Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Bellarocca Review - Marinduque, Philippines


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Fierce Blogs was invited this week and had the opportunity to visit Bellarocca Island Resort & Spa in Marinduque, Philippines. I've heard how nice the place and all before but I never really had the chance and time to go check the place. Luckily, everything went well this week that made the vacation possible.

The Beautiful Island of Bellarocca

 If you are not familiar where Bellarocca Island is in Marinduque, it used to be called The Elephant Island or Isla Elefante. Why this name? I asked the driver of our rubber boat, why:

"Sir, kasi tignan nyo yung shape ng Isla, parang elepanteng nakalubog sa tubug." (Sir, look at the shape of the island. It looks like an elephant submerged into water). I made a quick look and ,yes, it does look like the description the driver gave.

Elephant Island was previously owned and operated by the Madlangbayan Heirs then it was re-developed by a Japanese group. It was in February 2009 when it was re-opened carrying the name, Bellarocca Island. This time around the resort is being operated by Genesis Hotel and Resort Corporation; who are the same group managing: Astoria Plaza, Ciriaco Hotel, Hotel Venicia and whole lot more.

So how was my experience? Please read along...

The Plane, Shuttle & Boat Ride
Our flight from Manila to Marinduque was scheduled at 7:00 AM -  which I really find too early for a domestic flight, really. To make it more irritating, our plane left for Manila at exactly 8:45 AM. I have heard already of horror stories my friends had with Zest Air, but having a flight that is delayed for more than an hour is totally unacceptable! What was more horrifying was how the delayed departure was announced  to the passengers -  it was as if being delayed is as natural as breathing! Shame on them, really! To add more pain to their passengers, it was hell so warm inside the plane. I had to use their Airline Security Measure Booklet as a fan to alleviate the heat. Too bad the only airline traveling from Manila to Marinduque is Zest Air.


Zest Air - Delayed Flight
It was a good thing the flight from Manila - Marinduque is only for 30 minutes.

When we arrived in Marinduque, the local airport was filled with people who appeared to be waiting for somebody special. There were even some political-looking fellas around wearing Barong Tagalog and all. I wondered why. Apparently, Shalani Soledad was on the same flight we were on. I was actually wishing they were there for us (duh!).


Less than 3 minutes upon arrival, we were welcomed by Bellarocca's airport personal; who immediately asked for our check in luggage stub. The resort will be personally claiming our luggage and will deliver them to our hotel room (I just love that!). We were also given cold bottled water and hand towels to refresh.


From the Marinduque airport, guests will be picked up by private van for a 40-minute transfer to the town of Lipata, where Bellarocca is located. The land travel is around 40-minute drive of which more than half of the drive is on rough road. After the road trip, guests would have to be transferred via speed boat - which is less than 5 minutes to cross the island.

This is what you will immediately see while you are being transferred to the island.


Bellarocca Island - Shaped Like an Elephant Under Water

Upon arrival to the island, we were welcomed by Rudolf Studer, who is the General Manager of the resort. Along with him are some locals serenading the guests (I don't really recall the song) while the other personnel gave us leis to wear.



Bellarocca Aqua Center

Shortly after, my friends and I were transferred to the resort's frontdesk via golf cart. This is probably a minute ride, max.


Golf Cart Service of Bellarocca

At the Frontdesk and Accepting Area
There were a separate welcome committee when we arrived who immediately ushered us to our table and offered refreshments, cold pandan drinks (which is a bit sweet for me). One of he hotel personnel introduced himself and conducted a brief orientation of the Island and its amenities. Make sure to pay attention to him because he will be telling you which activities are free during your stay.


Receiving Area of Bellarocca Resort


In less than 10 minutes, we were transferred to our Terraza.

What to expect if you will be staying in a Terraza:
  • 2 big rooms with Individually-controlled air-conditioning
  • Skype – enabled Belkin telephone
  • Personal bar and refrigerator
  • Private balcony with view of sea and Mt. Malindig
  • A very modern bath and shower facilities including Jacuzzi and/or bath tub Complete range of bathroom amenities (All natural—L’Occitane, AVEDA, REN, Molton Brown)
  • Plasma TV with complete DVD Player and home theatre stereo systems, satellite TV, Ipod dock and hifi compact sound systems (both masters bedroom and second room)
  • Private balcony / veranda
  • Your own golf cart service
  • Electronic safe deposit box
  • Own dining table (good for 6 people)
  • Complementary bottled water for everyone everyday (1 bottle a day)

King Size Bed in the Masters Bedroom

Terraza- Top view of our Dining Area

Toiletries

I really have no complains where we stayed at. Well, except for 2 minor items:
  1. They will not provide for additional LAN cable for the Internet. Instead, they will offer the same cable where the Belkin telephone is attached. In short, you do not have phone access while you connect to the Internet.
  2. Their Internet is slow and disconnecting intermittently. This for me is really a no-no since my life is connected to www.
Resort Amenities
  1. There is free Wi-Fi connection at the lobby area.
  2. They also offer the piano lounge where a grand piano can be used by the guests.
  3. The cigar room (my personal favorite) where you can do what most of us are addicted to - Karaoke!
  4. They also have a library
  5. Meeting room
  6. Boutique
  7. Entertainment room
  8. Fully-equipped Gym and Fitness Center
  9. Spa
  10. Sanctuaries where you can just meditate
  11. Tea House
  12. Lap swimming pool
  13. Seaside pool
  14. Natural hot spring pool
  15. Aqua Sports Center (wind surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, jet ski, banana boat,  etc) - All of these activities are assisted by a resort personnel.
 
