A Hidden "Boracay" in Mariveles, Bataan
We make it a point that we spend ample downtime together as a whole family when we're all here in the Philippines.
Back story: Dad is based in Vietnam, so he comes home every 3-4 months. Mom travels back and forth to Vietnam every now and then. My sister, RR, is currently taking up post-graduate studies, and juggling a part-time job in Canada so she comes home when she can. My other sister, Jaja, is busy finishing college and spends most days training with Legit Status.
The last time we were all together was Christmas 2017. We normally don't go out of town during the holidays ~ but since most of my family were going overseas (and the fact that RR wanted a beach getaway), we tried looking for a place where we could go overnight. To be under the sun, with the ocean just by our foot. Our parents started suggesting places, and we all agreed to just go to Camaya Coast in Mariveles, Bataan! Let me tell you more about it...
We made a four-hour drive from our humble abode in Fairview to the southernmost tip of the Bataan Peninsula. There, you’ll reach Camaya Coast. We learned how it was once secluded cove - accessible only to local fishermen. Now, you can see it transforming into a prime leisure resort and residential development.
Lush mountains, endless sunsets and pristine beaches surround you. In fact, we love the We offer kilometer stretch of fine sand. Yñigo could run endlessly (which is one of his fave things to do). The water was clear blue - a bit cold, but when the sun was out, it didn't matter! They take the best of nature, and make it even better.
All spell the perfect getaway for the busy family who just wants to have uninterrupted, quality time together.
what you can do
There's so much you can do!! Like literally you wouldn't have to leave for anything.
1. food trips
Breakfast at Panncake House
Our family, especially my sisters have always loved Pancake House. Yñigo loves their pancakes and waffles.
They have food kiosks for quick bites, Figaro cafe for your daily brews, and Max’s Restaurant-inspired The Wood Pavilion to satisfy your comfort Filipino food cravings during your stay. They also have Yellow Cab, Figaro, Snack Bar, Big Chill, Potato Corner and other food stalls to keep you full.
2. Swim & check out their other hotel amenities
A Sunny Afternoon with Dada
Just a candid photo of my boys making their way to the pool with a bunch of toys Yñigo loves bringing with.
Our little boy is still learning to deal with water - but he's a trooper for braving it all.
Take note that you need to have proper swimming attire. Ladies can be in swimsuits, while guys can be in board shorts or swim trunks. You may call Camaya to ask before you make the trip!
They have several pools around the property. Since it was an overnight stay, we spent most of our time soaking at the beach, but before leaving, we tried this pool out. Water's pretty cold, and Yñigo wasn't too excited about it (yes, fear of water or drowning or whatever). But he was a trooper for letting his dad and I take him here.
Apart from the "famous" infinity pool that we didn't get to go to, they have a fitness gym, and internationally renowned Bali-themed Mandara Spa which offers a lot of services (quite pricey, but from the others who've tried, it seems to be worth it).
When we visited, we also saw the waterpark being built a few minutes away from the hotel. Wonder if it's done now...
3. Watch a fire dance show
When you visit from Fridays-Sundays, Camaya Coast puts on a spectacular fire dance show and a cool fireworks display! We were lucky we booked a Friday! We actually didn't know at first. We were headed out for dinner when one of their staff asked if we were going to watch the show --- so syempre, out of curiosity, we all went by the beach to see what was happening.
Some were breathing out, rather, spitting out fire from their very mouths. Others were dancing with these large contraptions lit with fire. They were all talented dancers. We were kinda amazed by the girls who would play and dance with fire habang nakalugay buhok nila. Kaloka!
This kind of reminded me of Boracay - but I was more entertained by this because it was spectacular. Plus, the dancers were really nice and humble! Got to take a photo with them (as per my Dad's request) hihi. All dancers are locals from the area who are very passionate entertainers - hoping to make a lasting impression to the guests here in Camaya!
Camaya Coast is highly instagrammable. Like everywhere you look, you know you can get a great photo out of it. At the time we want, I was about to launch my businesss and needed to shoot it - so I brought some bags so I can take photos of my sisters using it! We went everywhere to get a variety of shots.
When we got to our room, we were greeted by this balcony overlooking the coconut trees and the beach! Of course, the light just had to be perfect. I rarely take photos of myself, nor do I ask anyone to take photos of me --- but I couldn't pass up this chance to take some. Sorry for the vainness.
5. Balcony Hits
Bobby and I have always been the type of couple to make coffee (or in his case, tea) at night, and tambay while Yñigo sleeps. But before sleeping, we stepped outside to stargaze with our little boy. It wasn't too cloudy and the moon's light was shining so bright.
After that, tumambay lang kami ni Bobby dun ~ talking about our hopes and dreams, what we wanted to do the next day, how I was going to miss RR when she flies back to Canada, Bobby's culinary path, decisions we have to make for our son and more. Nakaka-relax. Usually by 10:30 PM, the whole resort's quiet. From the balcony, we can see people, mostly couples, going to the beach to drink or stargaze. Something Bobby and I used to do pre-parenthood years.
5. get around and bike
I haven't rode a bicycle in a few years now, but we took advantage of this when we found out we could rent them at no cost. I guess that's one of the perks when you're a hotel guest!
We all started the morning going around the property in these bikes. I was surprised how much my dad and mom enjoyed this - I haven't seen them in bikes in years. Plus, Yñigo was so fascinated seeing us going around. Of course, carefully assisted, I tried to make him ride the bike with me. We loved it!
Don't worry, in case of emergency, they have a clinic with attending physicians and staff who know how to do first-aid. Very important especially when you're out of town and far from a lot of things.
If you're more adventurous, or have older kids, you might want to try kayaking, ATV or trekking!
6. Chill at the beach (and stay there forever)
The beach was just breath-taking and has such a great view of the sunset.
Apart from that, Camaya Coast's beach is in a cove... so you can see diverse trees and wildlife surrounding the area. The beach has cream-colored, fine sand - with water that's great for swimming. It's not as rocky. In fact, the water only appears to be brown because of the sand, and really shallow waters - but in reality, it's clear! If you have toddlers, just make sure you (or any responsible adult) is there to supervise.
Don't forget to bring beach toys. Since Yñigo is afraid of the water, we bring some shovels, buckets and other toys for the beach to keep him calm and preoccupied. Building sand castles and burying each other in the sand are loads of fun.
My sisters had a blast playing with our little boy and helping him make things ~ from the sand such as volcanos, mountains or in RR's case, boobs and other R18 things (hahaha typical of her).
Sharing you some snaps below of the family!
With these exciting amenities, excellent services, friendly staff, and cashless payment transactions, a stay in Camaya Coast is always a breeze. My family had so much fun and of course, one night isn't enough for you to make the most out of it!
Though prices can be costly (just like any hotel or resort), you're really getting your money's worth. So much to watch out for with Camaya Coast - like their residential area, their Phase 2! Let's see how all pans out!
But yes, we would recommend going here. For the convenience, the relaxation and experience you can get out of it. Best if you go non-peak season so that the place isn't as congested with people (though it is big enough to accommodate a lot without it looking like Boracay during Laboracay, haha).
That's it! Hope you enjoyed this review and our virtual tour of the place and things you can do! If you have questions, feel free to DM us!!