Sunday, May 15, 2011

Casa Dolores - Batangas Beach Resort Review

May is the final leg of the summer season.  Aside from how unpredictable the weather is and the upcoming birthday of Pax falls on July (known typhoon season) we decided to hold an advance celebration of some sort.  I searched, and searched some more till I came across Casa Dolores.  Actually I found out about it from another native of Batangas. (I guess word of mouth advertising does work!)  I tracked them on fb (since everybody seems to be on FB anyway).  Saw the pictures, called them on several occasions and finally we went to the resort on May 12.


Casa Dolores is located in Brgy. Hugom at San Juan, Batangas.  San Juan is popularly known as Laiya.  Laiya is a long strip of land occupied by different resorts.  Based on the reviews, I saw with my own two eyes the proximity of the beach resorts to each other.  When they say beside each other, they mean it LITERALLY.  Where else can you find a place where you can go to the beach and pass through the front area of another resort?  Or park in its parking area but you have to pay 100 pesos.  Only in the Philippines folks!  Initially, when we got there it was like entering a labyrinth of resorts.  Areas intended for parking well its not yet cemented.  Fortunately, we were in our beach sandals so no problemo.  But to bring our stuff to and from the parked van, ah well I will leave that to your imagination.  Let's just say you won't be needing your weights or the gym for awhile.  The heavier peeps decided to bring in the van and pay 100 pesos for it.  Fair enough rather than walk to and fro in the sweltering heat.  I would have still parked there if it was at 150! It was HOT!!

Some beach goers had an attempt at kite flying but the winds were not to their favor so it was cut short.  We saw a banana boat passing by (the ride we later found out was 1,500)  There were also two jet skis going around (which cost 3,500 per hour).  

I went around the premises and a couple of steps away is a designated kitchen where those who opt to bring their food can cook. This is for those staying in the ground floor.  The upper floors have their own kitchens.  Rooms on the third floor have common bathrooms though plus the entertainment center.  But for none cooking afficionados or for those who simply want to eat and run and not worry about the dishes, you will be pleased to know that there are mini carinderias to cater to your gastronomical whim.  That is if you're not a picky eater and you're the type who could eat and strike anywhere with no qualms. Then this is the place to beat.  Locals are friendly.  Kids are roaming around along with all kinds of dogs and cats.  Its a homey feeling.  The third floor gives you a good view of the sea and the neighboring island.  There are boaters out there who could take you there for a fee. Probably within the 1,200 to 1,400 range.  That's for the whole banca ride.  Of course you could still negotiate.  Imagine if it were June.  Natch!  Go negotiate some more!  You probably got the beach strip all to your self! My point exactly!! 


So on to the room.  We got a room which was given to us for 1,500 for a day.  If we got there at 5am and stayed till 5 no problem.  The manager was very accommodating.  I even got to use the life vest the whole time.  Plus they even offered that we could go upstairs if we wantedto  even if we didn't buy from the restaurant.  After all, it was a Thursday so we practically had the place all to ourselves. Whoopppeee!!! Goal achieved!!!  The only downside was MERALCO!! Arrrgghhhhh!! They just had to pick Thursday for a brownout.  They said it was for clearing operations intended for the rainy season.  Wonderful!  But that's ok.  Anyway, the resort tried to make their generator work but unfortunately it didn't.  I didn't mind it that much coz I was there for the beach and not for the aircon anyway.  I wasn't going to even doze off! The ONLY reason we got a room was to make sure that our belongings are placed in one secured area and our own bathroom.  The aircon was a plus.  But some of our friends managed to doze off without one so I guess it worked out just fine with them. Hehehehhee.

As for me and my friend's youngest kid, Apa, we were swimming at the beach at 12 noon!  I was pretty much enjoying the sun, sand, and the sea.  Staring straight ahead and watching over the sea for any unusual waves...tsunami perhaps...Too much tv...underwater volcano?  Those thoughts ran through my head everytime I would float in the water.  Another buzz kill though was the sand.  It was grainy.  Lots of pebbles.  Plus when you go to the sea its high tide so a few steps and you're in the deep part already.  So I had to wear a life vest. Yes, I am more than capable of swimming but its the sea that we're talking about here so no chances.  Its not like a pool that you get to reach the end then you;re good. Better to be safe than sorry.Apa got his own floatation device too.


Next number on the program, we had a kayak ride.  It was exhausting.  So we gave the kids a go at it and the pictures were great.  All that swimming and it was time to eat lunch! Ahhh lunch!  The chicken was divine and so was the Beef Caldereta!  We brought ice so Coke was the ultimate thirst quencher.  Nice, nice!!  So in summary if you don't mind the tiny pebbles which can really stick to your sandals or the occasional brown out  and the nearness of the other resorts to the point of hearing a man with no right to sing whatsoever and the brownout which turned out to be a blessing with a capital B then go for it!

Lastly, if I had a resort I would probably offer spa services.  Perhaps put a a jacuzzi or two fronting the sea.  Add some massage therapists and some music (reggae or some upbeat tunes and not that dreadful karaoke machine..Can somebody ban singing in a publc places especially if inebriated???  That guy croaking his way to the tunes of God knows what drowned a million times in my head. Each time a different scenario. Sheeessshhh!! Thank goodness there was a BROWNOUT!

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