Kookoo’s Nest: A Secret Beach Hideaway in Dumaguete

Here’s one place you must not miss if you come to Negros Island. In fact, Kookoo’s Nest is worth the trip all on its own. Striking sunsets, first-rate food and a lovely swimming beach are a few of the reasons Kookoo’s Nest is one of my favorite hideouts in the Philippines.



It’s a bumpy 90-minute drive from the airport in Dumaguete to Jamie and Nikki Ingram’s private beach in Siaton. You’ll be totally secluded out here, but the resort has its own boat and can organize dive trips or island-hopping nearby. Tambobo, one of the Philippines’ most tranquil bays, is just around the bend.




I wholeheartedly recommend the Toko Cottage if you love a little elevation, or the Hibiscus Cottage for more space and a sweeping view of the beach. The bamboo cottages at Kookoo’s Nest are a marvel of ingenuity. Jamie, who was a carpenter in a past life, has adapted the traditional Filipino nipa hut into a truly livable space strong enough to withstand storm season. There are only seven huts, some set on rocks above the beach, and a few on the sand. All have tidy bathrooms and spacious balconies with hammocks where you can wile the hours away.

>>MORE: 7 Fantastic Places to Stay in Bohol for Nature Lovers



You’ll never go hungry at Kookoo’s Nest. Nikki spent 15 years as a professional caterer for some of the music world’s top acts, including Prince, the Rolling Stones and Lenny Kravitz. The menu is wide — from Indian curries to Mediterranean cuisine, and of course, Filipino favorites (I’m still dreaming of their delicious fish goujons and the tuna and chickpea salad.)


Aside from doing nothing on the beach, you’ll also have the option to dive at nearby sites such as Balicasag and Apo Island. There are kayaks, heaps of fins, snorkels and masks (for rent) and an on-site library. Kookoo’s Nest has a charming little coral reef right in front of the resort, perfect for snorkeling, and the staff can arrange massages on request. Wifi is spotty but just good enough to book a ticket (or extend one so you can stay longer.) 🙂

Note: A cat and five friendly dogs also live on the property.


Kookoo’s Nest Review Summary

Access to Kookoo’s Nest is a bit of an concern (a private van from Dumaguete costs 1,100 pesos one-way) so you probably won’t be going in and out of the resort much. Ideally, this is a place where you come to kick back, eat well, have some lazy days by the water, dive or snorkel to your heart’s content and watch the sunset with a drink in hand. You’d be mad to miss it.

Rates: From 1,250PHP/night not including breakfast or transport.
Book at www.kookoosnest.com.ph or email: kookoosnest2@yahoo.co.uk

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