Summer season is almost over here in the Philippines as rains do come but it hasn’t stopped The Manzanos from making the most out of this extended school break! Just last week, we were invited to check out Pico Sands Hotel and Pico De Loro Beach and Country Club in Nasugbu, Batangas. It is a first for my family to go but we are familiar with the general area as we would frequent nearby Tali, Maya-Maya and Punta Fuego beaches in the past.
I learned that even if you aren’t a Pico De Loro beach unit owner or Pico De Loro country club member, you can still book at the Pico Sands Hotel which is open to the public — we didn’t even know this! Have we been living under a rock?!
We stayed for two nights at the Penthouse Loft Room which was suitable for us because we had all this space to work and roam for the kids — a very important factor when choosing for places to stay for families! The room even had a second toilet on the first floor which is a realistic need when 2 members of the family simultaneously goes t0 the loo! I know, I know, TMI but it’s the truth!
*My only concern with this particular room is that for parents with very young children, you will probably need your own stairway safety locks if you don’t have yayas or nannies with you. I had to follow my daughter around and watch her like a hawk because she just wanted to test her ability to climb stairs on this trip LOL! Nevertheless, it was a good excuse for me to exercise and for her to discover her growing independence.
The King sized bed was enough to fit our family of four. There was an extra sofa which we placed on the side (just incase one of our kids wanted to sleep there – of course, no one did!). This force is strong in this co-sleeping family!
Knowing that Pico Sands Hotel is a quite a walk from the beach, it’s good to know that there is a free shuttle service to different parts of the whole Hamilo Coast property (Note, it is HUGE!). If without young kids, the paths would probably be so cool for trail biking, running and what not!
The shuttle comes every 10 minutes or so at the hotel lobby. TIP: Make sure you bring the beach towels provided for you in the room.
The whole Hamilo Coast property has amaaaazing architecture. I noticed that despite having launched over 5 years ago, the aesthetics is not outdated and blends beautifully with the surrounding flora and fauna. I find out from my mom later on that the group responsible for this masterplan is Cadiz International, the architectural firm of my uncle Medardo Cadiz who has offices in the Philippines, Seattle and Dubai! Real awesome work they do! You should check it out if you want to build a tropical beach house. I just heard news that they are opening two resorts in Bali this year! But I digress.
My son couldn’t resist and jumped right in the pool of the Pico De Loro Beach Club (only for members)
Father and daughter having a moment. We truly live for these precious moments!
Good thing they have Halo Halo (a famous local Philippine dessert) and Banana Split at the Pico Restaurant and Bar which we had served to us by the pool. Nothing like eating something cool and refreshing under the scorching sun, then swimming immediately after! It was really hot that day so it melted quickly before I could take a good shot!
Just some of the activities offered at Pico De Loro Beach (also available for non-members staying at the Pico Sands Hotel): Banana Boat, Frisbee, Cove Tour, Hiking, Volleyball, Jet Ski, Football, Water Taxi and Kayaks.
Check out the other activities too in the brochure given to us upon checking in
Seeing this view of the serene beach made my family want to stay there longerrrrr….maybe do a yoga retreat? TIP: Try booking on weekdays to get less crowds. Summer is still alive and kicking so many will have the same idea as you, getting as much sun before the rains start seriously pouring in!
Right in front of the Reef Bar is this ultra magical place which reminds me of Goa beaches. I swear, it’s just missing the cows on the beach. This picture right here is the peg for a perfect beach wedding reception venue, I’d say!
So, we took the cove tour which is a MUST do! Within a span of minutes, you are taken to pristine cyan and cerulean blue waters. The boatmen will stop at a nearby coral reef where you will see exotic looking fish. You won’t even need goggles to see them swimming just underneath the boat! I kept thinking to myself, “Wow, I can’t believe this is just in Batangas! I feel like we are in Palawan!” Yes, I’m so glad that we found a piece of paradise so close to Manila. A mere 1.5 hours and you’ve got access to this. Brilliant!
Finally, a family photo! The boatmen were so kind to take. I reckon they’re used to this kind of requests 🙂
Oh my children, they’re so used to being in the water and on the boat! Their love for the ocean is deep, something we parents have passed on to them since they were born.
My two-year old was actually born in the water! Yes, I had a home water birth for this little Piscean girl 🙂 She’s very comfortable in the water!
And if the beach isn’t so much your thing (yes, I know some people who hibernate in the hotel or swim in the pool), there are tons to do at Pico Sands Hotel:
You can take your kids to swim at the kiddie pool (too bad the slide was being renovated when we visited but this is something both my kids would’ve enjoyed!)
There’s a children’s play area, too! If you’re waiting for your meal to arrive at Lagoa (the restaurant next door), this is the perfect place for the kiddies to kill time. We did this for most of our meals! I was told that “there are weekly activities for kids called the Junior Explorers Club. While that is designed for member dependents, they also have other weekly events for the kiddos such as overnight camping and a snorkeling “Finding Nemo” adventure.” Whoa sign us up for those!!!
Alternatively, there is a bowling alley too which is more inclusive for the whole family to enjoy! This is also a wonderful idea for corporate functions or family reunions. I’m thinking the likes of Amazing Race with many pit stops and challenges.
For bird-lovers, try spotting flying ones right outside your hotel balcony. I assure you that there will be! We enjoyed the chirping birds right on those trees outside and the tranquil lagoon is also very relaxing to watch.
You can also just opt to laze around too if rest is what you need. Many of us parents do!
For the ultimate pampering session, schedule a 90-minute Hilot massage in Rain Spa which is sure to lull you to sleep. I swear, I haven’t had a massage this good in ages!
A splendid sanctuary for the soul, the Saint Therese of the Child Jesus chapel is another nearby trek which isn’t so much known as (but could also be) a really idyllic wedding venue for an intimate group.
Will you just look at that full floor to ceiling glass structure?
Just imagine, hearing mass overlooking that beach cove. Picturesque right?
We stepped outside and took turns taking photos (really wish we had a tripod at this point!)
Before heading back to the hotel, the kids found another perfect spot to play with stunning views of the beach cove below. Oh, Pico De Loro, you’re luring me back by these photos alone!
Next time, I vow to do the hiking trails. With those picture-perfect views of the mountains and seas – how can I resist? Who’s with me?
Pico Sands Hotel
Pico de Loro Cove, Hamilo Coast
Tel: +63 2 4647800 / +63 2 4647888
Mobile: +63 917 8091289
Barangay Papaya, Batangas