Canyon Cove Review: our experience + recommendations

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

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Canyon Cove is a mixed beachfront hotel and residential resort located in Nasugbu, Batangas. The resort boasts of a white sand beach, superior amenities, and a view breathtaking view of the aquamarine waters of the West Philippine Sea.

View of West Philippine Sea from our window


Canyon Cove Hotel & Spa


For those who are unfamiliar with Canyon Cove, it is somehow similar to Pico de Loro and Anvaya Cove. It is an exclusive beachside residential complex which means that the units are owned by members. However, these members or residents are free to rent out their units to guests who would like to experience how it is to stay at Canyon Cove. For those who prefer a more luxurious accommodation, there is a hotel and spa where guests may book a room.

poolside at Canyon Cove
Poolside

In terms of overall appeal of the property though, Canyon Cove does not come close to Pico de Loro and Anvaya Cove. Canyon Cove’s residential area, especially the units that are far from the beachfront, does not look well-maintained at all. There were also some unfinished, empty buildings that look eerie against the backdrop of brown foliage and trees. Beyond these, the beach and the swimming pool are perfect for a quick outing.

    Our experience at Canyon Cove


    We went to Canyon Cove last April for Ynah’s annual team summer outing. We took the opportunity to bring Miguel with us so that he can enjoy the beach. We found out about Miguel’s fondness for the beach during our family trip to Bohol (https://www.ivankhristravels.com/2019/05/bohol-family-travel-guide-itinerary.html) and, since then, we wanted to take him with us whenever we have the chance to do so.

    sunset at Canyon Cove
    Sunset at Canyon Cove

    It was generally an enjoyable stay for us at Canyon Cove. It was a team outing that was organized successfully in terms of arranging the travel itinerary, transportation, and preparing food for around 20 people. However, we would not consider it as one of our best trips in the last few years primarily because we had to deal with an unscrupulous host plus there were some rules in the resort itself that were not made clear to us prior to booking. In the end, we had to just make do with what we had and did our best not to totally ruin our trip.

    Our dodgy host


    In dealings that are not face-to-face, you really just have to go by your gut feel. It was just unfortunate because we did not immediately realize that we were dealing with a dishonest individual. It was after settling the down payment for our room when things started turning for the worse.

    One of our friends found our host through Facebook (clue: they advertise their rooms to be BIG). During our initial inquiries, we were assured that the room can comfortably accommodate 20 people. That means being able to sleep comfortable on a bed and not having to cramp ourselves in a tiny space.

    our cramped room at Canyon Cove
    Our cramped room

    We also had to pay cleaning fee because, as our host said, the room was clean. Additionally, we were also told that infants may stay for free. Well, in the end, we had to pay Php500 for Miguel.

    The succeeding days leading to our booking date were utterly stressful because our host kept asking the same set of questions over and over again in an almost daily basis. A few hours before our check in and we were still having the same questions and discussions. It was like dealing with someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

    our room at Canyon Cove was like a prison cell
    We were like in a prison cell

    At one point, she would ask how big (i.e. body size/weight) we were because if we were too big, then the room might not be able to accommodate us all. When Ynah would ask her to clarify what she meant by it, she would just retaliate by saying that we could take our money back and look for another unit. Of course, since plans were already set, we told her that we did not want our down payment back but we asked her to just improve her service.

    She also kept nagging us if we were bringing a driver because if we did, then our room would definitely not be able to accommodate us. On top of that, she demanded that we submit a list of complete names with addresses and copies of valid IDs. That was too much work and too many requirements considering that we already gave partial payment and that we were only staying overnight.

    some of our friends had to sleep in the kitchen area
    Some of our friends had to sleep in the kitchen area

    When we finally arrived at Canyon Cove, our host’s son met us at the gate for endorsement to the guards-on-duty as well as to accompany us to our unit.

    Another big mistake is that we settled our rental fee in full before even checking the unit. Upon entering the unit, we were shocked by how small and constricted it looked. The floor was dusty, the electric fan had thick cobwebs, and the beddings looked like they had not been washed for ages. Our host even had the gall to remind us to leave the unit clean.

