Sumilon Island is one of the country’s over 7000 islands, but combined with the exclusive five-star service of Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, it is nothing less than extraordinary.
written by Marbee Shing-Go
As Private as Private Can Be
Opened in 2005, Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, or commonly called as Bluewater Sumilon, sits on the 24-hectare Sumilon Island south of Cebu. The resort is the only property in Sumilon that it has become synonymous to the island—you can’t even mention the former without thinking about the latter, and vice versa.
For the past ten years, Sumilon Island and Bluewater Sumilon were considered a secret haven among divers and serious travelers, until three years ago when Oslob became open for tourism (particularly for whale shark watching). While some local travelers go to the island as a side trip from Oslob, others (especially foreigners) do the opposite—they make Oslob a side trip and dedicate their entire stay in Bluewater Sumilon and Sumilon Island. The reason? Privacy.
Since the property is the only one situated in the island, there is almost zero chance for it to be cramped with the huge number of travelers. You won’t even see other guests even if the resort is on full occupancy because of the activities and the vastness of the area. The rooms, in addition, do not have locks. However, the resort assures guests that the things are kept safe because of, well, the privacy of the place. You will also be woken up not by the noise of other tourists outside, but by the chirping of the birds and the beams of sunlight.
The Luxury of Nature
Sumilon Island is one the first marine sanctuaries in the Philippines, so you are guaranteed to have a good experience with nature if you stay in Bluewater Sumilon. You can go snorkeling, diving, and fishing, or just simply enjoy the sandbar—the island’s main tourist draw. Even sunrises and sunsets provide excitement as well, as they show a very different character with its beauty set against the pristine waters surrounding the island.
The power of nature has also toughened the staff, as proven by their flexible service and back-up plans when certain activities don’t push though because of either the ocean or the weather conditions. Even you will also somehow learn to be exible on your own vacation when you stay at the resort. For instance, their candle-lit dinner by the sandbar is not constant because the sandbar itself changes shapes and shifts locations around the island depending on the season. However, even without it, just frolicking by the sandbar and taking all the beauty in is still worth it.
You will realize how big the influence of nature is, and that not every plan you make will push through. It feels as if nature owns the resort, and how you spend your time here depends on her whim. This is perhaps the true luxury of staying in Bluewater Sumilon. You let nature take its course and you appreciate what she offers you—it’s an experience of a lifetime.
A Delicious Treat
While Bluewater Sumilon’s menu relies on the catch of the day, the resort is still consistent with the quality of their food. In fact, it’s one of the very few resorts in the country regarded with having dishes at par with international standards. You’ll be surprised, however, that despite this, the people behind the kitchen are all Filipinos (the resort actually has a 100% Filipino staff ). It gives a sense of pride, knowing that Filipinos can also offer competitive five-star service and menu as any other luxury hotel chains in the world. Some of the must-tries are its grilled meat, seafood, the breakfast buffet’s omelette station, and their Brazo de Mercedes— which even gets the approval of those without a sweet tooth.
One of the things that will amaze you about Bluewater Sumilon is how it provides each guest a wide array of offerings without losing privacy. The island won’t bore you, with its tons of activities that partner with nature— those that will make you appreciate the environment, rather than exploit it. If you’re up to sweat a bit, there is a hiking trail that gives a panoramic view of the entire island. Part of the trail is a lighthouse, along with resting spots where you can take in amazing vistas.
For water enthusiasts, activities that guests can do include paddle boarding or kayaking at Sumilon’s natural lagoon. However, those who want to delve deeper into its beauty may try snorkeling and diving. The owners of the dive shop in the island—also Filipinos—are not only knowledgeable about the place, they are also protective about it in terms of ecological preservation. Their treatment of the island suggests how much they love what they do, and how passionate they are about sharing it with other people.
Things To Do in Bluewater Sumilon
1. Dive. The island has a rich coral reef ecosystem and a vast marine life that a glimpse of it is already enough to make your stay at the resort beyond amazing.
2. Spend a few hours at the Amuma Spa. After a whole day of activities, indulge in a soothing hilot massage at Bluewater’s in-house spa. Cap off the perfect night with a sumptuous dinner.
3. Take a side trip to Oslob and the rest of South Cebu. You can go whale-shark watching (although for nature’s sake, please strictly follow the sanctuary’s guidelines and don’t do anything to harm the whale sharks) which is just across the island. Other things to do include canyoneering in Badian, falls-hopping (Kawasan, Aguinid, Samboan, and Tumalog are the most famous ones), or hiking Osmeña Peak in Dalaguete.
4. Go fishing! This is a fun activity to do if you’re with family because even kids are allowed to do it. Of course, once you do catch one, you have to return it back to the ocean.
5. Laze about in Sumilon Island’s sandbar. Nothing more relaxing than being pampered by the sound of the waves as you lounge in the island’s beautiful ridge.
Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort is located at Sumilon Island, Bancogon, Oslob, Cebu. For bookings and reservations, phone (+63 32) 318 3129, (+63 32) 318 9098, (+63 917) 631 7512, (+63 999) 885 8337, email <[email protected]>, or visit <bluewatersumilon.com.ph>