Imagine a sanctuary away from the stressful and unhealthy environment of the big city sitting atop a mountain with a beach front on its own. Terra Manna offer these necessities for a perfect getaway and more! They have beautiful gardens growing flowers and organic food, glamping spots with bonfire and one of the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. You can avail all of these for a justifiable price. Proceed to read the full review of my weekend stay in the resort.
SOLEMAR BED AND BREAKFAST : PHP 3,800.00 ( 2 pax + bf )
SOLEMAR UPPER : PHP 3,500.00 ( 2 PAX + BF )
OCTAGON VILLA : PHP 3,800.00 ( 4 PAX )
TRAVELLER’S PALM : PHP 3,500.00 ( 3 PAX + bf )
TERRA MANNA HOUSE : PHP 4,800.00 ( 6 PAX )
CORALE COTTAGE : PHP 3,500.00 ( 3 PAX + bf )
BAHAY KUBO FAMILY WITH PRIVATE GARDEN : PHP 3,200.00 ( 4 PAX + bf )
BAHAY KUBO DOUBLE : PHP 3,200.00 ( 4 PAX + bf )
CAMPING : PHP 600.00/PERSON ( free bf )
DAY TOUR : PHP 600.00/PERSON
- Free use of WIFI
- Free use of beach
- Free tour with a guide
- Free use of open cottages
- Free lesson of mandala flower arrangement
Few mountain resorts stir my curiosity in the province of Cebu. For starter, I am not always fond of staying in the mountain because I have always been a beach person but Terra Manna has been circling my to-visit list for many years now. That is why when an opportunity to finally visit the resort last weekend came I was ecstatic to do it. It arrived at a perfect time when I needed some de-stressing from a busy work week.
The mountain resort offers day tour but to get the most out of the experience it is best to prompt for an overnight stay which won't cost you much as well. They offer glamping (glamorous camping) for those who want an outdoor experience, bahay kubo for small groups and houses for families and big groups.
Terra Manna is located way down south in Badian averaging around three hours of bus trip so I highly advise to start early in the morning to avoid the traffic. In our case we left the city late in the morning and was caught up with the weekend traffic so we were lucky to arrive in the resort before dark.
Part of the charm of the resort is its location. The mountain and beach converge in a harmonious manner which makes it ideal for people who love both or couldn't decide what to pick between the two. I love the rawness of nature in the resort. They didn't do much to modify the spot to avoid it looking manufactured and go with the natural look. I even spotted several species of birds that I couldn't identify flying around and a monitor lizard roaming freely. At night the sky lit up with numerous constellations twinkling above your head being freed from the light pollution of the city.
“Decide the type of camping/nature lifestyle you want to experience before checking in and make sure you are aware of available food on the menu. You may sleep on a tent or choose to stay on really nice rooms or villas.” (LodRose from TripAdvisor)
The beachfront may be rocky but this uniqueness played quite well in my taste and made it more appealing. The rocky terrain made the water much clearer near the coastline and a diverse species of sea creatures is very visible swimming around.
|Terra Manna's Beach|
TIP! They offer Mandala Flower Arrangement Lesson to those interested.
|Mandala Flower Arrangement|
Since they are growing their own organic food expect the menu to be very healthy and they are delicious as well. I have one of the best breakfast I've had in the one they served us. The restaurant has a cozy vintage look which adds appeal while you are eating your food. It is positioned to to have good view of the Tañon Strait which I think is a very clever thing to do because it adds something beautiful to your meal time.
The Lantawan Seaview is all too perfect for couples to have that romantic dinner in a garden with an uninterrupted view of the Tañon Strait. Before checking in, you must definitely let the staff know you wanted your food to be serve there or reserve that spot for both of you because it is in a first come basis.
Probably the best decision the resort made is not charging any corkage fee for guests bringing their food in. This is great news for happy campers and they even have an open kitchen for all your cooking and grilling activities. I must remind everyone that there are no convenient stores nearby and the resort itself has limited choices of packed food for snacking and late night binge.
As the darkness peeled the blue sky layer by layer the true beauty of Terra Manna slowly comes out of hiding. The breathtaking sunset scene here is one of the best in the province which made it an ideal spot for fashion and engagement shoot and maybe even a private garden wedding. Majority of the terrain of the resort sits atop a cliff which made the sunset in a level of where you are standing and there is so much creative shot to come up with such location.
“Better reserve ahead so when you arrive everything is already prepared!” (kims831 from TripAdvisor)
The nice lady in the front desk welcomed us with a warm smile (sadly no welcome drinks as I expected) and offered us options to go with in our stay. Setting up our expectation before we check in is a mark of a good service for me. I appreciated the gesture of offering us a free upgrade because the weather was not favorable for camping. We paid the fee for camping and got a cozy bahay kubo in return because they don't have any guests at that time.
“Rather suggest you stay on a tent!. Atleast once in your lifetime you get to experience just having the stars as your roof and the sea as your playground.” (zettea2014 from TripAdvisor)
There was not a lot of staff roaming around the resort at that time so I didn't depend a lot on their service but when we did ask for something they're quick in giving us what we wanted. We only waited for a few minutes before we were served with breakfast and the extra commodity we requested was duly noted by them and was served along with the breakfast. My only complain was upon checking out we did wait for quite awhile because nobody was manning the reception area.
The resort covers a vast area and majority of it is carpeted in bermuda grass. One of my companions pointed out the maintenance of those grass is uncanny knowing there're few staff managing the big resort and to that I agree. They have trimmed the grass well and haven't spotted any garbage lying around in our stay with the exception of the dog poo that was in front our house when we arrived but they were quick in cleaning it.
Terra Manna comes from the word "Earth" and "blessing" and staying true to that nature this mountain sanctuary serves us a blessing for weary travelers seeking some spiritual sustenance through nature. We often disregard the simple things in this life that make a huge difference - the comforting breeze of a calm sea, the relaxing melody made by the birds by day & insects at night, the stunning rise and set of the sun unknowingly makes you contemplate about life. This is what the resort offers - a full nature retreat minus all the luxurious amenities that we often associate with a resort like fast internet connection, swimming pool etc. If you come here with a group or family then you will surely spend a lot of time to bond with them. We all have varying needs why we go in a staycation and if yours aligned with what this offer resort has to offer then you definitely should give Terra Manna a try.
- Crystal Clear Beach
- Extraordinary Sunset Scene
- Picturesque Location for Creative Shoots
- Serve Organic Food
- Mandala Flower Arrangement Lesson
- Close to majestic waterfalls like Kawasan Falls & white beaches
- No Swimming Pool
- Limited Mobile Signal & Internet
- Dogs Roaming Around Freely Stealing Food
Terra Manna is one of the few places close to the somewhat touristic Moalboal-city, which has a relaxed atmosphere, space and a beautiful view of the sea. The resort is within a short distance from waterfalls, whalesharks, and diving places, and after a long day of exploring the island, the charming garden of Terra Manna is the perfect place to relax and recover. The owners are very helpful and friendly, the facilities are very good, and the restaurant serves great food and homemade lemonade :) by CecilieLA fro Denmark