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Cana Retreat | Amlan, Negros Oriental | Family Holiday

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Family Year-end Holiday at Cana Retreat

Cana Retreat is a quaint seaside resort with the Santorini feels in Amlan, Negros Oriental, Philippines–just 21.2 kilometers away from the capital, Dumaguete City, or about a 30-45-minute drive. Here, we spent our 3-night family reunion and year-end getaway.

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The views of the pool and the beach at Cana Retreat in Amlan, Negros Oriental.

Cana Retreat Location

On December 30, the entire clan from my husband’s father’s side from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao converged in Negros Oriental for the fourth Lo Kong Ka family reunion. We held the main events and we stayed at Cana Retreat. Our family drove from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental to Negros Oriental.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
A view of Cana Retreat from the beach. I had to wade on the stony waters just to get this picture.

Located just along the highway of the municipality of Amlan, Cana Retreat is easily accessible by private vehicle or by the Ceres bus plying the area (Bacolod-Mabinay-Dumaguete). It’s hard to miss. Our cousin Mia found out about this place through Facebook posts and just inquired by phone.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
The pool and beach just got owned. Shane takes an early morning dip and had exclusive use.
Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
The veranda of a room overlooks the sea.

Amenities

Cana Retreat may be small in land area at 2,600 square meters, but it is compact and has made the most of the available space. The following are the amenities for a wonderful family vacation or a group activity, like a church retreat or company outing.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
The tent area with lounge chairs as well as dining tables.
  • Standard rooms and Dorm-type rooms
  • Function Room
Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
We used the air conditioned function room for our year-end reunion party where we wore Christmas costumes.
  • Swimming Pools
  • Heated pool
  • Lap pool
  • Jacuzzi
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Hubby and I enjoying a quiet moment in the jacuzzi.
  • 2 KTV Rooms
  • Grill Area
  • Cafe
  • Outdoor dining areas
Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
There’s more parking than what you see in this picture.
  • Sun beds
  • Ample parking space
  • Courtyard
Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
Our little niece Darah was able to swim and enjoy the water in this heated pool.

Features

While Cana is a seaside resort, the beach is not good for swimming because of the natural rock formations. But to compensate, the resort has made four pools, including an infinity lap pool, placed side by side so that you get the open, breezy feels like you are still bathing by the beach.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
This is where the kids stayed most of the time.

If you wake up early, you get a lovely view of the sunrise.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
Chasing my personal sunrise for the New Year. I woke up early on January 1 to catch the New Year sunrise.

Like what I said earlier, Cana Retreat is compact. It is located by the roadside, but you will not really be bothered by the noise of the passing vehicles because the parking area provides several meters of distance between the fence and the rooms.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
The rooms flank the pools in the middle. You can easily watch over your children while they are swimming.
Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
The cousins swimming in the infinity pool.

The lodging areas are located on either side of the place, leaving the grassy lawn in the middle as free space or courtyard that is wonderful for group activities and as venue for gatherings or special occasions. Near the café is a tent area for lounging. It is also equipped with tables and chairs where guests can dine anytime of the day.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
Part of the courtyard at night.

Safety

The resort is gated and has a guard on duty at night. Upon entering, everyone has to go through the reception area with a narrow way. That’s the only way in, so the kids are safe.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
The only way in to the resort’s lodging and swimming facilities. Shane checks out the door.

It also helped that the clan occupied the entire resort for three nights. We even just let the kids stay on the pool and play with cousins while we took a nap or did some packing in the room. You may call us irresponsible parents but that’s how secure we felt. We didn’t even lock our rooms during the day. It’s one of the fine family-friendly resorts we have stayed in.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
While the grown ups played games in the tent area, the kids just played by themselves at the poolside.

By the way, Cana Retreat does not have a lifeguard on duty.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
Water games for everyone.
Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
Have fun swimming or taking pictures in the aquarium pool — take your pick.
Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
This area where they are lounging is quite deep. This serves as the lap pool.

Food

Cana Retreat has a homey café with country chic décor. It looks so nice. But they really haven’t set up their F&B department yet, so all you can have here is the complimentary breakfast for registered guests that comes with your stay. They do not serve other meals yet but beer, coffee (3 in 1 and brewed), juices, and soda are available.

We had several choices, like danggit (dried fish), daing na bangus (milkfish), luncheon meat, sausages, and tocino.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
Danggit breakfast meal. Danggit is a kind of small fish, which is dried up in the sun and fried to a crisp. This one is not salted but was dried on the beaches of Bais City. This is considered an appetizing luxury for some, as this is also quite expensive.

