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“Beautiful, natural, but not peaceful...”

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Isla Jardin del Mar Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Glan B&B and Inns
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
40 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Beautiful, natural, but not peaceful...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2014

You won't find many beaches as tropical, nice, and unspoiled as Isla Jardin del Mar's. Add the positioning of the rooms along the beach (each room is a Filipino-style nipa hut on short stilts) overlooking the tropical blue ocean just 10 meters away at high-tide, and this should be a perfect tropical oasis.

The Noise.
If you go to Isla Jardin del Mar be prepared for Filipino multi-family groups with mobile karaoke-boxes with huge bass speakers and their thudding disco-dance music until the small hours. And be prepared for hotel staff who will look at you as if you're an alien when you suggest they ask the offending guests to turn-down the volume. There is supposed to be a 10pm noise-curfew but I just returned from a one-night stay and was kept awake until around 2:30am by a group having a karaoke party on the beach who then restarted at 9am this morning.
Given this could be a true tropical escape I don't understand why the hotel does not enforce a noise ban. I also don't understand why the family groups want to haul their karaoke-boxes 1.5 hours from General Santos City just to have a karaoke-party they could much more easily have in their own back-yards. Maybe I really am an alien.....

The Beach.
Another reviewer mentioned the sand is sharp and full of broken coral; in pl;aces it is but this is a 750m long beach and 80% or more of it is fine white-sand. If you swim out too far there are sharp coral and volcanic rocks underfoot. so just be careful where you choose to swim.
The beach is beautiful. Softly swaying palms and the soft sound of waves on the beach make for a gorgeous sunset experience. This place would be perfect except for the karaoke group next door....

The Room.
The rooms are very basic beach-huts. The Suites are called that simply because they have en-suite toilet and shower. Another reviewer mentioned the problem of walking sand into the room: the hotel should provide each room with a brush and a door-mat (the door-mat to trap the worst of the sand and the brush to sweep out what remains). Once you walk even a small amount of sand into the room it seems to soon get everywhere.
The bed is OK; the linen is just simple cheap nylon-cotton. There are just two smallish bath-towels, no hand-towels and no bath-mat to stand on when you come out of the shower. Not providing a bath-mat is inexcusable and if I go again I will remember to takes towels and a bath-mat with me.
Amenities are very very basic; just a sachet of shampoo, so don't forget your shaving-kit, tooth-brushes and your own shampoo and shower-soap.
The toilet-shower is very small and seems designed for an average height (165cm or so) Filipino. The toilet is slightly small (mine leaked from the flush-box) and the shower is also small. The shower does have hot-water though and water-pressure was good.
My room had an air-conditioner which was probably twice as powerful as needed for such a small room. I turned the air-conditioner off because the room got too cold (in fact next time I would choose the cheaper room with fan only).

The Food
The food is excellent. The menu is slightly limited and some items were not available, but every dish I ordered was excellent. Prices were very reasonable given the resort restaurant has no competition within several miles and once you're in the resort there is no other place to go.

The Staff
The staff seemed very efficient although lax on enforcing the 10pm noise-curfew. People were often cleaning various parts of the resort.

Overall.
Isla Jardin del Mar has an excellent location, a beautiful beach, clean ocean, and great food. Assuming you're lucky and pick a time when there are no karaoke parties headed there then this is a must stay resort if you're in the Gensan area. It's a long way from Gensan (about 1.5 hours by car) but in a different world. Except for that karaoke noise this is the closest I have come to a true tropical paradise.

Room Tip: If you're not somebody who needs to be at 23C or below then you probably won't use the airco...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Chris340301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Davao City, Philippines
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2013

Isla Jardin has glowing reviews here on trip advisor so when my family decided to go on a little R & R, we chose Isla Jardin among the bunch of resorts in Gumasa, Glan, Sarangani Province. The family traveled four hours to be in Isla Jardin, we were actually awed when we arrived, the place looked really great. We wanted so much to like this place but given what we experienced, I can only cite a few good things about Isla Jardin. Our 3 days, 2nights vacay ended up ¾ a day and 1 night, what a waste of travel time. We understand there is no TV in the room, no WIFI connection, there is limited mobile phone signal, no intercom in the room AND that’s okay because we came to this place to relax and have fun, BUT sorry to say, we were sorely disappointed with Isla Jardin.

1. THE BEACH – The beach is a long stretch of white sand. No, it’s more like tiny pebbles and broken sea shells than sand (see photo). It is so coarse it hurts your feet when you walk, it’s not ideal for barefoot walking (which I really enjoy doing on the beach). The sea looks magnificent and it’s very clear and clean but you won’t enjoy swimming here, there are sharp stones and corals underneath, you can only wade, or dip and swim in shallow water. My husband and two boys ended up with grazes and cuts. My two beach-loving daughters did not even attempt to swim. My twin boys enjoyed playing though, if it’s any consolation, and the sand by the cottage is finer compared to that in the seashore, which is a good thing.

