by Abigail Javellana
Camp Netanya Resort & Spa is a luxurious Greek-themed resort situated on the tropical paradise of Anilao, Batangas.
Here you can enjoy a little piece of Greece--soak in their pools, indulge in their Mediterranean fare, stay in their Santorini-inspired villas--all with a touch of warm Filipino hospitality.
We love the resort for its family friendly atmosphere, the amazing sunset view by the gorgeous infinity pool, their delicious food, its access to Anilao's world-class snorkeling and diving sites, the relaxing hike up Mt. Gulugod Baboy, and the fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Did I mention, it's just about two hours away from Manila?
Here's a photo essay of our stay...
Brgy Ligaya, Anilao Mabini Batangas, 4202 Philippines
Mobile: +63 939 7535 074 | +63 927 8954 092
HOW TO GET HERE (website)
By Bus: Catch a bus bound to Batangas in bus terminals in Cubao/Buendia. From the stop, you can ride a jeepney to Mabini, Batangas. Go down to the Mabini Crossing, and from there you can take a trike to Camp Netanya Resort. The local drivers will take you there.
By Private Vehicle:
Get on Metro Manila Skyway from Magallanes EDSA, Continue to Lipa.
Take the exit toward Lipa City from Batangas – Quezon Rd/Calabarzon Expy.
Continue on Batangas – Quezon Rd/President Jose P. Laurel Hwy.
Take Makalintal Ave to Bauan – Mabini Rd/Mabini Circumferential Rd in Mabini
Our Camp Netanya getaway starts when those iconic blue doors open and a goddess welcomes us with drinks.
Camp Netanya offers a 25-meter infinity lap pool overlooking the unspoiled beauty of Balayan Bay. The best time to swim is late in the afternoon where you'll get to witness a grandiose sight of the Anilao sunset.
The pool varies from a 3-ft deep kiddie pool down to a 12-ft area perfect for those practicing intro diving.
Superior Double Queen (P11,415-P14,092)
The Santorini-inspired bedrooms offer modern comfort and minimal design. We liked how the rooms give off a relaxing feel.
The room is good for four people with two queen beds.
Superior King (P10,377-P12,811)
The Superior King offers the most beautiful space in the resort. Located on top of the Mezzanine, you get a magnificent view of the Balayan Bay sunset.
The luxurious beds are a dream, all covered with white fluffy pillows and sheets. Perfect for a couples getaway.
Master Villa (P45,199 - P55,801)
We stayed at the blissful Master Villa. It's the biggest accommodation in the resort that houses up to fourteen guests.
It is complete with five bedrooms, a sala, dining area, kitchen, living room, and a terrace overlooking the pool area.
The designs and furniture of the rooms give you a feel of living in a real home in Santorini.
The dining area is the perfect venue for having room service delivered to your room, right after a tiring day in the pool.
There are five queen beds and four twin beds in the villa.
The luxurious bathrooms are huge with some having their own bathtub and a separate showering area.
They also have complimentary toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, soap and toothbrush.
You can have your breakfast upstairs at the Greeka restaurants or have it served in your room. They have a selection of Pinoy favorites as well as American and Continental Breakfast menu items at P250.
For the Filipino Breakfast, you have a choice of either Beef Tapa, Pork, Tocino, or Daing na Bangus. Served with eggs, garlic rice, atchara, and brewed coffee or juice.
I love eating fish for my breakfast; I ordered daing na bangus with scrambled eggs.
Choice of Bacon, Sausage or Sweet Ham. Served with toasted bread, eggs, and brewed coffee.
Fresh Fruits, toasted bread with butter and two kinds of marmalade.
LUNCH AT GREEKA
For lunch and dinner, we dined at Camp Netanya's very own Greeka restaurant. Take your taste buds on a journey of flavors with their Mediterranean, Greek, and Filipino fare.
The restaurant also offers a fantastic view of the sea and the sunset!
Here are our favorites from their menu...
Greek Salad (P240)
For the salad, I'd recommend ordering the Greek Salad consisting of mixed greens, tomato, cucumber onion, black olives, crumbled feta cheese with lemon vinaigrette dressing. A very refreshing salad with a generous amount of feta cheese.
