Spend your summer getaway in Andana Resort Guimaras

Andana Resort is a taste of tropical paradise
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Andana Resort Guimaras Review

Guimaras, Philippines —My trips to Western Visayas were mostly limited to Iloilo and its city capital, so the only thing I know about its closest neighbor island, Guimaras, is that it is the Mango Capital of the country (it exported to both the White House and the Buckingham Palace).

Guimaras may be small, but remarkable destinations and beautiful beaches abound here. The province is also the Mango Capital of the Philippines.
Guimaras may be small, but remarkable destinations and beautiful beaches abound here. The province is also the Mango Capital of the Philippines.

I’ve read and heard a lot about the province over the past few years, but I never really considered putting it on top of my travel bucket list. It’s not that I don’t find it beautiful (it actually is a tropical haven, as I found out after this trip), but I’ve been told that there aren’t too many resorts in the area.

Of course, if you’re traveling either solo or with friends and family, the first thing that you search for when going someplace is accommodation. In my case, and thank heavens I got lucky, I didn’t have to because I was sent to Guimaras for an assignment by a newspaper company. I was honestly not expecting much, so just imagine my shock when I first saw the Andana Resort Guimaras tucked in the coastal municipality of Nueva Valencia.

The first first-class resort in Guimaras

Nestled at the center of the mountain with lush forest on both sides, the Andana Resort is like a secret cove that looks onto the clear serene waters and turquoise sky of Guimaras. Watching the hazy summer sun disappear into the horizon as wafts of salty air touch my sand-soaked skin was simply memorable, and it is definitely an experience you should try for yourself.

Andana Resort is a taste of tropical paradise
Andana Resort is a taste of tropical paradise
In leafy surroundings and with direct access to a sandy beach, this relaxed hotel is 10 km from island views and ruins at the abandoned Guisi Lighthouse, and 24 km from Jordan Wharf ferry terminal.
In leafy surroundings and with direct access to a sandy beach, this relaxed hotel is 10 km from island views and ruins at the abandoned Guisi Lighthouse, and 24 km from Jordan Wharf ferry terminal.

Hotel Location

Andana Resort is located in Sitio Talisay, Poblacion, Nueva Valencia. From Iloilo, you can take a 15-minute pump boat ride going to Jordan Wharf in Guimaras from the Iloilo City harbor or Ortiz Wharf. Fare for this costs Php14.00 as of this writing with operations at 5am-6:30 pm daily. If you’re coming from Bacolod, go to Pulupandan Wharf then take a pump boat to San Lorenzo, Guimaras. Travel time is around 45 minutes and the fare is Php75.00. The ferry leaves 5 times a day.

Andana Resort in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras
Andana Resort in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras

From Jordan/San Lorenzo, there are vehicles that you can hire to go to the resort, like Airconditioned SUVs that starts at Php600/one way trip. Andana Resort also offers transports from any part of Guimaras starting at Php1,200 to Php2,000 (max of 8 per van).

Take note that there are no direct flights to Guimaras, and the cheapest way to get there is by booking a flight to the Iloilo International Airport, which is the nearest, or the New Bacolod-Silay International Airport.

Moments before sunset, where the sky bleeds out colors over the horizon
Moments before sunset, where the sky bleeds out colors over the horizon
Moments before sunset, where the sky bleeds out colors over the horizon
Moments before sunset, where the sky bleeds out colors over the horizon

The provincial capital, Jordan, is about a 30-45 minute drive from Andana. Here, you can see the Mango Research Center; the Smallest Plaza in the Philippines, as per Guinness Book of World Records; the Trapist Monastery, and Museo De Guimaras. There’s also the San Lorenzo Windmill Farm and the historical Guisi Lighthouse.

While you’re at it, don’t miss out on restaurants like Olivia’s (that sells the famous mango pizzas) and Biking’s, a little diner that serves fresh seafood.

You have the option to tour these destinations via jeep, multicab, or hotel van rentals.

Arrival experience

There were four hotel staff at the lobby when I arrived on the morning of March at the resort. They quickly offered me coffee and water and they asked me how my trip was as they prepared my room.

The resort’s receiving area is spacious, and there are comfortable sofas that you can sit on just parallel to the small pasalubong center also in the lobby. One of the bell boys, I assume, assisted me with my luggage right after his colleagues told him my room number. He was also quick to extend a cold towel to me.

A taste of tropical paradise in Andana
A taste of tropical paradise in Andana

 

A taste of tropical paradise in Andana
A taste of tropical paradise in Andana

Rooms

Like I said, I wasn’t expecting much before I set foot in the property. However, it just keeps on surprising. The Poolside room, where I stayed in, was sparkling clean and spacious, and the outdoor patio overlooking the infinity pool and the blue sky outside was just mesmerizing. There’s an intricate sliding door woodwork that engulfs the space with a beautiful silhouette.

