Utopia Resort and Spa, Puerto Galera, Mindoro

The company where I am currently working booked Utopia Resort and Spa for our team building for 2D 1N. This resort in Puerto Galera is just a 5-10 minute drive from the Muelle Pier so if saving the time for traveling is the concern, Utopia is the best resort to choose for the accessibility.

While it is accessible, Utopia still able to get what most people want and that is to see a majestic view. Utopia boasts the scenic view of the Mount Halcon, Varadero Bay, and the Puerto Galera harbor. Moreover, they have a big advantage among other resorts in the area since they offer a spa. The guests do not only de-stress through the eyes but also through the stroke of hands, a spa massage, offered by Utopia.
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We arrived at around 9 AM and the staff welcomed us with a roll of damped towels to clean our hands or to freshen up our faces. From that hospitality, they already showed that they have adapted the spa rituals.
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The Room

Utopia’s interiors and furniture are contemporary Filipino designs. They have 9 or 10 villas that can shelter the guests for the entire stay. The rooms are good for 2 to 3 pax up to larger groups.

Note: words in orange are the bad points

Our company had all the villas occupied. However, some of us had a problem checking-in. It’s already 2 or 3 PM but there were 8 of us left with no rooms. Nevertheless, they felt sorry for what happened and gave us a complimentary of biscuits, tea, and coffee sachets.

As we went in, the room gave us a satisfaction since the linens were clean, towels were a lot and so the toiletries. There’s a laundry bag, slippers, and bathrobe too. There’s a flat-inch TV, a rack for room service, a safety vault, good WiFi coverage, telephone, and a terrace with a nice view.

After that, we found out that the aircon is not functioning well and our shower mostly splashes us warm water no matter how much we control the heater. The rooms that got to experience these are Lily 1 and 2 for the aircon and Lily 2 for the water heater. The rest of the rooms I think functioned well. The good points for our shower room is it’s made for disabled or people who use a wheelchair.
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Swimming Pool

Beach resorts with swimming pool are what most people look for and Utopia also has it. It has a bar area where the other side of the bar will let your feet sink in the pool water.

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credits to Michael

Contrary to the size of the entire resort, the pool is small. There’s a spot in the pool where the flooring is high that is good for kids. What weirds me out is that the pool is generally 5’4″ the shallowest and 6’2″ deep. There’s no lifeguard or staff on standby but there’s a life vest available.

The pool area also has a stage good for a dance performance or live band. The WiFi works well, too, in this area. I also like the elegance of the comfort room here.
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The View

I don’t see much the charm of the place when I was looking at the scenic view from the dining area so I stand at the center of the greenery, probably it’s between the pool area and the dining area. From that spot, it is where I have said that the view was such an enthralling beauty.

Utopia Resort and Spa
credit to Irish

I also like that Utopia has a big space that is deemed fit for events like garden wedding, team building, etc.

The Beach

Utopia Resort and Spa has an access to the beach but the stairs and the road going there is steep so it is not recommended for family with kids and senior citizen.

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the road going down to the beach

Moreover, the beach is not exclusive so there are some locals when we went down but it’s okay. There are nipa huts available, too. We also took our Amazing Race challenge here on the beach area. The rocks are also good as a backdrop for taking solo photos. I don’t have much photos here because I did not bring my camera.

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At night, we had a bonfire and burned the marshmallows to eat while digging in the cool breeze and the sounds of crashing waves.

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credits to our company’s FB page

Also, my officemates helped me see the milky way and enjoyed the night photography.
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Food

The food is good, but it was not something remarkable. Since this is a team building, our facilitators were able to request to have our dinner near the beach which is a big effort for the staff since the beach is far from the resort.

The Service

I appreciate all of the services done by the Utopia. The staff are all kind, humorous, courteous, and attended to our needs beyond their work, especially Lourdes. However, it seems they are understaffed.

Anyway, Utopia Resort and Spa is perfect in its own way. After all, we have our own utopias. Should you wish to book them, details are below.

Utopia Resort and Spa
Facebook
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Address:  Utopia Resort & Spa, Sabang Road, Bgy Palangan, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines,5203

Disclaimer: While I have stayed here because of the company I am working, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I am writing this purely to share my experience.

