(SPOT.ph) When talking about camping, there are a few things that automatically come to mind: Figuring out how to pitch a tent and gather wood, building your own fire, and catching fish with a spear. It's a lot like Survivor, but, of course, that's an exaggeration.
Enter glamping, a portmanteau of glamorous camping, in which you have the luxury of a pre-pitched tent—with airbeds, a bedsheet, a blanket, and a pillow—in an exclusive area. You also have an electric fan, a lamp complete with a dimmer, and an electric socket for your phones, laptop, and SLRs. You can't be completely disconnected from the world, can you? There's also breakfast, lunch, dinner, and unlimited drinks so you'll never go hungry and resort to eating coconut all day. You also have your own private bathroom that's regularly cleaned so you won't have to dig and make your own toilet. Imagine putting a five-star hotel suite in a campsite. That basically summarizes glamping.
Feel like giving it a try? Here are a few of our picks among the glamping spots in the Philippines.
Crystal Beach Resort
San Narciso, Zambales
Contact: 941-9004, 0917-545-2791
Rates start at P2,400 for three pax
Crystal Beach is one of the closest surf spots to Metro Manila, especially with all those highways to bypass the traffic, which makes it a prime destination for a surfing weekend. According to their website, "waves [there] can range from really small to overhead with some occasions of double overhead during surfing season—varying wave breaks, left and right handers and A frame peaks." In short, "it's got a little bit of everything for everybody." Their glamping package includes a complete set of toiletries and breakfast to power you through the day.
Nurture Wellness Village
7310 Pulong Sagingan, Maitim II West, Tagaytay, Cavite
Contact: 710-9786, 0917-687-8873
Rates start at P3,190/person
Nestled in the vast grasslands of Tagaytay Ridge, Nurture Wellness Village offers a distinctive brand of “ecotherapy” or healing by and through nature. Their glamping package includes an overnight stay in a naturally ventilated camping tent situated under a canopy of trees, a 30-minute facial or foot massage, toiletries, an arroz caldo breakfast with homemade bread and paté plus kale juice, and a barbecue dinner with rice, a platter of fresh fruits, and a lime-basil cocktail. The camp butlers are also at your beck and call to help set up camp and light a bonfire. Complimentary activities for glamping guests include demonstrations on juicing and coffee roasting, an organic farm tour, and tai chi gong. Swimming pool, trampoline, and teambuilding facilities are also available.
Bloc Camp Site
Sierra Lake (Caliraya) Passion Cove Estate, Cavinti, Laguna
Rates start at P3,650 for six pax
Bloc is the only camp in the country where you can experience staying overnight in a prefabricated two-level bahay kubo. It was invented by Bloc Camp Site's founder and CEO, Phillip Inno. They also have a floating garden dock so you can set up camp in the middle of a lake. The glamping set-up includes big airbeds, soft linen, blankets, pillows, electric fans, power outlets, camping chairs, and a barbecue grill beside the tent. They also have outdoor film screenings (when it's not raining).
Clearwater Country Club
4081 Centennial Road corner Creekside Road, Clark Special Economic Zone, Clarkfield, Pampanga
Rates start at P2,200 for three pax
With over two hectares of camping grounds, Clearwater Country Club can easily accommodate a thousand campers without making anyone feel cramped. Old acacia trees provide much-needed shade throughout the day. The large outdoor space and the beautiful lake make it a popular choice among glampers who want to experience nature without having to go far from Metro Manila. Overnight glamping rates don't include snacks or meals but you're free to cook your own.
Casa Antonio Vacations
White Beach Calatagan, Batangas
Rates start at P4,500 for two pax
Wake up right in front of the beach when glamping at Casa Antonio. Their package includes a tent with mattress, three meals (lunch, dinner, breakfast), 24-hour maintenance and security, pool access to the exclusive beach club, and your own picnic table. The resort also offers stand-up paddle board, jet ski, and kayak rentals.
Charlie's Point, Reserva, Baler, Aurora
Rates start at P2,300 per head
Conservatory, a full-service campsite by Easy Adventure, is right in front of a surf spot and near a palm-fringed river. Glampers can spend their days surfing, swimming in the river, snacking by the mangroves, or napping on a hammock. Come night time, it transforms into a different world as fireflies and stars start to appear. Their glamping package includes a weather-proof tent, 24/7 butlers, daily meals, and a comfy bed. Aside from the fresh buko that you get upon arrival, there's also unlimited servings of banana, coffee, and water.
San Rafael River Adventure
Talacsan, San Rafael, Bulacan
Contact: 334-0195, 0917-924-4546
Rates start at P1,250 per head
San Rafael River Adventure has a floating glass cottage that you can take on a river cruise. Jet ski, kayak, paddle board, banana boat, and wakeboard activities are available for the more adventurous glamper. Aside from the regular glamping package, they have what they call "Glamping with a Twist" where the tent is set up on a floating raft. How's that for a twist?
Aetas Glamping El Nido
Villa Libertad, El Nido, Palawan
Rates start at P4,500 for two pax
Aetas Glamping El Nido is all about promoting Filipino culture, nature, and adventure. Each tent's interior is handcrafted by local artists, the residents in the neighborhood are all Filipino farmers who are always smiling, and Filipino sweets are always served to cap off your night. The camp site is perched on a hill which gives a mountain-top view of El Nido. There's a minimum stay of two nights, while the glamping package includes transportation pick-up and drop off, breakfast for two, a private shower and toilet, and handmade bath amenities. By the way, there are playing cards and a chess board inside each tent for when you get bored. But with all the beautiful sights in Palawan, you'd think twice about being cooped up in your tent.
Ten Cents to Heaven
Sitio Mayagay II Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal
Prices available upon request
There's a reason Ten Cents to Heaven was named that way. Located on the hills of Tanay, Rizal, it offers a perfect view of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges and Laguna de Bay. Sometimes, the low-lying clouds descend to the camp and make you feel closer to "heaven." This backdrop is complemented with facilities for extreme sports such as a four-lane zip line; a tower for rappelling, wall climbing, and even free fall; a rope course; and a 4x4 adventure ride. They also have fish spa therapy!
Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort
Sumilon Island, Oslob, Cebu
Rates start at P12,000 for two pax
This resort is on the pricier side, but how can you complain when it comes with an entire tropical island? White-sand beaches, sandbars with shifting shapes, a natural lagoon teeming with high mangroves, and even a 19th Century lighthouse can all be found at Sumilon Bluewater. Glamping amenities include a pre-pitched tent with two single beds, your own mini bar, a closet, toiletries, table and chairs, an electric fan, and full board meals. It also comes with roundtrip boat transfers from Mainland Bancogon to Sumilon and back. If you're done relaxing in your temporary home, you can go scuba diving and snorkeling at the marine sanctuary, take a cave tour, or enjoy swimming in the lagoon-shaped infinity pool.
Photos courtesy of Crystal Beach Resort, Nurture Wellness Village, Bloc Camp Site, Clearwater Country Club, Casa Antonio Vacations, Easy Adventure, San Rafael River Adventure, Aetas Glamping El Nido, Ten Cents to Heaven, and Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort