A few weeks ago Coco and I got to spend a week at the most beautiful resort I have ever been to. It was breathtakingly beautiful.. like nothing I have ever seen. It reminded me of an episode of Frasier when he took someone to a resort. I can’t recall the details but their room sticks out in my mind as being quite rustic and beautiful. That is exactly what this was. I joked to my friends that if I could have switched out a whining three-year old with a hot man it would have been perfect. LOL Actually, though, it was quite enjoyable with her! For one, they have yaya services (one of the reasons I chose it–not going to lie!) because relaxing was a requirement and if you have vacationed with kids you know taking a 3-year old to the beach/pool is anything but! With yaya services provided, though, I could drop her off and go get some sun or a massage or go out at night. And the other factor was that it be affordable. We got the cheapest room and even though they charged an adult rate for her (children are 50% off if there are two adults in the room) and it was only $40USD a night including a full breakfast buffet! Seriously! And it was fabulous!!!
When you check in they serenade you with guitar music and drape shell necklaces over your heads–or at least that’s what they do for the other guests. 🙂 It was raining when we arrived so we maybe that’s why we didn’t get serenaded, but we did get fresh buko juice!
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me backtrack. Getting there was no simple feat. We had to take a 30-minute cab to the ticketing office to meet the 6:30am shuttle bus. We rode the bus for two hours til we got to the port of Batangas. Then we took a 2-hour boat ride to Puerto Galera where we boarded a smaller boat, called a banca, to get the resort (which took another 15 minutes or so). Not kidding.
Trying to get there was no joke but it was oh, so worth it. We pulled into shore with the sign welcoming us. Coco Beach is the only resort on the island and after six days there it felt like a second home. The staff was so welcoming and accommodating. I was really able to relax because it felt like one big family looking out for her because of course everyone knew Coco by day 2!
After checking in, some workers hoisted our bags onto their shoulders and led us to our room. Our Standard room came with no air conditioning and no TV. It was perfect. Just two twin bed covered with mosquito netting, a couple of bamboo chairs, some shelves and a bathroom encrusted with shells. I think Coco thought it was our new house. I wish! The air is so clean there and being surrounded by lush foliage and crystal blue water made us both relaxed, happy, bronzed and well-rested.
The resort assigns a Service Family to take care of your needs while you are on vacation. They change your linens, deliver your room service, clean your room, watch your children and bring piping hot coffee and bottles of water to your doorstop every morning. Our Service Family was incredibly nice and they also had a 5-year old daughter who Coco got to play with every day. Their daughter doesn’t attend school yet so she and Coco spent a lot of time together. They became fast friends.
One we got settled in and unpacked, we took a walk around. I could not believe I was going to spend five days here (which got extended to six)! I have to say it again– it is by far, hands down, the most gorgeous place I have ever seen.
What did I do all week? Well, together we fed the turtles, played in the pool, snuggled in the hammock and read stories under the mosquito netting. I also snorkled, ate amazing fresh seafood, got massages and sipped tropical drinks.
Coco Beach is the perfect antidote to the stress of my job and the polluted, concrete jungle of Manila. It is a true paradise and one I would never be able to afford while living in the States– or at least not very often. But by moving overseas I can go to places like this frequently. Our whole week’s vacation, including food, transportation, excursions and spa treatments, was approximately $500 USD. Seriously, you can’t beat that!