Sunday, August 18, 2013

Why I Don’t Like Hideaway Resort in Islas de Gigantes

There are various resorts in Gigantes Island but if you ask people who have been there or if you search the internet you will only be directed to just one - The Hideaway Resort.

We were directed to that place as well and I disliked it the very moment I set my foot in Estancia. I do not like Hideaway Resort for more reason than one and I enumerated below the reasons why:

  1. Monopolization. The owner of the resort is said to be the tourism officer. This given, he makes sure that all of the tourists are heading to his resort. He has standby people in Estancia Port who will take your name, help you with your bags, and bring you to the passenger boat bound for Gigantes Norte. When the passenger boat dock, several motorcycle drivers are already waiting. Before you know it you’re already checked-in to the resort. Yes, you will not be given time to decide. You will not argue, you will just follow as you are foreign to the place.

  1. Cheap yet Expensive. Ironic aye? How come it becomes cheap and expensive at the same time? Let me explain why. They do not have standard rate per room, instead they charge per head. For aircon room it is Php300 per head overnight, Php200 for non-aircon. Okay, that is affordable. Now here is the catch, they charge Php2,000 for island hopping. Cheap if you are doing the island hopping as a group, but nah they will not offer that.  There were 4 couples when we went there, including me and my fiance. The resort staff gave us individual boat and each boat can actually accommodate  8 people (15 even according to boatman). I told the staff that we will be sharing the boat with the other couples (Jai and Rain) whom we just met there. She said there is an additional charge, I told them we’ll just look for another resort. That was the only time they agreed that we share the boat with two others.

  1. Guides are Unpaid. The moment you set your foot in hideaway resort you will be provided with a guide, even if you’re not asking for them. And these guide will be staying with you all throughout your stay.  I hope the resort knows that it’s somehow annoying actually to have someone beside you all the time asking how you are, what you want to eat, or where you want to go. You can always ask assistance when need one right? And to learn that they are not paying the guide that they are providing to their visitors is a total turn off! The only reward that guides are getting are the tip given by visitors.

  1. Unlikely Location. Oh! I was really disappointed when I entered the resort perimeter as it is away from the sea shore. When you are at the resort, the vast ocean is off sight and the nearest shore is covered with scallop shells which can hurt your bare feet; not ideal for swimming.

  1. Hidden charges. Whatever you do, wherever you go, whatever you take, ask first if there are corresponding charges. Else, you will be surprised when you get your bill. Staff said they do not have markup for the foods that they cook, but they charge Php50 every time you use their kitchen.

When you do not know where to stay in Gigantes that’s okay. Several resorts are available in the area; some of which have better location and services. Ask around first before taking the habal-habal. I will not recommend a specific resort in order to give equal opportunity to everyone.

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This entry is part of our Islas de Gigantes Epic trip which happened last July 13-17, 2013 (JUST CLICK ON THE LINK TO READ EACH ARTICLE)



  1. In our case, what I did not like was they had us sleeping in sweat whereas they could've transferred us to the available huts.tsaka, parang di rin sila standards sa mga rates nila, after our first meal {dinner} on our first day, we asked for a bill. And then, dun sa total, magkaiba na yung prices nung meal 1 namin sa final, and dun sa nirequest namin ng day 1.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. At least other readers won't think I am being biased. :)

  2. Thanks for the heads up, Missy! this really helps. We will go to Gigantes next week.

  3. Hi Missy, may i ask who is the tourism officer, is the well known joel decano?

    Just curious because someone is referring him to us. we are planning to visit there next week. please advise.

    1. Yes. He is the tourism officer and OWNER of Hideaway Resort, that is the reason why he managed to monopolize the area to prevent competition.

  4. Hi missy,
    ow I'm sorry for what happened.
    We own our resort to we are located at Granada gigante norte, Carles Iloilo.,
    Our resort is in front of the sea shore if you want to go next time we can accommodate you.
    behalf of Jesa Beach Resort we are looking forward
    to do business with you and help promote our own place.
    Just message me at
    Jesa Beach Resort & Travel Services on facebook.
    Contact #
    we hope we will have a good business together

  5. Hi Sole of Missy,

    While I appreciate that I see contrasting ideas from my own, I wish to share my opinion on the points you raised. I hope my opinions are taken rationally.

