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Wonderluxe Destination: Dedon Island – Siargao

Hot on the heels of a group of New York journalists who came quietly to Dedon Island for an exclusive preview last April, Zee Lifestyle is the first local magazine to feature this latest addition to the list of luxury destinations. Eva Gullas reports on her visit to the island.

Hot on the heels of a group of New York journalists who came quietly to Dedon Island for an exclusive preview last April, Zee Lifestyle is the first local magazine to feature this latest addition to the list of luxury destinations. Eva Gullas reports on her visit to the island.

With several thousand islands in this country to choose from, what makes Siargao Island special? Most surfers have known Cloud 9 for some time, and at best that’s what the island is known for—world-class competitions held regularly on the white sand beaches that front a wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean. adding to this surfers’ paradise myth is its inaccessibility; as of press time, there are only three flights a week from Cebu to Siargao, although it is reachable daily through the more rigorous route of Surigao City. A decade or so ago, a brave Frenchman named Nicolas Rambeau made Siargao his home, creating an idyll that was soon followed by other europeans looking for Alex Garland’s beach paradise. this small foreign community is still around, and visitors would be surprised to find life’s little comforts, such as espresso and crisp linen sheets, in such a remote place. taking it a notch higher is the newly opened Dedon Island. after firmly establishing its manufacturing presence in Cebu, the company that made outdoor furniture eponymous with plastic weaves, at the urging of its jet- setting founder Bobby Dekeyser, took a plunge by setting up its first hospitality business through a beach resort that proudly proclaims its provenance. Dedon Island rose on the site of Rambeau’s Pansukian tropical Beach resort, and in true company fashion, the former tropical luxe resort was transformed with Dedon vibes. thatched roofs paired with sheer curtains meet glass walls and Philippe starck-designed chairs. Furniture and furnishings carry the trademark weave, while indigenous hardwood is spread out extensively.

There are only four detached family villas with lofts and five regular suites, making this one of the most intimate resorts around. “this is an all-inclusive destination,” the company’s CEO Herve Lampert explains. “Dedon created a travel agency just to service this requirement, and our ideal clients are those looking for a holiday without the fuss of credit cards. all bookings and payments are done thru the website or the travel office in Geneva, Switzerland.” the lucky guest may start his journey in Paris, and is jetted through several destinations including, if desired, a lunch stop at the Maldives, then dinner at Abaca on Mactan island before totally losing touch with civilization and cell phone coverage on their way to Siargao Island. initial rates are set at Us$1,200, which includes everything your heart desires within the confines of the four-hectare resort. have five- hour massages, or dine on champagne and lobster prepared by an on-site private chef that checks the day’s catch from nearby fishing villages early in the morning. Add to the itinerary an outrigger ride to nearby uninhabited islands and sandbars, deep-sea fishing, or a jaunt to nearby Cloud 9 or the local market in a Dedon-outfitted jeepney.

The clubhouse, if you can call it that, is a beachfront bar custom- wrapped in a cocoon-like weave, where fresh coconut water or a martini can be had any time in the day. It is a short hop to the sparkling pool or a dash to the soft waves. Dedon lounge chairs and the iconic Nestrest, hanging loungers shaped like Hershey’s Kisses, are placed in strategic areas, and with the right book, it’s easy to disappear in this tree-filled resort by the sea. Working with the designers at the company headquarters in Germany which included French designers Jean-Marie Massaud and Daniel Puozet, the Philippine team headed by Herve’s wife Tess Lampert and Vince Lampert, Dedon’s General Manager in Cebu, collaborated to come up with a resort not quite an Aman or Bulgari in Bali, but not Club Med either. The result is uniquely theirs, capturing the barefoot philosophy and nature sanctuary (the nearby mangroves have been adopted and local farmers are encouraged to go organic), which is what they set out to do from the very start. Or as Armand Limnander wrote about the resort in W magazine’s July 2012 travel pages, it’s “like visiting a magnanimous uncle’s fabulous tropical getaway.”

  • photography by Olivier Yoan

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Travel

THROWBACK THURSDAY. Our Stylish Voyage on a Boat with Loida and Richard

FOR SAIL

With hosts Loida Montesclaros and Richard Forteau, we take entertaining to the high seas.

by Shari Quimbo photography Steffen Billhardt

The sky was decidedly gloomy on the Sunday afternoon Loida Montesclaros and Richard Forteau invited a small group of us for a sail, the clouds getting darker as I make my way to Porter’s Marina, where the Blue Planet was docked.

“Richard built the boat himself in Cebu,” Loida explains, going on to share that he was the former honorary French consul in Cebu. “It was built here, and I designed the interiors.”

All that work certainly paid off—Loida and Richard would often sail the boat out to different Philippine destinations such as El Nido, Siargao, Boracay and the Gigantes Islands in Iloilo. These could mean days-long journeys that sometimes meant dealing with some rough seas. Quick day trips, much like the one we were about to embark on, were also a regular past time.

