Wednesday, January 29, 2020

When in Negros Occidental: Nabulao Beach Resort

Negros island is the fourth largest island in the Philippines and home to great cities, delicacies and travel destinations. Sipalay, a city south of Bacolod is known for its numerous beach resorts. A half an hour drive further down would lead you to a municipality called Hinoba-an where you can find Nabulao Beach Resort.

Hello, Nabulao Beach Resort.
This homey and native resort wasn't our first choice for our quick trip down south of Negros but its high TripAdvisor and Agoda ratings got us curious. Too curious that we ended up staying here for 2 nights.
It was easy to find this place if you have a car with you. With its location about a kilometer away from the main road, walking through the rough unpaved pathway would be difficult. More so if you have a lot of bags with you.
Security seemed to be very lax here as we just drove in without anyone asking if we booked a room. In fact, we had a hard time looking for staff to assist us that I had to head to the resort's restaurant to get help. 
We got one of the Deluxe Rooms with PHP3,000 published rate. But booking it through Agoda cuts the price to just PHP2,490. We also noticed that the price for the next day was, more often than not, cheaper than booking in advance.
Our room is equipped with two double beds, cable television (but with only one channel), spacious bathroom with water heater and basic toiletries (except toothbrush and toothpaste), closet and fridge. There's Wi-Fi too but very weak.
I loved that there was a surprise anniversary arrangement as well as welcome drinks.
Nabulao has two pools with one used for basic dive training. Water though seemed a bit murky and uninviting.
I read that the beach on this side of the island is okay. But we were greeted with unappealing dark water. None of the resort guests swam here but a few local kids were seen playing around the shallow area.
Its area by the beach was nice though with its love seat swings and lounge chairs.
One thing good about Nabulao is its food. The burger we got for PHP295 was filling and really good. Its burger made with Saint Jordi's Farm beef was scrumptious! I loved that they used shawarma sauce instead of the usual ketchup and mayo. The fries on the side was homemade and excellent too.
For dinner, we went with Nabulao Pizza (PHP480) and Nabulao Salad (PHP235). We originally wanted Carbonara (PHP285) too but the burger was too heavy as snack.
The salad was made with crisp lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumber and fresh mango served with Kewpie's sesame dressing. It was a lovely simple starter. Each bite was refreshing and crunchy.
The pizza was generously topped with bacon, ham, bell pepper, mushroom, pineapple bits. It seemed to have been topped after the pizza was baked though as the toppings kept sliding off.
I got viciously bitten by bugs on our first night with two on my face, one on my right ear and over ten on my arms, legs and ankles. I first thought that it was mosquitoes but it turn out to be a different kind of bug. I'm just not sure if it was bed bugs or no see um's. But I had our room sprayed while we were out for breakfast.
There was complimentary breakfast with our room and I got Bangus while R went with Corned Beef. We also requested for Iced Choco instead of a hot drink. Both were filling.
I got Beef Tapa on our second morning here and I wished that I got Bangus again.
We lazed the whole day and just napped as there was nothing much to do at the resort. Nabulao offers guided dive tours though and massage (PHP350 half hour | PHP600 one hour) for those who want to stay in.
It was rather hot the following afternoon which made us crave for Halo-Halo. But it was unavailable so we ended up getting Buko and Lychee Shakes (PHP115 each). And I was impressed that they use edible straws!
With nothing much to do at the resort, I was hoping to get some work done. However, the spotty internet connection made it difficult. My mobile connection was also at one bar 3G at best. I guess that forces one to catch up on sleep or really relax.
I noticed that most guests here are either families or group of friends. I guess its semi and master suites which could accommodate big groups has a very strong appeal to locals and travelers. The resort's rates are also a bit cheaper compared to other resorts in the area. The con though is that big groups tend to mean noisy guests. We were lucky though that the other guests we were with were not very loud.
Though the food was good and room was decent, its unappealing beach and bugs were the major deal breakers for me. It would be great if they put more insect repellent plants within the resort premises and constantly spray the rooms. 

Nabulao Beach Resort is located at Sitio Totong, Barangay, Talacagay, Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental.

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