Beautiful Batangas: Pico De loro
By Nikka Sarthou
Sometimes, city life could get so stressful and boring, which is why it is necessary for urban dwellers to take a breather from time to time. For me, a weekend getaway would do the trick in allowing me to get a respite from work and get recharged for another workweek and beyond that.
In my last weekend trip, my hubby and I headed south of Metro Manila and took a road trip to Pico de Loro Cove, a 40-hectare “Residential Resort Village” in Hamilo Coast, Nasugbu, Batangas.
The journey, which took a couple of hours, was full of misadventures and surprises. Along the way, we took a wrong turn and got lost, and even got stuck in heavy traffic at some parts. But as we neared the destination, we were rewarded by scenic landscapes of the cove and even experienced passing through the Ternate-Nasugbu Tunnel (Kaybiang Tunnel)—the longest tunnel in the Philippines. For some reason, I felt a sense of pride while passing through that area; I thought this could boost the tourism of the country.
A coastal weekend escape
We knew we were near our destination when we saw manicured lawns and a big sign as we turned the curve. Finally, Pico de Loro. I found out that it was named after Mt. Pico that resembles the beak of a parrot. In the Filipino language, parrot is referred to as “loro”, thus the name.
We had to pass through security before entering, as Pico de Loro has a residential area for its members. Non-members though may book a room at the Pico Sands Hotel, which is owned and managed by SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation.
My hubby and I stayed at the hotel, a seven-storey hotel with 154 guest rooms, some of which have views of the lagoon and mountains of Pico de Loro. Our room was spacious and came complete with facilities, but not with a picturesque view, unfortunately, though that did not stop us from having an enjoyable stay.
The first thing in our agenda after we checked in was to dine in the Pico Sands Hotel Restaurant & Bar that serves dishes like pasta, meat offerings, and more. Our dining experience was made even more special by the view of the lagoon and its surrounding structures. It was a nice combination of being close to nature while having the luxury of modern amenities.
We explored the place after eating and discovered a plethora of activities that guests could do while there. Swimming in the various pools was on the top of our list. One could even bathe under the sun in the lounging areas inside the pool itself. We did both during our stay. We regretted not bringing our exercise attire though when we found out that the Country Club has designated areas for sports such as basketball, bowling, and badminton, among others.
For those who crave for some water adventure, guests may go on a Jet Ski ride, banana boat, kayak, paddleboard, or speed boat at Pico Beach. But since our goal was just to relax, we were content with simply taking in the sun and sea and bask by the pools. We enjoyed lazing by the pool too much that we were not able to experience the spa services of the hotel’s Rain Spa.
The convenient thing about the resort is that it offers a complimentary shuttle service for guests, which we used to transfer from one point to the other. We didn’t have to bother with driving our own car and looking for parking. The shuttle could even take guests to St. Therese of the Child Jesus Chapel, which is situated on a hill that overlooks the coast. Catholic mass is celebrated there during Sunday morning.
For those looking for a romantic getaway, I discovered that guests may avail of Pico de Loro’s picnic packages which includes a trip to the nearby private beach in Santelmo Cove, which is a protected marine sanctuary.
Indeed, Pico de Loro offers a wide range of activities for all types of travelers. Maybe next time we would schedule an adventure trip and try the fun water sports. I bet I would need another weekend getaway soon.
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