If you pair the perfect setting and the willingness to move, you can create your own tropical paradise–Little Mermaid included. That’s what I discovered at The Danish Lagoon, a beach resort on the island of Siquijor, Philippines. Owned by Johnnie and Jimmy, a Danish and Norweigan duo, two best friends who recognized potential on this smallest island in the central Visayas region of the country, The Danish Lagoon is a mix of Scandinavian style and Philippino beauty.
A trip here was an unexpected find–a glance from the corner of my eye as we headed around the island after our ferry ride that brought us to Siquijor from Dumaguete, a city on the island of Negros.
“Let’s turn around,” I said, as we passed the sign “The Danish Lagoon Beach Resort and Hans Christian Anderson Restaurant.” Seeing Hans Christian Anderson’s name in Siquijor, the Philippines made a must-see-stop in my mind. I’m always curious when elements of one culture show up in another. Turning around was worth it.
Johnnie and Jimmy, who headed here from Denmark (Johnnie) and Norway (Jimmy), have used a Hans Christian Anderson inspired theme to create a tasteful, comfortable respite with the sea as a backdrop.
The resort, tucked back away from the main road in the midst of palm trees, consists of the Hans Christian Anderson Restaurant, a large, open air building that doubles as a bar, a swimming pool and one room villas set away from each other. The landscaping that includes walkways, young pinapple plants, and private cabanas situated on the shore for great views of the sunset add to the aura of privacy at each villa.
Don’t be too private though; Johnnie and Jimmy (and their wives, Randi and Lone) are great company. In between giving us a shot of their favorite liquour-it was from Italy and tasted a bit like anise, they told us how the resort came to be and how they’ve turned being resort owners into a lifestyle that includes caring for people, enjoyment and good food.
Their brand of enjoyment is catching. I didn’t want to leave. Before I did, I got a tour of the place that included a statue of the Little Mermaid. Johnnie commissioned a local artist to create a statue that replicates the one that looks over the harbor in Copenhagan, Denmark. The Danish Lagoon’s Little Mermaid also sits on a rock and overlooks that sea.
The villas also have a Hans Christian Anderson theme. Each are named after a character in one of his stories. The Ugly Duckling and Clod Hans made the cut. Along with the villas’ names, Danish decorating sensibilities are a feature of the villa’s furnishings. Clean lines and tasteful simplicty are reflected in the light colored wood beds (one queen and one single) that hang from the ceiling. The feel is modern and airy. Rooms come equipped with a flat screen TV with satellite, a private bathroom with hot and cold water, a refrigerator and air conditioning.
The Hans Christian Anderson Restaurant serves up international fare with a few Danish entries. People rave about the hamburgers.
If you want to go snorkeling, rent a motorcycle, take a boat ride or tour of the island, Johnnie and Jimmy will make arrangements. They will also arrange to pick you up at the ferry.
If I head back to the Philippines, The Danish Lagoon Resort is on my list for where to stay. Villa rates are 2,600 pesos a night. There is a 15% discount in June and July. These are the low tourist months. (Currently, there are about 43 pesos to a U.S. dollar.)
Photos and post courtesy of Jamie Rhein