Review of La Luz Beach Resort and Spa, Hugom, San Juan, Batangas
The Beachfront of La Luz
A View of the Beach from the Cabana
Easy Travel During in the Early Morn
La Luz Beach Resort and Spa is located in Hugom, San Juan, Batangas, Philippines. It is just connected with the long stretch of Laiya beaches in that same locality. it took us 4 hours to reach the place but we enjoyed the entire travel for we started in the early morning while it was yet cool and there was no traffic mess.
As we arrived at San Juan Batangas, we were stopped at the Barangay checkpoint to pay an Ecology fee of PHP20 for each person. This made me wonder if this is legal because to me it was like a sort of daylight holdup. In my opinion, they should rather just charge the resorts who are actually charging exorbitant fee. The tourists should rather be appreciated because they bring in money to the place instead of being considered menace to their environment.
The Beachfront of La Luz
Long Beachfront And Old Cabanas
This is my second time at La Luz. So, I noticed that the pebbles that were once neatly lined along particular parts of the beachfront were gone and now it is entirely covered with off-white sand. It looks better though because this is anyway a white-sand beach and not a pebble garden.
There are cabanas along the beach where day-tour guests are accommodated. It gives them the chance to view the sea while sitting in their cabanas. The cabanas have adjustable white curtains which guests may opt to close for some privacy. But these cabanas mostly look old especially their nipa roofs and look like they need rehabilitation. Also the place looks still bare so I really wished they have open but secured nipa huts with tables for guests to stay while chatting or playing board games.
This resort is also a spa so they have massage therapists that offer body massage for PHP250 per hour. But it is being done in open cabanas for day-tour guests who have no cottages which I find not really decent especially for ladies.
Diligent Beach Staff, Bamboo Playhouse and Swings
I also noted that the maintenance staff was doing their job. I saw one who quickly swept the falling leaves near the playground of the kids. This is a good improvement because in my first visit, I was turned off by lots of fallen leaves around.
They also have Medical Staff that give first aid to guests who suffered bruises or any other mishaps. My twins were bruised by the sharp rock on the sea so I brought them to the medical staff and they were immediately given necessary treatment.
I also noted the Bamboo Playhouse for the kids. The slide and the swing have been given a more native looks. It is no longer the old unattended messy play place with one untidy plastic slide.
The Reception Area of La Luz Beach Resort
Friendly Staff But No Welcome Drink Whatsoever
As we arrived at the Reception we were greeted by the friendly staff there. I like the native style of the reception area but I was a bit disappointed because unlike with the other private resorts in that same locality, there was no welcome drink at all.
Going Down the Beach is Hard for Oldies
The parking lot is at the upper side of the beach where the reception area is also located so this is one of the downsides of this beach. Guests who have cars have to pass through the stairway to the beach which is about 60 or more steps to tackle from the parking and reception area. I observed the oldies and arthritic guests were finding it quite hard to go down and much more to go up again.
Very Disappointing Buffet Meals
The Muddy Tasting Fried Milkfish
Cheap, Tasteless and Limited Choices of Dishes
During my first visit here at La Luz what I truly enjoyed was the Buffet Meal. The cooking may not be that great but at least there were lots of dishes and there were even lots of fruits and various drinks. Unfortunately during this latest visit, the buffet meal was truly disappointing.
It was evident that since it was peak season and there were so much guests, their food preparation became like that of a cheap carinderia. They separated the stay-in guests from day-tours guests but I noticed the food for day-tour guests were very limited.
The buffet table was too small so that the guests had to wait for long before they could get their chance to get food. None of the dishes taste great except perhaps the sauteed squash with string beans which is fairly good. The chicken pasta is ordinary, the fried milkfish has a muddy taste, and the chicken is so rubbery. There were no desserts served except for the cheapest type of banana. No other fruits were served. When I asked for fruits the staff said they have no fruits but later when almost all were done with eating, they brought some slices of pineapple. It was too late for we already lost our appetite while wrestling with the rubbery chicken. And worst, there were so much flies around.
On to the Cheap Food Buffet
The Mirienda Buffet, Another Tragedy
The Mirienda (afternoon snack) buffet is another tragedy. Again they opted to serve very cheap, choices. Just imagine serving the guest with fried but moist and not crunchy camote. And how much more disappointing is they also served this cheap delicacy called cuchinta, also white bread, and the pancit they served was not only lacking in good taste but also lacking in quantity. The guests who came late were not able to eat pancit anymore so they had no choice but eat fried camote and kutchinta because the pancit served was not enough. They had to rush cooking for another batch of pancit while the waiting guests were already hungry and annoyed.
We paid PHP900 each for buffet meal and we only got cheap food choices like these? True enough, we went home hungry so we had to stop by the nearest restaurant so we could satisfy our hunger.
I Felt Shortchanged But Thanks to the Clear Sea and the Scenic Surrounding
Honestly, the food served ruined my day at La Luz. I can bear the other shortcomings but not disastrous food. I am happy though that the sea water is very clear and free from jellyfish and trashes unlike in Calatagan( another place in Batangas with lots of beaches),. I am also glad they have nice beachfront with some rock formations as added bonus which in a way have appeased my disappointment with the low class dishes served to us.
But I think I will think twice if I would go back to La Luz again. I felt quite short-changed here this time around. La Luz Beach Resort Spa has some good things to offer but as a whole not truly worth the amount we paid.