Garlic Baby Squid (P340)
Our favorite dish is the baby squid drowned in roasted garlic, olive, and basil oil. The baby squid was very tender, best eaten right away to avoid getting rubbery. A must-try!
You might also want to try their baby squid calamares. :)
Linguine with Clams (P350). Linguine, clams, basil, garlic, chili flakes, parmesan cheese, parsley.
For the Pasta my favorite is the linguine with clams. The pasta gives you that taste of the sea, very light and straightforward with a bit of heat coming from the red pepper flakes.
Seafood Pasta Au Gratin (P430)
Yummy seafood pasta with generous portions of shrimp, mussels, squid, and fish fillet, with a tomato cream sauce base topped with gooey mozzarella cheese.
Seafood Yiouvetsi (P600)
The best dish so far is their Seafood Yiouvetsi! The recipe combines a bunch of shrimps, mussels, squid, and fish fillet in a tomato based broth. It's sort of like a Greek paella. A very hearty and savory meal.
Santorini Burger (P370)
A 90oz lean beef burger patty, topped with feta cheese, tomato slices, red onions, and lettuce that goes well with their potato wedges and tzatziki dip.
Their other burgers and sandwiches are also good.
Crispy Pata Stuffed with Laing (New Menu Item)
Pork lovers will love this guilty comfort food! Deep-fried knuckle with crackling skin and stuffed gabi leaves, dipped in a tangy sauce.
The skin crackles with every bite while the meat is tasty and moist. The gabi leaves with a hint of coconut milk stuffing was the perfect pairing to this cripsy pata. Best eaten with rice! Remember to save the skin for last. :)
Kare-Kare (P400). Ox tail, ox tripe, peanut sauce, string beans, eggplant, pechay, shrimp paste.
A classic Filipino comfort food the whole family will enjoy. A thick peanut-based stew with ox tail, ox tripe, string beans, eggplant, and pechay. Best paired with a bit of shrimp paste/bagoong.
Mango Pana Cotta (P165). Diced ripe mangoes, pana cotta, mango puree, cookie crumbs, mint leaves.
For dessert I liked their mango pana cotta; it has just the right amount of sweetness you'll enjoy.
Fruit Shakes (P220). Ripe & Green Mango, Pineapple, Watermelon, or Banana.
Their fruit shakes are humongous! Best for sharing.
You can also try their outrageous milkshakes! These come in chocolate, strawberry, or cookies and cream flavor. I like that it's not so sweet or "nakakaumay".
For a romantic Santorini experience, head over to Camp Natanya’s wine bar.
Here you’ll have a lovely intimate dinner over good food and great wine.
BUFFET DINNER AT GREEKA (P999)
For starters try the Greek salad with their lemon vinaigrette dressing.
Creamy shiitake mushroom soup with spring onions and a hint of truffle oil. The earthy flavors were good, but the soup was a little too watery for my liking.
The homemade beef sliders with freshly baked bread were nice.
Then onto some tasty Greek Bruschetta, a great starter that consists of garlic paste, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, black olives, oregano, olive oil, feta cheese. The ingredients were delish, mildly sweet, and a little acidic, served on top of a crisp baguette.
I also liked their tapas. My favorite is the healthy vegetarian version topped with eggplant, zucchini, and tomato in pesto oil.
They also have Italian sausage with sun dried tomatoes and the chef's very own tapas creation topped with crispy bacon!
Chicken Gyro, Short Ribs Gyro, and Pork Belly Bites
The tangy tzatziki dip goes well with their grilled meat. A must-try!
Pork Tenderloin Churrasco
The best part is their impressive pork tenderloin churrasco! The pork was very tender.
I love the marinade of oil infused with paprika, rosemary, and thyme, which gives the churrasco a simple meaty flavor.
I loved their sauces. The Pomodoro tomato based sauce is a bit tangy and sweet, while I enjoyed the creaminess of the Primavera sauce with broccoli and bell peppers.
For dessert, they have cheesecake and choco cake pops.
A healthier option would be their sweet fresh pineapple, papaya, and melon.
