We Filipinos have this superstition that when you have a mole on your feet, you’re a traveler. And so it’s been said that when I was a baby, my grandmother noticed a mole on my left heel and predicted I’d be warang (our dialect for wanderer) when I grow up.
Fast forward to two decades and my lola was right. I have become a wide-eyed wanderer who loves going places and discovering the beauty of the Philippines and the world one destination at a time.
The cottage was at the border of Les Maisons and Villa Presito, its neighboring property that’s also managed by the management of Les Maisons. As it was occupied during my stay, I did not go to the cottage itself since it’s considered owned by Villa Presito. I thus just contented myself with taking photos of the setting sun from Les Maisons’ beachfront.
I watched as the clouds turned to shades of yellow and orange before fading into shades of grey, then black.
It was cloudy the following day, so the sky was mostly plain.
Because the weather was perfect for swimming, I also spent most of the afternoon splashing around in the pool.
And on my way back to our cottage, chanced on this view.
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.
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.
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
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.
Since I became a furmom to Hobbes, my now three-year-old Shih Tzu, traveling around Cebu has become more challenging. If before I could pack my bags hurriedly and go to the beach or mountains on a whim, now I have to carefully research my destinations to ensure that Hobbes is well taken care of every time we travel.
Most if not all high-rises hotels in Cebu City and resorts in Mactan do not allow pets, so it was a joy to find these pet-friendly places. Note that most are a long trip from the city itself.
Bantayan Island’s Coral Blue Oriental Villas
On our first out-of-town trip, I brought Hobbes to Bantayan Island. We stayed at Coral Blue Oriental Villas, and we loved our spacious room, especially the native bathroom.
The resort wasn’t strict with its policies on pets. Hobbes was allowed anywhere and could roam around without a leash. Still, I was always carefully watching him because there were stray dogs in the area.
Bantayan Island’s Virgin Island We were here only for a day, but because Virgin Island also has rooms, I included it in the list.
Hobbes had a great time here running around, and yeah, making me run after him. Heh. The island is huge, and it was scorching hot, so halfway through our walk on their trail, Hobbes refused to budge. After resting for a bit and re-applying his Natural Dog Company Organic Pawtection, we continued on, with me carrying Hobbes half of the time.
Cebu City’s Solinea Resort Condominium There are several listings on AirBnB of units in Solinea Resort Condominium that allow pets, and during a much-needed trip to the city, I brought Hobbes with me. The place was perfect because it’s right across Ayala Center Cebu.
The only downside was that every morning and in the afternoon, I had to bring Hobbes downstairs for his daily walks and potty time. And because the condominium’s entire ground floor area was paved, I had to bring him to a vacant grassy lot fronting the HSBC building, which meant crossing the busy intersection.
Malapascua’s Tepanee Beach Resort This secluded resort in Malapascua is ideal for furparents like me because of its well-manicured gardens and private beach, both of which are perfect for strolling.
On our first two nights, we stayed in their standard room. It’s smaller than the usual guest rooms that we’re used to, but it had a balcony that Hobbes absolutely loved because it’s breezy in there.
On our third night, we moved to a De Luxe Room, which was more spacious and had a floor-to-ceiling window that afforded us nice views of the sea.
Hobbes loved this room and spent most of his days just looking out the window. He even took a liking to the side table outside and made it his own sitting area.
Some pet-related observations of Tepanee: they have house dogs, and while the ones inside the resort are docile and sweet, the ones in the restaurant – strays that they feed from time to time, from what the staff told me – are noisy and a little aggressive around other dogs because every time they saw Hobbes, they barked. Beware of cats, too, because even when they didn’t approach us, their mere presence was enough for Hobbes to go ballistic. (He dislikes cats and chases after them.)
Pet policy-wise, Tepanee was not strict, too. I was not asked to sign a waiver. Hobbes was also allowed everywhere, even in the restaurant.
Mactan Island’s Karancho Beach House We had our company outing here, and my colleagues and I were allowed to bring our pets. Unlike other pet-friendly resorts that allow only small to medium-sized dogs, Karancho allowed my staff’s Labrador and even let him swim on the beach.
Karancho also has several dogs and cats on-site, so be sure to always be on the lookout for your furbaby, especially if your furbaby is like Hobbes, who doesn’t like other animals.
Ronda’s Les Maisons D’Itac This place is perfect for a relaxing vacation with your furbaby mainly because its well-maintained grounds were perfect for daily walks. Just take it from Hobbes. From the photo below, one can tell that that indeed, he’s having a relaxing vacation at Les Maisons. Ha ha! Seriously, this baby sure knows how to channel his inner peace (and cuteness).
They’re not strict, too, of the places where pets are allowed. I initially walked Hobbes on a leash, but after assuring me that Tracy, their resident dog was harmless, I let Hobbes wander around the resort on his own.
Our two-story accommodation was right by the beach. It’s very spacious, and I especially loved the four-poster king bed. The balcony below had unobstructed views of the sea, which was really awesome.
Aside from the vast space for dogs to run around in, there were various nooks and crannies, too, that were ideal for taking photos.
Les Maisons D’Itac also had several strategically-placed hammocks, and during this trip, I discovered Hobbes’s love for them. He especially loved being rocked gently on them, and I think it’s because he loved the feel of the wind. Several times, he even napped on them for hours!
