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.
- 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