We have dived all over SE Asia. Wakatobi (5 times), Lembeh, Bali, Raja Ampat. I would put this resort above most and among the best in all categories. In fact, we were surprised and delighted at all turns.
First of all, the diving. We are both serious photographers and were very pleased. It is muck diving, with clarity and absence of human debris both much better than Lembeh. The biggest draw is the juvenile frogfish, white, yellow, red, orange, hairy, painted, warty, etc - they are literally everywhere you look. We shot photos and videos until they became so mundane that we started looking for other stuff.
Regarding other stuff, we were amazed by the number of elegant ghost pipefish. Again, nearly every site had them. Add to that candy crabs, crinoid squat lobsters, hairy squat lobsters, nudis - none of it new for us, but all much more prolific than anywhere we have been before.
And for a photographer, most of this stuff is relatively shallow, on sloping sandy or muddy bottom where you can find a place rest on your knees without damaging something or getting stung. Not like hovering off a wall in a raging current to shoot a candy crab like I am so accustomed to.
Plus - the best camera room I have ever experienced. Large individual work areas, each with its own close-up fluorescent lighting, plenty of 220 and 110 outlets, adequate space storage - shelves, bins, place for travel case, and air hose. Plus really good A/C.
Next the staff - we had outstanding guides (Saimon, Adelpha) who were as good or better than anyone we have had anywhere else. The boat staff was solid as well. The service staff in the resort is responsive and sweet and the management attentive. All first rate.
Then the food - three separate and always available menus with a big variety of Western, Filipino, and health conscious food. A first rate spa too, where a 90 minute massage cost maybe $60.
Accommodations - very good and comfortable, with good A/C in the bedrooms.
The issues were relatively few. First, this is a little more physical diving than some resorts. Important note - the beach here has round rocks to walk over when going to the boat or a shore dive. If you have ever stumbled around trying to enter at the USAT Liberty wreck in Tulamben, Bali wearing soft sole booties or barefoot you will know exactly what I'm talking about. Bring hard soled booties or rock boots!
Second, getting in and out of the boats is a tad more physical than some places due to the usual surf and boat/ladder design. Very doable, but not as forgiving as some places (like Wakatobi for example).
My wife's only complaint for the whole trip was that while there was good shampoo and body wash provided in the room, there was not conditioner and she didn't bring her own.
At any rate, we were very very pleased with the experience and will return the next frogfish season, maybe in the fall for octopus season!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beautifully situated within an old coconut plantation on Negros Island, Atmosphere enjoys a spectacular beach front location alongside the warm waters of the Philippine Sea. Our welcoming staff, infinity pools, fine dining restaurant and tasteful, well equipped accommodation provides a melting pot of delightful experiences, making your stay with us unforgettable. Step into our breathtaking underwater world, surrender to the Spa, join a yoga class, snorkel in Apo Island, explore with your family - or simply relax by the pools. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Atmosphere Hotel Dauin
- Atmosphere Hotel Negros
- Atmosphere Resort Negros