Reviewed by Philippa Langrish
Why you’ll love Lilom Resort
Lilom Resort is located just a 2-3 hour drive from Manila making it the ideal escape for a mini-break. I headed there with my four-month-old baby on a girls weekend away (leaving my three-year-old at home with her Daddy). There were five us in total, three with babes in arms, and the resort turned out to be the perfect place for the mums to relax as everything was just so easy.
There are just seven rooms, simple nipa huts, that are all beautiful decorated in native banana leaf and palm. The huts all have air conditioning and a terrace with hammocks and benches. There is a central lawn, which turned out to be the perfect place to put the babies down on their mats while we ate our meals in the little outdoor restaurant. The food is all local, fresh and delicious with plenty of seafood on offer. Later in the day, banana fritters and hot chocolate appear for merienda (Filipino afternoon tea). As evening fell we were served mojitos as we caught up on all the girlie gossip and were able to relax as the kids slept.
This pocket-sized resort is located right on the water’s edge (no beach) which offers perfect snorkelling and kayaking. For those more adventurous, diving is offered. Beach shoes are a must and if you don’t have your own the resort can provide them. We loved the beautiful coral and rainbow-coloured fish swimming close to shore and diving off the pontoon in the middle of the bay.
Lilom, meaning ‘under the shade’ in the local dialect, is owned by Mike and Pinky who go out of their way to look after guests. They built the resort from scratch and you can tell it has been a real labour of love and the result is a place that feels homely, welcoming and very relaxing.
Why the kids will love Lilom Resort
We travelled with very young babies and despite not having any dedicated kids facilities, Lilom turned out to be a wonderful place to bring the kids. Our babies were very content rolling around on the grassy lawn and dangling their feet in the dipping pool. My 4 month old loved the hammock on my terrace and was entertained by the staff as I went for a snorkel next to the resort. It was very reassuring being able to see him in between popping up and down to observe the beautiful marine life.
Toddlers will love being able to see sea life from the water’s edge and swimming in the calm waters and older kids will enjoy the snorkelling, diving and kayaking on offer.
Even more exciting, however, are probably the yummy native chocolate crepes, banana fritters, hot chocolate and other home-made goodies constantly on offer. A definite hit with the kids!
There are just 7 rooms in the resort housed within simple nipa huts. All the rooms are the same apart from Satcho’s House that has its own private porch overlooking the sea.
Decorated in a simple island style, every hut enjoys their own private sit out area and hammock and comes with an adjoining bathroom with hot shower, toilet and sink. The beds are either comfy 4 posters or twins and you can ask for a mosquito net should you require one.
The rooms are as follows:
Satcho’s House is named after the dog Satcho who used to hang out at the porch of this little hut before it was converted into the room you see now. The wooden ledge where Satcho used to perch on and stare into the sea is still there right by the main door. This is the most popular ‘kubo’ and has its own private porch with a hammock overlooking the sea.
Butanding is also a ‘kubo’ with a very cosy room opening to the garden. It has a sitting area in front with great views of the garden and the ocean. In addition, it also has its own hidden hammock area under the star apple trees.
Paraw has a double bed and a single bed, good for small families or friends. Hidden and private, it has its own hammock and a bamboo lounge underneath a trellis with crawling vines.
Kubo is on an elevated terrace, perfect for lying around and looking at the sea. It has a double sized canopy bed with an amazing view of the ocean. This room is a perennial favourite and a good one for couples.
Capiz is named after the antique mother of pearl windows and lights in the room. It is the resort’s family room with two double sized beds and a single bed. It also has an elevated patio with great views of the sea.
Pawikan has a double bed and a single bed, with its own porch and hammock with great sea views. Good for small families and friends.
Tuko has a double sized canopy bed and a porch with a hammock in front with wonderful sea views. This is a spacious room for a couple.
Best rooms for families: Capiz is Lilom’s dedicated family room and the best one for families travelling with older kids as it has two double beds and a single bed. For smaller families, or families with young children, Pawikan and Paraw are good options.
Buffet-style meals are served every night and lunch time. All meals are included in price. We enjoyed pancit canton (mixed noodles), grilled milk fish, kare kare (coconut curried veggies), lechon (bbq pork) and shrimp. The food is all local, fresh and delicious. Afternoon snacks include chocolate crepes, banana fritters and hot chocolate made with the native cocoa. The breakfast was a choice of pancakes, omelette and rice. There is no menu as such but if you made a simple request they will try to accommodate.
For Kids: There are no dedicated kids’ menus but the hotel will try to accommodate requests.
Activities for Parents: Snorkelling, swimming, diving, kayaking, Monopoly, Mahjong and traditional hilot massages.
Activities for Kids: Swimming, snorkelling, playing on the grassy lawn, drinking hot chocolate, looking for colourful sea life from the water’s edge, kayaking and diving.
Air-conditioning, babysitting, common rooms, doctor on call, the nearest hospital is in Bauan, which is about 30 minutes away, extra beds are available depending on the room size, shop, plunge pool, limited 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 when the typhoon season is. Avoid travelling in the busy holy weeks of Easter and Christmas.
Location & Travel:
Lilom Resort is located in Anilao which is just a short drive from the town of Batangas. It took us about 2/3 hours driving from Manila. The closest airport is in Manila.