Monday, September 24, 2012

Breaking Dusk: Spectacular Sunset and Supermoon in Bellarocca

Bellarocca's way to label the end of unforgettable day was so splendid. She broke a beautiful dusk before she fell asleep that night to please her guests even more. Her generosity was unwearied as she painted the horizon with stunning sunset of different shades of red, orange, and gold while her visitors gathered at the pier celebrating with sunset cocktails in hands, cheering for life.

From his point of view, Rome admired the spectacular golden sun rays around him on a gloaming twilight. Their group was very impressed as the sun went down over the horizon with such a captivating scenery. Sunset brought a remarkable change on the entire island, transforming its bright white villas and terrazas into a chameleon that briefly glows gold to red before working its way through the full gamut of blues, silvers and greys.

Unlike any other ordinary night, she commanded the moon to appear brighter and bigger on clear skies in all its glory against Mt. Malindig. Its brightness reflected on the white Mediterranean inspired Pavilion. They all gazed at the lunar perigee of super moon as it ascended.

A rare full moon at its closest distance to earth and a scenic sunset were magical moments, Rome thought. Somehow, it reminded him of the special relationship he has with everything around him..."We are all related and connected together in this universe. We are all part of God", he said. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Resort Review: Plunge Into Incredible Swimming Pools of Bellarocca Island Resort & Spa

"All in time, you gotta travel around the globe", Rome said to himself while letting himself mesmerized by the beauty of neighboring green cliffs and forest of  Mt. Malindig. While resting a bit in the balcony of their Terraza after a long and luscious lunch at the resort's Clubhouse, the tranquility of the place enabled him to rest in silence, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the Metro. Anney and Ykaie dressed in their rash guards woke him up, asking him to join them to make a splash into the resort's swimming pools. Excitement kicked-in when he finally remembered where he was. He jumped out from his bed, changed his clothes and called the front office to arrange a  golf cart service to pick them up from their Terraza to the seaside swimming pool.

Only guests who choose to stay in Bellarocca's garden and cliff villas will experience the best amongst the accommodations in the Santorini inspired island. They'll have their own infinity pool, outdoor jacuzzi or whirlpool, and exterior lounge area. Clientele like Rome's group, who chose to stay in suites, casas and terrazas however, have access to the three common swimming pool in the island; seaside swimming pool, hotel lap swimming pool, and natural hot spring pool.

The seaside swimming pool is just one of the incredible features of Bellarocca. it has a view of the ocean and a breathtaking backdrop - the volcanic mountain range of Mt. Malindig. The flowing water is clean, soft on the skin and hair, and there was no smell of chlorine. Freshwater in the island came from the nearby reservoir in the mainland Marinduque. The pool wasn't tiled though, they were told that the water is sulfuric and would destroy the tiles but water supply is treated and filtered to remove all mineral and chemical impurities.

The pool has a spectacular sun deck, gazebo, and a sunken bar in bright white. They ordered refreshments from the nearby Seaside Pavilion. They noticed that staff are attentive without being obtrusive. Green-striped fresh towels were handed to them, free of charge.

On their way to the Terraza, passing through the lap pool, they were tempted to splash out again. The hotel lap pool is hidden away in this quiet residential neighborhood behind Bellarocca's main entrance and open to guests until 9 PM everyday.

Surrounded by palm tress and classic Mediterranean inspired suites, they dived in and did race laps from one end to another. When Rome tried to float, azure blue sky above smiled at him, he felt total serenity and calmness. Its like they own the entire island. Water was warm and no other guest plunged in until the end of that day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Room Review: Terraza 305, Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa, Marinduque, Philippines

The luxurious, Santorini-inspired architecture of Terraza 305 in Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa is where the Greek gods and goddesses (Rome, Anney, Peachy, Alvin and Ykaie) nestled for three days and two nights when they had a luxury break last summer. 

