This chronicles our one-night, two-day stay at Misibis Bay, a private tropical hideaway built on a pristine stretch of beach along the southern tip of Cagraray island in Bacacay, Albay, Philippines. This vacation forms part of the hubby’s birthday celebration. Misibis Bay is a 5-hectare island resort. We came here via a 50-minute flight form Manila to Legazpi, then a scenic travel land taking around 45 minutes. You also have the option of taking a chopper or a speedboat but that will be at additional costs.
We were lucky since we had the resort practically all to ourselves and there were no queues to all activities: we availed of free activities such as kayaking, stand up paddle surfing and hobie cat sailing. Our luck didn’t start there. When we arrived we were automatically upgraded to a Premiere Villa. Besides having a larger room with a verandah, this villa was by the infinity pool and near the beach front. What a great way to start a vacation!
Nothing beats having an island practically all to yourself. We had a great time: the scenery was breathtaking, the facilities excellent, and the staff very helpful and friendly. The welcome party was very warm, with the general manager personally greeting us. Upon knowing it was hubby’s birthday, they gave us a free birthday cake during lunch. By evening, we were surprised by a birthday message on the television when we arrived in our villa after a leisurely after-dinner stroll by the beach. Truly a memorable experience. Our stay was a little bit pricey, although the free upgrade more than made up for that shortcoming.
What was nice about our trip is that the resort evoked so many fond memories of our honeymoon at Aman Pulo. From the villas to the golf cart that initially brought us to our original deluxe room, the concept of luxury resort is embedded in the facilities and services offered by Misibis Bay. Alas, while the resort brought back good memories, it also highlights its shortcomings, paling in comparison with the facilities and services of luxury resorts with the calibre of the Aman group and Shangri-La brands. It is in the little details that differentiate an established luxury brand from the rookies. For instance, I immediately noticed that our welcome drinks were housed in plastic champagne glasses. Also, since it was off-peak, I observed that the staff were a little too casual and had lunch (from the buffet table) at the dining tables, together with guests. I personally do not mind this arrangement, though, since I like the staff who served us diligently. There was also nothing extraordinary about the food. The choices were limited; other ordinary hotels provide better fares, in my opinion. Finally, I simply could not put my finger on it, but the villas and other amenities seem to lack the warm hues distinctly felt in resorts like Aman and Shang. Of course, I don’t think it is fair to compare Misibis to these other resorts since they belong to different price categories.
All in all, I still give my experience at the Misibis Bay resort five thumbs/toes up (I have to borrow one more thumb from my hubby for this). The entertainment during dinner was upbeat but at the same time mellow, just appropriate for the warm, balmy weather. The singer’s voice blends well with the breeze coming from the sea as we enjoyed a quiet dinner with the family.
On our last day, we had our cherry: we were given a free speed boat ride to the city and a transport to our next hotel in Legazpi City. It’s so nice to go on a vacation during off-peak season. We can get so lucky in so many different ways.