If you’re in need of a healthy dose of so-called “Vitamin Sea” – minus the frenetic atmosphere (and health risk) of crowded beaches – look no farther than the unassuming town of Asturias, less than two hours’ drive northwest of Cebu City, via the Cebu Transcentral Highway. Located at Barangay Santa Lucia, Tabique by the Sea is a beachside bed and breakfast with private, air-conditioned beach houses where guests can exclusively enjoy amenities and a stretch of sandy beach all to themselves. What’s more, not only can friends and family tag along, but guests may also bring their dogs and cats at this pet-friendly establishment! If you’re looking for attractions to visit during your stay, check out my list of 7 Amazing Tourist Spots in Asturias.
We stayed at the loft-type Bamboo House overlooking the beach with great views over Tañon Strait. From the balcony, one can watch fishermen line-fishing in their bangkas and villagers gathering edible mussels and seaweed at low tide.
The whole area is an excellent place to commune with nature, especially with children. During our stay, I’d wake up at sunrise to go birdwatching. I spotted sparrows, starlings, and white-eyes just outside the balcony of our beach house. The adjacent mangrove and fishpond behind the property are habitats for wetland birds like egrets, sandpipers, and kingfishers as well. When the tide recedes in the morning, the tidal flats leave shallow pools where you find hermit crabs, brittle stars, and mudskippers. If you walk farther out northwards during low tide, one can admire impressive views of Bagacawa Hill behind the rocks.
At the end of the day, sunsets over the Tañon Strait bathe the shoreline in lovely golden light. After dinner, we huddled for warmth around the complimentary camp fire. Of course, we brought marshmallows and graham crackers to make s’mores! Later in the evening, a few fireflies paid our balcony a visit to bid us off to sleep.
The beachside property is bisected by a concrete jetty stretching out to the tidal flats. Guests can enjoy their own section of the beach exclusively. The northern half has two Tepee Houses, A-frame dwellings that can fit up to three persons each. The other half of the resort can accommodate larger groups at the Bamboo House, a loft-type structure with an overhanging balcony, sitting right on the edge of a limestone outcrop and overlooking the shoreline below. Accommodating up to 10 persons, this beach house has two bunk beds in the lower level and an additional sleeping area with mattresses on the small loft above.
Free WiFi is supposedly provided, but the internet connection was down during our visit. Unfortunately, there was also no reliable mobile data signal in the vicinity. This can be a deal breaker for those who require internet access to stay in touch or work remotely.
But for those in need to unplug and unwind, there are several spots to relax and enjoy nature’s music of rustling leaves and salty breeze. The balcony has a table with seating and a rocking chair, while, outside, there’s a lounge bed and net hammock beneath the trees. A small cave along the shore, beneath the Bamboo House is a great spot to seek respite from the midday heat while swimming or exploring the beach.
Behind the Bamboo House are the detached open-air dining and lounge area, kitchen, and gender-specific bathrooms with hot and cold showers. Free drinking water is provided.
Guests are advised to prepare their own meals at the kitchen, or bring enough ingredients to have food prepared by the caretaker. Food service isn’t something offered on a regular basis as of the time of writing, but special arrangements can be made in advance. An in-house menu will be available in the near future upon completion of the Mahogany House (currently under construction). The kitchen is equipped with a gas stove, refrigerator, cooking utensils and charcoal grilling station.
Accommodation at Tabique by the Sea starts at ₱2,500 / ₱3,500 per night (weekdays/weekends) for the Tepee House, good for three persons (maximum occupancy of four). Larger groups can be accommodated at the Bamboo House for ₱8,000 / ₱6,500 per night (weekdays/weekends), good for nine persons (maximum occupancy of ten). Charge for additional person is ₱500 per night.
How to Get There
From Cebu City, take an air-conditioned Tuburan-bound van (aka v-hire) from the PUV terminals of either IT Park (across Ayala Malls Central Bloc) or Cebu Business Park (Ayala Center Cebu), , via the Cebu Transcentral Highway. Tell the driver to drop you off at “Sangi Santa Lucia”, the highway junction to Barangay Santa Lucia in Asturias (PHP 180, 2 hours). Note: if vans don’t fill up with passengers at Ayala Center, passengers are transferred to IT Park free of charge. Trips run from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm daily. From the junction, it’s a five minute ride by habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) or tricycle to Tabique by the Sea.
Address: Barangay Santa Lucia, Asturias, Cebu
Contact Number: +63 9176229996