2. ACCOMMODATION – Let me start with the positive. The aircon works fine, the bed is firm, the pillows are really soft. The cottage is beachfront with a nice view of the sea. Now for the negative( as far as we are concerned):

a. The cottage is 350-400 meters away from the restaurant, and remember, there's no intercom, so for your early morning coffee, walk to the resto and get one because there is also no room service - and walk back to your cottage to enjoy a quiet sip of your coffee. For any emergency, you will have to walk all the way to the resto to get help (and if it rains, you will have to wait until the rain stops so you can go and order your food). FYI, you may bring food and stuff and they only charge minimal corkage for drinks. But hey, we are on vacation, we want to relax and do things easy, bringing food or coffee maker doesn't make sense.

b. There is no service water or pipe water near the cottage to wash the sand off your feet, so the cottage gets really messy with sand. They provide you with door mats, and that’s it.

c. The light is so dim and there’s only one light inside the cottage (see photo). Reading relaxes us, so we brought books but it was hard to read, the light is really not good for reading.

d. We were told we would all fit nicely in the room but when you pull out the pullout bed, it occupies almost the entire room you’ll be left with very little space to move around.

e. The T/B is tiled and looks clean and decent but it’s very small and has a little putrid smell.

f. Extra bedding is P50.00, not per set of pillow and blanket, but per piece.

g. And hey, we were made to wait 30 minutes outside the cottage while they were cleaning it (we arrived at 2:30pm, past the 2pm check-in time). Can’t believe we were assigned a room during reservation and given another room when we checked in. I complained and demanded for the room that was originally assigned to us during reservation. I just feel the room is overrated for this kind of resort.

3. FOOD – Food is okay but not really great and a little pricey for this kind of resort. They need to review their food selection, you choose from the menu and many are not available. In a beach resort, we think fruit shakes should always be available.

4. STAFF – The resort staff are okay, not really friendly but okay. We’d like to commend their housekeeping staff John Paul and their booking/frontdesk staff Kleventh, they were nice to deal with.

I believe they can do something about most of the stuff I mentioned, but the quality of the beach, I don’t know if they can do something about that. In addition, since the resort is isolated, they should have a doctor/nurse nearby, in case of emergency.

If there’s one thing we enjoyed at Isla Jardin, it was the picture taking (place looks nice in photos) and yes, the peaceful, undisturbed sleep on Christmas night. Yeah, that’s how we spent our Christmas, sleeping :-D

Room Tip: Try to get a room close to the restaurant.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank EmyRocero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2013

Isla Jardin del Mar is a very lovely place. It is not crowded and it is clean and well maintained. We arrived there, rested, ate, swam, ate, then rested again. You are allowed to bring food so we stopped at a tuna store in GenSan to purchase fresh tuna and others. We were able to take plenty of photos because our phones and cameras are low batt free since the cottages have power supply. There are lots of trees near the cottages so it's a brilliant idea to bring hammocks (duyan). I even slept on one for the night. I was able to enjoy the starry skies and even got to see a falling star for the first time. ^_^ They have airconditioned cottages/rooms if you want. They also have a big place for you to wonder and take pictorial shots! Haha! We didn't feel much the trip because we had so much fun.

Room Tip: Choose the cottages near the shore. :)
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank JM G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cebu City, Philippines
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

My family and I stayed here for 2 days and it feels like we own the Island! TIP: Stay in this place during weekdays and you can own it! There are not a lot of guests during these time. If I can remember there was just us, the resort staff and I guess 5 other guests.

It's 1.5 hrs away from General Santos City, definitely not crowded and it has a wide shoreline. White fine sand and clear water. Awesome place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

You can choose different types of accommodation.

ROOM TYPE as of Sept 5, 2013

SUITE ROOM (2pax inclusive adults & kids) P2,000
DE LUXE FAN (4 pax inclusive adults and kids) P1,300
DE LUXE AIRCON (4 pax inclusive adults and kids) P2,500

OPEN COTTAGE

DAY TOUR front row 8am to 6pm P500.00
DAY TOUR back row P300.00

NIGHT TOUR front row 6pm to 8am P600.00
NIGHT TOUR back row. P400.00

They have hot and cold shower.
Restaurant serves affordable food and good recipe. Must try Tuna kinilaw.

*If you have left over food that needs to be refrigerate you can bring it to the restaurant with a fee of P50.00
*NO ROOM SERVICES. NO INTERCOM. If your room is far from the restaurant and reception area and you need a mat, towel or if you need assistance you have to walk your way out. Quite challenging if it's raining outside.


Their staff were nice and accommodating. My family enjoyed the beach and we will be visit soon this time with my husband. It's a great beach and a great place with great people.

Room Tip: Choose the De Luxe air condition if you want to have a good night sleep. If you have kids choose th...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Maureen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Koronadal, South Cotabato, Philippines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2013

I promised and told myself that I will go back to this "Jardin" again ... I simply miss the tranquility of the place, and the blue waters as well ... T'was 2 years ago when I had my first visit together with my studs, after it was recommended to us by the Sydney Hotel Mgr. A good place for educational tours , a lot of discoveries to make and a chance to be with Mother Nature ... Indeed, it's splendid !!! See you soon Isla Jardin Del Mar ... :)

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Pearl76_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Davao City, Davao City, Philippines
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2013

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. :)

Helpful?
7 Thank Ferina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cotabato City, Cotabato, Philippines
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2013

Me and my husband, together with our one & only daughter had our family escapade in Gensan City. We stayed at Sydney Hotel during the first night, and then the next morning, we proceed to Gumasa to see the beautiful beach at Isla Jardin del Mar Resort. We really enjoyed our stay there and we had so much fun as well. We put up a tent where we can play cards and do some funny things there. We really had a memorable experience and family bonding. The resort is such a wonderful place to stay especially for families. The foods are great especially the fish kinilaw that we have ordered. We didn't stay for a night because we need to go back to Gensan to meet my niece. We left the place at around 6pm happy and worry-free because the place is safe for the travelers.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ma Lynette L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Isla Jardin del Mar Resort

Property: Isla Jardin del Mar Resort
Address: Manando, Gumasa Sarangani Province, Glan, Mindanao, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mindanao > Sarangani Province > Glan
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Glan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 21
Reservation Options:
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