If you’re in need of a relaxing retreat from the crowded city, the sleepy town of Catmon along the less-visited northeast coast of Cebu might just be the place for you. The municipality is often bypassed by travelers heading farther north to the popular beach destinations of Bantayan and Malapascua, assuring visitors of a tranquil experience — just a 90-minute drive away from Cebu City!
Among the best places to stay in town is Huna Huna Cliff Resort, a Mediterranean-inspired seaside property overlooking the Camotes Sea, located along the southernmost end of Catmon, next to the border with the municipality of Carmen. The east-facing rocky coastline is blessed with glorious sunrises over Camotes and Leyte islands in the horizon, which can be viewed at your own private balcony or by the spring-fed infinity pool. True to its name, which means “mind” or “imagination” in Cebuano, this scenic accommodation is a place where one can clear the mind and soothe the soul.
The boutique resort has only 12 rooms, ensuring a peaceful and uncrowded stay. Six of the rooms are housed in a top-level villa with common living areas, while the rest are sea-view rooms with private balconies overlooking the rocky coastline, situated at the lower part of the property. (The only downside to the lower-level rooms is that they are farther away from the front desk and restaurant, and since the rooms aren’t equipped with intercom phones, ordering food or asking for assistance might be a chore, climbing up and down several steps — though it honestly makes for good exercise.)
The seaside pool area features an infinity pool with a solar-powered filtration system, fed by an underground spring. It has two hydrotherapy massage beds and a swim-up poolside bar (unstaffed during our stay). For a more intimate experience, one can also hang out at a separate jacuzzi tub.
Throughout the resort, there’s alfresco seating at verandas and grass-roofed cottages where guests can enjoy their food or simply enjoy the sea breeze and listen to the lapping waves. The rooms and facilities are connected by walkways and steps flanked by stone-walled gardens and original sculptures designed by the owner, who runs a costume jewelry business.
Guests may also walk all the way down to the rocky shoreline, where villagers collect shells and other edibles after sundown across the tidal flats. For underwater adventures, I recommend scuba diving at Kuya Jom’s Crib, the first and only dive shop in Catmon, located 4 km north of Huna Huna Cliff Resort.
The restaurant is located by the resort entrance along the highway, and offers a menu consisting mainly of pizza and rice plates. The Huna-Huna Royale (PHP 400) is their delicious signature pizza, topped with bacon, ham, salami, and bell pepper. Among the rice plate specialities we enjoyed most are the Grilled Porkchop (PHP 290), Chili Con Carne (PHP 240), and Chicken Ragout (PHP 250). There are also soups and salads for starters.
Unfortunately, there are no vegetable dishes on the menu, aside from the mixed greens (PHP 160) and cucumber salads (PHP 95). During our stay, the seafood options were also limited to grilled kitong (rabbitfish). There’s also kinilaw and grilled whole squid on the menu, but were unavailable. To finish off your meal, they offer a selection of wine, beer and other liquor.
Accommodation at the resort starts from PHP 2,000 to 2,500 for one of six rooms at the cliffside villa, inclusive of plated breakfast for two. The villa has common areas and separate verandas overlooking the sea. The best rooms in the resort, however, are the sea-view rooms with private balconies, which are PHP 2,600 per night from Mondays to Thursdays and PHP 2,999 per night from Fridays to Sundays.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Metro Cebu, one can easily get to Catmon by bus or van (PHP 100) in at least 90 minutes from the new North Bus Terminal, located in SM City Cebu (since late 2020). Huna Huna Cliff Resort is located at the southernmost end of Catmon, so watch out for it on your right side as you cross the municipal border from Carmen, coming from Metro Cebu. (Navigate using Google Maps.)
Address: Sitio Buyo, Barangay Binongkalan, Catmon, Cebu
Contact Numbers: +63 9173719741 or +63 9086259541