Monthly Archives: March 2021

Ronda, Cebu: Les Maisons D’Itac

We stayed here for three nights in January this year and during our visit, had the whole place to ourselves.  

The rustic and tranquil ambiance was what made me choose Les Maisons for my first out-of-town trip for 2021. Isn’t this inviting?

Our room
I booked the Maison Ulysse because I fell in love with it when I saw its photo on Airbnb. I love homey accommodations, and the room’s distinctly Filipino touches added to its charm. 

Of course, the four-poster bed is another plus point for this room.  

It had a spacious couch, too, that’s perfect for lounging, especially during high tide since it’s right in front of the window that opened straight to views of the beach.

I love listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, and because Maison Ulysse is by the beach, throughout our entire stay, the sound of the sea was my lullaby every day.   

The bathroom was spacious, with native décor and shell accent. There was no hot water, though, and the toilet would not flush on our second day.  Good thing they fixed it promptly. 

Maison Ulysse has two floors, with the bedroom on the second floor and a spacious living room on the ground floor. 

The al fresco ground floor living room was my favorite spot in the afternoon since it’s perfect for sunset-watching and listening to the sound of the crashing waves. Its couch was also so comfy that on my second night, I slept here after dinner and woke up late in the evening only because it’s gotten cold.    

The food  
Breakfast is included in the room rate, and here’s a photo of my set Filipino breakfast

Over-all, the food here was good and the serving generous. I’ll just make a separate post about Les Maison’s home-cooked meals next time.   

The Pool
Les Maisons had one freshwater pool that overlooked the sea.  

It’s a little small and deep, so if you have small children with you, make sure to watch them. 

As we were the only guests during our stay, we had the pool for ourselves. On the third day, however, about 5 people visited the resort to check the place, and their voices could be heard all the way to my room. I surmise that when the resort is full, the pool gets crowded and its tranquility compromised.  

The Beach 
The resort had a private and well-maintained beach. 

Though their beachfront was rocky.

The water was also brackish, and the seafloor even felt mucky sometimes, especially during lowe tide, so make sure to bring beach sandals when swimming here.

This was my favorite part of their beach because of the sandy shoreline. 

Other Room Types
Uphill, the resort had two villas that could accommodate bigger groups. Each villa had its owns swimming pools, too. 

The smaller rooms were located near the lobby. There’s one room, too, on the second floor of the lobby, but I forgot to take its photo.  

While I still felt our room, Maison Ulysse was the loveliest of all the rooms in Les Maisons, if you are a couple who want a smaller room than the villas, choose these ones. They’re air-conditioned, too.  

The Hammocks
Hammocks were strategically placed around the resort, and my favorites were the ones by the pool and the one on the ground floor of Maison Ulysse.  

Here’s Hobbes chillin’ like a boss.  Ha ha!

Sunsets
The resort had excellent views of the sunset (but not of the sunrise). Here are some of my favorites.

The best vantage point for sunset-watching was by the beach or pool, though on my second day, I was rewarded with this view of the yet-to-sen sun while chasing Hobbes on the hills.

At Night
It’s very quiet here in the evening, especially considering that we were their only guests during our stay. But the pool was perfect for night swimming.  

At Dawn 
We were here in January, so mornings were always chilly. But the cold weather was perfect for a stroll, especially by the beach because it was the high tide, so the sound of the crashing waves was incredibly soothing. 

The Gardens
Les Maisons’ gardens and landscape were well-tended.  

Every morning, the staff were consistent in sweeping the lawns and watering the plants. Everyone was so polite and would always greet us.

Here’s a photo of my favorite flower in the resort. 

Pet-Friendly
Aside from the rustic ambiance, my other factor for choosing Les Maisons D’Itac was that they’re pet-friendly. They were also not strict with their guidelines as they let Hobbes roam the resort without a leash. A friend who stayed just this month was even able to have her dog swim on the beach. (Hobbes didn’t because he hates the water.)

Random Photos
These are just some random photos I took at Les Maisons. As the weather was mostly cloudy, even rainy, during our stay, most of these photos look bleak.

Minor Refurbishments Needed
I’ll end this point by pointing out that while generally well-maintained, it’s still evident that the resort was undergoing some difficulty because of the pandemic. It’s understandable, though, for establishments to put off some refurbishments to save resources during this time.

As examples, the mosquito net in my room had holes and needed replacement and so does one of the window stands.

