5 Best Places To Stay In Siargao, Philippines

14 December 2018

After flying into Siargao from Cebu on Halloween 2018, we thanked our lucky stars we’d made no future travel plans in the Philippines. Booking internal flights in advance doesn't always work out as sometimes you end loving falling in love with a place and not wanting to leave, which is exactly what happened with Siargao! Previously we’d move on after 2-3 days, but we decided to make it our home for two weeks.

During our time there we discovered five amazing places to stay, so if Siargao is on your list of places to visit in the Philippines (and if it isn’t, what are you playing at?) then here’s a breakdown of hotels, hostels and Airbnbs you’re sure to love.

Located around twenty minutes from Siargao Airport in Pacifico, Bamboo Garden is a bar and restaurant that also offers lodging. We spent two nights in their Jungle House which sleeps five and is perfect for families, because it's across the road from Bamboo so the distance from the bar and restaurant means less noise and more privacy.

Unless you’re travelling in a larger group of friends or as a family, you can’t go wrong with a beachfront cottage. We stayed in the Love Shack! For 1500 pesos (around £22) per night you get to fall asleep and wake up to the sound of gently crashing waves, and the cottages are extremely comfortable with ensuite bathrooms. 

The communal areas make Bamboo as special as it is - the integrated bar within the restaurant is the perfect place to meet fellow travellers and there’s an amazing porch with sustainably made bean bags, dining tables and hammocks overlooking the Pacific ocean and white sandy beaches. Nothing beats watching surfers (from what’s essentially a double bed) knowing you’re only ten steps from a cold beer and fifteen from your own cottage. The owner George knows the island's best recommendations, plus he’s a pleasure to chat with thanks to his cracking stories and great sense of humour!

We often found ourselves staying in for dinner: partly because of the rain, but mostly because eating at Bamboo is a real treat! We’d recommend the omelette for breakfast, veggie panini (or one of the pizzas for two) for lunch and any of the curries for dinner - they do a divine vegetarian one, and the chicken mango is their speciality. 

Bamboo is home to an adorable puppy called Jake and three kittens which, along with the warmth and friendliness of the staff, makes you feel right at home. We found ourselves in a bit of a pickle as we wanted to head to General Luna but, having hired our scooter from Pacifico, couldn’t take it with us. George overheard us trying to figure out what to do and very kindly offered to drive us to the door of our new Airbnb the following morning!

One hour south from Pacifico lies General Luna, which is a popular spot for travellers (especially those who surf). Webb Brothers Residency is a family-run Airbnb business comprising of three houses, one of which is large enough for a family of six. Our stay, aside from the wifi being kinda slow and the shower pressure being kinda low, was absolutely perfect!

The host, Rebecca, is a gem - the kind of person you love within five minutes as she’s incredibly vivacious, and the chattiest lady you’re likely to meet in the Philippines. Her approach to the Webb Brothers Residency homestay was very much ‘if you need anything just shout’ and she even invited us for dinner at the house with her family the night we checked in. Along with her sister, she cooked the most delicious dishes and we had a fabulous evening with them, mostly spent laughing at all of Rebecca’s stories.

The house we stayed in is ever so comfortable - the air conditioning is superb, cooling the room down in mere seconds, and there’s a large fan in the lounge/kitchen area that worked really well also. You can hire a scooter from Rebecca’s for the going rate, which is ideal for nipping into town (this takes five minutes and is such a simple ‘turn right at the gate and keep going’ drive). It's wonderful to come home to the house as it's beautifully furnished and has a full kitchen as well as a dining table, so you get that lovely feeling that you're just as happy to stay in as you are to go out.

Next to Webb Brothers Residency is the Rum Bar which might be a noise concern for you, but General Luna operates its bars on rotation and it was only open one night during our stay. We’re in our early twenties and absolutely loved it as we got to have a dance and a few drinks with our friends without having to pay for a tricycle or taxi like everyone else did, and we even popped home for a twenty-minute disco nap in the air-conditioned room to cool down before heading back to the party. Pretty ideal for us but if that’s not your thing, it’s actually far enough away that the noise shouldn’t bother you too much.

The pool isn’t as big as it looks on the Airbnb page, but apart from that everything is accurately described and we couldn’t recommend a more homely and welcoming place. 

If you’re looking for somewhere livelier with a ton of personality, Footprints Hostel is a happy-go-lucky hub for those looking to make friends and it won’t break the bank, either. Especially good for solo travellers, the dorms cost between 890 and 1360 pesos per night and are really comfortable bunk beds with plenty of fans and a mosquito net each.

