Friday, June 21, 2013

Anvaya Revisited

We had the chance to revisit Anvaya during the tail-end of summer; the first week of June, the week before school started for my girls..  Not much has changed since our last visit so I will not write so much about the facilities anymore.  You can read detailed review of Anvaya during our first visit here.

Although we spend a lot of time together as a family, out-of-town trips are still treasured.  There's something about a shared experience with loved ones that draws the family closer. 

Take my two younger ones for instance.  They usually spend most of their time competing with each other for my attention.  But they can also be the best of friends, sharing a sibling bond that is strong and never-ending ... if the li'l man can keep his mischievous deeds to himself long enough without hurting B! 

This visit was not really planned and came about only because a good friend of J wanted to celebrate her birthday by bringing all of her good friends to Anvaya for an overnighter.  Because of the considerable distance, we decided to book our own room.  The parents of the celebrant generously offered to help us book a villa, at our own expense of course.

The girls rode in this coaster, which is owned by one of J's friends. I couldn't help myself, so I really had to ask the mom if she rented it for this outing.  Turns out they have a big family, with an infant as a recent family addition, so buying a coaster is a necessity for them when they take out-of-town trips.  To make sure everyone can sit comfortably... because you do have to take into consideration the yayas, luggage and kiddie essentials.  Keeping-up-with-the-Kardashians lang ang peg!  Good that C and I stopped at three kids - because I cannot imagine myself driving a coaster! #tsuper-momproblems Bahahaha! And I assume parking is a BIG problem! (pun intended)

The resort was fully booked at the time of our visit; we had originally wanted to book the Garden Casita, but instead was given the Lagoon Terrace.  The accomodation is luxurious in terms of space for the room has a sitting area with a two-seater couch. The Anvaya webpage says that the room is good for 2 adults and 2 kids under 12; but, one king-sized bed is clearly too small for my family to sleep comfortably. The Phenomenal Papa towers at a little over 6 feet and the (not so) li'l man is chunky for his age, as well. It's a good thing that the J was going to share a room with her friends so there was more room for the four of us. Fortunately for us, our host was also able to arrange for an extra bed at no extra cost.

The Lagoon Terrace has its very own verandah with a giant daybed overlooking the lagoon right as soon as guests step out of the room.  There's a family of ducks always on stand-by, all five of them, which amused the kids as there's one of the ducks for each one of us.

The bathroom is also very spacious, and had its own drying area for wet clothing and swimsuits through a small opening at the back.  Since Anvaya has always been committed to green-living, soap and shampoo are provided in the bathroom come refillable bottles, so there's less plastic bottles to waste.

We had a slight problem with the a/c initially as the room still felt warm 2 hours after we checked in, but this was nothing that a quick call to maintenance cannot fix. Our room was freezing cold in no time, just the way the Phenomenal Papa likes it.  Our mini-ref was not working, though, and since it did not matter to us and was not of use, we did not bother to have it fixed anymore.

Keeping in line with green-living, guests are encouraged to bring their own water bottles as water jugs are available in various parts of the resort.  Here is one of them, enclosed in what looks like a wooden bird cage.
The food has considerably improved since the last time we visited. I cannot remember what we ordered for dinner, but I know that for our family of 4 (since J ate dinner with her friends) we only paid about P1,500, more or less.

The breakfast buffet spread was a choice of typical Filipino breakfast.  We did not have to pay for our breakfast anymore since it came with the room.  I made sure to get small portions of my fave corned beef, tocino, and daing na bangus, otherwise I might indulge too much.  I love Anvaya's arroz caldo so much, that even if I just had that, breakfast would still be worth it.  There's also an omelette station, a cereal bar, fresh fruits, and a selections of breads and cold cuts.  And since pancake towers are all the rage at all-day breakfast restaurants, I just couldn't let it pass not to make my own.
The kids enjoyed both the beach and the pool.  The glorious mix of yellow and orange during sunset is a wonderful backdrop for taking photos. 

I also joined the kids as they took the Nature Trail activities. There are a lot of outdoor activities to satisfy your kids if they are the outdoorsy type like mine are.   And, it's good to know that Anvaya has a tsunami evacuation plan in place, just in case.

The Magma Field, a rope obstacle course that the kids enjoyed because they got to release their inner Indiana Jones.  Up next was a 30-minute hike that took us into the middle of a very thick bamboo forest; we step gingerly on boulders as we make our way through stream beds that are almost dried up. The last stop in this adventure was taking the zipline.