Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Resort Review: Calicoan Surf Camp (Guiuan, Eastern Samar)

Date of Stay: June 30 - July 1, 2009

RATING (Scale of 1 to 10)
Location: *******
Rooms: ********
Condition and Cleanliness: ********
Staff Performance: ********
Room Comfort: *******
Food and Beverage: *******
Other Amenities: *******
Value for Money: ********

Calicoan Surf Camp

Bungalow interior
Calicoan Surf Camp, Calicoan Island's (connected to the mainland by a short concrete causeway) best and most luxurious hideaway, was developed by Cebu-based lawyer and pioneer developer Maning Go who owns about 500 hectares of the island’s 1,600 hectares.  

It was designed, with distinctive Asian-inspired (Thai, Balinese, Indonesian and Filipino) lines, by Frenchman Nicolas Rambeau, owner and creator of the highly-acclaimed, high-end Pansukian Resort in Siargao (Surigao del Norte). 
Infinity pool
The resort has 7 well-appointed, spacious bungalows with soaring rooflines.  Each bungalow has a native feel, with its own deck and floor with alternating dark and light wood stripes.  

Modern amenities include airconditioning, compartmentalized bathroom with hot and cold shower, satellite TV, coffee/tea maker, hair dryer, minibar and safety deposit box. 

The resort’s inviting 300-sq. m. saltwater infinity pool borders the 3-km. long, white ABCD Beach, the island’s prime surfing area.  Verdant pandamus trees (locally called bariw) grow through the pool’s uniquely-designed wooden deck, embracing it and providing cool shade, thus binding nature with design.  Here, you could watched the surging, breathtaking surf (boasting perfectly-shaped left or right reef breaks) as the island’s  eastern side juts out to the rolling surf of the Pacific Ocean (its powerful swells tirelessly rolling in over 10,000 m. Philippine Deep), making it a surfer’s paradise. 
The resort's restaurant

Calicoan Island Ocean Villas
The best surfing months are March, April and September to October when southwesterly winds blow offshore, piling up incoming ocean swells and carving them into glassy shaped hollows.  

Surfboards are rented out for a small fee and beginner’s lessons can be provided, on request, by the resort staff.  Surfers must wear booties as protection against the sharp rocks. 

Although the currents are strong here, the island offers opportunities for big game fishing along the “Tuna Highway,” the migratory route for tuna to Japan. 

The resort’s restaurant which offers International and Filipino cuisine including seafood such as freshly caught, fleshy, sweet and delicious lobster, prawns, scallops, abalone, crabs and fish.  Along the way back to the mainland is Calicoan Island Ocean Villas, another of Maning Go’s development projects.  

Go enlisted the multi-awarded architectural firm of Francisco “Bobby” Manosa to prepare the island’s master plan.  He envisions zoning development where visitors can make nature treks to large areas of the island without encountering any bar, souvenir shop or billboard, thus offering more natural attractions and leisure activities with less of the hustle of the better-known Boracay.  

NOTE:On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda, internationally known as Haiyan, devastated the town of Guiuan and Calicoan Surf Camp, as well as other surf resorts, were destroyed. The corals were also badly damaged, affecting the formation of waves. 

Calicoan Surf Camp: Calicoan Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar.  Manila Tel: (632) 376-5818.  Website: www.thesurfcamp-calicoanisland.com.