Main Street, Kapitolyo

Main Street is sure one of the head-turner restaurants in Kapitolyo because it is not so common for the Filipinos to stumble a Canadian comfort food.
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With the food that I will get to show, I am confident to share with how Canadian meal taste-like since the menu and the food served is crafted with the chef owner, Adam Tan, who had stayed in Canada long enough to understand their taste buds.
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Appetizer

That night, we, the bloggers start off healthy with the Cajun Spiced Prawn Salad. It has its greens but not the boring one. The Cajun spiced grilled prawns are not the only thing that brings flavor to the salad but the orange tarragon vinaigrette. It’s a-must order!

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Cajun Spiced Prawn Salad (P280)

Poutinerie

The next food served is one of the well-known dishes in Canada – poutines…. poutato… potato! We got to try two of the poutines on Main Street menu. I actually like both but if one prefers more meat on poutines, the Bacon Poutine is the right choice since the bacon is also homemade and flavorful. Meanwhile, Supreme Poutine is like eating supreme nachos but with more add-ons onto it. It has flank steak strips, cheese sauce, tomato salsa, shredded lettuce and cilantro crema.

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Bacon Poutine P240
Supreme P290
Supreme Poutine P290

Mains

Judging from its presentation, I knew that the 3-Pc Buttermilk Fried Chicken is not the ordinary fried chicken meal since it is an 8-hour brined Southern Style with garlic cream sauce. The chicken is crispy but it has a surprising taste I loved. This one may be served with rice or fries.

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3-Pc Buttermilk Fried Chicken (P290)

The Main Street had something that is not the usual thing everyone would encounter since it’s a Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese. Who would have thought that a jam goes well with a cheese! This sounds romantic, isn’t? A GOOEY cheese and a SWEET bacon jam is the perfect example that opposites do attract. The meal also comes with tomato soup.

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Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese (P270)

The Main Street also has seafood and one dish pours tons of it! In Tomato Braised Seafood Stew, there are prawns, mussels, and fish! The tomato flavor is not too strong and the rosemary garnished adds aroma to the stew. May serve with rice or toasted bread.

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Tomato Braised Seafood Stew (P350)

Burger

I was totally mind blown when they served not just one but four burgers! All of them tasted good but I like the Barbecue Burger more since it has strips of applewood smoked bacon. Would it also be too much if I tell that the Barbecue Burger also has a fried onion ring in it?

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Barbeque Burger (P300)

I also liked the Caramelized and Bleu. So I know some people who are not fond of bleu cheese but sorry I am so this is second on my list. It has arugula, garlic mayonnaise, and caramelized onions so how it was named.
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The Classic Cheeseburger has romaine lettuce, sliced tomatoes, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, ketchup, mustard, and pickles.

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The Classic Cheeseburger (P260)

The Double Bacon is sinful. It has their homemade bacon jam and applewood smoked bacon. The kick of mozzarella cheese adds yumminess to this burger.

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Double Bacon (P310)

Pizza

A confession to make for the  Barbeque Chicken Pizza, I cannot really remember how it tasted so I just better flash here the photo. It is topped with chicken, grated cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, barbecue sauce, chopped cilantro and sliced red onions.

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Barbeque Chicken Pizza (P300)

Pasta

Opposite with the pizza, the Beef Shin Ragu is the dish I can completely remember the taste since it is a unique dash in my palate. I know it’s not the cheese that caught my attention but it’s the impeccable pair of beef shin and their tomato sauce.

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Beef Shin Ragu (P360)

Dessert

The room for dessert in Main Street was quite big. We were fortunate enough to try all of the desserts they offer so I will rank it and my favorite of them all is the Blueberry Cheesecake. The cheesecake is not dry and the sweetness is just right. On the other hand, the Fudge Brownie a la Mode is close to my liking if only the brownie is moist. Lastly, the Apple Crumble is also good but maybe I would like it more if it is drizzled with milk or caramel sauce.

Verdict

Grayish brick walls, black and white photos, black, brown and white chairs, The Main Street plays with that color tones. The restaurant looks vibrant and youthful but with a closer look, it is recognizable that it was an old house tweaked to keep up to the modern age. They also have function area upstairs and they also hold company parties simply because they can :p I mean, the restaurant is really roomy. As for the price, it is reasonable enough since the portioning are done fairly and the taste and menu are well-thought out. Overall, I would not mind coming in Kapitolyo again to dine-in at Main Street.

