When we planned our camping trip at Calaguas Island, we knew we’d seek refuge from our attempt at roughing it, so we booked an overnight stay in a hotel in Bicol before heading back to the city. In agoda, only a couple of hotels popped up for the days we were headed there and one of them was Pineapple Island Resort. None of us had been there before, but the reviews were OK so we went ahead and booked a room.
Pineapple Island Resort is pretty far from the city proper, but as bothersome as this was for those who need to access the points of interest in the city, it’s a pretty good spot for those who like seclusion.
Upon reaching the place, the guard asked us to wait at the in-house restaurant Chef Mama for the “front desk” lady to give us our room key. I use quotes here because there seemed to be no front desk to speak of. Come to think of it, I don’t think there was even a manager on duty. Good thing we didn’t encounter any big issues or we’d probably be waiting a long time to talk to someone.
Anyway, after getting our room key, it was pretty late and we were hungry so we decided to have dinner right there. Chef Mama offers a mainly Filipino menu from which we ordered Bicol Express, laing, sinigang, and rice. The food was actually very satisfying, and that’s not just because we were famished. (They completely dispelled everything I knew – with my limited culinary knowledge, of course – about Bicol Express.)
On the other hand, the air conditioning wasn’t working right (a glaring problem during a very hot evening, even for someone like me who gets cold easily), service was extremely slow, and there were so many damn bugs all over the place. Not on the food, but still.
After a filling dinner, we traipsed toward our room at the AAV Manor. After putting the razzle-dazzle on a couple of humongous frogs hopping across the wet grass and the corridor leading to the rooms, we finally got inside.
The room size was fine (especially since there were five of us in a room for four), there was cable TV, and most of all, there was a proper bathroom! And unlike the air conditioning at Chef Mama, the one in our room was insanely cold, good news for guests with bodies built like a furnace.
Just a couple of issues, though: the bathroom window didn’t open and there was no exhaust fan, so crapping without offending anyone would be a problem. Also, there was only half a glass panel separating the bath from the toilet, so an insane puddle of bathwater washes all over the toilet area’s floor every time someone takes a shower. And if you needed something, you’d have to hoof it and find a staff member around the grounds because the room didn’t have a phone.
I let everyone else share the two singles and took refuge on my guest bed: a skinny mattress with a thin blanked and pillow, but hey, better than a tent so I still slept like a baby.
In the morning before everyone else got up, I went out to explore the resort. Had to do it in a hurry though, because the weather was pretty temperamental. There were trees all over the place, keeping the surroundings cool and constantly reminding you you’re not in Metro Manila anymore.
If you’re part-fish, you’ll definitely enjoy your stay here. On the property was a kiddie pool as well as a large pool with a slide, and this one’s connected to a lap pool that only a few of the guests (us, included) were using because it was six feet deep and only a handful were brave (or tall) enough to do so.
There’s also a pavilion for events if you want to rent the place for a celebration or a company outing.
A bit further towards the front of the resort and across Chef Mama is the Lagoon Pavilion. There, you’ll find chairs and tables for a garden meal, a mossy lake, and a couple of half-sunken kayaks that look like they’ve just about given up on life.
The staff was pretty friendly and accommodating for the most part, although it seemed there was a confusion as to who’s in charge of the place because even as we were checking out, it’s like they had to confirm everything over the phone with someone (whether it was the manager or the owner, I never found out) before everything was settled.
I hope they do something about the couple of observations I made, particularly about management because all things considered, it was a decent enough place to stay in if you’re in town for some R&R.
Overall rating: ★★★✭☆
Pineapple Island Resort
Barangay Calasgasan, Daet, Camarines Norte
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