We planned a beach trip last month to celebrate my Mom and Aunt’s birthday. It almost got cancelled because of the Typhoon that entered Metro Manila that weekend and because my Mom was feeling ill. But since we already paid half of the room and food expenses, we went ahead. We stayed at La Luz Beach Resort in San Juan, Batangas. I’ve been there once with our friends back in 2006/2007 and I really enjoyed our stay. I liked it more because you don’t have to worry about your food! There is a mandatory food package (Php 1,350/person) that will get you lunch, afternoon merienda, dinner and breakfast ALL BUFFET STYLE. I don’t have too many pictures because I saved our phone memory and battery for vlogging (my Canon S110 died on us!). So please watch the vlog instead for visual presentation.
MY THOUGHTS: THE ROOM
Like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve been to La Luz, but our good experience brought us back. I was expecting for a little bit of improvements and upgrades here and there when it comes to facilities and room amenities. But it was still pretty much the same except for their new Premier Rooms where my mom, aunt and yaya stayed in. I wish I had picked the same room instead of the Standard Room which was very disappointing.
For one, the lighting inside the room is awful. We only had one lamp and one bulb of warm yellow light in our room. Can you tell from the vlog that lighting is bad? Yeah, I can’t even vlog inside the room at all! Mas maliwanag pa sa banyo, but that’s another sad part all together. While I like the fact that the bathroom had a bidet (thank you Lord for inventing bidets!), it was very outdated. Sure you can do what you need to do in the bathroom there, but design wise, there were no efforts at all. Our room’s airconditioning unit was LOUD, as in hindi na siya white noise level. Parang may makina ng kotse sa loob ng room. It was absolutely cold though. Sumuko ako ng slight. So yes, you’re comforted with cold air, pero it’s really noisy.
My mom’s room on the other hand, ang ganda lang! I didn’t get to take photos/videos of it though. It was modern looking and the bathroom, Chuvaness might just be okay to use it! It has a 3-way design so the sink and counter space is in the middle, while the shower and toilet are in two different rooms. The bathroom is separated by a sliding door, so it’s not really exposed to the sleeping area. Their A/C unit is also new, split-type. Plus it barely made noise, you can’t even tell it’s turned on. They also had a balcony with their own drying rack (all rooms had them) and a wooden bench. Mas maganda yung sa kanila ‘coz it was facing the beach and it was windy.
Oh by the way, both rooms had 3 beds, one was a pull out bed. Wacky’s yaya was supposed to stay with us so we could go out after dinner but the space where the pull out bed was in our room kept getting these black, sand-like thing falling from the ceiling! I couldn’t tell what it was! I tried cleaning it a few times at first. So mawawala then after a while babalik na naman. So I just moved the two big beds together, para iwasan yung spot na nahuhulugan ng black thingies. We ended up with an extra bed that is unusable. She stayed with my mom and aunt instead.
FOOD & DRINKS
I absolutely love that it’s buffet style, so there’s really not much waiting aside from lining up. If you go to the dining hall exactly on time or before meal time, you get first dibs. We had dinner early, around 6PM, so we were one of the first few. Something we regret later on that night because we got hungry! I liked the food that they served, I mostly just ate fish and soup. They had a salad table for dinner too, but I didn’t get a chance to get some because I was full from the yummy baked fish I had. They also have a drink dispenser for water and juice. Unlimited refill too. You get to choose from two appetizers, soup, rice, chicken, fish, beef and pork for lunch and dinner. For merienda, they served pancit, sandwiches, and a kakanin that I forgot the name of.
Meal time is self-service. After you eat, you have to put away your dishes and throw away food scraps and liquid in their respective bins. I actually like this, rather than have wait staff cleaning up after guests and hurrying around to clean up tables. I took a video of the area where you put them away but the camera was so shaky (thanks to me and the monopod) that I didn’t use it on the vlog anymore. Basta, you put your spoon and fork on one bin, your soup bowl, saucers, platito and drink cup in one bin, and another for plates. There are separate trash bins for food scraps, liquid, plastics, and paper trash. Ang galing diba! Bawal ang tamad. 😀
We honestly didn’t get to do much because of the typhoon. We just take advantage of the short breaks of rain by taking the boys to play in the sand and water. But you can do many things in La Luz! You can play beach volleyball, Frisbee, snorkeling, kayaking. You can even rent out a yacht with your family/friends! At night, they build a campfire, but we didn’t get to have that because of the wind and rain. There are also fun games around the resort you can play. I saw a giant sized chess board and a Connect-Four game by the huts. Oscar said there is a bar along the beach. He wanted to take me there when the kids go to bed, but it didn’t happen. We fell asleep at 8PM! But I swear to you, I’m picky when it comes to resorts ha, so you know I’m not going to just go to any resort. La Luz combines family beach fun and affordability. The next time we go back (I feel like it’s very soon!), we will definitely go out and enjoy the place more.
Our experience was rather, hmm, weird and uncomfortable, because of the typhoon, plus the fact that our room is just not what we expected. I was semi hinting to Osc that we should ask for another room, but I was feeling that he didn’t want to move or pay extra. Oh, I forgot to mention, there were a quite a few blackouts throughout the night (again, because of the typhoon). Good thing we brought our rechargeable Tough Mama fan! We always bring it with us in case we would sleep over somewhere because Joaquin is such a sweaty sleeper. We didn’t use it throughout the night because the electricity would come back naman when the wind is not trying to blow away the resort. I didn’t sleep well that night because I kept turning on the a/c when electricity would come back and turning on the fan when it goes out. Napagod ako!
Going there is easy, i-Waze mo yan ‘te! And I was right, pababa parin yung beach area, I don’t know why I thought that part would change. Haha! So prepare yourself for a few steps going up and down from the beach to the parking lot. My mom and aunt walked the stairs, though we were given the option to have someone guide Oscar down a path so he can bring the car down. But since we didn’t want to risk any car accidents, we just carried all our stuff down and up again.
So there! That’s my review of La Luz. I’d give it a nice 3.5/5 star rating because it’s not a full-service resort and because the room was disappointing talaga. But I’m sure it’ll be a whole better experience if we get the newer rooms next time. Food wise, okay naman siya, hindi ka magugutom and I think malasa naman silang lahat. I’d definitely go back, maybe in December with friends or summer.
NOW GO WATCH THE VLOG 😉
Barangay Hugom, San Juan, Batangas
I forgot to mention the beach pala. My friend May pointed out that she didn’t like the beach because it’s very rough, as in mabato (lots of pebbles and small shells) and there is a bit of a slope from the beach to the water that makes it a bit hard to go up and down. Basically, I went down to the beach once because it was hassle. Very unlike Boracay or the beach that we went to in Pangasinan earlier this year.