“Home away from home” is usually a used-and-abused term one uses without digging too deep into what it means. Many hotels, resorts, and travel accommodations will often describe their place as such to lure in tourists.

Coco Grove Beach Resort nestled within the mystical island of Siquijor is often described by their guests to be such. It’s not exactly a hidden gem, but it does give its visitors a gem of an experience – one that’ll have you longingly staring at their bright-hued, sunset orange walls, already planning your next visit.

Right from whichever port you’re coming from (there are two in the island), a personalized welcome sign will greet you. We’ve met a few of their drivers and each one was a delight to talk to. The check-in staff are just as charming and friendly, and we knew then and there that their customer service is ace.

And throughout our stay, we came up with 9 solid reasons as to why the resort should be on your must-visit list.

1. Exploring the entirety of the resort will take your breath away, literally and figuratively. We could go on and on about the resort’s many facilities – 91 (soon to be more) rooms, two large swimming pools, a spa pool (referred to as The Quiet Zone), in-house restaurants and pool bars, a dive center, a garden gym, and more.

We know it sounds like a lot, and truthfully, it can be quite overwhelming, but that’s just one of the many charms of the place itself.

There’s a lot going on, there are so many things to do, but you never stray too far away from the relaxed island pace.

2. You don’t even need to leave the resort to enjoy the beauty of Siquijor. To be frank, it’s really difficult to get bored here and even more difficult to find the will to leave in search of more. How could you, when you get over 800 hectares of pristine, white sand beach naturally incorporated within a coconut grove, turquoise water that seems to magically glimmer especially around sundown, and a marine sanctuary with more than 7 hectares of teeming with coral reef and underwater life, to name a few?

3. But if you do want to take a day exploring more of the island, you absolutely can and the friendly resort staff can arrange everything for you. Just say when and where you want to go, and they will make it happen. The best part is that all the best sights in Siquijor are a mere few minutes away.

You simply must not skip out on visiting Cambugahay Falls, which is arguably one of the best waterfalls not just in the province but in the entire Philippines as well. The 400-year-old Balete Tree is quite a wonder, too, and you can experience what the locals like to call a “natural foot spa”. The island is also dotted with centuries-old, majestic churches and sanctuaries – butterflies, fish, you name it and the island has it.

4. If you really want to see more of what neighboring provinces offer, Coco Grove arranges tours to several of them, as well. It’s highly-recommended to explore Apo Island, a world-class diving site, and experience swimming with sea turtles. If swimming with whale sharks is more up your alley, then go on their Oslob Whale Shark Tour. But if you’d rather keep it chill and enjoy the day on a boat instead, we’d recommend chartering one of their island tours to Bohol, Balicasag, Maria Bay, and more. Again, you can choose and plan your own trips and the resort staff will be more than happy to assist you.

5. While we’re on the topic of diving, you should know that Coco Grove has first-class access to Tubod Marine Sanctuary. It’s among Siquijor’s pride and joys and is undoubtedly one of the best and most beautifully-preserved underwater sanctuaries. Here, you can spot a myriad of colorful fish and thriving coral reefs and pillars. If you’re lucky, you may even come across an octopus, some squid, or a Hawksbill turtle.

6. The best thing to do after an exhausting day of trips and activities is to get a massage – thankfully, Coco Grove has a premiere wellness spa you simply must visit. The Temple Spa is one of the latest additions to their list of facilities, and dare we say, the best.

Walking into the reception alone is a Zen experience, as it’s hidden behind lush greenery and tall trees. Think forest oasis – but better and much more peaceful. They have luxe suites with floor-to-ceiling windows that look into the garden, alongside top-tier spa facilities such as massive showers, tubs, and an aromatherapy bar with your choice of scents to be diffused. As for the spa treatments, they offer a variety of full body massages and body scrubs, all of which are designed for optimum peace and bliss. Afterwards, the lovely ladies will hand you their own concoction of a delicious spa-exclusive, post-massage hot drink.

7. Speaking of delicious drinks and experiences, their in-house Salamandas Restaurant must not be ignored.

From breakfast to dinner, you can indulge in their impressive menu of seafood, international cuisine, and signature dishes that are ingeniously incorporated with island influences (we’re still thinking about their Grilled Mahi Mahi).

On weekends, they often have barbecue nights and live musical performances from the Siquijor Island Dance Company which just lights up the place and gets everyone on the dance floor, too!

8. When it’s finally time to hit the hay, their rooms are more than pleasant and extremely comfortable to stay at – most of which affords guests splendid oceanfront views. They offer a good range of rooms from smaller ones to big family-sized ones. We’d like to give a special mention to their Seascape Villa, which is spacious enough to fit 8 adults and is equipped with an en suite bathroom, large living space, and beachfront access.

By the way, if you happen to miss your ferry to the island or if you find yourself suddenly needing a place to stay at in Dumaguete, Coco Grande Hotel (an extension of the resort in the city) would be a solid choice. It’s absolutely thoughtful of them to offer this to their guests.

9. Last but definitely not the least, you can’t beat the top-notch quality of service at Coco Grove. The staff members go above and beyond to make sure that you’re comfortable and enjoying your stay. They’re the very image of Filipino hospitality and it seems as though they genuinely love helping guests make the most of their trips. They truly were one of the highlights of ours.

“Home away from home” is a thought that’s been thrown around a lot but not often lived up to. But Coco Grove Beach Resort exceeds and hits the mark—with vivid flying colors to boot.