Abaca Resort, Cebu

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 March, 2009, 12:00am

What is it? A new boutique resort in a little corner of Cebu's Mactan Island.

What's it like? Forget the massive, sprawling chain resorts Cebu is known for - this place feels like a private hideaway. With only six suites and three villas, it's easy to feel like a privileged guest. Abaca is all about seclusion and luxury. The resort is set on a gentle hillside with access to the ocean, a pool surrounded by cabanas, an innovative restaurant with sea views and luxurious suites and villas.

What are the rooms like? Spacious suites have locally sourced hardwood interiors, furniture and antiques, Laura Ashley towels and silk pillows by Jim Thompson along with iPod docking stations and rainfall showers. Villas have their own plunge pools and iMacs with free internet access.

How about dining? Abaca's owners, Jason and Anna Hyatt, previously worked for the LKF Group in Hong Kong - Jason was the group's executive chef while Anna handled marketing. His innovation and passion for finding the freshest ingredients have been adopted by the resort's restaurant, where the menu of Mediterranean-influenced, Californian-style cuisine regularly attracts regional celebrities.

What is there to do? If lying by the 30 metre black-tiled infinity pool or being doted on by a personal butler is not enough, visit the ocean-front spa for a treatment, such as a botanical facial, or take an outrigger to a nearby reef for a spot of snorkelling.

What's the bottom line? Rooms start from US$290 for a master ocean-front suite. JJ Explorer Tours (www.jjxtours .com) operates a two-night spa and dining package from HK$5,880, which includes economy flights via Manila on Philippine Airlines, a private car service from the airport, daily breakfast, an evening cocktail, internet access, a bottle of prosecco, a 60-minute spa facial, a 75-minute massage, a 45-minute mother-of-pearl foot treatment for two and a five-course dinner in Abaca's restaurant. Prices include government taxes and service charge. Special terms and conditions apply.

Abaca Resort is on Punta Engano Road, Mactan Island, Cebu, the Philippines, tel: +63 32 495 3461; www.abacaresort.com.