Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Crazy Vacay at Ronco Beach Resort and Tagaytay Haven Hotel

{May 2010} My family's annual excursion would always fall on the month of May. So ours fell on May 6-8, 2010. Initially, these dates were the only scheduled days for our vacation, and we were already booked to spend it at Calatagan, Batangas. But since we were all hung-up on the 3D/2N vacation by the beach, we decided to spend one more day out of town. So after Batangas, we drove to Tagaytay. Here's how our trip went...


A SUMMER ESCAPADE DOWN SOUTH

Since my Kuya wanted to spend our summer vacation in Batangas again, I was able to look for a resort that would fit our budget for 19 people. Believe me, it wasn't that easy looking for resorts that would accommodate our numbers. Now, my Kuya didn't give me a specific budget. But he did ask me to find the most affordable one.

So come April 2010, I found Ronco (through a referral). I also looked it up in the internet to check on the previous guests' feedbacks. And when I finished reading all the posts, I pitched the idea to my Kuya. Their photos looked really lovely, especially the long floating raft, and the wooden trail/dock they had at the resort. So it was their unique selling point (to me, that is), as it really caught my attention. 

So when I finally had the go signal to book, I paid the 50% downpayment and kept the owner of the resort updated of our itinerary.


Our journey towards the secluded roads of Calatagan was a bumpy one. We felt more of the butt-numbing pain when we still haven't reached the resort (it was a bit far from 'civilization'). Other than that, the people that were in the van with me were already growing impatient, as the travel time stretched further (about 3-4 hours worth). The trail going to Ronco felt endless! But when we did get there, my Kuya gave me a high-five for finding a rare gem... or so we thought. 

TIP: Please bear in mind that no bus could ever take you straight to Ronco. So I suggest that you really drive a personal or rented vehicle if you plan to visit the resort. 

RONCO BEACH RESORT

Staying in Ronco had its good and bad parts. Sir Willie, the owner of Ronco, was actually a very accommodating person --- nice even. But his lady caretaker wasn't. He emailed me last year (around May 2010), extending his apologies about her attitude towards all of us, saying that 'she was just overworked that weekend'. Poor her. Then again, she's a representative of the resort. If she wanted their guests to come and stay with them again, she would've set her attitude aside.

But I will no longer divulge how she acted around us. But let me just say that she was plain rude. Now, apart from our encounter with the caretaker, the beach eventually became a disappointment too. The beach would be crystal clear come morning time. But it would start to look hazy again when it neared the afternoon. It would always look dirty, so we were forced to just hang-out by the dock or by our cottage. 


ROOMS AND OTHER BEACH AMENITIES

THE CONS: 

* The rooms looked like each one needed some repairs already. 
* The refrigerator inside our rooms leaked. 
* My nieces and nephews had a sighting of a water snake. My nephew saw it twice so he got scared to go back and swim.
* The resort didn't sell drinking water (they had beer though). So if you want to have your own supply, you'll have to leave the resort by car and buy at the nearest store (which is less than 10 minutes away from Ronco).


THE PROS: 

* We didn't run out of water (for bathing and washing purposes). 
* We had our own cottages to use.



* We were given free access to their dock and floating wooden raft, which the kids frequented. 
* The beach looked nicer in the morning, and grey starfish were abundant by the shore. 




MORE PHOTOS FROM THE RESORT


RATING: I would rate Ronco Beach 2.5 out of 5 stars.

TAGAYTAY HAVEN HOTEL by ULAT

Our not-so-fulfilling stay in Batangas was also the reason why my family decided to spend an extra day out of town. And since Tagaytay was along the way, our teacher friends managed to suggest Tagaytay Haven Hotel by Ulat. Since the teachers were frequent clients, the manager of Tagaytay Haven gave us a discount. 



HOTEL AMENITIES

The resort was lovely and it really stood out. Being there just felt so relaxing --- like you were one with nature. On top of that, the garden also looked lush and well maintained. The swimming pool, the pond and the Koi fishes were very refreshing to look at as well. But the most exciting part of our stay there was our accommodations! 



THE BEAUTY IN TURNING CONTAINER VANS AS FULLY FURNISHED ROOMS

Instead of using real houses for their rooms, they used container van units --- just like the ones in Camsur's CWC. Looking at the units from the outside, would seem like the whole thing was too small to fit all of us in. But don't be fooled! Each container is actually very spacious (the hotel resort offers different room configurations). Just imagine having 4 rooms in just one unit! 


MORE PHOTOS FROM THE HOTEL


RATING: As for Tagaytay Haven, I would rate the resort 4.5 out of 5 stars. I'm definitely going back here, no doubt!

BRING HOME SOME DELISH TARTS!

If you're looking for the best-tasting cassava cake and egg tarts (nearest taste to the ones being sold in Macau or Lord Stow's), then head out to Amira's Tart House. You'll be able to find the best Tagaytay-made treats from this shop! =)

And as always, here’s our Travel Expense Sheet to help you well on your future Calatagan and/or Tagaytay trip. God Bless! =) 

Explore & Be Free!
Mai


*Tagaytay Haven Hotel Ulat
Ulat Road Barangay Francisco Tagaytay City
Tel: 483-0106 / (02) 542-2242 / 542-1394
Mobile: (0922) 881-3243 - reservation / (0922) 863-7434

Fax: (046) 413-1175
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