It has been a little over three weeks as of this writing since I’ve been to the beautiful island of Siargao and a truly remarkable stay at Tres Islas Hostel but I still can’t move past over the paradise, the sundown rhythms and the amazing people I’ve met. Right now I’m at the stage of my life where I try to put all of my might to move on from any unpleasant experience but when I get into a spark of significant and worthwhile moment – the memory stays, every moment matters, I enjoy every second of it, I want to make it work not just for me but with the people around me. This still must be separation anxiety but in a really positive way, I have loads and loads of fun memories from my stay that even if I’d notice a slight flaw, either I’d try or be responsible and do something about it or I’ll have that “Hey, really? This is island life!” kind of attitude. Just because it is “leisure travelling” or “a well-deserved vacation” or even an ultimate travel goal achievement doesn’t mean one shouldn’t be responsible at all times, I’d tell more below. Here’s the Part 3 of 5 of my Siargao travel experience, spilling some really good stuff on Tres Islas Hostel, not just with their wonderful hospitality but also some insights on why I think the business ticks led by the owners and husband and wife Keith and Mari Nuyad. Just like the first two parts, this is not just me sharing a travel guide but rather my travel perspective.
On this age where digital technology can boost your business more than word of mouth and fast forward your brand’s market relevance in a few months’ time, I’d say Tres Islas Hostel is doing a fine job and that is pretty impressive. I first encountered Tres Islas Hostel at Booking.com website when I was looking for my accommodation. I filtered five nights stay at Siargao with budget of maximum of Php 1,200 or $24 per night particularly with a Single Room with Wi-Fi, results then showed Tres Islas Hostel and it immediately caught my attention. Although they only have room photos, there is something special here – the photo is vibrant, the angle of the shot is good, the color and the furniture looks modern and above those mentioned, the rooms look clean and new, it is inviting that way. Curious enough, I wondered if they have a Facebook business Page where I can see more of the place, the services or packages, more importantly what people has to say about the Siargao hostel. So I searched on Facebook and they have a Page with a cool profile photo, and as I checked the content, I was literally wowed. The basic information is complete, the Shop or product promotions are organized and comprehensible, the layout and theme of posts are engaging, cohesive and timely plus there is already a number of excellent Reviews and recommendations with just two months of operations – the Page is thoroughly well-maintained with a decent number of post Reactions, post Shares and Page Likes. I confirmed my booking for my entire stay thru Messenger alone as I got some of my clarifications answered in less than an hour and the communication (like setting of expectations, explanations, etc.) is better because you get near real-time and accurate responses. To complete the social media experience, Tres Islas Hostel also has an Instagram account (@tresislashostel) where it similarly posts on both feed and IG stories some best sights in Siargao, their lodger feedback and awesome shout-outs to their guests featuring their one of a kind selfie booth.
Settled at the heart of Barangay Catangnan of General Luna near old Tourism road, Tres Islas Hostel is ahead of the busy streets of the municipality yet still accessible to the best tourist spots of Siargao. It is approximately 5 to 10 minutes away from Cloud 9, one of the best surfing spots in Siargao, and the main area of General Luna if you’re riding a motorcycle, while some say it is 15 minutes away if you walk – that I haven’t proven, I was only able to reach Catangnan Fried Chicken restaurant by foot and that was for sure more than 15 minutes, so I don’t know maybe there is a shortcut somewhere. From Sayak airport, the hostel is around an hour away, while 1.5 hours away from Magpupungko. As the hostel is situated by the rough stone road around 5 minute walk from Tourism road there is no diner nearby so you better pack up some goodies if you’re that food junkie. Renting your own bike to navigate through General Luna and the rest of Siargao is the best option or also commuting through “habal-habal” as bike drivers pass by the rough road and they know the place.
