Des­ti­na­tion

Bo­hol’s Eskaya Beach Re­sort and Spa re­ver­ber­ates a fu­sion of tra­di­tional and mod­ern Filipino de­sign

Philippine Tatler Homes - - CONTENTS - WORDS maritess gar­cia reyes pho­tog­ra­phy ald­win as­pillera ad­di­tional WORDS, pro­duc­tion, and Styling mia bor­romeo

Named af­ter the only known in­dige­nous tribe of Bo­hol, Eskaya Beach Re­sort and Spa is a charm­ing all-villa sea­side prop­erty set on 40 acres in the prov­ince’s pop­u­lar is­land des­ti­na­tion of Panglao. The re­sort fea­tures a di­verse to­pog­ra­phy with lush green­ery, a pri­vate 600-me­tre pow­dery shore­line, and grad­u­ally de­scend­ing cliffs that com­mand a view of the cerulean Bo­hol Sea.

Eskaya can be ac­cessed by a swift one-hour flight from Manila and an easy 30-minute drive from Tag­bi­la­ran air­port. The re­sort’s rus­tic stone en­trance is hard to miss with its mas­sive riprap wall framed by flame trees; a salakot-in­spired (na­tive Filipino hat) guard house stands in the mid­dle. Paved path­ways lead to 24 thatched vil­las, com­prised of the orig­i­nal 15 (de­signed by the ar­chi­tec­tural firm Mañosa & Com­pany) echo­ing a tra­di­tional Filipino vibe and nine new vil­las with in­te­ri­ors that res­onate a fresh, con­tem­po­rary take on Filipino de­sign by the up and com­ing in­te­rior de­signer, Jigs Ade­fuin. Eskaya’s vil­las are solidly built of stone and

com­bined with the am­ple use of in­dige­nous ma­te­ri­als like bam­boo, co­gon, and wood.

Ade­fuin’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with the own­ers of the re­sort started when the lat­ter read an ar­ti­cle about the in­te­rior de­signer’s exhibit for the ninth an­niver­sary of de­sign hub, LRI De­sign Plaza. Keenly in­ter­ested in Ade­fuin’s sig­na­ture style, the re­sort own­ers tapped him for the Eskaya ex­pan­sion project. “When the own­ers came to meet me [for the first time],

they dis­cussed how they wanted to have a fresh ap­proach to the in­te­ri­ors of the new vil­las [that were be­ing con­structed]. The brief given to me [spec­i­fied] a ba­hay kubo or nipa hut with high-end mod­ern ameni­ties. So ba­si­cally, the over­all de­sign con­cept is con­tem­po­rised Filipino,” ex­plains Ade­fuin. While na­tive touches and the trop­i­cal at­mos­phere are main­tained in keep­ing with the orig­i­nal vil­las, the new ones re­ver­ber­ate a lighter am­bi­ence, with cleaner lines and ur­ban el­e­ments.

NEW VIL­LAS

Ade­fuin made sure that the new vil­las cre­ated un­der his helm would be co­her­ent with the re­sort’s first phase. While it was im­per­a­tive for him to meet the re­sort own­ers’ ex­pec­ta­tions, Ade­fuin still man­aged to in­fuse his own iden­tity into the de­sign; each villa ra­di­ates balance, sym­me­try, and pro­por­tion; light­ing also played a role in re­in­forc­ing the mood in dif­fer­ent rooms. “I de­signed the in­te­ri­ors of the new vil­las with the Asian mar­ket in mind. They [usu­ally] pre­fer mod­ern ameni­ties [even within] an is­land set­ting. The in­tent is to cre­ate an in­ward ex­pres­sion of the ba­hay kubo but with brighter am­bi­ence and a [more con­tem­po­rary] ex­pe­ri­ence,” he says.

A koi pond that in­stantly in­duces a re­laxed state of mind marks the en­trance to the split-level gar­den-view fam­ily villa, Balai Banai Duha. One of the premier struc­tures in Eskaya Beach Re­sort and Spa’s new phase, it is ex­tremely gen­er­ous in size with two main bed­rooms, a liv­ing room, a din­ing area, and a fully-equipped Bulthaup kitchen on the ground floor, plus two bed­rooms in the se­cond storey loft. City comforts and neu­tral pal­ettes are used all over—from the din­ing and liv­ing to the bed­room spa­ces. The lux­u­ri­ous kitchen that comes com­plete with table­ware was cre­ated with the Asian guest in mind, al­low­ing fam­i­lies

The space cer­tainly in­vites guests To Take plea­sure in a Trop­i­cal bath ex­pe­ri­ence

and groups of friends to en­joy a “homeaway-from-home” ex­pe­ri­ence where they can pre­pare and savour their own meals in the pri­vacy of the villa.

Bed­rooms fea­ture roomy clos­ets made of Philip­pine ma­hogany frames with fire-bended raw wicker backed by wo­ven mat­ting. Brass wall ac­cents de­pict­ing trees hang above the head­boards re­flect­ing the nat­u­ral fo­liage out­side. Glass sky­lights fill the spa­cious out­door bath­rooms with sun­light at day­time. Dec­o­rated with tex­tured wall tiles and fix­tures by Porce­lanosa and fringed with bam­boo walls, the mas­ter bath­room fea­tures a lux­u­ri­ous Dray­ton free­stand­ing tub by Vic­to­ria & Al­bert as its fo­cal point. The space cer­tainly in­vites guests to take plea­sure in a trop­i­cal bath ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ground floor bed­rooms have di­rect ac­cess to the villa’s pri­vate pool, which glows dra­mat­i­cally at night. On the out­door deck, loungers al­low guests to chill out and en­joy the evening breeze.

