MANILA — Three hours from Manila is the quiet town of Laiya Aplaya in San Juan, Batangas that boasts of an amazing stretch of white sand beach backdropped by jagged rock formations. The clear calm waters are ideal for leisurely kayaking or going on an adventurous banana boat ride at high noon.
The coast has a marine protected sanctuary, and it is just a few hours away from the world’s “center of the center” of marine shorefish biodiversity that hosts an impressive number of shorefish species and massive coral reefs, making Laiya a hot spot for snorkeling and scuba diving.
While most of us can’t wait for the holidays, a resort in this paradise is already geared up for the vacation season.
The Balinese inspired architecture and landscape of Acuatico Beach Resort take guests on a relaxing holiday getaway. The resort just got even better with its recent renovation that includes a facelift of their signature infinity pool that seamlessly blends into the horizon of the Philippine Sea.
The infinity pool has new imported granite stone tiles. “These improvements were also made so our pool will last longer and ensure the safety of our guests. Even our pool water is now treated,” said general manager Simonette Gusi. With the Acua Bar right at the center of the pool, one can simply ask for a freshly squeezed juice to cool off some of that intense summer heat.
The resort also invested to add more water sport activities, the newest of which is the Flyboard – the rider wears a special pair of boots that’s connected to a Jet Ski nozzle that will push the rider 15 meters in the air or slice through the water.
“This is well-loved by water sports enthusiasts and we’ve made the Laiya beach look very much alive with this amazing ride,” Gusi said.
Other water sports rides available are Jet Ski, fly fish, banana boat, twin banana boat, speed boat, fun 4 and aqua bike, available daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
On their seventh year of successful operation, Gusi said the recent improvements further step up the experience in the resort. “Some of the furniture has been replaced to give more space in the rooms. The bathrooms are newly tiled, so they are more pleasing to the eye,” she said.
Included in the renovation is the addition of an elevator for the elderly and people with disabilities and much improved safety standards.
“We noticed that parents of our guests are having difficulty getting up to Oceano, our flagship restaurant. Of course, this is also in fulfillment of the DOT’s requirement to provide access to the elderly and PWDs. Thus, we have PWD-friendly rest rooms, bigger doors and access for wheelchairs. We always keep in mind the comfort of our guests. They come here to relax and have fun, and that is what we are giving them,” Gusi said.
Dining is also something to look forward in Acuatico. The resort’s Oceano restaurant offers its own version of Batangas lomi and the hot and filling bulalo. Executive chef Richard Dancel promises to deliver a wider array of dishes in addition to its regular Filipino and international culinary delights.
“Watch out for our extravaganzas,” Dancel said. “Our seafood extravaganza is guaranteed to become a big hit, with its extensive varieties of seafood.”
Chef Dancel also revealed that they are now offering themed buffets. “Whether it is Asian or European, expect not only the dishes to stay true to the theme. The accompanying décor and outfits of our staff will keep to our theme.”
In their continued effort to support the local community, the resort launched a partnership with Laiya National High School (LNHS) to provide trainings and workshops to teachers and students in relation to technical and vocational courses, specifically housekeeping and F&B for the hospitality curriculum.
“We will impart to them the necessary skills, competencies and quality standards to prepare them for the formal education itself. This is a long-term partnership with LNHS and Acuatico is committed to provide outstanding career opportunities to every K-12 graduate,” Gusi said.
The resort is also preparing to help improve the facilities and availability of learning materials through the funds that they are able to raise from the Light Up A Star project last December.
“We are very excited about the completion of our K-12 project for Laiya National High School, knowing that we will be able to contribute to the knowledge and skills of their students and be able to provide jobs to qualified graduates,” she added.
With summer just around the corner, travel buffs need look no further than the gem that is Laiya in Batangas.
- Price starts at ₱9,400
- Service: 10/10
- Bed comfort: 9/10
- Room: 8.5/10
- Dining: 8.5/10
- Cleanliness: 9/10
- Facilities: 9/10
- Nearby transportation options: Provincial buses and local jeepneys
- Ideal for: Couples, Groups and Families
Acuatico Beach Resort is located at Laiya, San Juan, Batangas. For reservations, call their Manila sales office at tel 892-7577 to 79 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo by FERNAN NEBRES.
ViajeroMNL (Viajero Manila) is a lifestyle blog site that features different pop culture, travel, and food destinations in the Philippines. This article was written by Gillian Gacuma.