Nothing much is written about Pulchra Resort except that it’s a Japanese-owned 5-star resort and that its rates only suit those with deep pockets. These and the fact that it is situated 27 kilometers south of Cebu City in San Fernando, Cebu might have been some of the reasons we don’t read much about it on the web recently.
We had the opportunity to visit and use the resort’s beautiful amenities early this year. I had mixed feelings when we arrived at the resort but came to understand later in our stay the essence of being in Pulchra.
A massive concrete entrance outlined with a mishmash of tall shrubs, palm and coconut trees stretched out before us as we enter the resort’s gates. The lush greenery, the azure sky punched with clouds, and the chorus of birds all greeted us as our car slowly rolled toward the parking area. We almost forgot the fact that just a few meters outside the resort, is the national highway. One can only hear our exhilaration and the bird songs drifting through the trees once inside the resort.
Nestled within a vast expanse of nature, the resort boasts its very spacious Balinese-themed suites, manicured gardens, and countless pools. I was amazed at how each villa has its pool where you can dip alone and uninterrupted. Aside from the villa pools, an enormous swimming pool stretching from the reception area and circling the resort’s main open-dining restaurant gives the impression that the said dining area is floating in the middle.
We were welcomed by a smiling and gracious Japanese receptionist, who spoke English well. Four season drinks were served in shot glasses to quench our thirst and signal the start of our stay.
Once we had registered at the reception hall, we were ushered through a paved pathway toward the Pool Lagoon suites where we will be staying.
As it was summer and the weather was dry and all, small piles of dead leaves lay scattered in the sheltered corners of the gardens, some on top of the green grass, and a few on the pavement where they crackled under our feet. It was understandable. Something as massive as Pulchra’s greenery can be tricky to maintain. It gave the resort a distinct identity though. It made the resort looked unabashedly genuine, down-to-earth — the exact opposite of pretentious.
Apart from the Pool Lagoon suites, Pulchra also has the Pool Garden Villa, Seafront Jacuzzi Villa, Two-Bedroom Pool Villa, and Lagoon Suite (without pool). The most expensive one, the Seafront Jacuzzi Villa, is priced at $720/night (P37,000). The Lagoon Suite, being the most affordable type of room, costs $320/night (P16,000).
Our Pool Lagoon suite was clean and spacious. It was like we were taken to a resort in Bali, Indonesia by how the room was designed. Some customers may complain about how outdated the suite look, but I believe this is how a Balinese-inspired room should be. If you’ve never been to Bali before or have never seen how a Balinese architectural design looks, you may have qualms about the mixture of modern and traditional, wooden furnishings and marble bathrooms in the rooms. Check out The Kayon Resort or the Bali Tropic Resort & Spa in Bali, Indonesia for starters. This is probably the closest thing to being in Bali here in Cebu.
Once I opened the sliding doors, a breathtaking view of the interconnected plunge pools and the green lagoon welcomed us. Our skin bathed in the humid light of the rising sun. Our eyes marveled at the expanse of blue and green before us.
My little daughter, who couldn’t wait to swim with her inflatable toys, was the first to frolic in the shallow waters with her father. I watched the merriment while capturing the scenic views surrounding our villa. Later on, I called my husband, who is a professional wedding photographer, to get some shots of me on the double bed and in the marble bathtub. If there’s no photo, it never happened.
How I wished I was able to check out the other types of rooms available in the resort. But for now, those who are planning to stay at the hotel and resort can browse through Pulchra’s website or see a bird’s-eye view of the resort here.
In the afternoon, we sauntered to the main swimming pool, where you can take long laps due to its immense length and size. Then, we relaxed by the beach, the fine white sand separating our tired bodies from the sea. Some people who had visited the resort before find that the beach wasn’t that good to swim into. Since I didn’t have the chance to experience it myself, I couldn’t tell you if what they said was true.
Nonetheless, the view from where we lay down was amazing. The waves glistened like emerald, gently crashing against the shore. The cool summer breeze came rushing as we closed our eyes, relishing the solitude and the smell of sea salt washing all over us.
I experienced calm, peace and mindfulness — being there in the moment and one with nature. I came to understand what Pulchra is all about. Of why Pulchra isn’t for everyone.
Pulchra Resort, Cebu is for those who venture out to find solitude. The privacy and its proximity from the hustle and bustle of the city gives its patrons a chance to get away, to retreat into a place of tranquility, to find one’s lost self in nature, and to be one with the earth.
You are offered the symphony of nature, from the lush tropical greenery, delightful gardens filled with bougainvilleas, the sound of birds chirping in the thick branches to the serene beach with its soothing, gentle sea breeze rustling through your hair.
A stay in Pulchra for a few nights anchors you and changes your state of mind. It’s not the amenities that do that; it’s actually the unique experience.
If you seek the thrill and a party beach vibe, you’re better off at another beach resort. But if you want to find a place of refuge within nature, without going very far, booking a stay at Pulchra might be the answer.