They also gave us some complimentary but-ong (glutinous rice pack) with chocolate.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise - native breakfast
You may call this a native breakfast — but-ong (glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves and cooked), chocolate sauce, and mango.

But as for our lunches and dinners, we brought our own Bacolod chicken inasal, marinated pork, fresh fruits that we bought along the road, and other snack items.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
Fresh tropical fruits we bought in Valladolid during our road trip — watermelons and mangoes.
Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
We had breakfast in this breezy covered area.

For our New Year ’s Eve dinner, we just ordered lechon (roast pork) from a local supplier as well as some other dishes from a local caterer that were all referred by the resort management. They are also working with a nearby restaurant that can deliver dishes to Cana Retreat. Delivery is free for a minimum order of P500.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
The Cafe.

The following day, leftover lechon became lechon paksiw, courtesy of cousin Mike who took care of kitchen duties. He is one good home cook. Cooking charges supposedly apply for use of the kitchen but I think they accommodated a lot of things for us, probably because we had the place to ourselves.

Cana Retreat Room Rates

Here are the Cana Retreat room rates and event rentals, if you want to book the entire place for your large group.

Room Rates

  • Standard Rooms – P3000 per night
  • Deluxe rooms – P5000 per night
  • Cvan Rooms – P10000 per night (good for 9, 10, or 12 pax)

Event rentals

  • P40,000 with 1 free room
  • P50,000 with 3 free rooms
  • P74,000 comes with all 12 rooms for 63 pax

Those of us with little kids opted to stay in the standard or deluxe rooms so that they can have privacy.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
We were so at home and we felt safe to leave our wet clothing hanging outside. hehe

The CVan Rooms

Our family stayed in the CVan room that’s good for 10 pax. Mama and Shawna each got a bed while our ballet Dad shared a space with Shane. I stayed on the lower bunk because my back pain constrains me from going up.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
Four of the 10 bunk beds in our CVan room.

Meanwhile, Shawna got the top bunk because she always wanted to have one like that. Since both girls like sleep in top bunks, I think we will have to construct a customized bed for them at home.

Economical or Not?

The CVan Room may be quite economical, as the cost of the room may be shared between 10 persons. But since we did not reach 10, the occupants shared the cost of the entire room. And also, we paid for three heads, which is like the cost of a standard room, so we didn’t really get to save money plus we didn’t have privacy. That’s fine in our case though, since we were with family anyway. It just wouldn’t be too comfortable if you are with other people.

Anyway, the room is very nice and clean. The ONLY downside is that, it features just one shared toilet and bath. Only one person can use the T&B at a time and on full capacity, this room is shared by 10 people. We had to use the public toilets, showers, or lavatories downstairs from time to time. While they were quite near our room, it is cumbersome to keep going up and down whenever nature calls and the toilet is occupied.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
The shared toilet, bath, and lavatory in the CVan room.

Our Family’s Experience

Cana Retreat is a family-owned boutique resort that was sort of thrust into the commercial tourism industry because of their picturesque place. While it was still closed to the public, many people would stop over and have a look-see or to have photos taken because it’s just so scenic out there. They have been running the resort for less than two years, adding an amenity at a time. So you can say, this is relatively new.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
Creating happy family memories. Shane is scared of this part of the pool, hence the face. haha

While the view is spectacular and the place is clean, there are some things still amiss, especially in terms of service. For example, I asked for a bathroom rug in our CVan and a cousin echoed that all rooms didn’t have rugs. The receptionist then radioed somebody, but the rugs never came. One of our party also ranted that their room wasn’t made up. They went out all afternoon and still came back to a messy room.

But you can cut them some slack, especially in our case that we stayed there as a big group composed of different age groups for three whole nights on a year-end holiday. I think our number was close to 50, from age 0 to above 80 years old.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
The sunbeds by the pool where the kids relaxed while we waiting for our room to be ready.

The management and staff really tried to accommodate us and all our needs, so kudos to the owners and their employees. After all, they called this Cana Retreat and not a “resort” so that people would not associate the place to a five-star commercial resort, though it sure looks like it. I am still glad that our officers headed by aunt Helen Go of Hannah’s Party Needs decided to hold our reunion here.

Here’s a short video of our family stay at Cana Retreat.

