By Giorgia Danga
Source: When In Manila
Imagine this: it’s Friday and your 9-to-5 shift just ended. You want to escape the concrete jungle if even just for the weekend. The salty waves are calling you and you can’t stop thinking about the word ‘rest’, but you can’t be late for your Monday meeting next week, either.
Here’s an idea: why not drive two hours South of Manila for a quick breather at Hamilo Coast?
Hamilo Coast is a premier sustainable beach resort town in Nasugbu, Batangas. For a night and two days, we enjoyed one of Hamilo Coast’s protected coves: Pico de Loro.
Pico de Loro Cove is comprised of three main locators: Pico de Loro Cove condominiums, Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club, and Pico Sands Hotel. This cove is a 40-hectare valley. That’s why you may have to ride their free shuttle bus to get to the different residential, commercial, and tourism facilities within the area.
You’ve probably heard that Pico de Loro is exclusive for members and members’ guests. While members are entitled to all an all-access pass to their amenities, though, non-members can also enjoy many of the place’s facilities when checked in at Pico Sands Hotel.
We spent a night at Pico Sands Hotel and I immediately fell in love with my room, which had a view of a tranquil lagoon and lush green mountains – a peaceful sight to see while enjoying their complimentary coffee at the veranda.
One thing I look for in a hotel room, besides its comforting demeanor, is its functionality. Pico Sands Hotel has both!
Our room had a desk and an office chair, perfect for my roommate who was on a workation that day. The Wi-Fi connection is strong and there are plenty of sockets to charge our low-battery devices. As for our low-battery (but happy) bodies from all the activities we did that day, our bouncy queen-sized beds were more than satisfying.
The thing I am most critical about in hotel rooms are the comfort rooms. The bathroom is so utilitarian, it makes life so easy for its guests. The shower area has a hot and cold shower knob, a shower mat, and a sliding glass door to prevent dampening the floor. The space outside the shower area is also roomy enough to get dressed in. It also has an abundance of steel hooks for towels and wet clothes. And yes, there’s a bidet.
Pico Sands provides a glass pitcher for every room instead of bottled water in their effort to reduce plastic waste. If you run out, you don’t even need to call room service because there’s a water dispenser available on every floor’s lobby.
When I stepped into Pico De Loro Country Club, I immediately thought of bringing my extended family and big barkada there when I go back. Pico de Loro Country Club offers a wide selection of leisure and recreational activities for everyone to enjoy.
If you’re into sports, they have basketball and badminton courts and equipment that you can rent at hourly rates.
Have kids? They can enjoy the play room while you do your weights and cardio in the gym.
Parents can also bond with their kids over feeding fish in the lagoon or riding ponies in the garden.
You can rent karaoke rooms if you’re feeling like belting out an Evanescence classic while drinking cold beer from Pico bar, as well. Friendships are at stake at their recreational center.
They have a bowling center, a video game room, billiards, and darts for a “chill” competition.
Hamilo Coast also happens to be located at the opening of the Verde Island Passage, the world’s center of marine biodiversity. Snorkeling should be a must on your checklist when you go there.
If you love water adventures; they have jet ski, kayak, paddle boards, and banana boats for rent. They also have equipment for rent if you feel like playing beach volleyball, football, or frisbee.
Pico Beach in Hamilo Coast is uncrowded. It’s a long stretch of fine grayish sand amidst the calming views of the sea and mountains. It is perfect for some morning meditation and reflective sunset walks.
Outdoor recreational activities don’t end at the beach, either. Although our trail to Santelmo Cove was cut due to the typhoon, we still had fun with nature during the mangrove- and bird-watching tour.
If you ride a shuttle, you can also get to St. Therese of the Child Jesus Chapel where you can pray and enjoy an overlooking view of the cove.
Pico de Loro is also home to many endemic birds. It is a nesting site for turtles, too. Hamilo Coast, together with the World Wide Fund for Nature, strives for environmental sustainability and preserving wildlife. The entire development is designed to maximize Pico de Loro’s natural environment while minimizing wastage. They draw energy from solar panels, have natural ventilation and daylight, and have an efficient waste management.
During my stay, Hamilo Coast gave me the rest and recreation I didn’t know I needed, leaving me to head back to Manila relaxed, recharged, and inspired.