Nestled by the jungle on the south side of the largely unspoilt island of Siargao in the Philippines lies SoulTribe Beach Retreat, an off the beaten path haven for the adventurous soul. With a unique beachfront location, and featuring luxury beachfront cabanas with a full bar and restaurant onsite, it’s hard not to feel at home at this tropical paradise.
Location and How To Get There
Soultribe Beach Retreat is located on the island of Siargao within the Philippine Sea. Most international flights will arrive in Manila or Cebu. From here, you will need to get a connecting domestic flight to Del Carmen airport in Siargao through Philippine Airlines or Cebgo, both of which have multiple flights daily to the island. Please bear in mind that you will likely have to change terminals if flying into Manila – the terminals are not connected and it can take some time to transit between them, so plan accordingly!
There is a free shuttle that goes between terminals for all passengers showing an onward boarding pass, however despite the schedule stating there are buses every 30 minutes, it is frequently longer than that or out of service. Some people with tight connections chose to take a taxi between terminals, however the traffic in Manila can be crazy during peak times.
Once arriving into Del Carmen in Siargao, the hotel is just 45 minutes by car – of which the hotel can easily organise a transfer for just 300 Philippine Pesos per person per way.
Check in process
I had booked a special package through Soul Tribe which included airport transfers. On arrival into Del Carmen airport on Siargao we were greeted by a staff member who immediately showed us to the van and loaded our luggage before whisking us away to Soul Tribe, a scenic journey which took just 45 minutes. Once arriving at the hotel, we were given a refreshing watermelon juice while being checked in by the wonderful front desk staff before being shown to our luxury beachfront cabana. Within a few minutes of arriving we were already settled into our room; a welcome relief having been travelling for over 48 hours!
There are just four beach cabanas and one villa loft on the property – which allows complete privacy and seclusion during your stay. I was fortunate enough to stay in Beach Cabana 1 – which is the one closest to the ocean (the best in my opinion). All the cabanas have air conditioning, a large deck out in front with seating area and beautiful outside bathroom – a true experience!
The main room consists of a king sized bed surrounded by a generous mosquito net, a table and stool, and multiple areas to store your belongings. There is an extra standing fan to supplement the air conditioning unit, and liberal supply of fresh towels and rugs to be used to catch the sand as you walk between rooms.
The outside bathroom is accessed by a sliding wooden door, and has a large rain shower head completely surrounded by large tropical plants. The bathrooms are completely private, and even though the shower is completely exposed to the elements, the toilet, sink and vanity are under cover slightly – especially useful if you have to use the bathroom in the middle of a thunderstorm – a scenario that we had to experience a couple of times during our stay! While the floor of the shower consists of pebbles and rocks, the walkway to the toilet is wooden and can get a bit slippery when it rains.
There is a jug of filtered water in each of the cabanas, along with a couple of glasses – the water of which can be refilled at reception at any point during the day or night. This was a very nice touch given that it is advised to not drink the tap water on the island.
Food and Drink
Soultribe Beach Retreat has its own bar and restaurant, of which the kitchen is open from 7.30am in the morning until 8pm at night (last orders at 7.30pm). The selection at breakfast was really quite fantastic, and by the end of my six day stay I think we had tried almost everything on the menu – and it was all exceptional!
My favourite was the “Fili Breakfast” which consisted of garlic rice, eggs (I chose scrambled but I think it is more traditional to have fried eggs), pork tocino and watermelon. The pork was like nothing else I had ever tasted and I still dream of the day I can recreate this dish at home.
During my stay here I also tried the Full Breakfast – sausage, eggs, baked beans, grilled tomato and toast, which was equally as delicious. My friend had the banana pancakes with peanut butter and honey and said it was fantastic. Our breakfast was included in our package but I did notice how reasonably priced everything was. We ordered fresh orange juice every morning, which was squeezed fresh just a few minutes before reaching our table – it doesn’t get much better than that!
