After the misfit with Bacolod city I entered paradise at Punta Ballo. The resorts there have beautiful white sand beaches and the coral reef creates a lagoon, with calm clear and blue water filled with fish, starfish and crabs.
Moving from paradise to paradise
I love the resort. If you are looking for a holiday in paradise this it the place to go. Little downsides for me are that there is little diversity in guests and there are many rules. Great menu to choose from but no free ordering, beach towels are provided but they charge you if they have to pick it up themselves at the beach-chairs and the staff is very up-selling, that is almost annoying (can I have a coke? You want rum in it? Or cocktail ma’am?) There is no internet of phone connection, only when I use my Globe pocket wifi or buy satellite-hotel-internet which is calculated per hour. Uploading that wonderful sunset to Instagram is only possible if I have my pocket wifi with me. And that irritates me more than I expected.
But the bungalow I got is gorgeous and so is the view, the beach, the wildlife, the garden and the sunset every evening. And the staff is very friendly.
I love the relaxed feeling the place seems to breathe. It is contagious. You slow down and unwind in a few hours whether you planned to do so or not. Watch the tide rise and fall and walk among the tidal pools in the early morning, it all creates the feeling of really being away from it all. And what to think about a spa like this:
Lets talk money
The prices here in paradise are enormous considered being in the Philippines, which is a relatively cheap country. And for me it is the by far most expensive place I have been so far.
My hotelroom is 1,950 pesos per night, (39 euro) and lunch or dinner starts at 200 pesos (4 euro), without side dish.
The average hotelroom I stayed in so far was 1500 pesos (30 euro), eating out started around 75 pesos (1.50 euro) and usually I stayed in walking distance of a town or even in the middle of a city, so there would be no transportation costs.
Transportation from the resort to Sipalay which is 7 kilometers away, is 150 pesos one way.
Punta Ballo Paradise has it price! But I still think it’s worth it. Specially when you are visiting the Philippines for a holiday or you want to take a luxurious break from your every day travel. You will have a great time staying in one of the Punta Ballo Resorts.
Sipalay city is where paradise begins
Still for me there is something else missing: Real Filipino life at hand reach. I have to walk 1000 steps, since the resort is located at a hillside. Than I have to travel 7 kilometers for the nearest town. No problem if there were tricycles at the gate, but there are none.
One day I did went to town, on a mountain-bike. Cycling up-hill, it was really Tour-de-France-level. I found a very nice town-proper, which is pleasant for a visit and to get away from the comfort-zone a resort tends to create. The people are friendly, the poblacion-beach (Town beach) beautiful and wide stretched and peaceful.
Sipalay is a friendly, quiet city. Long stretched and wide concrete streets, little traffic. You will feel the vibe of Filipino daily life.
The beautiful white sandy beach is right at the end of the main street. It is a quiet and clean beach, fishing-boats scattered, little food restaurants facing the water, excursions being advertised. I think the city of Sipalay is a hidden gem in the Philippines and certainly worth a visit. The unspoiled nature, the friendly people and the white sandy beaches will make your stay worth while. Not much might life, if you are a party type Sipalay is definitly not your place. But if you are looking for a quiet place, to relax, Sipalay might just be your spot in the Philippines. And I dare to say this area of Negros holds the most beautiful unspoiled beaches in the world.
And if you do not want to stay in one of the secluded and luxurious resorts in Punta Ballo at the lagoon, there are more resorts to choose from. There is even a nice hotel in town, next to the poblacion beach. That offers affordable rooms and a sea-view Veranda Restaurant.