Planning to Retire Soon!
If you are planning to retire in the Philippines soon, I suggest you visit several excellent websites on pro's and cons of retiring in the Philippines. However if you want to retire in the provinces, where life is simple, standard of living cheaper, less traffic congestion and pollution, availability of fresh seafood and vegetables compared to the big cities, my island province is the place for you! If this is your first time in my site, welcome. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. The photo above is the front yard of Chateau Du Mer-Our Retirement Home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Is Bellarocca the Only 6-Star Resort in the Philippines?
The other day, I posted a short article that Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai is the only 7-Star hotel in the world. However, Wikipedia noted that it is only a 5 Star hotel. Today, I am asking if someone in the Philippines knows if there are other 6-Star resorts in the Philippines beside Bellarocca in Marinduque. I heard there is beach resort(Pearl Farm)in Samal Island, Davao, but it could only be rated as a 5-Star because it is old. I also heard there is a new hotel in Boracay (Shangri-La) that could be rated either as a 5 or 6 star. Any one would care to comment. How about in Cebu or Palawan?
For those of you who are not familiar with Bellarocca Resort, here is the write up of Gerald Gene R. Querubin posted on the Philippine Daily Inquirer on 6/23/2010. He titled it as Marinduque Luxury Isle.
MARINDUQUE, A heart-shaped island-province south of Manila, is home to the world-renowned Moriones Festival, but on a small mountain-islet on its southwestern coast also sits a luxurious Mediterranean-style resort.
Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa on Elefante Island features elegant accommodations, with balconies and verandas that offer breathtaking views of the Sibuyan Sea and the majestic Mt. Malindig. It was formally opened on Feb. 14.
Bellarocca (“beautiful rock” in Italian) is part of Buenavista (good view), the smallest and poorest (fourth-class) of the province’s six municipalities. Pristine and picturesque, Buenavista also boasts of the Bagtingon mountain ranges where butterflies abound.
The resort islet has rolling terrain and immaculate white structures perched atop cliffs, reflecting sunlight and contrasting with the lush green surroundings and blue seas below. Its corporate owner compares its landscape with the quaint island of Santorini in Greece.
Asked what makes it different from other resorts, Jan Michel Gautier, a former general manager, said in an interview: “Service beyond customer expectation.”
“We create demand, we create potentials and we see to it that our customers will have a memorable experience with their stay with us,” he said.
The resort is owned by Gold Barrel Social Club Resort Capital Inc. and is managed by Genesis Resorts and Hotels Corp.
It features 50 exclusive and stunningly appointed rooms—21 deluxe, nine suites, 10 “terrazas” and 10 villas—designed to highlight a lavish ambiance and intimate stay. Each villa has its own eternity pool, Jacuzzi and pocket garden, and features fully furnished rooms with minimalist interior design and high ceilings.
Room and villa rates range from $420 (about P19,000) to $1,320 (about P61,000) per night. An overnight stay at the presidential villa is pegged at P250,000.
The prices are undoubtedly beyond the reach of most of the 230,000 Marinduqueños, whose average monthly income is estimated at P11,000. Poverty incidence in the province was placed at 50.6 percent, according to a 2006 report of the National Statistical Coordination Board.
Guests are shuttled to their accommodations from the marina, where they are first welcomed in the traditional “putong” (crowning) rite. Employees dance to the chanting and toss petals to the air before presenting kalachuchi leis to them.
An eternity pool, natural hot spring pool and a pavilion restaurant are found near the beach. In between the marina and the pavilion area is the aqua sports center, which offers snorkeling, kayaking, hobiecat sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, sunset cruising and island hopping.
Ramil Lagroso, the food and beverage manager, said the hotel restaurant serves mostly Asian and Western cuisine.
The resort also has a par-36, 9-hole golf course at the foothills of Malindig, a fully equipped air-conditioned gym, cigar, karaoke and piano lounges, library, entertainment center, garden and a meditation sanctuary.
Tours are available around the mainland and to various destinations, such as century-old churches, beaches, museum, Bathala cave and butterfly farms.
Bellarocca is committed to help in the province’s social progress by being a part of social developments, Gautier said. During lean periods, the resort’s doctor conducts medical missions in the communities.
“We are helping the locals through employment,” he said. Of the 167 resort employees, 124 are from Marinduque.
“We buy seafood products used in our restaurants, also, directly from local fishermen,” Gautier said.
Fishing is the next main source of income of the locals. Marinduque is primarily agricultural, with 55,810 hectares of its total land area of 95,924 ha devoted to coconuts and other crops.
The municipal government of Buenavista expects that its revenues would increase from business permit fees and taxes that the resort will remit and from the taxes of local businesses tied up with the resort’s operation, such as restaurants and “pasalubong” stores.
Bellarocca is now the banner site of the province for local and international tourism, according to provincial tourism officer Gerry Jamilla. Marinduque, he said, “is becoming the next potential international tourism destination.”
“If the local products and support services such as restaurants will be developed fully, the benefits for Marinduque will be bigger,” trade provincial director Carlito Fabalena said". Here's a short video for your information.