    From how things appeared, we were bound to spend the night like prisoners in a small cell. That was how tight our unit looked. Eventually, we placed the beds side by side in order for us to sleep “comfortably.” We also took out some of the extra foams and put them in the kitchen area where some of us can take advantage of the remaining space. The unit obviously could not fit 20 people but since we could not do anything anymore, we just had to manage.

    summer bloom at Canyon Cove
    Summer bloom

    To make things worse, when we spoke to the guard on duty at the beach club, we were informed that we could get bigger units at the beachfront property at a much cheaper price (as low as Php15,000 for a one bedroom unit as compared to our studio unit which was Php18,000). We were also told that there were already a lot of complaints about the owners of the unit where we were staying but the management of Canyon Cove could not do anything about it because the contract or agreement is between the unit owner and the guests.

    group photo at the facade of our unit at Canyon Cove
    Group photo at the facade

    It was really just one of those days that you could not do anything but heave a big sigh, accept things as they were and move forward. In the end, it was up to us whether we would wallow in despair and anger or just try to enjoy our stay. We chose the latter, of course.

    Canyon Cove's Amenities


    Canyon Cove’s club had a big swimming pool area to accommodate both the adult and kiddie pools. The entire space was actually nice-looking especially with palm trees planted along the fringes of the swimming pool. There were a lot of people, both adults and children, who seemed to be enjoying themselves quite well at the pool. We were after the beach though because we did not want to risk Miguel ingesting pool water. Thus, when it was not too hot anymore, we took Miguel swimming at the beach.

    enjoying the swimming pool at Canyon Cove
    Enjoying the swimming pool

    The beach was lovely. It had cream colored sand and the water was clean and clear with a bluish green hue. The beach was no doubt kid-friendly because it was not rocky at all plus it featured a breakwater so there were no huge waves pounding on swimmers. I have also read in Canyon Cove’s website that the beach was extremely safe for swimmers because it did not have a sudden deep drop; it was actually gently sloping.

    Miguel enjoyong the sand at Canyon Cove
    Miguel enjoying the sand

    on our way to the beach at Canyon Cove
    On our way to the beach

    While we did liked the beach and our friends had a good time at the swimming pool, we could not fully enjoy all the amenities, most notably the free use of the cottages since we were not checked in at the hotel. That meant that we had to pay an additional Php2,000 for us to use a cottage. It was a piece of information that was not made clear to us by our host. Sure, it was not her obligation to tell us about it but she could have at least had the politeness to inform us so that we could have come prepared. Anyway, we deemed it impractical to shell out an extra Php2,000 so we just made ourselves comfortable in a bench located in a shaded spot where we could also leave our things.

    enjoying the beach at Canyon Cove
    Enjoying the beach

    On another note, I just want to point out to Canyon Cove a few points for improvement. First, I hope Canyon Cove can do something with the two public toilets at the pool area because both were not flushing efficiently. In one occasion, I had to endure the smell of un-flushed poop while I was getting dressed even if the toilet lid was down.

    our family photo at the beach at Canyon Cove
    Our family photo at the beach

    Second, I wish Canyon Cove would be strict when it comes to smoking. Why do they allow people to smoke in the cottages which are very near the poolside? How can people, parents with children most especially, enjoy the pool when they had to constantly be on guard for guests smoking nearby?

    Miguel enjoying the sea water at Canyon Cove
    Miguel enjoying the water

    At one point, there was a male guest smoking in a nearby cottage while his family was in another cottage that is far from him, of course. I wanted to tell him that if he did not want his kids breathing in cigarette smoke, I also do not want my son to inhale it.

    father and son at Canyon Cove
    Daddy & Miguel

    How to go to Canyon Cove


    It’s fairly easy to go to Canyon Cove. If you are interested to go there, there are several options that you can take depending on where you are coming from and how comfortable you are with the route. We left Manila at around 7:00 AM. Our friends John and Alma offered to pick us up and ride with them in their family car.