The a la carte menu during the day (and for dinner) was very varied and had dishes such as pan seared fish fillet (usually mahi mahi) with local dipping sauce and lemon, prawns with chilli and lime, adobe chicken and such comfort foods as hot dogs, bacon mac and cheese bites and crispy chicken burgers. We didn’t have a bad meal here, and although there weren’t too many choices of things I could eat (being gluten free) I was very satisfied with every meal I had here.
There is a full bar on the property with a wide selection of different alcohols; of which the front desk was very proud to inform me that it is open all the time! The price of the drinks was very good, however don’t expect any fancy cocktails or concoctions, there are not too many mixers and I think the most adventurous we were able to order was Rum and Ginger Ale (essentially a Dark & Stormy).
Siargao really is the place for adventure lovers. The concierge at Soultribe Retreat can organise anything and everything for you in a flash! Within hours of arriving and speaking with the front desk, they had already organised daily yoga classes for us, a land tour by tuktuk and an island hopping excursion.
Some of the other activities that can be arranged are surfing lessons, kitesurfing, motorbike and scooter rentals, massages (in your room or on the yoga deck), horse riding and fishing. The island really is your oyster!
Our land tour really was fantastic – we booked a private one which worked out at just 2500 pesos for two people for the entire day! We had a private tour guide to take us anywhere on the island we wanted – being of little knowledge of Siargao we just asked the guide to take us to the best places and it didn’t disappoint. We stopped at coconut mountain view, the Magpupungko Beach and Rock pools, the Massai river and Secret Beach. In addition we also opted to take a boat to Sugba Lagoon and Pamomoan beach – this was an additional supplement as the boat and associated national park fees are a separate entity – but it was 100% worth it!
We went in a small outrigger boat to the blue lagoon, a journey which took maybe 30- 40 minutes through the mangroves to the most beautiful hidden scenery – you would never expect it to be there. There is a diving platform to jump off for unparalleled views of the lagoon and epic Instagram pictures. You can also rent a clear kayak to paddle around the lagoon.
After Sugba lagoon we took the boat to another secluded beach – pamomoan beach – a true unspoilt paradise! There is a small bar and eatery to order food and drinks while you are there – we ended up ordering a whole bottle of rum and two bottles of coca cola and the bill was the equivalent of about $2.50 USD. After a quick dip in the lagoon we took the boat back to Del Carmen marina and met our land tour guide to take us for our final two stops of the day.
On our island hopping adventure we visited Naked Island, Daku Island and Guyam Island – we booked a private boat tour through the wonderful staff at Soultribe as it wasn’t too much more than a group tour, plus you get the flexibility of how long you would like to stay on each island. It was an unbelievable day and I highly recommend doing this excursion during your stays here.
Onsite, there are multiple stand up paddle boards and surfboards for guests to use during their stay.
There is a small pool close to the restaurant, with lounge chairs and tables close to the beach along with a couple of hammocks to relax in while listening to the crashing waves.
As mentioned above, there is a full bar and restaurant open all day with a large variety of dishes to suit all tastes. Occasionally they will host theme nights and bonfires where the meals are served together family style; which understandably is very popular with retreat groups who frequently host trips here.
As with most south Asian countries, the service we experienced during our stay at Soultribe Retreat has been fantastic. We were treated like another member of the family and nothing was too much trouble. The front desk staff were especially accommodating, particularly in organising all our excursions and activities – a special shout out to Jane who really went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable.
I also have to mention at this point how wonderful the house keeping staff were – every day our cabana was cleaned meticulously and one day when we had to leave in a rush and I had scattered a few of my clothes upon leaving, they had carefully folded all of my items in a neat pile by my suitcase. Our towels were frequently refreshed and all remnants of sand were removed after every visit from the staff.
My stay at Soultribe really was a match made in heaven – with an idyllic beachfront location nestled under the sleepy palms with a huge plethora of activities right on your doorstep, it’s hard not to love it here! The air conditioned beachfront cabanas were the perfect combinations of bohemian luxe and eco conscious.
Ready to book? Click here to Soul Tribe Beach Retreat!
For more photos and videos, have a look at my “Philippines” highlights reel on Instagram 🙂 @chase.the.rainbows
If this is your first visit to Siargao, be sure to read my top tips for visiting the island!
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