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Coco Grove Beach Resort
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Reviewed April 5, 2011

You'll not soon forget the wonderful pampering you'll receive at the Coco Grove Beach Resort and a stay there probably will set your standards for vacations higher.

In my opinion everything there was impeccable: The staff is welcoming and knows every guest by his name, the location of the resort is breathtaking, the view is absolutely wonderful and the food is delicious. I had the best Kobe steak of my whole life in the “Salamandas Restaurant” in the Resort.

When my husband and I arrived first, we where picked up from the ferry and brought to the Resort, in a few minutes we’ve checked in and brought to our Bungalows, our luggage was brought just a few minutes later.

But not only this was organized perfectly, everything else was a dream come true too.
Beside the wonderful location of the resort which invites its guests to have a relaxing day on the beach or at one of the pools you can join lots of activities at a very reasonable price, such as Kayaking, Surfing, Snorkelling, Banana boating, Sailing and of course Diving.

Beside all this activities there are lots of organized trips you can join, we’ve visited Apo Island with the hotel’s yacht had a lunch there and snorkelled with sea turtles, for those who can dive this is probably one of the best places to do so, we made a trip to Paliton Beach, spent a wonderful afternoon there and enjoyed the most beautiful sunset of our lives. Another very amazing trip was a visit to the secluded and relatively unexplored Cambugahay waterfalls. We were totally impressed and had a very relaxing bath in one of the warm tubs.
After joining one of these trips you can relax at a massage in the resort, a cocktail at one of the bars or a superior meal in one of the two restaurants.

For us the Coco Grove Beach Resort was definitely a place for Traveller Choice 2011
And though it’s a long trip from Europe to the Philippines my husband and I will surely come back soon.

In 3 words it’s breathtakingly, beautiful and relaxing, what more can you expect!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Angelika_1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2011

The hotel is wonderful with rooms in the jungle which overlooks the white sand beach. The 2 pools are wonderful and the restaurant is superbly located. The hotel provides a range of servcies at reasonnable price (most of the time cheaper than any other locations in the Phillipines). All personnel is top-class and very warmed with all clients, and make your stay quite personalized. In terms of cost, it is the best value for money we had during our trip to the Phillipines. the only downsides are:
- the rooms are not as 'precious' as the rest of the hotel (pool, restaurant, beach...)
- there are some insects (...but this is the jungle life!)
No doubt I would highly recommend this exceptional Hotel to anyone travelling in the Visayas.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Marseillais-d-Ecosse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2011

Mostly we loved this resort. The staff make an effort to learn your name instead of using the usual Sir, Ma'm. The room was great and had the choice of BOTH aircon and fan (I like to have a nice deluxe room but so often this means having to have aircon only which I hate). The rooms were well spread out and designed so we never heard our neighbours. I slept very well here - bed was comfy.

There is a lot to do. Several tours, kayaks, two pools, beach, diving, sailing, motorcycle rental so there's no need to be bored. A lot of people seem to complain that the resort os spread out but I liked that. The 10 min walk to reception/breakfast was no issue and we liked the quietness the layout gave. Many of the staff are very chatty especially the bar man who makes wonderful cocktails (try the Coco loco - delicious) and even the pool man who helped me find cushions (I was up way too early).

The diving was okay. We went just after bad weather and I'd be interested to see again when it is at its best. They also do day trips to Apo Island which were quite reasonable and good for non divers as well. The dive school was friendly and well laid out and the rental equipment was in good order. We did get messed about a bit over times but they were nice about it. The guide (Nixon) was very slow which we liked and found us lots of cool stuff so ask for him if you dive there. The prices were normal for the Philippines.

They also organised a local cultural evening and buffet for the Saturday night. I'm not usually a fan of resort entertainment but actually it was very well done with local dances and traditions and we really enjoyed it. When we said we were vegetarian they made some special spring rolls just for us so along with the salads, rice, and veg side dishes we had plenty to eat.

We liked the breakfasts and it was nice to get proper OJ and not that packet stuff most resorts have. It does take some time if you hit the busy 9am time but if fairness they try and get your coffee and fruit to you asap while you wait.

