Reflecting on our visit to Atmosphere Resorts & Spa in the Philippines, looking through our images, reminds us that whilst this is, for sure, a world class site for diving and underwater photography, it is much more than that. As you arrive, the beauty of the place is apparent immediately, with well spaced bungalows lining the lush gardens leading down to the bar, restaurant, pool, dive centre and shoreline.
You are made to feel welcome and part of the family as soon as you start the check in process and we decided to take advantage of a welcome treatment at the spa right away to refresh our travel weary bodies. The spa is incredible. I have never seen such a beautiful and tranquil place, with ponds and running water reflecting the flowers, trees and massage areas. A treatment here is the best way to start and end a diving trip.
The dive centre is very well organised and there is a large and well-equipped camera room alongside the spacious briefing area that boasts large maps of the area as well as a recent sightings board. The staff cannot do enough for you, always carrying heavy equipment to the boat for you, helping rise and dry equipment, and the guides are always available to discuss the next weird critter you would like to find and photograph.
The bar overlooks the infinity pool that looks right out to the sea, past the black volcanic beach. The staff host a cocktail evening once a week, where everyone gets together for a couple of drinks and nibbles as the sun goes down. The restaurant serves incredible food, with excellent vegetarian and vegan options, from a varied and interesting menu. You dine overlooking the sea, and we were lucky enough to also get the meet the knowledgeable in-house sommelier and do a wine tasting experience in the climate-controlled wine cellar that looks onto the restaurant. Here we got to taste some of his favourite wines on the extensive wine list and talk about what bottle we would select for our final night. This is an activity well worth adding to your itinerary.
The diving here offers incredible reefs (like those at Apo Island), and world class muck diving. As discussed in a previous blog, Atmosphere even have their own frogfish expert on site. We saw a host of amazing critters in our short stay here and would go back in a heartbeat to dive here again.
Our final day, which was of course non-diving, saw us head out of the resort to take a little local flavour. The team ordered us a local form of transport that is basically a motorbike, with a large sidecar attached and this took us to the local village of Dauin to visit Finbar, a restaurant and craft ale bar that is popular with staff and guests alike. The journey alone is worth the experience!
Alas that is it from our stay at Atmosphere Resort & Spa. It also marks the end of our trip to The Philippines. It is an amazing country and dive destination, with a diverse range of diving opportunities that would keep any diver entertained. Be sure to experience it for yourself…
- Olympus OM-D EM-1 MKII
- Nauticam Housing
- Olympus TG5
For more information about Atmosphere Resorts & Spa visit their website by clicking here.
For more information about visiting the Philippines click here.