"Flotsam and Jetsam" means riff raff, co-owner Mia Sebastian explained to us when we asked her over breakfast. She also said that their investor wanted something in the likes of "Sunset House" or "Surf House" but another co-owner had a creative design in his mind and what an excellent name it ended up to be, so fitting of the laid back vibe this 4 month old hostel in San Juan, La Union. On the way home, we kept talking about how many people we're gonna take back there with us...and soon.
I found their number on their Facebook page. You can simply SMS 09178021328 and they respond quite promptly. They will give you complete details of what accomodation they have available. To reserve, FULL amount needed to be deposited to their BPI account San Fernando branch. As soon as you have deposit the money, just send an SMS confirming it and you're good to go. We got the kubo dorm beds for 650/person/night.
I wish they were more flexible with their reservation amount (regular working people who run under a budget would prefer a maximum 50% deposit only and will ensure that actual dates will be aftr ANOTHER pay day so they have enough), but that's just my opinion. Having another account besides Metrobank (BDO is always best due to the flexible banking hours) will also help, but I guess I am trying to think of regular folks who work during office hours who may not be able to make a deposit at Metrobank due to not having the time to do so, again, just my two cents as we had no problem both with the bank nor with the full payment needed for reservation.
We drove there, BUT, what usually takes an easy 4 hours became 5 because of SO MUCH ongoing ROAD WORKS! Yes the TPLEX is partly open (you exit at Paniqui/Ramos, Tarlac) but maybe they should have finished constructing the whole of TPLEX first before starting theirs, the officials of the NORTH should have planned this better.
Buses plying the La Union route are abundant. Viron, Sta Lucia, Farinas and the most popular Partas all have regular trips.
Check In is at 12PM but we were told it can be as early as 10AM if the bed/room is not occupied. We got there at 7AM. We were told we can chill at the Mer Sea Boku (kubo common area) while waiting for check in. At almodt 9AM, I saw 2 girls checking in and were accomodated right away so I went up to Mia to ask if we can do so as well and she was nice enough to say yes. It would have been nice if they had let us check in at 7AM mostly because the beds were empty and because there was no electricity anyway for us to consume so that we could have put our things in our locker and had the chance to go to the beach that early on. It would have been nicer if those 2 girls who came in later were not checked in before us who have been waiting for 2 hours. It's not their fault that we were early but it just seems like they forgot about us. Upon check in, you will be given a pad lock for your locker.
All dorms are fan cooled with 8 beds per room. Kubo dorms are just as it says, a nipa structure while the Shophouse dorms are in a concrete structure (kubo is also right beside the resto/bar so if you can't sleep with even a little noise, go for the shophouse. They also have double private rooms.
Prices are as follows:
Kubo dorm: 650 per person per night on Fridays and Saturdays and 580 from Sundays to Thursdays
Shophouse dorm: 750 on Fridays and Saturdays and 680 from Sundays to Thursdays
Sea suite: 2980 per night (airconditioned private room)
The bed is very comfortable, we LOVED the pillows and blankets. They're simple but does the job well, we all slept like babies (or was it the awesome drinks the amazing bartender Glenn concocted that got us sleeping so deeply? hahaha). We were provided mosquito nets to prevent mosquitoes from feasting on us. The bathrooms are clean, I WISH THEY WOULD INSTALL BIDETS.
Around the Hostel:
The Mer Sea Boku (Kubo common area) is where most guests lounge at for a drink, nap, chat, etc... We opted to stay in the outdoor grassy area where mats and bean bags were placed to hang out as we preferred being under "some" sun (there was a tree providing shade).
The resto/bar serves AMAZING food and drinks and for a good price too! As mentioned, Glenn the bartender is freaking amazing! Best sex on the beach I have ever drank and for only 100 pesos per big glass! Their pizza is baked inside a brick wood oven and is so flavorful. I wish I ate more of it! The breakfast that came with our accomodation is very good too: cereals, fruits, suman, bread, an assortment of jam and brewed coffee with a kick!
There are musical instruments available for when guests want to jam and body boards are available to be BORROWED, yes borrowed and not rented, how nice of them. :)
Other Stuff - Just as Important
One of my companions was caught in a rip and was drifting away, we could not try to save him because we can't risk having more people being caught, lo and behold, one of Mia's friends (who turned out to be at the hostel regularly and even has a delicious cocktail named after him) ran to help us out. Furthermore, Mia and her staff did not lack giving us warnings regarding the condition of the beach in front of the hostel. Also, Mia made us feel so much at home, even having breakfast with us while chatting. Her labrador GUS is so handsome! We also liked that the owners promote MUTUAL RESPECT and are living embodiments of it.
Over all, we had a relaxing stay. So good that our original departure time was way delayed. During the drive back to the city, we kept talking about how soon we can come back pulling more of our friends with us.
FlotJet, we'll be back!
- Also Known As:
- Flotsam And Jetsam Hostel San Juan, La Union, Philippines
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- FLOTSAM and JETSAM Artist Beach Hostel in Surf Town San Juan in La Union is a beachfront boutique hostel designed by its travel-addicted architect-owners. FlotJet Hostel's design celebrates Surf, Art, Music and Travel. ... more less