In Closing

Just like its name, Cana Retreat is a lovely place for a retreat and a family vacation. It also provides for a romantic wedding backdrop. If we are going to get married again, I want to hold it here! Or maybe just a couple’s pictorial complete with wedding paraphernalia will do. Haha

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
Our little family on the first day.

Plus, it has lots of Instagram-worthy spaces for grammers. This place is total love. Glad we got to celebrate our year-end family holiday here. We surely created a lot of happy family memories at Cana Retreat, especially during our New Year’s eve reunion party where we got to wear Christmas costumes. It was so adorable!

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
A view of the beach beside Cana Retreat.

We went home really tired after the long road trip, but our hearts are full.

Contact Details

Cana Retreat

Tandayag, Amlan, Negros Oriental, Philippines
For reservations, Call 0917 314 0532 | Or message their FB page: CanaRetreat

Getting to Amlan

From Bacolod: We were a convoy of six cars from Bacolod City going to Amlan. We took the Mabinay route, which is shorter than the Negros coastal road. Including four stopovers –twice to buy fruits, once to buy food at Mila’s in Hinigaran, and a CR break in Bais, Negros Oriental — our entire road trip took 4.5 hours.

From Manila: Our relatives from Manila flew in through Dumaguete via Philippine Airlines. They were just picked up from the airport, which is about 30 minutes away from Cana Retreat.

From Mindanao: Meanwhile, the party from Iligan City in Mindanao also brought a car. They drove to the port in Dapitan and took the RORO straight to Dumaguete. They drove further going to Amlan.

From Cebu: On the other hand,  some relatives from Cebu also brought their own car and took the barge going straight to Dumaguete.

Even without personal vehicles, the same shipping lines may be taken going to Amlan.

Cana Retreat - Cana Resort - Amlan resort - Dumaguete resort - family travel - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - beach - tropical paradise
From Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, we converged at Cana Retreat for the Lo Kong Ka 4th family reunion.

Side Trips

While at Cana Retreat, we took a short drive to nearby Bais City where we took off on a 30-minute boat ride to Manjuyod Sandbar. It is also known as the Maldives of the Philippines. And it truly lives up to its name. Will write about this on another post. We are glad that we did this side trip with the kids. They can’t bear to part from here when it was time to go back to Amlan.

We also had a couple of meals in Dumaguete City, namely at Lantaw Restaurant and The Royal Suite.

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22 thoughts on “Cana Retreat | Amlan, Negros Oriental | Family Holiday

  1. Looks like you had a great time, I am also excited to be travelling this year as a family and for us to finally have a nice vacation. Cana Resort is one good option for the entire family.

  2. Cana retreat looks like such an amazing place! Your photos are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your review! It’s so helpful, especially the directions going to Amlan.

  3. Oh this looks absolutely beautiful! I have been looking into places tor a big vacation for my anniversary this year and this looks like Cana Retreat would be a lovely option. Will add this to our list of places to review for our anniversary holiday.

  4. Looks like a lovely resort for a quiet family vacation or a special event. Thanks for sharing about Cana Retreat! There’s just so much to explore in the Philippines and there’s a bunch of them in Negros Oriental. Would be great to travel to your country during the summer because of all the beaches.

  5. Oh my, what a way to spend a family vacation. It looks like everyone had a great time, I would love to take a dip in the pool. Cana Retreat looks so pretty!

  6. looks like your entire family had a great time at Cana Retreat. I loved the pool — it’s not too big and neither too small. This is a good option for a family vacation.

  7. Wow, what a detailed resort review! I’ve been a sucker for nice seaside resorts and Cana Retreat looks like an amazing place worth visiting one day! I mean, those pools look awesome and I can picture myself lounging at the pool area all day, LOL. I can’t imagine how 10 people would share 1 bathroom when the occupancy is full though. Thank you so much for sharing about this! Will make sure to swing by Negros Oriental when we get to visit the Philippines!

  8. This place looks amazing! I wish I’ve known about Cana Retreat earlier so I could plan a trip with the whole family for the New Year, too. I bet it was all fun!

    1. Hahahaha Cana Retreat would have been fully booked for the New Year because we stayed for three nights. A friend of mine tried booking for their year-end holiday and was told that it was booked. She didn’t know that we exclusively rented the place. haha

  9. I cannot WAIT to visit the Philippines! I’ll bookmark this place for sure. Everything looks lovely at Cana Retreat. I’m glad you and your family enjoyed yourself during your family reunion.

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