Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tamaraw Beach: An Island Paradise

You know how you see those small patches of beaches on TV with no people in it? That's what Tamaraw Beach seemed like to me - except for Saturday, that is.

We arrived there on Thursday and stayed till Monday and I can say that we found a keeper! As I mentioned in the last post about the beach, the sand is not really white - nothing compared to Boracay - but the ambiance of the place is something else. Plus, for the price they charge you for the rooms, it is really worth it.

There are two general types of accommodations at the resort - the hotel rooms and the cottages. We wanted the cottages but they were all booked for the weekend so we had to make do with a room on the third floor of the hotel. I was not disappointed, though. The room was big, with two double beds and 2 extra cots. It was obvious that they cater to families but couples will certainly enjoy the extra space. In our room, we had a nice and clean bathroom with hot water (no bathtub though), cable TV, and a personal fridge. The balcony had a perfect view of the beach and the horizon as well. They supply bath soaps, toilet paper, and bath towels.

Our hotel room

Perhaps what took away a little bit from the experience is the service and the price of the food. There is this little hut on the beach where we liked to stay. It is within sight of the restaurant but we hardly got service at all. More often than not, we would have to go to the restaurant and get our own drinks.

Our hangout

The biggest drawback for me is that their coffee was instant coffee - I really missed my brewed coffee in the morning! Their food was quite good - we didn't really eat much there but for our first meal, Jerry ordered a tanigue steak (PhP 300!) and I had pork sinigang (PhP160). I thought it was quite pricey but the servings were huge and we got really full.

For breakfast, we normally had the American breakfast (about PhP180) and a big breakfast (I forget the name) for PhP200. Overpriced, I think as you get only one egg. If you want another egg, that's another PhP55. What I really liked was their fresh fruit platter. For PhP100, you'll get a huge chunk of watermelon, pineapples, mangos, and sometimes, papaya. Needless to say, that's what we had most of the time.

Look at that!

Food and service aside, the beach is perfect for relaxing. Our routine was to get up in the morning, have breakfast, and then go swimming for an hour or so. We would then sit on the numerous lounge chairs scattered around the beach. Most of the time, it was peaceful - Jer would put on some music and I'd read my book. After an hour or so of just lying around, we'd go up to take a shower and then head on to neighboring Tutti Frutti or White Beach for lunch (more about these places in another post).

Reading Robert Jordan at the beach

The water temperature is perfect at this time of the year - we even went swimming at night! One thing I could say about this vacation - I actually went swimming on my own! I don't know how to swim, really, but the water is perfectly safe - no riptides and the depth is just right. There are often lots of waves but they just add to the fun - try riding a big wave and you'll know what I mean.

Swimming at night with Ann

I really like Tamaraw Beach. Their service was kind of redeemed at the end of our stay when, upon checking out, the girl gave us a flat rate of PhP1,500 for our room instead of charging us PhP1,800 for the weekend nights, which is their published rate. We ended up saving quite a considerable sum because of this! I think we'll go back in August with the whole family - they have apartments for rent with kitchenettes where you can cook (more savings!). These fit 10 people max.

If you live in Manila or nearby areas, Tamaraw Beach is perfect for a weekend getaway. You can call Cynthia at 0927-597-5588.

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