San Jose: Grace Island Resort
Grace Island is an island resort located in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. It is surrounded by a much larger island of Ambulong. From a simple retreat center, it was developed and evolved into a frequently-visited resort in San Jose.
From San Jose airport there is a van waiting for resort guests. Only several meters from the airport is the resort’s booking office which is strategically located at Aroma Beach. After several minutes, a boat coming from Grace Island arrived. The passengers disembarked, after which shipments were loaded before passengers were allowed to embark.
Since I already visited the island before I slept as we sailed on our way. The trip takes about an hour which I used to take a nap. Soon I heard the tourists shouting in awe as they see the resort’s iconic landmark, the Lininob Rock. Moments later Buri Island which is now known as Grace Island presented itself to us. Anyone can easily recognize the presence of the resort due to a Hollywood-like sign installed and visible from the distance.
After a one-and-a-half hour of sailing, we arrived at the island and the boat docked to the Event College where the guests were welcomed. The visitors were offered welcome drinks and the live band added to the excitement. After being given an instruction and briefing we were assigned to our cottages. I was amazed to the extent of the development. The lone cottage multiplied. They also made an improvement to the bamboo pathway bridges which now has two lanes, one for opposite direction. Even with such developments, you can still see the cleanliness and its perfect blending with nature.
The cottages assigned to me was well furnished, with an electric fan, electrical outlets for our gadgets and as well as a decent CR. At the back of the cottage is a veranda-like structure that allows you to quietly glimpse on the villages of Ambulong at the distance. Near the cottage, I saw a Danish couple who told me that it is their fifth day of stay here. Beside them were four Koreans who were also staying on the island. I told myself that the island has already progressed far, as it is already visited not only by locals and Manila residents but also by the foreigners. The foreigners said that they discovered this island in Yahoo News. I also found out that it has already been featured in media like in Rated K!, Trip Na Trip (ABS-CBN), Weekend Getaway (GMA) and Yahoo Travel. The resort is really leveling up!
Like in my previous trip, I endlessly took photos of the island. And to capture the full beauty of the island I asked someone to accompany me in trekking to the highest point of Ambulong. For two days I went to-and-fro in Lininob Point in Ambulong to take the best shot, one during the day and another one at sunset.
The menus served are mouth-watering for being always fresh. Though the cooking is simple, it becomes special especially that the seafood was always the fresh catch.
As the afternoon approached many people arrived for just a “walk-in”. They are those who didn’t book but just want to rent a cottage. The quiet and serene place was filled with partying noise. Various water activities offered by the resort makes the island experience colorful. A zip line was also installed from the hilltop to the other end of the island. A unique feature of this zipline is that it allows visitors to touch the sea during high tide.
According to Jinky, the island has already been a venue for a conference, beauty pageant, pre-nup, weddings and other events. And most of the visitors are coming back (like me! Hehe).
For two days I wandered around the island to reminisce my first visit and at the same time to discover its still hidden beauties. I also had an opportunity to glimpse on the wonders of the nearby islands.
I can say that Grace Island is so gracious for it gave more than enough on the relaxation and bonding that we experienced during our stay.
See the other part of the Story here:
- Soak up the Sun at Inasakan
- Trek to Lininob Point in Ambulong
- Catching Sunset at Lininob Point
- Hiking Ambulong Tower at Dawn
- Lininob Rock: Up-close and Personal
- Ambulong Cave
- Mobile reception is extremely difficult, so ask the locals where you can find a good spot. Don’t you want it, that no one bothers you?
- Though it is a nice place to go during summer, it is better to visit the resort during the wet season (May to September), when the trees were watered by rains which make it to show its full lush of green.
- By Air
Take a 45-minute flight from Manila to San Jose. From San Jose Airport there is a 5-minute ride to Aroma Beach Booking Office where the boat awaits.
- By Land and Sea (Roro)
From Cubao, take the bus bound for San Jose, Occidental Mindoro via Batangas Port either to Abra de Ilog or to Calapan City Pier. Both ports are linked by their respective provincial highway to San Jose. The bus ride takes 12 hours of travel.
Note: The shallow waters of San Jose make its port unsuitable for docking of large ships. Instead, ships dock at the ports of Abra de Ilog and Calapan.
The boat ride from Aroma Port to Grace Island takes approximately 60 minutes. Along the way, guests can enjoy a breathtaking view of the sea and natural resources.
Visit their website for more info: http://www.grace-island-resort.com/