Cover Photo © Atmosphere Resorts

It’s easy to think that spending your money on a luxury resort is not the best decision you can make for a vacation. Well, it depends on which resort you pick. When all you need is that much-deserved pampering that’s been long overdue, plus a long-line of activities that will bring you adventure, Atmosphere Resorts in Negros Oriental is the best choice.

Atmosphere is a boutique resort 30 minutes south of Dumaguete. It’s a consistent Traveler’s Choice in TripAdvisor, with 95% rating it as very good and excellent as of writing. Other booking sites also give the resort very high ratings. So, when I decided to stay for a night during my recent tour in Dumaguete, I couldn’t avoid setting high expectations about the resort.

Here’s how it turned out to be a 5-star.


Customer Service

Days before I checked in, the staff has regularly checked with me and asked me for every detail of my trip—from transportation options to my plans for a tour, my choice of bed, whether I dive or not, etc.

When I arrived in Dumaguete very early in the day, I called the resort and surprised them that I had to check in right away. Lucky me, the room I booked was already vacant. Their staff had me picked up in Dumaguete quickly, no questions asked.

I checked in without any issues. They welcomed me with complimentary iced tea and gave me a stub for an Indian head massage. I was also assisted in touring the property, so I’d know where to go for yoga, and coffee, and breakfast, and massage.

And everything after that went well. The staff were all approachable and were ready to assist with my concerns.


Location

Thirty minutes away from Dumaguete is not far, but because transportation is not very easy, it appears to be very far, especially that I got used to staying in hotels within downtown Dumaguete. Walk to the bar, walk to the cafe, and the restaurants and the boulevard, and all. Staying at Atmosphere, however, means giving up that convenience. So, I had to forget city life, stay put at the resort and relax. I had to remind myself again that I was there for a vacation, to rejuvenate and slow down.

Atmosphere Resorts Negros

Ambiance

When I walked past the gates, I knew I was in for a fabulous stay. The lawns were well-kept, and the landscape was refreshing. There were coconut trees all over the sprawling property, which used to be a coconut plantation. And the blooming oleander (adelfa) shrubs reminded me of cherry blossom scenes in Japan.img_20170225_093540

My biggest surprise was inside the room. The resort has 14 suite rooms, 8 garden apartments, 4 family suite rooms, and 4 penthouses—all of which have elegant designs and modern fixtures, including local artworks and handicrafts.

Room Atmosphere Resorts
Suite Room Atmosphere Resorts

The suite room was too big for me as it could fit three guests. There’s a California King bed with fresh linens and a lot of pillows—exactly what I needed for a long rest, and all the tossing and turning for the night. The mini bar has a good stock of food at reasonable prices.

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And then, there’s a comfort room and a sink. Spanking clean.

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And the shower room? It’s outside the room! I love the whole setup. Showering outdoor was just cool. Open air, fresh and green.

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(I confess I fell in love with the scent of their towels and linens, the shampoo, and body wash, and hand wash. The smell of lemongrass was relaxing and natural.)


Facilities & Services

The resort has two lovely pool areas. There’s a small pool beside the bakery and coffee shop, and then the large infinity pool that overlooks the sea. The big pool, which is 3 meters deep on one end, is also used for scuba diving lessons.

Pool Atmosphere Resorts
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Don’t miss the happy hour. Late afternoon, 5-ish. It’s the best part of the day in the resort, because the whole property—from the gate to the beachfront—gets bathed in lights and sunset. At that time, the pool bar offers two drinks for the price of one and some snacks.

Scuba diving and snorkeling in the waters of Apo Island should not be missed. The island is a known sanctuary for giant sea turtles, but it also has a rich marine ecosystem that’s waiting for you to explore. Atmosphere has a resident marine biologist to accompany you in the dive and facilitate underwater photography. I’ve seen their diving discoveries and wow, how I wish I could do that very soon.

Apo Island Atmosphere Resorts

If you’re not a diver, worry not. There’s a lot of things to do while booked at Atmosphere. Stay by the poolside or the beach front. Sunbathe. Grab a book or coffee. Stay in the hammock and listen to music.

The Sanctuary Spa is perfect for that relaxing and soothing massage.

Atmosphere Resorts Spa

For those into yoga, the resort has a lovely tree house from which you can get a glimpse of the Apo Island.

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TIP: The resort has many things to offer, it would be unfair to judge your experience if you stay for just a night. The trip to the nearby Apo Island can take a day, so make sure you have other days to just relax and rejuvenate.


HOW TO GET THERE

Atmosphere Resorts is in Maayong Tubig in the coastal town of Dauin, some 30 minutes away from Dumaguete City. The resort offers transfers from the airport to the resort. If you want DIY, you also have a lot of options. 1) Take a cab straight from the airport. 2) Take a bus at the terminal beside Robinson’s Mall, or a tricycle from anywhere in Dumaguete. Tricycle drivers may ask between P400-500 for a one-way trip.


ATMOSPHERE RESORTS & SPA
Maayong Tubig, Dauin, Negros Oriental
Email: enquiries@atmosphereresorts.com
Telephone: +63 35 400 6940
Mobile: +63 917 700 2048; +63 998 960 2289
Website: www.atmosphereresorts.com
Facebook: Atmosphere Resorts

Some Mediterranean breakfast, included in the room package. On top of many other choices for a breakfast buffet.

Barquiron

Barquiron, a local snack, delivered in my room on the first night.

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Colorful plants and flowering shrubs are all over the resort.

Kalachuchi

Kalachuchi blooms add color to the scene.

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The property used to be a 7-acre coconut plantation.

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The view at the main pool, which is also used for scuba lessons.

Pool Atmosphere Resorts

A lovely pool open for 24/7 use.

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Candle-lit dinner by the poolside?

Even the quiet pool is lovely at night.

Another favorite hangout place, next to my bed and the pools.

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ArisMape

ArisMape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.