Scuba Diving Adventure
If you want to experience an exceptional underwater adventure, go scuba diving at the Dive and Trek Marine Sanctuary and explore the paradise in the depths of the ocean. And don’t you worry, this spot is perfect for beginners.
We signed-up for an introductory dive, since we have never experienced scuba diving before. So the dive begins with a surface briefing (15 to 20 minutes). The instructor demonstrated different types of diving equipment and how to properly use them. After the briefing, we went on to wear our wetsuits and aqua shoes. Then, we tried on some dive masks. To know if it’s a good fit, there should be an airtight seal around your face, without having the mask too tight. (To check, try gently pushing the mask to your face and inhale a little bit through your nose to suction it to your face without continuing to inhale. Also, don’t apply sunblock on the face to have a better seal from the dive mask). After the initial preparation we rode the speed boat to the diving spot, which took around 15 to 20 minutes.
When we arrived at the diving spot, we strapped our diving gear and were assigned to our own qualified personal instructor, who would give us a hands-on briefing before diving into the depths of the waters. The instructor taught us how to handle ourselves firsthand--when water sips in our mask, when we let go of our oxygen mask, and when we needed to equalize. The instructor will be by your side the whole time and will operate all the equipment for you. He will sort of drag you to the best spots actually, so it’s alright if you’re not a good swimmer, just relax and enjoy the wonders of the deep!
In the depths of the ocean, you’ll see so much colorful and vibrant fishes, corals and other marine life. We encountered the famed Clownfish wiggling in their sea anemone. We also spotted the other characters in Finding Nemo such as the Moorish idol (Gil), Yellow Tang (Bubbles), Damselfish (Deb/Flo), Royal Gramma (Gurgle), Pufferfish (Bloat) and etc. We also came across the underwater version of the “Makahiya” leaves (in this case was round like a flower), which when touched would awesomely recoil/shrink and progress like a ripple.
Once we were settled on the seabed, the instructor started to scatter some bread. And this invited schools of fishes. Like a whirlwind, fishes of every imaginable color swirled and surrounded us. The scene was utterly wonderful. It was truly a breathtaking experience!
(Dive pass is Php150 per head, Boat fee of Php200 per boat (maximum of six people), introductory dive is Php3,500 per person)
Ride on a Glass Bottom Boat
For the kids, I recommend taking the Glass Bottom Boat! It’s just amazing seeing Anilao’s underwater treasures.
Look at those corals...they are so huge! (Php 400/person minimum of 8 for 30 minutes)
Hiking Mt. Gulugod Baboy
Besides diving in one of the country’s rich underwater havens, one should also look forward to conquering a favorite hiking destination in Batangas--the rolling hills of Mt. Gulugod Baboy (“Pig Spine”).
It features a beginner’s trail that rewards you with a 360 view of the coastal waters, the sprawling grasslands, and the small towns of Anilao, Batangas.
Best to hike during the morning, around 7 am. It takes around two hours to reach the peak. (PHP 200/pax is inclusive of a tour guide, snacks, and registration.)
You can also venture to the open sea with a thrilling ride on a jet boat for an island hopping adventure.
See the famous Sombrero Island for its hat-shaped feature.
Go snorkeling at Oscars island and be captivated by the beauty under the waters of Anilao.
There are many fishes around, but the most popular are the clown fish that the kids loved!
Overall, a little piece of Santorini was the vacation we all needed. I love the resorts for its concept, yummy fare, outdoor activities, and friendly staff.
For the Greeka restaurant, you'll never go wrong with any of the seafood and pasta dishes.
Visiting Anilao, Batangas without snorkeling or diving is a crime! So one must not miss the opportunity to see the wonders of this world-class diving destination.
Brgy Ligaya, Anilao Mabini Batangas, 4202 Philippines
Mobile: +63 939 7535 074 | +63 927 8954 092
Live an Awesome Life,
Abi of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: Our experience was courtesy of Camp Netanya. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Complete your day of relaxation with a massage and a spa treat!
Camp Netanya has a day package (P1500-1700) for walk-in guests who would love to to just enjoy the Beauty of the Santorini architecture, take a refreshing dip in the infinity pool, kayaking at beachfront, and a lunch treat at the Greeka Restaurant.