we did a little overnight trip in guimaras before doing work in iloilo. finding a place to stay online was a challenge – we didn’t want anything too rugged nor too crowded. la puerta al paraiso looked fine. everybody’s word of warning though was it was far from the docks.
the docks themselves are easy to get to. guimaras is a short, 15-minute boat ride from iloilo and costs only P14. boats leave as soon as they’re full (40 to a boat), or around every 15-20 minutes. when we got to the jordan wharf and tried to find our way to the resort, we realized everybody was right. it was far. about an hour or so by tricycle – the last 10-15 minutes on pure rough road. this cost P500 going and P700 coming back. our first word of advice: take the multicab for only P200 more.
the biggest plus of la puerta is the location of their cottages
each of them face the beach or the open sea. thoughtfulness in giving everybody a view – plus points. the cottages themselves though were quite small and the verandas could have used a bit more furniture. in fact, the whole resort would totally be better off with more lounging chairs around the beach, near the rooms, etc. the beaches were nice and there should be more ways to relax by them.
facing the restaurant, one beach to the left is where the boats dock
and on the other side was a more people beach
the beaches were quite pretty and the sand very white and very fine. but the shore was also very short. the isolation serves la puerta well – because if they ever had more than 20 people, it would be uncomfortable on the beach.
the restaurant was big and airy and the staff very accommodating
the food was ok – as resort food generally goes. the servings were big enough, but still overpriced. we attributed this to the isolation and therefore the high cost of getting things there. in the future though, these costs need to be revisited. and little things like – they run out of mangoes (in guimaras!)… makes no sense.
we got to speak with the owner and he said they never really actually formally opened and their operations kind of “just happened” – we agree. it does feel that way. a lot of little details need to be attended to for this to become a really good resort. right now we’re totally open to staying in other places in guimaras – but once la puerta gets the other things done, then it will be worth a visit again.