Friday, October 2, 2015
Camotes Our stay at the house was my first using AirBnB: I think it was a perfect choice! It gave my girlfriend and I an experience we will always remember. The owners of the house were away that weekend so we had the place to ourselves. We also had the help of a friendly Filipino family that look after the estate. They picked us up at the port (holding a sign with our name on it) and brought us to the house. The Filipino family also went above and beyond finding us a motorbike rental (which was delivered to the house). Even a manicurist and massage therapist came to the house. The guest area layout is very nice with two separate bedrooms which have queen size comfortable mattresses and one big bathroom with a shower. The kitchen was full of dishes and utensils, and they had plenty of towels and bed sheets to last. It would be nice if they would have had a hair dryer and wifi service at the house. But these are little inconveniences. In addition, there’s no TV at the guesthouse but that was an unnoticed absence for my girlfriend and I because we brought laptop computers. The Camotes island are beautiful and away from the tourist hot spot of Lapu Lapu on Mactan Island. The drive from our house near Santiago Bay to the closest town San Francisco was through a gorgeous tall palm tree forest. Santiago Bay beach has crystal clear water and soft texture white sand. There is a downside of vacationing in an exotic location that we discovered and that is the food options were very limited and the food we did eat wasn't very delicious. The atmosphere at the restaurant at Santiago Bay Resort is gorgeous overlooking Santiago Bay beach but I wouldn’t recommend eating at the resort restaurant. They serve breakfast with instant coffee and badly blended smoothie shakes. We did find a few nice dishes at Pito's Sutukil restaurant down on the beach of Santiago Bay. We really liked the fish in sashimi dishes and tilapia soup. Also the mango shakes were delicious. But try to stay away from the pork dishes Pito’s. Since there isn't a big tourist industry on the Camotes there just isn't many restaurants to choose from in the area. It appears most of the local residents always eat at home. So it would be recommended to use your cooking skill at the house and go shopping at the food market in San Francisco. For our trip, staying there only two nights we didn't have enough time to build a well stocked refrigerator and cook ourselves. One other thing to mention about the boat ride to the Camotes is to make sure to be on time for the boat departure. We missed our scheduled boat and had to wait around in Danoa for the next boat to come several hours later. It was an interesting experience riding around in a bicycle taxi and finding a small water park for local kids. But entertainment and food is very limited in Danao. Overall, the experience was fantastic. The house is amazing and the people running it are very nice and accommodating. I highly recommend it.