Now here’s the fun part. Tres Islas Hostel is like home away from home, it has the basic amenities and at the same time you get to appreciate your privacy without getting intimidated of the place. I think that exemplifies the homey feel and the welcoming quality of the hostel which is what you want in the first place, plus come to think of it, it is a budget Siargao accommodation which means you already get a lot more with what you paid for, that alone is a huge win. Tres Islas Hostel has that modern island lodging design with furnished wood enhancements. Let’s now get to the rooms, if I counted correctly they have three single bedrooms, three double bedrooms, four dorm rooms (with five bunk beds) and one triple bedroom – all spacious with beds clad in vibrant sea blue sheets and a towel for each. The private bedrooms have life-size mirrors and four electrical sockets while the dorm rooms have two electrical sockets per bunk bed, all of course equipped with air-conditioning. Each washroom has two toilets and three shower areas and also the hostel have an open dining area with kitchen complete with tables/chairs, fridge, cooking and eating utensils, water heater and free drinking water – didn’t I tell you it is homey? There is also receiving area, enough parking space for the bikes and a place outside where you can hang your wet clothes to dry. Oh, I’m not done yet, my favorite room by far is their large lounge area equipped with fridge for cold drinks where you can really hang out on your own or along with the staff and other guests while connected to their Wi-Fi, haven’t I told you they have free Wi-Fi? The best feature of the lounge area is of course the walls, there is no better hand-painted art painting to put up there than a map of Siargao Island. The whole is place is clean which you can expect as the hostel is fairly new but what’s astounding that I’ve observed was that, most if not all of the guests in all fairness are responsible in a way, like they washed their dishes, fixed the tables, arranged the chairs, kept the washroom clean and kept the noise down. Talk about adulting here!
As to every business whether big or small, old or new, top-rated customer feedback or more importantly nowadays – excellent customer relationship, is both essential and critical. Tres Islas Hostel owners Keith and Mari are both hands-on with responding to messages, getting along with and receiving the guests, and even accompanying the guests during events and different activities. While the owners are exhibiting incredible efforts for their guests to enjoy their stay, their staff is of equal matched when it comes to hard work.
I got to hang out with Ven, Tin and Chris whom are all outgoing, intellectual and sharing the same passion of Keith and Mari in taking care of their guests. Ven, whom I got to have more face time than the two, has up his sleeves a thing or two with working and managing people. He received and welcomed me to the hostel, after showing me around and he managed to break to me the fact that on my first night I won’t be staying to the Single Room that I’ve already booked. I ended up getting an upgraded room due to a booking mixed-up from their end, but that was not what stroked me, the manner by which Ven delivered the news to me calmly and the reassurance in his voice and gestures made me realized that first, they were able to spot on the mixed-up prior and second, they already have a favorable solution for me. The upgraded room was just the cherry on top, how Ven pulled it off is something that not everyone can do and he did it quite genuinely well.
Another thing to note was, Ven this time joined by Chris drove me under freezing wind and rain with the three of us on motorcycle just to tour me to nearby Siargao spots. It all started when I had to stay behind (since I can’t drive) while the rest of hostel folks went and drove themselves to Wake Park Siargao and to different tourist areas around General Luna. Tin somehow regretted the fact that I can’t join, talked to Chris and Ven, and they offered for me to rent a motorcycle while they’ll be the ones to drive it. It was so nice for them in the first place to consider me to still get to experience the short tour let alone offer to drive me. I mean it is not really part of their job to drive me, so with that kind of offer, of course how can I say no? So joined by Ven, Chris drove the motorcycle, first headed to the Wake Park while we were joined by Keith, Mari and a guest couple. After Wake Park, we head to the coconut tree farm view, and that’s when it started to rain which lasted the whole trip. We rode under the cold wind and drenched from the rain for almost an hour, and it didn’t stop there, we also got a flat tire on our way back. I have only but appreciation for the two for still accompanying me and continuing with the trip even with the bad weather and they didn’t let me feel at all that it was my fault or anything. They were even kind enough to get a new bike, and for Ven to grant my request to drop by the one and only ATM at General Luna for me to withdraw cash. What happened next? We caught up with the rest of the hostel folks at Cloud 9, chilled out and drank beer by the beach until nighttime then we had dinner at Catangnan Fried Chicken where we were joined by most of the hostel guests. It was like a one big family dinner and then we partied at midnight. Like for real, I mean how cool was that?
It pays to have a really great team work and collaboration with the staff and to add to that, moments like these build really good relationship with the guests or customers. To turn your guests into friends is one thing but to eventually bond with them and turn them into family is such a grand feat. You don’t get to have that kind of lasting experience every day, and it was truly spectacular and special in a way. The value for money is completely way off the charts.
I forgot the fact that Tres Islas Hostel just had soft opening last October 12 that I was surprised when I first arrived there that the place is basically still under construction. The second floor area is almost complete where more rooms were built and is targeted to be finished towards the end of first quarter of 2019. That and with the continued tourism progress on the island of Siargao, I can’t be more excited with how the success will be sustained and with what the future holds for Tres Islas Hostel, maybe a bar or a café spot by the reception area perhaps? Hahaha!
So there goes the Part 3 of my Siargao travel experience with two more parts to come featuring my island-hopping experience with my hostel roomies! Thanks for reading!
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