After a gruelling 18 hours on the road, including several stops for breakfast, sightseeing, shopping, and lunch, arriving at Vitton Beach Resort was a welcome respite from the long land trip from Manila to Donsol, located more than 500 km south of the capital.
A replica of the whale shark greeted us at the resort’s open space near the entrance, which ushered us towards the reception office of the resort. The left side of the compound seemed to be newly built structures of the resort that included accommodations, a medium-sized pool, and a bar where most guests hang around.
Happy hour at the bar was at 12 noon to 2:00pm and 5:00 to 7:00pm, to which we took advantage for two days. The bar offered several promos like free shots for select drinks or a free rhum on one’s choice of fruit shake. I tried the mango shake with a dash of alcohol in it and it was fab. They also had shooters, which only cost P100 (about US$2.50) for three. I tried all of them (with all its creative names): Miles of Smiles (a taste of mint and cream); Butanginamo (with a tang of calamansi and gin); and Bicol on your Face, B@+$# (spicy with Tabasco).
The poolside provides a view of the calm sea across the resort’s walls. It was also a great spot to watch the sun set at the horizon. The pool has a beach like feature on one side which slopes downward towards the middle part. We immediately took a dip a few hours after we arrived and basked at the cool waters and the warm sun.
Our room was located at the left side of the compound, which has a veranda and receiving area. What I loved about our cottage was that there were provisions to hang our wet towels and bathing suits, making the room more orderly and less messy. A garden at the center of the rows of cottage rooms brings life to the vicinity. There was a nice touch to the roof of our hut which was made of local materials with wild ferns sprouting out of the edges.
There was also a small bar near our room as well as rows of huts for dining. The food is catered by someone called “Mommy Nems” where the restaurant is named after. The food was good with its menu of local fare. There were also sandwiches and pancakes for those who are non-rice eaters.
There are several restaurants within the area and outside the resort for visitors to choose from. We even had dinner one night at a roadside eatery, at “Alejandro’s Bulalohan”, with the pig’s bones as its soup specialty. The owner, Benj, was very accommodating and even encouraged us for a few songs in his videoke machine.
Many foreigners are billeted at Vitton Beach Resort including a family with four kids. The Butanding Festival is fast coming up at the latter part of April, which is why many tourists come to Donsol to swim with the whale sharks. The resort is just beside the Tourism Center which made it easy for us to take the orientation a day before we went to interact with the whale sharks and to rent goggles and fins from nearby rental stations.
It is also a stone’s throw away from the beach, making it easy for us to shower right after the butanding interaction. Our accommodations were a far cry from the one we rented in our previous visit wherein we stayed at the town proper in one of the homestays, far from the tourism office.
Should I go back to Donsol, I’d want to return to Vitton Beach Resort. It has quite become our short-lived home for a few days, with its friendly staff and bartenders.