Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015
(top L-R: Graceland Estate and Country Club, Chateau Royale Nature Park Resort and Sitio De Amor;
middle L-R: Momarco Resort, Anilao Tanlak Beach Resort and NDN Grand Hotel;
bottom L-R: Microtel By Wyndham-Batangas, Punta De Fabian and Rama International Beach Resort)
La Virginia Leisure Park Hotel & Resort

H O T E L S 



It’s easy to get stuck within Metro Manila due to heavy traffic. Moving about from one city to another can take grueling hours or so on average regardless if you’re doing business or just on a simple weekend errand. Even if staycations are inviting, the allure of a quick escape to a distant place is still something that keeps people looking for alternatives. And such can be found at hotels and resorts that are conveniently located in neighboring provinces.

For your booking pleasure, personally tested 11 hotels and resorts that are strategically located in key cities and towns that are quite accessible from Metro Manila. Whether by private car or bus commute, this set of establishments is worth your quick time and effort. Suddenly, impulsive decisions can be attractive again. Indulging in memorable escapades is possible with a variety of touristic charms that the following venues can offer:

Graceland Estates and Country Club
1. Graceland Estates and Country Club in Tayabas, Quezon Province
Distance from Metro Manila: Roughly 2 hours
Nestled at a charming spot of its eco-tourism district is a vacation and recreational getaway called Graceland Estates and Country Club. This shows chilly Tayabas City’s calibre for perfectly blending countryside living with modern facilities. The resulting project is a sprawling 11-hectare development of a more expansive 22-hectare property, something that I’ve come to realize can appeal well to individuals seeking solace from the urban decay of city living or families needing a pleasant space for quality time.

Read the full story here.

Chateau Royale Nature Park Resort
2. Chateau Royale Nature Park Resort in Nasugbu, Batangas
Distance from Metro Manila: Roughly 2 hours
Chateau Royale Nature Park Resort was perfect for my intrepid quick getaway. It’s just less than 2 hours from Pasay City where I boarded a Nasugbu-bound DLTB Bus which conveniently let me step inside the highway-accessible entrance of the resort. The 15-hectare estate responded well to my weekday yearning for rest and leisure. Although it has a hotel with suite rooms, I opted for a cabin-type of crib for privacy. Plus, it's a ride away from the famous wedding venue called Caleruega Chapel.

Read the full story here.

Sitio De Amor
3. Sitio De Amor Farm Resort in San Pablo City, Laguna
Distance from Metro Manila: Roughly 2 hours
When urban sanctuaries no longer disarm one of doldrums, a distant estate in a province next to Metro Manila is poised to lure expectations of serenity. Case in point: the sprawling estate called Sitio De Amor of San Pablo City. Located in a highly vegetated terrain of Laguna, the getaway has maintained its secluded charm thanks to a long and winding detour from the Maharlika Highway, a couple of hours away from Metro Manila. With Sitio De Amor nestled strategically between San Cristobal Mountain and the mystical Mt. Banahaw, the air at the multi-hectare farm is constantly fresh and nights are a romantic hustle with nature’s breeze wafting through the foliage of nurtured hardwoods, rich shrubberies, ornate vines, thriving bromeliads and a selection of rare plants. At daytime, horses can be seen at the property.

Read the full story here.

Momarco Resort
4. Momarco Resort in Tanay, Rizal
Distance from Metro Manila: Roughly 2 hours
The last thing anyone will see beyond Momarco Resort’s gate is a reminder of the industrial era detritus of the world outside Tanay. Forget imposing skyscrapers. Welcome massive age-old trees. Say goodbye to elevators and air conditioners. Embrace the allure of breezy walks. I scoped out the vast compound in Sitio Bathala where it is tucked away from the well-paved Sampaloc Road. This patch of land in Rizal was my kind of holiday getaway between beach immersions. It was misty in the morning and chilly the whole day during my visit. Momarco Resort’s charm goes beyond its obvious banner amenities. A close inspection via a stroll enabled me to see a tennis and basketball court, a mini-zoo and koi pond, an indoor sports hall for billiards, table tennis and darts, plus an events place. It’s ideal for recreational activities by large groups or as a romantic getaway by couples. This is a good base for an adventurous hike of Daraitan River.

Read the full story here.

La Virginia Leisure Park Hotel & Resort
5. La VirginiaLeisure Park Hotel & Resort in Mataas Na Kahoy, Batangas
Distance from Metro Manila: Roughly 2 hours
La Virginia Leisure Park Hotel & Resort is the latest establishment that I personally tested in this list. Quite surprisingly, the 8-hectare development offers a tranquil view of the vast Taal Lake that can rival any popular destination in Tagaytay City. The full 10-hectare property is yet to be realised by its owners and no one’s really chasing against time because during my visit I can recall indulging in lush views of high vegetation for the venue’s surroundings. It’s got 3 big swimming pools, its own restaurant, a variety of accommodations for big groups aside from its hotel, plus guests can entertain themselves with a 2-way zip line and a 15-minute Segue Ride.

Read the full story here.

