I have no problems planning on independent trips. But when it comes to family travel, I’m so poor in planning those kind of logistics. I had to get a little help from friends in the travel industry. My requirement was it should be near Manila, have good accessibility for seniors, convenient and relaxing. Friends from Explore8 gave me options (other resorts Batangas, Cavite, Tagaytay, Vigan) but somehow my siblings and I were leaning into Stilts Calatagan in Batangas. Their cottages looks attractive and they have in-resort transport for our senior relatives. Much more, the beach in this part of Batangas looks gorgeous.
Calatagan is three to four hours travel from Manila passing through Tagaytay. It was ideal for our family getaway since the journey isn’t as tedious. I can’t remember being in this part of Batangas before as well so its a good opportunity to see. Even having a lunch stop in Tagaytay, we were at Stilts Calatagan by mid-afternoon. The resort is set in a huge 24 hectare property that our van initially got lost finding the reception area. A beautiful tunnel of plants with inspiring quotes led to the reception. Check-in was a breeze as we had already settled our payments a week before. Welcome drinks were served and we rode our way to Destiny.
Stilts Calatagan has plenty of accommodation options but the eight cottages on stilts is their main draw. The cottage names evoke emotions like Love, Beauty, Dreams and Happiness. They are picturesque and protrudes over the ocean with a front-seat view of the sunset. Almost always they are fully booked. There are also beach side cottages whose names seems fit for honeymooners with such names as Play, Delight, Desire, Passion and Pleasure.
For our group, we had the whole Destiny Cottage all to ourselves. It has three white-washed colored rooms, two of them adjoining with a sliding door. Each room has its own bathroom. The middle room has a sofa bed too. All rooms are connected with an open-air common area deck. The cottage is airy and has its own gazebo nearby. It’s a lovely and tranquil location. The gardens are manicured and well-taken care of. Nearby is our own semi-private beach. The gazebo also has access to a mangrove swimming area nearby. No television here nor wifi. Like the staff said, it’s a way to encourage guest to talk and bond with each other. Stay a while and observe, there are some kingfishers, swiftlets and other bird species flying around.
The Sweet Spot
Since we were at the farthest accommodation, the resort offers transport service within the resort. Very convenient since we have a couple of seniors with us. They were diligent on fetching and returning us to our cottage every time we dine at The Sweet Spot. The Sweet Spot is at the center of all the activities of the resort. It’s the main dining area, the large bean-shaped pool is just beside it and it’s also near the reception area. Food here has been a delight too. Most of their fares were good and the buffet offers for breakfast are plenty and varied. The staff were also kind enough to serenade our mom during her birthday.
Stilts Calatagan has a gorgeous white beach with good sand for swimming. Water here is clear, cool and alluring. Water activities are available. My brother went out kayaking but I just wanted to lounge at the beach. Also did yoga at our private beach at Destiny. At first I thought the stilts would be the best place to stay here. But Destiny is my kind of place, secluded, uncrowded beach, scenic mangrove area and serene environment.
I really enjoyed our 3-days and 2-nights stay at Stilts Calatagan. Allowed us to have a much deserved downtime and get together since my sister haven’t been home for years. The staff has been very friendly and helpful, food was great and the place was simply beautiful and inspiring. Within the whole resort one can find your own nook and a quote or a saying that perfectly resonates with you.
Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort
For inquiries and reservations, please contact us:
mobile: 0917.586.3343, 0917.580.7653, 0917.523.7777, 0908.866.2254; landline: (+632) 511.8120 / 511.1895 / 845.0676;
email: [email protected]
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.