    We took CAVITEX then continued on to Amadeo, Cavite until we reached Tagaytay. We drove through Tagaytay Nasugbu Highway until we finally reached Nasugbu, Batangas and then proceeded to Canyon. Cove. We used Waze throughout our trip to guide us.

    Here are alternative routes that you may want to try if you are bringing your own vehicle:

    Via Cavitex

    1. Take CAVITEX then make an exit to Covelandia Road.
    2. Go straight ahead going to Antero Soriano Highway then drive through Governor Drive.
    3. Drive until you reach the Municipality of Ternate.
    4. Turn left then go straight ahead until the Ternate Nasugbu Highway.
    5. Make a left and continue to access the Ternate Nasugbu Highway.
    6. Drive straight until you reach Canyon Cove, which is located to your right.

    Via Sta. Rosa - Tagaytay


    1. Take SLEX then make an exit at Eton City Exit (right after Sta. Rosa exit).
    2. Go straight ahead going to Paseo Mall (about 5km ride) then turn left going to Tagaytay Road (main road).
    3. Drive straight ahead until you reach an intersection (about 20-25km ride) then turn right (your landmark will be Tagaytay Market, which you will pass by).
    4. Continue straight ahead until you reach a rotunda. Proceed to circle around it and then go straight ahead. You will pass by Casino Filipino and Robinson's Supermarket until you reach Nasugbu boundary.
    5. Drive straight again then turn right at Petron Gas Station.
    6. Go straight until you reach another intersection, and then turn right at Shell Gas Station. Go straight ahead until you pass by the Nasugbu town proper. Continue to drive straight until you reach Canyon Cove which is located to your left.

    Via Public Transport


    1. Ride any Nasugbu-bound bus (you may opt to go to Paranaque-Coastal Mall Bus Terminal or in Cubao).
    2. Alight at Nasugbu town proper, landmark: town plaza and church.
    3. Ride a tricycle going to Canyon Cove.


    While you can always opt to commute when going to Canyon Cove, I would suggest bringing your own car with you because it will save you time since you can take alternative routes if traffic is heavy in more popular highways. Plus, it is more comfortable for you and your family if you have your own car. However, before embarking on your trip, always make sure that your vehicle is in top condition. Of course, if your old vehicle is giving you more headaches because of maintenance cost, you can always sell your car for a good price and then just get a new one.



    Epilogue


    So you see, traveling is not always ideal. Things go wrong no matter how you plan it well. At some point in our lives, we will get to experience headaches because things did not go as we had intended them to be. No matter how honest with us in our dealings, we will cross paths with people who are deceitful. In the end, the key to making the most out of an unpleasant situation is the flexibility to adjust and create a positive experience out of it.

    Mother & son at Canyon Cove
    Mommy & Miguel

    Will I still recommend Canyon Cove? Of course, I will. This post is not to put Canyon Cove in a bad light or to discredit the resort. I still think Canyon Cove is a beautiful place but it needs some improvements on its facilities. Again, it has to ban smoking in the cottages and dedicate a smoking are away from the poolside. However, I would strongly urge guests to stay either at the hotel or at the residential units near the beach. Also, when dealing with residents who are renting out their units, always be cautious especially if your gut feel is telling you that something is not right. Remember, studio units are too small for 20 people. Don’t ever believe an owner who will tell you that their studio unit can comfortably fit 20 people.

    I can provide the Facebook page of our host so that you can avoid her. You can send me a private message via my Facebook page or shoot me an email.

    Things to keep in mind when traveling with an infant


    Here is a list of basic necessities that you may want to prepare when you are bringing an infant with you. Keep in mind that we have consulted Miguel’s pediatrician prior to preparing his medicine kit.

    1. Probiotics (Erceflora) for diarrhea.
    2. Allergy medicine
    3. Paracetamol for fever
    4. Milk and feeding bottles (if you are not breastfeeding anymore)
    5. Diapers
    6. Stroller
    7. Comfortable clothes

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