My wife and I live in Toronto, Canada and travel to the Philippines at least every other year. I should note that my wife is originally from the Philippines. The itinerary always includes a visit to my wife’s parents in Leyte, as well as a new destination choice (or two) within the Philippines. This year, one of those choices was to stay in Southern Leyte (neither of us had ventured that far south on the Island) at Padre Burgos Castle Resort.
We flew from Cebu to Tacloban, Leyte, and met relatives who gave us a quick tour of town. Tacloban is now functioning reasonably well since Yolanda, but the damage caused by the storm remains visible everywhere. My wife’s parents reside along the main road about half way (an hour and half) toward Padre Burgos. I am always fascinated by the drive. About one hour out of Tacloban you climb up into the mountain valleys. It is a truly scenic drive that offers a glimpse of what rural life in the PHP is truly like. The decent out of the mountains lands you in the town Sogod. The shopping centre there offers a rest opportunity as well as some eateries, washrooms, and a grocery store. The final leg of the drive to Padre Burgos is coastal with views of Sogod Bay. Although the logistics of getting to Padre Burgos may seem cumbersome, it’s actually a memorable part of the adventure.
Paradise found! The Padre Burgos Castle Resort (PBCR) website doesn’t convey how nice this place really is! Wow! A staff member greeted us at gate, and she led us into the airy, tastefully decorated, extraordinarily clean common area that looks out to the patio, pool, and the Sogod Bay vistas beyond. Complimentary refreshments were offered as well as introductions from David and Delia. We stayed in room #1 of five that was nicely appointed. The rooms have safes, but no TV’s. There is a TV in the common area, and I never saw it on during my stay – a pleasant relief. Free Wi-Fi with a decent signal is available throughout the resort.
In the case of PBCR, the use of the word resort needs to be defined. Staying here feels more like being a houseguest of David and Delia with staff at your beck and call. No timetables, no sign-up sheets, and no line-ups, just you and your wants and needs. In conversation with David, I referred to PBCR at a “poor man’s Necker Island” (Sir Richard Branson’s place in the BVI).
Food Glorious Food! Delia’s amazing cooking skills include homemade bread at breakfast, and customized menus for lunch and dinner that include Filipino, Asian, and even Italian selections in both seafood and meat. You’ll be hard pressed to find food this good anywhere. One complaint may be too much food at dinner, and the wine selection needs some improvement.
During our stay went boating to Limsawa, where we snorkelled, had a BBQ lunch on a beach, hiked throughout the Island, Dolphin watched (and there were many) and then snorkelled again at another destination. Understand that Sothern Leyte is not a commercialized tourist destination with boats, jet ski’s, parasailers and the like parading by all day. Our beach BBQ was our group only - nobody else was there; the beach was ours as were the waters!
We departed PBCR after three nights and went to the Shangri-La in Mactan for a seven-night stay. My biggest mistake on this trip was that I should have had more nights in Padre Burgos, and less at the Shangri-La. Our next trip to the Philippines will include yet another, longer stay with David, Delia, and their truly wonderful staff.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An idyllic family-run boutique hotel and PADI dive resort, with luxurious facilities and a friendly and intimate atmosphere. Superb location with great private beach, beautiful corals and stunning sea views. All guest rooms beautifully furnished and decorated, with air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. Guided scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming with whale sharks, dolphin watching, island hopping, sailing, kayaking,swimming pool, private beach, free Wi-Fi, bar and fine-dining restaurant. Local activities include land tours, caving, waterfalls, wild monkeys and more. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Padre Burgos Castle Hotel Padre Burgos
- Padre Burgos Castle Resort Southern Leyte Province, Philippines