Saturday, April 19, 2014

A One-Night Stay in Hacienda Darasa Garden Resort Hotel

Hacienda Darasa Hotel
Last May 2013, I was able to purchase a Metrodeal coupon for a night stay in Hacienda Darasa Garden Resort Hotel. It was almost a year later that we were able to use it due to a busy schedule. Good thing I was able to remember about it a month earlier from the coupon's last day of validity. Booking was not a problem. I called their number listed on the coupon, and the lady who answered us was accommodating enough. 

We were told that their weekends are already fully booked, which we already expected since it was already the summer season. I asked for any available date before the coupon's expiration date, and was given an April 7 date, a Monday. My husband and I booked it; however, I learned later on that my brother's recognition day was on the same day. I called Hacienda Darasa again to ask for a reschedule but was told that all days are already fully booked. After a day or two of doing some follow-up calls for any changes in their bookings, we were told that they had a cancellation on April 8. We didn't hesitate to take the date. 

Hacienda Darasa is on Tanauan, Batangas, which can easily be reached by taking the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Tollway). Since it was a Tuesday, SLEX had a very light traffic. We reached Sto. Tomas exit in no time and then entered the STAR Tollway. From STAR Tollway going to Hacienda Darasa, one could exit on Tanauan Exit then turn right on Pres. Laurel Highway. We, however, wanted to avoid the traffic on Tanauan City proper so we proceeded to Malvar Exit and turned left on Pres. Laurel Highway. After about 3 kilometer from Malvar Exit, we saw Hacienda Darasa on the right side. The resort has a big signage along the highway so it is not hard to miss. 

The resort is about 50 meters from the entrance, and the hotel is about 100 meters from the entrance. The way is not paved so walking on rainy season might be a burden. Guests with their transportation will have no problem with parking as both the resort and the hotel have ample parking spaces. 

Entrance to Hacienda Darasa along Pres. Laurel highway

Parking Space and Entrance of the Resort
Unpaved road going to the hotel from the entrance
We arrived in the hotel a few minutes past their check-in time of 2:00 PM. Checking-in was no hassle. The receptionist just asked for the copy of the coupon and any valid ID. Once settled, we were lead to a room on the second floor. We heard some construction noise coming from the other end of the hallway. We were told that they were undergoing some renovations and to not worry since all construction works would be stopped by 5:00 PM. We didn't mind it anyway, as long as we can have a peaceful evening sleep. 

The room was big enough. It was their superior room. The original price was 1990php but we only paid 999php for it through Metrodeal. The maximum capacity of the room is 4 people since there is a single daybed which also serves as a sofa and a single pull-out bed. The room assigned to us had twin beds instead of a queen bed so my husband and I had to move them to make one big bed. I totally forgot to inform them to assigned us to a room with a queen bed. The bathroom was spacious enough and it has a water heater. Soap and towels were provided. Cable TV and mineral water was also provided. 

The downside with hotels or resorts surrounded with a lot of trees is that there would be a handful of mosquitoes. A lot of them were in the hotel's hallway and we had to immediately close the room's door so they couldn't enter. However, around 4 or 5 mosquitoes did manage to enter our room so we had a bit of running and clapping to do just to kill them. I hope the management would do something to minimize those skeeters.

Feeling hungry by 4:00 PM, we went downstairs to their restaurant to grab a bite. The attendant showed us their menu which was very limited. There were only three types of sandwiches, and two of them were not available at that time. Since I was really hungry, I didn't mind ordering the cheese sandwich which was the only one available. I'm not really fond of cheeses. My husband just settled with Kapeng Barako which was very "barako", indeed! Surprisingly, the cheese sandwich was delicious. The cheese was deliciously salty and sweet. Truth? I was able to finish the sandwich, the fish crackers on the side, and the Kapeng Barako all by myself. Nice afternoon snack while chatting and checking on my Facebook account. There is a free wifi connection but is only available in the restaurant. 

By 5:00 PM, my husband and I explored Tanauan City center. We didn't bring the car. We rode a jeepney going there (8php fare) and walked around the city. For more about our Tanauan walk and dinner, click HERE.

After a very restful sleep, we woke up the next day to the sound of the chickens. It felt like I was back in my hometown in Bohol. We went downstairs again for breakfast. Our booking comes with free breakfast but we're told that they only had two options that day: longganisa and skinless longganisa. Wow! I had longganisa and my husband has the skinless one. Thank goodness that a Kapeng Barako was again served. I actually had two cups of it that morning.  

I only saw a few guest during breakfast; perhaps, this was because of the renovations being done. I wonder if they have ample breakfast choices when they have many guest. Didn't really bother to ask. 

We went to the resort after breakfast and had an early swim. They had a kiddie pool which was quite big and an adult pool. Since it was summertime, half of the adult pool was being used for their swimming classes. Both pools were clean. 

Kiddie Pool
Kiddie Pool
Adult Pool
Adult Pool
There were lots of day trippers when we arrived. Day swimming is from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and night swimming is from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Pools are cleaned from 5:00-6:00 PM and at 11:00 PM.

Entrance Fees are:
   Day Swim
      Adult - 120php
      Kids  - 100php (4ft. and below)
   Night Swim
      Adult - 150php
      Kids  - 120php (4ft. and below)

Cottage Rental Fees are:
      Solo - 450php
      Common - 350php

Hacienda Darasa also has team building facilities, a basketball and a volleyball court, and a number of conference halls for seminars and other events. Apart from the hotel, there are available cabanas near the team building area. Each cabana has a wide dining patio and can accommodate around 8-10 people. 

Three of the cabanas near the open area

One of the function halls
One of the function halls
One of the cottages

Overall, our weekend stay in Hacienda Darasa was enjoyable. It was a perfect place to be one with nature while exploring Tanauan City. Before leaving, we had a fun time taking pictures under the trees. Too bad, there wasn't any fruit yet. 

For more information on Hacienda Darasa, visit their website 

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