This was my first time to visit the fabled "Sarbay" or Sarangani Bay and for somebody living in Mindanao for more than 15 years, I'd say it was about time to visit this place.
Going there was not difficult at all, we traveled in a private car, from General Santos City it took 2 hours to arrive to Isla Jardin del Mar. It's the newest resort along the famous 'Gumasa beaches'. We originally planned to stay at White Haven (it's one of the more famous resorts) but my father preferred the ambiance and over-all look of Isla Jardin del Mar to the other beach resorts since the others (as my father would say) were quite crowded and cramped.
Pros and Cons of Isla Jardin:
- it's a bit further down the highway from the beach resorts and you really have to ride from the highway into the resort, it's a bit isolated from the other beaches (the road is a rollercoaster treat, not that it's not paved and cemented, road construction is currently ongoing but nothing a vehicle can't handle. sedans can pass also, no biggie).
-if you prefer the isolation from busy beaches and beachgoers then this is the resort for you!
-they have a restaurant which serves decently priced food (swear, they are not overpricing) but they don't have room service (why? they want their guests to "exercise and explore the beach" while they go to the restaurant to eat.
-they have a wonderful "Sunset Boulevard", it's a nice long walk from the shore to the side of a huge cliff where you can watch the sun set.
-the beach. oh gosh. no comment. the sand is not white, more of yellow, it's not as fine as the sands of Samal and Talicud Island but the beauty of the place makes up for it.
COST: this place is a real deal. Non-air cottages cost Php 1,400 (4-6 people (depending if you want to squeeze in), 2 bedroom (big beds) and a private comfort room. No tent fees. Plus, if you are more than 6 persons, your entrance fee is free.
Overall, I'd say this place is really awesome for a get-away. An overnight stay (or two-night stay) will satisfy your saltwater and sunburn craving. :)