So, summer is here. Mine begins early this year. On the first weekend of March, three of my friends and I head to Batangas for a short vacation. Last year, we acquired online coupons for our hotel accommodation with free breakfast for each of us at Chateau Royale for only P1800. You might also want to snatch some discounts here.
Though situated in Nasugbu, which is known for its beaches, the hotel is not sited near the beach. Chateau Royale is located in Nasugbu, Batangas, about 20 minutes from Tagaytay rotunda. There’s hotel accommodation or you may also choose the cabin, which is where we stayed (because of the promo). The property has its own vegetable farm, mini zoo, rock climbing facility, spa, restaurant and swimming pool, pretty much everything that you might need for a relaxed weekend.
The swimming pool has this “beachy” feel because instead of the usual pebbled cement or bricks, it is surrounded with white sand. Fresh harvests from the vegetable farm may be bought in front of the lobby on Sunday mornings. I can’t say much about the zoo, though. The chickens prevent me from going on with the tour. By the way, they offer an hour of free tours of the farm and zoo, which start at 9am. We opt to tour on our own since we had late breakfast. I’m not sure how strict they are with following the time and schedule of every activity but here’s a list of their schedule, from what I can still remember. Just try to follow it.
Swimming – 7am to 6pm (with lifeguard on duty), 6pm-10pm (no lifeguard)
Breakfast – 7am to 10am Tour (farm and zoo) – 9am-10am
Rock climbing – 7am-6pm (Don’t forget to sign up first.)
Spa – Have your available time scheduled at the front desk. This, I think, costs P800/hour.
On our first day, after we rested, we went out to look for this café my friend found online. Café de Nasugbu, was well, located in Nasugbu, so we thought of having our late lunch there. We had to call this café to ask how we could get there and they said it’s only 20 minutes from the hotel. It’s not, more like 40 minutes. (Or were we just driving too slow?) We finally got there, anyway. I couldn’t tell you how right now, but I’ll try to look it up again. The café was worth the long drive. The food was delicious. The service was admirable. The place was like a sanctuary, quiet and peaceful. (Until we arrived. Haha!) Snapshots, please.
Eat and run. We went back to the hotel. Look at this view on our way back.
I was particularly excited of this trip because I want to rock climb. Each climb is P100. Money’s ready, no one’s climbing. It’s on. Until I was ready to sign, I did not know that they don’t have climbing shoes for rent. Surprise, I forgot to bring my rubber shoes. Some chose to climb barefooted, but I could not risk that. I’d rather not climb than get my feet injured.
Okay, there’s nothing much left to do, since check out time is 12noon (not very strict, we left past 12). On our way back, we went to see Caleruega church which is very near the hotel. Besides “tourists”, there were students who just finished their retreat, so the place was not as quiet as I expected, but it’s still beautiful nonetheless.
I don’t think a visit to Tagaytay or Batangas would be complete without dropping by Bag of Beans to have a drink or eat something. As expected, the place was packed with visitors. The receptionist found chairs and this little table under a tree, where we could sit and enjoy our food. It was a busy afternoon. It was a good thing that while we wait for our food, we were entertained by these young children (from an orphanage) who performed in the cafe to raise funds for their schooling. I always believed that if it’s a true and honest cause, I would never say no.
It was almost 4pm when we finished and now, it’s really time to go home. It was, again, a quick break from our busy lives. But as I always say (or think I say), quick vacations are better than none at all.