Swimming with a Baby at Pico de Loro, Batangas

My Baby’s first taste of the sea is at Pico De Loro in Nasugbu, Batangas. He was barely 3 months old at that time. To be clear, I didn’t dip him in the sea. I just placed him in the stroller along the shore.

Then when he was 5 months old, we went back to Pico de Loro again and baby got a real “taste” of the sea. My mother dipped him in the sea waters for 15 minutes. He didn’t seem happy but he wasn’t crying either. I’m guessing Baby’s guessing what was happening.

The best thing about Pico de Loro is the sea waters. It’s a cove so the waves and the winds are calm. The waters is also clean. There’s a lot of fish swimming near the shore. The sand is fine and gray. The beach at Pico de Loro is perfect for a baby’s first encounter with the sea. The place also has an air of exclusivity so it’s not crowded.

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Hamilo Coast at Pico de Loro, Photo taken from Ateneo de Manila University

Pico de Loro’s pool is also beautiful. It’s overlooking a lagoon. The pool’s design and layout is inviting. There’s a lifeguard who’s constantly roaming to check on the swimmers. The kiddie pool is also within the adult pool. It’s easy for parents to look after their kids while swimming.

HOWEVER, there are 3 things which makes this place a so-so baby-friendly place.

1. The lodgings are not within walking distance.

For the two times we visited Pico de Loro. we stayed at one of the rented condominium apartments. The units and the hotel, Pico Sands, are more than 5 kilometers from the beach. We needed to ride a shuttle every time we have to go to the beach. To be fair, the shuttles frequently pass. What hassles me is I needed to bring baby’s stroller. The shuttle isn’t spacious enough to accommodate a stroller comfortably. :( Not bringing the stroller is not an option because of reason number 2 below.

2. The cottages along the beach are not free for overnight guests.

There are cottages along the shore with beach reclining chairs. They could have been a good place to stay and relax with a baby. But they’re not free even for checked-in overnight guests. :(   Guests have to pay every time you need to use it. So if you go to the beach in the morning, you have to pay. Then pay again in if you come back in the afternoon. :( I really don’t get it why we need to pay every single time. We’ve paid for the accommodation and we’ve supposedly paid for the facilities but we cannot stay at the cottages.

Hence, we have to bring Baby’s stroller every time we go to the beach. And we have no choice but to park his stroller out in the open air. Good thing that there are trees within a kilometer from the beach. They offer shade for Baby’s stroller.

3. The place is unnecessarily costly.

What put me off from Pico de Loro is their use of an exclusive card. Before you can purchase anything, you have to buy a card and load it with cash. This is fine with me but we cannot expect any change if we can’t consume the amount on the prepaid card. It was a nice coincidence that we get to visit the place twice this year but what are the chances that we’ll be back again, right? To be fair, Pico De Loro is supposedly a beach club with annual memberships but I hope they have provisions for non-members since there’s a lot of non-members guests.

4. The customer service is not good.

The only good customer service we experience here are the staff on the front desks. They’re friendly and eager to assist with the inquiries. But the other staff such as the shuttle drivers, concierge and roaming guards need customer service training. They’re unhelpful and not proactive. When we first visited in March, a staff approached my family while waiting for our transport service. We’re going home so we had our luggages with us. The staff told us rudely “I’ll get the luggage cart because there are members who need it.” We’re dumbfounded.

On both our visits, we also had to ask for the guard to help us with luggage when we’re obviously struggling. Instead of acting promptly, the guard told us to wait as he radioed someone. Nobody came so he went to get the luggage cart. To be fair again, he helped us load our luggages to the cart but no one to helpe us to unload the luggages to our room. For someone with a baby, a hand with luggages is a great plus to a place.

Just in case you’re wondering why we have a lot of things with us. It’s because we brought food and all possible things we’ll need for a 3-day stay. Pico de Loro’s location is on the other side of a mountain, opposite of a town. There are no nearby stores and supermarkets. We had to traverse the Pico de Loro Mountain to get supplies. So if you’ll be visiting, take note of this.

So for the big question: Do I like to visit this place again?

I’d visit this place again if I have to. The beach and the pool are nice enough for another visit. I can overlook the other things I wrote about. :)

Here are amazing baby swimmers:

 

Happy Swimming!

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