With family flying back home from all corners of the world to celebrate the 40th anniversary of my folks, a beach trip was definitely in order. The last time we had been to a beach all together was sometime in the late 80’s, in the beach-to-be back then, Punta Buluarte. Since we had the newest addition to the family (my 4 year old niece) to consider, plus all the other social obligations that come with having family in town, we opted to go somewhere we could drive to and save the logistically more complicated beach trips for when travel would be a bit easier for the little one.

A few months prior, I saw some pictures of my friend and her family’s beach trip to Acuatico in Batangas. The pictures were lovely but I asked her still, just to make sure and according to her, they had a lovely time. So I called up the number on their web page and managed to book us in a 3-bedroom cottage which had a sizable discount since we made the booking for the middle of the week. The whole process went smoothly and their agents were a pleasure to talk to on the phone.
After 2 hours on the road, we turned into an unassuming little dirt road that led to their gate. The dirt road didn’t look too promising at first, and since I took charge of arranging this trip, I got a bit nervous. But once we stepped into the lobby and were welcomed in by a handsome example of the beauty Batangas had to offer armed with a dazzling smile and a tray of Pandan drinks, I began to relax.

Check in was a breeze but since we were a bit early, the cottage wasn’t ready yet so we had brunch at the resort restaurant. A quick tip, stick to the local dishes and don’t bother with the more experimental things they have on the menu. The presentation was lovely and they seemed to really make an effort to make it look fancy but the more “continental” fare came doused in a tasteless, cheese-type sauce that didn’t do much for anything. The roast chicken I ordered at one point came out tasting like it had been sitting in the oven for 3 days. When I complained though, they were quick to assure me that the kitchen would be notified and that they wouldn’t charge me. Check out the menus at the pool bar for more options. The lomi and other noodle dishes were delicious and the coffee packed, in true barako form, a powerful punch.

Our 3-room cottage was a bit of a squeeze but was very clean and had up- to- date amenities: Cable tv, air conditioners in every room and a little refrigerator to boot. The bathroom was also a bit tight but had a whole slew of resort- branded toiletries and hot water. No complaints at all in that department. Though it was a bit strange to have two toilet cubicles next to each other. Hmmm.

From what I’ve heard, one of the things that sets Acuatico apart from the other resorts in the Laiya strip is their pool. I have yet to explore the other places but can say that the pool in Acuatico is lovely. There are three levels that start out with a wading pool and ends with the infinity pool that overlooks the beach. Both nights we were there, I noticed a cleaning crew going over all the nooks and crannies with a brush to make sure the pool and surrounding areas were clean and residue-free. The beach front was kept as clean as possible as well. Kayaks and paddle boats are available for free to resort guests and they equip you with life jackets before heading out on the water. If so inclined, you can also rent out a boat and snorkeling gear for a quick trip to a nearby reef.

What added to the great amenities was the fact that everyone was so pleasant. There was repartee and smiles all around. While hanging out at the pool bar, we found out that all the employees were from the area and they were all quite happy to be working at the resort. It was nice to know that the resort believed in local hiring as well as keeping employees happy. Happy employees= happy customers.

 

 

An easy 4-stars for this little piece of heaven.