Monday, March 24, 2014

TRAVEL: A Birthday Like No Other at Island Cove

I don't really give a fuss about my birthday, not even bothering of marking it on the calendar, not only for the reason of escaping the fact that I'm getting old.  Hmm...I actually stopped counting my age 10 years ago, LOL.  But whenever someone does something that's quite notable, I can't help but be overwhelmingly happy.
I never intended to celebrate my birthday at the resort which also hold a special something in my heart.  The last time I was at Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park was when we had a team-building event when I was still with Convergys (PBCom).  That was seven years ago.   My coming back was not something less than the ideal.   Coming a few minutes late from some jaunting motherly errands, I almost missed breakfast.  My blogger friends have been tweeting and  "Instagraming" their breakfast fare at iCafe, while Bhogs and I got a bit stuck at Binakayan, from a wrong turn from Cavitex.
Seeing the welcoming gate of the resort made me giddy of what was in store for us.  Crossing the bridge to the main island while feeling the same cool wind billowing at the colorfully arrayed flags, I remembered how fun it was when my CVG team-mates tried to cross it at the wee hour to get something to eat while everyone tries to crack some jokes.
Well, I'm sure most of the guests of the island would have something special to keep in their memories as well.
As we then had approached the lobby of the hotel, I felt the inviting vibe as the sound of clanking utensils harmonized so well with the musical ensemble in strings.  As we entered iCafe, I was warmly welcomed by the marketing staff and instantly got serenaded with a Happy Birthday song from the ensemble and my blogger friends.
Surprise, surprise!  Then Joy Mendiola (Occasions of Joy) jokingly approached me with "that's what happens to people who gets late!"
Now, I thought that ends my birthday bash...Did I mention how sumptuous the breakfast spread was?

Then the tour of the whole island began.

We started with their hotel rooms which I will definitely be coming back with soon and will blog about it. They have renovated most of their rooms and upgraded the amenities, with major changes in the bathrooms.
From the lobby you can access the rooms through the corridors from the left or from the right, over-looking the white maiden statue at the center of what seems to be a courtyard.

I love the classic minimal look of their newly-renovated rooms and according to our tour coordinator, the hotel complies to Cavite's ply for an eco-friendly community by eliminating plastic water bottles and bathroom essentials.  Instead, guests can request for a purified pitcher of water.  They use only refillable bottles for their shampoos, conditioners and lotions.  Light bulbs were replaced with LED lightnings as well. But what I like most is the clean and relaxing scent of each rooms, makes me wanna stay and doze off.

Summer rates ( April 1, 2014 to May 31, 2014) for the weekend at a Superior room is P 4200 net while P 3500 net on weekdays.  For the De Luxe, weekends at P 5400 net and P 4,400 net on weekdays.  Accommodation packages include breakfast for 2, use of hotel pool and jacuzzi, entrance to Oceania Swim and Splash Park and entrance to Animal Island.

If you need bigger room space for a family with more than 2 kids, I suggest you get a Cabana.  I didn't know they also have a villa with cabanas which can accommodate more than 10 people.  They have a two-bedroom cabana and a four-bedroom cabana each with sharing bathrooms, kitchen and a sala.

Two-bedroom Cabanas are priced at P 6300 for weekends and P 5300 for weekdays.  Four-bedroom cabanas, however is at P 9200 on weekends and P 7950  on weekdays.   Same amenities apply to the hotel packages except that breakfast is not included.

For retreats, team-buildings and a company of friends and family who needed to be in one place, the houses Isabel and Calero is your best choice.  The building used to be smaller function rooms but with the the need for bigger overnight accommodation space these two were turned to cabanas with double-decked beds and separate CRs for the males and females.

Now off we go and explore the rest of the island.

We also were able to scout several function halls and rooms, and might I say they can cater for whatever a company needs, may it be wedding, debut, kiddie party, concert, conventions, workshop, just about any event you can think of.
Tejeros Grand Ballroom (300- 500 seating capacity)
 In the mood for unwinding with friends and colleagues after a long day?  Why not grab that microphone and sing your lungs out and partner it with some refreshments at the Bayside Live Music and KTV.

Next to Bayside is the Fishing Village.  Two reasons why Island Cove works out:  people's yearning to experience how it is to fish (for one's meal) and classic Filipino culinary delights, both can be experienced at Fishing Village.

The very welcoming staff of Island Cove
You can rent a fishing rod (either a mechanical or the old-school bamboo pole) for P100, for an unlimited time of use and a cup of flour-based fishing bait.  If you don't have the skill and patience for fishing, well you can just enjoy the cool breeze and savor the delightful Filipino dishes Fishing Village offers.   Will do a separate post on how they fared with their menu offerings, but let me sum it up as "a gloriously filling lunch, one that you will always crave for."

