After landing in Tacloban airport in Leyte, we took a 3 1/2 hour ride to Calicoan in Eastern Samar. To be honest, as we approached the airport, and as I realized that this was not going to be one of those mega white sand beaches I’ve grown to expect in beach resorts, trepidation slowly crept in, and I braced myself for a big disappointed. But once the gates of the Surf Camp opened, boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise. It was a sprawling, grassy splendor of a resort, with greens everywhere, surrounding the cottages:
…and the larger villas, which surprisingly are just slightly more expensive than the cottages:
And I simply LOVED the cottage we ended up having! Hands down, one of the best rooms we’ve been to, regardless of price!
It was like a little house in the middle of paradise. And the interiors? Fantastic. It had this Mindanao/Bali feel to the interiors, and I love this rustic, yet homey style as opposed to the all-concrete styles of the more expensive resorts.
And the spacious bathroom was meticulously designed as well. I just adored the full wooden doors that enclosed the water closet and the showers! Never saw anything like that before! This resort just went straight into my favorite list, giving you these little things that contribute so much to the travel experience.
Another wonderful quirk in the design is the front wall of the room, which is actually a door that you can open out into the veranda where a butaka is waiting to ease you into a bukaka pose as you relaxingly repose. Later we asked them to put another butaka, and they graciously acquiesced.
The restaurant is in the center of everything. The size of the resort is perfect. Big enough to have enough space away from other guests, but small enough to not get tired of shuffling from one area to another. It’s the biggest, most imposing structure in the resort; you won’t miss it.
And the food is absolutely delicious!!! Definitely among the best resorts, food-wise (together with Halea Resort in Masbate and Coral Cay Resort in Siquijor). It’s nothing fancy, think really REALLY good home-cooked meals! We feasted on chicken/pork adobo, fried bangus, adobong pusit, breaded pork chop, chicken curry, and the apex of our dining experince there (and the singular meal I blame for my currently spiking cholesterol levels), crispy pata (with the token chop suey to assuage the raging guilt).
Seriously, I think I gained about 2-3 KILOS during our 4-day stay there! And after stuffing ourselves silly, there were many places where we could vegetate as much as we wanted. What was nice was the fact that we had the resort to ourselves for the entire 4 days! The last guests left on the day we arrived, and the next guests arrived, the day we left. But even if the resort was full, you can choose to lounge in many areas to escape the madding crowd, like that wonderful dock they have facing the strong Pacific surf:
Or you can hide in one of the pockets of white sand scattered along the shore:
And to save the best for last, the infinity pool that faces the ocean! During low tide, you just face a lot of exposed rocks. But during high tide, the exploding water from the waves crashing into the shore sprays the sand in its fury. This is where we spent the MOST time, soaking in the salt water pool (yes, they get the water from the ocean, filter it, then use it to fill the pool) until everything gets wrinkly. And I mean EVERYTHING gets WRINKLY (okay, TMI!).
As you can tell, it’s pretty obvious we loved the resort. But the biggest factor that made it memorable, in fact the best aspect of the resort, was the unmatched service of their staff. Hands down, the BEST SERVICE EVER, that I have ever experienced in my many travels, here and abroad. You go swimming, somehow they find out and they bring towels. At mealtimes, they find you wherever you are to bring you the menu so you can order and just go to the resto when the food is ready. When eating, they refill whatever needs refilling even before you ask for it. And when we failed to finish even half of one particular meal, they suggested to keep it for lunch the next day so we don’t have to pay for an extra meal. To get into the many things that impressed us about their service would take too long. Amazing, well-trained staff. I LURVE this resort to pieces.
Up next, I’ll tell you about our experiences in this unforgettable vacation!