Team Building at Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort

Estrellas de Mendoya Playa Resort was the venue for our recent company summer outing. The planning committee chose the resort for the following reasons:

  • it was an accredited establishment by our company
  • they gave us the most reasonable corporate rates. Though not the cheapest among the resorts that we contacted, the inclusions and facilities made up for their price point
  • they had facilities for team building activities
  • we heard the food was good
  • a beachfront resort with an infinity pool

All of us had a great time at the resort and we were able to recharge our work-stressed minds during our stay. 🙂

Taking a relaxing dip at the resort’s infinity pool

First Impression:

Upon arriving at the resort, I was surprised at how big the area was. The parking area is so spacious and the main building looked imposing.

A first look at Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort

The staff was all smiles when they greeted us and they made check-in a breeze. We were able to go to our rooms within 10 minutes of our arrival.

I immediately looked for the pool and the beach area which both called out to me. I was more excited to get into the pool when I learned that it was only 4 feet deep. Perfect for someone like me who only knows how to float but not swim. But we had to participate in the team building activities first before our free time.

Estrella de Mendoza’s spacious infinity pool

Beach area

Our Room:

The arrangement was quadruple sharing for each room. Despite this, me and my companions had ample room. There was a double bed and 2 single beds which were all comfortable.

Room interior

We were each provided with our own toiletries, a towel for the room, a towel for swimming, bottled water and blanket.

At first, we had some trouble operating the air conditioning. But a call at the front desk was able to rectify it. They sent someone within 5 minutes to turn on the air conditioning and teach us how to operate it.

The bathroom was nice and clean. I rejoiced at the hot and cold shower even though it was summer time. I was sleeping with the air conditioning on anyway. 🙂

View of the pool and beach from our room

The only problem we had in the room was that the bathroom door didn’t lock properly. But as we were all females in the room, it wasn’t a big deal. However, it seemed that the locks of the bathroom doors was a common problem. I heard that our colleagues’ room also had a non-working bathroom door lock while another room’s lock was working so properly that my colleague was locked in until someone from housekeeping set him free. LOL.

Team Building Activities:

Estrellas de Mendoza set up tents and an obstacle at the beach area so we can conduct our team building activities. There were 2 courses, but we only used the one in the shaded area so we won’t get burned under the sun. It was summer so it was so hot, but we really didn’t notice since we were all trying to be competitive with each other while having fun. From time to time, a cold breeze would come to bring relief from the heat.

Everyone’s getting ready to beat each other in the games!

Obstacle course

We also used the Function Room for our program in the evening which was just about enough for our group of 20+ people.

Function room

The team building activities were tiring but we had so much fun in the friendly competitions. A few of us acquired bumps and bruises along the way but they weren’t so serious. The staff was able to provide first aid to our wounds.

Food:

Though we heard the food was okay, I wasn’t really expecting much. We were all pleasantly surprised when we tasted one dish after another and they all tasted delicious!

Our package included snacks, dinner, breakfast and lunch. Everyone was very satisfied with the food. My favorites include the pork sisig we ordered during our drinking session in the night and herbed roasted chicken they served during dinner. The only fail item for us was the pork embutido included in the breakfast buffet. It didn’t taste bad. But it just didn’t have any taste at all.

By the way, the resort doesn’t allow outside food and drinks to be brought into the resort. Chips are fine but the guests have to sign a waiver first.

Note: I have no pictures since I always left my phone and camera in the room everytime we ate 😦

Final Thoughts:

Overall, staying at Estrellas de Mendoza was a fun experience. I would recommend it for large groups, families and couples. We went on a Friday and left on Saturday which meant that we only shared the resort with another 3 or 4 groups. But they were expecting another 300 people for a company outing that Saturday which made me glad we came a day earlier.

For the rates, I find the resort a bit pricier than those I’m used to but I definitely think that it’s worth the price. It’s a good place to consider when you’re looking for a nice resort in San Juan, Batangas. 🙂

I hate going down circular staircases, but they are wonderful to look at

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Mt. Batulao Climb

My sunburns are now starting to heal and peel from last Saturday’s Mt. Batulao climb. It was an adventure that had me asking myself “Why am doing this to myself” every 5 minutes, but also gave me a huge sense of accomplishment when I look back on our long trek and what I did to survive it 😀

My Companions:

The idea of climbing Mt. Batulao when I and my officemates were talking about climbing Mt. Pulag to see the sea of clouds. It was the third highest mountain in the Philippines and we didn’t want to go there without any training or preparation. It was Vera who suggested that we could climb Mt. Batulao first as training and introduction to mountaineering. That was January and we agreed on February 21st as the day we would climb Mt. Batulao.

With colleagues: Sorell, Vera, me & Karen

With colleagues: Sorell, Vera, me & Karen

Vera climbed mountains as a hobby, so she and her friends took care of everything for us. We were a bit spoiled 🙂 All we had to do was show up at the agreed time and bring the list of things they told us to bring. Friends were welcome as well so Karen and Sorell invited their friends. I didn’t bring anyone though 😛

With the whole gang! -credits to Vera Irinco for this photo

With the whole gang! -credits to Vera Irinco for this photo

My Preparation for the Climb:

I sit in a chair all day at home for work (the wonders of flexible working arrangement!) and the only physical activity I do is walking from one place to another. I knew that I had to prepare myself mentally and physically for this. I think I was the most excited to be going on this trip so mental preparation wasn’t really needed 😀

For exercise, I decided to start jogging and do some home exercises. Two weeks before the climb, I started to jog in UP. I pushed myself to finish 2.5 turns around the Academic Oval. The first time was torture and I doubted if I can ever survive Batulao in my condition. I couldn’t even jog for one full song! The second time was easier for my heart and my legs.

For the home exercises, I downloaded the Nike Training app on my phone and followed some of the exercises there. Finishing a 30-minute workout was very difficult!

But these helped a lot. I didn’t get tired right away while we were trekking and I wasn’t aching as much after our climb as I expected.

How we got there:

The meet-up was supposed to be 5:30 AM at the Coastal Mall. I was late for 30 minutes and I was really afraid that my companions won’t leave me behind. Thankfully they didn’t. And I told myself I’ll make up for my lateness by my enthusiasm and fighting spirit. LOL!

We hopped on a bus headed to Nasugbu, Batangas. We each paid Php 700 for our whole Mt. Batulao adventure so we didn’t have to pay our fares. It already included transportation, lunch, guide fees and registration fees. But for reference, fare from Coastal Mall to Evercrest (our jump-off point) was Php 100.

After a little more than two hours (passing Tagaytay on the way), we arrived in Evercrest. We stopped a bit for breakfast and then we started trekking for the summit at 9 AM. Yay!

Start trek!

Start trek!

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