But what I found really inspiring about the resort, its management, and owners was that even during the pandemic, all the staff were on duty; if they had no guests, they were asked to till the lands of the owner and their friends. As per the manager, this is something that they made sure so that people would have a source of income during these trying times. Isn’t that heartwarming?

For its ambience, service, and excellent management, I highly recommend Les Maisons D’Itac.

Hobbes Turns 3!

It’s Hobbes’s third birthday last week – on the 18th, to be exact – and instead of vacationing somewhere to celebrate it, we decided to just have it at home as a precaution to the rising COVID-19 cases in the province.  

We invited our favorite hoomans, and I had fun decorating what was once Plantation Bay’s Penthouse Suite.  

The motif was blue, with Hobbes dressed like a prince. Okay, not really a prince, but he just wore a crown and had a “It’s my Gotcha Day!” bandana courtesy of LifeisPawsomeShop (LiP). Here’s Hobbes, all set to welcome his guests.    

Food-wise, we had lechon belly, chicken inasal, and lumpiang shanghai from 4A’s Lechon. I also ordered Pancit Malabon from Daniella’s and ube and yema cakes from Cardinal. Hobbes had a personalized birthday cake from Bubbabakes, too.  

Isn’t the cake amazing? It showed Hobbes’s trademark tongue-out smile.    

He also received tons of gifts from me and my friends and his vets. Here he is, looking so pleased and princely. Ha ha!  

More photos of Hobbes in his nook.  

And a photo of him with his gifts all lined up so we could account for all and later send our thanks to his godmothers and friends.    

He received several plushies, which are his favorite toys, treats and dog food, clothes, new bandanas, a personalized harness from The Rosey Collective, another harness from Zeedog, and grooming essentials from Aroma Paws.   

There were so many presents that they didn’t fit on our picnic mat!

In the evening, his vets from Animal Wellness visited him, too.  We had dinner in Plantation Bay’s Fiji Restaurant.   

Happiest birthday, Hobsie! While people always say that you’re such a lucky dog, I feel that I’m the luckier one because I have such a well-behaved and smart furbaby. 
 

Cebu: Adlawon Vacation Farm (AVF)

Hobbes on the Cocoon Swing, perhaps Adlawon Farm’s most photographed feature.

We stayed here for a night, and it was one short vacation that stirred up fond memories of my childhood.  You see, I grew up in the province and being in Adlawon Vacation Farm was like being home in Aklan, where trees and not buildings dotted the land and the crowing of roosters signaled the break of dawn.   

The Lodge
This is the main structure on the farm. It houses the restaurant (Kusina Luche), two (2) function rooms, a library, lounge and entertainment center, a view deck, and the guest rooms.

The Lodge also serves as the reception/Front Desk area.

Our Room 
I loved our quaint room and its country-style furnishings. I did find the beds small, though.

The workstation was nice, too, but as I was here on vacation, I did not bring my laptop. The TV even remained untouched because while here, I spent most of my time outdoors, just taking in the smell of fresh air and enjoying the views.  

The bathroom was spacious, but its shower was weak, especially the hot water. 

Other cons of the room include the smelly mini-ref and the noisy air-conditioning unit.  Since the lodge is right under the restaurant, I could also hear footsteps and the scraping of chairs.   
 
All-in-all, though, I was pretty satisfied with our room and my stay.   

Room Details:  
Rate: Php 5,000 per night 
Inclusions: room and breakfast for 2 
Check-in time: 1 PM 
Checkout time: 12 NN 

All three (3) rooms are located on the ground floor of The Lodge.

Note that pets are not allowed in the room.  They allowed me to bring Hobbes only when I agreed to make sure that I would not let Hobbes hop on the bed and the sofa.  They also asked me to bring his own bed.  I did more than that and even brought a waterproof bed and seat covers; these are, in truth, unnecessary because Hobbes never had any accidents inside the house and especially not in the room or the bed.   

The Food in Kusina Luche
Everyone online raved about Adlawon’s food, but I was disappointed with 2/3 of my dining experience here. 

I ordered Chicken Sisig for lunch, and I found it sweet, with more dollops of mayonnaise than I would have liked; I prefer sisig that’s salty and a little spicy.

My buko juice was also bland.   I also would have preferred it served in its shell instead of in a mason jar. 

The only meal that I liked here was my dinner.  Their Lechon Kawali was perfect!  The pork skin was crunchy while the meat and fat were soft.  I loved the banana fritters and atchara, too! 

The guyabano (soursop) shake was also good, with just the right amount of sweetness to counter its natural sourness.   

