After spending 3 weeks touring the Philippine Island of North Luzon, our next stop was the island of Mindoro. Following a 2-hour drive from Manila to Batangas, we caught our ‘ferry’ – a private 40-seater wooden boat with bamboo outrigger. The sea was relatively calm, but the 90-minute crossing was still a little choppy.
We assumed we were heading for the nearest town, Puerto Galera, but instead found ourselves mooring up on the Hotel’s private beach. We were greeted by waiting staff and escorted through the hotel to the reception area at the front, picking up welcome drinks and cold flannels on the way.
The hotel’s 20 Villas were spread over six modern buildings. Ours, 101, was the only one that overlooked the beach and was very spacious with a lounge area complete with L-shaped sofa, occasional table and TV (100 channels but no decent news channel and many of them very fuzzy). This led into the kitchen with tea and coffee making facilities, fridge with beer and soft drinks and a large glass-topped dining table and four chairs. The bedroom was a reasonable size with lots of stout wooden practical shelving, safe and another TV. The bathroom was a good size and well designed with both large walk-in shower and bath with padded head rest. Toiletries were provided and there was lots of space for ours and a good hair dryer near a mirror. Plug points abounded and interesting art work and objects were dotted around.
Wifi was complimentary but only available in limited areas. However, after struggling to get access, a kind young man at reception gave me a compact portable router, so I had wifi everywhere.
The beach in front of the hotel was very narrow with rocks and not ideal for getting into the sea. However, the hotel had a small ‘man made’ beach and six very low lounger which I’m not sure I’d have been able to get off. We used the large, rectangular infinity pool with stepping stones separating it from the shallower children’s section. There were six fancy wicker sun loungers with equally elaborate white hoods artfully lined up on either side of the pool. Whilst they looked fabulous, the downside was they didn’t face the sun and were cumbersome to move.
The hotel is located on a strip of land between the sea and the Malasimbo Mountain and whilst this gives wonderful views, the sun disappeared behind the mountain at around 4pm. However, there was the biggest jacuzzi I’ve ever seen, so we enjoyed happy hour cocktails (20% discount from 3pm to 6pm) in the bubbles to round off our day. In the spa, I had a rather perfunctory and slow pedicure but excellent ginger tea at the end to relax.
The gardens were beautiful and made full use of reclaimed wood and stone and appeared to us, to be very Japanese with its green shades and minimalism.
There was an outside bar and indoor dining area, The Brae, which was very light and airy. although the staff had the music too loud for our liking. The dinner menu was extensive with a range of Filipino and Western dishes. There was complimentary bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar whilst waiting, and all dishes came with what was the obviously the chef’s signature vegetable – a kebab of carrot, tomato and broccoli.
Breakfast varied between a la carte and a buffet depending on the number of guests. The fruit, especially the mango, was excellent and we also enjoyed omelettes cooked by the egg chef and toasted raisin bread with our final coffee.
We enjoyed our four nights at the Infinity as it gave us the chance to relax after what had been a hectic tour.