LANAS BEACH RESORT | BEST PLACE TO STAY IN CARABAO ISLAND

Carabao Island 2

Carabao Island (or Hambil), officially known as the Municipality of San Jose, is the southernmost island of the province of Romblon. It sits right smack in between the islands of Tablas, Romblon and Boracay, Aklan.

Carabao Island has a lot of potential in becoming one of the best islands in the country. Its sheer beauty, i.e. clear waters and amazing landscape, is enough to capture one’s fancy. Carabao Island is a mere 20-minute boat ride from one of the most sought after resort islands in the world, Boracay, which happens to be closed for tourism as it undergoes rehabilitation. Hence, to those who have already booked their flights prior to the government’s announcement of Boracay’s closure last April 26, 2018, Carabao Island might just be a good alternative. While Boracay is closed, Carabao has got your back!

I had the opportunity to explore Carabao Island when I tagged along with fellow travel blogger Cai Dominguez of Travelosyo.com. From Manila, I arrived at 1335H via Air Asia in Caticlan Airport. Outside Caticlan Airport, I met Cai who traveled all the way by bus from Iloilo to Caticlan and Kuya (big brother) Yolly Loquinto of Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11.

Watch my vlog here:

From Caticlan Airport, we rode a tricycle to Sambiray Port in Malay, Aklan. After paying the environmental fee of Php 50, we boarded a small boat to bring us to a bigger boat that would take us to Carabao Island. Total boat fare was Php 100 per head. There are two daily boat trips from Caticlan to Carabao Island. The first one is at 9 AM. We took the 3 PM trip. Return trip to Caticlan is at 6 AM. Quite honestly, I did not know much about Carabao Island. I would hear about it though from boatmen in Boracay as part of their island hopping tours.

The 45-minute boat ride to Carabao Island was smooth despite the gloomy weather. I must say though that I was a bit disappointed because I won’t be able to fly my drone as much as I initially planned because of the strong habagat or south wind.

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Upon arrival at Said Port, I could not help but be amazed by how alive the waters of this island was. It was crystal clear. From the wharf, I could readily see a number of starfishes darting the shore.

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Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 is situated on the western side of the island. Hence, from Said Port, we had to ride a habal-habal or motorcycle that took us through the poblacion or town of San Jose. It was a twenty-minute-or-so ride on a narrow and winding path. The habal-habal fare ranges from Php 150 to 200 with luggage. The locals discourage tourists from renting habal-habal without drivers to avoid any untoward incidents because the roads are not as paved. Even Kuya Yolly, admittedly, still finds them challenging.

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On the way to Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11, Carabao Island reminded me so much of the virginal Boracay of the late 90’s before commercialization set in. The green lush, pristine waters, fresh sea breeze and the “innocence” of the island took me to a trip down memory lane.

Where To Stay In Carabao Island

To date, Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 tops the list of resorts in Carabao Island. They offer warm accommodations and the best of home-made organically grown meals. They can also arrange a land tour for in-house guests to visit the amazing spots on the island.

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I believe Carabao Island has a lot of potential. It is just a 20-minute boat ride from Boracay and reminds me so much of the old Boracay, serene and pure, before all the commercialization set in. When in #carabaoisland, try Lanas Beach Resort. They offer warm accommodations and the best of home-made and organically grown meals. They can also arrange a land tour to visit the amazing spots on the island.#carabao #itsmorefuninthephilippines #travelbloggers #travelblogger #travelblog #travelph #travelphotography #travelphotos #pinoywanderer #wanderer #wanderlust #globetrotter #asianwanderlust #Philippines #digitalnomads #diginomads #pinasmuna #online #content #creator #islandlife

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Accommodations

Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 has 5 suites and 2 apartments (rates below are inclusive of VAT):

  1. Villa Sol Suite, top floor, for 2, Php 2800 per night or Php 3584 per night with breakfast
  2. Villa Sol Suite, ground floor, for 4, Php 2800 per night or Php 4368 per night with breakfast
  3. Light House Suite (ground or upper), for 2, Php 3360 per night or Php 4144 per night with breakfast
  4. Villa Bo Apartment, top floor, for 2, Php 3920 per night or Php 4704 per night with breakfast
  5. Villa Bo Apartment, ground floor, for 6, Php 3360 per night or Php 5712 per night with breakfast

Below are some of the photos that I took of the Villa Sol Suite and Villa Bo Apartment.

Lanas beach Resort by Oceans 11 Villa Sol
Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 Villa Sol and Villa Bo

Villa Sol Suite (Ground Floor)

Villa Bo Apartment (Top Floor)

We stayed in the the Light House Ground Floor Suite. It has a veranda that opens up to the sea. It is the best place to have a drink or two while watching the sunset.

Light House Suites

Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 Light House Suite
Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 Light House Suites

With windows all over, the Light House Suite on the upper floor to me is the best suite in the resort. Imagine waking up to the beautiful sight of the ocean while cuddling up with your significant other.

Complimentary water and toiletries are provided upon check-in.

All accommodations have air-conditioning. Cooking is discouraged in the rooms but may be discussed with the resort management if necessary. Pets are allowed as long as the guests abide by the House Rules.

Be ready to embrace the island life when in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11:

  • No electricity from 6 AM to 2 PM
  • No WIFI but there is a strong mobile internet signal by Globe to upload your photos on Instagram
  • No TV


Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 also offers the following resort services to make your stay as fun, convenient and relaxing as ever:

  • Boat Rentals:
    • Small Boat for 6 persons: Php 3500
    • Medium Boat for 16 persons: Php 7500
    • Big Boat for 20 persons: Php 8000
    • Speed Boat for 3 hours: Php 8500
  • Land Tours: Php 1000 for the whole day, includes visits to
    • Bat Cave (Mireton)
    • Cathedral (cliff diving)
    • Kuding-kuding (sea cave and cliff diving)
    • Bugtong Bato
    • Poblacion (San Jose)
    • Boracay View Point
  • Massage Service: starts at Php 500
  • Laundry: Php 60 per kilo
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Five PM Viewing Deck, Carabao Island, Romblon
On a clear day, catch the sunset at Five PM Viewing Deck, Carabao Island, Romblon

Food

What I liked best about my stay in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 was their affordable gourmet food. The Resort Manager happens to be the Executive Chef, too. Chef James Altas made sure that our dining experience was memorable.

They have a fixed menu but they also serve “Catch of the Day” meals like the one that we had during our first dinner in the resort: Seafood Laksa and Sea Urchin Omelette. Being a sweet-tooth myself, I celebrated eating their Turon a la Mode for dessert. Mind you, the ice cream topping was home-made.

Chef James also generously showed us how to cook Chicken Binakol. Chicken Binakol is chicken stew (similar to Tinola) cooked in coconut water instead of water. I got this on video and will publish a vlog soon. Stay tuned!

Restaurant

Both in-house and walk-in guests may enjoy the gourmet offerings of Lanas Beach Resort Restaurant, located just steps away from the white sand beach of Lanas. It has a seating capacity of up to 30 people.

Lanas Beach Resort Mess Hall
The restaurant has a spacious mess hall perfect for big groups.
Lanas Beach Resort Hut
The beach hut is perfect for couples who would love to wine and dine while enjoying some privacy and view of the beach.
Lanas Beach Resort Restaurant and Bar
They also have a bar that serves drinks such as fresh fruit shakes, cocktails, beer and hard liquor.

For more information, visit their website here or follow their Facebook page here.

For bookings, call +63-32-4164021 or +63908-1363319 or email info@lanasbeachresort.ph.

I believe that Carabao Island is not just a good Boracay-alternative but will be one popular island destination soon. I cannot wait to be back in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 and explore the island. I only got to visit a few of the tourist spots last time and was not able to do cliff diving because of the inclement weather.

Signing out for now. Peace!

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Oh well… the choices we make #atm #islandlife

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BORACAY CLOSURE TRAVEL ADVISORIES FROM PAL, CEBU PAC & AIR ASIA

Last April 4, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the proposal to close down the country’s top tourist destination Boracay for six months starting on April 26, 2018 to allow the island’s rehabilitation. The recommendation came from an interagency task force from the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Tourism (DOT) and Interior and Local Government (DILG).

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Boracay, the country’s top tourist destination, will close down for six months starting on April 26, 2018 to allow the island’s rehabilitation

So where does this leave travelers who have already booked their flights to Boracay, specifically Caticlan and Kalibo, within the shutdown period? I have compiled below the travel advisories from the country’s three major airlines for ease of reference:

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Philippine Airlines Travel Advisory

Options available to affected passengers going to Kalibo and Caticlan:

  • Rebook
  • Reroute
  • Refund with penalties and charges waived

“Passengers of the affected Kalibo and Caticlan flights have the option to rebook / reroute / refund with penalties and charges waived. Rerouting options cover both domestic and international routes. Passengers may contact PAL Hotline ((+632) (02) 855 – 8888, log on to www.philippineairlines.com or visit the nearest PAL ticketing office or partner travel agent for the rebooking/ rerouting/ refunding of their tickets.”

Philippine Airlines will scale down its services to Caticlan and Kalibo airports for six months and scale up flights to other Philippine tourist destinations.

Click here for the full advisory from Philippine Airlines.

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Cebu Pacific Travel Advisory

Options available to affected passengers going to Kalibo and Caticlan:

  • Rebook, subject to seat availability
  • Reroute to any domestic destination, subject to seat availability
  • Refund
  • Place full value of ticket in a travel fund for future use

For rebooking or refund, visit www.cebupacificair.com and go to “Manage Booking” section.

GetGo members who redeemed flights during the period covered by the flight suspension may avail of the following options:

  • Rebook up to 30 days from original travel date, subject to seat availability
  • Reroute to any domestic destination within 30 days from original travel date, subject to seat availability.
  • Credit back points to member’s GetGo account by calling +632 714 3846″

“Guests who booked through a travel agent or any other third party are encouraged to provide us with their own contact details so they are directly advised about any flight changes.”

“For any other concerns, passengers may also message the official Cebu Pacific Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/cebupacificair) or Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) accounts. They may also try the CEB hotline at +632 702 0888, however due to the heavy volume of calls, the fastest way to rebook or refund affected flights is via the ”Manage Booking” section in the Cebu Pacific website.”

Cebu Pacific will cancel flights to and from Caticlan and Kalibo, in Aklan from April 26 to October 27, 2018.

Click here for the full travel advisory from Cebu Pacific.

Air Asia Boracay Travel Advisory

Air Asia Travel Advisory 

Options available to affected passengers going to Kalibo and Caticlan:

  • Change destination, on any flights operated by AirAsia Philippines (carrier code Z2) for the same country pair within 30 days of the original travel date at no extra cost, subject to seat availability and government mandated taxes. Fare difference shall apply for international flights operated by other AirAsia Group carriers and changes to travel date beyond 30 calendar days
  • Move flight date: Change to a new travel date on the same route without additional cost, subject to seat availability
  • Credit account: Retain the value of fare in your AirAsia BIG Loyalty account for future travel with AirAsia. The online credit account is valid for booking within 180 calendar days from the date of issue
  • Full refund: Obtain a full refund to your original payment method for the amount equivalent to your booking.

To move flight date / change destination / credit account, fill in an e-Form available on support.airasia.com and do the following:

  1. Click on the Email Us tab on the right panel
  2. Select Enquiry/Request under Type of Feedback
  3. Select Booking under Sub Category 1
  4. Select Boracay Closure for Sub Category 2
  5. Type in your option under Subject: “Boracay – Move Flight” OR ”Boracay – Change
  6. Destination” OR “Boracay – Credit Account”
  7. Complete the remaining form fields and click Submit to proceed
  • For move flight, provide new flight details (date and time) and passenger name(s)
  • For change of destination, provide new destination, flight details (date and time) and passenger(s)
  • For credit account, provide your AirAsia BIG Loyalty member ID

To get full refund, fill in an e-Form available on support.airasia.com and do the following:

  1. Click on the Email Us tab on the right panel
  2. Select Refund under Type of Feedback
  3. Select Flight Cancellation under Sub Category 1
  4. Type in Subject field: “Boracay – Refund”
  5. Complete the remaining form fields and click Submit to proceed

Click here for the full travel advisory from Air Asia.

Good luck!

Do subscribe to www.joelandrada.com or follow me on Facebook (click here) for more travel and lifestyle updates. Signing out for now. Peace!

Throwback: Boracay 2007

Joel Jaws Andrada, Boracay, September 2007
Boracay, September 2007