Simply being close to nature can have such a healing effect on the mind and body. Just a 90-minute drive away from Cebu City, one can find a perfect escape where visitors are embraced by greenery, serenaded by trilling cicadas and birdsong, before getting lulled to sleep by the gushing rhythms of a shallow stream. Tucked in a lush gully, Treehouse de Valentine features rustic but well-appointed treehouses right next to a swimmable stream deep in the forested uplands of Balamban. It’s the perfect place to live out your jungle fantasies with the creature comforts of a boutique resort!
Treehouse de Valentine offers two guesthouses located along a creek surrounded by dense rainforest. We stayed at larger Treehouse 1, which has three levels. One enters via the uppermost storey where there are two bedrooms and a bathroom with a bathtub fashioned from solid wood. A flight of stairs leads to the second middle level where there’s a kitchenette, living area with a widescreen LED TV (with YouTube and Netflix!), a solid-wood dining table, and extra bedroom with toilet and rain shower. Rattan rocking chairs and lounges provide excellent spots to relax on the balcony’s overlooking the surrounding gully. At the ground level, along the riverbank, are two hammocks, next to a free-flowing pool of spring water that overflows onto the creek.
Take note that there’s no mobile signal in the area, however, the guesthouses have free wifi (with speeds of only up to 10 mbps).
Guests of each guesthouse get to enjoy a section of the creek all to themselves. The shallow stream, hemmed in by jungle-clad limestone walls, is clean and safe for swimming with water levels only reaching chest high at the deepest portions. Visitors of Treehouse 1 also have exclusive access to a small waterfall just a short walk away upriver from the guesthouse!
Guests are permitted to bring their own pre-cooked meals, or cook their own food at the guesthouses. The treehouses have kitchenettes — equipped with refrigerator, built-in stovetop, and microwave — and outdoor grilling stations where you can cook your own food. (Tip: for last-minute grocery shopping, you can drop by Gaisano Town Center along the main highway towards Balamban town proper before checking in).
Alternatively, the staff can prepare pre-ordered meals for your group from their menu of home-style Filipino dishes with some vegetarian options. Our party of four enjoyed a generous dinner of crispy pork adobo (PHP 165), chicken curry (PHP 185), spicy garlic shrimp (PHP 220), linubihang monggo (mung beans in coconut milk, PHP 125 for single order), and ginataang sitaw at kalabasa (string beans and squash in coconut milk, PHP 110 for single order). All single orders were served with rice.
Room rates start at PHP 8,000 (Mon-Thu) or PHP 10,000 (Fri-Sun) per night at the newer Treehouse 2 for a group of five. Additional headcount fee of PHP 500 per head for 3 to 12 year olds, and PHP 1,000 per head for 13 year olds and above. Maximum capacity of Treehouse 2 is 8 persons.
The original Treehouse 1, where we stayed and photographed in this post, costs PHP 12,000 (Mon-Thu) or PHP 15,000 (Fri-Sun) per night for a party of eight. Additional headcount fee of PHP 500 per head for 3 to 12 year olds, and PHP 1,000 per head for 13 year olds and above. Maximum capacity of Treehouse 2 is 12 persons.
There are special couple’s rates (ie. good for two persons) of PHP 6,000 and PHP 8,000 per night for Treehouse 2 and Treehouse 1, respectively, available from Mondays to Thursdays only.
Stays are inclusive of complimentary plated breakfast. Check-in time is 3:00 PM, and check-out time is 11:00 AM.
HOW TO GET THERE
Located 50 km away from Cebu City, the accommodation is best reached by private car via the Cebu Transcentral Highway, if coming from Metro Cebu (Read my previous blog post for new places to eat along the way). Alternatively, one can ride van (aka “V-hire”) and alight at the junction to Barangay Hingatmonan, where you can take a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) to the guesthouse. Use Google Maps or Waze to navigate.
Address: Barangay Hingatmonan, Balamban, Cebu
Booking Website: https://airbnb.com/h/treehousedevalentine