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“Beautiful Family Excursion/Retreat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grace Island Resort

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Grace Island Resort
Ambulong Island, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, San Jose, Mindoro, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 San Jose B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful Family Excursion/Retreat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

Took a bunch of my family for a special treat in Grace Island, and God to our surprise! Never did I imagine that there could be a hidden paradise that could offer a very private, secluded and awesome environment. Really perfect for a family outing, thus an experience of a lifetime.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JINKYMarikinaCity, Guest Relations Manager at Grace Island Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
thank you so much for visiting the island...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    3
    2
    0
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7
Couples
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1
Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kendenup Western Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

I was on a round Mindoro motor cycle trip when I came across the advert for Grace Island outside the booking office. I met Emmily and she convinced me that i should go for a day night trip and I'm glad I did. The trip out to the island on a small banca was a pleasant ocean trip. a bit long but pleasant. Arriving at Grace Island was awe inspiring as the view of the island in a small bay of a bigger island. Surrounded with sea weed plantations and local fisherman's homes added tom the rustic scurry. the accommodation in a floating nipa hut was pleasantly surprising how relaxed it was. I was able to dive off the deck in the green emerald waters in he lagoon. the meals all inclusive were presented with care and attention to detail. there was ample in the servings and one had a choice of three sources. Very nice and good tasting Philippino food. all in all a very nice experience and worth while the visit.
I ventured onto the Zip line and for one of my bucket lists things t do is now complete.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

My trip to grace island is one of the most relaxing escapades I've had in years. The place offers a breathtaking 360-degree view. The resort itself is situated in a private island cove. The rooms that we slept in were actually huts that floated in the water. It's possible to go straight into the water and go swimming from your very own balcony. Our package came with free meals from the resort, and they served us fresh and very tasty dishes. There are also a lot of exciting things to do on the island. They have a zipline ride, kayaks, jet skis, a bike trail, and a mini-zoo.

Room Tip: choose one of the floating huts
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Top Contributor
347 reviews 347 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
324 helpful votes 324 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

Grace Island Resort is an exclusive ancestral cove resort developed in Ambulong Island about an hour of boat-ride off the coasts of San Jose Occidental Mindoro. A day tour package for group of 10-15 pax is worth 6k pesos which includes 2-way boat transfer, use of open cottage, and free use of non-motorized water rides. Various packages for overnight accommodation are also available. Included in our package were 2-way boat transfer, use of floating cottages, free use of non-motorized water rides and bikes plus 3 full meals. The food was superbly prepared and delightful to taste which included an appetizer, 2 main courses, side dish, fresh fruits and drinks. Other amenities in the resort include beach volleyball, basketball court, strolling area, mini zoo, zip line, grill and videoke bar plus of course water sports activities like speed boating, para sailing, jet ski, banana boat, snorkeling, and diving, There was also a big function room for special occasions.
Due to remoteness of the area, electricity was provided by generating system from 6pm-6am only. Fresh water was being delivered by boat from nearby islands or from mainland San Jose. Cellular phone signal was poor and there was no wifi connection. Satellite TV was available though. Resort personnel and staff were available anytime; they were 'stay-in' living in quarters designated for them. There was in-house pastor who performs morning and evening service for employees.
The place was well secured and peaceful; so quite at night. It is ideal for honeymooners and those who wanted to escape the busy life of the city. One will have unlimited privacy as long as desired.This being a cove, the sea water was very calm clear and clean. Fresh catch by fishermen can be bought and enjoyed fried or grilled.
For those who prefer day tour package, make sure to bring food, drinks, swimming and snorkeling gadgets. These were available though at the resort but for a fee. Fresh fish and/or meat can be brought since free use of grill is available at the resort.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baguio, Philippines
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Whenever we come home to my wife's province of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro, we make it a point to spend the day at Grace Island Resort, and everytime we visit, they always have something new to offer. Notably this year, every aspect of the island is now organized and marketed into different packages to suit your group size and needs, but are still fairly flexible to meet your budget.

On our most recent trip, we were ferried to the island using their own boat, complete with a host for entertainment and a bit of education about the surrounding area. Upon docking at the island, we were greeted with refreshments and a live band. The concierge assigned to your group wastes no time in informing you of their amenities, as well as their safety guidelines; their cottages are surrounded by deep water, after all.

Speaking of which, their floating cottages really are the main attractions of this island resort. I have yet to experience a better way to relax and unwind on a bamboo cottage than to have it float on water, the movement of the cove rocking you gently, the wind cooling you down.

