Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Enchanting Siquijor Day 2:Coco grove

Coco Grove Resort in San Juan is definitely the biggest and poshest resort in all of Siquijor. It has a beachfront of 800 meters of white sand and a marine sanctuary exclusively for its guests. That's why it's also the most expensive on the island. (But  at P4,100/night, really cheap compared to Boracay and other more touristy islands) So guests can just relax under shade of the native huts or swim in the shimmering sea without having to worry about someone taking their stuff or dealing with pesky trinket sellers.

Entrance leading to the front desk

Bulul /rice granary idol statues

The whole place is tastefully designed in a Pinoy tropical style with just a few dashes of Mexican/ Carribean. The staff are courteous and always smiling and I love how the front desk knows how to take care of their guests. The receptionist at the front desk looked for ways to save us some cash when she found out that my dad was a senior citizen. They even arranged to buy our ferry tickets back to Dumaguete. Plus, we got to ride their giant jeep to the pier for just P200 by splitting the usual P800 fare with the other guests who would be leaving at the same time!

Tip: A trike ride from the pier to Coco grove also costs P200 so ask the resort if other groups will also be arriving on the same date so you can split the fare as well. The resort jeep/van is better on your bums  because it's a long ride.
Jon enjoyed his first kayak ride. I'm glad we didn't tip over!

I love this beach!

The white sand, though  not as fine as Boracay's , is definitely cleaner! No algae or trash, just the occasional seaweed or seagrass. In the mornings, at high tide,swimming, snorkelling and kayaking are great. During the low tide, one can still wade or sit by the shore. Just avoid the thick clumps of sea grass as there might be sea urchins there. We were thrilled to see schools of tiny fish looking for food near the shore at  sunset. And starfish in blue, orange and hairy variations.
Starfish were just everywhere on the beach!

If you still want to take a dip, they have 2 swimming pools, too. Or you could sleep on a hammock,or play billiards...  but mostly, we hung out at our air-conditioned cottage and watched TV. We got the family room, which was really more appropriate for families with little kids. Jon and I slept on bunk beds and I prayed the upper bunk wouldn't fall on me! :D
Our home for 3 days
Fire dancers entertain guests on barbecue night

If I had any complaints about the resort, it would have to be that the restaurant food is too pricey. I looked at the menu and the average was P400 per order. Steep for Pinoy wallets! But the foreign guests (mostly from Europe and Australia) didn't seem to mind. They even paid extra when the resort had a live band play music during dinner.
-------edited to add:------
Some more minor complaints: For such a classy hotel, I was hoping they'd have complimentary toothbrushes, not just free toothpaste, soap and shampoo. And an intercom/phone would be nice,too. Going all the way to the front desk under the hot sun just to ask some questions about snorkelling or kayaking is so inconvenient. I do hope they do something about that.
2 set breakfast comes with the cottage. Additional breakfast is P250 each.
Mama's mahi-mahi breakfast

Tip: If you don't mind eating by the roadside, step out of the resort and look for small eateries and stores just outside Coco grove. We ate lunch at one family-run carinderia and had fried chicken, ginisang munggo, pork and beans and dinuguan at P20 a cup. Granted, the food wasn't as delicious as in the resort, but the P25 fruit shakes were definitely great.  The same place also offered 1/4 roasted chicken with a cup of rice for just P65! This was very good and I just wondered why they didn't offer the same at lunch time. Also check out the buko juice at P20---so good! And the torta, a traditonal Visayan pastry for P15.
At coco grove's Sunset restaurant:  grilled fish P395

At a roadside eatery: Meals at P20 a cup

Roast chicken for P65

If you're lucky, they might have fresh grilled grouper  for P200. Just allow for time to cook it.

Tip: You can buy water and snacks and bring them into the resort. Just be discreet about it. I love how the resort is very cool about this, unlike other resorts. Pearl Farm in Davao and Pueblo por la playa check their guests bags very thoroughly to make sure you can't sneak food in.

3 torta and a sweet pastry at P15 each

Delicious buko shake at P20. So good!
Tip: Cellphone signal and free wi-fi is very weak and limited to the area near the front desk  so don't expect to get much internet time. Enjoy the beach and log out for a few days!


cris said...

Was researching about transporation from Siquijor pier to Coco Grove and chanced upon your blog. Thanks for the tip! Will book their van for the transpo :)

mojacko said...

Hi, you are welcome. Hope you have a great trip. Thanks for visiting!


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