True north

5 reasons that make Kandaya Resort Cebu’s emerging luxury destination

Text & Photos by N.S. Villaflor

 

THERE’S a fabled place on the northen tip of Cebu that arguably shores up the tropical island’s reputation as one of the best in the world.

SEA OF SERENITY. A view of the Visayan Sea from one of Kandaya Resort’s seven Ocean Pool Villas, each with its own infinity pool.
SEA OF SERENITY. A view of the Visayan Sea from one of Kandaya Resort’s seven Ocean Pool Villas, each with its own infinity pool.

That place is called Kandaya Resort, named after Datu Daya, a tribal chieftain of historic Daanbantayan town. True enough, Kandaya is where old meets new, the traditional merges with the contemporary, all within a seven-hectare sliver of paradise where privacy, solitude, wellness, and luxury is a lifestyle. Allow us to give you a glimpse of what to expect upon setting foot in Kandaya Resort, Cebu’s emerging luxury destination.

Incomparable sojourn up north

Roughly three hours from Cebu City, Kandaya is perfect for a premium staycation, a leisurely escape from the urban sprawl, or a getaway for the most special of guests. You can choose from 18 rooms and suites and 22 villas — 16 of which have pools — that tastefully incorporate traditional and contemporary elements in their design that celebrate luxurious form and personalized function. To heighten the guests’ experience, each unit is generously spacious with 50 to 82 square meters of relaxing exclusivity in a scenic coastal enclave in northern Cebu.

Spacious bedroom of the Ocean Villa Room
Spacious bedroom of the Ocean Villa Room
Spacious bedroom of the Ocean Villa Room
Spacious bedroom of the Ocean Villa Room
Spacious bathroom of the Ocean Villa Room
Spacious bathroom of the Ocean Villa Room

Rites of wellness and relaxation

Fitness isn’t just a city thing, so Kandaya Resort has ensured that the health-conscious guest won’t have to worry about disrupting his fitness routine. It has a couple of gyms: one for machine workouts and another called “Kombate” for mixed martial arts. There are also basketball and tennis courts, as well as an activity room for table tennis and billiards. For some added adrenaline rush, the resort offers watersports activities such as kayaking, navigating a Hobie Cat, and jetskiing. If that’s not enough, you might want to ride a horse down the beach. That’s right, a horse. You can choose from seven top breed horses at Kwadra, the resort’s stable, for some good old guided or independent riding. At the end of a tiring day, of course, there’s Daya Spa that combines therapeutic traditional massage to balance the body, mind and spirit.

Daya Spa’s welcome
Daya Spa’s welcome
Horse riding in a 7,200-square-meter field
Horse riding in a 7,200-square-meter field

Philosophy of fresh food

Whether its Asian or Western cuisine, there’s one word to describe Kandaya’s food preparations: fresh. Seafood dishes are made from the day’s catch off the Visayan Sea, while vegetables, herbs and spices are picked straight from “Hardin ni Milagros,” an organic garden in the resort which the resident chefs and gardeners tend with great care themselves. The rest, including local fruits, crops and meat, follow the resort’s “farm to table” philosophy. Two restaurants offer a variety of healthy menus: Kusina, which overlooks the sea, and The Gardens, which sits in the serene environs of “Hardin ni Milagros.”

Penne with truffle sauce
Penne with truffle sauce
Aglio e olio
Aglio e olio
Greenhouse in “Hardin ni Milagros”
Greenhouse in “Hardin ni Milagros”

Staff that dreams are made of

To say that the level of service in Kandaya Resort is superb is an understatement. Operations in the seven-hectare resort runs like clockwork, thanks to a world-class management and staff that pays careful attention to the needs of guests and takes meticulous care of keeping the resort spic and span. If you need an electric cart ride from the room, the driver will be at your doorstep in few minutes. And then there’s that genuine smile and disposition that Cebuanos are known for: they further brighten up the resort’s warm, welcoming vibe.

A great way to get around the seven-hectare resort
A great way to get around the seven-hectare resort
Pool fronting Kandaya’s Main Building
Pool fronting Kandaya’s Main Building
Gym with a view
Gym with a view
Kusina Restaurant after dark
Kusina Restaurant after dark

Leisurely trip to an island paradise

Kandaya Resort’s best kept secret is out: it has another piece of paradise in nearby world-class travel destination Malapascua Island. A plus-size outrigger boat with cushions, bean bags and rocking chairs manned by an attentive staff and crew, not to mention free-flowing drinks, will take giddy guests to the quieter side of Malapascua with its powder white sand and cool clear blue waters for yet another unforgettable experience. A 10-minute walk away is the Malapascua Lighthouse rising from an elevated part of the island that offers inspiring views of sand, sea and sky.

 

Relaxing trip to Malapascua
Relaxing trip to Malapascua
Kandaya in Malapascua near the lighthouse
Kandaya in Malapascua near the lighthouse
Freeflowing drinks on an outrigger boat
Freeflowing drinks on an outrigger boat
Powdery beachfront of Kandaya Resort in Malapascua Island
Powdery beachfront of Kandaya Resort in Malapascua Island

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