Enchanting Siquijor (Part 1): En Route to Coco Grove Beach Resort
After spending a night in Dumaguete, we woke up early the next day to catch the 9:00 AM Delta Fast Craft to the island of Siquijor. Since we already bought our tickets (Php 160.00/pax, children 2 years old and below are free of charge) the day before, all we have to do is pay the terminal fee (Php 15.00/pax), register at the manifesto, and board the ferry.
The port of Dumaguete is walking distance from Hotel Nicanor. It is just across Silliman University. The port of Dumaguete is one of the cleanest ports I have been to.
I thought that this big house-like floater was the ferry (silly me!) but it turned out it was just Delta's pre-departure area where you will be asked to sign on their manifesto. It is very important to logyour names on their manifesto so that when something unpredictable happens (knock on wood), you are on their records.
Here is the small air-conditioned ferry. Honestly, I was a bit scared to ride in it. It's a bit old.
When we got in, we were tumbling side by side against each other as the water was a bit bumpy that time. The interiors of Delta Fast Craft is old, musty and cramped. I just feel that when emergency happens, I will just die insideit because I will not be able to get out before the ferry sinks. I think the Jaylann Ferry is newer than Delta, but has fewer time slots. If you have the extra moolah, just let the resort take care of your transfers. Coco Grove Beach Resort, for example, has their own boat that you can charter. There are also chartered flights to Siquijor Island. Whatever means of transportation you choose, always keep safety in your mind.
When we arrived at the Siquijor port, two lovely staff from Coco Grove Beach Resort (in their Filipiniana attire) greeted us and led us to the resort's van. They have this cute blackboard with our names nicely handwritten on it. So sweet. Jessa, the resort's representative was so friendly and accommodating.
Siquijor Island is a small island 45 minutes away from Dumaguete City. It has 6 towns: Siquijor, Larena, San Juan, Lazi, Maria and Enrique Villanueva. Yes, there is a Siquijor town within Siquijor Island, just like a Cebu City within Cebu Island.
Coco Grove Beach Resort is in the town of San Juan, Siquijor Island. It is the biggest and most luxurious resort in Siquijor.
Our room was located near Salamandas Restaurant, a bit far from the front desk, but near the Tubod Marine Sanctuary. Here's the building where our room- Royal Orchid 8 - is located. Our room was at the second floor and has a very nice view of greenery.
At the first floor, just beneath the staircase is a lounge area.
Whoever made the interior design of this resort, I adore you. I usually prefer plain interiors like black, white, neutrals. But the interiors of this building caught my attention. It has vivid colors of red, yellow, black, and a lot more, but I like it! Very Filipiniana indeed.
So here's our lovely room:
The room is new and very spacious. Perhaps 4 pax could fit comfortably here. It has a flatscreen TV, aircon, cozy queen-sized bed, an extra bed, some cushioned chairs and a veranda. Royal Orchid room rate is Php 5,500/night inclusive of breakfast for two at the Sunset Restaurant.
I love the layout and design! Who says Filipiniana is just about old and rustic? It can be chic, too!
When my baby saw this small bed, she immediately claimed that it is HER bed. Cute!
The room also has coffee and tea-making facilities and a fully-loaded mini bar.
Unlike other hotels, the drinks inside the mini-bar are not over-priced. A bottle of San Miguel Beer for instance costs only Php 35. Just like when you drink beer at Gerry's Grill. So for that, another thumbs up!
The veranda is my favorite area in the room. It has two comfy chairs and a table where you can have your coffee or just chill out while looking at the vivid flowers and the bright skies.
The bathroom is so clean and spacious since the room is new. It is one of the latest addition to Coco Grove Beach Resort's roster of more than 50 rooms. And the good news is, they are still expanding as they will launch the Golden Orchid rooms in April 2012.
I also like the scent of their shampoo and conditioner. It smells fresh!
Book in advance. Coco Grove Beach Resort is a premiere resort in Siquijor, thus, many people have been wanting to stay in this resort. So make sure to book a room in advance, especially during peak season.
Choose a room near your area of interest. If you are into water sports and diving, choose a room near the dive shop. If you are the type who loves to have some beer and cocktails at night, choose a room near the bar, as there are some parts of the resort that are quite dark at night, especially the fishermen's village (a public space in the middle of Coco Grove Beach Resort where local fishermen dock their boats.).
Be nice to the locals. You might have heard of spooky stories about Siquijor, but I tell you, the people in the island are the nicest and friendliest I have encountered. And during the time that we were there, we did not experience anything extraordinary. Let the folklore remain a folklore and move forward. =)