I'll be the first to admit that the Philippines was not high on my travel bucket list. I've heard great things about their beaches but with us being more of the 'go go go' type of travelers, beaches alone didn't draw me in. With the Philippines being just a short four hour flight from Korea and with tickets as low as $150 per person, it's the perfect getaway for a long, or even in our case, a short relaxing getaway.
We stayed at the Tipolo Beach Resort in Moalboal, about two hour drive south of Cebu City. While I admit, it's nothing luxurious with basic rooms including a bed, wardrobe, mini fridge and nothing else, the genuinely friendly staff and ocean views far made up for it.
The hotel has a total of eight rooms, three of which offer prime ocean views. But don't worry, they are all close enough to the water that you can fall asleep to the sound of the tide breaking against the shore. And that alone is worth the four hour plane ride.
I can't speak highly enough about the staff here. They go out of their way to help you and to make sure that your trip is everything you hoped it would be. Many times we sat around chatting with the staff after eating or while we sat by the ocean. This is part of the reason I love staying at smaller accommodations. You have the chance to get to know the staff, their lives and more about their culture.
They also had absolutely amazing food! (that's the most important part right?) Breakfast, lunch and dinner, residents from other resorts walk over to try their food. Wood-brick oven pizzas, mango smoothies and....well we stuck with that because once you find a good thing you should stick with it right? The staff also introduced me to a new drink. This probably isn't new to anyone else but the concept of mixing beer and Sprite blew my mind. Finally, a beer drink that I can get behind!
As a part of the hotel, they also have a side business, Planet Action Adventures. You can sign up through the hotel to go on day excursions like repelling down waterfalls (what we picked), river climbing (what we want to do next time), horseback riding, mountain biking, and city tours. Below is a picture of the beast that took us to the waterfall location, custom built by the hotel workers.
On our last day, we called a 'tricycle' to come pick us up and take us to the taxi stop. These are extremely popular here and both tourists and locals alike use them. Pretty much a small cab attached to a motorbike or bicycle. A great and cheap way to get around.
Some of these tricycles serve as food vendors. My favorite by far were the ones that served up fresh pastries. You could see locals carrying around huge bags of these and at only 5pesos(12cents) each (seriously guys...12 cents for fresh pastries. My jaw literally dropped when I converted it), I was stocking up too!
Stay tuned next week when I highlight repelling down waterfalls and our motorbike road trip through the pouring rain!
Linking up with Lisette