Within the Philippines’ 7,000 islands, there is one that stands out: Siquijor. An up-and-coming island that’s slowly attracting tourists, Siquijor is known for its beach and the nature surrounding it. Within the island, one hotel is a must-stay: the Coco Grove Beach Resort.
The rooms are quite big for the price, which ranges from anywhere between 65 USD (2950 PHP) to 180 USD (8700 PHP) and up, depending on the type you need.
Hammocks and hutsThe resort is known for its huge stretch of private beach with lots of places to sit back and relax. There are hammocks, small huts with lounge chairs for two, and even an area where you can go snorkeling or swimming. The sand is not as powdery fine as most places, but it’s one of the best you can get within Siquijor. There are two swimming pools and one has its own swim up bar. That pool with the swim up bar is actually a bit deep, seven feet (2.13 m) deep in most areas, so it’s certainly not for the non-swimmers! There is free breakfast available daily at the restaurant, where the views of the beach are breathtaking. Lunch and dinner is also available for a small fee at the restaurant, and the specials change every day, so you don’t technically need to leave the resort if you don’t want to go anywhere!
Luxury of a private villaThe room is technically a villa of your own, with your very own private terrace and walkway, so it does not feel like your normal hotel room. There is an en-suite bath with hot water showers (a rarity in many places in the Philippines), and plenty of space to sit down and relax. Wi-Fi is available only in certain parts of the resort, so don’t expect Wi-Fi to work in your room, but there is a television with a few cable channels to keep you occupied in the evening. The hotel strives to give you a chance to have a digital detox when you are in your room, but in this day and age, will probably be a cause for concern for some people. Mobile phone signal can also be a bit spotty within the room.
Apo Island ToursNon-motorized water sports are included with your stay, but the hotel also offers great tours to the nearby Apo Island. The island is a great place to spot some sea turtles, and is a haven for snorkelers and scuba divers. Note that the tour only happens if at least 12 people sign up, so your best time to go would probably be a Saturday. The tour includes transportation on a small yacht from Coco Grove Beach Resort to Apo Island Beach Resort (a sister company), as well as lunch on the island. Alternatively, if you just want to stay in Siquijor’s mainland, Coco Grove Beach Resort offers motorbike rentals if you want to explore the island at your own pace, or private guided tours. Note: It’s much cheaper to rent motorbikes or do tours of Siquijor if you book outside of Coco Grove.
Beach and island fun at Coco Grove
Overall, despite the technological issues that you may face, the resort is a great place to stay. The food at the restaurant is quite good, and the staff are very friendly. They even remember your names when they greet you as you pass by! It was a very pleasant stay, and I didn’t want to leave! However, all good things have to come to an end, which gives me the perfect reason to come back and enjoy their facilities again.