What better way to reward oneself than to head out of town for an adventure. Just recently, my wife’s team went to Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club to celebrate the promotion of some of their teammates. Never mind the incessant threat of a heavy rain and the long drive, the trip to this beautiful oasis was worth it.
The Pico de Loro Beach & Country Club is dubbed as world-class private beach club that is closest to Metro Manila. This is the leisure club of Hamilo Coast, the premier seaside development of the SM Group in Nasugbu, Batangas.
Journey to Pico de Loro
We hit the road at 5:00 AM to avoid the heavy traffic in EDSA. We plied the whole stretch of EDSA, made a turn to the Coastal Road when we reached SM Mall of Asia then entered CAVITEX. Traffic in CAVITEX was light. It was a good 40 to 45 minute ride before we entered Antero Soriano Highway. We drove all the way through the main road and passed by Kawit, Bacao Road, Tejero, Tanza and Naic.
|Patungan Cove (photo courtesy of Dennis Colico)|
We then entered Governor’s Drive until we reached Ternate. We stayed on the main road and then made a left turn going to Kaybiang Tunnel. We opened our windows to feel the cool mountain air. Add to that the scenic view, it had all the elements of the perfect weekend journey.
We drove straight ahead through meandering roads until we reached the Hamilo Coast main gate.
Check-in at Pico de Loro
Since there were a lot of vacationers that weekend, it was not a brisk check-in as we hoped it would be. Lining up at the reception area were mostly big families with children running around. In addition, the check-in area was not spacious. But in spite of that, the wait was tolerable because of the cool seaside and mountain air blowing. The personnel were also very accommodating and helpful.
As proof of payment, we were given wrist bands. I noticed that these were color coded, probably depending on whether the guests were owners or were renting like us. We were also handed our reloadable guest cash cards. We were told that inside the property, one may pay using either this cash card or via credit card.
|Guest cash card|
We booked for an overnight stay at Carola II. We rented a one-bedroom unit and a two-bedroom residence where my wife and I stayed.
Upon entering the main door, you will be greeted by the bathroom to the right and then the kitchen. There was also a refrigerator, gas stove and 21-inch flat screen TV with CIGNAL connection. From the living room, one may access the porch via a floor-to-ceiling sound proof sliding door. There was a big table in the area for outside dining or just about any other gathering.
|Stylish ceiling light (photo courtesy of Dennis Colico)|
|The living room|
Since use of the kitchen was included in the package, we brought food with us and cooked our meals.
|Our sumptuous breakfast spread (photo courtesy of Dennis Colico)|
Upstairs, there were two bedrooms and another bathroom. The master’s bedroom was fully-air-conditioned and also had a 21-ich flat screen TV. From the master’s bedroom, once can easily access the veranda for a panoramic view of the saltwater lake in the middle of the property.
|Shower room at the top floor|
Across the master’s bedroom is the smaller bedroom which contained three beds.
What to do in Pico de Loro
- Swim at Pico Beach
At the top of our itinerary was to take a dip at Pico Beach. From Carola II, we hailed a passenger cart which dropped us off at the beach.
Unfortunately, the waves were pounding ferociously because of the strong wind which made swimming almost impossible. There were guests frolicking in the water but we thought it was too risky. In fact, the red flag warning was up which meant that beach hazard was high.
|Trees line the patch going to the beach|
|Pico Beach marker|
|The other end of Pico Beach|
|The view was still beautiful though|
|The red flag was up which meant that hazard was high|
|The Protector, a World War II relic|
|The Protector is a Imperial Japanese dual-purpose gun|
|Guests were still enjoying the water despite the rough waves|
Disappointed, we gave up on our plan and headed instead to the country club.
- The country club
In here, you will never run out of things to do. Some of our companions were already enjoying a basketball game when we went there.
|At the main entrance of the country club|
|The main lobby reception area|
|Taken from the main lobby|
|A basketball game|
|We explored the sports center and saw that there were also volleyball and badminton courts. One may also opt to play billiards, video games or bowling for mildly intensive games. Non-members have to pay a fee though for use of the facilities.
Of course, there were swimming pools, too – from ankle-deep kiddie pools to adult pools. One thing I noticed though was that the pools were not heated but this is just a minor issue.
|One of the swimming pools|
|The kiddie pool|
|Lifeguard (photo courtesy of Dennis Colico)|
|The adult pool|
|Reminders at the pool area|
|The lake at the center of the property|
- Other activities
Pico de Loro also offers water activities such as banana boat ride, jet skiing and kayaking. While checked in here, one may take advantage of the opportunity to commune with nature by exploring the property either by foot or by bike.
Dining at Pico de Loro
It seems like getting hungry is never an option in Pico de Loro with the myriad restaurants to choose from. Offering different cuisines to suit one’s taste are Sun Coral Café, Reef Bar, Brisa Bar, Lagoa, B&B, Pico Restaurant and Bar, and Grab N Go. No need to worry on how to find finding these restaurants as these are located either at the country club or beach club only.
|Grab N Go|
|Inside Grab N Go|
For more information, please click here.
We checked out at exactly 1:00 PM on the next day. Check out was a lot faster; in just a few minutes, we were already on the road back to Manila.
- Discounted overnight rates at Pico de Loro are available via numerous online shops.
- Bring a credit card. Pico de Loro only accepts payment via the reloadable cash cards that they provide guests or through credit cards.
- Bring your SM advantage card. It is accepted at the reception area when you settle your bill since Hamilo Coast is a property of SM Development Corporation.
- For non-club members, be ready to pay fees for use of facilities, including towels.
- Bring food to save on coast. You may use the kitchen and stove to cook food.
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