Ambiance: 5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Serving: 4.5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Taste: 4/5

Main Street, Kapitolyo
10 E Capitol Dr, Pasig, 1603 Metro Manila
0945 458 3044

Main Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Inflatable Island, Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines

Discovering Inflatable Island in Subic was an accident. My family and friends including I thought that the Inflatable Island and the Aqua Thrilla Park of Samba are the same.
So, to be clear – the Inflatable Island obviously, is set on the sea while the Aqua Thrilla Park is on the land. They also have a separate booth as seen in the picture below.
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Inflatable Island is the newest attraction in Subic because it boasts as the biggest inflatable island in Asia. It is over 4,100 square meter, a size of 8 basketball courts! To experience this biggest water playground, here are the rates below:

Sprinkle (Whole Day on the Beach)
one-hour pass – P499
8-9 AM
9-10 AM
10-11 AM and so forth till 6 PM

Splash (whole day on the beach)
2 hours pass
8-9:50
10-11:50
12-1:50
2-3:50
4-5:50

Spray
Half day pass
8-11:50
2-5:50

Soaked
All day pass
8-5:50

My friends and I took the one-hour pass and it was hella fun. The way we described it is “the longest but also the happiest hour of the day”. Before getting to the Inflatable Island, the staff asked us to have a 10-minute orientation for the do’s and don’ts while we were in the area.
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The fee is included with a free access to the Bali Lounge with hues of pink and lavender colors and to the Floating Zoo.

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Pink Bali Lounge
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Floating Zoo

As you can see, all participants were provided with life jacket even if the participant knows how to swim.
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If there are two games that should not be missed on the Inflatable Island, that is the Human Launcher where person A is at the edge of the inflatable lying on his back, arms spread, and legs closed, whereas person B will jump on the opposite edge from a 12-ft height (my estimate). Imagine doing this will be both a challenge to you and to your friend to jump and to get launched. In my case, a professional trainer was the one who jumped and I was the one launched up to the sky. Being a professional, his jump was perfect and so my launch. I was so high, it was a surreal moment seeing my world twirled up – my sky is the sea and my sea is the sky and I was rotating in the air. It was so fast that I didn’t notice I already splashed in the water. They say I landed on my feet. Some of my friends landed on their back which hurt them a bit. So what hurt me? My nose, but the staff said beforehand not to cover my nose whatever may happen because I might scar it from the impact.  Too bad we don’t have waterproof gadget to record the moment. As you can see in the picture below, somebody will jump and the other person is on the edge.
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Translate: Yung pinaikot-ikot ka, iniwan sa ere at hinayaang mahulog. Sa huli, ikaw rin nasaktan.

Seriously speaking, the pain easily subsided so there’s nothing to worry. But if you are worried about the security, the staff are all there. Di ka nila pababayaan.

The next game worth trying is the Tarzan. Well, you just do how Tarzan did it. But when doing this, timing is important. Know when to let go of the swing or you might get hurt if you fall on the slide and not on the water.

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Tarzan swing on the background

Translate: Alamin mo sa sarili mo kung kailan ka ba dapat kumapit o bumitaw.

The slide was also fun especially when you do it altogether!
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Translate: Mas masaya pag sama-sama.

I believe we have tried all of it except the Kiddie Slide and Rock Climbing. We were not able to try most of the games in the Unicorn Island (see photo below) because we lacked time.

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Unicorn Island

Suggestion

I suggest you get the 2-hour pass to try all the games in the orange-blue island for one hour and spend another 1 hour in the Unicorn Island to take Instagrammable pictures and to also try the games there.Inflatable Island

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When our time was over, we just sat and rest ourselves in the Floating Zoo but not for long since it is starting to get hotter.

Cottage

Yes, the Pink Bali Lounge is for free as long as you have admission to the Inflatable Island play, but it is not really recommended if you have packed food, and wants to eat with a table so what we did is we got the cottage from Samba Bluewater Resort since they are owned by one company. We got our cottage for P1,450, where P200 is refundable. See more rates here.

We only stayed here a bit to take pictures under the pink and lavender umbrella then went to our cottage. Blend in with the colors of cotton candy!
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Food
There are food stalls in the resort.
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Party

They also have Sunset Party Packages but I don’t know the full details. They also accommodate team building.

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The Inflatable Island
CONTACT No. – 0917 150 1103 | 0917 835 2665
play@theinflatableisland.com

prof (3)-2

Address: Subic Bay Waters, National Highway, Lower
Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines