Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Beach House at Kawayan Cove

UPDATE: This beach house is no longer for rent.

Vacation rentals is a relatively new term in the tourism industry. It is a growing worldwide trend and Asia is leading in this new type of accommodation. Given the number of villas for rent in Bali, Phuket and other popular island destinations in Asia, I don't see why our country hasn't exploited this trend.

In the Philippines, vacation rentals come in the form of beach houses, or seaside mansions even. Recently, I have been searching for the best beach house for rent in the country. Of course, I started where there is a number of these accommodations: Batangas.



For Filipinos, Tagaytay is a top destination for renting whole houses. If you want to rent a beach house though, the easiest place to get one is in Nasugbu, Batangas, just a 45 minute drive down Tagaytay. The house featured here is in a private village nestled along the beautiful coast of Nasugbu. Welcome to THE beach house in Kawayan Cove.


I stressed on THE because it is perhaps the most popular beach house for rent in Kawayan Cove. Although I have heard that there are other houses in Kawayan Cove for rent, this one is the most occupied one.


The house is actually made of two houses, the main house and the annex. It is already more than 8 years old, which surprised me, because it was really well maintained. It has a huge living area, two kitchens, 2 dining areas, and an entertainment room.


There was a spacious balcony opening up from two adjacent bedrooms in the 2nd floor.  


 There are 5 bedrooms in total, but it also had a huge attic, that can sleep as many as ten people. Thus, if you do the Math, 20 people can sleep here comfortably.


And that's not even occupying the entertainment rooms and the living room in the annex that also has a day bed and a large sofa where three people can sleep on as well.



There are several sofa beds so you don't really sleep on a mattress on the floor. In the annex house, the master's bedroom had a massage chair which we exploited.


Even though it didn't had a beach front, the entire house felt like a resort. The pool area was very relaxing, although a bit worn down. There were 5 pool lounges, perfect for those who want to just laze under the sun.


We rented this house for our company's Christmas party. We were about a group of 30 people, and we were still able to sleep well. I think even 40 people can sleep here. What I like about the place is its chill out vibe. We loved the house so much, that we spent an extra night here.


Kawayan Cove also has the best beach in Nasugbu, since it was very private and wide. The sand wasn't perfectly fine and white, but the water was clear. To visit the beach, a jeep will pick you up form the house to take you to the Bamboo Club, the beach of Kawayan Cove. You have to pay an extra P200 though for entrance. I believe that this amount is also consummable, so you can have lunch or a snack here.


The Beach House in Kawayan Cove is perfect I think for small companies and barkadas. There was a centralized sound system all throughout the living and pool areas, which was great for our night parties. Finally, the caretakers are very friendly and they do clean up your mess. They can even help in cooking, just bring your meats and ingredients. For P25,000 a night, I think it was a steal, especially if you're a group of at least 25 people. You get the feeling of renting your own resort.

The Beach House at Kawayan Cove
Contact Tess Gonzales at 0917 532 8664

31 comments:

  1. How much is the rental rate for the house? :)

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  2. It's P25,000 for the entire house for 25 pax a night.

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  3. how may room do you have in the hotel?

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  4. Hi is the house free for a small company outing on May 12 to 13 or May 19 to 20?

    what are the check-in and check-out hours? How do we make a booking?

    we are around 20 to 25 pax thanks

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  5. is this available for April 22-24? Thanks

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  6. how can we contact you for reservation, or please contact me to this email add. sespiritu@levi.com

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  7. ay nako! people READ! he already put who to contact about the place. (guess they figured that out already)
    anyhow, I love your blogs RJ! you're one of my favorites now ^_^

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  8. Hi RJ, is the entrance fee to the beach club 200 per head? You have to pay extra even if you are renting the beach house? =/ Thanks

    -Maui

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  9. FOR ALL THE MONEY YOU PAY TO RENT THIS PLACE, YOU WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE BEACH.

    And if it's just a showcase house and a small pool you're getting, would you go all the way to Nasugbu, Batangas for those?

    I am writing this here as a warning to those planning to rent this place. After all, this was one of the reviews that made my colleagues decide to pick this place over other beach destinations for our team outing last weekend.

    My team booked more than a month in advance. The owner Tess Gonzales demanded full payment before the outing, and we complied. She charged P25K per night, minimum of 2 nights, for 20 pax. She charged 1K each person, including toddlers, in excess of 20 pax. Overall, we paid plus or minus 60K out of our own pockets, because the company's budget for the team outing was only enough for a fancy lunch.

    And so we planned our team outing. We prepared team-building activities with the expectation that we would spend one day in the beach. We even booked our lunch at the beach club. Everything was set, or so we thought.

    Around 3hrs before we got to Kawayan Cove, as we were approaching Tagaytay, Gonzales called to inform us that the community association manager was opposed to our presence there. The association would not even allow us through the gate, and her husband had to call from the US to negotiate for us to be allowed in.

    When our manager told us about this development, my first thought was to get a refund and go elsewhere. But of course, by then it was already too late to find a resort with the facilities we needed, and that would allow us to book at such short notice.

    So we still proceeded to Kawayan Cove. At the entrance, the guard said, albeit nicely, 'sa bahay lang po kayo.' Apparently, it wasn't just the beach we were not allowed to; it was the whole neighborhood (but we did go to the Meditation Point, anyway--sue us!).

    When I saw the house and the small pool, I felt shortchanged, not to mention insulted. We were treated like a potential threat to the community's security, like tresspassers or squatters. Our well-planned team outing turned into a (fake) DVD marathon weekend and a (crowded) pool party. We brought a PS3 console with us, but the TV there didn't have the required interface to run it.

    I asked my boss if we would at least get a partial refund, since after all the beach was a major consideration when we picked the place (it was called a 'beach house' for a reason, right?). My boss said Gonzales wasn't giving us a refund.

    I am not inclined to think that Gonzales deliberately shortchanged us. But the decent and fair thing she could have done was to offer a partial refund--both as a gesture of good will on her part, and to prove that she was sincerely sorry for our disastrous team outing. I hope she reads this, and if she has any regard for her good name, then she has to do something.

    As it is, we are wondering if she was aware beforehand that there was a chance we would not be allowed access to the beach. But she chose not to disclose this, and demanded full payment up front to make sure she got her money no matter what happens.

    Again, to those planning to book this place, think twice.

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  10. Hi TINapay
    I am very sorry for that frustrating experience. I mentioned in the blog that there was no beachfront access, and that you have to be picked up by the jeep of the Bamboo Beach Club and have to pay even P200 per person extra. I don't know why you guys were banned from the beach or the surroundings for that matter. I will bring this up with Tess through text. I will ask her to read your comment.

    Again, thank you for sharing. This makes us all more aware of possible scenarios. It is still one of the most popular beach houses in Nasugbu, and I've heard that departments from big companies have had their day aways or team building activities there. I understand your frustration and I hope Tess will contact you to explain further.

    Thanks!

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  11. Thanks, RJ!

    We knew the house wasn't on the beach front. We were also ready to pay the P200 entrance fee to the beach club (which, we were told, was already included in the P550/pax lunch package we were supposed to have).

    What we didn't expect was we would be barred entrance to the beach, even if we were ready to pay. It was like our money wasn't good enough.

    I believe Tess already explained everything to my boss. But this was an event 20+ people prepared for over a month. Not even a partial refund would make up for the stress and disappointment. But the least she could have done was to initiate the offer, without any of us having to ask for it through various channels, including this one.

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  12. Hi RJ,

    Thank you for voicing this but truly, it was more than just a frustrating experience. For the price we paid, I can very candidly say that the house, being 8 years old, needed serious enough updates to the plumbing.

    But that's the tip of the iceberg.

    It just wasn't worth it and didn't meet our expectations at all.

    While indeed the house looks visually stimulating (kudos to the architect, landscape engineer/designer, and photographer), and the pool heater worked miraculously well, the house seemed like a somewhat unloved home:

    * the kitchen sinks were not up to par, majority of the pans apparently had the remains of old grease still on it and the knives would not pass a common Manila home's requirements (try if they pass your mother's, im sure they wouldn't)
    * the house sat idly perhaps a kilometer or two from the beach as the road wound through the angled streets. which means you need a ride and good driver to get to the beach--and access to it is not even assured. like TINapay said, you'd have thought you were seen as a security threat. all that was missing was an actual escort to ensure we would stay "sa bahay lang"
    * the plants looked thirsty--hillside just needs a lazy cigarette butt and it would be a bright conflagration to light up Batangas
    * we had to figure out how to turn the TV 'on' ourselves, place wasn't that welcoming
    * the blankets, while clean, were thin and obviously on the old side
    * plus the bathroom showers didnt work perfectly well--the lights did blink here and there

    And yes, I would have to attest that it felt almost like suburban Manila--close to 95%, in fact. Save for the lack of a beach or the 'attraction' of one, it felt like I was in an older Manila suburb and just lounging on one of the chairs with pollution around me, regardless. I should have stayed at my friend's house!

    Now, re the beach--I understand that May is not the best season simply because of jellyfish. And that's fair enough. BUT while this is an acceptable excuse, it's not as if we cannot be told ahead about this potential threat to our well-being. And why did we not get this advisement ahead of time, I have no idea. Perhaps not mentioning it means no one will ask? Ugh. Really, I didnt know we have so little respect for people. Truth to tell, it was the attractive pictures and the lure of the beach that rather pulled us in. Of course, that alone should have alerted me personally. As it is, I took someone's word for it.

    Candidly, unless you're sedentary in a major way, the trip was not remarkable. Luckily for us, we do have a mature enough team that can find the littlest enjoyment anywhere.

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  13. SO:

    1. Misrepresentation, meant or not, was obvious.
    2. I believe that thinking twice isn't even the best advice I could give to would-be visitors. I would say: PLEASE DO AN OCULAR FIRST before booking and IF THEY DON'T ALLOW THE OCULAR, DON'T BOOK. There are better places with far more reasonable and welcoming people.
    3. Be wary about spending your money so callously even if you've got deep enough pockets to rival those of a CEOs.
    4. Fair is fair: If you can't be honest, at least don't pretend to own a level of magnanimity.
    5. For 20K a night, it is fair to expect better service, a cleaner kitchen, and nicer amenities.
    6. Large fees do not equate to quality. Why anyone thinks so is a mystery to me. And heavens, unless anyone has actually been to the place, DO NOT take their word for it.
    7. In similar situations, know that unless you are booking a 4 or 5-star hotel, you should be VERY WARY about places that "demand" full payment. If the person who suggested the place or booking it hasn't really stayed there more than 2 days yet, don't jump to feed the sharks. Ergo only homes and places whose names are synonymous to quality have a degree of proprietary right to 'demand' you to surrender your hard earned money.
    8. It's not just the eyes that need to be kept happy. We would love to pay good money for a completely satisfying sensory experience (You can now imagine us grimacing).
    9. I would love to stay again, indeed I would be willing to pay the place's weight in gold--IF AND ONLY IF i can expect to be treated like a guest and not a muddy backpacker.

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  14. This is completely different from the experience we had there just 3 weeks ago. The place was clean and the rooms were in very good condition. Staff was very efficient and accommodating. We were just twenty persons and we found the place to be very affordable for the price vs. going to a hotel or other such place.

    My family paid P25T per night and we were more than satisfied. I was very impressed with the pots and pans (being a chef) since they seemed to be all imported and of good quality. They even had a backup coffee pot (since we accidentally broke the one they had). The bathrooms were much cleaner and newer than most of the places my family and I have rented. Definitely it is not a new house but I have seen much much worse.

    I feel bad their experience was not to their liking but this was NOT what I felt since my stay at the kawayan house. I believe even the writer of this blog shares my sentiment. (He even mentioned he rented it for a second night right?)

    Too bad some people only like to malign others thru anonymous posts and such. tsk, tsk.... I feel for the owners whom I've met and very much like. I never felt misrepresented in any way.

