Photos and post by Philippa Langrish
Why you’ll love La Chevrerie Resort
La Chévrerie is a family owned resort which was completed in the summer of 2014. The resort has been furnished inside and out with great attention to detail and the overall feeling is one of utter relaxation. Lazyboy beanbags and hammocks are dotted around the pool, each room is furnished with a balcony day bed, and the restaurant is banked with recessed benches overlooking the ocean. The layout is fantastic for families because you can sit in the restaurant whilst keeping an eye on the kids playing on the lawn, in the pool or on your balcony/terrace.
We visited La Chévrerie with our daughter Maya (4) and son Gillan (7 months). My husband and I love to dive and we were able to take Maya on the dive boat with us while we took it in turns (otherwise there is a babysitting service at the resort). The crew were so accommodating and took us to a beach between dives so Maya could play in the sand on shore.
There were quite a few jellyfish in the sea so it wasn’t ideal for swimming off the side of the boat, but luckily there was a bucket with string on board which provided hours of entertainment as Maya collected the jellies, made them into families and gave them all names.
After an exhausting day at sea we were excited to return to the restaurant to sample the local fare. Since the resort is owned by a Frenchman and his HongKongese wife, the food is a fusion of French and Asian cuisine. The menu is diverse and delicious, making for some very happy tummies after a full day.
Once the kids had gone to bed I sneaked off to the spa for a wonderfully relaxing facial. The spa has French doors which open out onto the sea; having a treatment with the sound of the waves lapping at the shore while the sun set over the horizon was pure heaven. I want to go back as soon as possible!
What would make La Chévrerie the perfect getaway would be a couple of canoes or paddle boards to hire out, since the calm seas surrounding the resort are ideal for these activities. I hope that these may be added in time.
Looking for more travel inspiration in The Philippines? Take a look at our guide for family travel.
Why the kids will love La Chevrerie Resort
La Chevrerie is a wonderful place for families. The big grassy lawn that surrounds the pool gave the kids plenty of space to run around and they enjoyed diving into the hammocks and jumping in the pool. The resort has a selection of inflatable rings which amused Maya as she practised jumping through the hole in the middle off the side of the pool. Gillan (7 mths) loved dipping his toes in the pool, swinging in the hammock, discovering the soft grassy lawn and relaxing on the balcony day bed.
Once the sun had set the resort was illuminated by twinkling fairy lights, creating a lovely atmosphere as the children finished off their play and trotted off to bed.
The beach is stony which was fine for us as rubber shoes are provided. The sea around Anilao is usually very calm so ideal for swimming with the kids. Maya found a few friends who had taken a half day trip to Somberro Island, where they had a seafood BBQ on the sandy beach. The island is famous for its snorkelling which makes it a great excursion for families with older kids.
On our last day it was raining as a tropical storm was approaching. However, the hotel has a couple of pet baby goats which were brought down for feeding time on the lawn to entertain the children. Maya and Gillan were joined by the other little guests who all participated in the goat feeding.
The resort is perfectly designed for families. The French inspired furniture and decor gives a chic contemporary edge to each room. Each room has a different colour scheme and is adorned with a pair of huge decorative antlers and vintage French prints. Owners Carmen and her husband Frederic have really excelled in giving each room a unique calm ambience through close attention to design detail. The mattresses are one of the comfiest I have ever slept on and the tiled bathrooms are fitted out with high end modern fixtures.
The resort has 12 deluxe rooms, 1 villa and a suite. The deluxe rooms are either poolside or on the first floor – all with an ocean view. All rooms include tea and coffee stations, fridge, hair dryer, TV, laundry bin, desk and private sit out area.
Best rooms for families: The rooms recommended for families are the poolside rooms, villa or suite. The split level villa can accommodate six people while the suite is ideal for 2 adults and 2 children. The first floor rooms have a balcony with large gaps in the railings so there is a need to be vigilant with small children if you are staying in one of these rooms.
The Atelier Restaurant is open ended on two sides allowing for a stunning view of the sea and easy access to the pool and garden. Huge paintings of vintage French circus posters decorate the walls, while a large festooned ATELIER sign hangs above the bar.
The food is a French Asian fusion – great for both meat lovers and vegetarians.
Breakfast is served from 6ish and is a buffet with a French twist, thanks to the crepes and Nutella. There is a fresh omelette station, local Tocino, Longanisa and Bangus as well as cereals, yoghurt, artisan bread, fresh fruit and 3 signature coffee blends.
The lunch and dinner menu includes gourmet snacks such as asparagus wrapped in bacon, as well as delicious pizzas and pastas, fresh sea food platters, steak, French onion soup and Thai green curry amongst other items. The restaurant also offers a vegetarian menu. There is an extensive wine list and cocktail menu to keep the adults happy.
For Kids: There is a pocket sized kids menu which offers bolognaise, carbonara, chicken, and chips.
Activities for Parents: Activities include scuba diving, swimming, trekking up the Gulugod Mountain (a four-hour round trip), a half-day excursion to Somberro Island, Spa treatments and general lazing around the resort.
Activities for Kids: Kids can enjoy snorkelling, swimming, excursions to Somberro Island, table football, and feeding the goats!
Air-conditioning, babysitting, common rooms, cots, there is a small medical clinic 5km away, the nearest hospital is in Bauan (30 min drive), extra beds, laundry, shop, excellent Spa, La Brise, swimming pool (no kids’ swimming pool), travel desk, WiFi.
When to go:
The best time to visit the Philippines is between December and February in the cooler months. The wet season is from June onwards. Be careful travelling in the months from September to December as this is typhoon season. Temperatures range from 27 – 40+. Avoid travelling in the busy holy weeks of Easter and Christmas.
Location & Travel:
Anilao is situated 128km south of Manila on the coast of Batangas. For international travel fly to Manila and take a private car or taxi to the resort. It is a 2 – 3 hour drive from the capital.
1) Be inquisitive! Always ask at the desk about excursions to islands or hill trekking. Filipinos are mild mannered by nature and if there is no printed list of trips (as often there is not) they will not necessarily tell you everything that is on offer unless you ask.
2) Take a small bucket with string! Even though there is no sandy beach, buckets are brilliant for fishing out things from the sea, collecting stones and critters or simply carrying little toys down to the beach in. I would choose a bucket over an iPad any day.
3) Use the spa. Nothing beats a good massage whilst on holiday. Take advantage of the baby sitting service and have a couples massage with your other half.
*I was kindly offered a complimentary night’s stay at La Chevrerie. All other expenses were paid for personally. All opinions in this review are entirely my own and would happily return to La Chevrerie on my own peso.