I love—and I’m very proud of—the Gymboree Sta. Rosa team. They are lovely ladies inside out. Last summer, I was MIA at Gymboree because I was busy at Brain Train. I wasn’t the least apprehensive because I knew that Gymboree would still be in good hands. My teachers always go the extra mile to ensure our students get more than their money’s worth, kebs na kahit mag-overtime sila. Like during our End-of-Summer Luau Party, I was very surprised that they took time in decorating the rooms where the Gymboree families would eat!
They told me they kept it a secret from me, so I’d be surprised. Imagine that!
The real luau party!
Randy and I thought it was only but fitting to treat them, for us to have some well-deserved R&R. Kasama na syempre our family. So on the weekend of our first school week, Familia Gymboree Sta. Rosa went to Pico de Loro for a weekend of fun, sun and sand! The luau party came to life!
Pico de Loro is a piece of paradise tucked in Hamilo Coast. And because a picture paints a thousand words, let me just show you some pictures we took of this wonderful place.
Pico de Loro: review through the lens
Let’s begin with the breathtaking view from our balcony:
We got a lakeview condo unit.
From our balcony, you can also see the swimming pools…
…and the adjacent condo cluster
And here are snapshots of the actual unit:
This balcony extends from the living room up to the side of the master bedroom. It is big enough for you and your gang to have a tete-a-tete over coffee early in the morning, or a drunken conversation about “the meaning of life” at night. 😉
Teacher Cel posing at the balcony
Raviv and his new friend, did, too!
Team Gymboree Sta. Rosa (we miss you Joanna!) bonding over brunch. Kitchen is fully equipped—from rice cooker to cutlery to dishwashing liquid!
And while the grown-ups were chitchatting, the kids were also bonding! iPad for a few minutes, then Disney Junior afterwards (because it was still too hot to go swimming). Too bad I wasn’t able to take photos of the living room, but it was roomy enough and came with cable TV. No Wifi, but that’s just right because Wifi connection would just break the people’s connection.
Connecting bathroom of two rooms (although there’s another toilet and bath that can be accessed without going inside the bedroom)
Now, let’s go outside!
Shuttles abound at Pico de Loro to take you around. Although plentiful, there were times we still had to wait for a long time to ride on one because there were so many other guests that weekend. Sometimes, we would just walk. Riding the open and airy shuttles were fun!
I forgot what this was, but I think this was the clubhouse going to the pool.
Speaking of pools…
The pools of Pico de Loro were great! Right beside the ledges were lounge chairs under a wide roof (see photo directly above this caption). There were also parts of the swimming pool where tree shadows were cast, so it’s not too hot. 🙂
Now let’s get some Vitamin Sea!
We went to the beach last because it was a hot day. We also brought and ate our afternoon meryenda there. Unfortunately, we were only warming up frolicking in the waters when we were told that swimming in the beach is only until 6 p.m. Boo!—because it was still very maliwanag!
Sunset at Pico de Loro beach
The children had no choice but to just collect build sand castles and collect pebbles. They just swore to themselves that they’ll be back very early the following day.
And true to their words, we returned early the next morning (Father’s Day!)….
Happy Father’s Day, Tatay!
…but so did many other people!
Despite being there quite early, it was very hot!
Ravin’s skin turned golden brown in no time, despite my slathering of sunblock onto his skin. Amidst his protests, we forced him out of the water before he turns from sunkissed to sunburnt!
Pico de Loro vs. Terrzas de Punta Fuego vs. Anvaya Cove
Pico de Loro is the third exclusive, members-only beach resort we have been to in the last few years. Of course, one can’t help compare. Here are my and Randy’s thoughts:
*Note: When we went to Punta Fuego, we only went to Terrazas and were too tinatamad to go to the main club. So when I say “Punta Fuego”, it’s limited only to Terrazas. More
1 – Anvaya Cove
2 – Pico de Loro
3 – Punta Fuego
When we visited Anvaya Cove, everything—as in everything—was clean! The shower, toilet, the surroundings…wala akong masabi when it comes to cleanliness! At Punta Fuego, I noticed that the shower area was quite gloomy, dark and musky, and there were some algae in between tile grouts. In Pico de Loro naman, some areas need some sweeping. (Take note though that I’m just nitpicking—the “dirt” I’m talking about are very tolerable; I’m just showing how absolutely superb Anvaya is!
1 – Anvaya Cove
2 – Punta Fuego
3 – Pico de Loro
I am very biased for those that are child-friendly, that’s why Anvaya Cove still tops my list. Anvaya is really fantastic because it has a very cozy place where babies/toddlers could sleep. Plus awesome kids’ village where there is an outdoor play area just beside the kiddie swimming pool (complete with balls pa!) And don’t let me get started on the classy and huge indoor play & activity centre!
1 – Punta Fuego
2 – Pico de Loro
3 – Anvaya Cove
Yes, I’ve shown you awesome Pico de Loro views. These views are awesome because they were taken from our condo unit on the fifth floor. When you’re already at the club area, it’s not that breathtaking at all. But not with Punta Fuego. Even when you’re in the “main area”, the view is still breathtaking. I could only imagine how much more awesome it would have been had we stayed in one of the houses atop the cliff!
1 – Pico de Loro
2 – Anvaya Cove & Punta Fuego
The beaches of Pico de Loro are a lot more enticing! The thing with the beaches of Punta Fuego and Anvaya Cove are that they’re too gloomy. When we went there, almost no one would be swimming or lounging by the sand. Perhaps because their beaches are too close to the swimming pools (where guests could easily retreat when it’s too hot), whereas you need a shuttle ride pa from the beach to the pools. The beach of Pico, on the other hand, is teeming with activity. Plus there’re nearby restaurants. 🙂
Overall, it was a fantastic weekend at Pico de Loro! In fact, we plan to go back soon so we could check out Santelmo Cove, which some say is the highlight of of their Pico de Loro retreat. 🙂