After a rough work week, you’re hardly ever in the mood to plan a complicated vacation, no matter how much you want to get out of the city.
It's a good thing then that Metro Manila isn't located too far from stunning beaches and peaceful shores. Accessible via a three-hour drive, an escape to the beaches of Nasugbu, Batangas is an easy decision to make if you’ve been craving some time on the sand and sea. The road trip, a chance to see the greenery of trees and grass rather than concrete and buildings, is a much-needed refresher after months of dull gray.
Pico de Loro is the perfect weekend getaway for the busy bee who has been toiling away within the confines of the metro for too long. Read on as we answer some questions you may have about the popular vacay spot.
Wait, members only?
There are certain parts of Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club where you'll be needing a member to endorse and accompany you. However, as guest numbers increased gradually, management eventually decided to open Pico Sands Hotel to the public. As with most resorts, you'll need to secure a reservation before visiting.
Inspired by the surrounding greeneries and Pico de Loro’s serene manmade lagoon, the Pico Sands Hotel is furnished with natural materials and decorated in relaxing colors like ocean blue and pearl white. To the imaginative mind, Pico’s color palette resembles that of a blue Macaw Parrott’s feathers, and the reception area's backdrop proves just that.
Further prodding would lead you to discover that the famous monolith at the summit of the majestic Mt. Pico de Loro resembles what the Spanish phrase ‘pico de loro’ directly translates to: a parrot’s beak. Aptly so, you will find that the Pico de Loro resort area is surrounded by the lush tropics of Nasugbu with pops of color that will remind you of a parrot’s striking feathers.
If you’re checked into Pico Sands Hotel, you'll have access to Pico Beach and several facilities in the Country Club. This includes sports facilities like an indoor basketball court and a gym; and recreational amenities such as a bowling center, game rooms, and a crowd favorite, the private karaoke rooms. (That means you can go to Pico to lie all day on the sand, then sing Celine Dion’s greatest hits all night long!) You can also ride the area shuttle bus for free.
To take your rest and relaxation up a notch, the Rain Spa is an in-resort tropical sanctuary that offers rejuvenating massages and treatments guaranteed to calm your nerves and soothe your soul.
Are there turtles?
The Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club is set on Hamilo Coast, a seaside sanctuary near the southwestern tip of Luzon. This coast and its establishments, while maintaining operations as a beach resort, continuously promote sustainability and conservation efforts.
Hamilo Coast has been working hand-in-hand with WWF (World Wildlife Fund) since 2007 to create preservation efforts such as coastal resource management and renewable energy. Occasionally, green sea turtles would nest on the coast and there would be sea turtle hatchling release activities.
Lagoon View or Mountain View?
The Pico Sands Hotel offers two different kinds of hotel rooms based on what you want to see the moment you wake up: the calm, serene lagoon or the vast mountains that surround the cove.
For smaller groups and overnight trips, we recommend getting the Mountain View rooms. It’s the perfect choice if you want to feel like you’re in a tropical paradise, seeing the trees right outside the windows and hearing the chirping of birds first thing in the morning.
For bigger groups or longer stays, the Lagoon View might be a better, bigger, and more comfortable option. Though the view outside includes Pico de Loro’s several residential buildings, you’re also technically getting a mountain view alongside the aerial view of the manmade lagoon.
Where’s the ice cream?
We went to Pico Sands Hotel on the first week of August, expecting that the weather would be a little cooler compared to sweltering summer days. Nope. Once early afternoon kicks in, be prepared to sweat. One good thing about scorching hot weather? It justifies your desire for a nice, cold dessert.
Open to guests 24 hours daily, Pico Restaurant and Bar offers great refreshments for people on-the-go looking to cool down. Once you’re on the beach, the best place to grab dessert from is Pico’s Reef Bar, a beachside bar serving refreshing drinks and delicious snacks and meals until dusk.
Your ice cream cravings will be satisfied at Lagoa, Pico Sands’ Asian diner at the Country Club, a feel-good spot that greets you with banderitas and floral accents as if you were in a traditional Filipino fiesta. The menu is varied, but we'd say this place is best for merienda time and light meals.
How are the Pico sands?
One misconception about beaches near the city is that the sands are rocky, finely ground gravel mixed with sharp pebbles that make going barefoot a bad decision.
That's not the case here. The Pico sands are fine and soft, neither too powdery nor rough. It’s dense even on the dry areas, allowing you to walk around the beach without the struggle of your feet sinking far deep into the sand. DG Traveler tip: It's conducive to doing beach yoga!
Pico Sands Hotel is a luxury weekend stay away from the city that's perfect if you need to escape from work and life for a little while, or when you find yourself longing for the sea. It's an excellent choice for families and groups of friends with its many water sports and recreational activities available, successfully mixing comfort and playf for a getaway that's guaranteed to be enjoyable for all ages.
Pico Sands Hotel
Pico de Loro Cove, Hamilo Coast
Barangay Papaya, Nasugbu
(02) 464 7800
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