I believe that the cure for everything is salt water—sweat, tears, and the sea. And I had just that over the weekend. I was feeling sluggish, uninspired, and just about to hate everything and everyone when I decided to be spontaneous and hie off to Fantasy Lodge. Chris and I want to come here, and I was like, why not check it out for myself first?
I haven’t been this far up south. Fantasy Lodge is in Samboan, about 4 hours from the city by bus, around 3–3.5 hours by car. My son and I took the bus because I didn’t like driving somewhere I wasn’t really familiar, plus I couldn’t enjoy the views. My butt hurt from the long ride but the views along the way were worth it. I just told the bus conductor to drop us off at the resort. We left the terminal at 7 am, and arrived at 11 am. I instantly felt better as I stepped off the bus—a good sign.
I knew that I would be hungry as soon as we arrived. Good thing I asked them to email me their menu in advance. I texted them my orders an hour before we arrived.
Their food prices ranged from 100–300. The menu was a combination of European and Filipino. Patience was required when waiting for the food. It could take an hour if the resort is full. It is best to order in advance, and tell them what time you want your food served. The servings were just enough. I loved their food, except for their beef steak. It was too bland, could use more salt. The garlic prawns were perfect! I was too embarrassed to order extra rice haha! The resort is earth-friendly—they don’t use plastic straws but bamboo straws instead.
The resort has a beach front and a pool. Stone steps lead to the beach. It wasn’t that far down, but be careful when going down as some steps were covered in moss. The beach wasn’t big, but the waters were clear. Less sand, more pebbles. Tip: wear aqua socks. It was like having your own private nook. There were hammocks, a perfect reading spot.
The pool was small. I didn’t think it is suitable for people who don’t know how to swim. The shallow part was around 3–4 feet, deepest at 9 feet. I’m not sure if they provide floaters but I did see some people wearing them. The resort has no lifeguard. Look out for your kids when they go swimming. Please, no drunk diving.
This sojourn wouldn’t be complete without a kawa (cauldron) bath and a massage. One of the reasons I chose this resort was because of the former. It’s a must try when visiting this place. The massage was for 800 pesos ($15), and the bath 500 pesos ($10). If you decide to have both, package price was 1150 pesos ($22). It would be best to have the bath first then massage. The bath was for 45 minutes, but they let me stay on for more than that as there was no one else trying to avail it. The water was infused with coconut and mandarin oils. My skin was so soft afterwards, and my hair smelled like oranges. It is best to drink a lot of water before immersing in the kawa bath. It is not recommended for people with heart disease or hypertension. Have the massage around 430 pm. The sunset view from that vantage was stunning, I forgot whatever problems I had.
Talisay Spa was located just above the bath. It overlooked the sea, and the waves lulled me to sleep. I swear the whole resort must have heard me snore haha! It was heavennnnn!
The place was perfect for a short hiatus from the city. It was very conducive to writing, reflection, and relaxation. The resort has wifi too, for those who can’t disconnect from the world. They have karaoke (Chris, take note), but they won’t let people use this if there are other guests (good call!). The rooms weren’t air-conditioned, but they have fans. This wasn’t a big deal for me as it was cool and we didn’t really stay much in the room anyway. If you want to splurge, the resort has this air-conditioned room with your own balcony, sauna, and jacuzzi, perfect for couples.
Chris, where the fuck are you, come home already!
The things I didn’t like about our stay were the towels and the shower. The towels smelled musty and old. I hope they fix their shower heads too. There was an issue with our toilet—it wouldn’t flush but this was remedied in a jiffy. Major kudos to the staff—they were so friendly and helpful, would even go out of their way to make your stay memorable, truly world-class hospitality!
We arrived there when there was a full moon, and it was perfect! I could see fireflies at night. We would have stayed for one more day but a big group arrived, which sort of broke the spell for me. Would I come back? Definitely! I could lucid dream there all day!
To Get There
Go to the South bus terminal. Look for the Bato via Barili airconditioned buses. Fare costs 215, and the trip takes 4 hours. Buses leave in a 30 minute interval. Better leave early, say around 6 am or 7 am.
Barangay Dalahican, Samboan, Cebu
Mobile 0917 7006027
- Free breakfast for two, but the light breakfast. You order additional items like bacon for around 70 pesos.
- Resort is pet friendly, which is really great!
- They don’t have a credit card terminal, but they accept paypal payments. Nice huh? Bring cash as there are no ATMs nearby.
- It is better to book in advance.