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Atmosphere Resort

Dateline Dumagete, Philippines: Atmosphere - a European style dive resort

Ted Macauley, eTN  Nov 08, 2010

(eTN) - Trip Advisor, the bane of many hoteliers, can be scathing in some of the personal reviews that are posted on that site. It could make or break a hotel's reputation. Not so in the case of Atmosphere Resort, located 40 kilometers to the south of Dumagete, Negros Orientales, Philippines - the comments are all good.

I was in search of a weekend break and had been using Cebu for the past few years as my main destination for R & R. Looking for something quieter and closer to nature, I stumbled across Atmosphere Resort in the town of Dauin. The reviews were glowing and full of praise for the resort; its attention to detail, cuisine, so much so that I thought someone might have been paid to write the articles!

I decided to call up the resort and book myself in. The telephone contact was professional (not always the case in the Philippines), and the owners, Gaby and Mat, took charge of my booking.

Three days later, I was picked up at the Dumagete airport by a driver from the resort... 30 minutes later, I arrived in what best could be described as the perfect antidote to city life. A calm collection of thatched cottages leading down to an infinity pool and restaurant fronting the beach.

The accommodation is scattered through Atmosphere's lush tropical gardens, with choices ranging from suites, garden apartments, and luxury penthouses. All the cottages and apartments have their own private garden/outside space for relaxation, and all views are across the gardens with most through to the sea.

What distinguishes Atmosphere from the competition is its attention to detail in both service and the high caliber of the staff. Gaby told me that when the resort was opened two years ago they were able to pick and choose from a pool of university grads. This is evident in the interaction I had with most of the staff, even surpassing 5-star resorts like Shangrila and Mandarin in the Philippines. And guess what - nobody called me ‚Äúsir,‚ÄĚ much to my sheer delight.

Cuisine is an important element and the chef will prepare individual meals to suit personal tastes. Breakfast is a delight and offers all options from buffet style to a la carte and is generally included in the room package.

A new spa is under construction and will open in December, and the European staff offers yoga classes on a daily basis.

After two nights and three days at Atmosphere, I felt well rested and am only thinking about a rapid return so I can take them up on what they do best - diving and a trip to Apo Island, a marine sanctuary, which is part of the view that comes with the room.

Dateline Dumagete, Philippines: Atmosphere - a European style dive resort
Atmosphere pool / Photo from Ted Macauley, eTN

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