First of all, let me begin by saying that I have never bothered to review for the netizens of this world. But because i personally benefitted so much from the contribution of others in finding this excellent resort, I guess the least I could do is pay back by contributing our share of experience :)
Virgin Beach Resort is the PERFECT beach vacation for our family. Of course, no one place perfectly fits the need of everyone. So what is of primordial importance is to know what you want, and look for the fit. Our criteria were as follows:
1) nice, quiet beach (not noisy and activity-filled)
2) easily accessible from Manila (no need to fly, good road condition)
3) good-quality sand (not necessarily as white or powdery as Boracay's, but not grayish or too coarse to walk on barefoot)
4) ideally, beachfront accommodation
5) cottages (not hotels/villas/cement-structures)
6) well-appointed rooms (spacious & clean, including toilet)
7) well-prepared and tasty food (definitely not planning to cook on a vacation!)
8) professional staff, good service
Well, I have to say that Virgin Beach Resort not only meets, but even exceeds some of the above criteria! On the first point, for example, the beachfront was so wide that it is at least 10x wider that its neighboring resorts! (We made this discovery during our boat-ride to Coral Garden for snorkeling.)Stated differently, if you join up the beachfront of the next 10 neighboring resorts, it is probably still shorter than Virgin Beach's! What this implies is that this resort gives you an overwhelming sense of space, exclusivity, and privacy. Even if the place were to teem with guests, one would not feel crowded or cramped because of its sprawling property. Also, each unit of accommodation is a prime beachfront location! The whole place is very clean and well-maintained. The staff is constantly raking the place for fallen leaves on the ground, and netting out trash from the sea and shore. White sandy beach, clear blue water,... it's perfect!
Re the rooms, we stayed in an aircon casitas (#3) which can accommodate max of 6 pax. The room is spacious, with 2 queen-sized beds, and enough floor area to lay out another 2 single mattresses. The construct and furnitures are all of good-quality materials. The beds, for example, are made of solid wood so that they are so heavy to push when we had them joined side-by-side! The mattresses are firm. The wooden blinds block out sunlight totally and keep the aircon room cool even during high noon. The toilet is a most pleasant surprise: so spacious, modern, clean, and fitted with a rainshower head. Each room is provided with an emergency light and fire extinguisher. Is it a wonder that I rated it as not only meeting expectations but exceeding them as well?
Re food, when there are more guests, a buffet line is prepared; when less, a set meal with 3 choices for main entree. The choices and quality are ok, though not a "rave" point. Most Manilenos would probably find it pricey. An area of improvement is on the kids' menu: it is exactly the same as adults' sans the salad (for lunch and dinner) and beverage (for breakfast) Adults have coffee for breakfast; kids only have water. Milk or hot choco are to the guest's account on top of set-meal fee.
Still on areas for improvement, management need to procure new life-vests. Kayaks are there for free use (for overnight guests), but there are only 2 tattered life-vests available! Another reason why it is important to have life-vests is because the characteristic of the beach is such that water level rises almost to 5 feet just a few from shore (probably 6-10 feet away). Parents with small children would feel safer if their kids don on life-vests when at the beach. Another suggestion: it would be good to provide free flowing coffee and tea for overnight guests who just want to laze around and watch the day go by. P50/cup is kind of pricey.
Having given an overall glossy report of the resort, let me issue a balancing word: this place is NOT for people who are looking for a lot of fun-filled activities. There is no swimming pool, no game room, no sports facilities (e.g., basketball court, pingpong table, volleyball net, etc.), no TV & cable! There is virtually nothing to do at night... except perhaps a nice open-air massage in one of the bed parasols while the sea billows and the wind blows... Our kids played their board game in one of the bed parasols, too, while
enjoying the view of an almost full moon silhouetted against the wispy clouds.
Finally, one last point before I end this review: a comparison with a nearby, new resort called Acuatico. We decided to drop in at the Acuatico (just a few resorts away) before we headed home since we heard so much about it. It has a breathtaking infinity pool that gives the illusion of the cool-blue pool water merging into the aqua-blue beach water (probably the reason for its name), similar in concept to that of Punta Fuego, also in Batangas. Surrounding the pool are the villas which boast of big LCD TV screen and cable. Quite nice and impressive. However, having come from Virgin Beach Resort, we can't help but feel cramped because the space is so much smaller than the former - probably just one-tenth the size of Virgin Beach Resort. The beachfront is so small that turning your head slightly to the right and left means looking at the neighbors' beachfront! A quick survey among family members reveal that Virgin Beach Resort won the votes from us! But then again, different strokes for different folks. So at the end of the day, one needs to go back to the earlier point mentioned: know what you want, and look for the fit.
- Also Known As:
- Virgin Beach Hotel San Juan
- Virgin Beach Hotel
- Virgin Beach Resort Batangas/San Juan
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The perfect getaway for guests who want to experience a more relaxed, and stress free vacation. Situated in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas, our property boasts of having the longest shoreline among all of the resorts along that stretch. With more than a kilometer of pristine white sand beach, the resort features only oceanfront guest accommodations.At Virgin Beach Resort, we offer guests a sense of privacy and serenity. Our resort is designed to provide a comfortable abode to business and leisure travelers with its excellent facilities and service.Our well-trained staff ensures a pleasant and unforgettable stay. From the reservations staff at our Makati office, to our resort staff in Batangas, guests are always welcomed with warm smiles and excellent service. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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