Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Travel Review: Lakawon Island Resort, Philippines

RATING: * (1 out of 5 stars, poor)
Phone: +(63) 34 433-0808 / +(63) 34 434-7737 (To dial from U.S., 011-63-34-433-0808)
Web site: N/A
Price: $20/night USD (May 2009)


  • The beach. Lakawon's beach is pleasant. During the day time, if you don't mind a couple of stray dogs walking about, the beach itself is enjoyable. Roughly 3 of the 15 hectares on the island is part of the "resort". Volleyball and swimming are common activities. You may find weekend visitors coming in with their own boats and jet skis, though the resort does not offer any rentals. At night, there is no bar scene (perfect for families) and the sky had a clear view of the stars ... a nice and romantic evening ... until the kids from the squatters village blew up fireworks besides us.

  • Adventure. The drive to the resort from Bacolod City's Lacson St. brings you to towns like Talisay, Silay, Victorias and finally Cadiz. There's a few Spanish era buildings in those towns and each one has their own specific customs and festivals. Restaurants along the route offer fresh sea foods as most of the towns are near the coastline. You could have a few side trips that make the drive worth it!

  • Air conditioning. Prepare to sweat. There's air conditioning in the lodges but it depends on a generator. Supposedly the schedule starts around 5pm, but due to issues with the generator, it didn't turn on till around 8pm. It abruptly ends around 7am in the morning.1 star off.

  • Critters. The lodges are surrounded by ant hills, mosquitoes, and spiders. There are no mosquito nets; hence, if you have young children -- do not bring them with you as you will not sleep. You will have to literally kill the bugs off their face. 1 star off.

  • Room service. No phone system. If you need room service, you have to find someone near the restaurant. Since they do not wear uniforms -- you may be asking a total stranger.1 star off.

  • Cleanliness. While the island boasts 15 hectares, roughly 12 hectares are filled with squatters. You cannot just simply take a stroll on the beach as you will start seeing small squatter areas with bottles and trash lying around. Plumbing is unorthodox. The sink drips into a hole which drips into a trash bin. 1 star off.

    Lakawon Island is a 20 minute boat ride north of Negros Island. Roughly 15 hectares in size and shaped like a banana, you can walk around the island's entire circumference in a few hours.

    To get here, you have to fly to Manila, Philippines (MNL) then to Bacolod, Philippines (BCD), a city located on Negros Island. Taking a taxi or rental car from the airport to this resort and vice versa will cost you $100 USD total for the round trip. Using public transportation like a Ceres bus will cost you less than $20 USD round trip. The time to travel will take roughly 1 hour by private car/taxi, and 2 hours by bus, depending on how many passengers they pickup along the way!

  • Beach
  • Swimming, snorkeling
  • There are air conditioned lodges from 7pm-7am. (If generator has fuel.)
  • Please note there is no television or Internet connection on any of these rooms.
  • Room service available generally up to 10:00 PM.
  • Bar/picnic area

    To note: If you must absolutely have Internet (like me), I have been able to utilize a popular pre-paid Internet service by Smart called SmartBro. It is USB device that connects your laptop to GPRS/3G cell towers. Expect dial-up speeds though they advertise otherwise. Its $45 USD for the device and about $0.50 USD/hour.

    Anonymous said...

    this place is atrocious,the service is the pits, the security is lax...the pictures seems inviting?but trust me...this place is very very low valuables are stole because of the staffs' lax security...

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks for the review. I was planning to go there this May. I scratch it off on my list. Can yu suggest a nice resort to stay in that't near Bacolod City? Thanks :)

    Anonymous said...

    hey are you Filipino or american...seems like your review is racist laced...i noticed you used squatters several times and downplaying the villagers... sad...

    Publisher said...

    In the context of a resort review, having squatters in the resort is unacceptable. That's a lapse in security. If you consider that racist that is a comprehension issue I cannot help you with.


    Anonymous said...

    the word "squatters" is somewhat vulgar....i think "natives" should be more appropriate...i've been there myself many times before & i can agree w/ most, if not all of the comments/review posted by Don...personal experience: one time i was wounded by a broken whiskey bottle while walking the seashore. i saw natives drinking hours before that. it can never be from us coz nobody from my peers are drinkers of such. dogs, spectators, garbage, & others are true to my recollection. sadly nothing was done about it...

    Publisher said...

    Being a squatter in the past, that is a person who lived on land that they did not own and didn't get permission to live on that land, I don't really consider it vulgar and prefer this word over other alternatives. -Don