You feel completely safe, not only because of the security guard at the gate and lockers (bring your own padlock!), but because of the people. Every single person we met at Footprints was so genuine and kind, and we made such an amazing group of friends there that we decided to extend our stay in General Luna from two days to two WEEKS! The whole place has such a fun, chilled vibe and the cosy communal area is the perfect place to lay in hammocks, nursing your hangovers and laughing about the night before.

Eena, the current manager, is a total babe and always there to help with anything you need. Footprints has the most gorgeous golden retriever called Cerberus (aka Sir Bruce or simply Bruce), who you’re guaranteed to fall in love with even before you see him down at the beach in his little doggy lifejacket. Not kidding!

Make sure you book early, as Footprints is a popular place - we could only actually get one night there but we popped back every single day just to see everyone, hang out and make plans for the evening. A must-stay for anyone who loves their surfing and social life!

Siargao Residency is one of our highest recommendations, and if you’re cool with paying more for your accommodation then your money will be extremely well spent here. Staying in Ocean Breeze was so lovely - it’s the absolute perfect size for two people and, as with our Airbnb in Suquijor, our favourite part about it was the porch. With three big squishy sofas on decking, it was the perfect place to both eat our breakfast and chill in the evenings. Another personal highlight was the bedding, as the sheets were so soft and pure white that they wouldn’t have been out of place in The Savoy.

After one night in Ocean Breeze we were upgraded to the Two Queen house (£59 per night), and when the housekeeper Helen helped us move in my breath was honestly taken away! The place is huge (we had some of our friends from Footprints over one evening and the words ‘palace’ and ‘mansion’ were used a lot) and more than spacious enough for a group of five, maybe even six. The airy living space of sofas, tv, dining table and full kitchen with every utensil you can think of is great for entertaining and the bedroom doesn’t disappoint either, with two large double canopy beds and a big ensuite. 

If you require wifi, you won’t be disappointed with Siargao Residency - the internet was extremely quick in Ocean Breeze and we actually had our own router in the Two Queen house! Compared to literally everywhere else we’d stayed previously (and since) in the Philippines, this is a real rarity; not many places have it and even if they do, it’s usually extremely slow. Bravo, Siargao Residency!

All of the staff couldn’t have been more friendly, and there’s a security guard as well as CCTV so safety is paramount and the overall feel is a very relaxed and peaceful one. Our stay was genuinely faultless - we’ve nothing but positive things to say and again, if you’re looking for a Filipino Airbnb with more luxury then Siargao Residency is well worth a look. It’s located next to Siargao Bleu (say this to your tricycle/taxi driver and they'll take you right to the door) and countless lovely restaurants and caf├ęs, as well as Jacking Horse which is a popular surfing spot with stunning sunsets.

To see a less touristy part of Siargao, head twenty minutes from the centre of General Luna to Dream Getaway @ Siargao Islands, an Airbnb site with four properties found in a village mostly surrounded by tropical jungle called Union. If the idea of living in the jungle (but with clean running water etc!) appeals to you, then you'll absolutely love this property - and it's only a five minute walk to Union and Doot beaches!

The owner, June, is extremely friendly and gave us all the help and advice we needed. When we first arrived we were told to ask for Pastor Choi - he lives on the site and is possibly the most cheerful man you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting! We stayed in the Bayai#2 hut, which looks like a Filipino version of a fairytale Disney cottage complete with porch and white picket fence. This hut sleeps four with two bunk beds which were really clean and comfortable, and there's also a dressing table (honestly adorable), small bathroom and kitchen area.

The word 'getaway' within the Airbnb's name is key as it really is an escape from modern life and that's worth noting - be prepared to travel via scooter or trike, not have any wifi and live in a bamboo jungle hut that's very 'open' to the outside. As a result, you might be sharing with critters (we had mice in our room and a few big centipedes in the bathroom!) and there aren't any mosquito nets so make sure you stock up on some insect repellant.

It was one of the more fun, rustic places we stayed and that made it so much more interesting - as much as it's nice to have a luxury plush hotel room, it's much more of an adventure to feel like you're sleeping under the stars in the jungle! The staff, particularly Pastor Choi and Jenn, are so smiley and have a really cute little social area where you can buy snacks and play darts, and they also did our laundry during our stay.

We'd visit Siargao again in a heartbeat, and hope these recommendations help you decide where to stay during your trip! If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

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