Our family of 3 adults and 3 kids decided to stay overnight at Villa Escudero in summer of 2013. It was very accessible to public transportation. We took the bus, and got off at the tricycle terminal (along the highway) going to Villa Escudero. Each tricycle is PhP50 to the reception hut, where we were given cold gulaman drink while we took care of payments. There’s a small souvenir shop in this reception hut where we bought hats, shirts, magnets, etc before we went home the following day. All staff in the resort wore Filipiniana attire.... really nice.
The main resort area is a short bamboo-cart ride away from the reception hut.The resort is a coconut plantation so there are lots of coconut trees along the way. The cart is pulled by a carabao, and has a guitarist and a singer who both sing traditional Filipino songs during the ride. It was fun.
We registered at the hotel lobby but since check-in is not until 11 am, we all went swimming first. There are 4 separate pools... toddlers’, kids’, and 2 adult pools, one of which has a slide. At 11 am, we were able to bring our things to our room. Since no air-conditioned room was available when we booked, we had a long house unit. The unit was spacious...with 2 beds on the ground floor (one has a nice canopy) and 3 mattresses on the floor of the small second storey (up a narrow staircase). Everything in the unit is made of bamboo...very interesting for the kids. There is an ample-sized bathroom, a bit dark, with no free toiletries. Towels are provided. There is a ceiling fan, no aircon...and it got really hot in the afternoon and evening...you need to bring fans. Because we knew there is no TV nor wi-fi, we brought our gadgets/laptop and our Globe Tatoo so we have something to do in the evening, after dinner.
The price of PhP2,200 per person includes 3 buffet meals (per person price is higher for a party of less people). Lunch had lots of yummy food and we ate on native plates with banana leaves on top. Fresh coconut available for PhP50. What made it extra special was the man-made waterfalls and the tables being right at the river. It was a thrill to walk on the stony river as you go around the restaurant. The flowing river waters will reach to more than a foot up your leg so wear appropriate footwear and clothes. Your feet will be in the flowing river water while you sit and eat. The kids loved the waterfalls and we spent a long time just having fun in its waters after lunch... good thing the kids were in their swim wear (we went to eat lunch coming right from swimming in the pools). There’s an in-house photographer who takes photos that you can buy near the exit gate of the resort as you leave.... PhP 125 for an 8R size.
From the waterfalls, we went to the huge eating area near the sleeping units. We ate halo-halo while waiting for the one-hour cultural show scheduled at 2pm there (weekends only). Don’t miss this show because it is truly amazing. The dances and costumes were a treat to watch. You can also take photos with the performers after the show. After that, you can walk around the resort and take photos in various places with life-size statues depicting everyday barrio life. It was fun!
Dinner was in the same eating area where the cultural show was held. It was a bit dim. Food was just ok, less food selections than lunch. We had soup, rice, potato salad, pancit, fried chicken, 2 meat dishes, fish, vegetable dish, and biko (rice cake). We decided to rest for the night after dinner but you can use the swimming pool till 10 pm.
Breakfast was much better than dinner. I love their hot choco and champorado...don’t miss this, it’s super yummy! There’s also corn flakes, fresh milk, coffee, juice, rice, white bread, pandesal, puto, scrambled egg, ham, tinapa, meat dish, fresh mango, and different yoghurts.
We spent our whole morning in the pools. We also tried the bamboo raft ride... which made us nervous (don't worry, life vests are provided). Check-out was at 10 am so we just kept our luggage with us near the pool. There were lounge chairs and tables beside the pool and this is where we ate our lunch. We ordered from the nearby restaurant and they can bring the food poolside. Prices were very reasonable. We really liked their pancit bihon. After lunch, we used the big shower rooms near the pool then asked the front lobby staff for a ride out. Our carabao-pulled cart arrived shortly. We were taken to see the employees’ village within the resort and visited their small chapel.
Our last stop was the big 2-storey pink museum. We left our luggage at the bag counter outside the museum...no cameras allowed inside. Our tour guide explained all the stuff we saw...which included collections of religious statues, previous presidents’ clothes, jars, coins, weapons, stuffed animals, and other interesting stuff. It took us about an hour to see the entire place. Museum closes at 5pm.
After some souvenir shopping, it was time to leave. It was a very memorable trip! It exposed our kids to different aspects of traditional Filipino life and they enjoyed it. During our 2-day stay, all the staff were very nice, all smiles, (except for one lady in the hotel registration lobby).
- Also Known As:
- Villa Escudero Hotel San Pablo City
- Villa Escudero Resort Philippines/San Pablo City