Our trip to Chateau Royale in Nasugbu, Batangas was not planned. It was courtesy of a relative who couldn't make it to their reserved dates due to other obligations. It was not much of a choice on our part and thus our expectations was not at all that high. We just took advantage of the opportunity to spend some vacation time with the family. That said, we looked forward to make the most of the trip, come what may.
There weren't any signage by the roadside indicating directions to the venue. First time travelers are liable to miss it if they're not paying attention. It's about 2 minutes from the Welcome Arch at the boundary of Tagaytay-Nasugbu, right side of the road.
We arrived a Tuesday afternoon in March 2013. It was a quiet venue. There was a serenity about the spacious environment. Certainly a nice get-away from the chaos of the city. The Buddhist-themed designs and ornaments invite guests to meditate and relax but the nature setting indicates fun and adventure.
Check-in was conveniently quick but you have to prompt the front desk for directions and inquiries about the facilities. One would expect that they would try to sell their resort to their guests. As it turned out some of their facilities were still "under renovation" at that time (i.e. the floating restaurant). Perhaps that is why they didn't bother to readily tell us about the features of the resort.
When we got to our rooms, which was a short hike away from the main building (it's good exercise but elder folk and those pregnant or with certain disabilities may need a ride), we had mixed reactions. It's mostly pleasant. The rooms were large enough and tidy enough. It's a decent room for 4 with lots of storage spaces. However, some basic items were lacking. There were no mini-refs in the room. Complimentary bottled water, which any regular traveler expects to have after a long trip, apparently had to be requested at P35 each. Although we managed to coax the front desk to send ours at no charge but that was certainly not a pleasant experience. We also had to request for a waste bin, a bucket and "tabo", and the remote control for the cable TV. Television reception was also unsatisfactory with very limited channels. Although, I personally don't go on a trip to watch TV elsewhere. Why spend so much on a trip when I can watch TV at home. Still, it's an area of improvement. The beds were quite comfortable. Not luxurious but its good enough for a "bed and breakfast" scenario.
The toilet and bath was roomy. A tub would have been nice for a warm relaxing soak but alas, no bath tub. Our shower in particular was faulty; the heater could not be controlled so the water was too hot for comfort. The shower in the adjacent room were our companions were was working fine. There were complimentary soap and shampoo with conditioner but no toothpaste.
The dining hall was located at the main building. While unfortunately not a gourmet experience it was satisfying enough. Some items were overpriced in my opinion. I mean who would pay for a jumbo hotdog on a stick at P160! We tried to order a crepe but they said they're pastry chef had a day off. Another disappointment there. The buffet breakfast was okay but someone needs to teach their cooks to make fluffier omelettes. If you're looking a better gastronomic experience, ride off to Tagaytay which is about 30 minutes away, for your meals.
The swimming pool was nice. It was situated in the middle of a fine sand landscape for that "beach effect". You could probably play mini beach volleyball or frisbee but it would be better if that side was netted off to avoid the ball from flying off to the hilly edge where the obstacle course and paintball area were located. We would have availed those facilities but at that time they didn't look that inviting. Maybe a couple of posters and banners highlighting these activities would have clinched the deal. Although the day we checked out, the GM Mark Montesa invited us for a round of paintball target practice but we had to decline. Maybe next time.
We tried the fishing lake but it was in a deplorable state. It was situated at the far side of the resort and we were the only ones there. The rental of the fishing rod was a big question mark for me. It was a 2 meter bamboo pole with about 15 meters of nylon string and then you're given some pork fat as bait. Several problems here - the fishing deck was wide open without shade. So fishing between 9am to 4pm was not advisable as it was hot as hell! Got me a bad sunburn trying to get a decent sized tilapia, but to no avail. Most of the big fishes were in the middle of the lake, some 15-20 meters from the edge of the fishing deck. With the deck being about 10 meters high (at least) from the surface of the water, do the math and you will realize that the fishing rod they supplied won't get you where you need to be. Same situation if you opt to fish from the bridge area at the other side. While slightly shaded by some vegetation, the line was still too short to get to areas of the man-made lake where the bigger fishes are most likely situated. So unless they upgrade their fishing rods, pass off the fishing experience. If you have your own fishing gear or just feel lucky, make sure you use sunblock.
The highlights of this trip was the zip line and the rock climbing experience. When we checked in the front desk said these were available only on weekends. Its a good thing they made an exception for the holy week. Moderately priced at about P100 to P150, it was quite an exhilarating experience. I assume their technical crew were adequately trained. The zip line was setup across the fishing lake which was probably around 100 meters. The ride was short and sweet! For folks like me who are rather overweight, the line may sag a little so make sure you keep your legs close to your body or else stretched out parallel to the ground because you might get your legs clipped on re-entry at the other side of the lake. We had our rock climbing just before we checked out. The structure was up to 30 meters high. I was able to manage short of 20 meters before I ran out of nearby hand and foot holds up the route that I took. Nonetheless, it was indeed fun!
The WiFi connection was only strong at the main building and even then the connection tend to drop intermittently. They didn't have a business center so trying to get some work done online or sending off a quick email was next to impossible.
Other features at Chateau Royale included a "mini-zoo" with some exotic birds, a couple of monkeys, a lone deer and some pigs. The area needs to be remodeled though, as it looks more like a farm than a zoo. The children's playground was nice. Some swings and slides, enough space to throw a ball. They also offer horseback riding or a calesa ride around the resort. You can get a tattoo (real or henna) near the swimming pool area. There's also a souvenir shop, a salon and spa, a billiard hall and you could have a table tennis setup on request.
In conclusion, Chateau Royale is ideal for a group get-away (i.e. team buildings, family outings) with its many features but if you're looking for a certain level of luxury, look elsewhere. Its a big but simple hide-away for rest and relaxation.
The cabins are pricier but are closest to the main building. If you don't mind the 5 to 10 minut...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.