Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chiang Family Outing 2010 @ Bellarocca Resort Marinduque

We were up by 4am on Apr 25 to catch our 7am flight to Marinduque. ZestAir told us to be there 2 hrs before the flight. ZestAir flights take off from the old domestic airport. Due to late arrival of aircraft, our flight was delayed by an hour. Bellarocca's GM, Mr. Gautier told us that ZestAir is always on time and that this was a rarity. Maybe we're really just unlucky but our return flight today (Apr 28) was also delayed by an hour!

Anyway, the flight to Marinduque took 35 mins. Then we were picked up by the resort van at the airport. There was a slight snafu as the local airport refused to let the Bellarocca staff get our luggage from the holding area. They insisted to use their porter or we carry it out ourselves. They're obviously protecting the local porters considering its a very small airport with not much tourists other than those going to Bellarocca. I had a bit of a bout with the local airport security head.

The van ride took 45 mins. From the dock, we took a 5 mins boat ride to get to the island where we were greeted by singing staff throwing flower petals. Mr. Gaultier was there to personally greet us. We drove off on the electric golf carts and registered at the lobby. We were then transferred to our cliff-side villas, Athena and Zeus.

Bellarocca (meaning "beautiful rock") is a Santorini-inspired island in the middle of the sea. The villas were just gorgeous. Can't thank the resort management enough under Mr. Gaultier for helping arrange everything perfectly. The service and hospitality of the staff is top-notch. There's even Internet access on the island care of satellite equipment. The house phones are Belkin IP phone units that ride on the same ethernet infrastructure as the data.
The resort did not scrimp on the furnishings and equipment. From German-designed (but Cebu-made) Dedon furnitures to high-end home theater and LCD TV equipment, we were really pampered. We also got a golf cart permanently assigned to us -- one for each villa. So getting around the island was a breeze.

On a little bit of downside, the island is still being continuously developed. There's not a whole lot of activities yet especially for the kids. There is a kids playroom at the main clubhouse though so the kids get entertained there. Also, the food selection is quite limited. Since we were there for 3 full days, we end up repeating some of the food after a couple of meals. Can't really blame the resort though. It would be impractical to have a really large menu especially since its a small, exclusive resort. The items that they would have to keep in inventory would be otherwise too many.

The waters around the island is also very clear. Not much marine life. The beach is also very rocky. Its definitely not a natural beach. The surrounding environment is quite beautiful with a large volcano in front of us. Everyone loved the place and the kids can't wait to come back here again someday. Kudos again to the management and staff of Bellarocca for making this a truly wonderful vacation

No comments: