If you need a break from the stress of the holidays (especially if you’re the one doing all the cooking and Christmas shopping) and just want some serious family time, here are some destinations for you to discover.
Costa Pacifica Raintree
80 Buton St., Sitio Labasin, Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora
The setting: Costa Pacifica is a family-friendly resort located on Baler’s Sabang Beach.
Five things you can do there: Learn how to surf. Explore Baler. Swim in the pool. Eat at their two restaurants, The Beach House and Café Rosa, which offer a mix of local and international food. Enjoy pampering treatments.
Why your kids will love it: They can learn how to surf while you relax by the beach. And if your kids are Instagram-crazy, no worries. Costa Pacifica offers free Wi-Fi 24/7.
Book it: Call the Manila office at 5764555 or the Baler office at 0917-8536040. You can also e-mail [email protected]
Dedon Island Resort
Malinao, General Luna, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte
The setting: Dedon Island Resort just opened this year but has already generated enough buzz, earning the number 37 spot on International Traveler magazine’s list of 100 best hotels and resorts. They promise to make guests feel at home in one of the resort’s nine villas.
Five things you can do there: Play with Ernie Frogdog, the resort’s fun-loving dog. Explore the island. Check out Cloud 9, the Philippines’ surfing capital. Snorkel and sunbathe. Enjoy meals made purely from fresh produce.
Why your kids will love it: Because Ernie is an awesome dog and he loves kids.
The setting: Park Inn by Radisson is located at the heart of Davao City (it’s right next to SM Lanang Premier Mall), but it’s a few minutes away from tourist attractions.
Five things you can do there: Visit the Davao Museum. Go shopping. Take a van to Samal Island. Visit Davao Riverfront. Enjoy juicy and sweet pomelo.
Why your kids will love it: Park Inn by Radisson is close to the Davao Riverfront where they have a Crocodile Park, a Zorv Park where they can roll down the hill while inside an inflatable ball.
Book it: www.parkinn.com/hotel-davao
Luxe View Hotel, Boracay
Bulabog Road, fronting Bulabog Beach, Boracay
The setting: Luxe View Hotel is located along Bulabog Road and fronting Bulabog Beach, a beach popular among water sports enthusiasts. It is known as the “number one kite boarding beach in Asia,” according to numerous travel websites.
Five things you can do there: Swim. Learn how to kitesurf. Go snorkeling. Take family photos by the sunset. Enjoy fresh seafood.
Why your kids will love it: Your kids will love frolicking in the clear blue water and you can teach them about marine life when you go snorkeling. You can also take a boat to travel to nearby islands.
Book it: www.luxeviewhotel.com
Balesin Island Club
Off the eastern coast of Luzon, near Polillo, Quezon
The setting: Balesin is a private members-only luxury getaway that’s just a 25-minute private plane ride from Manila.
Five things you can do there: Get pampered at the Balesin Spa. Scuba dive. Try deep sea fishing. Go windsurfing or waterskiing. Ride a horse.
Why your kids will love it: There’s so much to do. After enjoying aquatic sports, kids can also enjoy the gaming room where they can play billiards, table tennis and Wii.
Book it: www.balesin.com
Oslob Whale Shark Watching
Tan-awan, Oslob, Cebu
The setting: Go under the sea and hang out with the friendly gigantic whale sharks. There are many resorts nearby that will provide transportation to the main event.
Five things you can do there: While the main attraction will be watching whale sharks, you can mix and match other activities depending on which resort you’ll stay in. You can visit Tumalog Falls, take a tour around Sumilon Island and go on a heritage tour around Oslob.
Why your kids will love it: They’ll be swimming right next to the whale shark, it’s like being in “Finding Nemo.”