First impression. After a two-hour drive from Manila, we finally arrived at Club Punta Fuego. Security guards ask for ID, then the gates open to a well-paved road and landscaped gardens, leading to the main clubhouse for check-in. The main club is a two-level white modern tropical-designed building, surrounded by palm trees. The club houses the front office, boutique shop, business center, a theater, the squash court, and the San Diego Restaurant, which has an al fresco dining area with a view of the sea. It also leads to the tennis court and the split-level infinity pool, which looks out into the Lower Beach, popular for water sports.
For this weekend break, I’ve dragged along the whole family — my husband Wowie and my four sons aged eight to fifteen. My sons couldn’t wait to change and start the holiday. One wanted to jet ski, the other to get on to the bike trail. The youngest wanted lunch. Lunch prevailed before all the activities.
Club Punta Fuego is a sprawling seaside community sitting on 88 hectares of land facing the West Philippine Sea.
Room. We’re booked in two adjacent seaview casitas with a private veranda. An access door connects our rooms, giving us a sense of security. Each room is 72sqm, bright and airy, furnished with two queen size beds, a coffee table and two chairs, bedside tables and hanging bedside lights instead of the usual table lamps. There’s a separate toilet and bath, a bidet, thick towels, L’Occitaine toiletries, ideal for kids’ sensitive skin, hot and cold running water, glass-enclosed rain shower, access to a pocket garden where there’s a clothesline for hanging wet swimwear to dry, and a well-stocked mini fridge. The casitas are clustered together but maintains privacy as each has its own walkpath. Request for a corner unit if you can so one side of your unit faces the sea while the other, a garden.
Food. Among the dining outlets are San Diego Restaurant & Terrace, which serves international and gourmet cuisine; and Il Jardineto, an al fresco restaurant situated at Lower Beach. There’s also the Members’ Lounge, a conducive place for social drinking.
San Diego has a set menu, but also offers bespoke menu from three courses for small groups. We all loved the pan fried salmon fillet, the caramelized cheesecake. My favorite was the Club's version of the Greek salad, a bed of greens with onions, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and chunks of steamed bacalao (cod fish) drizzled with lemon vinaigrette. Another appetizer not to miss is the black shrimp tempura and the pomodoro soup, and for main course, the grilled medallion of beef and butterfly prawns with black peppercorn sauce. The steak is delicately seasoned and tender, and the prawn, fresh and flavorful.The chocolate velbit served at San Diego and Il Jardin’s gelato tartufino, a dark chocolate flavored gelato coated in dark chocolate are recommended. Il Jardin, offering Italian cuisine, serves good tomato mozzarella, pizza margherita, risotto gambereto and penne puttanesca.
Service. Warm and friendly. The rooms manager knows the resort like the back of his hand, and has been helpful with our endless queries. The waiters are friendly and helpful.
We like. The beach and the wide array of watersports. No long queues for rentals and there's the feeling of privacy. Lower Beach has crystal clear, tranquil waters, perfect for families with kids. We also have great memories of the romantic seven-course dinner under the old duhat (black palm) tree, overlooking the sea. Brownie points for the little thoughtful gestures — complimentary wine and basket of fruits waiting in my room upon check in; the complimentary churros with hot chocolate sent by the chef for breakfast; the homemade box of chocolates sent to our room before bedtime; bespoke menu for small groups; and overall good food.
Activities. You will never run out of things to do at Club Punta Fuego. There’s a 9-hole golf course, 12 coves to explore, some of which are owned by the locals and are therefore kept at their natural state, and the myriad of water sports at the lower Beach, including riding the speedboat, the banana boat, jet ski, kayaking, and scuba diving. Lower Beach, a stretch of virgin beach, about a kilometer long, is just a two-minute shuttle ride away from the main club. And the beach is an attraction in itself. It may not be your idyllic white sand but its waters are crystal clear and tranquil. At the end of a long active day, book a massage at the spa. Try the Riva, a 60-minute relaxing treatment that’s a combination of Swedish and Shiatsu. There is also bike rental and a game hall for playing gadgets or board games or indoor sports such as table tennis, billiards and foosball.
Not so keen. The shuttle taking guests from one point to another comes every 30 minutes so if you miss it, there’s another half hour wait. Guests will find it convenient if there’s a proper waiting area with comfortable seating at the Lower Beach.
Verdict. A haven for families with kids in tow. Will definitely go back and recommend to family and friends.
How to get there Located in Brgy. Balaytigue in Nasugbu, Batangas, Club Punta Fuego is a two-hour drive from Manila, via the South Luzon Expressway, passing Tagaytay City en route. Upon exiting Sta. Rosa, take the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay National Road, then turn right on Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, and make another right on Palico-Nasugbu Highway. Drive all the way through a long winding hilly road, passing along the way a few developments, including Terrazas de Punta Fuego. The resort can email a map with directions.
Club Punta Fuego’s room rates range from about P15,000 to P18,000 per night. For more information call +6332 553 8888, visit Club Punta Fuego.
Originally published in InFlight Traveller July to September 2014. Updated April 2016