    1. Monopolization.

    My Experience:
    When I reached Estancia Port, I already asked the locals for available resort at Gigantes Norte. I was informed about several options. Yes, several. Not just one. Because I asked. I didn't go with the flow. I have my own decisions in life. I didn't allow my being stranger in the town to let others decide for me. I chose Hideaway nonetheless because of co-passengers in the banca have the same consensus.

    Also, I honestly believe that being assisted by resort personnel is a way of monopolizing the business. It maybe a way for them to show the kind of service they offer. I find it a business strategy, which other resorts could have adapted. I doubt that the tourism officer doesn't allow the other resorts to do the same. When I arrived, the tourism officer resigned from his post to avoid any issues such as this. A clear sign of being partial?

    2. Cheap yet Expensive.

    My Experience:
    We spoke with the Hideaway staff Kuya Joseph, which is the brother of Joel Decano (the tourism officer). Right when we arrived at the resort, they gave us several offers. I arrived alone. Another couple arrived by themselves. He discussed the available package. 1 pax package for me costs P3600+ for 2N/3D. 2 pax package for the couple costs P3200+ for 2N/3D. Asked if we can get the 3 pax package, (I asked the couple first if its okay with them since we havent introduced ourselves yet), Kuya Joseph said yes. The 3 pax package costs P2325 per head inclusive of everything (island hopping, boatmen, accommodation, all 5 meals during the stay, habal-habal to lighthouse and caving, entrance fees to various private beaches like Antonia Island and Bantigue Sandbar). We thought if we did the costing/itemize expenses, we could have spent way more. The whole period, Kuya Joseph was very transparent.

    3. Guides are Unpaid.

    My experience:
    The fee for the our guide is inclusive in the package. Yes, it is inclusive. He even said that if the guests give extra as tips, they'll consider it as bonus, but its not mandatory. However, we felt we "needed" to give him extra because the services they rendered were way beyond what we expected. We even think our tip wasn't enough compared to how we were assisted in our stay.

    4. Unlikely Location.

    My experience:
    When we arrived at the shore, several habal-habals are already waiting for possible guests to their resorts. However, I already informed them that I intend to stay at Hideaway based on the recommendations of the locals. I'm glad I did, because Hideaway was the nearest resort from the drop off point. The next day, when we went to the lighthouse, that's when I realize how far the other resorts are. Hideaway seems to be the nearest for me.

    Gigantes Norte or Asluman is the scallops capital of Carles. There are tons of scallop shells all over the island. Everyone who visits the island should expect this. I did. Everyone knows the shores of Gigantes Norte is not the perfect spot for swimming, but instead the island hopping destinations like Antonia and Cabugao. It is in hideaway where I saw one of the best sunrises ever. I had no view of the sunset from the resort. The sunset is best observed at the other side of the island.

    5. Hidden charges.

    My experience:
    The only additional charges we had in our bill was the additional softdrinks we ordered. We actually felt we had more coffee than what was alloted to us (coffees are in sachet) but they never bothered charging us extra.


    1. Hi Obotology,

      Thank you for the well-written feedback. I am really glad that your experience was the exact opposite of ours. When did you visit the island? If your experience is in accordance with your recent visit (ours is more than a year ago), then I am really happy with the changes made by the resort. If you visited earlier than us, I am really sad that we failed to have the same kid of satisfaction. :(

      I seriously hope all their upcoming guests will have the experience as yours. :)

      Best regards,

      Sole of Missy

  6. hi missy. i can't seem to find other resort than hideaway. could you give me some names so i could inquire to them..

    1. hi, you can check mj's beach resort, rosewood place resort, and arjan beach resort. hope this would help

  7. Hidden charges? Tsk! Tsk! Thats why its called HIDEaway hehehe.

  8. Thank you for your thoughts, I have always been coming across blogs that always tells me that Hideaway is the best one. Glad I came up with your blog so I can spot on contrasting opinions and make my DIY Plan better.


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