 Here is one reason, why until now I can't seem to get over that darn and sinful lunch.  Can't wait to write about that outtake.

Moving on..!  If you don't like to have a lunch over in huts and on stilts, they also have Sangley Point, the bar and grill resto that's nearest to Oceania Water Park.  On the same building rest three other function rooms, Magdalo, Magdiwang, and Aguinaldo, which are good for smaller group of people for events such as workshops, seminars, graduation rites, and others.

Sangley Point Bar and Grill from the outside.
Another thing added to the amenities, is that they have opened up the area for an al fresco dining and to welcome diners who are using Oceania and Splash Park.

The newest attraction which is expected to bring more cheers to kids is the Splash Park.  The area is matted with a rubberized material, so it is much safer for kids to play and run around while enjoying splatters and splashes of water, purified water, that is!

Isn't that inviting!
Another thing that is convincing when safety is brought up, is that their resort being certified as ISO 9001 2008 by SGS.  This means that the whole company, from the hotel, down to every resort detail is operating under strict ISO guidelines.  Thus, every guests can be assured of getting the quality services and products.

For thrill-seekers, this is just the perfect pool for you.  Choose from three differently-styled slides, or you can play like hell on the inflatable slides.

If you want to enjoy the slides but are afraid of heights, you can have a try at this low-layered inflatable slide, situated at the lower pool levels.

Though at times accidents and some injuries can take place, they have pool guards and a first aid station.

If you are a big group on a day-tour, you can also get a cabana for a minimal cost.

I also need to mention that you can travel the whole island in one day, e-jeepneys give the tour from your hotel (or from any part of the hotel) to Animal Island.
Now, if what you are after is a total relaxation, I would encourage you to go to Island Spa.  I haven't tried any of their services yet but I've heard their traditional hilot is what the customers are going back for.

 The moment you step in the spa, you will get that immediate aromatherapy.
Foot spa room

Steam rooms (separate for male and female)

The Body Scrub room with bath tubs for washing off...

On the same site is the Fit Club.  It's a site for all you gym buddies who does not want to miss a work out, even on a vacation.

On a side note, when lifting weights and hearing mechanicals while you stretch some muscles and going around the island is not for you, why not just dance it out or swing it with the latest games being offered at the interactive game room.

Here is also a destination one should never miss when visiting or staying at Island Cove for more than a day, the Animal Island.  More adventure awaits you as you come face to face with your fears for animals.

So much to see and do here, don't you think?

This tiger is almost a year old, and was still a cub when brought at the mini-zoo.  They would let the guest experience who it is to be played at, oops, to pet a Bengal tiger.

Since the tiger practically grew up in the island, they have been accustomed to come near the visitors.  As you can see Jupiter (tiger's name) gamely posted with John.  (Selfie naman next time, John)

 They also take care of a number of ostrich.  They sell the eggs, btw.

A place for some birds.

Like cassowaries.

And snakes...oops that's from another category.  Though, facing one of my fear, did not happen, some of our companions were able to.   Still gives me the gitters.

 Have your selfie with the albino python or a baby croc (with which the mouth was taped for safety)

Feel like feeding some of their pets?  There are more crocodiles, larger and in groups that you can feed with a whole dressed chicken.

Then turn on the other side and grab a banana to throw to the monkeys on an islet.  Poor things, they have actually decreased in number due to storms and the getting sick.

Horses, cattles and sheeps can also be spotted on the dirt road.

Another attraction they have on Animal Island is the Adventure park

That day was really eventful and memorable and I can't wait to bring our pack (my kids) to this place.  I'm very sure they will enjoy all these as well.  Good thing it is just 25 minutes away from Pasay, where we live.  Cavitex made it possible to have another home away from home, in the likes of uber-comfort zone, Island Cove.

Thanks for the warm welcome and getting along with my friend's "gimik" for my birthday, Island Cove!
Thanks also to Joy Mendiola for making this day as unforgettable as it was!

Now it's time for you to have, or your loved one have the same or an even better birthday bash at Island Cove!

Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park
Address: Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite
Tel. : (046) 4340210
Fax: (046) 4345373
E mail:


  1. The surprise serenade was done not because you were late, e kasi lab kita, maligayang kaarwan ulit! ...

    1. Of course, I know that! Super thanks talaga, no one have ever surprised me as much as you did! I love you Joy! Keep inspiring more people!

  2. Happy bday Mommy Joy! - kimmy

  3. Late birthday greeting to one of the nicest person I've met. From Cesca

  4. By arranging a party for your kids at your own home you will be lot of benefited. You can save your money and you don't have to haul all your kids. For doing this you should rent some inflatable jumpers from a trusted company.

  5. Your blog is one of a kind, i love the way you organize the topics.:,”-* guesthouse

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