Loida gives me a quick tour of the boat then shows off her tropical spread. With its bright blue and white floral seating, the cabin’s dining area is already a pretty festive site. “I wanted to keep it simple,” she tells me, arranging her fresh fruits around on the banana leaf-covered wooden slabs she was using as serving trays. “And I wanted it to look more local, more tropical. We are on the water, after all.”

The bamboo slats of the dining table were the perfect backdrop to Loida’s spread, which featured tropical fruits alongside an entire roll of lechon belly, fresh lumpia, empanada and steamed shrimp.

The highlight of the table, though, was the chicken liver pate, a dish that Richard makes himself. “Luckily, the French love to cook,” Loida jokes conspiratorially.

Finally, it was time to take the vessel out onto the high seas, and the group makes its way above deck to enjoy the view. The cool sea breeze was a bit stronger than usual, something that had to do with the dark rain clouds looming above us—something that would have deterred any other group, but not this adventurous bunch. Armed with a glass of champagne in one hand and a biscuit smeared with pate on the other, many stand against the railing, admiring the sight of the sky turning orange above the Mactan Channel.

And then it starts to pour. No matter, though—as the rain pounds against the deck, the party finds its way down below. A bottle of wine is opened, and then another, while a second pot of pate is transferred on a plate. Our captain waits until the waves calm before he brings us back ashore.

(This story has already been published in the printed edition of Zee Lifestyle Magazine’s November 2016 issue as one of the Entertaining Features on pages 82-85.)

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Culture

Experience authentic Korean Barbeque at Da-In Restaurant

Filipinos are crazy for Korean barbecue. As such, there are a lot of places that are offering Korean barbecue. But Da-In restaurant isn’t just one of those restaurants.

Located in Salinas Drive in Lahug, Cebu, Da-in restaurant is a joint project between the Creative Cuisine Group and Da-Won restaurant. With state-of-the-art grilling stations in each table and various Korean cuisines ready to be served, Da-In would surely sate your Korean barbecue cravings without any hassle.

Visit Da-In restaurant today!

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Featured

Head Up North, Where A Relaxing Escapade is in Store at Maayo San Remigio

On your next trip out of the city, head up North to Maayo San Remigio, where a relaxing escapade awaits.

Oftentimes, when it comes to deciding the next travel destination, the Northern part
of Cebu is overlooked in favour of its Southern end. The South boasts of sunny beaches,
cascading waterfalls and the popular whale sharks who have made its waters their home.
While these are beautiful aspects that the South has to offer, the North is just as—if not
more—abundant in offerings. The North’s natural scenery is relatively untouched, and on top
of that, it’s less likely to be flocked by tourists.

This means more opportunities for a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the
city. The roads heading North are long and winding, yet the beauty that lies at the end of the
journey proves that the trip is worth it. Knowing that, where does one go in the North?

Hidden away in the northern part of Cebu, Maayo San Remigio is a haven for those
who seek peace and serenity, making it an alluring abode for a sojourn on the island.

The resort’s guest rooms are vibrant and reminiscent of the Carribean.

Approximately a 3-hour drive from the city, the resort grants access to a tropical
retreat with a captivating beachfront setting—a charming destination away from the daily
hustle. Whether on its fine white sands and blue waters or inside the cozy rooms, Maayo
San Remigio is a delight to local and foreign tourists alike.

A newly-opened resort under Maayo Hotels flagship, Maayo San Remigio is a
destination that guarantees a refreshing, laidback experience, sure to wash away the worries
you brought with you from the city.

A clean white aesthetic is made tropical with bamboo accents and greenery.

It’s equipped with a mix of luxurious relaxation and wellness, fun and entertainment,
and enticing wining and dining options. This Caribbean-inspired resort is a serene hideaway
on a lush slice of tropical paradise with emphasis on ultimate comfort and exclusivity.

The resort’s location makes it doubly precious; scattered throughout the resort
grounds are viewing areas that grant you access to the sunset. Watch the sun sink down the
horizon by the infinity pool, on the beach’s shoreline, or atop the cliffside with the waves
crashing below. When night falls, the stars come out to dance across the clear skies, making
for an unparalleled stargazing experience.

Sunsets at Maayo San Remigio are a sight to behold.

Maayo San Remigio blends authentic Cebuano hospitality with its tranquil
atmosphere and exceptional design. Its well-appointed rooms and villas ensure a relaxing staycation, while its thoughtful amenities and facilities evoke a feeling of belonging in
paradise. The resorts brings the culinary excellence that is found in the Maayo Hotels brand,
creating palate-pleasing Filipino dishes with a modern twist. Complemented by the resort’s
wide menu of drinks—from juices to cocktails to shakes—one will truly enjoy a stay here.

So on your next trip out of the city, head up North to Maayo San Remigio, where a
relaxing escapade awaits.

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