A quiet sanctuary. That is how I would describe my recent experience at Costa Celine Beach Resort in Cateel, Davao Oriental.
It was early morning on Monday when we left Davao City for Davao Oriental. The resort invited me for an overnight trial stay.
Being me, I slept for the majority of the trip to Cateel but was awake enough to see us go through the winding bypass road connecting Cateel and Davao de Oro.
We arrived at Costa Celine after around four hours of travel from Davao City. The resort is located along Cream Sand Beach in Cateel, Davao Oriental.
Resort Manager Lilebeth Aguirre warmly greeted us once we arrived at the resort’s lobby. We were given welcome drinks upon arrival.
Since it was a Monday, it was a slow day for the resort. We were told that their busiest is during the weekends. Nonetheless, the quietness of the resort was a welcome break from the busyness of the city.
While we waited for our rooms to be readied, I took a quick look at the property.
We were waiting at the resort’s main pavilion. The pavilion’s design sets the mood for your stay here. I love the bright colors of the furniture and decor. I also think it is quite breezy with its large windows and high ceiling.
According to the resort, their ceiling has been incorporated with a ‘Bagacay’ bamboo accent, “which also aids as a passive cooling system of the building.”
Meanwhile, outside the pavilion, you will find the large infinity pool. Tables and lounging chairs are also found along the pool deck.
Minutes later we were led to the villas where we will be spending the night.
We will be housed at Casa Felicitas, a two-bedroom duplex villa.
As we enter the room, we are greeted by its living and dining area. On one end of the area you will find the couch and the other end is some sort of a small pantry.
The villa has two rooms — one room has three single beds while the other has two queen-sized beds.
Each room has a large bathroom, television, working table, and open closet.
The whole villa is also air-conditioned with each room, including the living area, having its own conditioning unit.
One of the aspects that I love about the rooms is the beds and pillows. The beds are comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep and the pillows are fluffy.
Since the resort is still in its soft opening, there are some things that are lacking. One of the most noticeable is the lack of a phone to call room service. But after a quick chat with Ms. Beth, she assured me that those will be installed soon.
After settling in, we were toured around the property.
During the tour, we also visited other accommodations — the Deluxe Suites and the Villa Corazon.
The Deluxe Suites are all located within Casa Hermosa, a two-floor building beside the pavilion that also houses their function hall. Casa Hermosa also houses the Deluxe Superior rooms. All the rooms are air-conditioned.
The Deluxe Suites have two queen-sized bed and offers a view of the resort. It also has a desk and a television.
Meanwhile, the Villa Corazon is the largest accommodation in the resort. It has two bedrooms with a wide dining and living area. It also has a bar area. The villa also has its own parking space at the front and a wide backyard. The villa could also accommodate around 10 to 15 persons.
Meanwhile, the property also has a lot of lounging areas near the beachfront — hammocks, sofas, and bean bags.
The cafe at the pavilion offers a range of food that is reasonably priced for a resort located in this part of the Davao Oriental. During our visit, we were able to try a lot of their meals. Honestly, I had no problem with their food here. Overall, most tasted good and very filling.
For my top picks, I enjoyed the grilled pork belly, adobo, bolognese pasta, aglio olio, tocino, and four-cheese pizza. For the sweets, I liked the leche flan and the buko halo-halo.
Of the food we had, I think the most memorable were the pasta dishes I tried. I love how the pasta we had then was cooked to perfection. Both the aglio olio and the bolognese tasted really good too.
The adobo was a dish that anyone would enjoy.
I love the creaminess of the leche flan and wished that they had a bigger serving of it (LOL!). The buko halo-halo is highly recommended as it somehow wraps up the experience at the resort.
We were also able to try different platter meals for dinner and lunch. My top pick would be the all-meat dinner platter which includes pork barbecue, sausages, ribs, and chicken. It also came with a bowl of soup, roasted vegetables, and pickled papaya.
For the lunch platters, I would still opt for the all-meat platter that consists of a pork chop, chicken cordon bleu, roasted vegetables, salad, fresh fruits, and pickled papaya. However, the grilled fish and the pancit of the seafood platter were also very good.
THINGS TO DO AT COSTA CELINE
Since it is still in its soft opening, some of the activities are limited. Nonetheless, there are enough to keep you occupied.
Get a massage. I think my favorite part of our stay here was the massage. The massage happens at this small gazebo facing the beach. So, the gentle sound of the waves and the cool breeze made the massage extra relaxing. I fell asleep during my massage because everything was very chill.
Surfing lessons. The beach here is a surfer’s haven with its moderately strong waves. The resort will help facilitate a surfing lesson with local surfers that they have tapped. This is an activity you might want to give a go.
Read a book. What I love about Costa Celine is how quiet it can be on weekdays. I could simply grab a book and read at different spots of the resort.
Enjoy the beach. Cream Sand Beach has to be one of the best beaches I have visited in Davao City. I also like that the beach is not rocky. You can enjoy long walks along the shoreline or take a dip. On days when it is not very hot, you can also request a picnic set up near the beach.
I had a relaxing stay at Costa Celine. I love how quiet and peaceful things were during our stay. It was a weekday; so, the resort was extra quiet on these days.
Costa Celine was truly a sanctuary. I was coming off a busy week and the much-needed rest at the resort was a welcome.
Would I recommend the resort? Based on my experience, I would definitely recommend it, especially if you are looking for a place to simply relax and rest. Honestly, there is not much to do in Cateel, it is not yet like Mati City in terms of being a tourism hub. Nonetheless, its quiet charm makes up for it.
If you plan to come here, I would recommend booking on the weekdays as the crowd comes in on the weekends.
During our overnight stay, Costa Celine proved why it is “your sanctuary in the east” from the good food to its relaxing vibe.
For bookings and reservations, visit https://www.costaceline.com. You may also contact Costa Celine at +639177008225 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day-use rate is P950 per adult, and P500 is consumable. Children age 6 to 11 years old are at P500 per child, and P250 is consumable.