i was browsing the net and asking people around for resort suggestions in the Batangas area for our staff retreat and felt stressed out after having been given so many, many choices. i had to draw a matrix, listed down the ideal resorts based on the location, price and amenities. i had to work on a low budget but i also didn't want to compromise quality. i finally chanced into one resort called Les Caraibes (pronounced as lei cara-ee-be) in San Juan, Batangas. it had the most competitive price, we had the option to cook or just order ala carte meals from their restaurant and it shares the same stretch of beach in Laiya with all the other resorts. i deemed it good enough and all i needed to do was hope their website and good reviews and the erratic weather work on our favor.
after about 4 hours of travel from QC passing through SLEX, Sto. Tomas, and finally San Juan in Batangas we reached the resort. we passed by Kabayan, Coco Grove, Blue Coral, Acuatico, Sabangan, Tivona and Tiramindu. farther down the beach stretch is La Luz Resort. it was drizzling a bit but the place looked calm and serene. we had a reservation in their cluster room which has 4 bunk beds and could accommodate 8 people but we saw the nearby kubos and just fell in love with its rustic, simple style. it was nearer the beach too. the kubo cost us 4000 for 2 nights and could accommodate 4 persons per room. it had a nice veranda too which served as a perfect venue for our retreat sessions.
i was initially apprehensive with the food because of the prices but it proved to be all worth it. their website after all boasts of their in house French Chef Philippe and so yes, each meal was an experience in itself. the food is delectable and truly well-prepared with all the flavors, spices, garnish and all.
these are some meals we had:
this is grilled blue marlin with lemon zest. it costs 800 but is good enough for 8 persons even more.
this pork sinigang costs 350 pesos and is said to be good for 3-4 pax but of course it was enjoyed by all 8 of us! it's not your usual maasim na sinigang sa sampaloc. we don't really know what the chef added their but it had a lot of pepper and some red spices and a lot of vegetables. it was perfect for my hangover!
this is called Moroccan chicken, it is grilled and added with orange slices, garnished with eggplant and bell pepper, parsley, etc. and added with flavored tortilla. they say it's an authentic Caribbean cuisine. it costs 800 for 8 people but we had a lot of left overs we were able to have it again for breakfast the following day.
meals cost us 1600 to 1800 for all 8 of us, it reached a whopping 2600 though on our final dinner when we had three main entrees and drinks and ice cream dessert. the price is all worth it though and we were all sated.
the sun shone brightly the following day that we were able to enjoy swimming and sunbathing. the water was cold but clear, the sand was fair, a bit coarse but not that rocky.
all in all we had a truly perfect experience. the sand may not be as powdery fine as Boracay and all those other white sand beaches but this one is good enough. and it is much nearer to Manila. the staff are all warm and accommodating, the basic amenities are well thought of and provided for. and their bar is open for 24 hours! they have great music selection too from rock, alternative, house and old blues and sounds.
given the chance, i would not mind going back and enjoying the place once more. their website is at www.lescaraibesresort.com and can be contacted at 0920-9706985.