Hotels

Caylabne Bay


Caylabne Bay used to be one of the best beach resorts that’s close to Manila. Back in the day, if you said you had a vacation in Caylabne, it was deemed to be ultra luxurious and posh.

Sadly, it has not maintained its luster and has not become just a second rate resort. Before you start bashing, let me first explain that this post is written based on my personal experience and what I have seen in the resort.

The Pros:

The fact that Caylabne is “hidden” in a cove does make it wonderful when it comes to having privacy. It’s not easy to get here and the location is absolutely beautiful. The front gate is at the top of a hill that’s actually a cliff. You can see the beautiful ocean and we were lucky enough to spot a kite (the bird not the toy) circling around, looking for food. It was magnificent.

Caylabne is also very keen on protecting the wildlife. The resort is also a sanctuary for birds and certain reptiles that you can find in its woods and lands.

But then, that’s about all it is…

The Cons

Once we got to the lobby, nobody was there. It looked more like a deserted house than a hotel lobby. The fountain in the middle of the sitting area was not on and looked dirty. It looked very sad and very dusty. The lobby even smelled like an old house.

Finally, someone came out to assist us but at this point, the kids and I were already out exploring. Once outside, the grounds seemed well maintained and the grass was well manicured. However, the father in you go, you can see that most of the area is just left in a sad state. Some of the buildings were dirty and stained, the tennis courts were dirty and unmaintained, the roads were littered with crushed duhat and dead leaves that the gutter looked like a compost heap. It felt like one of those mansions that was owned by a rich family that lost all its money and are still trying to maintain a certain image.

The accommodations were owned by my aunt’s company so I really can’t blame Caylabne for not maintaining them. But shouldn’t the developers and property managers have a certain requirement for accommodations there?

The kids and I started exploring and again, it was just unmaintained and dilapidated amenities everywhere. The mini golf course was cracked and the grass started getting it on with the weeds and they’ve decided to take control. The only ones that were enjoying the mini golf course were the huge ants that seemed to declare the entire golf course as their kingdom.

Although there was a beach, the kids wanted to check the pool out first. Caylabne Bay has two pools – one for adults and another for the kids. The adult pool was okay but the bar stools and the pool house was so badly maintained that it showed rust, decay and dilapidation. The kiddie pool was better but the water was murky and the pool bar was not being used and again showed signs of being old and unmaintained.

My cousins and I tried the other water amenities they had such as the kayak and the banana boat. The banana boat seemed okay and the kayaks, though old, were still passable. Don’t try snorkeling though as there’s really nothing to see. The staff at the water activities booth weren’t in uniforms so you couldn’t tell if they were staff or just guests. They were also so badly organized with the time and reservations that some of the guests complained that they were bumped off and given the wrong time thus missing their turn at the banana boat. The water bike was also old and badly maintained that there used to be three but only one was working and even that showed signs of being old and almost breaking down.

The resort’s restaurant was clean enough but again, it showed signs of being old and some of the blinds were frayed and broken. There were also lots of mosquitoes and insects that bit you while you were dining. They could’ve put some electronic insect zappers or at the very least lit up some mosquito coils. And just like any supposed posh resort, the prices they had for their food were expensive.

The saving grace

The only saving grace I found was the river that ran at the side of the resort going into the private subdivision in the area. I found a small side river that was teeming with fish and other wildlife that it felt like I was in a Discovery Channel or National Geographic show. But even then, I found remains of dynamite (evidence that some fishermen were doing dynamite fishing) and lots of garbage.

Caylabne Bay may have been beautiful in its heyday just like how an old Hollywood movie star is. They should spruce up the place and stat.

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