This year, I decided to explore places that we could easily go on road trips to as a family… and so I discovered a bunch of resorts, many thanks to Google!
But because of this experience, I realized.. there aren’t enough sites about family friendly beach resorts and more importantly, ones that you can actually drive to from Manila. I was looking for authentic and detailed reviews … couldn’t really find any.
Like you, I’m sure that sometimes you just want to go on a quick weekend away from the city.
So here, I’ll be sharing the ones we’ve recently discovered, my personal experience and honest feedback.
(approx. 2 hours from Alabang)
Stilts has actually been around for a few years now, but I’ve never actually heard of it until .. Google. I found it to be really interesting so I got on their site.
I wasn’t really sure of the place, so I decided to book their “best villa”, which are the floating ones!
This one was specificially called “Peace” in the Large Cottage division.. it was the cottage furthest away from the shore so we didn’t really have any neighbors. In fact, we hardly even saw anyone unless we stepped out for breakfast.
The Peace cottage cost us about P18,000 per night. It had 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, sala and could accomodate 7 people and a maximum of 20. However, a fee of Php1,300 was added on to the bill for every additional person that exceeded the 7.
That rate included a buffet breakfast.
The cottage honestly wasn’t modern (if that’s what you’re expecting), it definitely had a rustic feel to it. But I liked it because we were in the middle of the ocean- we took a few steps on the ladder from our balcony and could jump in and go swimming anytime.
We woke up to the sound of waves and the salty air. We had a hammock too. Total beach life.
The food was good! We ordered in “room service” for all our meals. “Kamayan style” – inihaw, liempo, fresh seafood, garlic rice, green mangoes and bagoong, fresh buko…. ugh, starting to salivate! Per meal we spent about 500 per head. Not bad.
Oh and also, there were beach front cabanas (smaller in size though) even tree houses for the more adventurous types. Haha!
There was a pretty decent beach front with kayaks, paddle boards and jet ski’s you could rent too!
Overall rating: 8/10. We would definitely go back!
Camaya Coast, Bataan
(approx. 5 hours from Alabang via SCTEX)
Reality vs expectation. Haha! The pictures on the site were better than they were in person to be honest.
Well that was most likely because the resort was not fully completed yet.
But before we go there, the reason how I found this resort is because I stumbled upon Inflatable Island.
Apparently during summer, Camaya Coast has it’s own HUGE Inflatable Island. I thought it was one and the same! My bad, as I only discovered how far it was from each other en route!
So let’s talk about Inflatable Island in Subic. It’s good for a day trip, but I suggest maybe booking a hotel in Subic rather than traveling all the way to Camaya like we did. (It was another 2 hour drive!)
Anyway, for a half day pass it was 1,499 for 2 people (on metrodeal.com) vs. P2,198 if you buy the tickets there.
Honestly half a day is good enough because on the first hour you get so exhausted!! It is not easy!!!
It was good we went on a weekday so we were only a handful of people, I can imagine it on a weekend. Scary.
Also, don’t forget to wear a rash guard and board shorts- bikini’s are not advisable unless you want to put on a show. Hahaha! Think “Wipe Out”, the show. So can you just imagine?
My body was aching soooo bad.. even worse the following day! Get your muscles ready.
To see more of Inflatable Island, You can watch the video i posted on Instagram: Search #MikaelaInOneMinute
Would we go back? Probably.
(I just didn’t like the bathroom and the waiting area…)
Okay, now back to Camaya.
On the website and reviews it said “little Boracay” so my expectations were quite high. It was a nice drive in.. a golf course in the making, a water park and etc. But when we got to the beach front.. it was brown sand (bummer). The rooms were big though..But not very “new looking” considering they just opened recently. We got the executive loft which had 2 queen beds and a foldable single below and on the second floor, 3 single foldable beds and a king. It was about 17,000 per night. Pricey for a suite that didn’t include breakfast.
And that was one more concern, the only food there was Max’s Restaurant, Pancake House, Figaro and Potato Corner!
Well the resort wasn’t really finished yet so I can’t really complain right?
But despite all that, we had a good time. We got to rent bikes & go around the island.. which was nice. A totally different experience from the usual beach resorts.
One thing to consider though is that during summer season, they have an entire Inflatable Island set up for all their guests (just as big as the one in Subic)…. unfortunately we didn’t reach it anymore- but that would make it worth the trip I guess..
Currently, they have 2 infinity pools, and once the water park opens sometime next year, that may be something your kids would love.
