By Cesar Cruz Jr.
Are you on the lookout for the essential components of a flawless staycation? How about lavish conveniences and a VIP experience? This writer orchestrated an overnight sojourn for his family in pursuit of tranquility. The prospect of embracing Anya Resort's motto, 'Welcome Home,' had us eagerly anticipating our visit. Upon our arrival at the reception, a gracious host swiftly escorted us to our villa via a golf cart, providing an insightful overview of the grounds.
Inside our Veranda suite, we were greeted with a delightful assortment of fresh fruits, a petite charcuterie platter, and a bottle of red wine. And as a delightful bonus, a complimentary minibar awaited us. A considerate touch came in the form of a 'welcome home' message crafted from leaves, placed on the bed. The ensuite bathroom with its separate his-and-her sinks added an element of opulence, catering perfectly to our family of four, which included our self-care-focused teenage daughter.
As the sun began its descent, a text message arrived, revealing an invitation to indulge in a happy hour treat at the prestigious Anya Elite Lounge. We savored beverages and exquisite hors d’oeuvres in the company of British Executive Chef Chris Leaning, who regaled us with vibrant anecdotes from the hospitality realm and promised a box of the renowned Anya crinkles.
Unforgettable Culinary Delights at Samira In high spirits, we ventured to Samira, the distinct dining establishment at Anya Resort. While my children opted for off-menu ravioli and crispy chicken, my wife and I embarked on the 6-course set menu. The meal proved to be a voyage through Samira's culinary artistry. From Beef Tartare and Gallegher Oysters to Foie Gras and Bulalo Tacos, our taste buds were tantalized at every turn. A palate-cleansing Upside Down Cerveza, the cocktail of the month, was a refreshing interlude. The initial offering, Tasmanian Ocean Trout Tartare, delighted with its velvety richness. The Charred Grilled Octopus, a standout, followed suit. The subsequent courses featured Pan-Seared Maya Fish, Charred Romaine accompanied by hazelnut salsa, and Secreto Iberico Rice – a creamy blend of Iberico, mushroom-infused rice, Parmesan, butter, and truffle oil. The fifth course, a medium-rare Grilled Beef Tenderloin, was served with roasted confit potato, burnt eggplant puree, arugula, and poached shallots in a beef jus. The Secreto Iberico and Grilled Beef Tenderloin shone as highlights. Dessert unveiled a deconstructed buko pie – an artful arrangement of bread crumbs, panna cotta, buko meat, and homemade latik ice cream – offering a refined taste of familiarity.
Our attentive server, Roxanne, adeptly narrated each dish as it was presented, transforming into a cherished confidante by the conclusion of this interactive feast. Later, Chef Robbie graced our table, emerging from the open kitchen. Our gratitude was conveyed through the smiles of contentment, as words seemed insufficient. The subsequent morning, we opted for an in-suite breakfast while discussing our family aspirations. Soft, warm bread, nourishing fruit concoctions, and beloved breakfast classics pampered our senses. Craving some vitamin D, we engaged in light archery and badminton. With his inflatable floaters, my son gleefully plunged into the pool. I treated myself to the Niyama Wellness Center Signature Massage, featuring heated bamboo sticks that induced profound relaxation.
Above and beyond the opulence, it's the genuine interactions that will beckon us back – interactions that left us feeling genuinely cherished.