Ade­fuin also de­signed the in­te­ri­ors of eight 197-square-me­tre grand vil­las. Each fea­tures a mas­ter bed­room with floor-to-ceil­ing glass win­dows that look out into the pri­vate plunge pool; a cosy liv­ing area with daybeds; and a com­bi­na­tion din­ing and kitchen area. Most of the fur­ni­ture has been de­signed by Ade­fuin and pro­duced by Sig­vard Selections.

AL fresco

In ad­di­tion to the vil­las, Ade­fuin was also com­mis­sioned to ex­tend the re­sort’s open-air

din­ing out­let, Lantawan, which over­looks a pool and of­fers views of the land- and seascapes. “I worked around the ex­ten­sion, which has a struc­ture [de­fined by] col­umns and a mas­sive glass sky­light that bathes the room with nat­u­ral light. The col­umns, wrapped with Bo­hol’s na­tive coral lime­stones, sup­port a wooden trel­lis that car­ries the weight of the glass pan­els,” shares Ade­fuin. Also on the draw­ing board is a walk-in wine cel­lar to be in­cor­po­rated into the restau­rant.

In line with the con­tem­po­rary Filipino theme, the Lantawan ex­ten­sion fea­tures cus­tomised wood din­ing ta­bles and wo­ven

abaca chairs. Ade­fuin used a dis­tressed wood fin­ish for the din­ing ta­bles to en­sure easy main­te­nance.

Spe­cial men­tion should be made of Lantawan’s Filipino cui­sine. Must-try’s are the mouth-wa­ter­ing humba or braised pork belly on a bed of gar­lic with fer­mented black beans flavoured with Mal­lorca, a lo­cally-pro­duced gin; the savoury bi­na­goon­gang le­chon kawali or crispy pork belly tossed in fra­grant shrimp paste served with string beans, pump­kin, and okra;

and clas­sic Bo­holano dish beef bal­bacua or slow-cooked ox trot­ter stew with lo­cal veg­eta­bles. For dessert, the de­li­cious biko (rice cake) in­fused with hints of lime and gin­ger, and ba­nana turon (frit­ters) with ube (pur­ple yam)—a rootcrop abun­dant in the prov­ince—are rec­om­mended. In the evenings, guests can en­joy al fresco can­dlelit din­ner by the re­sort’s scenic in­fin­ity pool.

WHAT’S NEXT

Still un­der con­struc­tion is the gym, which will of­fer mod­ern fit­ness equip­ment com­bined with re­fresh­ing views. Ade­fuin de­signed the gym with con­tem­po­rised Filipino touches. “Wood and glass will be prom­i­nent on the walls and win­dows. A lighted cove will high­light the wood-cladded ceil­ing. We also su­per­im­posed wo­ven pat­terns on the floor­ing,” he says. The con­struc­tion of the gym is ex­pected to be com­pleted by year-end.

When asked about what else is in store from Eskaya Beach Re­sort and Spa, Ade­fuin gladly shares that an exclusive air­port lounge at the soon-to-be-launched Panglao Is­land In­ter­na­tional Air­port is in the pipe­line. Eskaya’s guests can surely look for­ward to sev­eral sur­prises in the com­ing year.

CHECK­ING INFROM LEFT Path­ways are fringed withtrop­i­cal fo­liage; wood and bronze ac­cents lenda cosy feel to the Balai Banai Duha’smas­ter bed­room

IN­SETA koi pond wel­comes guests at Balai Banai Duha

BATH TIMEOP­PO­SITE Sun peeks through the ceil­ing of the out­door mas­ter bath­roomwhere a gleam­ing whitefree­stand­ing tub sits amidst nat­u­ral bam­booel­e­ments

CITY COMFORTS The mas­ter bedr­room in the grand villa of­fers a view of the pri­vate plunge pool

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFTBronze tree wall ac­cent; the GrandVilla’s invit­ing out­door deck; all set for me­rienda at the villa’s luxe Bulthaup kitchen and din­ing space. Kitchen ameni­tiesin­clude a fully stocked mini-bar and Ne­spressoma­chineIN­SET Lantawan’sMan­ager Celso Arce at your ser­vice forin-villa din­ing

Roast Pork withCrack­ling skinSin­ful as it may seem, the crispy pork slices dipped in a trio of saucesis heav­enlysilken tofuteriyakiAlso on the menu are tastyAsian dishes and veg­e­tar­ian op­tions such as the fried tofu on a bed of soba noo­dlesBI­NA­GOON­GANG le­chon kawaliTen­der yet crisp, sweet and savoury,this tra­di­tional Filipino dish gives an ex­plo­sionof flavoursHUMBAA pop­u­lar Visayan dish, this suc­cu­lent pork stew has been slow-cookedfor hours

FILIPINO VIBECLOCK­WISE The din­ing space ex­udes a mod­ernFilipino air; the re­sort’s Lantawan restau­rant fea­turescus­tom-made wooden ta­bles and abaca arm­chairsde­signed by Ade­fuin’s own fur­ni­ture line, Sig­vard Selections; a chef at work against a rus­tic Bo­hol corallime­stone wall; a peek of the re­sort’spri­vate beach

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