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“OK rooms, Below average resort, Trrible food.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort

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Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort
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Calatagan, Luzon, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Calatagan
Makati, Philippines
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“OK rooms, Below average resort, Trrible food.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

We stayed in one of the Small Cottages and the room look OK. There is an air conditioner only in the bed room so if you stay in the living room or if someone also sleep in the loft is very HOT!. There was hot water, refrigerator and drinking water dispenser. No TV in the room. The resort is below average, the swimming pool is very dirty. The food is terrible. We came on April and the beach and the water are full with Seaweeds so you can’t even enter to the water. Compared to what you pay I do not recommend coming to this resort!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amor and Mina H, Owner at Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
Hi!

We will take your comments as a challenge to keep on improving our services.

We'd just like to clarify two things:

(1) We decided not to put TVs in the cottages because we want guests to just relax, explore the resort and bond with one another. A lot of our guests have loved this no TV policy because it encourages them to follow their bliss at Stilts.

(2) We've been advised by the Bantay Dagat not to remove the seaweed and the sea grass because these are important areas or habitats for marine life. We do our best to be responsible earth and water angels and we encourage our guests to be earth and water angels also. Some guests have even said that walking on the sea grass makes them feel better while others make it a point to check on the sea grass on their return visits.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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151 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Vienna, Austria
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013 via mobile

It was a marvelous experience we had...and most importantly, our mother (74 y/o) was satisfied happily. A real recommendable place for a precious family time... We left Stilts with gladness in our hearts. We felt the passion and sincerity of the management, the staff, and the crew.

Yes, there are a few hiccups... Like old closet, dusty drawers, the refrigerator stinks like there's a spoiled fish... We stayed in Palawan cottage, btw. Anyway, the friendliness of the employees makes you forget these small glitches. But I do hope, the management look on this small stuff, before it get worst.

I made the reservation through the internet. The reservation process (with the assistance of Ms. Iya dela Torre, Sales Associate) up to checking out, very efficient...no hassles!

To the friendly people of Stilts, keep up the good work.... Thank you, & MORE POWER!!!!!


PS: We didn't get our complimentary drinks as we arrived. ;-)

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quezon City, Quezon City, Philippines
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

I would like to commend the staff of stilts for a very well kept place. Was there for a day tour, the whole place very well maintained.
Shower and rest rooms are clean, except for some women from the company who had their outing there left their shampoo and soap sachets and and didn't even care to throw their trash in the trash bins. Staff always make it a point to check if supplies such as toilet papers and liquid soaps are available in each cubicle. There were even restrooms near the parking area.

Beach area was clean also, highly recommended even for small children, calm waters. But my daughter lost interest to swim at the beach during the afternoon because of the jelly fishes.

Each open hut has its own sink so its very convenient for those who would like to bring their own food though you have to pay for a corkage of 100 php per head. Snacks i think are allowed. Food was very reasonably price, in fact its cheap for around 150 to 350 php per viand and taste was ok not outstanding, its like eating in ordinary grill restaurants in manila. I suggest that if you'll be in small group don't bother to bring food anymore so you could really relax.

Contrary to other reviews, service was excellent, they will try to accommodate all your requests. From the time you enter the resort until you say good bye you will be satisfied.

We will definitely go back and will stay overnight.

Thank you stilts fro a very unforgettable experience, the happiness in my daughter's eyes until now is priceless!

Room Tip: for those going on a day tour, shower and restrooms in that area are a lot cleaner than those near t...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

