Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort, name after the family of the owners, for two generations, is set in a pastoral framework of a coconut plantation of almost 8 hundred hectares – still under cultivation today. At the entrance is a beautiful Spanish church with a pink facade. It houses a museum which displays the unusual collection of its original owner, Dr. Escudero: Chinese pottery, religious objets d’art and relics from the second world war.
Mr. Escudero endeavored to recreate the ambiance which reigned in a plantation of the early 19th century. Carabao – drawn carts with guitarists and singers take you to your lodgings. The cement statues scattered around the property, representing personalities of the time, are quite baffling.
The part making up the resort is well separated from the places visited by tourists during the day. Plaited bamboo is the main element of the interior decoration of the pleasant, rustic wood structures with nipa roofs.
The two type of lodgings are suitable for families. The apartment type lodgings are set next to the other, each room with a small terrace looking out onto the garden. The river units are more pleasant as these have a view of the river. There are large duplex cottages with nice terraces furnished with armchair and hammocks. On the ground floor is the main room that has an impressively high ceiling. The beds are provided with mosquito nets. A door opening onto a small corridor leads to the shower, toilets, wash-basin and a cupboard. There are two small rooms on the upper floor.
The resort has two swimming pools surrounded by vegetation. The one which overlooks the river, will enchant children as it has its own water slide. Bamboo rafts make it possible to explore the river . The midday meals, taken in a pleasant setting by the waterfalls – with your feet in the water – is a rather strange activity. Be careful not to slip! You can take home a souvenir of this moment, as there is a professional photographer to take photos. The other meals are served in the Coconut Pavilion, a beautiful well-ventilated bamboo structure over-looking the river. It is also here that a well-presented cultural show is performed by the resort staff.
How to get there
By land (2 hours) 91 km from Manila. Take Superhighway and get off at Calamba, exit no. 50A (Batangas, Lucena, Legaspi). Turn left when you see Junction Inn Mansion. When you reach the Y-shaped intersection, take the left lane going to Lucena City/Alaminos. Head straight down, passing the town of Alaminos and San Pablo City. After the 91 km sign, you will see the Laguna-Quezon boundary arch. Immediately after, look for the Villa Escudero sign and make a U-turn as advised.