March 29, 2015

SIARGAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY – Siargao Inn Beach Resort

Siargao has been in my bucket list ever since I saw how beautiful its beaches are. Obviously I am a sucker for white sand beaches and clear blue and turquoise waters. Whenever I have the opportunity to travel, I always choose a place where there’s a beach; I may not have the beach body and the confidence to wear two-piece swimsuits and I also don’t know how to swim properly, but the feel of sand under my feet gives me a certain high. 



 
Since one of my good friends is coming back to Manila this Summer, and we always make it a point that we will travel whenever she’s on vacation in the Philippines, I booked us a flight to Siargao Island. Most flights to Siargao are quite expensive especially for a regular-earning professional like me, but thank goodness for airfare promos and seat sales that I was able to book a flight to Siargao that was cheaper than normal. There is no direct flight to Siargao, you have to pass by Cebu and board a smaller aircraft to Siargao. There’s only one airport in Siargao – Sayak Airport in Del Carmen town, which is a relatively small airport compared to Caticlan’s or Coron’s airport. Only 1 flight arrives and leaves Sayak airport daily when it’s the lean season; but when there’s a surfing competition Cebu Pacific (the only airline that flies directly to Siargao) opens two flights per day and this is around May to September.

 
 


Siargao is a tear-drop shaped island in the Philippine Sea in the province of Surigao del Norte. It is  best known for its beautiful and large waves that are good for surfing, especially that this island is on the southeast part of the Philippines and faces the Pacific Ocean. But Siargao is not all about surfing, it boasts of other tourist destinations like beaches, natural pools, lagoons, falls etc. The landscape in Siargao reminds me of both Coron and Bohol, but it has its own different charm. It’s more laid-back, more peaceful and even though tourists flock it, it isn’t crowded at all. The locals of Siargao are one of the nicest and hospitable people I’ve ever  encountered – they are simple, respectful, fun and honest. Everyone is very friendly and accommodating. During our 4 days stay on the island, I’ve come to love it and had somewhat a separation anxiety when we were about to leave. I felt like I wasn’t ready to leave just yet, but then that only gave me a fuel to return to Siargao when I have the chance to.
 


SIARGAO INN BEACH RESORT

It took me quite some time and several emails to and fro before I was able to reserve  our accommodation in Siargao. I ended up booking Siargao Inn. I was veered to choose this resort because of how friendly,  accommodating and prompt to respond its owners, husband and wife, Rico and Nildie Rietenbach (btw, Nildie is a the best female surfer in Philippines and dubbed as the Queen of Cloud 9).


  

Since there were only 3 of us staying at the resort, I asked for a smaller room because the one I was initially eyeing was too large for the 3 of us. But the owner Rico said that the smaller rooms were  already booked and he can gives the new ground floor beachfront room for only PHP 3000 a night which is originally priced at PHP 3,200/night. Well that was an offer I can’t refused so I immediately paid the deposit via Paypal.


 

Upon arriving in Sayak Airport we travelled around 45 minutes to Siargao Inn which is in General Luna and only a few minutes away from Cloud 9. Once you enter the resort grounds you will already feel the relaxed because the pathway to the rooms were surrounded by trees and greens. We were welcomed by one of the staff, Neng and the owner Rico, and was ushered into our room.
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Our room was HUGE and it had a veranda/balcony overlooking the beach and the sea. It was perfect! The room’s design is very minimalist which was very comforting to the eyes. There were two queen sized beds, a closet made of bamboo, split-type air-condition, ceiling fan and a place where you can put your surf board if you brought one.



  
The bathroom was equally large and clean. I was really pleased with how the room and the bathroom was designed, nothing looks too overwhelming and overly designed. And oh, the rainfall shower was definitely a treat. Although the toilet and the bath didn’t have separate doors, they were on both ends.




Our room’s veranda is the perfect spot because I always enjoy waking up very early in the morning seating in one of the bamboo lounge seats while drinking coffee and waiting for the sun to rise. Those four mornings while I was in Siargao were probably the best mornings I’ve had in my life because I was able to witness such beauty and glory of sunrise.

 


The common area in the resort is the in-house open air restaurant of Siargao Inn which is overlooking the beach. There is a wide array of food choices but honestly I find their food prices on the very steep side. But it’s a restaurant inside a beach resort so it’s not that surprising. 




Nonetheless their food are utterly good (praises for the person who cooks their food for us!) and come in big servings; so paying at a much higher price for their menu entries is just worth it. The only thing I’ve noticed is that it takes quite some time for them to cook and serve our orders. This is the only thing I see that they need to improve on.

 

Our stay at Siargao is made very memorable by one of the resident bulldogs in Siargao Inn named “Knut” a white English bulldog. Knut always visits our room, sleeps in our veranda (sometimes when one of us is sitting on one of the bamboo seats, he would squeeze himself beside us and sleep). He would always follow us around even though he would walk super slowly because of his heavy and fat body; he would  wedge his head when we try to close our room door because he wants to enter and forage among our luggage. 




There was a time when we were about to go to the GL dock for our island hopping tour, he followed us until the resort’s gate, probably he wanted to go with us. But the most heart breaking moment was when we were about to leave for the airport, he walked with us until the gate and just looked until probably he can’t see the van we were riding. Knut is one of the reasons why I probably felt I left my heart in Siargao. In case you’ll choose stay in Siargao Inn, tell Knut we miss him!



 
The beach has pale cream-colored sand that is quite fine (not as fine as Boracay’s Station 1 though). There are hammocks and beach benches that you can lounge on after a long day of activities or if you don’t want to do any activities.


  

All in all, Siargao Inn is a great place to stay when you want comfort and a little luxury. I believe the price of their rooms are worth it or maybe even more. Although the room rates doesn’t include breakfast, you can always eat at their in house restaurant or hail a habal-habal and go to the General Luna Boulevard where there’s plenty of eateries and restaurants. We really felt at home there and if ever I go back to Siargao, I would still likely to stay there again.




SIARGAO INN BEACH RESORT
Brgy. Catangnan, General Luna, Siargao Island,
Surigao del Norte, Philippines
website: www.siargao-inn.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Siargao-Inn-Beach-Resort/133392030066478
contact no: +63 999 889 99 88
email: info@siargao-inn.com


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