I had homemade corn ice cream for dessert, and while it tasted good, I didn’t like its consistency.  It wasn’t smoothly blended and seemed like it underwent a cycle of being frozen, thawed out, then frozen again.   

My breakfast was my most disappointing meal here.  The lady who took my order the night before mentioned that their chorizo was homemade, so I ordered it for breakfast.   

It was served dry!  And the hot chocolate tasted too diluted and served lukewarm. Too bad, as it would have been nice to sip it slowly while taking in these views.

They also served my breakfast late.  We agreed on a 7 AM serving time, but it was not served until 7:20 AM.  I also ordered a hard-boiled egg for Hobbes, which they forgot so I again waited for another 15-20 minutes. 

Despite my disappointing experience on the food. I’d still recommend Adlawon’s Kusina Luche for its hospitable staff and ambience/views.

Price-wise, I found it reasonable. Here’s the full menu.

The Farm Itself 
The farm is huge, as one could tell from the map below!  It has a mini-forest, gardens and nurseries, animal pens, camp site, orchards, and even a chapel and its own station of the cross. 

Hobbes was such a ball of energy during our stay here.  It was his first time to see other four-legged animals, so it was amusing to see him whine or bark at goats and horses and a carabao.    

Here’s a slideshow of some of the farms other facilities:

If you have children, the farm has a game arcade and playground. They’ll love the animal encounter site, too.

I just didn’t take a photo, but aside from the above, Adlawon has an aviary and a stable.

I just didn’t take photos but aside from the above, Adlawon also has an aviary and a stable.

Celebrity Steps
This is another popular feature of the farm as seen on countless photo shoots. Of course, Hobbes had his picture taken here, too.

Catching the Sunset 
Always the sunset-lover, I headed out of our room by 5:30 PM in hopes of catching the sunset, but I was afforded with just these views of a pastel-tinged skyline. 

Still, it’s pretty, don’t you think?   

Moonrise 
We were lucky that during our stay, the still-not-full moon clearly showed itself.

Here are photos of Hobbes with the pastel-colored skyline and the moon as his background.

At Night 
Nighttime here may be boring for some because there’s nothing to do.  If, however, you’re like me who loves to stargaze and listen to the chirps and buzzes of insects, then you would love it here.

Tip: Bring an insect repellant if you plan to be out at night here.  

Good morning! 
Considering my (lack of) sunrise experience here, I didn’t know if there were sunrise spots in Adlawon, so I wasn’t keen on waking up early. Fortunately, Hobbes has his own body clock so by 5:15 AM, he woke me up so he could go out for his morning business.

And I was glad he did that, because outside, I was greeted with this view:

Still unsure of the sunrise spot, I just chose to follow the orange-tinged sky.   
 
I was glad I did that because I was rewarded with this view at the Organic Farming area.

I continued my morning walk and found the perfect spot for sunrise-watching by the thickets of bamboo near the Mango Swing.  

I got lucky, too, that there’s a carabao here as it framed my photos nicely. Here are my favorites.

The Swings 
These are my favorite feature of the farm.  I spent most of my hours here reading a book.  Hobbes, too, loved lounging around while enjoying the breeze.   

This one is my favorite because Hobbes looked so chill, like a haciendero enjoying his lot in life. Ha ha!

AVF Farmer’s Market  
Aside from plants, the market sells fruits and vegetables that are guaranteed fresh and reasonably-priced.  The ladies manning the market were also friendly and accommodating.  

 
Here, I friend asked me to buy her soursop and three varieties of the mayana (Coleus blumei) plant.  I also bought boiled peanuts – a treat that I haven’t had in years – and a pot of mint.   
 
If you’re into souvenirs, Adlawon sells handmade bags and mugs and pasalubong items like olive oil, vinegar, cookies, and pastillas. I recommend the pastillas.  

I would have loved to try their Olive Oil, but both were out of stock.

Guidelines on Pets 
While pet-friendly, Adlawon does not allow dogs inside the restaurant or the room, as previously mentioned. 
 
But pet parents need not worry because they have a designated pet station.   

Refer here for the complete pet guidelines: 

Before I end this post, I’m sharing this tip: if you don’t want to stay overnight and just wish to dine and take photos, avoid coming here during the weekend and on holidays when the place was teeming with people.  When we were there, people started arriving in batches from 11:30 AM to 6:30 PM. 

For more information about Adlawon Vacation Farm (AVF), visit their official Facebook page  or contact +63 942 266 7392.