Sunday, May 21, 2017

TRAVEL | Jaynet Ocean View Resort (Boljoon, Cebu)

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Mornings be like...

Yes, that view from our room is definitely the selling point of this resort for me. This is Jaynet Ocean View Resort in Boljoon, Cebu, which was our home for three nights while we checked out the Boljoon Church and surrounding heritage structures, toured neighboring towns, and simply enjoyed some Vitamin Sea.

How was it? Here's a rundown of our experience.

Booking and check-in
I found Jaynet on Booking.com and made my reservation there. It wasn't an instant confirmation, however, as this resort doesn't have an online payment facility. I had to make a 50% downpayment via bank deposit. But once done, it was confirmed right away. They respond quick enough to emails but I often had difficulty getting someone to answer the phone, which is a mobile number, by the way.

Upon arrival I filled out a registration form and was asked for the remaining balance upfront. Our welcome was very informal but be reminded that this is a really small resort with only four rooms, so throw all your fancy expectations out the window. We were led to our room in no time.

Design and ambiance
Set on a seaside cliff right by the highway, the resort is a single multi-storey building with a pretty straightforward design. It doesn't look much from the road, and entering the premises was devoid of any wow factor, what with gravel-strewn grounds and a rather narrow passageway leading to the main deck that faces the sea. But once you get there, the views are spectacular.

The walls are painted white while the roof, balustrade, and railings are in royal blue. The windows are also tinted blue. For a second there I was reminded of the many Santorini-inspired resorts across the country except that Jaynet isn't one, as it doesn't have the characteristic arched walls and domes of such design. Nevertheless, this resort perfectly matches the rich hues of the sky and sea.

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In the colors of Santorini, but the resort is no design copycat at all.

Although open for about a year now, the resort isn't finished yet. There's still some construction going on in the lower level, and by the looks of it they still have a long way to go.

Our room
As mentioned the resort only four rooms, and save for slight differences in layout, they're all the same with two queen beds each. Ours was on the upper level and it's a big room so to speak.

There's a small table and a pair of chairs, perhaps for in-room dining, while a couch is tucked in a corner by the window. Meanwhile a slew of different figurines sit atop a chest propped against a wall. There's no closet in the room, so I suppose the chest exists in its stead. In another corner is a mini-entertainment system with TV, CD and DVD player, and speakers, which we never even turned on. But if you feel like watching movies, you can borrow DVDs from the front desk. There's WiFi but I gave up after several failed attempts at connecting.

There's no coffee-making facility but I was given the freedom to get behind the counter cum front desk anytime and help myself with mugs and hot water. I had my sachets of instant coffee ready for our caffeinated nightcaps, so it was all good.

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Nice spacious room.

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The huge glass windows allow lots of natural light in the room.

The bathroom was okay although I find it ironic that for all its generosity with space, they could only afford a small toilet. Sure it's functional but I find it too small for me. Water pressure was mostly weak and the water was warm even without a heater. Blame it on the hot summer sun heating up the stainless steel water tank outside. The drain could use some de-clogging, too. And maybe they can replace that plastic suction soap dish.

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Yes, they marked the sockets with a permanent marker. ALL the sockets throughout the resort.

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Never mind that rug and shower mat but they really need to replace that plastic soap dish.

For all this room's faults, you'll all forget about them once you see the unobstructed view of the sea from its multiple tall glass windows. This singlehandedly made my booking this room worth it. I mean, just staring out into the sea, watching the occasional fishing boat pass by, or having the moon in full view at night, can be a wonderfully relaxing experience.

If any at all, I wish they have wider curtains because they don't fully cover the windows. No matter how we enjoy the view, we still need some privacy sometimes.

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I feel like I'm in an aquarium or something, and my shorts are some bright coral.

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Varying shades of blue. Just...wonderful!

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The full moon in full view at night. I swear it's the moon; I just used my phone for this shot.