Sitting on the deck of our cabin on stilts, looking out to sea, the wind-ruffled water slapping against the pylons, the thatch rustling, the coloured flags slapping the flag poles, I am luxuriating in a foot spa and reflexology massage, while the girls have facials and Swedish massages with the bedroom doors flung wide to let in the breeze.
Our air conditioned cabin is officially large enough for 3, but there is a double and single bed in the large airy bedroom, a sofa bed in the living room and a single bed on a mezzanine level under the roof. There is also a water cooler with a large enough bottle to last the weekend, a real blessing, and a frigde twice the size of the average mini bar.
‘Stilts’ is located on twenty four hectares at the end of the Calatagan Highway, Batangas facing the South China Sea. It is a 2.5-3 hour drive from Manila, longer if you stop for lunch in Tagaytay. The coast road takes you into the middle of nowhere, and the final lap along a cracked concrete rural lane past goats and carabou is a puzzling approach to a beach resort. Yet we finally emerged into a graveled car park set amidst colourful flower beds, only a short walk to the sea. Here, rickety wooden jetties weave between the half dozen or so cabins nesting above the waves, pretty coloured glass windows in green and yellow and blue are framed by white weatherboard and palm leaf thatch.
The gardens around the pool, are shady and green, blooming with tropical flowers.The trees, walls and flower beds are also decorated with painted signs full of homilies, song lyrics and pointed quotations from the rich and famous.
Meals were served in an open air pavilion restaurant above the sea. The menu, aside from the wood oven pizzas and barbecue, consisted largely of regional dishes with a heavy emphasis on coconut milk and chili: Bicol Express, tasting reminiscently of green curry; tilapia (a local freshwater fish) cooked in coconut milk; banana hearts and pork served in coconut milk; sinigang, chicken adobo, lechon kawali, sisig and stuffed squid. Soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and banana ketchup featured as ever-present condiments. Halo halo, turon (fried banana spring rolls) and leche flan add a sweet finishing touch.
There were plenty of activities available: 21 hectares to be explored on foot, on horseback or by quad bike. Snorkelling, kayaks, pedal boats or bancas were all available, or simply floating just off-shore on a raft with a cocktail at sunset.

Room Tip: Try to book a cottage over the water.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

Beach: white sand, best to go for a swim during a high tide. Cottage: rooms and bathrooms are very clean, seems newly painted/fixed, purified water dispenser and ref available. Pool: 1 adult and 1 kiddie pool. Complementary breakfast buffet was simple, fried rice, omelet, chicken adobo/sausages, fruits and cereals. all the staff are polite and helpful. My kid enjoyed horseback riding along the beach. For lunch and dinner, food ordered from the restaurant was pricey. You can ask them to bring your food to the cottage or to the beach. Not much people there for the day tour on a weekday so the beach was almost empty. Will be back for sure.

Room Tip: choose the Cebu cottage, the cottage has the best view and privacy
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valenzuela, Philippines
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

It was a wonderful experience going to this resort hotel. And you'll enjoy it more if you can stay overnight and try their 'stilts' experience. Their houses-on-stilts are the main attraction of this resort. Their stilt cottages cost a lot more than other resort accommodations but I was satisfied with my stay and I can say it was worth it.

First, the Makati booking office staff are polite and accommodating. Although you must be patient connecting your call (probably it's because it's peak season). I had no problems getting a reservation.

Their online guide map was very helpful. Our driver had no problems getting to the place (from Manila can only take 2-2 1/2 hours getting there).

Regarding the area, I can say the surroundings are very clean and well-kept. I especially commend the staff for keeping the comfort rooms and shower areas clean and presentable. It has very nice and relaxing ambiance, with special highlights on nature (I love them colorful flowers!).
On the beach area, you get the usual Batangas beige sand. Not that fine, but ok enough. The waters are oh so clear! It's quite a wonder how clear the water can be. You can literally see the sea floor. The high- and low- tide moments are very much pronounced in this side of the coast. It it's low tide the water can really go shallow. Like you can walk about 15-20 meters from the shore and the water level can be just waist-deep. You can even see the corals/sea grasses surface during low-tide. But if it's high tide, it can go really deep. Like the waist-level water from yesterday can go as deep as 5-5 1/2 deep.
One downside of the beach is the untouched sea grasses, rocks and corals near the coast. It feels icky to the feet and there is this fear that you might step on something deadly.
I understand they want to preserve nature, but this is a big turn off to guests. You really can't swim because your feet may get hurt (aqua shoes are highly recommended). There is also a diverse marine life in the waters, which can be a good and bad thing. Good because you can appreciate schools of fish and some starfish around (you don't need to get very far to snorkel). Bad because there are a lot of unknown (at least to me) creatures that can make you go itchy.

The pool area is a great second option if you don't want to go swimming in the ocean. But I have to say it's just an ordinary pool (there's a kiddie and adult pool). For me it's clean enough. But I have to say the water was always warm. I tried swimming in the morning and afternoon and it was still warm.



