It was my friend’s birthday last May 1st and to celebrate, we went to Camp Netanya in Batangas. We were all very excited because not only did we need a break from the city life but also because based on the photos we saw online, Camp Netanya appeared to be a beautiful, elegant resort. I know what you’re thinking, I always say we need city breaks but we all live pretty stressful lives and one of our ways to de-stress and “self care” is to get away from the city at least once a month and breathe clean, fresh air.
I love that the resort had a theme. they took inspiration from the colors and structures in Santorini. Even the font on their signage looked Greek! There weren’t a lot of parking space available, which was a bummer. I think they allowed parking outside the premises though, but I don’t know how safe that is.
As soon as you walk in, you are greeted by the view of the ocean skyline. Ahhh, so refreshing and relaxing! The whole place is very blue, which is nice because Blue is actually a very calming color, and is considered beneficial to the mind and body (check out Color Theory if you don’t believe me LOL). We were also told that if we were interested in Kayaking or Snorkeling, they’d be happy to arrange it for us. Take note though that the beach is for snorkeling/water activities only. You can’t swim in it and there is no shore.
We toured the whole place, and it was nice to see that they had an in-house spa, and a kids play room which was filled with lots of toys so kids will definitely not get bored. The restaurant was nicely decorated – as was the entire place. There are a lot of stairs though, and on our second day, the elevator wasn’t working so if you are traveling with older people or people with mobility issues, please keep this in mind.
They also had a lot of viewing decks so if you just want to chill, have a beer while watching the sunset, you can definitely do so. There are even some “private” viewing decks if you want to have a private, romantic moment with your loved one.
The room is beautifully decorated and very comfortable. I like the drapes they used, as well as the artwork on the top of the headboard. There was also a small veranda, which you can look out of. Our view wasn’t super awesome, but it was okay – we still could watch the sunset/sunrise from where we were. The TV and the phone in our room stopped working at some point, so I had to go to the front desk to ask for assistance. I spoke to the Manager, and he directed me to the front desk staff and abruptly left. The maintenance folks came by a few minutes later and fixed the phone and TV issue.
The bathroom, while also nicely decorated, needs a little bit of upkeep. The shower head was holding on for dear life – the rubber that is supposed to be on the inside was already showing and the tub wasn’t super clean. I had to clean the tub first before we could use it because if there is one thing my friends and I are adamant about any place we go to, it’s that it has to be clean, especially the bathroom – and this was, unfortunately, not. The bath/shower water was also salty LOL, so I didn’t get that squeaky clean feel after my shower. It was also weird to brush your teeth with salty water!
For dinner, my friends and I decided to have it early so we could avoid the dinner crowd. We went to the restaurant at around 0530PM and there weren’t anybody there. We ordered 1 viand and 3 cups of rice and it took over an hour for it to be served. Service was slooooow, which was surprising since no one else was there – just imagine if they had a full house! We also felt that the food was overpriced as it wasn’t anything spectacular – if I remember correctly, the Liempo was Php350, and it was just okay. I didn’t see any food places near the resort either, so unless you want to drive far, you’re stuck with their in-house restaurant.
After dinner, we went to the pool and it was nice to see that they had a movie set up for people to enjoy while enjoying the pool. The water is heated, which we liked – but the pool floor was sandy in some areas, and smooth in others LOL. I don’t know how the sand got in there – I mean there’s a beach but no shore! You can see it in one of the photos – some parts of the pool had sand, and other parts were smooth. There is also a very abrupt 12ft drop – from 4ft, it suddenly goes to 12ft so you have to be VERY careful. I wish they put a divider or an identifier (like the ones they use on professional swimming pools to separate the lanes, you know what I mean?) because it can be quite dangerous, especially at night. The sign is kind of small, but to be fair, they did have a watch guard telling people to be careful of the 12ft drop but still.
The staff weren’t very friendly, attentive or helpful. I don’t know if I am just being picky, but I do not enjoy it when the staff talks about their personal business when they are checking in guests. I mean, I came here to have a vacation, not to hear how much you do not like your job, or how boring you think it is, or hear about your sick friend who refuses to go to the hospital. It was also hard to catch their attention when we were in the restaurant.
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What I Liked
- The view is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING.
- They took the theme seriously, and the design/feel of the place is very nice and very Instagrammable.
- Whoever designed the place did a great job! It is a very aesthetically pleasing place. Even the furniture and the accessories were beautiful!
- They have a play room for kids, so your kids won’t get bored; and a spa if you want a massage.
- The pool is heated!
- If you want to try diving or riding the banana boat or kayaking, they can arrange it for you.
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Points of Improvement
- They have a limited parking space for the number of rooms they have.
- The service is sloooooooooooooow.
- Our food took about an hour to be served, even though we were the only ones at the restaurant and it wasn’t “rush hour”.
- Their food is pricey – approximately 350pesos per dish, but it was just “okay”, not spectacular.
- The walls in our room had cracks.
- The place was fully staffed when we went there, but it was hard to get their attention.
- The pool was sandy, and there is a sudden 12ft drop (from 4ft). They only had one small sign, no dividers or anything.
- Bathtub was gunky, had to clean if before we could use it!!!
- The shower head appeared to be on it’s last legs and is about to die LOL. The rubber part was already showing.
- The bath/shower water is salty!!!
- Elevator was not working on our 2nd day, which is a bummer since the resort had a LOT of stairs LOL. If you have mobility issues or if you are traveling with one, keep this in mind!
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Sooo, in a nutshell, will I recommend Camp Netanya? Sadly, no. The resort is aesthetically beautiful, but if you look closely, you will see a lot of issues. The walls had cracks – which I think is from the recent earthquake, the bathroom is not clean, the staff weren’t very professional, service is slow and it’s pricey to boot! The food was just okay, and to be honest, other than the nice interiors and beautiful structure, everything else was just “meh”. I feel that for the price they charge, you can find nicer, cleaner places that are just as beautiful/aesthetically pleasing.
Brgy Ligaya, Mabini Batangas, 4202 Philippines