When you feel like you've had enough rest and would like to get wet, there are a myriad of water activities to do. There are jetskis and banana boats for thrill-seekers, as well as kayaks and snorkeling for a more subdued aquatic experience. Of course, nothing beats a good ol' swim, and they have both beaches and deep water depending on your ability.

Whereas in previous visits, we were mostly spending our time in the cottages out in the water, this year they had some inland activities to pull us inland. Their zipline starts atop the island, sending flying you above the treeline, then further down has you just barely touching the surface of the water before slowing down at the far end of the cove. This, plus the mini-zoo with a good amount of animal variety, make Grace Island Resort an attractive option to vacation-goers who don't swim.

A few warnings that may or may not take from your experience on the island, based on whether or not you're willing to accept the following facts. 1) Being an island resort several minutes away from the mainland, expect a premium on rentals for the jetski (and the jetski-pulled banana boat) that consumes gas, which can be hard to get by in a secluded island (they'd have to transport limited quantities of petrol, I assume using their own boats). 2) Similarly, food can be a bit expensive compared to what you normally pay for on mainland, again due to supply and transportation considerations. 3) If you were wowed by pictures of the island covered with foliage, but are instead greeted by dried trees, that can be attributed to seasonal changes that affect leaf growth. 4) Lastly, transportation to and from the island has to follow a schedule that is affected by several factors: distance (an hour-long boat ride from the mainland to the island), time of day (no one wants to sail into the nighttime water, I would assume), tides, and wind (the latter two affect route and speed, as you want to avoid shallow-water coral beds and strong waves).

If you're like me and don't mind those negatives, you'll find Grace Island Resort to be worth the money you spend to get away from the bustling city life, if only for a day.

Room Tip: Not all cottages are built to the same size and specifications. Have a look-around as soon as you do...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taguig City, Philippines
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

I feel in love with Grace Island the moment I saw it. They welcomed us by a singing band but it would have been better with drinks (just a suggestion). Staying a day is very cheap. Their big boat is good for 30 people and it cost only 6k. When we were there, they were still reconstructing some parts for more activities like zip line and more.

After my trip in Grace Island, I told myself that I would have my wedding in here. I just need to find a boyfriend hahaha

Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut Creek, California
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012

During my last trip to San Jose, we took a fairly large group of about 25 persons to Grace Island for the day. The trip was fairly inexpensive just a couple of hundred USD for the boat trip, admission, floating day cottage and an hour or two of kayak usage. Its an ideal place to bring foods and drinks for you picnic lunch for a large groups of people. They have free barbeques for the guests to use. Our activities included, swimming, snorkeling, boating, basketball and zip lining. I would recommend bringing your own snorkel gear, theirs wasn't in good shape. We didn't stay the night so I can't comment on the rooms or the service. When we were there I don't think anyone was staying overnight and for me that day trip was enough. The snorkeling wasn't all that good, not much to see. Overall we had a fun day.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grace Island Resort

Address: Ambulong Island, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, San Jose, Mindoro, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mindoro > Occidental Mindoro Province > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
LOCATED IN ONE OF THE ISLANDS OF SAN JOSE, OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, GRACE ISLAND RESORT IS ONE OF THE PROVINCE PREMIER RESORTS. OUR RESORT IS REPRESENTED BY A UNIQUE AND MAJESTIC ROCK WITH A LONE TREE ON IT, "THE LININOB ROCK", AS WHAT THE LOCALS CALL IT AS IT SYMBOLIZES BLESSED WITH ABUNDANT MARINE LIFE,PRISTINE AND CLEAR WATERS,AND UNPARALLELED LANDSCAPE AND SCENERY. OUR RESORT TAKES PRIDE IN HAVING FLOATING COTTAGES WHERE ONE CAN FEEL THE SOOTHING BREEZE OF THE SEA AND THE ONE OF THE KIND EXPERIENCE OF BECOMING ONE WITH NATURE. WE ALSO HAVE A WIDE ARRAY OF ACTIVITIES PERFECT FOR INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, AND OTHER GROUP GATHERINGS. GUESTS CAN STROLL OR BIKE AROUND THE ISLAND TO APPRECIATE ITS BEAUTY AND SPLENDOR. FOR THOSE HAVING RETREATS, OUR CHAPEL AT THE HILLTOP ALLOWS YOU FOR MEDITATION.AND FOR THE MORE ADVENTUROUS ONES, OUR MOTORIZED AND NON- MOTORIZED WATER ACTIVITIES WILL SURELY KEEP THE FUN AND ADRENALINE PUMPING. SO LET'S HAVE FUN , CREATE BONDS , AND CELEBRATE HERE IN GRACE ISLAND ! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grace Island Resort San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines

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