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“A Charming Retreat” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort

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Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort
Laiya, San Juan, Luzon, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Laiya
Manila
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“A Charming Retreat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Laiya, San Juan, Batangas is relatively the most accessible place from Manila where one can have a quiet and relaxing commune with the sun, sand and sea. It has several resorts to choose from, and one seems to have gone beyond the typical. This is Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort, where me and hubby stayed during the recent long weekend, It is the only resort in Laiya with a 7-storey hotel with scenic elevator and ALL rooms facing the beach. It also has about 15 Med inspired cabanas (costs 16k pesos/night) and a huge freeform infinity pool.

We arrived at the resort shortly before noon. After getting all details from us on check-in, we were immediately advised that rooms will be available by 2pm yet, which is the norm during peak season. They directed us to the restaurant for lunch or refreshments instead, while waiting.

The resto is more like a huge dining hall, with a very casual setting of tables that sit 6-8 persons each. Service is good, food is good and with variety. Prices area reasonable as most items in the menu are good for 2-3 persons. (I loved their sizzling squid and their blueberry cheesecake.) At dinner, guests had a choice of having it al fresco by the beach or in the dining hall. This arrangement is usually done during times when hotel is fully booked. And there is the option of having room service too. Breakfast was served buffet in another dining hall at the 7th floor.

Our room was spacious, with 32" LCD TV, safety deposit box and coffee/tea making facilities. Linens and towels smelled fresh. Pillows were soft enough and mattress firm. It has a lot of cabinets and storage spaces ideal for a family's long staycation. The room has a view of the pool, the beach and the roof of cabanas below. We had a couple of issues, though:

1) the console for the cable TV wasn't where it should be. We had to ask housekeeping for it. A staff arrived with the console, connected it but turned out it didnt have "load" for the subscribed channels. I found that weird! The staff said he will have it "loaded". He left and came back after 15 mins, tried the channels again and still didnt work. He left the TV on and advised us to wait for a few minutes. The channels came up after a while.
2) the bath's drainage was clogged but was attended by housekeeping right away.
3) the shower heads werent well cleaned.

Estrellas' main attraction is the swimming pool with a wading pool for kids. It's blue sand finish (instead of tiles) gives its water a blue color making it so much more inviting. It has lifeguards stationed in at least 4 points around the pool and beach area. The surrounding area is very spacious. Despite being fully booked and has so many guests, the resort didnt seem crowded.

The beach isnt that gorgeous though. During high tide, it looks great with the white sandy shoreline right next to the pool. But at low tide, the greenish brownish sand reveals itself and the sea is about 100 meters away. The area isnt ideal for snorkeling either.

In general, our stay was very relaxing and pleasant. They have enough staff who are able to attend to guests asap. I think, it's because, they were systematic and organized in doing their jobs. They didnt appear stressed and each staff never failed to smile. This surely isnt going to be our last time in this charming seaside retreat.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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101 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

The staff is really nice and helpful. Swimming pool is fabulous. Breakfast is ok, could use more variety of juice, fruit and food. Wifi does not work at all. Beach is beautiful, with many activities available.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

I originally reserved 2 rooms through their Makati Head office, but when we arrived at the hotel the front desk lady suggested if we would like to occupy one room instead of two rooms since we are only five persons. she even showed us a room sample and told us they will a 3rd bed for us. We decided to take the offer in order to save a couple of bucks.:)

the good:
1. This is the only resort/hotel in laiya area which have a scenic elevator.
2. Room is spacious and could fit 5 to 6 persons. Bathroom is decent. Each room has a veranda overlooking the nice view. Room comes with electric hot pot, mini bar, fridge, tv with cable.
3. Super courteous staff, attentive staff at the pool and bar. they provide pool towels near the pool area.
4. Additional pillows, additional towel without extra charge.
5. KTV rooms with consumable rate.
6. Scenic infinity pool - we felt like we owned the pool for we were the only ones using it at that time.
7. Pool side cabana looks spacious - it has 2 rooms, living room and kitchen
8. This place is awesome - especially the infinity pool.
9. Attentive restaurant staff, housekeeping staff, reception
10. Courteous guards.