    If you didn't like your stay...complain to the owners with dignity, not hiding the shadows of a blog. I'm sure they will listen.

    I WOULD DEFINITELY RENT THIS HOUSE AGAIN!!

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  15. Dear all,

    For this article, I may admit that I may not have mentioned the house's flaws, because I simply had a satisfying experience, to make me even stay a night more. I myself experienced these flaws (plumbing, small pool, etc), but I guess the company I had during my stay was perfectly fit for the house.

    And again, I wasn't expecting. And as Happy Guest said, I've been to so many other rented houses, and this is probably one of the best I have stayed in. If that's my standard for the Philippines, that's how bad the situation is. I have also stayed in villas in Bali and Phuket, and yes, they do not compare to ours. But at P20k, I would still say it's a bargain, considering you only have to pay 1k per person, compared to how much I spend in resorts.

    I understand the previous comment son the bad experience, being misrepresented as well (read my blog on Canibad). I have also recommended some resorts that most people hated. When I came back, I was disappointed with the resort as well. So it's all our each individual's experience, and thus, I am promoting the sharing. Although I like this kind of dialogue, I hope that the comments won't be a direct attack to the people writing.

    Many thanks for all your support! Keep those comments coming in.

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  16. wow... its a good thing we can use our boss' rest house there anytime and its for free ... with helpers :)

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  17. hi can i ask how much the 1 day swim only like we been there like a night then go home at tomorrow afternoon did we pay a hotel room ?

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  18. and magkano po entrance im from manila plan namin jan mag outing its is ok ba ? pede ba pumasok jan kahit di kame taga jan ? at magkano ung bahay kubo room style ? please reply me cause we are plan to go there at 17 night then go home at 18 afternoon look like 1 day lng nmn

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  19. Hi Rj,

    I just called them and the place isn't for rent anymore. :( I'm at my wit's end trying to find a nice place for us (Jeff's family) to go to this Holy Week! Help!

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  20. Try this in Anilao. But that's Holy Week, so hard to really find an available place. http://docneil.multiply.com/market/item/2/For_RentSale_Beach_House_Anilao_MabiniBatangas
    Did you also try Villa Angelina? The brokers there have other beach houses in the area.

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  21. I am an owner at Kawayan Cove it is a beautiful place with strict rules which is why I bought a lot and plan to build my house there. It is against the rules to sub let your house. Everybody should understand this. Thank you graham Coates.

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  22. hello just wondering how much we will pay if we are just 2 of us will rent? is there any house or rooms that is available for 2 persons only? thanks and God bless.

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  23. If you want a worry-free dream vacation on private beach resorts and houses visit cqb123.multiply.com/heavensentresorts.webs.com,a complete album of beach private houses and vacation specials.Contact 09175912666/09234613247/028816369

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  24. if you guys plan to have your own residential beach property in punta fuego, feel free to message me... Terrazas is just beside kawayan cove. We offer affordable lots with club membership already included. you might want to check the place, i can accomodate you for a free site trip.

    www.jlramoslandcosales.webs.com

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  25. kawayan cove is a private communtiy.. rental of houses are prohibited. if you want to go there you must be a lot owner first..
    no sellng of club membership! no rental of houses.

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  26. So beautiful place the interior design so beautiful. Thanks got an idea!

    Avida Condo Cebu

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  27. Nice blog, thanks for sharing the information. I will come to look for update. Keep up the good work.

    beach rental rockport

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  28. Would anyone know how to be able to go about getting married there? Specifically, at Meditation Point? What are the requirements and rates? Thanks.

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  29. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing the information, the house is wonderful.
    We also have a house in Tali Beach Batangas, which is also for rent, you guys might want to check it out here is my website:
    http://www.propertymarketph.com/renting/tali-beach-house-for-rent

    Thanks so much!

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  30. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing the information, the house is wonderful.
    We also have a house in Tali Beach Batangas, which is also for rent, you guys might want to check it out here is my website:
    http://www.propertymarketph.com/renting/tali-beach-house-for-rent

    Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete

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