by Julia Escano
Most of us are guilty of it. We romanticize camping, thinking it’s a cool way to show we’re hardcore outdoorsmen. We get it: the idea of lying outdoors with nothing between you and the stars does sound romantic. Then come the first few mosquitoes, the ants that find their way into our tent, and that annoying piece of rock that keeps digging into our backs as we sleep. While camping certainly has its charms, there is an alternative to enjoying nature without having to get rough and dirty.
Enter glamping. The concept of “camping with glamor” has been around for a while, and finally, it’s becoming a bigger thing in the Philippines. With glamping sites near Manila sprouting regularly year after year, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a crowd favorite for city dwellers. What’s so great about glamping is that it marries the best of both worlds: the rustic beauty of nature, and the creature comforts of luxury. What more can you ask for, right? So if you’re looking to kill two birds with one stone on your next weekend or holiday, here’s a list of the best glamping sites near Manila that you can enjoy.
San Rafael River Adventure, Bulacan
Along the stretch of the Angat riverbanks in the town of San Rafael, is a retreat that’ll make you feel like the city isn’t just two hours away. While amenities like an infinity pool are a major draw, the real attractions are the expanses of bamboo and the serene Angat River naturally defining the landscape. The best part is San Rafael River Adventure offers you a unique way to enjoy the best of your surroundings. Attentive staff will set up a riverside tent for 2 just for you, complete with beddings, a fan, and light.
If you’re feeling extra romantic, you can even request for the tent to be pitched on their bamboo platforms so that you’re securely floating on the river itself! They have Day Tour, Night Tour, and Overnight glamping packages, each with its own set of fun activities, like kayaking, paddle boarding, and a bonfire to cap off your day.
Clearwater Resort, Pampanga
In the heart of Clark Freeport in Angeles, Pampanga is Clearwater Resort and Country Club. It’s a vast expanse of greens containing picnic grounds, gardens, pools, a putting range, soccer pitch, and a lake. It’s a place meant to be enjoyed by families and barkadas whether on day trips or weekends. Among several types of accommodations offered in Clearwater is what they call Outback Tents. These are large tents good for 2-4 people, decorated with a contemporary tribal design and located right on the campgrounds. What looks like a basic tent on the outside, however, houses beds, an AC unit, and an en suite bathroom, essentially making it no different from typical hotel rooms – except for their rustic feel and proximity to nature.
Crystal Beach Resort, Zambales
Imagine waking up to the light caress of a sea breeze or the sound of the waves gently crashing on the shore. You step out of your door, and you’re immediately on the beach with a view of the ocean. The problem is, you’ll have to pack a tent, find a spot, and go about setting up camp. Not anymore. With Crystal Beach Resort’s glamping tents, you get to enjoy ocean-side accommodations without the hassle of tending to your own camp. The cute pavilion-style tents accommodate 3 people and come with beds, a fan, electricity, and use of their common bathrooms. Their cozy interior setup is more reminiscent of actual camping, giving it a more authentic and laid back feel. It’s the perfect for those lazy days by the beach or for crashing into after a day on the surf. Best time to go is during summer or the dry season.
Casa Antonio, Batangas
Located right by an exclusive beach club, this one of the best glamping sites near Manila in Playa Calatagan elevates the game with stylish beachfront cabanas that lend a more exotic and earthy feel. Round-the-clock maintenance staff and security, your picnic table right in front of your lot, and free access to the pool’s club add to the high-end services you get in Casa Antonio. Accommodations also come with breakfast and use of the common bathrooms a few meters away from the campgrounds.
Nayomi Sanctuary Resort, Batangas
This brand new glamping site near Manila is only several weeks old but it’s already gaining a solid reputation. It was first popularized by celebrity couple John Prats and Isabel Oli, who not only had their wedding here but whose family also owns and operates the place. With the most recent addition of glamping grounds, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes the place to be. Apart from access to exclusive resort amenities, other enjoyable activities at Nayomi include a town tour of Balete, a tour of the Taal Volcano, hiking, biking, and various water sports.
Nurture Wellness Village, Tagaytay
Located in the cool climes of Tagaytay, Nurture Wellness Village is a locally and internationally acclaimed spa and wellness center offering detox services, holistic health care, and spa treatments. They offer different types of accommodations in their perfectly landscaped grounds, ranging from luxury suites to glamping. Their glamping package is practically full-service with staff ready to attend to your every need, use of amenities including the pool, a healthy dinner, and hearty breakfast. If sleeping under the canopy of trees in that relaxing atmosphere is still not enough, the glamping package also comes with a bonfire and a complimentary 30-minute outdoor treatment. With the cool temperatures, the first class service, and the soothing environment, this is pretty much the height of glamping.
Rate: P3190 for a minimum of two people
Location: Pulong Sagingan, Barangay Maitim II West Cavite, Tagaytay, Luzon 4120, Philippines
Contact: (+63) 917-6878873, (+63) 918-8888772, (+632) 401-9030, (+632) 710-9786
Blue Hotel & Resort, Laguna
The hot springs of Los Baños have been around for so long that it might seem almost impossible to think of new ways to enjoy them – until now. Barely two years old, the Blue Hotel & Resort offers a brand new spin on accommodations in the popular resort town with their deluxe glamping area. Spacious tents resemble giant teepees, and can accommodate up to 3 people at once. They’re all fully air-conditioned with en suite bathrooms as well. Each tent also has a spacious “porch” area in front, where families and barkadas can hang out and chill. Best of all, the tents are all facing the large grounds and a lap pool, so that guests can fully appreciate their surroundings.
Location: 4735 Brgy Lalakay Los Baños Laguna, Los Baños
Contact: (+63) 926-9282717
Easy Adventure, Baler
“Why stay at a 5-star hotel, when you can stay at a 5 billion stars campsite?” This is the question posted by Easy Adventure on their Facebook page, and it makes an excellent point. For true lovers of the outdoors, there is no better way to end the day than by lying under the starlight. These days, though, lying under the starlight need not involve getting down and dirty and all covered in sand or soil. Easy Adventure, for one, would pitch your tent for you, ocean-side or riverside – whichever you prefer. You’ll also be given comfortable beddings, your personal picnic table, sail shade, and be served 4 meals a day. To top it off, security personnel and resort staff are available round-the-clock to take care of all your needs. Easy Adventure offers various packages, depending on what other activities you plan to do in Baler during your visit.