Lakawon Island Resort and Spa has been receiving a lot of media attention recently. Based on the photos circulating the internet, it is arguably a well-kept island paradise in Negros Occidental. But based on the feedback from people who have been there, Lakawon has its highs and lows.
Out of curiosity, I gave Lakawon Island a shot during my short vacation in the Philippines last December.
And if you're curious as well, here are my answers to frequently asked questions.
Where is Lakawon Island Resort located?
The banana-shaped island is located near the coast of Cadiz City.
How to get there?
Public transportation is available, but for convenience, my family of 12 opted to rent a private van. We were dropped off in Lakawon Island port and ticket office in Cadiz Viejo. We followed the sign board and arrived in a waiting area where we have to purchase entrance tickets.
What are the fees to be paid in the ticket counter?
Prices as of December 2016:
Entrance fee: 100 PHP/person
Terminal fee: 20 PHP/person
Pump Boat fee: 150 PHP/head (round trip)
|This way to Lakawon!|
|See that island in the middle of the sea? That's Lakawon Island!|
How was the boat ride to Lakawon Island?
It was a gloomy morning; hence I got a little scared. We had to ride a small tug boat, and transfer to a big bangka off the coast. Strong winds and rough waves, but thankfully, life jackets were provided and we reached the island in less than 20 minutes.
The weather was friendly in the afternoon, so the boat ride back to Cadiz Viejo was smooth.
|Rough waves! Blame the erratic December weather!|
What was my first impression?
This island is promising, indeed! The dock was under construction during our trip, but it hardly bothered me as my eyes were glued to the clear turquoise sea! It is naturally beautiful and, based on it alone, it pretty much deserves its newfound fame.
|picturesque walkway from the sea to the island|
|Island Paradise? Read on!|
How much is the cottage rental?
Cottage is not included in the entrance fee. We had to pay 600 PHP/umbrella hut good for 6 persons. There is extra charge of 100 PHP/head for additional guests. Considering that we'd pay the same amount, we decided to take two umbrella huts instead.
Other types of accommodation available in Lakawon Island:
Prices as of December 2016
Open Cottage for day trip: 1,200 PHP for 10 persons
Tropical Bamboo for overnight stay: 2,500 PHP for 4 persons
Tent for overnight stay: 300 PHP per head.
|huts for rent in Lakawon Island Resort|
And how about the food?
To address the waste disposal in the island, there is a corkage fee of 50 PHP/person for guests who brought food and drinks. To avoid the corkage, we decided to purchase our meals from the restaurant. It turned out that there is only one restaurant ran by a few staff in the island for all the guests. I really hope the service has improved by now as queuing for food for 30 minutes was a complete hassle.
What did you eat in Lakawon restaurant? And how much?
Seafood! Yeyy! Pancit. Fried Chicken. Rice! We paid 2,600 PHP for a so-so lunch for 12 people.
|Grilling Station for those who brought food|
|food in Lakawon's restaurant|
What are the island facilities?
A huge part of the island is still underdeveloped. However, day trip essentials like toilet and shower rooms, recreation facilities and even bean bags are provided with no extra cost.
How was the famous Tawhai Floating Bar?
Due to an incoming typhoon, Tawhai was not floating, unfortunately. It was docked in the other side of the island and we still had to pay 250 PHP/person to go on board. The fee includes one drink/person.
Call me unlucky!
|Recreation facilities in the island: Swing and Beach Volleyball|
|on board Tawhai Floating Bar|
|a Floating Bar that is not floating|
Can we talk about the service?
Lakawon Island is raw or should I say "hinog sa pilit". It is marketed as a luxury resort, but as of the moment, the puzzle pieces are not fitting in. I didn't get my money's worth. The staff are very friendly. However, giving a friendly service is not enough all the time. I was looking for efficiency and I'm really sad that I wasn't able to experience it in this island due to a clear shortage in workforce.
Daytripping in Lakawon Island Resort and Spa can be a hit and miss affair. If I have the chance to rewind my experience from the very start, these are the things I would do:
1. I will schedule the trip on a hot summer day.
2. Instead of renting a cottage, I will eat in the restaurant and purchase tickets to Tawhai Floating Bar.
3. I will make sure that the Floating Bar is floating before paying!
4. I will still not bring food, because hey 50 PHP corkage fee!
5. I will go with zero expectations.
Have you been to Lakawon Island Resort and Spa?
How was your experience? Share it in the comment section below.