Okay so a few bad points. And I say these in the hopes the hotel will read and fix, they would not put me off going again. We hope to visit again in June!

The food isn't great. Well it is for the Philippines but veggies will be limited. And we were disappointed when my husband ordered pizza and it was obviously a oven heated rather than fresh made - I would have expected better. For 2-3 days it was alright but as vegetarians we'd have been eating the same thing over and over had we stayed longer. Also we waited over an hour in Salamadas one evening. I don't mind waiting when on holiday, I have time but please give the customers some bread - I was starved by the time my food came (and hungry = grumpy).

The only other thing that let the place down was the massage centre. The first night I had a lovely massage off one older woman. It was so relaxing, I went back on my last night and got a different woman who chatted loudly to her mate all the way through and chewed food (hardly relaxing). Plus when she lifted the towel for me to turn over she then wandered off with the towel leaving me half naked (and anyone can walk past - it is not secluded). She thought it was funny when I shrieked for the towel but I was mortified. I came away with a sore neck so I guess the second masseur isn't a professional at all.

These small things won't stop me going back but I think for the food I could only spend a few days and I'd keep away from the spa.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank twinkfran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2011

February 25-27, 2011

The airport pick-up was fast, and the fetcher, who misspelled our names on his sign, brought us to the Dumaguete pier. We arrived too early for the 10:30 ferry so after the fetcher gave us our tickets, we walked along Rizal Boulevard and had some coffee at Sans Rival Coffee (they're open early!). It was already my second time in Dumaguete so I'm familiar with some of the spots. We boarded the ferry 10ish and at around 11:30, we arrived at Siquijor pier. The first time I went to Siquijor, my jaws dropped upon seeing the pristine white shores; but four days ago, there were some dried coconut leaves ashore; I think it was just the time of the year when these things were ashore. The weather was also quite somber, and the clouds made the atmosphere not as memorable as my first trip three years ago.

Another fetcher flashed a small black board with pretty letterings, this time around with our names correctly spelled; he brought us to their official van, with four Filipinas, and a German couple. Fifteen minutes later we were at the registration counter. It went smooth but we were told that our room was not yet ready since the official time-in was 2:00PM. The manager, Joy, briefed us regarding the venue, providing us with maps, showing where the restos were and where we would go for the trips, etc. She told us also that we're very lucky because there would be a dinner buffet on Saturday night and there would be a cultural presentation (which doesn't happen too often, I learned later). The buffet was about P750, with tax, I think.

We were also lucky that the Apo Island trip was scheduled on the following day and that more than 10 people registered, which meant it would definitely push through. We confirmed our attendance and we were told that the trip would include lunch and snacks and a few drinks. The fee for the trip was P1,600 per person.

We went to the Sunset Restaurant to eat lunch. I read online reviews which dissed the slow service of the waitresses and cooks. True, they were slow, but I don't understand why one would need to rush in such a gorgeous place? So my friend and I just read our books, took photos; we ordered Chicken Curry and Peppered Beef; the food was very decent, worth the money, I think.

One of the common complains also was that the resort is like a humongous strip of blind spot; Globe and Smart (and I assume even Sun) signal cannot reach the cellphones. In our experience, when they did, the signals fluctuated and my incoming messages were either unreceived or delayed. In our case, not a big deal again because we really did want to just relax.

And by 1:30PM, resort manager Joy called us to our rooms. A bellman brought us to our cottage at Sampaguita II. It was a very long walk--the resort is extremely wide. We passed by lots of trees, boats, cottages, two pools, and bars.

The deluxe room was very cozy, with slight yellow bedroom lights, and very homey feel to every piece of furniture. No TV was around, but there was refrigerator with some food and drinks inside. We were again lucky to be among the first few guests to be given extra beach towels (which were provided on the resort just last week).

We dipped in the olympic size pool and one of the workers offered us bench cushions and asked us for our drinks. Cool to have service by the pool. The online reviews mentioned how the people of Coco Grove are good with the names of their guests; some of them did recall our names but I noticed that they recognized and called the foreigners by their names more often. They also joked around the foreigners more often; some reviewers accused the Coco Grove people as racists for treating Filipinos differently; in our case, this was not a big thing since we didn't want too much attention; second, we would probably do the same thing (treat Filipinos more normally, not too friendly); third, foreigners need more hospitality because they're far from their homes... a bit of Filipino warmth was something we wouldn't be envious of.

