If you're looking for accommodation in Cagbalete, there are only three resorts found in the island namely, Pansacola Beach Resort, Villa Cleofas and MVT Sto. Niño Resort, so there's not much of an option basically. I've first heard about Pansacola and wanted to stay there but their accommodation is quite expensive for solo travelers. Between the remaining two, Villa Cleofas got more good feedback although I was pretty much interested to check MVT when I get there as well.
As soon as I arrived at the island, I had the two young guides accompany me to Villa Cleofas and MVT Sto. Niño Resort. After about 30 minutes of trekking under the scorching sun from Sabang Port, we reached Villa Cleofas first and, right away, I fell in love with the place! The reviews were all true.
I inquired about the rates and told them I will check out MVT first for options, to see if they have cheaper rooms or cottages. I was actually hesitant to leave at that time because it was too hot and seeing the location of MVT, it looked like it will take 15 minutes to get there. Besides, I was already more than contented with Villa Cleofas. But out of curiosity, we went to check the resort anyway.
At MVT, I was told that their electricity was available only from 6PM to 12AM (6 hours), much shorter than in Villa Cleofas (12 hours). By the way, the resorts in Cagbalete are powered by generators which are switched on only at night. They couldn't extend it since they had no other guests than me. It would be impractical on their part. Also, their water pump was not working at that time but I was told not to worry since they can get me some water when needed. I could have lived with all of these but then the price difference of room as compared with Villa Cleofas is not too much. Another issue for me was that they're located a bit in seclusion and far from the beach. In the end, I decided to go back to Villa Cleofas.
What I really love about Villa Cleofas is their great location. They are much closer to the beach and I just love the ambiance. Upon arrival, I was already imagining lying on one of those hammocks under the shade of trees. Green grasses that bring such a relaxing feel were everywhere and the cool ocean breeze can put you into lull anytime. And by they way, I was the only guest at the resort so it was really a perfect moment to enjoy the serenity and privacy of the place. It was, in fact, my intention to take this trip on a weekday to avoid the crowds during the weekend.
I met one of the owners, Sir Tonet, who seemed really nice. I initially wanted to get one of their cheaper cottages at P1,000 but it doesn't have electricity. I decided to get their new concrete room for P2,000 with fan and restroom. I know it's expensive (for a fan room) but I was prepared to rent at this price. Unless you're in group, accommodations in Cagbalete are quite expensive because there are not many competitions and they spend so much on generators to supply power at night.
I could have rented a tent at P250 but I was afraid of losing my gadgets in case I leave the resort. I brought my laptop with me on my trip thinking I could go online at night and finish some stuff when there's power. However, it was pointless because this part of the island receives very weak 3G signal. Mobile browsing was fine but when using a laptop, forget it. Cellphone signal for Globe was never a problem though.
The dining hall features a bar aside from the kitchen and dining facilities. I also saw some entertainment systems which are probably used when there's party or something by big groups.
Other than being close to the beach, Villa Cleofas offers a fantastic view of the sunrise. You will also be amazed during low tide when the vast seabed is exposed. The sand ripples really looked amazing.
Like I mentioned, if you want cheaper accommodation, you can bring your own tent and just pay for the entrance fee. Villa Cleofas has also some tents for rent at P250 per night. They also offer island hopping tours, horseback riding and other activities.
For more info, visit their website at www.cagbalete.net.
For other accommodations, here are their contact info:
Pansacola Beach Resort
MVT Sto. Niño Resort