your reply you would like to scan that in I will send the 2000 php you reduced our bill by)
It's an amateur outfit making a living from a reef that sells itself. The only problem is Gustav, people die diving and that's why there are regulations and rules. If I were you, clean your rooms and stick to short boat trips to Pandan Island snorkelling. Your customers won't be in danger and your boat crew won't get lost! Eagerly await the excuses.

Stayed: June 2015, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Sean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gustav G, Manager at Gustav's Place Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2015

Dear Sirs,
when did you stay in our resort? At the mentioned date by you we didn’t have any guests and also no diving tours.

Kind regards

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Additional Information about Gustav's Place Beach Resort

Address: Dulo Malungay Street | Sto. Nino, Sablayan, Mindoro 5104, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Mindoro > Occidental Mindoro Province > Sablayan
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Sablayan
Price Range: $17 - $21 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A special resort with dive shop and training center for CMAS diving courses in Sablayan, far away from the beaten tourist tracks. And a lot of kilometers long, lonely, beautiful silver palm beach. The Majority of the premises is covered by palms and other exotic plants, and there is a view of the sea from almost anywhere. Embedded in this scenery, you will be Accommodated amongst the palms in clean, good-quality and comfortable bungalows or rooms with a shower and WC situated Directly on the deserted, endlessly long beach. We offer exploring inland, as well as many sporting activities on land and water on. A highlight is a dive trip to the world famous Apo Reef or dive safaris. ... more   less 
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