Tuesday, May 6, 2014

First Dip of Summer at Portulano Beach Resort

It was yet another one of those Eureka moments when I chanced upon Portulano Beach Resort in Anilao, Batangas. You see, its been days since I started looking for a beach resort in Batangas and all our top choices were either fully booked or have super expensive rooms available. We initially wanted a beach front resort with fine sand so it was a toss between Nasugbu, Calatagan, or Laiya but luck wasn't on our side. At that time at least.

Come Thursday and I still haven't found a place to stay for that weekend, I started searching for accommodations in other towns in Batangas. My expert googling skills led me to this one-of-a-kind resort and favored home of professional divers and enthusiasts.

Booking with Portulano was a breeze and the owners, Arnel and his wife, attended to all my inquiries sent through email and text. We knew from the moment we contacted them that we will be in good hands and all our needs and requests when we arrive in the resort will be handled capably and with personal touch by their equally courteous and helpful staff.

We were two hours late to our meet up in the resort's parking lot in Bauan no thanks to the terrible traffic we braved in Lipa City because of the town fiesta. After securing the car (parking fee is Php100 per day), we were brought to the motorised boat that transported us to the resort. The ride was a bit bumpy but the expert hands of our boatman knew exactly when to stop the boat to avoid the waves crushing our ride. In about fifteen minutes, we finally set foot on the footbridge that leads to this piece of heaven we can now refer to as Portulano Beach Resort.

The staff at the reception area was already expecting our arrival so after confirming our meal plans and requests, we were ushered to our room on the second level of the building.

Our room opens up to this wonderful view of the sea where I could just lie on my bed or sit on the chair by the veranda and admire the amazing sight in front of me. It was a surreal experience waking up to this that I had to pinch my arms at times to remind myself that this is not a dream.

After settling down and resting a bit, we made our way to the dining area to have our late lunch. Getting the package inclusive of three buffet meals is a must (and mandatory) since the place is secluded and there's no way you can eat anywhere else. But don't you worry because the food at Portulano is superb! If you're used to the bland and expensive meals during your vacation, this resort will change the way you look on resort food.

Lunch on our first day was Fresh Salad, Fish and Tofu, Steamed Vegetables, Chicken Curry, and Omelet with rice. You can also order fresh fruit shakes since drinks are not included in the buffet.

We agreed to take a dip late in the afternoon to avoid too much sun exposure which gave us enough time to explore the rest of this cozy resort. If you love your private space, there are a lot of areas in Portulano where you can just relax, read a book, listen to your favorite songs on your iPod, or have meaningful conversations with your significant other.

The resort takes pride in having a rich marine life in their house reef. If you want to dive or snorkel and came empty handed, the resort offers gears for rent at an acceptable fee.

There's also a saltwater pool that serves as the training pool for first-time divers.

By 7pm, we heard a knock on our door signalling that it was dinner time! As always, we were the first ones to arrive in the dining area then came another couple. During our stay, there were only three occupied rooms in the resort so it was a basically a laid-back night for us and the rest of the staff that took time to chat with us.

The dinner buffet spread had Fresh Salad, Pesto Spanish Sardines Pasta, Chicken Barbeque, Calamari, Beef Kebab, and Mango Graham Cake for dessert. I came back twice for the pasta and kebab as it was really delicious!

We woke up the following day to the smell of Adobo, Spanish Sardines, Waffles, Pancakes, and Coffee. You have to order the waffle fresh from the kitchen so the sides are still crunchy. I can really get used to this everyday!

Too bad we had to go back to Manila that afternoon because it was back to work the following day. An overnight stay was not enough to truly enjoy the sea and visit neighboring islands so the next time our schedule frees up, we will definitely stay longer!


Portulano Beach Resort
4201 Bauan
Batangas, Philippines
Tel.: (63917) 540-4257
Website: www.portulano.com

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