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Punta Baluarte: A paradise by the bay
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: None
Date: 2002-04-27
Situated along the coastline of Calatagan, Batangas, overlooking Balaybay Bay and South China Sea, Punta Baluarte is a pleasant 3-hour drive south from Metro Manila, passing through towns, plantations and open fields.

There are two alternative routes to Batangas: via South Superhighway through the Sta. Rosa Exit or via the Coastal Road, then on to the scenic Tagaytay. From Tagaytay, drive down towards the Sugar Central junction in Nasugbu, proceed through the town of Lian, continue to Calatagan until you reach Punta Baluarte which is nestled throughout sprawling hillsides.

We were greeted by some of the resort’s officials including the director for Marketing and Sales Lulou Asia, sales coordinator Haidee Toquero, sales executives Aileen Ruiz and Gigi Valido, and general manager Levi Layug.

We were given a room each at their famous Seaview Beach Houses. It was actually a dream come true for me since I’ve been wanting badly to live or have a house by the sea. At least, I was able to experience that dream even just for two days. We have a spectacular view from our rooms, a breathtaking portrait of the sky mating the sea.

The 27-hectare resort can accommodate an estimated 560 visitors. It houses 140-spacious guestrooms and suites linked by winding stone pathways that slope down into the sea. Select from their native-style Sunrise, Hilltop or Seaview rooms, Bicol Houses and Maricaban Suite. The rooms and suites are named as such to describe the different views from each type of room. The Sunrise Rooms are Filipiniana-inspired rooms situated along hillsides giving a majestic view of the sunrise. At the Hilltop Rooms, guests will enjoy a panoramic view of the South China Sea from the verandah at the back of each unit. While the Seaview Rooms showcases a magnificent view of the waters of Balayan Bay embracing the island.

The Pagapas Café, its main dining hall, is an impressive Aframe structure made of bamboo and anahaw, complemented by a panoramic view of Balayan Bay. Pagapas Café offers a wide selection of local and international favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner complete with appetizers and desserts. Select from a-la-carte menu or partake from the sumptuous buffet set-up which offers a variety of Filipino meals and seafood dishes including all-time favorites such as Kare-kare, Bulalo, Pinakbet and Laing.

Seven airconditioned function rooms equipped with audiovisual facilities are available for out-of-town company meetings, seminars, workshops or social gatherings. Groups of 20 to 350 can be accommodated depending on the requirements and venue selection.

Punta Baluarte’s lush tropical surroundings make it an ideal place for outdoor group dynamics, team building activities, camping, horseback riding, biking and target shooting.

One can also play ping-pong, mahjong, cards, darts, billiards and other indoor activities. It also has courts for tennis, basketball and badminton; and an 18-hole golf course designed by renowned golfer Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

Swimming enthusiasts can choose from its two pools, one fresh-water and one salt-water which is just like having a taste of the beach without the sand. There are aqua sports facilities such as windsurf boards, aquabikes, kayak and outrigger canoe. It also has a diving station for those who want to go snorkeling and scuba diving.

The resort’s other special features include a mini-zoo, a children’s playground, a souvenir shop and a mini-bar with a videoke system located near the salt-water pool.

The resort hotel is accredited by the Department of Tourism (DoT) as one of the few AAA resort hotels in the country. The place has grown from the original 20-room establishment when it was opened in 1973 by Don Enrique Zobel. But even then, Punta Baluarte was already envisioned to bring about a new concept of luxury vacation in the Philippines.

The many facets of Punta Baluarte is a perfect place to satisfy one’s every whim, and also a perfect place for those who love nature.


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