Inaladelan Island Resort: a tropical paradise

Inaladelan Island Resort: a tropical paradise

Yes, it was once an island meant for treasure hunts, or so the locals say. But from then and now, one thing stays: it’s Eden on earth.

The name might be a bit of a tongue twister, but make no mistake: Inaladelan Island Resort in San Vicente, Palawan is a place you’d want to visit and spend a night in once you’ve had a taste of it.

A bird’s eye view of Inaladelan Island. Photo by Harvey Tapan

It’s usually a lunch stop for tourists on an island hopping tour of Port Barton Bay. A private resort, Inaladelan (still referred to by some locals as German Island) is a 12-hectare island that’s about  20 minutes from Port Barton and 30-45 minutes from San Vicente, by boat.

It has a 300-meter white sand beach and waters so clear you can see the bottom even if you’re standing at the shore. Just a few meters from the shore is a turtle sanctuary, where you can see sea turtles grazing on seagrass during their hatching season (October to April).

Beach beds and hammocks underneath palm trees give you a place to rest from the sun. There’s a large pavilion towards the back if you’re looking for a place to eat. It’s also a great place to meet new people as there are visitors that come during lunch.

Sleep

This is one of their many camping tents that they let their guests sleep in. Photo from Inaladelan Island Resort

Camping is the way to go at Inaladelan Island. They provide you with camping tents that have foam beds and pillows for a comfortable night’s sleep. It’s as raw of an island camping experience as it gets. Step out of your tent in the morning and wake up to a beautiful view of Port Barton Bay.

Eat

Since you’re on an island, you’ll be served with grilled meat, fish, or poultry. It’s all cooked fresh on the island for dinner and breakfast for overnight stays and lunch if you’re only on the island for the day. You can have your meals served in the pavilion, though we suggest you go with a dinner-by-the-beach for a more romantic vibe.

Grab a refreshing cocktail by their bar and chill underneath a palm tree. Photo by Harvey Tapan

There’s also a bar right on the island where you can get drinks in case you’re thinking of having a few cocktails or shots to spice up your stay.

Do

You can frolic on the beach…
Photo by Harvey Tapan
… or go beneath the waves and swim with the turtles. Photo from Inaladelan Island Resort

Apart from spending the night camping on the island, you can also go for a round of beach volleyball with your mates or swim with the sea turtles. Have the staff set up a bonfire for you at night for a complete camping experience.

Verdict: 8/10

It’s an island escape you’d definitely want to try at least once. The idea of camping on a tropical island and sleeping underneath the stars.

The basics
Php2,500 (USD50) per person for overnight camping (minimum of two people). The rate includes roundtrip boat transfers from Port Barton or San Vicente, a tent, foam bed and pillow, and dinner and breakfast.
Php1,000 per person for day visits (minimum of two people), which includes entrance fee, roundtrip boat transfers, and lunch.

Inaladelan Island Resort, Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan
Inaladelanisland.com

Go artsy at this new hotel in Makati

Go artsy at this new hotel in Makati

Colorful walls, delicious food, and free premium Filipino coffee—all in one convenient Poblacion hotel.

U Hotels on the tailend of Burgos Street in Poblacion is quiet on the outside, but it will take your breath away once you step inside. It’s all of 62 rooms adorned with murals made by local artists. The lobby alone is a work of art, with “Hello” splayed on the beam in different languages. Greens and browns set the mood.

The Lobby Lounge of U Hotels Makati. Refreshing, minimalist, and with little creative and eco touches. Photo from U Hotels Makati.
If this isn’t a boutique art hotel, we don’t know what is. Photo from U Hotels Makati.

Most people might not consider it a boutique hotel, but its 62 rooms adorned with murals made by local artists beg to differ. The location is almost central to where you’d want to stay in Poblacion, with everything is not more than a 10-minute walk away.

Sleep

There’s one word to describe my room: simple but given life by murals. It checks the basics—a great bed, a place for your stuff, TV, coffee making facility, an arm chair, and a mini-fridge.

But there’s more to it qualifying as artsy than the murals, say, the wooden headboard with short messages on it.

With the room having the basics covered, it really lets you enjoy the little things. Photo by Andrew Del Rosario

Eat

They serve comfort food at The Lobby Lounge that’s familiar to Filipinos, like their smash hit beef pares (the beef is good enough for two to three people based on “classic” pares servings) and what they like to call Just Noodles, inspired by a Taiwanese dry noodle dish that you’d find on the streets of Taipei.

They call it Just Noodles, but it’s definitely not just noodles. Photo by Andrew Del Rosario

Just Noodles is a dry noodle dish that may seem like a hodgepodge of what you’ll find in a kitchen but is surprisingly good: medium thick egg noodles with minced beef, peanuts, and what we’re calling a Filipino-style sunny side-up egg (crispy sides that are on the edge of getting burnt).

