She raised her left arm and led my eyes to the round-roofed church perched on a cliff by the shore. “Beside it,” My friend Mica said as-a-matter-of-fact-ly, “is where we will be staying.”
Before I could respond with “We’re staying outside the church?” complete with a half-joking half-violent look to match, my eyes caught the big bold letters that adorn the edge of the plateau — Hotel Maya.
Hotel Maya is perhaps the most well-known in the few lodges in Culion and it’s not difficult to see why. From the moment we set foot on the island, we were treated with utmost kindness and hospitality.
Location. Isla Culion Hotel Maya stands next to the town church and fortress. Set on a cliff and facing east, it allows an unobstructed view of one of the most spectacular breaks of dawn I had seen. From the hotel, all the other major points of interest in town are very accessible. The Culion Museum and Archives is within a five-minute walk while the shore is just a few yards eastward. And since it rubs elbows with the church, often the center of the town, Hotel Maya is surrounded by stores, eateries, and other landmarks including the hospital and sanitarium, and the plaza.
Accommodations and Rates. Their cheapest is the P700 Single Room (fan only). Since we were a party of two, we initially wanted to take the Double Room (fan only) which was at P1,100 but when we were taken to a corner room for a quick view, we opted to take it instead. Adding to the large size of the room, the cool wind was just so refreshing as they pass through the wide windows. The view of the sea was also enough to seal the deal, especially when they told us we could watch the sunrise from the room.
Staff and Service. We felt the warmth of their welcome even before we hopped out of the boat. Kuya Toto, one of the staff, was waiting with us at the pier. He then led us to the tricycle that would take us to the hotel. He introduced us to Jona, who greeted us with a welcome drink and a flower necklace, a small but impactful gesture. Kuya Toto and Jona took really good care of us, attending to our every need and providing information whenever we had questions. They also guided us on a tour around the town.
My friend Mica had an agenda. Culion Island had always been on my I’m-not-dying-until-I-visit list but it was out of sheer curiosity and insatiable thirst for the unusual. Mica was here for a more personal reason. I am one to always take charge in building itineraries but for this trip, Mica took ever. Her motivation, which intrigued me since the beginning, drove her to meticulously plan this trip on her own. I took the backseat for this one and I’m glad I did. Blindly, I followed her when she decided that we stay overnight on the island instead of doing the usual day tour, and when she chose the place to stay. And everything turned out flawless.
Hotel Maya is excellent in every aspect that when the staff asked us to write something on their freedom wall, we could not think of anything other than gratitude.
How to get here: From Busuanga Airport, ride a van to Coron Town Proper (P150). At the Coron pier, take the 1:30pm boat to Culion town (P180).
Note: This is not a paid post. We paid for our stay in full.