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“A beautiful resort that needs some attention” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hidden Valley Springs Resort

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Hidden Valley Springs Resort
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| Laguna, Calauan, Luzon, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
asia
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
187 helpful votes 187 helpful votes
“A beautiful resort that needs some attention”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2014

This is not my first time to visit this resort. My first visit was 6 years ago for a day trip and this visit is for overnight. Hidden Valley Springs is a unique resort featuring natural spring water pools nestled in the midst of a lush forest of tropical trees and flowering plants. I won’t focus on the pools as the pictures posted in the reviews here will already give you an idea of how beautiful the pools are but I have to say that I am quite disappointed that there have not been any improvements from the last time I’ve visited.

The resort still does not have its own website. I booked directly with the resort with the contact details provided by in a travel blog. The reservations agents although friendly, lacked efficiency. They do not respond to emails. They hardly reply to text messages. I could imagine how hard it would be if you were going to book with them directly from overseas.

The shower rooms that were bearable 6 years ago should have been renovated by now. I’ve noticed that the number of guests have increased this time (mainly locals when we visited) so additional shower cubicles or a bigger shower room area should be considered.

The food was mainly Filipino fare. Lunch was served in the roofed buffet area. I agree with a previous post in that if they are focusing on Filipino food then “a truly impressive taste sampling of Philippine cuisine's finest” should be presented. Offered were: a mini salad bar, a buffet with about 5-6 main viands (pork, chicken, fish, vegetable, noodle dish), dessert choices exactly the same as mentioned by previous poster (chopped fruits, kaong - , gelatin) and sago’t gulaman (local sweetened drink with tapioca-like pearls). Coffee (local barako) and tea were always offered in the dining area (lunch, merienda/snack, dinner, breakfast). Merienda or snack was pretty bad. They served lomi (local noodle soup) that was too starchy and didn’t have anything in it but noodles and a few chopped veggies. They served the worst ginataang halo-halo (sweet stew of root crops and fruit cooked in coconut milk) I’ve tasted. Along with the two main merienda offerings were various kakanin / sticky rice cakes. It’s not advisable to eat rice cakes on an empty stomach especially when you are famished after an entire afternoon of swimming. It will clog your system! So my nephew who we failed to keep an eye on during merienda time fell ill after consuming rice cakes when he got really hungry during snack time. He missed dinner and threw up 3 times that night. Dinner was a tad better as they had a roast beef carving station added to the selection... which wasn’t so bad. We saw the chicken and fish dish they served during lunch again during dinner. They added a bit more dessert choices (leche flan - local flan, pineapple upside down cake, banana bread, cassava cake). Breakfast was my favorite but again they offered mainly Filipino breakfast choices (steamed daing na bangus - milkfish which was very fresh, longganisa - local sausage, beef tapa, pork tocino, homemade corned beef and super crispy bacon. They had an egg/omelette + waffle station which was a big plus. 2 choices of juice, a cold pitcher of milk and fresh slices of fruits were available. Again, you could always find coffee and tea when you dine and not to forget, the same mini salad bar choices (lettuce, cold macaroni salad/potato salad, tomatoes, raddish and 3 kinds of dressing).

We booked both the casita with loft and the regular casita for our overnight stay. The rooms had a nice rustic touch and I wouldn’t say would need much updating. My favorite part of the rooms would be the bath with the skylight and rain shower. The casita with loft came with 2 single beds in the loft and a king bed and could easily fit another rollaway bed as was provided for us at no extra charge. The regular casita came with a queen bed. (No minibar or ref. No coffee or tea facility. No free internet. No hairdryer. No in room safe. It had: 2 robes and 2 slippers; shampoo, soap, shower cap, shave kit; water thermos) Room had a small old (picture tube) TV with cable (Cignal). Rooms had split type air conditioning which cooled the room adequately (2 units for the casita with loft). My only complaint for the rooms was the beddings. I noticed some blotches on the bed which I thought were only light stains on the sheets that wouldn’t come off but when I looked closely in the morning, it was because of a super dirty mattress protector under the sheet that looked like it wasn’t changed for ages! (ewwwww!!!!) I’m not really a clean freak but that was just disgusting. The single beds in the loft only had light thin flat sheets for blankets.