Guests are welcomed with flowers upon check-in. The rooms in Andana Resort have a calming blue and white interior, one that resonates with the calming view of the sky and the pool just outside of their floor-to-ceiling windows.
Guests are welcomed with flowers upon check-in. The rooms in Andana Resort have a calming blue and white interior, one that resonates with the calming view of the sky and the pool just outside of their floor-to-ceiling windows.
Andana Resort Poolside Suite
Andana Resort Poolside Suite

There was also a wreath of flowers and a small card wishing me a pleasant stay with the resort.

A trek down the steps to the beach area leads to the accommodation pods— air-conditioned and compact private dwellings for a maximum of three people that opens out onto a small terrace all facing the beach. Like the Seaside suites, the pods are also equipped with a flat-screen TV with cable channels and all the standard amenities you would find in a 4-class hotel.

The beachpod room
The beachpod room

For those looking for a bigger villa, there are two Presidential Suites with more space area and personal Jacuzzis. More interesting is the luxurious Seaview One-bedroom Suite aboard a boat owned by the resort in the ocean.

Beachpods
Beachpods
Beachpods
Beachpods

For those looking for a bigger villa, there are two Presidential Suites with more space area and personal Jacuzzis. More interesting is the luxurious Seaview One-bedroom Suite aboard a boat owned by the resort in the ocean.

Living area of Presidential Suite
Living area of Presidential Suite
Ocean-view Suite
Ocean-view Suite

The firm behind the property, R.G. Simbulan, is responsible for outfitting the interiors of Shangri-La Boracay and Shangri-La Fort, Resorts World Manila, as well as Grand Hyatt Manila and Sheraton Manila, and a number of hotel projects in the Middle East and Maldives.

Food

Andana Resort has two in-house restaurants: Estrellita and Danilo’s al fresco dining bar. Both offer scrumptious Filipino dishes from starters to mains.

Danilo's Beach Bar
Danilo’s Beach Bar
A Filipino breakfast and pancakes served with a side of sweet Guimaras mangoes
A Filipino breakfast and pancakes served with a side of sweet Guimaras mangoes

In Estrellita, I recommend the Chicken Binakol (sweet and savory) and Pinakbet (with plenty of succulent pork and just the right amount of bitterness). For seafood, there’s Sinigang na Hipon, Sinigang na Isda, Shrimp Rebosado and Buttered Shrimp—fresh from the islands’ fisheries.

Danilo’s Beach Bar was named after the founder of the resort, Mr. Danilo Ang. Here, have a bite of gambas and sisig and enjoy your personal concoction of tropical alcoholic drinks.

Resort Facilities

For adventure junkies, Andana offers off-site activities such as snorkeling and diving. The use of the Water Park and water sports equipment can be arranged at the front desk with an additional charge, but the resort also offers deals that will be included with the guests’ accommodation package.

The infinity pool is often empty, so I didn’t really have to worry about people watching me as I pose for many Instagram photos.

The inflatable waterpark
The inflatable waterpark
The pool
The pool

WiFi is available in all areas of the property and is free of charge while parking spaces will also be reserved to guests upon check-in. Airport shuttle services will also be provided with an additional charge, as well as the use of the business center. The concierge and the 24-hour front desk will be available to extend assistance with booking meeting/banquet facilities inquiries, etc., and general inquiries.

Departure

Departure was a breeze because the checkout process was orderly and quick, all thanks to the attentive staff manning the desk. They also offered to buy mangoes for me from a farm and it only cost me Php120/kilo of sweet, nearly-ripe mangoes.

The Andana managerial team, Mr. John Michael Vinas, Ms. Mary Jane Galero, and General Manager Benedict Bryan Alava, were all there to wish me safe travels as I loaded my baggage to the van and I am grateful to them for this gesture.

So, to sum it up, I had a very relaxing stay in Andana. It kept me away from the bustle of city life, even for just a few days. It was all I needed to restart my pace and give myself the time to clear my mind.

Van rentals to and from anywhere in Guimaras are offered by Andana Resort
Van rentals to and from anywhere in Guimaras are offered by Andana Resort

For bookings and inquiries, visit the Andana Resort website at http://andanaresort.com/ or reach them at +63 917 726 3262 and +63 933 582 1903 – 05

Guests can choose from four types of accommodations: the Beach Pod (Php6,670), the Poolside Suite (Php10,120), the Seaview One-bedroom Suite (P23,920), and Presidential Suite (P33,123). [Updated Rates and Availability]

Rates include an overnight stay for two with breakfast and discounted rates in the inflatable waterpark at Php399 per hour.

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