A few hours away from Manila is the long stretch of white sand beaches of Laiya in San Juan, Batangas. For a weekend trip, it’s a great place to escape the city’s hustles and bustles. It took us about five hours from the city to the province, including stopovers. Perhaps it takes about three hours or so if there’s no stopping at gasoline stations and restaurants.
It’s a second time for us to visit La Luz Beach Resort, a dog-friendly accommodation at the farthest resort area of Laiya. Three years ago, the road wasn’t full of houses and commercial complex, the pavement wasn’t entirely concrete yet. Now, it’s a better drive as you won’t get bored of the long drive because of the improvements along the way.
Upon arrival, there’s now an entrance where the guard will check if you already have a reservation before entering the parking area of the resort. A few years ago, the reception was at the top of the entrance but they moved it to the modernly constructed receiving area a few steps down the hill.
Take note of the high staircase leading down the beach. It’s a bit of an exercise but all worth it with the amazing view of the beach and the lush greeneries. What previously was solely a Filipino bamboo style resort is now merged with the modern tiled decoration.
The check in went smoothly as their accommodating staff ask for our deposit slip, payment and to fill in the guest form. They also have a Pet Policy Waiver if you’re bringing a dog. Before there wasn’t a payment for the pets but now it’s Php450.
Three years ago, we met one of the owners of the resort. He was an unassuming friendly man who greeted us upon arrival. It’s one of the best things about La Luz because you feel very much welcomed and you feel at ease. We saw him again greeting the villagers who were probably going to school and work early morning. It was really heartwarming to see his love for the resort, his staff and the people living in the community.
Photos courtesy of La Luz Beach Resort
We had several room changes because of the number of people joining us and rescheduling the short vacation because of the bad weather. We didn’t had any problems as their staff understood and catered well to our needs.
We wanted a quieter spot at the big resort. We were placed at the Annex Loft Room (Php5,400) that fits 8 to 12 persons. There were three beds on the lower ground and another three at the mezzanine. It had two shower rooms, two shared sinks with huge mirrors, a capiz wooden style dresser and a toilet. The cozy ambiance is beautifully designed with local woodwork.
Three years ago, we slept at the Premier Room (Php4,950) that fits between four and six persons. It’s also located at the left side of the resort upon going down the high stairs. It had a similar design of the room except it was only one level.
They had a recent increase in price but we were still able to avail the former amount for accommodation and full-board buffet meals (Php1,485 per person). The food package already includes lunch, snacks, dinner and breakfast. It’s worth it with the still delicious cuisine they whip up for their guests.
We noticed though they serve fewer dishes for lunch, snacks and breakfast, probably because of their day trip packages or the scheduling of the meals, since it almost overlaps so guests are too full to the brim to devour everything. Non-stop eating I must say. Dinner still had plenty of dishes like before. The evening buffet and the morning breakfast are the highlights of their full board meals.
Prepare to stuff yourself with soups, fresh seafoods, Filipino dishes, desserts, juices and the famous Kapeng Barako (local Batangas coffee). They still have good quality dishes, which is one of the things to look forward to at La Luz.
If you prefer a quieter dining area, go to the second floor of the dining hall which has less people since most are seated downstairs. All dishes are the same so there’s no need to go up and down. We enjoyed having our meals during the first day at the ground level that has the view of the beach. At night and during breakfast, we dined at the second floor with the trees surrounding you. It was very relaxing indeed.
So what can you do here? Unlike before, it was mostly swimming, massages by the beach and devouring sumptuous foods, now they have more activities for guests. There’s now a bamboo style bar hut where you can also order ala carte food.
They have biking trails, sailing, bonfires, board games, beach volleyball, snorkeling, kayaks and all other fun activities. Some of these activities are free with the booking but some apply different rates. They don’t charge as high as other resorts which is a plus.
But really the highlight is the long stretch of the beach with the gorgeous rocky coastline at the end. Imagine walking on white sand shores that lead to a small hill you can climb. Stop for awhile on top of the rock formation and take a breather as you gaze at one of the most beautiful sites in Batangas.
If you’re beaten down by the hustles and bustles of the city, try having a good massage at one of the cabanas. I hope since they’ve increased their pricing, they’ll add a private spa area too for those who want more privacy.
In case a massage isn’t enough, hop over to the bar which wasn’t also there three years ago. Don’t worry, it’s not noisy but a cool chill bar where you can grab a couple of beers and cocktails that won’t break your budget.
You can bring the liquor to the beach or drink them at the bar. Their staff were accommodating so you can ask for a not too strong mix if you prefer. You can even request to change the music. We’ll have to try their ala carte pizzas next time.
Surprisingly, they also now have an open chapel for masses so if you happen to be there during the weekend, why not attend the mass held regularly. It’s good for the soul.
There’s just basically a lot to do at La Luz Beach Resort. A weekend trip isn’t enough if you want to try everything. It’s not a long road trip from Manila, it’s easy to visit and not super expensive. The HodgePodge Lifestyle recommends this resort to its readers!
For price updates, please visit their website since they haven’t published them yet so the ones we got may not be final as of publishing date of this article.
For more info on La Luz Beach Resort, visit the following websites:
Facebook: La Luz
Website: La Luz
Address: Laiya, Brgy. Hugom, San Juan, Batangas
Telephone #’s: +63 998 3387111