Siargao is my new favorite island in the Philippines and the Islana Cabana Resort Siargao came highly recommended by a local – it was as good as it was praised to be and a (re)treat to remember! It offers luxurious, private pool villas right on the beach with great privacy, all on one of the less known islands, making for a great trip! If you are considering Boracay, Palawan, Phuket or Bali – read my Isla Cabana Siargao Resort review first and you might change your mind!
Location: Siargao Island is known for as the surfing capital of the Philippines. The Isla Cabana Resort is located in the main town of General Luna, right on the beach. It’s a 20 minute walk into town and a 15-20 minute bike ride to Cloud 9, the main surfing spot. The 30km car ride from the airport is about 45 minutes on the only paved road on the island! This location is great to relax at the resort, swim or walk on the beach and kite surf. If you are here to surf, you are better off closer to Cloud 9!
Service: Our experience didn’t start out well – we had booked our stay online and received an email to confirm our airport transfer. We responded and after a few days without confirmation, validated the pick up by phone. When we arrived at the tiny airport, we found the van from the resort, but the driver knew nothing about us. Lucky for us, we were the first passengers of the plane and he had other guests to pick up, so we were able to catch a ride and squeeze in, and weren’t stranded.
The check-in was a little bumpy, too. The front desk processed everybody from the van in order, with group announcements not quite projecting the luxury experience you’d expect from a resort of this category!
Fortunately, that was the last issue we encountered and all other staff we engaged with during our stay was attentive, very friendly and helpful in making our stay very pleasant.
Another staff member escorted us to our room when it was ready, giving us a tour of the amenities. Housekeeping showed great attention to detail in cleaning and preparing our room. The outdoor jacuzzi tub had the lights and bubbles turned on for a great first impression; towels, amenities and flowers were arranged just so!
Staff at the restaurant were equally friendly and attentive, assisting with any requests during meals. Even (other) front desk staff was very helpful on following days, assisting with a bike rental or return airport transfer and having information about Siargao available.
Room: We booked the Ocean Premier Suite, an ocean front villa in a row of 5, cheekily called “Naked 1”. You approach the villa across a lawn with chairs and enter via a large patio.
On one side of the patio is a seating area with a sofa and a table for private dining.
On the other side is a large round, comfy lounger for two people with a great view of the ocean from the privacy of your villa. The private pool is great to dip and refresh (it’s not heated) and it has jacuzzi vents and mood lighting to relax day or night! Each villa is separated from the next by plants and palm fences, with the ability to lower blinds around the patio for privacy.
We entered the villa through large glass sliding doors. The king-bed with a romantic mosquito net is centered against the back wall, looking out over the ocean.
To the right of the bed is another couch and table, as well as a Harmon Kardon speaker to connect your own devices and music.
To the left are a TV, work desk with chair, fridge and drawers. The whole room has beautiful, shiny wood floors and matching furniture for a simple, yet luxurious feel. The very high cathedral ceilings with open wood and palm leaf ceiling make the villa feel incredibly spacious!
Two doors on each side of the bed lead to a huge bathroom. In the center on the wall to the bedroom is a large, open close with lots of space for luggage, rods and shelves for your clothes and a laptop size safe.
On the opposite side, facing the outside wall, are dual vanities, with lots of space for your toiletries. The white sinks on shiny, wood countertops, together with the wood floors and tiles look great and have an island feel!
On the left side of the bathroom is a large shower with a partial glass wall. On the right side is an open toilet cubicle with a partial wall.
You can exit the villa to the back and find a (private) outdoor shower! Through a locked door you can get to the beach or, if you come back sandy, take a shower before entering your villa.
The internet was faster than I expected on an island off the beaten path at an average 1.9Mbps, enough to work, make calls or stream video.
Overall, this was one of the most beautiful private pool villas I’ve ever stayed at and something you’d expect at a luxury resort in the Maldives or Bora Bora!
Before departure, I also checked out the other rooms available at the Isla Cabana Resort: Superior Cabana: These smaller villas have garden views and are along the (short) path from the street-side lobby to the beach. They have the same wooden floors, white walls and vaulted ceilings, but with more simple furniture.
They do have coffee/tea facilities, a mini-fridge and small TV.
The bathroom have a single vanity, smaller closet, toilet without separation and partially enclosed, large shower.
Premier Cabana: Closer to the beach are these slightly larger villas. They look much nicer than the Superior rooms and have the same mosquito nets suspended from the ceiling for that romantic touch, nicer furniture and a bigger.
The bed is centered in the room, facing the patio, with a door leading to the bathroom. You’ll find an outdoor shower in the back, also private.
These cabanas feel like a more significant upgrade than the price would suggest and would be my recommendation, if you don’t want to splurge on the Premier Oceanfront Suites!
Restaurant & Amenities: Near the lobby, you’ll find a pool table, an entertainment option you rarely find at smaller resorts.
There is also a small gym with basic cardio and weight euipment.
The hotel has two pools, one great for kids to play and one with an infinity edge in front of the restaurant that’s great to lounge and relax – or to watch kite surfers fly by!
The oceanfront restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, and has glass-panel walls all around that can be opened for an airy feel. It serves a buffet breakfast and a-la-carte lunch and dinner. The breakfast buffet had a small selection of fruit, juices and breads, as well as make-to-order egg and hot dishes. It’s not as elaborate as at large resort hotels, but comparable to small, independent island hotels in the region and the quality of the breakfast was good. We had various meals at the hotel restaurant as well and they were equally good – while I wouldn’t seek out the restaurant as a non-hotel guest, they are good if you don’t want to leave the resort.
The Isla Cabana sits on a long stretch of sandy beach, probably the best in General Luna. It’s not as wide or soft as Boracay, but it’s much more private with hardly any people in sight for that Robinson Crusoe feeling! We walked the beach from end to end a few times without seeing another person – and we visited during high season! That’s something you won’t find on many islands these days!
Bottomline: The Isla Cabana Resort Siargao is a fantastic island getaway in the Philippines. The Premier Ocean Suites at a nightly rate of $268/night sounded pricey at first, but are some of the best value I’ve ever seen for a private pool, oceanfront villa on a beach with Robinson Crusoe appeal! The vaulted ceilings, rich, shiny wood, ocean views from the bed, huge bathroom with two showers and bubbly private pool all combine to a luxurious experience that rivals many more expensive resorts. Despite the initial service challenges, the friendly and attentive staff contributed to a great experience, making this an incredible hotel on my new, favorite island in the Philippines. For the price of a mediocre hotel in Mexico or on Hawaii, you can enjoy a luxury villa on an exotic island – I’m planning to go back and highly recommend you try it as well! You can book your own dream trip or check prices here!