Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: AutoIndustriya.com, Taal Vista Hotel, Pico de Loro, Lighthouse Subic, Acacia Resort | posted April 09, 2014 15:00
Pack your bags and start your engines
Summer is adventure. Summer is fun.
That's how we have always treated it and since we at AutoIndustriya.com love tradition, we're all about keeping every last bit of it.
So it doesn't matter if you're a brood of 5 or a brat pack of 10, the mission is to have fun and it all starts with a road trip to any of these choice summer getaways:
Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay
Roughly about 67kms from Metro Manila, there are two options for motorists to take going to Taal Vista Hotel. The first and the more scenic is the oldest route, which is Emilio Aguinaldo Highway. It is connected to CavitEX at the junction of Zapote and takes you all the way to rotunda along Tagaytay-Calamba Road. It has its fair share PUV traffic but basically a set of straightaways coming from Metro Manila.
The newer route takes you thru the smaller Tagaytay-Sta. Rosa Road that is narrower and therefore more prone to traffic due to the stop-and-go nature of PUJs. Take the Balibago or Greenfield Exit from SLEX and this route take you to Tagaytay-Calamba Road.
Taal Vista Hotel sits atop a ledge that provides the best view, bar none, of Taal Lake. It still possesses an enchanting Tudor-themed exterior that dates back to the 1930s that goes perfectly well with its modern and up-to-date interior, which includes the lobby, facilities and more importantly the rooms. They offer two spectacular views; guest can opt for the majestic Mountain Wing view or the more picturesque Lake Wing view. Visit www.taalvistahotel.com for more info.
Pico de Loro in Nasugbu, Batangas
Nobody does beach and nature quite like Pico de Loro. Situated in a majestic cove in Nasugbu, Pico de Loro is a whole park, resort, adventure land and beach all rolled into one. The quickest way to get there is on the 73-kilometer CavitEX-Ternate-Nasugbu route that only take about 1.5 to 2 hours, which is composed of open highways and straight roads until Nasugbu where you’ll get into some twisties.
Perfect conditions for getting your newly tuned up car a workout and giving yourself a sporty drive.
Pico de Loro is a haven of eco-friendly tourism tucked behind the mountains and a lush cover of trees as far as the eyes can see on one side and the blue expanse of the West Philippine Sea on the other. It is primarily for members but they do have Pico Sand Hotel for walk-in guests but do book way in advance because in the Philippines, it is always summer. The design and architecture is very modern and takes great advantage of the breeze blowing from the ocean. There are golf carts to take you around the resort and very courteous staff that attend to your every need. Pico de Loro offers a host of indoor and outdoor activities that will surely make your stay the most memorable of all. Visit www.picodelorocove.com for more info.
The Lighthouse Marina Resort in Subic Bay
If Subic is your destination of choice, a visit to the Lighthouse Marina Resort is definitely in order. You’ll have to take a 170-km drive from Metro Manila, up along NLEX then take SCTEX all the way down to Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Follow the signs and the traffic rules and regulations while you’re at it because in Subic, they don’t mess around with stuff like this.
Driving to Subic is always a breeze because of the extremely efficient way NLEX and SCTEX management has run these impressive highways. Put your weekend car to the test and maybe take it to the 100kph limit otherwise just keep it on 'cruise control' and relax.
The Lighthouse Marina Resort has a quaint 34-room boutique hotel with contemporary amenities and a Palafox-designed architecture. It lays in a quiet corner just a couple of hundred meters away from the busy nightlife of Subic with its own beachfront and if you don't fancy the salty sea, they've got their own pool as well. The highlight of the property is the 20-meter lighthouse that faithfully follows naval design specs that never fails to give guests that sea-faring vibe of yore. For those really into the sea, the Lighthouse also offers sailing activities around the bay to nearby islands. Visit www.lighthousesubic.com for more info.
Acacia Resort + Dive Center in Mabini, Batangas
If diving is more your thing, throw your gear in the trunk and hop in because we’re taking you to Batangas. 124km or so from Metro Manila is Acacia Resort + Dive Center. Take the SLEX and Star Tollway until you reach Batangas City. After taking Diversion Road and passing several other towns you’ll find yourself in Mabini, Batangas, which is home to Acacia Resort + Dive Center.
The resort caters mostly to divers with a full complement of equipment and staff trained to handle any and all types of underwater equipment that guests may happen to bring. They offer Standard and Deluxe rooms and Deluxe suites as well, which is inclusive of full board meals, snacks with unlimited coffee, tea, hot choco, juice and iced tea. They’ve got a pool if diving isn’t your thing, free Wifi access, cable TV not to mention to gorgeous ocean view if all you’re after is a little R&R. Visit www.acaciadive.com for more info.
Pack your bags and start your engines, and head to the best summer getaways this year. Check out our 2014 Summer Getaway Essentials to get some suggestions on what to pack for your trip.