The Fierce Blogger Touring the Island

Bellarocca Shoreline

 On food..
The normal package they offer comes with a free breakfast (serves latest at 10am). We even requested our breakfast to be served in our Terraza which they willingly did for us.


Assorted Bread for Breakfast

Assorted Fruits

The food can be a bit pricey considering that they have to ship them from the town to the island. An estimate of Php600 - Php800 per meal budget (per head). This is around $20 - $30.

My friends and I were a bit apprehensive on the food they offer because of the bad reviews we read online. Boy, it was all wrong! Food was really good!

Overall, my Bellarocca trip was sure worth it! It was being in a paradise where everything is good and right. I could say that the vacation I had this week would probably the best I'll have in a while. Thanks to all the staff and crew of Bellarocca for making our stay memorable and worth sharing to our friends.
We would like to personally thank Angie from the Infinity Pool Area for being so friendly and accommodating to us. Also, to Sammy who served as our "official" golf cart driver during our entire stay. It is because of employees like you why guests enjoy their vacation.
To the Genera Manager, we appreciate you welcoming us and waking up so early to make sure we leave the island safe and on time. We hope to see you again soon.

Bellarocca Island Review
http://www.ericcapacia.com/

You may contact the resort thru the following:

Website click here.
Email there here - info@bellaroccaresorts.com
Manila Office - Suite 2804, 28th Floor, Ayala Life-FGU Center

                        6811 Ayala Avenue, Makati City 1229 Philippines
                        Tel: +63 2 817 7290; +63 2 328 8831
                         Fax: +63 2 817 5879; +63 2 892 4102

Resort Address - Barangay - Tungib - Lipata, Municipality of Buenavista
                                             Province of Marinduque, Philippines

You can also call Mia Gail Bugayong at +63917-858 9757 or landline (63) 502-4756 to get the best deal on Bellarocca packages.


21 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG!
Such a wonderful place! How much would be the budget per head?

Trip Advisor on May 05, 2011 11:26 PM said...

Awesome review! Very honest. We will link your blog site to ours. Thanks!

Kyle Tivoli said...

White dot in the middle of the Bellarocca shoreline is me windsurfing! hehehe...

If your interested to visit Bellarocca call

Mia Gail Bugayong 0917-8589757 or 502-4756

Best rates!

Thanks Mia!

Anonymous said...

I love the photos! The place looks like heaven!
How much per night are the rooms?

Anonymous said...

I want to go!

Anonymous said...

This place is heaven! Ang sosyal talaga ni Derek!

Manila Gay Guy on May 07, 2011 3:45 PM said...

I finally understand why Fierce Blogs is creating this much noise! Pleasure reading your blog.

Brian on May 07, 2011 3:52 PM said...

Looks like the blogger had tons of fun!

The place looks very expensive!

Anonymous said...

Mark

I have a crush on the blogger! Is he single? Hehe

jackielyn said...

aki

can you please send me details to my yahoo on how much would it cost me per night if i wanna stay there here is my yahoo jackielyntorrella@yahoo.com together with a price list so that i can think of it it was an awesome place very restful thanks for the person who will make me able to send full details of it..

Anonymous said...

I'm kinda hesitant since Bellarocca knew you were coming so perhaps the "excellent experience" is subjective... Of course they did not want to get a bad review and for it to spread on the internet, so expect their best foot forward. I'm just wondering if a nobody like me will have the same "excellent service" experienced by VIPs. I truly hope so!:(

The Fierce Blogger on October 12, 2011 5:24 AM said...

I'm kinda hesitant since Bellarocca knew you were Coming so perhaps the "excellent experience" is subjective... Of course they did not want to get a bad review and for it to spread on the internet, so expect their best foot forward. I'm just wondering if a nobody like me will have the same "excellent service" experienced by VIPs. I truly hope so!:("

Hi, sad that you did not indicate your email so I can reply to you personally.

I however understand your worries. I guess my experience will totally be different from yours if ever you visit them. But then again I have a lot of friends who also visited the resort and had the same treatment or even better.

In fact, I was so happy with their service and amenities I had to go back last month. What can I say... so far they have been consistent.

Try to check also other reviews so you can have a better idea.

Thanks for reasing Fierce Blogs!

Eric

iheartjasmin on November 02, 2011 3:23 PM said...

hi! i have Deal Grocer x Bellaroca voucher for 3d/2n for 2pax with bfast (plus 2 kids free) for only 14k :) tweet me @iheartjasmin for inquiries
thanks

ivya said...

get me naman a promo rate mars! i lvoe this place but looks so expensive...

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