Dinner went well, and so did breakfast. Loved their scrambled eggs and tapa. Trip to Apo Island was also fantastic. We swam with giant turtles and saw thousands of fish (hundreds of Nemos) and snorkled some more. The food on the Apo Island resort was a bit mediocre, though. But still, we went to the trip for snorkeling, and snorkeling was all we did. We were back at the resort around 5PM.

There's a small area where one can get connected through WiFi and the ISP was via a satellite dish. They told us that the connection's speed depends on the weather. Since it was cloudy when we went there, our iPad and iPhone got very slow connections--think dial-up speed. But then again, no biggie, because we went there not to surf web.

Before going back to our resort, we went back to the counter to get the stuff we deposited for safety deposit box, and we were reminded to be at the Activity center for the dinner buffet.

They started 30-minutes late for buffet, good thing we ate a lot of chips a few hours ago, but the food was AWESOME this time around. We only had one round of plate and we were so full already. The cultural presentation done by the Siquijor singing/dancing troupe was so-so but I think it was entertaining enough for the international guests. The most fascinating event was when the resort manager Joy greeted ALL of the more than 100+ guests present, and she did not miss a single name. Woah. She even added a few more details like where the guests were from and who's celebrating birthday and who just got married, etc. What a great memory. And to think she does this every single buffet dinner with different guests all the time. Crazy awesome.

The cottage/room we got seemed to be sound-proof because even after we left when the cultural presentation was still ongoing, we were hardly disturbed by the noise. And hell yeah, no annoying guests doing karaoke during night times.

We checked out the following day. All in all, I think we spent about P17,000 overall for two days but we got the best, most relaxing, and most fulfilling part of our vacation here. The cost could've been a lot more cheaper but we requested for airport transfers, ferry transfers, APO island trip, buffet dinner, and lots of food and drinks. One can easily trim down the cost to merely P10,000 if one cut down on the extra services, trips, food, and service. (But believe me, the fee was sooo worth it).

Over all, we had a very peaceful time in Coco Grove Beach Resort.

To summarize:

PROS:
one of the best-looking resorts in the Philippines, best in Siquijor
the beach was pristine white, two pools with bar and service were awesome
staff were very friendly, manager Joy was awesome
cottages/rooms were cozy, sound proof, homey
overall resort area was well-planned and designed
fetchers for the transfers were decent
this is the best option for people who just want to stay inside the resort to relax; not a good resort if you want to go around the island because you can get cheaper deals somewhere else (I went to Siquijor before also, the places were just so-so, nothing much to see); but the Apo Island trip they organized was awesome

CONS
the fees are still high for those who have limited budgets; but for the service and the overall coziness, the fees are worth it
very weak wifi and cellular network reception
service water was not free! (maybe mineral water is not easy to get?)
slow service in the restos


For me the cons are very dismissible. Anyway here are some of my personal recommendations :

1. Book in advance! They require at least 50% deposit. I think you should try to deposit 100% so that you won't think of money when you're there already.
2. Get the Apo Island tour. Soooo worth it.
3. Buy the P40 one liter water every single time you dine and bring the water for your personal use inside the cottages.
4. There were some mosquitos around so maybe an insect repellant would be good for you
5. Bring a book. Service in restos really do take time. Chill. No need to rush everything when you're there.
6. Ask if you can borrow a snorkeling gear before going to Apo. We had to pay P150 per person for the gear on Apo Island; I initially thought it was already included.
7. Know the time of the departure of ferries on Siquijor and Dumaguete piers
8. Stay for more than one day. You'll enjoy the experience more.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with friends
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7  Thank sirnicolay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2011

Simply the best place on earth. We have been there three time now and would LOVE to come back... This is the closes place to Paradise on earth.
The people, the beaches, the diving, the food , the accomodations... It all comes together!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Riksy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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