Embraced by beautiful seas and tucked inside lush forests, Misibis Bay offers high-end resort accommodations for discerning tourists who visit the province of Albay and its majestic Mayon Volcano.
This premiere paradise integrates global hospitality standards with the natural surroundings of Cagraray Island in the town of Bacacay, where it is located.
Because of this, Misibis Bay has succeeded in becoming a destination in itself. As such, it has helped bring not just Albay but the whole of Bicol Region to the forefront of Philippine tourism throughout the years.
The Sunday Times Magazine, through a familiarization trip organized by the Department of Tourism, set foot on this property in June, and discovered what truly sets it apart from the rest: a balance of luxury and play that is complemented by personalized service.
“Misibis Bay still is the most luxurious compared to any other resort in the area. But slowly—kind of naturally—it has also drifted into a place that is adventurous. So when you research about the resort now, say from the website website, Misibis Bay will always be about relaxation with a lot of adventure. It’s a balance between both,” related the property’s general manager Sasha Zakharka.
Zakharka and resort manager Francisco Correia currently run the resort. Both come from Enderun Hospitality Management, the company which has been entrusted by Misibis Bay’s owners, the prominent Co family of Albay, to manage the property in the next three years.
As Albay’s premier paradise, Misibis Bay curates unforgettable and indulgent experiences for all its guests.
On top of this list is “Cocktails at the 5 Views,” which, according Zakharka is perfect for couples. The most picturesque setting for a proposal, 5 Views overlooks the Mayon Volcano, a lake and rolling hills.
There, Misibis Bay will set up a cozy picnic place, not only with mats and pillows, but also a private mini-bar where a personal bartender will concoct and serve the resort’s signature cocktails and canapés.
Imagine all this with the setting sun in the background. Indeed, to view the Mayon Volcano with your loved one has never been this romantic.
“It’s kind of surreal. Just five minutes ago, you’re at the resort and now, you’re suddenly at the edge of the cliff, watching the sunset and Mt. Mayon. You’re with the one you loved, and you just take it all in,” Zakharka enthused.
Besides catering to couples, Misibis Bay also has special experiences lined up for families, one of which is a private dining set up at the secluded Luyang beach cove, which is accessible through a 15-minute motorboat ride.
Upon arriving, a big table set up will await the vacationing family on the beachfront. A chef will then grill the freshest catch of the day and serve them straight onto their plates for a deliciously organic meal.
At the cove, children can also go swimming while adults can lounge around at the nearby hut scattered with comfy beanbags.
Besides Luyang beach, there are several other spots inside Misibis Bay, which visitors can also request to use for private lunches and dinners, such as the poolside or the beachfront.
Moreover, the resort further heightens these experience to gastronomical levels with its carefully crafted menu. Diners can choose from fusion cuisine with surf and turf entrees and dark chocolate mousse for dessert, among others; or a traditional fare with hearty lechon kawali, and chicken binakol soup with lemongrass and coconut meat.
After indulging its guests’ palates, Misibis Bay encourages visitors to embark on one-of-a-kind adventures showcasing the best of Bicol’s eco-tourism, the center of which is the majestic Mayon Volcano.
Start with a Legazpi day-tour that goes to Cagsawa Ruins and the Lignon Hill, which have long been the most popular vantage points to view the famed perfect cone volcano.
Besides leisurely strolls, there is also the thrilling option of taking an ATV tour to the volcano’s famous lava wall at the Bonga Gully.
After fully appreciating the beauty of Mt. Mayon, guests can continue their adventures via cave and waterfall explorations. Either go spelunking at Pototan Cave, or be enchanted with Vera falls. Why not do both?
During peak season, Misibis Bay can also arrange a whale shark interaction tour to the nearby island province of Donsol.
“What is great about the resort is that it has such a variety of activities—in the mountains, around the volcano, and by the ruins. And everything is always short trip away. We organize these tours even if they are outside the premises of the resort, and help guests come up with the best itinerary for their interests,” the general manager noted.
But even just inside the property, there is an array of activities that will keep one’s adrenaline rushing. Let us count the ways: Ride a high-powered jetski; test your balance while paddle surfing; paddle leisurely on a kayak; speed away at aboard the banana boat; and for the most challenging activity of all, sign up for a day of wind surfing!
Serious divers as well as those bold enough to go under water can head on to Albay Gulf where there are options for introductory and professional diving.
Still by land, there are adventures waiting to be had as Misibis Bay takes guests to the Eco-Energy Park for an exhilarating zip-line ride. And back at the resort, more play time awaits with Segway rides around the property.
Besides its pleasurable and exciting offerings, The Sunday Times Magazine also learned that Misibis Bay is best defined by its signature, personalized service.
All this begins upon arrival. On hand to give their warmest welcome is the resort’s friendly staff that will escort their guests to the lobby, and assist them for check in. A golf cart is then ready and waiting to transfer visitors to their rooms. To fully settle in, guests can ask for a complimentary foot spa by the hotel’s trained therapists.
This reception, the staff proudly relates, always leaves a memorable impression on Misibis Bay first-timers.
As for returning guests, they will be treated just the same, and even better. Zakharka explained that most members of the staff, who hail from the region, already recognize regular guests, and thus anticipate their needs.
“They know how you want the amenities placed in your room. How you want to drink your Coke with a slice of lemon. The fact that they don’t have to explain everything again; that they are happy to be here and to see you again—it’s that kind of feeling,” the general manager elaborated. “This makes people feel as if they were coming back to something as comfortable as home.”
Into the future
Moving forward, Misibis Bay is undergoing two expansion phases to accommodate more guests as tourism happily continues to rise in the region. The first, which is set to finish this year, is a massive structure facing the Albay Gulf. Called the Sea View Rooms, it will add 60 more units to increasing the resort’s room accommodation to a total of 150. Currently has 53 Garden View rooms, and 37 villas facing the beach.
Resort manager Correia said they are also building a new Thai restaurant and a beach club to add to the resort’s present facilities comprised of swimming pools, the Essences Spa, the Spice Market restaurant, a gym, and playrooms for adults and children.
But more than these developments, Misibis Bay pledges to continue highlighting the Bicol Region even within the resort via cultural activities like hat-making, as well as featuring local flavors in the menu.
According to Correia, all these plans will cater to Misibis Bay’s No. 1 guests—Filipinos from all over the country. Moreover, they also aim to entice more Bicolanos to the property, just like the resort owners who regularly bring their families to Misibis Bay for weekend retreats.
“Of our total guest arrivals, 80 to 90 percent are Filipinos, and we take pride in that number,” he concluded.