Dining
Jaynet doesn't have a full-service restaurant and by default, they only serve breakfast, which is the typical fried rice and egg with your choice of tocino, longganisa, corned beef, and the like. However, they can serve you lunch and dinner with prior notice. There's no defined menu but they'll tell you what's available so you can choose.

On several occasions we've had pork chop, chicken curry, chop suey, and pansit canton, and they were all fairly good. I may be biased, though, because I love black pepper and I'm glad that the cook is a pepper monkey. They

Meals are served in a common hall right outside your room. There are two such spaces, one on each floor, both of which have that same sweeping view of the vast blue sea. The upper level, however, has a glass door that opens up to a terrace facing the highway and lots of trees--just in case you want a break from all that blue.

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This is where we have breakfast each morning. There's some trees outside that door in case you want a change of scenery.

Facilities and amenities
The resort doesn't have much other than a couple of inflatable boats for rent. They're building a swimming pool several steps beneath the main deck but it's nowhere near completion yet. But who needs an artificial pool when there's a huge natural one down below? Boljoon may not be blessed with the best white, sandy beaches but they sure have really clear waters teeming with marine life.

Jaynet itself doesn't have a beach. It's already water once you get to the base of the resort's cliffside structure. But there's a single cottage perched atop a mound of rocks and concrete where you can rest your things and lounge in between dips. And since you can't sunbathe anywhere here, your next best bet are the view decks. Too bad they don't have proper sun beds. On second thought cooling off can be a problem since it's a steep descent to get to the water, and then back up.

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Father and son bonding.

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This would be the pool. And it's huge!

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Even from a distance, it's apparent how clear the waters are here.

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Jaynet's lone overwater cottage. But they probably need a couple more in case all their guests decide to take a dip at the same time.

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Simply beautiful, don't you think?

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That crack on the dike worries me, to think they're building a pool.

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Don't you just wish you could walk on walls like this crab?

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I wish they had sun beds so I could work up a tan.

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These tents on the roof deck, I really don't know what they're for. It's kinda weird that the poles are fastened to the concrete.

Now if things get a little boring here, the resort staff can arrange some transportation for you so you can go on tours. They got us a van when we went to Samboan, Oslob, and Alcoy. They also arranged our ride back to Cebu City. Payment is made in full with the resort right before each trip.

Check out
Checking out was pretty quick. Since our accommodation was already fully paid for, we only had to settle incidentals for food and our ride back to Cebu City.

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Hues of the afterglow, punctuated by the gorgeous full moon, as seen from Jaynet's main view deck.

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In hindsight
It may not be the fanciest of resorts but Jaynet Ocean View Resort has its strengths. The fantastic views alone that it affords guests already compensate for anything else it lacks somehow, not to mention how spacious the rooms are for the price (we got ours at Php 3,000 a night, with breakfast).

But of course they could always use some improvements here and there, like replacing that soap dish in the bathroom and putting some sun beds on the view decks. And please, get some proper labels for your 110V and 220V sockets because those handwritten markings are a disservice to your immaculately white walls! Food and beverage can likewise be improved. Should guests feel like eating anytime, there should at least be some easy-to-prepare items on the menu.

Overall, Jaynet wasn't bad a stay at all, and I wouldn't mind booking a room here again.

GETTING THERE:

From the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City, take one of the buses bound for Oslob or Bato. If the latter, make sure that it's via Oslob, not via Barili because that's on the other side of the island. Travel time is around three hours or so, and fare should be a little over Php 100.

Although Jaynet is just along the highway, getting off at the right spot can be tricky. It's way past the town proper, just a few meters after Boljoon National High School and past a small cemetery. But to be safe, you can just get off at the town proper. Just ask the bus driver or conductor to drop you off at Boljoon. From there you can take a tricycle or habal-habal (motorcycle) going to Jaynet. Sometimes they won't recognize it when you say "JAYnet," so better if you say it with an accent: "JInet."

Alternatively you can just arrange for a van to take you straight to the resort. Though expensive, it's much more convenient.

For inquiries, email jaynetresort@gmail.com.

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