One disadvantage of solo travel is the cost of the accommodation (that is, if you’re not using Couchsurfing).
Being location independent, my number one requirement for a place to stay is internet access, and a lot of dirt-cheap rooms usually don’t have one.
I was very glad, therefore, that while I was doing research on where to stay in Siquijor, I found out about Villa Marmarine Resort. Nice resorts like Villa Marmarine usually charge P1,000+ per day for a room.
Compared to the P150-room in Larena that I paid the last time I was in Siquijor, that rate is indeed expensive for a budget traveler like me. However, the Larena guesthouse had no internet connection, something that I really needed as a freelancer.
I was very happy then when Villa Marmarine gave me a discount (it was the off-peak season when I was there). They are certainly one of the most accommodating businesses I’ve ever encountered in my travels!
Opened in 2005, Villa Marmarine is run by retired Japanese teacher Toshito (“Dagman”) and his wife Marie Harada. It’s a small resort (just four cottages) a kilometer or so from the town of Siquijor, Siquijor.
They offer free pick-up service, something that I really appreciated since I arrived at 8pm. They will also arrange for you to be taken to the pier free of charge when you leave, a huge convenience for me since my trip was at 5am!
Like any resort, they offer a lot of services, from arranging island tours, to snorkeling and island hopping. They have a dive center as well as a tennis court, and if you just want to relax, you can easily go down to the beach.
You will usually see no one else there aside from the other guests, something that I really appreciated (I’m not into socializing much).
My room was part of a duplex cottage opening out to the parking lot. Sure, it may not be in a prime location, but it was certainly very good enough for me. There was a comfortable and clean double bed, a fan, a TV (not that I used it), a mosquito net, and a toilet and bath. What more could I ask for at P500/day?
Most of their rooms open out to the beach, though, so when you make a reservation, just indicate your preference.
There’s really nothing you can do in Siquijor once it gets dark, so I always ate dinner at the resort. They have their own restaurant with a nice selection of Filipino and international dishes, some of which could be considered affordable even by budget backpackers.
I loved their omelets (P80); coupled with a bottle of ice-cold beer, it was excellent meal after a long day of going around the island!
What I appreciated most about Villa Marmarine, though, was the service. Their servers are young men and women that the Haradas send to school. They work at the resort after their classes, and despite their part-time status, their service was impeccable—they were prompt, friendly, and always smiling. Food presentation was also very good.
Best of all, as my room didn’t have a desk and chair, they let me work in the restaurant as long as I wanted, which was until 2am every day that I was there.
Given everything else, from their location, to their services, facilities, and amenities, I highly recommend Villa Marmarine Resort. When I go back to Siquijor, I’ll definitely stay there again!
Have you been to Siquijor? If you haven’t yet, do so soon. You will love the Island of Fire!