After a quick orientation at the lobby, complimentary golf cart service brought them to the elevated Terraza 305, along the ridges of the island adjacent to the view of Mt Malindig. As they entered to the pre-cooled Terraza, it opened to a high ceiling dinning room with six setter dinning table.

Welcome letter and snacks of banana spring rolls and sweet cassava await on the glass-topped table when they arrived. Electronic Coffee and tea kettle, well-stock personal bar, kitchen utensils neatly placed inside the drawers, and refrigerator full of soda, cold water, and alcoholic beverages completed the dinning area.

Their Terraza has two hardwood floors bedrooms and are equipped with individually-controlled air-conditioning system, each have a private verandah offering the best and uninterrupted view of Mt Malindig. The majestic view seems like adjoined to their rooms.  

The 2nd time honeymooners, Peachy and Alvin along with their princess Ykaie shared the King size bed while Rome and Anney occupied the twin bed room upstairs. Extremely comfortable, the beds are not too hard nor too soft...and generously fitted with soft sheets and a down comforter. Silver Secrets pillows made in geese feathers gave them utmost comfort and fairytale dreams at night that they wished not to leave.

The two bedrooms was beautifully furnished with a range of modern day gadgets; Skype – enabled Belkin telephone, Plasma TV with complete DVD Player and home theater stereo systems, satellite cable TV, and Electronic safe deposit box for their valuables. Not to mention, complimentary internet connectivity in the room and in general public areas. Rome put Enya's music on iPod dock and hifi compact sound systems that sets their mood up to sheer relaxation.

Their "oooohhhhsss" echoed in the spacious modern bath over the potions and shampoos on offer: All natural—L’Occitane, AVEDA, REN, Molton Brown, take that! Dental care, his & hers bathrobe, and slippers are also complimentary. The honeymooner's room has a bath tub. The shower in Rome's bath has its own room with enormous shower head which shoots out an enveloping torrent of steaming hot and stimulating cold water. It was such a delight.

Room with a serene view:  the most immediate and lasting impression as a guest at Bellaroca, was the silence. 

Overall, Bellaroca's accommodations never failed to deliver their promise of elegance and luxurious comfort with a touch of a home-like essence. While such luxury seems slightly out of place in these frugal times, particularly in the Philippines, Bellaroca is a proof that quality is always priceless.


Post Script: The published rate of the package was Php 120,560 but they got it for just Php 48,500 excluding airfare through Deal Dozen, a website that sell hotel reservation at a discounted price. Meals and traditional free breakfast are excluded too but the package includes  Php 20,000 welcome value credit which can be used for food and beverage, mini bar, massages, marine sports such as windsurfing, hobie cat sailing, jet skiing, etc, which was, they thought, more of our advantage. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Arrival in Bellarocca Resort and Spa

Straight from night shift, Rome met his cousins at NAIA airport terminal 3 only to found out that they were at the wrong terminal. They rode another taxi that brought them to Manila Domestic Airport which was, unfortunately,  another wrong terminal. They took another 15 minutes taxi ride to the "old terminal" as the driver called it and finally found Zest Air terminal that would bring them to the island of Marinduque. Like any other local carrier, their fight was delayed for about an hour.

Round-trip ticket was about Php 3500.00/pax at a discounted price. It was their first time to ride in such a small airplane. Rome sat by the window, and was a little bit scared when he saw the plane's propeller. Anney, on the other hand, was complaining about the aircraft's smell. There's no other aircraft that travels from Manila to Marinduque but Zest Air (three times per week), so they didn't complaint. Although their flight was delayed for about an hour, they touched Marinduque's airport safely. 

Bellarocca's airport staff were waiting at the airport and gave them a very warm welcome soon as they step out from the airport. Bottles of cold water and fresh towels were given to them so they could freshen up after their long journey. From the airport, it took another 30-45 minutes land travel to reach the port and another 5 minute speed boat ride to the island. They were treated like gods and goddesses when they arrived, the staff welcomed them with local songs, dance, flowers, and warm smiles. Welcome drinks were served at the lobby while quick orientation was also held.