Sights & Sounds: Eden Resort, Santander, Liloan, Cebu
Cleanliness of room
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Location of resort
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Service of staff
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During my trip to Cebu, Philippines, we practically resort- hopped our way around. And let’s just say, alas, my definition of a resort is widely differing from what I experienced whilst I was there.
On the bright side, having stayed in so many different resorts within my 2 weeks in Cebu, I would imperatively hit the bull’s-eye on a resort that I would especially love, right? Eden Resort was one that left a better memory to the whole trip in Cebu!
To be honest, a reasonably good resort/hotel you come back to after a long day of exploration is definitely much needed. We do need to pamper ourselves once in a while, and of course not at an overbearing costs to the wallet! I believe we can have the best of both worlds; we just need to search a little deeper to find good deals!
Away from the city, surrounded by serenity, it was definitely a vacation close to paradise at Eden Resort in Cebu, Philippines.
How to get there?
From Cebu City, you can take the bright yellow Ceres public buses at Cebu South Bus Terminal; located near Elizabeth Mall. Get on the bus that is bound for Oslob-Liloan Terminal or Liloan Port (you can stop at small villages en route to Liloan too).
The place you should be looking to alight is at Liloan Port. This is a mini bus and ferry port a.k.a Puerto Del Sur Passenger Terminal, Lilo-an Santander Cebu. You do not need to be afraid if you do not know where you should alight because this Liloan Port is the terminal end for the Ceres bus!
For more information on how to get there, click here and read ‘How to get there? + TIPS?!; Option #2: Cebu City to Liloan (Santander) to Dumaguete to Bohol’:
Once you are at Liloan Port a.k.a Puerto Del Sur Passenger Terminal, walk for approximately 10 minutes and you have reached the resort! It’s actually very convenient!
|Room type we stayed in||Twin Room|
|Rate/night (PHP $)||3695|
So what exactly are you paying for at PHP $3695 a night at Eden Resort?
Well, for starters, the enticing ocean view with your own private balcony! And when night falls, you hear (other than the resort bar close by playing slow music and people chitter-chattering away) is the gentle crashing of the waves against the shore just below.
Oh boy is that calming; especially when you close your eyes and abandon yourself to the sea breeze brushing against your skin. Everything just seems to fall into place perfectly- like you were always meant to be there. Now that is an experience that is behooved when on a relaxing vacation, isn’t it?!
The interior design of Eden Resort is not like any of your modern day resorts. With rustic brick tiles as walls that are so irregularly stacked, the entire room just gives off somewhat a bucolic, yet Egyptian Mummy lair style kinda vibe, in my opinion. The somewhat modern(ish) rattan furnituring of the chairs and tables add a hint of beach and homely vibe to it too. I would say all is in a perfect cosmos.
Apart from complimentary breakfast meal set each day, and free WIFI access at the restaurant, Eden Resort also provides complimentary mountain bikes for their guests to explore the quiet humble vicinity! That could be something you can add to the itinerary of things to do!
Things to do around Eden Resort?
1. Whale Shark Watching
Because the location of Eden Resort is close enough to Oslob, where it is famous for the Oslob whale shark watching experience, we got the resort staff to arrange for us a car ride to the place for some whale shark watching! Whoo Hoo!
I honestly cannot remember exactly how much did we each fork out, but I would say approximately PHP $ 500?
What I do remember vividly is what is inclusive of the amount we paid: the entrance fee, the mini sampan boat ride, snorkelling gear etc. Basically, a one time payment to the Eden Resort staff will settle any miscellaneous payment later on at the whale shark watching site! This provides a pretty hassle-free experience as there is not need to bring any money along with you. Just your swimwear, and a swim cover-up! Even towel is provided for your afterwards!
So it was my first time encounter with this sort of without-barriers-wildlife-viewing, hence for me, it was both enthralling and nerve-wracking all in one! Now let me bring you through my seem-to-be-mere-5-seconds-lightning-flash-past whale shark watching experience! It was so quick, it ended even before it started!
Basically, upon arrival, you would sit in for a short briefing to be held by the staff on the rules and regulations. For instance, you cannot swim too close to the whale shark, for very obvious safety reasons for both yours and the animals’.
After which, you would make your way to the sampan boat, which could hold about 5 odd passengers (excluding the boatman). The boatman would then paddle you out to sea. It is not very far off shore though. So if anything really does happen, well I don’t know, at least there’s comfort in knowing that you could swim for your life back to shore? Oh wait, add swimming with the whale sharks back to shore to be exact! 😛
There would be other boatmen already there within the whale sharking watching site and these men were task to feed and lure in the whale sharks from the vast sea early in the morning.
With the whale shark enticed by the food thrown into the sea by the boatmen, I recall there were a herd of close to 15 odd or more whale sharks gliding through the waters gracefully below our sampan boat! It was amazing and heart-racing!
Then the clock started ticking. Once our sampan was hovering at its designated spot, the boatman would have already made a mental countdown to 30 minutes for us to jump into the waters to see the whale sharks. Well, not really jump with a huge splash, but maybe slowly enter the waters? You don’t want to scare the whale sharks now do you?
In short, you only have half an hour to conquer your fears of the open waters, and jump enter gracefully into a sea with a zillion whale sharks swimming with you.
Yup, totally not afraid. Totally. #yeahright
In hindsight, it was actually quite manageable, you just gotta get over the initial fear of the whale sharks swimming with you, and all that is separating you and the whale sharks is well… … NOTHING! ;P
I recall one instance when a whale shark was swimming towards me with its jaws wide open. Oh goodness me, its mouth was so huge and deep, I panicked! Luckily the boatmen distracted it with the food, and it made a turn and swam in the other direction. Gheez… …
Overall, it was an unforgettable experience, with loads of videos and pictures as memento! I would so do this again, and this time, I would be less afraid (I hope), and maybe try to venture out further away from the sampan boat. HHhhmm… … And maybe I could swim a little faster? Would that help? 😀
(a) Sunscreen? Just like Meghan Trainor says, ‘Nah to the ah to the NO, NO, NO’.
Do not slather on sunscreen lotion prior! The chemicals in the lotion are not at all beneficial to the whale sharks near your vicinity when in the sea. Hence, during the briefing by the staff on site prior to you boarding the sampan boat, they would advise you to wash away any body lotion products on you at the open shower outside the toilet.
(b) Just jump, Or NOT! You only have 30 minutes!
As this was my virgin experience to coming extremely close to a wild creature at sea, with no barriers whatsoever, naturally I would have a hint of fear lingering inside me. But honestly, in hindsight, it really isn’t that all scary. I would say, it is more thrilling and exciting. So just jump! I mean, just enter the water with grace! ‘Cause you ain’t got time, the clock is ticking!
2. Day Trip To Dumaguete
Dumaguete is just a quick boat ride from Liloan Port. It is just so convenient for a day trip especially for those staying at the Eden Resort!
We went on a food galore upon arrival. Took the tricycle from the port at Dumaguete to Lab-as Restaurant; a seafood place. We were mad excited! Think we ordered so much more than we could stomach! Way too much! Haha!
|Address||Negros Oriental Flores Avenue, Dumaguete City, Philippines|
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Fresh crab that was of our choosing. Fresh fish that was so tender. Shells that were just perfectly cooked. Yummylicious!
Because there is always space for desserts no matter how full you are right?
After the seafood lunch, we went to hunt for desserts! Fried ice cream at this Panda Ice Cream shop! I’m not sure was it because we were way too stuffed from lunch, but I would say the fried ice cream was not really worth trip there purposefully. There was nothing really special about it. It was just an ice cream with a layer coated with fried breaded shell.
|No. 3 Silliman Ave, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines|
However, if you want to a nice quiet place to chill, and beat the heat, then I reckoned this place is a nice place to respite!
After which we decided to take a little time to explore some landmarks in Dumaguete. The St Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral (a.k.a Dumaguete Cathedral), and the Belfry Tower just beside the Cathedral are nice places to find solace amongst the busy city in Dumaguete.
Known for its intricacies and extravagance in rich old history, this cathedral is the oldest stone church in Negros Oriental. The massive old Belfry Tower was build in 1760 to warn residents of invading sea pirates! Now this Tower houses Our Lady of Perpetual Help, where people can light a candle and pray.After which we decided to take a little time to explore some landmarks in Dumaguete.
We ended the day trip at Dumaguete by making a final stop to a cake and pastry shop! Like I mentioned earlier, we went on a food galore when in Dumaguete right? Haha! So of course we had to stop by a cake shop or a café! 😀
|Ground Floor Robinsons Mall, Lamberto macias Road, corner Calindagan Road, Dumaguete, 6200 Negros Oriental, Philippines|
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Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries is a popular café hot spot amongst local and tourists! Crowded at any time of the day, this café serves a wide variety of desserts for the sweetest of sweet- toothers! Spoilt for choices, there were too many mouth-watering, super duper affordable cakes I wanted to buy! Brownies. Cupcakes. Muffins. Sliced cakes. It was a dessert-person’s heaven! * mind blown *
Eden Resort has a strategic location, and if I were to return to Santander, Liloan-Cebu again, this resort would imperatively be on my list! Affordable, with good humble service and amenities, there’s nothing much to fault on really!
Until next time, remember to Travel Whenever!