Anilao Tanlak Beach Resort
6. Anilao Tanlak Beach Resort in Mabini, Batangas
Distance from Metro Manila: Roughly 2 hours
Far from the frenzied hype of most beach resort spots, escapism's utopian aspirations come to rest 73 miles south of Metro Manila and less than an hour away from the Batangas Port. There, the first class municipality of Mabini strikes that rarest balances between procrastinating and being online. Someone with business acumen saw it fit to raise the standards of experiencing an accessible getaway. Soon, a sad pebbled beachfront was transformed into Anilao Tanlak Beach Resort that caters to guests with discriminating taste for exoticism and quick getaways. Many previous guests can testify to the wow factor upon entering the unpretentious entrance. They did not expect to see such a charming pocket of paradise in the coastal town. And they have to be right because the resort just opened last December of 2013.

Read the full story here.

NDN Grand Hotel
7. NDN Grand Hotel in Santo Tomas, Batangas
Distance from Metro Manila: 1 hour and 30 minutes
As the town of Santo Tomas pumps out an emerging middle class in Batangas, the 65-room hotel becomes a smart holiday escape from Metro Manila or an easy choice for staycation among locals. Daily living is thriving and residents are catching up on trends. As a result, the hotel’s rooftop multi-purpose halls (the biggest can seat 150 guests) are always booked for special occasions. The 5-storey tourist inn looked luxurious from the outside and its high-ceiling lobby gave me a peek of what I was to experience inside my booked Standard Room. The bedroom balcony fed my endless craving for a spectacular view. What it offered me was an unobstructed pastoral panorama of provincial life – a vast grazing patch of green accentuated by cattle. Suddenly any travel affliction I was mulling over did not matter. All rooms at the hotel have balconies and seeing foreigners on long stays go in and out of the establishment seems to be the result of such a room feature. That’s one sensational thing so far. 

Read the full story here.

Microtel By Wyndham-Batangas
8. Microtel By Wyndham in Santo Tomas, Batangas
Distance from Metro Manila: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Microtel By Wyndham is no stranger to the Philippine landscape. Its Batangas facility is the latest accommodation that I've experienced as a hotel guest which I found long overdue. The 442-hectare estate of First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP) where it is nestled initially seemed overwhelming to me. It was like not leaving Metro Manila at all what with its master-planned world-class infrastructure. The distinct difference was palpable in the breeze though. Even with its stark concrete right-of-way roads weaving through the development, the environment was invigorating and bereft of a modern town's excess. This may be due to the diverse flora within the estate and the distant Mount Makiling which is visible from Microtel By Wyndham's swimming pool and some of its view-appointed rooms.

Read the full story here.

9. Punta De Fabian in Baras, Rizal
Distance from Metro Manila: Roughly 2 hours
I eagerly checked the weather for this overnight escape that's about 1 hour and 30 minutes from where I live to experience dipping myself in the infinity pool that's nestled on a cliff with the Laguna De Bay as visual extension. Yes, the edge of the pool is on a cliff and what you see from left to right is nothing but the vast open space of the Laguna Lake. Being at Punta De Fabian was not like being in close proximity to Metro Manila at all. All it took for me to be there was a Tanay-bound FX van ride at Php100 per head from Starmall Crossing-Mandaluyong City to Baras, Rizal. You can request the driver to drop you off at the entrance of the resort. In case the van couldn't do so, get off at the highway cemetery where you can board a tricycle which will directly take you to the resort gate.

Read the full story here.

Rama International Beach Resort
10. Rama International Beach Resort in Botolan, Zambales
Distance from Metro Manila: 3 hours
At Rama International Beach Resort, my overnight stay rewarded me with more than just the sweet taste of its fruit pride in sweet mango. I enjoyed the spectacle of a splendid sunset since the location is in the Western part of Luzon. Foreigners in the '90s would remember the beach resort to be a procrastinator's paradise. It's less than a couple of hours away from the nearest airport (Clark) and no more than 3 hours away from Metro Manila. Someone without a plan like me could just hop in a Victory Liner bus in Cubao, Quezon City and be in pleasant Botolan for an instant getaway. The escape can be done in a heartbeat, a sweet rendezvous with the fine sand of the beach sans the agony of a painful commute.

Read the full story here.

11. The Plaza Hotel-Balanga in Bataan
Distance from Metro Manila: Roughly 2 hours
Bataan has Balanga City, a fond complexity of parochialism and cosmopolitanism. The blend of local identity and world-class aspiration is distinctively laced in the urban design. At the Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga (city plaza), The Plaza Hotel-Balanga bravely stands with rough cement finish for a facade as if oblivious of a grand opening. Upon my arrival in the city at high noon, I stared at the six-storey structure and wondered what the old world sensibility was about. I did not realize that the impressive aspect of the design would be unveiled once the electric hustle of lights begin strutting in the evening. The hotel can accommodate more than 200 persons at its two function rooms that are ideal for meetings, social gatherings, and corporate events. 

Read the full story here.

Didn't see what you're looking for?

Check out Part 2 of my Quick Escapes Near Metro Manila blog post here.

Also, find out hotels in Metro Manila to book for your next staycation. Check out the list here.

I just wrapped up my "I Love Negros Occidental!" Blog Series Tour. Check out my blog posts:

+ Sipalay City Beaches -- Sugar Beach, Poblacion Beach and Lat-asan Cove

+ Melba's Farm in Talisay City

Sipalay Suites in Sipalay City

Hiking In The Woods of Talisay City's Cabatangan

+ Exploring The Maricalum Mines of Sipalay City


  1. I just wanted to say thank you for putting up this blogsite. I'm looking for a short getaway near Manila after Christmas with my wife and less than a year old baby. Can you suggest a place that is baby friendly? Thanks a lot!

    1. Check out my blog post about kid-friendly resorts on this link >>


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