Mactan Island’s Solea Mactan Resort
Solea Resort used to allow dogs because that’s where Hobbes and I stayed during my birthday last year, but when I checked again early this year, they said they no longer allow pets because some pet owners refused to follow their policies. When I probed, they said that these owners, even when they signed a waiver, allowed their dogs to swim in the pool. They also did not clean up after their pets. I was aghast when I heard this. Because of some irresponsible owners’ behavior, we suffer the consequences, which is really sad because the resort, with its spacious grounds and private beach, would have been ideal for furmoms like me.
Hobbes especially loved their grounds, so it’s really unfortunate that pets are no longer allowed here as this is one of the resorts nearest to where we live.
These resorts and hotels usually do not allow dogs, but after telling them that Hobbes is well-behaved and pretty much well-traveled, they allowed him to stay with me provided that I agree to their conditions.
Liloan’s Rosario Boutique Hotel We stayed here during the COVID-19 pandemic. We had been cooped up at home for nine (9) months, so when we found out that a friend works here, we booked a room after she assured us that I could bring Hobbes.
To bring Hobbes, I had to bring his stroller so I could hide him, which was a hassle since their elevator was small. The staff were nice, though, because after observing that Hobbes did not bark at all and just kept to himself, they allowed him to just be on his leash whenever we went out of the room.
The hotel was small, and there was nothing to do in the area. Our room did have a good view of the sea.
Moalboal’s Kasai Village Dive Resort We were here last month, and while they initially declined my request to bring Hobbes, they relented when again, I told them that Hobbes is pretty much well-traveled and with updated antirabies shots and vaccines. Their only request was that the bed would be off-limits to Hobbes so I had to bring his own bed. As an added precaution, I also brought a waterproof bed cover so the bed is protected if Hobbes hopped on the rather low bed.
Our Sea View De Luxe room afforded us nice views of the sea, though Hobbes was more interested in running around the garden fronting the balcony and in sniffing among the bushes because he did see several cats roaming the place.
He loved the beachfront, too. Only two (2) rooms were occupied during our stay, so we had the place to ourselves since the other guests were usually out for their daily dive.
I’ll end this post with what I consider the most pet-friendly resort in Cebu. Just a disclaimer: I work and live here, so this is Hobbes’s home in Cebu.
Mactan Island’s Plantation Bay Resort and Spa
With its 11.4 hectares of landscaped grounds and private lagoons and beach, Plantation Bay is the perfect destination for everyone, including pooches. Everywhere and I mean everywhere, is Instagram-worthy, especially when you have a furbaby like Hobbes who knows how to pose for the camera.
From the paved roadway to the tennis court to the main pools and lagoons, pooches will have a wonderful time walking or sniffing among the bushes or just bonding with their hoomans.
Hobbes especially loved Savannah Park, which is where most of the resort’s facilities are located.
Sunrises in the resort are also one of the loveliest on the island, as these photos can attest. Usually, the nicest sunrise shots can be taken from the natural beach or the west lagoons since they face the beachfront.
Even sunsets in Plantation Bay are quite captivating, though usually, I am unable to capture them with Hobbes as my model because he usually has his walks early in the evening.
Among the pet-friendly resorts that we’ve been to, Plantation Bay has the strictest but most transparent guidelines on pets: they ask for a copy of the pet’s pet passport/vaccine certificate to ensure that its antirabies shots are up-to-date. They will also ask you to sign a waiver. Some no-nos concerning pets include not leaving the pet alone in the room and not letting the pet swim in any of the lagoons, pools, or even the beach and indoor sections of the restaurants and shops.
Pets are allowed, though, in the outdoor sections of the restaurants, which is really nice. Here’s Hobbes with his takeaway cup, of which he is the model. Heh.
I’ll end this post with one of my favorite photos of Hobbes that’s taken in Plantation Bay.
Edit as of April 2021 In addition to the above, Hobbes and I have also been accommodated in these pet-friendly staycation farms.
Adlawon Vacation Farm (AVF)
While Adlawon allows dogs in their property, they do not allow them inside the restaurants or guest rooms. As I wanted to check in, I asked that they consider, and they did! They let me bring Hobbes but advised me not to allow him on the bed. Below are their policies pet-wise.
Hobbes loved walking around the farm and barking after cows, a carabao, and goats. He loved their swings, too.
Read my full review of Adlawon Vacation Farm here.
Serenity Farm and Resort This has become one of our favorites! Here’s Hobbes chilling on the swing by the pool at sunset.
This is their policy on pets: Small and medium-sized dogs are allowed in the property. Swimming is not allowed. Must be leashed in common areas since resident dogs are roaming the property.
Serenity has 3 restaurants and 2 were open during our stay. Both allow dogs. Here’s a photo of Hobbes in Serenity Cafe.
And in Liel’s Kitchen, the Japanese restaurant.
As I’m always on the lookout for pet-friendly places, I will just update this blog from time to time.
The Natural Bridge’s name is taken from a rock arch where water from a waterfall along Cave Creek flows through. This was our next stop after Hinze Dam.
We passed by a rainforest to reach the arch, and these are just some of my favorite photos from my walk.
We passed by some bridge and creeks too, and signage like this made my walk more interesting.
When we reached the arch, I marveled at the unspoiled beauty before me. I spent some time here just listening to the sound of rushing water, relishing the views that I didn’t have to share with a lot of people (I was in Gold Coast in winter).
I just wish I came here at night, or at a season when it’s glowworms season… I bet the whole experience would be magical. I saw glowworms in Chicago’s Field Museum once, and it was amazing. How much more if I observe them in such a natural setting?
Nevertheless, I loved my views, especially when I went inside the cave and was greeted with these views.
While working on this post, I found out that there are a number of falls at Springbrook Park, and I got to see this before we left.
For more information about the National Bridge, click HERE.