We all need to unwind every now and then but our busy lives usually prevent us from doing so. One of the setbacks I personally encounter is finding places that are near enough and which could offer activities that veer away from the usual routines of malling and dining out.
So I am really glad to discover that Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park in Kawit, Cavite is actually very accessible from Metro Manila! It took us less than an hour to travel from Makati via the Cavitex highway. I went there with several blogger friends last weekend and had such a great time. Here are 10 good reasons why you should also consider paying this place a visit, soon:
1. Island Cove is very family-friendly. It has a lot of activities and facilities that everyone, of any age, would definitely enjoy. The next time I visit there, I'll make sure I have my family with me. I think my boys would be thrilled about the Adventure Zone where you can find one of the largest paintball arenas in the country and an airsoft game site.
2. It is a food trip haven. We had lunch at the Fishing Village in one of the 21 bamboo huts built above the water and present spectacular views of the Manila and Makati skylines. The sumptuous buffet, presented very creatively, was delicious and filling. They have a good variety of choices that range from vegetables, seaweed and fruits, to meats and a selection of seafood.
They also thoughtfully included various dips and sauces that Filipinos love to have with our food. Before or after eating, you can even go fishing and have your catch cooked! Oh, and there are roving musicians who accept song requests and will serenade you while you eat -- unless you also want to sing with them!
The iCafe, on the other hand, serves coffee, shakes, quick meals, and a variety of sweet treats. Too bad I was still full from lunch so I opted not to eat snacks to save space in my tummy for dinner.
Our early evening meal at the Sangley Point restaurant, featuring western-style cuisine, was equally delicious and filling. We had pizza, pasta, a super yummy burger, and Island Cove's specialty -- baked baby back ribs plus fried chicken that come with special sauces. I also loved the guava juice I had with my meal. Such a refreshing and healthy drink!
3. It has a Wildlife Sanctuary where guests can interact with various reptiles, mammals, and birds. I mustered my courage to finally hold a baby crocodile and my friends had a grand time laughing while I was squealing LOL.
I also held a hawk! The protective glove made me feel safer from the grips of its talons. Let's not talk about holding pythons yet, though. Maybe after a million years?
The animal caretakers also allowed us to feed ostriches with lettuce leaves and Bengal tigers with chicken heads; throw bananas to several monkeys; and whole chickens to big crocodiles.
4. Its Oceania Swim and Splash Park has swimming pools for kids and adults with awesome colorful slides and a water park with cute installations of sprayers imported from Australia. Its outfitted with safe rubber flooring to keep children from slipping. That's a very thoughtful feature! In addition, all their lifeguards are certified in standard first aid and basic life support by the Philippine National Red Cross.
5. It has spacious videoke rooms at the Bayside KTV where music-loving guests could sing their hearts out and order pica-pica such as baked oysters and mussels. Too bad I wasn't able to join some of my companions there because I was scheduled for a massage after lunch. The nine private rooms can seat groups of 2 to 30 and have up-to-date equipment that plays more than 3000 songs in Chinese, English, Korean, Japanese, and Filipino.
6. Its Island Spa is there for those who need some pampering and relaxation. You'll like the rooms, facilities, and friendly staff. They offer various services that range from foot spas and massages to body scrubbing and facials.
7. It has a Game Room which we made full use of. A couple of people from our group played billiards while several of us took the opportunity to challenge the Xbox Kinect dance game. It was such fun! I'm sorry though because I refuse to post the video of me dancing. That would be too embarrassing hahaha.
8. It has a Maze that's challenging to navigate. Unfortunately, it suddenly rained while I was midway through so I had to run back to where I came from. I vow to conquer that maze the next time I'm there!
9. It has Bicycles for Rent that guests can use to go exploring the area. I was so bummed that my husband wasn't with me when I saw that tandem bike!
10. It offers Hotel Accommodations that serve clients of every need and budget. Choose from the 86 hotel rooms, 14 two-bedroom duplex cabanas for 4 to 6 persons each, 3 single-detached two-bedroom cabanas, and 2 dormitories for 16 to 20 persons. I was glad to know they have rooms with wider doors and bathroom railings especially designed for PWDs. The hotel complex has a jacuzzi and pool exclusive to checked in guests.
Island Cove is currently doing a year-long renovation of the hotel rooms and facilities by phases, targeting completion by the middle of 2015. By then, all the rooms will have USB charging ports, WiFi internet connectivity, flat screen TVs, and modern bathrooms while maintaining their Mediterranean feel.
There are many, many more things to see and discover at Island Cove. I've yet to run on their jogging path and play the giant chessboard. The island is an ideal place for events, socials, and conferences as it boasts 2 main ballrooms that can fit between 300 to 500 people, 10 air-conditioned function and meeting rooms (including an air-conditioned tent), plus various non-airconditioned pavilions and function areas.
I heard they'll be hosting a Daniel Padilla concert this coming November 15. For sure, the concert park would be filled with screaming fans that day.
Speaking of celebrities, we got a chance to chat with Island Cove's Managing Director, Mr. Gilbert Remulla, a former politician and TV newscaster. He graciously answered our questions about Island Cove and even joined us for lunch! Who knows, you might also bump into him when you visit the place :)
Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park is located in Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite. It is only 15 minutes away from the Mall of Asia. For more information, log on to www.islandcovephil.com, call (046) 434.0210, or email email@example.com. You can also keep updated through its Facebook page or by following @islandcovephil on Twitter and Instagram.