The entire staff was generally very warm and friendly. Housekeeping knocked the next morning to check if we needed any more toiletries or towels. We appreciated the service and hospitality.

They do not allow food and drinks into the resort but they allow water to be brought in. (Note: They don’t really check so I guess a few cookies and chips for the kids won’t hurt :-) ). We brought our water canisters with us and refilled it with water at the reception or in the dining areas. If you have kids with you, it’s better if you bring your floatation vests for them as most of the pools are deep. Aqua shoes are a good idea because I’ve seen 2 kids lose their slippers in water streams. Check in / out time is at an odd 3:00PM /12:00NN but they will give you the room early if available as they did when we inquired about availability after lunch and will allow an extension of a few minutes for check out. Trek to the hidden falls is ok. Not for the elderly with mobility issues but can be easily handled by a 5 year old.

Rates: P2,200 for day trippers with lunch and snack. Locker rooms are available for free but with P500 deposit. Gazebos for day trippers are free of charge but on first come, first serve basis. Casita with loft starts at P17,000 a night (depending on the number of pax/ adults / children). Regular casita starts at P12,500 a night. Overnight rates/room come with full board meals (lunch/snack/dinner/breakfast)

Directions: From Manila, take South Luzon Expressway. Continue on to Star Tollway (You will pass a second toll plaza). Exit Sto.Tomas (first exit after Star Tollway) and turn right along the National Highway. Veer left when you see the Junction Inn Mansion. After Liana's Supermarket on your right there will be a "Y" intersection, take the left lane towards the Isuzu dealership. Continue on to Alaminos. If the road forks, keep right on the main road with the traffic. If you pass 7/11 (on right) and Mercury drugstore (on left) across each other then start watching out for the Rural Bank of Alaminos (with UCPB Bank of the right) to which you will take a left. From there, just follow the signs to Hidden Valley which shouldn’t be far away by then.

Sorry for the lengthy review. Most reviews are not for overnighters so I went all out on my review. In conclusion, even after the horrifying discovery on the bed, I would still consider coming back to the resort. The resort itself is a unique and pleasant experience. I hope the resort owners/ managers will not continue to leave the resort out to neglect. I would not even mind paying for the hefty rates especially if there are improvements on the food and the facilities.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Makati, Philippines
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

it was a day trip from Manila and it was such a relaxing time! I enjoyed the fresh air, forest, natural pools, the falls (it's not a long walk at all - as somebody told me that it will take an hour to reach them - so not true! ;) )
The showers might require some attention for cleaning as well as the changing rooms but that didn't bother us too much. Didn't stay overnight so cannot comment on the rooms but there are lockers to leave your stuff so you can come - change into bikini and stay all day trying different pools. The food didn't fascinate us but overall we spent a great day outside dirty and noisy Manila.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Anaheim, California
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

I had been to the resort decades ago on a company-sponsored outing. I wanted to experience it again, this time with my husband. From what I remember then, it seems they have added at least 3 more pools, and are now encouraging visitors to go and look for the "hidden falls", a good opportunity to see the resort's natural setting over a bamboo walkway. Definitely worth the walk.
The resort seems to have been price-structured for foreigners and balikbayans who can afford their steep price of PHP2,400 for a day's use of its facilities, which are just the pools, the dining hall and the locker rooms. An overnight stay in one of their concrete (ugh!) cottages is a whopping PHP12,000plus for two per night!
The entrance fee for day use includes buffet lunch and afternoon snack. The lunch menu leaves much to be desired for a venue that seems to cater mostly to foreigners. Even ordinary Filipinos will not be very happy with "adobong pusit and ginisang amapalaya" at such a price! The greens salad was mediocre...lettuce,tomatoes,cucumbers...blah! For dessert they offered a mix of supposedly "fresh" fruit pieces, and kaong, and gulaman. Maybe halo-halo with leche flan and ube ice cream would have been better. And gulaman and sago for a beverage? Doesn't the Philippines have enough great fruits to be juiced or made into a smoothie? I can only presume that their goal was to maximize the food profit by serving items that were just barely passable and not make the dining experience a truly impressive taste sampling of Philippine cuisine's finest.. The snack menu was just as bad...about 5 kinds of kakanin that weren't even that great tasting.
The staff were courteous, but not amazing. The only redeeming factors were the pools' naturally warm water and the jungle-like ambiance.
Would I want to go back? Nope; not for that price; not for that kind of food.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