Personally, there are better ones to go to but depending on their developments, there is definitely potential. My kids want to go back though! Haha. So I don’t know. 50/50 for me.
Sabangan Beach Resort, Laiya Batangas
(Approx. about 3 hours away from Alabang)
Upon arriving, it was a short walk to the cottage. And just a few steps away, the beach front.
Now this time, I didn’t expect the beach to be this nice. BUT I was surprised! Water was clear, sand was white but not as soft as Boracay of course. But it was a whole stretch!
There were water sports and activities to do for a fee, including jet ski’s, kayaks, banana boats and more!
Sabangan had really delicious food- that I have to say! Every meal just hit the spot.
I also noticed a lot of foreign families and balikbayans that were checked in. We got a two bedroom cottage that was right infront of the breakfast and buffet area. So that was perfect! Haha.
There was a pool and a little playground for kids with a slide and swing.
Our “Narra” cottage was good enough for a family of 8 I would say. Each room had 2 queen size beds, and 2 bathrooms. It was P19,200 for 8 of us.
But the best part is that it was only 5 minutes away from…
Laiya Adventure Park
Another awesome reason to choose a weekend at Laiya! You’ve got a beach on your right and a park on your left. Best of both worlds!
Now this is one place I highly recommend. Not only did my kids enjoy but my husband and I did too. We had so much fun that we invited my brothers to come over and follow the next day.
So much to do!!! Atv’s, Zip line with a scenic view, aerial walk, free fall, rock climbing, repelling, relax in an infinity pool and soon there’s gonna be a super mile long slide (currently under construction)!
It’s a place for a big group too- so i guess team building, field trips, or perhaps a birthday celebration.
One day is good enough then just drive back to the beach resort to relax because honestly, these things are not easy!!! We got exhausted.. and yet we were back the next day! Haha.
Even if you’ve got a toddler with you- he/she can take a nice stroll around the park while the older kids enjoy all the thrilling activities.
My daughter @noelle.knows did a vlog on this! Check it out on YouTube • click HERE to watch.
Overall: 9/10 we are definitely going back!!! If adventure is what you’re looking for, this is it!
We just can’t wait for all the new developments in this park.
The Lake house in Caliraya
(approx. 2.5 hours from Alabang + 15 boat ride)
Nope this isn’t a beach. But it is amazing!!!
My kids have never experienced lakeside living, and so we wanted to make them try something new. And who would’ve thought, AirBNB was the answer!
This is Mang Gorio’s parking lot… you can find it on Waze: The Lakehouse Parking Lot. You park your car, load up the bangka and off you go. This is part of the package you pay for the Lake house- but if you take additional trips, the fee is Php500 one way.
Upon approaching, it doesn’t look like much.. but once you arrive- it’s just BEAUTIFUL!
What you see here is the lounge area… and FYI it’s the only room that has an aircon because the entire home is Solar powered.
Then you have the kitchen and dining area. This was our favorite hang out.
The stay comes with a free breakfast buffet, and 2 awesome household staff! The rest of the meals, you’ll have to bring yourself.
We spent P25,000 per night for 9 of us including yaya.
From here, the only “struggle” is to walk up 72 steps to get to the bedrooms.
To be honest though, it was hard at first falling asleep! The rooms were so open…something we aren’t used to.
We only had mosquito nets “protecting” us! Haha I mean literally if a bat or a bear jumped through our window.. that’s it for us! Hahaha kidding. But you know what I mean. Which is why- make sure you have your playlists ready!
You won’t run out of things to do… you have the pool, the water activities like the trampoline, kayaks, paddle boards and even fishing!
The house comes with 2 beautiful Great Danes named Scoob and Bydoo- they are really friendly and lazy actually. My kids fell in love with them.
Our stay was absolutely perfect. On our first day, we were all looking forward to already going back… the only thing you have to majorly consider is the sleeping condition! Haha but other than that- it was everything I hoped for it to be.
Oh and to make it even dreamier, a bonfire is setup for every family that checks in- complete with marshmallows and hot chocolate. What a personal touch!
Overall: 9/10 (that’s only if you aren’t used to the great outdoors sleeping condition- but for everything else I would give it a 10!)
And that ends my list for now!
These are destinations we have visited on our own, and we definitely have more places on our list to discover. I hope this helps you plan your next family vacation! ‘Till next time!
If you have any highly recommended places to suggest, please share them with me! I’d love to hear from you.
•All photos taken on my Iphone 7 Plus•