Are you looking for somewhere to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila, but don’t want to make too much of an effort to travel far, far away?
GOING TO ISLAND COVE IS JUST A FEW MINUTES AWAY
Island Cove fits the bill! Island Cove is only 20 minutes away from SM Mall of Asia on the Cavitex, driving at regular speed, including time spent paying for toll. Yes, I timed it both ways! If you discount the waiting time at the toll booths and drive a little faster, you could easily reach it in 12 minutes.
It is a great place to take your balikbayan and tourist friends for a leisurely lunch while being very convenient for you since it is just a stone’s throw away from MoA. You can go to Island Cove for a leisurely lunch and entertain guests, yet quickly be able to get back to the office or go back home in the evening.
There’s no need to drive hours and hours. If you are taking kids along, you won’t have to endure their “are we there yet” questions for long, because, you’ll literally already be there!
FOOD, FOOD, FOOD!
A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park in Kawit, Cavite. It was my first time to visit Island Cove. I used to think it was just a resort with a big swimming pool, but now I think of it as a foodie destination / resort.
It now boasts not one, not two, but four (4) restaurants! They are headed by Executive Chef Vill Purificacion, a native Caviteño who has had an extensive career in the F&B hospitality industry abroad. There’s Sangley Point, iCafe, The Fishing Village, and Bayside KTV.
We had lunch at Sangley Point. This is the name of their main restaurant that serves western-style cuisine. It is located in the same vicinity as the pool.
The highlight of our lunch was the famous Lechon sa Pugon, slow-cooked in a brick oven for 2.5 to 3 hours. Using this process removes a lot of fat from the skin, making it less sinful, at least It was delicious. I am normally not a big lechon eater because I am scared of the cholesterol (I know, right? Hahaha!) but I threw all my inhibitions to the wind at Island Cove and ate, A LOT. The skin was crunchy and meaty. Normally, pork skin is just skin, but this lechon’s skin somehow was meaty, too.
Now tell me that lechon skin isn’t meaty!
The lechon is P7,500 for the whole lechon and you need to place the order 3 days in advance. It’s a wonderful treat for your party, especially for those who miss eating lechon!
I am not kidding when I say that this Pork Barbecue may be the best pork barbecue I have had in my life! Imagine bacon-cut pork, threaded into barbecue sticks, grilled and smothered in sweet honeylicious sauce. Bacon and barbecue? Oh, I’m drooling!
This is another of Island Cove’s specialties: Pork Ribs and Fried Chicken. The Pork Ribs were very tender.
The Pork Ribs and Fried Chicken are best paired with Island Cove’s home-made sauces:
I was so sad that I wasn’t able to try this Chicken Piccata (P330) pasta because it was all gone before I got to it I was told that it was delicious! Italian food is one of Chef Vill’s specialties.
This is the Baked Salmon (P525). Although it looks dark, it was actually perfectly cooked inside and not dry or overcooked. The mashed potatoes are gooood!
I heartily recommend getting the Lechon de Pugon, although I think you may need to call ahead and order beforehand. The Pork Barbecue made with their home-made bacon is also so comforting and delicious!
Late that afternoon, we had snacks at The Fishing Village – Island Cove’s Filipino-themed restaurant that offers a unique experience of dining in bamboo huts atop a fish pond. I missed taking pictures of the food because we spent too much time at the spa! It was almost night time!
I’m glad I was able to take a picture of the Fishing Village outside earlier that day:
I recommend their Arroz Caldo (P110) – I really loved the consistency of their Arroz Caldo and plan to go back for it next time!
Some of their bestsellers include this Sinigang na Salmon, Mussels, Oysters, Appetizers in a Sungkaan (P385):
For dessert, they have this Turon ala Mode (P150):
They also serve lechon here:
YOU CAN FISH at the Fishing Village! There’s a fishing fee of P100.00 which includes the use of a bamboo rod. You may also bring your own fishing rod. Bait are available. Fish caught will be weighed and charged to you (thee’s a price board). You can also have your catch cooked for a minimal cooking fee.
We also had cakes and coffee at the iCafe, located in the lobby of the main building.
Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park has 123 rooms available for guests where they just finished major renovations. I will be coming back in the summer, so I will post more about the hotel amenities then. This time, it was all about the food!
But here’s a pic of what you can expect:
Update: I went back! Here’s my Island Cove staycation review.
They call this area the Oceania Swim & Splash Park. The main pools has giant slides, while there is also a kid-friendly splash pool. The splashers and sprayers are imported from Australia. Safety is of paramount importance, so they also installed colorful, water safe rubber flooring to minimize the possibility of accidents. I really appreciate how Island Cove really cares about making everything safe for their customers – this conviction shines through in everything, and they are willing to spend to get the best equipment.
All their lifeguards are certified in standard first aid and basic life support by the Philippine National Red Cross, too.
I didn’t have time to play in the pool during our day trip, but I will be coming back! The water was beckoning and it was all I could do not to jump in!
We did like Cleopatra and got a Warm Milk Bath (P1,200)! I was with new friend Ruth from RuthdelaCruz.com. This included a body scrub to slough off dead skin, and when our newly exfoliated skin was ready to absorb all the milky nutrients, we were submerged in a milk bath.
The spa room:
The tubs where we had our milk bath is on the left. The rose petals were a nice touch! The milk used was goat’s milk and it smelled so yummy, just like milk candy! I wanted to eat it!
After the milk bath, my skin felt so smooth and moisturized!
Island Cove has a Wildlife Sanctuary where you can see different reptiles, mammals and birds. Some of them are rescue animals whose owners could no longer keep them. We saw a lion, Philippine deer, ostriches, crocodiles, a python, etc… I even saw some kids (baby goats) running around eating grass. They were so cute! And I even saw some black wild boar running around, too, with their cute little black piglets.
There were a lot of birds. This is a pea hen 🙂
You can feed the animals, just ask the caretaker to assist you. You can even touch a baby croc or wrap the python around your neck, if you dare!
Feeding the lion:
FYI, you can bring your dogs to Island Cove. Island Cove is pet-friendly!
The mangrove area at the back portion of Island Cove is also a breeding and resting ground for migratory birds.
- Bayside KTV
- King Crawler (kiddie playground)
- Table Tennis
- Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox
Island Cove is 12-hectares big. The way it was designed is that there are several structures spread throughout the property, all connected by paths / roads. To get around, you may walk if you wish, but there is also a free shuttle service around Island Cove. Just so you know, the shuttle is an eco-friendly electric vehicle. Just let the staff at the door know that you want to take the shuttle and they’ll radio the driver for you.
The best way to get there is by car. There is ample parking space, and parking is FREE! You’ll have to pass by two toll gates where you pay a total of P88.00 each way to and from Island Cove.
Here is the map if you are coming from the Mall of Asia area:
You can also take public transportation to Island Cove. Here is the map and some directions:
Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park
Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite
Tel: (046) 434 0210
Mobile: (+63) 917 551 7776
Email: [email protected]
Makati Sales Office:
Suite 1416 Cityland 10 Tower 1, De La Costa St., Makati City
Tel: (02) 8107878
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The Barat Queen
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