That’s a big bowl of beef pares, arguably the most requested thing on the menu. Photo by Andrew Del Rosario

Drinks at The Lobby Lounge include sodas, lemon-infused water, tea (viand changes every day), and their trademark premium roast Filipino coffee barako, the local Liberica, served free to every hotel guest.

Do

Visit the oldest church in Makati, the Sts. Peter and Paul Parish; go on a food or pub crawl;  swing by Circuit Makati and while the time away in the skatepark or football pitch; or trek to the Ayala Triangle Gardens for a quick run. If you feel the itch to draw or paint, take an art class offered daily at the hotel at 4pm.

Show your room card to some of their partner establishments in Poblacion and get a discount.

Verdict: 8/10

The basics
Rooms start at Php6,000 (USD30) per night without breakfast
5091 P Burgos Street, Makati City
Uhotels.ph
Facebook.com/uhotelsmakati
Tel: +632 820 1000 to 02

Words: Andrew Del Rosario

Solo beach trip at Misibis Bay

Solo beach trip at Misibis Bay

Albay doesn’t necessarily scream “beach vacation,” even though it is next to the ocean. Can Misibis Bay change this?

Let’s get one thing straight: the province of Albay isn’t known for the beach. It’s got a gulf named after it, but unless you venture out to its neighbors Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, and Camarines Norte, it’ll be tough to say “I went to Albay and enjoyed the beach.”

Yes, the conditions weren’t perfect, but it’s still a sight to behold especially from the balcony…
… or from your room.

That is the case, of course, unless you go for an hour-long ride outside the city and go to this resort called Misibis Bay or go to any one of its off-the-beaten beaches. I braved the rain and the possibility of not being able to go home from a lack of available buses to Manila in hopes of experiencing a beach vacation… in a place known for a volcano with a perfect cone.

Sun and sand

Misibis Bay’s secluded location doesn’t really hide the fact that it’s a big resort since they offer a shuttle to whiz you around the property. It has over 100 rooms, with views of either their garden or the Pacific, and 37 villas spread over a five-hectare island that can only be reached by their private shuttle.

I call this “back beach” because it’s not their main beach area

The beach isn’t as sprawling as you’d expect, but it’s definitely up there in my list of “places I’d rather be” as far as beaches are concerned. It’s not (and probably might never be) crowded because of the number of guests they get, which lets me do the things I enjoy doing at the beach: take photos, relax under a beach umbrella, and throw a flip or two.

Comfy rooms, good views

I say good views because it depends on where your room is, but views from their Standard Pacific View rooms aren’t something you can scoff at. These rooms give you a sunset that’s close to what you’d get at a resort in Boracay or Coron—all from its own balcony, no less.

My Misibis Bay room was bigger than our living and dining room at home combined

The room itself is quite spacious. The room I got had enough space for two to four guests, what with two double beds and all. It had two bedside desks and a coffee table in front of the door towards a small balcony, which gave it a sense of having more room than it should.

Two double beds good enough for as many as four people

It felt as big as a one-bedroom condo unit thanks to how the bathroom was done: you had a big bathtub right in front of a mirror that’s longer than my height.

Good food, not enough options

I’m not the biggest fan of Bicolano flavors due to me not having eaten Bicol cuisine as much but I did expect a good spread. Their menu has Bicolano specialties, but with most of them being unavailable and their focus being on the buffet, the a la carte menu was sort of left to the wayside. Truth be told, I was left wanting more.

Also, who can’t say no to views like this? Photo from Misibis Bay

That’s not to say the food wasn’t good; the buffet spread that night was satisfying, but it wasn’t enough to rave about, though that might have been because of the number of guests they had that night (there was a wedding the following day).

I’ve heard good things about Spice Market’s (the name of their resto) Misibis Beef Steak Tagalog, made with Angus beef that’s been marinated in lemoncito. One personally liked that they’ve got their own bar offering homemade cocktails.

Final words

Misibis Bay might just convince you to visit Albay for a beach vacation. The price may be steep but they can guarantee exclusivity. Spacious rooms and IG-worthy views add to its value, but the lack of food options lets the resort down unless you go for private dining.

It definitely made me see Albay as a beach destination, the kind where one prefers quiet ones.

The Basics
From Php12,927 (USD250) per night for two, room onl
Misibisbay.com
+63917 599 1606/+63921 487 3869

Get there
Book for your shuttle to Misibis Bay (Php1,370 per adult) once you book your room. Ride a bus bound for Legazpi, Albay from either Cubao, Pasay, or Alabang in Manila. Head for Hotel St. Ellis from the Legazpi Grand Central Terminal by tricycle (Php40 per ride) where you’ll then be picked up by their shuttle.

Words and photos by Andronico Del Rosario

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