I visited Hidden Valley Springs Resort with my wife and 2 daughters (ages 10 and 8) on a recent Sunday. We enjoyed the resort just for the day. Overall, we had a positive experience. My kids had a blast playing in the various natural pools and waterfalls. The place is well-maintained and lovely to behold. The staff was kind and polite. Here are some specific observations:
1. We left Manila (Makati City) at 6:00 a.m. and made it in 1 hr. 40 mins. If we left any later, I believe it would have taken us at least an extra hour to get there. Leave early!
2. The place does not have a website, which I find unacceptable for a place of this caliber. I had to piece together directions, rates, and opening times from various travel blogs and articles. It's not particularly easy to find either. An online map would have been great.
3. The place is expensive -- 2200 Php per adult for the day. For that fee, you get lunch, an afternoon snack, and use of the pools and locker room. That's about it. They don't even have complimentary potable water near the locker room, and you're not permitted to bring in any outside food or drink.
4. As for the food, it was a typical Philippine small resort buffet. I don't like that kind of food, but that's just my taste. The resort should consider including some universally-accepted alternates like some fresh fruit or little buns.

Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bohol
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

Congratulations to the owners and staff of this wonderful attraction. It's amazing to see a incredibly well protected environment in such a urbanised environment. All the infrastructure has been developed to compliment the incredible natural beauty of the rain forest. Visitors can enjoy the natural pools and the walks. Unlike many attractions in the Philippines there isn't one hideous concrete painted sculpture in sight and the pools look wonderfully natural. I highly recommend the attraction!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Makati, Philippines
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

I celebrated my birthday at the Resort just last 20 March of this year. We valued the privacy. We almost had the place to ourselves.
Food was great. The singers really are talented.
There were some downsides though. There are no wifi within the resort. I mean Php 12,500 should have been a complete set up of what a customer might have needed.
Also, one of their staff unlocked our door and took a peak inside our room early in the morning without even knocking. It woke us up. It's quite alarming. Upon seeing us, staff immediately apologized and locked our room again.
I wasn't able to bring it up on their management, that's the reason why I am making this review.
I mean, is that how they conduct their wake up call? Even so, I dont remember that I asked for one. It's just wrong. There are clear signs that the cottage was occupied, with the wet shirts and towels hanging by the chairs outside. AC turned on. and they were staff, they should know which cottages are occupied.
It's a violation of our privacy, especially that early. They WOKE US UP.
I never had this kind of experience in any other resorts I've been. It's outraging.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hacienda Heights, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

If you are a nature lover check out this place. For me it's worth the trip. We went during off season so we pretty much had the pool to ourselves. The pool and the waterfalls was great. So relaxing. I can compare it to Mayaland Hotel and Resort in Mexico and I would say this is better. We didn't stay overnight so I couldn't comment on the room accommodations. The food was OK but not spectacular. Well, I didn't come here for the food anyways.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hidden Valley Springs Resort

Address: | Laguna, Calauan, Luzon, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Calabarzon Region > Laguna Province > Calauan
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Calauan
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hidden Valley is a secluded spot wedged between two mystical mountains rich in folklore. It is a place blessed with nature's invigorating gifts of water, flowers, trees, and inspiring scenery. Located some 75 kilometers South of Manila, the Valley brings refreshingly modern changes as well as quaint touch of the past. Hidden Valley Springs Resort is a mere one and a half hour drive from Manila, snaking to Calauan, via Alaminos, Laguna, just behind Mount Makiling. Its main feature is a body of waterfalls, natural spring and pools. Be ready to dip in the cool waters, constantly flowing from the mountaintop, said to be rainfall accumulated through the years. There is also a warm, natural spring pool and a soda pool. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hidden Valley Springs Hotel Alaminos City

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