The bad:
1. The beach is not that beautiful. Water is not clear but the beach front is clean.
2. Water activities available too expensive - e.g. kayak 1000 per hour
3. Food (including food deliveries from outside of resort), beverage and alcoholic drinks with corkage. but they allowed us to drink the coke 1.5 we bought at the pool side.
4. Limited breakfast buffet - they should add some bacon,pancake etc. limited menu at their restaurant.

The Worst
1. Our trip is smooth for we used SLEX from C5 then Star toll and took Ibaan exit (SLEX and STAr toll is connected). But after Ibaan Exit comes a nightmare - Road under construction, and not enough signages of the resort (there is a big signage at Ibaan exit but it is not enough). We were completely lost and the road is soooo steep with hair raising curves, road closed signages which will make you think of the movie "wrong turn" Our car broke somewhere along the deserted road, thanks to some helpful locals we were able to fix the car and they also told us about the many tourists heading for laiya that suffered what we have gone through.
2. The resort should add light posts along the road leading to their location.
3. The food is too expensive and the taste is so so.. not worth the price.


But still we enjoyed this beautiful hotel :) thumbs up for service and pool :)

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Pasig, Rizal, Philippines
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

I left my eyeglasses in the resort. I called up the hotel to inform them and they confirmed to me that the they were inside our room. I ask them to send the eyeglasses to Makati office so that my wife can pick them up. But until now we haven't got the eyeglasses. When we followed up for the eyeglasses they said that nothing was left in the room. We were communicating with Tey Patinio regarding this matter. She's not answering or emails and phone calls anymore.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Quezon City, Philippines
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

spacious rooms and great food...poor wifi capability....very big pool ....recommended for rest and recreation...u have to take star toll and take lipa exit although there are not enough signages enroute...

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

I spent my daughter's birthday and we chose the poolside Cabana. This place is just awesome. Only that I think there can be more improvement on the food that they serve because it is very limited.

The cabana is big enough to accomadate 8 adults and 5 kids. The beach is ok but the catch really is the pool.

They provide celan towels for those who are in the pool.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Epsom, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

It was a mere 3 hrs drive from Manila. Road signs along the route was ok until the last 3kms especially the intersection where the road splits to La Luz , Estrella and One Laiya. The one laiya is well sign posted and you can see it more than the Estrella's. Road sign posting need to be improved though.

It has wow factor the moment you stepped in. It is gated so security is not an issue. The lobby is very well presented. The bell man is very helpful. We have stayed in 3 adjacent superior rooms (family of 12) as opposed to staying in a cabana. As we are based overseas and having travelled to different places, we have quite a high standard when it comes to accomodation. I can say that Estrella is at par with high end resort in terms of room/resort amenities -flat screen tv, hair dryer, good water pressure , tea and coffee making facility, nice , comfortable beds and most of all very CLEAN. Lovely view of the infinity pool and beach overlooks our room and it was such a nice feeling that you wake up in the morning feeling so relaxed after an in-room massage which is quite affordable at P400/hr. The food was average and pricey though. The choices are quite limited and caters mostly to Filipino quests so it is quite of a challenge to meet the demands of the kids in our party that are more used to continental food. For us adults who have missed Filipino food, we have totally enjoyed the breakfast.

The beach is standard- the sand not so white and quite rocky. It is however flat and safe for swimming with kids. We have enjoyed the infinity pool much. Towels are provided in the pool area which is typical for a resort of this type and price bracket. Having been in operation for just a year , the resort is properly maintained. Staffs are very accomodating. I really hope that they can live up to the high expectations of their guests and maintain the cleanliness which is the problem with other resorts in the area. Overall we had a magnificent stay and would love to come back on our next visit to Manila.

Room Tip: Room nos. ending in 8-12 has the best view of the infinity pool and beach.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort

Address: Laiya, San Juan, Luzon, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Calabarzon Region > Batangas Province > San Juan > Laiya
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Laiya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 82
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Also Known As:
Estrellas De Mendoza Playa Hotel San Juan

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