For the resort activities, there are numerous to choose from although they all come with a (high?) price. This is no place for budget adventurers. They only have three boats available so register early. Although there are some activities free for in-house guests like billiards, sungka, card games. We only tried boating where we were taken to see the nearby lighthouse (just a far view, if you want to go inside it, take the land route instead) and went snorkeling. I must say I wasn't very much impressed with what I saw on the sea floor compared with the seafloor of San Juan Batangas where I saw colorful species of fish and corals. Here, I just saw some black fish and some corals.

The service was great. I think all staff are (and are really trying to be) polite, courteous and accommodating. If you want your food or something served to your cottage, they will go and serve it.

But regarding safety and security, I think they lack the presence of visible lifeguards around. I swear, I have not seen anyone sit on the lifeguard bench nor wear a lifeguard-indicating shirt. I guess every staff knows how to swim, but I feel much safer and secure if I can spot a lifeguard around.

Regarding the rooms, it is quite pricey (like in deluxe/premium rooms of hotels). Like 2k/person/overnight excluding 12% tax. But I have to say it's worth it. The Tagaytay cottage was like a house. With spacious rooms, living room, dining area, attic and veranda. One great features of stilt rooms are the ladder leading directly to the sea. Also, the cottage was simple, white, yet elegant and clean. I honestly believe the Tagaytay cottage can house 15 guests comfortably and can stretch up to 20. For those going overnight, you get shampoo, body wash, rolls of tissue, towels, and gallons of mineral water included so no need to pack those.
And it was windy, which can be good and bad. Good because you just need to open the doors and the let the breeze cool the summer heat. Bad because it can create a lot of noise slamming against the walls. You might even think it's storming outside. But the good thing is that the cottages are quite well-built so you feel secure.

Regarding the food, I wasn't really expecting much because of the reviews I read. Armed with that level of expectation, I was quite surprised because the food was good-ish and palatable. You can have the usual Filipino dishes and I quite enjoyed their soups (sinigang and tinolang manok). I must attest that they use select ingredients (organic and native). Even the rice was organic-great. Regarding the morning buffet, I was quite pleased with the selections (fried pork cuts with yummy gravy, longganisa, omelet, cereals, fruits, pandesal with fruit jams and real mango puree). Again, I wasn't expecting much because of the reviews, but I think our complimentary morning breakfast was good (I guess it depends on their on-duty cook).

Overall, it was a very good experience. Your wallet just needs to be prepared for all the expenses from the food, accommodation, corkage fees (if you intend to bring food/alcohol), activities and others.

The one thing I regret was that I wasn't able to try their massage services... Probably next time, because I definitely would like to go back again. I just hope that they could offer 'affordable' packages which include lunch, pm snack, dinner and breakfast meals.

Room Tip: I recommend the farthest cottages on stilts if you want a good view of the sunset/sunrise. (That'...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

This holiday was shared with eight other people so we kept ourselves very entertained. The accomodation was perfect. The staff very help and very attentive. The staff in the restaurant although very polite and helpful need to be spoken to very slowly and precisely as their knowledge of any other language other than Philipino is limited. The menu is quite limited and if you are a vegetarian even more limited. The vegetarian options still have meat in so you have to be quite specific.
Other than that what a fabulous destination to choose if you want tranquility and rest. The Spa treatments are brilliant and are done in your chalets. Extremely reasonable and all the staff are so polite and discrete. You can have anything from a facial, various type of massage, body scrubs and also manicures/pedicures. Men also included with theses treatments.
There are several walks you can go on as well. Just be careful with stray dogs as they can seem a little intimidating. They were fine though.
The accomodation is varied dependant upon how many are staying in them. Had a look at a small lodge and it was very roomy as well. The cabins on the beach were lovely as well.
The resort does close down after 9 pm so you have to be prepared for an early night. I would recommend this place for a short stay and the sunsets are to die for.

Room Tip: The shop has limited supply of goodies so take your own. Take a good phrase book with you. Ladies ta...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort

Address: Calatagan, Luzon, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Calabarzon Region > Batangas Province > Calatagan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Calatagan
Number of rooms: 13
Also Known As:
Stilts Catalagan Beach Hotel Santa Ana
Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort Batangas

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