Philippines, Reviews

Date 406/365 Coco Beach Island Resort, Puerto Galera, Philippines

August 16, 2015
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The hustle and bustle of Manilas concrete jungle requires a break. A 90 minute drive and quick hour boat ride takes you to a place close enough for convenience and far enough for seclusion at Coco Beach Island Resort. With its hilltop beachside villas and silent pool there are tons of opportunities for retreat. Fortunately for us we were hosted for a weekend with the family.

 

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We booked a hillside villa which provided a gorgeous view of Batangas mainland. The surrounding gardens with beautiful birds provide serenity. Having a bamboo, kubo villa, provoke a true Filipino experience. The other huge advantage of bamboo material was the cooling affect it had in the room and on the body. The Philippines gets hot and humid and any deterrent to the heat is always welcomed.

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Of course, for those out of shape the uphill walk to these private villas might be a bit much. Fortunaley, the staff at Coco’s were very supportive in our walk up and helped out with our luggage. Each room is taken care of by specific sponsored “service family.” We were welcomed with fresh fruit juice and a platter of various fruits. The balcony provided a great spot for relaxation with its hammocks, recline-able seats, and tranquil ocean and garden views.

The bathroom was spacious and the organic shower products  including scented shampoo, soap, after shower lotion and insect repellant were very much appreciated. The area has its share of mosquitoes but the repellant and the nets were more than sufficient to combat any bites. Of course towels are provided for both room use and for the beach.

There are a couple of pools including one on the hillside that provides a quieter alternative than the pool at the front of the resort. Of course no need to go down for drinks as there’s a poolside bar with a great daily happy hour. Kuya June is always smiling and is happy to refill your drinks

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We rolled into Coco Beach during rainy season so were concerned about the weather we would be getting ourselves into. While we were able to enjoy the beach there were also non-beach activities provided throughout our stay. On one rainy afternoon we went into the Coco Soap workshop to learn about how to make organic soup. As part of their sustainability and eco-friendliness program Coco’s gives guests insight into the process of making environmentally sound bathroom products.

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The next morning we we’re hosted by Kuya Raul in the baking area for a demonstration on how to make the famous Filipino dessert, buko pie. He went through the entire process of how to create this dessert and at the end we had enough buko pie to share with the entire family and some of the staff.

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For each suite there’s a “service family” that takes care of you. The mamas of the family usually do the housekeeping while the papas usually do other activities such as gardening, grounds keeping, buko pie demonstrations, and soap creating lessons. Many of the families were provided opportunities to study their assigned trade and were sent to Manila by the owners. We were impressed by the social entrepreneurship  and how the local community and people were benefiting from the resort as well as by the sustainability of the resort.

Overall, our stay at Coco Beach was relaxing, romantic, and what we needed after just a week in Manila. This place could easily be booked as a honeymoon destination or a weekend retreat.

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