You won’t have trouble finding a place to stay in Puerto Galera. There are over 200 hotel, resort, bed and breakfast, inns, and homestay accommodations dotting the 25,000+++ hectare tourist town, spanning the range from posh to kitsch, five-star villas to best value dorm type rooms. There’s a castle resort in Sabang, there are dive resorts a stone’s throw from Verde Island (where more than half the Philippines documented fish species and just as many globally endangered species can be found), there are beach lodges along White Beach that offer guests their own patch of white sand, there are detached holiday houses nestled in the mountains, and then there’s Utopia Resort & Spa where you can wake up to a gorgeous, literally picture perfect 360-degree view of Puerto Galera.
The sprawling lawn of Utopia Resort & Spa.
(Image by PINGGOT ZULUETA)
Perched on top of a hill at Barangay Palangan, Puerto Galera (a short 10-minute drive from Muelle Port) Utopia has the best location in the coastal municipality with an unobstructed view of Varadero Bay, the misty slopes of Mt. Halcon and Mt. Malasimbo, and, of course, Puerto Galera Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
This boutique resort is fairly exclusive, offering just six well-appointed rooms (two suites and four cottages) that promise a relaxing, carefree stay far away from the crowd, the noise, and the hubbub of Mindoro’s tourist capital. We’re very small so we’re always fully booked, says resort officer-in-charge Cristina Manongsong. Constructing additional rooms is out of the question. We don’t want to ruin the breathtaking view, which is in fact the core attraction of the property. You won’t find this view anywhere else in Puerto Galera. Owned and operated by British businessman Kelvin Bruce, each room boasts of contemporary yet classically designed living spaces. Its dark wood panels, roof shingles, big capiz shell windows, and native-inspired furnishings scream easy elegance with no shortage of feature comforts: free Wi-Fi, reception area, your own spacious lawn and porch (for the cottages), and a well-stocked mini bar. There are outdoor lounge chairs facing the bay at the courtyard, perfect for sleeping, reading a book, or simply taking in the view. Cafe Utopia offers scrumptious Filipino and intercontinental fare and panoramic windows that invite in the cool breeze as you enjoy your breakfast and take your coffee. Bistro Utopia, on the other hand, offers fine dining options that, according to Manongsong, surpasses everything in the area. The menu has a wide range of salads, soups, appetizers and gourmet dishes from fondue bourguignon to chateaubriand steak balanced with a wide selection of wines.
Next to the view, the Utopia Spa is the resort’s most popular amenity. Walk-in clients come regularly. Resort guests sometimes spend the entire day enjoying spa facilities such as the sauna and the hot tub. Our therapists are verse in holistic wellness. Our Swedish and Shiatsu massage are designed to relax tense muscles after a full-day of traveling and enjoying the beach. The full body aromatherapy, using Pevonia Botanica luxury spa products, is very popular with our female guests as the warmed aroma oils are perfect to ease stress and tension, while the traditional hilot, which makes use of banana leaves and heated coconut oil is a constant favorite among foreign guests.
When you’re ready to leave your “utopia” and have a go at Galera’s countless water adventure offerings or mountain treks, the friendly staff at the resort can arrange your desired trip or drop you off and pick you up at specific areas for a minimum fee. We can connect our guests with our partner tour operators and guides. Most of the time guests, especially the foreigners, would want to get services from trustworthy channels. And since most of them are repeat guests in Utopia already, they trust us to tailor-make their holiday itineraries for them, Manongsong says.
Utopia Resort & Spa is located at Barangay Pangan, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. 043 287 3681, 043 287 3682, 0918 555 5720, 0926 600 2554, www.utopiaresort.ph
Source: Puerto Galera in the news
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