Saturday, July 04, 2009

Laiya Batangas - Les Caraibes Resort

Peter spent his birthday weekend by the beach of Les Caraibes Resort

It's been a long, stressful & tiring week and I'm so glad it's almost over. For those of you who are yearning for a beach trip anytime soon, (I know I am) may I recommend this quiet, peaceful, serene and beautiful piece of paradise located in Laiya, Batangas --- LES CARAIBES BEACH RESORT.

Les Caraibes Beach Resort is managed by Ms. Len Congco Haddadin and Ms. Corrie Pumarada Menez. Resort operations began on January 2008 as they pursue their dream of offering Filipinos and Tourists a place with an atmosphere much different from the atmosphere of everyday life. A place where one would sit back and let nature take its course making you feel as if you were never apart from it. Here in Les Caraibes Beach Resort, we believe that each and everyone of us deserves to have a good time...but only our guests deserve the best. Our resort offers Carribean-inspired cottages and rooms, a restaurant with a wide variety of intercontinental cuisine by Mr. Philippe-our French Chef, a bar lounge, water activites such as boating, fishing and kayaking, day-trip picnic tables, tent areas, and other facilites. Come visit us and you'll soon realize that nature is your real home." ----- LES CARAIBES

We were supposed to kayak (only Php200/hr) but I fell asleep!

It's been quite a while since we were last in that area largely because of a very bad experience at Virgin Beach in Laiya. Nevertheless, the moment I heard of a new resort opening in the vicinity, I immediately did my research which led me to spending a wonderful time at Les Caraibes, with Peter, on his birthday weekend.

The sand is almost white. ^_^

In my opinion, Laiya's beach is much nicer compared to Nasugbu's. The sand is beige (not grey or black) and it's always less crowded on those times that we've gone there. True enough, after two hours of travel from Alabang to Laiya, the peaceful view of the beach of Les Caraibes welcomed us with open arms. Beeeeaaaacccchhhhh!!!!

That's our cute little cottage! Our car is parked just outside of our little home, for that weekend at least. ^_^

At first, the gate was closed and guarded by one of its staff. Before we were allowed entry, my name was first verified on their list of guests. After a short while, we went in and were soon accommodated by another member of their staff who showed us our cottage for that weekend. The cottage we had was right across the beach. It's very simple yet relaxing. It has two queen beds, one on the bamboo floor and one on a bamboo bed; four pillows and two blankets; no aircon but with stand fan; open shelves and a spot to hang our clothes. Outside the cottage is a rustic dining area & kitchen. The whole set up reminded me of my childhood days when my friends and I used to play at the foot of the mountain in Tanay, Rizal and we would rest in one of the many bahay kubos around. It was also reminiscent of my childhood summer vacations and high school life with my grandparents in Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon where we used to sleep in a nicely built native cottage good for afternoon naps and overnight family parties.

Upper Left: Open Cottage; Upper Right: Non-Aircon Kubos

Bottom Left: Big Cottage; Bottom Right: Clusters

Anyway, this cottage (they have three non-aircon kubos) can accommodate up to four people. But for those who will be coming in bigger groups and would like to have other amenities like aircondition and their own bathroom, here are the choices: 1 aircon kubo, 1 big cottage & 5 clusters. They also welcome day trippers. For pricing, please contact Joel, the reservation officer at +63920 970 6985 and +63920 970 6984.

Enjoying the cool breeze while waiting for our paella.

Halu-halo for dessert!

After checking-in, we went straight to the restaurant where we ordered Paella. While waiting for the food, we just couldn't help but enjoy the cool summer breeze and the view of the beach. The place was quiet except for a few day trippers who were having their picnic in one of the open cottages by the beach.

They caught a large fish! I think it was a sword fish!!! Woah!!!

It was so relaxing it's making me fall asleep. Actually, on my first few hours there, I literally slept inside our cottage while Peter was taking photos and enjoying the scenery. I even missed witnessing this huge fish the owner and his sons caught late that afternoon.

I look so puyat here. I haven't slept in 24 hours so by the time we arrived at Les Caraibes, I couldn't help but rest for 1-2 hours before we hit the beach.

But at least I was able to stay at the beach until sunset. For some reason, I didn't really sunbathe coz for the first time, I was afraid of getting dark like I used to. I blame it on those auditions I've been going to! Teehee.

But that's okay. At least I had the energy to party with Cadio (the jazz band), Richard Merk, Tita Len (Ms. Len Congco Haddadin and Ms. Corrie Pumarada Mene own the resort), and her gorgeous sons (Ash, Sharif & Eliah) and their family friends all night long.

Upper Left: with Tita Len; Bottom Right: The gorgeous sons: Ash, Sharif & Eliah

The moment I met the owner, Tita Len, I already felt so much more at home. She is such a fun and free-spirited soul and this wonderful trait of her has no doubt trickled to her sons who were also very gracious, accommodating, hospitable, kind, generous and so much fun to be with. It was as if we've been friends for so long! It's such a stark contrast to the other resort in the area (a.k.a. Virgin Beach) because here in Les Caraibes, they really make sure that their guests are welcomed and taken care of. Actually, even from the start, when I first contacted Joel, their reservation officer, I experienced nothing but true customer service and pure appreciation for my interest in the resort. I later on found out from Tita Len and Eliah that all their staff are very well trained. I definitely saw that. They were always smiling and ready to lend a helping hand to their customers. In Les Caraibes, "There is no owner, there is no staff... We are all equal." as Eliah kindly put it. And it really showed. The camaraderie we saw among the owners, guests and staff during our overnight stay was indeed genuine. Even I myself felt like home. I actually asked to be adopted by Tita Len! Teehee. ^_^

L-R: Paella, Pitcher of Zombie, Sizzling Hotdogs, Pastis, Pakulyo, Tapsilog, Bangsilog, Chocolate Ice Cream, Filet Mignon, Fried Tilapya, Chopsuey, Fruit Ice Cream, Frap & Coffee from Cape de Lipa, a kind of crab caught by Eliah.

Anyhoo, it's not only the beautiful resort & nice people that enticed us to go here. We were interested in tasting their dishes as well! They have three chefs after all (one of which is French, Mr. Philippe!). And you know what happened? We ended up having a feast! Eliah even offered us drinks that are not yet on their menu: Pakulyo (a kind of cocktail concocted by one of their bartenders) & Pastis (tasted like strepsils but it's actually made of anis fruit and is 98% alcohol).

And of course, the night wouldn't be complete had we not bonded with a terrific performer and comedian, Richard Merk! He was so hilarious, I swear! It really culminated Peter's birthday that weekend!

We talked and laughed until 4:30 am together with Tita Len, her kids and other family friends. C'est la vie! We hope to come back this coming November in time for Eliah's birthday. I want to get the big cottage this time with the LCD TV and cable. Hopefully by then, the jacuzzi in each cottage would've already been built, all kubos would have their own bathroom (I loved the communal bathroom by the way. It's so clean and pretty), and a swimming pool would have already been constructed. Hope to see yah there!

More photos HERE.

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