I stayed at the Costa Aguada for 2 nights from 2nd April to 4th April 2007 with my Fiancé. I was on holiday visiting family in Iloilo and we wanted to get away by ourselves for a few days.
I wanted to do something different and "off the beaten track" and just happened across the Costa Aguada while online. I emailed their reservations to enquire about costs and the reservation agent (Denny) was very helpful. Their normal package prices include return land and boat transfers from Bacolod City. Since I was in Iloilo I was wondering how I could get there but they said they could sort out a transfer for me for just 2500 peso extra which I thought was great.
In total the package cost for the two of us was 9200 peso, which included the transfer from Iloilo, 2 nights accomodation in a beach front cottage, welcome drinks, island souvenir, daily set breakfast for 2 persons and scheduled island tram tour.
When I got to the Philippines I called Denny about 3 days before our intended stay to confirm our pick-up time and place. We had decided to stay the night before hand in a hotel in Iloilo City (Sarabia Manor) and she said they would pick us up from there, we agreed at 10am pick-up.
The morning of April 2nd, sure enough our transfer was not just on time but 1 hour early. We were not yet ready, and just starting breakfast, but the Resort Rep (Edwin) did not rush us in any way and was ok to wait round till 10am. The transfer entailed a taxi from the hotel to Ortiz Warf, public passenger pumpboat to Jordon on Guimeras Island, private taxi van transfer across Guimeras and finally a small pump boat to Costa Aguada. In total I think it took 1 hour 30mins. Edwin was very friendly and pointed out any points of interest to us as we passed them.
On arrival at the resort we were greeted by a small song from the staff to welcome us and of course our welcome drinks. We got checked in pretty quickly and even pre-ordered our lunch before heading to our cottage. I was very impressed with the island, it's kept very natural and before coming ashore wouldn't even think there was a resort on it if not for the flag poles along the resorts beach front.
The room was nice, but basic, no air-con just an electric fan, also the electricity in the rooms turns off to conserve power, since they have their own generator, at certain times of the day (between 2pm - 7pm i think), but this didn't bother us. The room was just a place to store our stuff and sleep at night, you don't go to a place this beautiful and stay in room all day after all, that would be a crime. The bed was comfortable, screens on the windows kept mosqitos out and the fan kept us cool at night and that's all that mattered. And it was right on the beachfront so just stepped outside and we were on the beach.
They have a good mobile phone reception too for those who can't live without their cell.
They had about 40 other guests at the resort while we were there, the resort can hold up to 200, but we still felt like we had the island to ourselves.
The included island tram tour was nice, our guide who is also the resorts head staff member, Manuel, was great. He showed us some points of interest, the main one being the local village, many of the villagers work for the resort and here they make all of the resorts products, from hand made soaps to souvenirs. We also saw a Japanese Bunker left from World War 2, the island has a lot of history which Manuel filled us in on.
There's many things to do on island aside from relaxing on the beach or by the lovely swimming pool (which is nicely lit at night time), There's basketball and tennis courts, a games room with dart boards, pool tables, table tennis and a selection of board games. You can go horseback riding, rent mountain bikes and explore at your leisure, island hopping, you can also hire a tour guide to take you on a trek through the jungle. We tried to do as much as we could but didn't get to do the island hopping or jungle trek, we just didn't have time, if we could have we would have stayed an extra day or two but we had to get back to the family.
The food in the restaraunt was very good also. Nice selection on the menu and not too pricey either, I tried as much as I could. I recommend the "Condor Blue" Chicken for dinner, very tasty. A great touch was that we could order our meals in advance and tell them when we want to eat and they would have it ready for us exactly on time. So we would order our breakfast for the next morning the night before, and order our lunch and dinner after breakfast, so all we had to do was be on time with no waiting for our food. On our last night instead of having dinner in the restaraunt we had it outside with a bonfire set-up, very romantic and great service.
All the staff were friendly and always greeted you with a smile and "Morning/Afternoon/Evening Sir/Miss" whenever you passed them and always willing to help with any questions you might have. Good English too.
Transfer back to Iloilo was great also, Edwin brought us again, I was expecting he would just bring us as far as Ortiz Warf, but insisted on getting us a taxi to our Jeepney terminal as we were heading for Igbaras town and see us off there.
I think I've covered most of it, we had a wonderful time at Costa Aguada, the only bad thing I can say is the room was only basic, but as I said perviously that was very minor as we only used it for sleeping at night and it did it's job perfectly for that task.
I've attached some pictures too and if you want to see some videos I put some up on Youtube, just go to Youtube and search for "Costa Aguada" and my videos should be the first set to appear.
- Also Known As:
- Costa Aguada Island Hotel Guimaras Island
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A province in Western Visayas, Guimaras lies southwest of Panay and northwest of Negros Island. Agri-tourism is one of its main industries, capitalizing on Guimaras’s white-sand beaches, island coves, and mango plantations. ... more less
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