This time we spent a couple of days going South of manila to check on our known hotels, resorts and restaurants and possibly find new places. Unfortunately We were not able to find a 5 star resort with 5 star service and food. Even the prices sometimes suggest otherwise a 5 star experience its better not to be expected. In generally the rooms of the higher end hotels are good but not very seldom lacking in service, choices and quality of food. This is Especially the case out of foreign point of few as their experiences, , expectations are quite different. Most resorts and hotels are catering to the local market which means busy days mainly during the weekends, the local summer holidays and therefore more oriented to cater to locals than foreigners which explains the difference approach of the resorts.
First we went to Punta Fuego resort which is relatively close to manila and might be your best pick when you like a beach envirement, 5 star surroundings and price, reasonable food and good service. Before ending up here there are quite a few nice coves with reasoable beaches and accommodation but you have to be a member of these clubs and own an apartement unit. After Punta Fuego in Nasugbu you can proceed further south to matabungkay beach where our recommended resort is the coral beach club . The facilities, beach and prices cannot be compared with Punta Fuego resort but the food is of outstanding quality. .And if you go even further south the beaches have black sand, the resorts more (big) filipino family oriented which comes very often with loud music and or karaooke. Mobile signal become less reliable and cable televiison with good signal a rarity. Than we went to on to Batangas where the beaches are slightly better and the sea more accessible. Laiya beach is a 4 hour ride from manila and maybe the driving a bit long just for a overnight during the weekend. Our choice here is aqautico resort which has a nice swimming pool , villa’ s but unfortunately the food was not so good as expected paying a heavy usd 150.00 plus per night.
If you like to be in a slightly colder environment, avarage less 3 degrees and therefore also being loved by the locals we could suggest to go to Tagaytay. Tagaytay seems to be always busy in the weekends and some people are driving from manila all the way up here to eat at their favorite restaurant. There are many restaurants to choose from and quite a few are good using fresh veggies from their own gardens. Beside the restaurants the main attraction is the view of Lake Taal which also can be climbed. Our favorites restaurants are, the gourmet Farm, Nanay Cirilas Kapeng Barako, Sonya’s garden, and Antonio’s. The latter is the most known restaurant for fine dining offering great food and ambiance and is most popular among our foreign guests. You can climb volcano lake or visit lemery and taal to sniff up a bit of history. Our favorite place to stay in Tagaytay is Discovery Suites but we book also regularly the huge Taal Vista hotel. Most of our offered day tours are going to the south of manila including the above mentioned places and for all information about our day tours and overnight packages see our website.