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Infinity Resort & Spa: Oriental Mindoro’s crown jewel

The pristine blue sky and white-sand beach meet to create a spectacle.

If  Oriental Mindoro is a diamond mine of nature’s finest treasures, then Infinity Resort & Spa is its most precious jewel. It isn’t every day that you stumble upon a rare find of a nearby paradisiacal destination waiting to be savored joyfully and reverently. Just a 90-minute drive from Manila to the Batangas Port, then a 60-minute boat ride to Muelle in Puerto Galera, you find the place cradled by the  mountain and the sea.  Infinity Resort’s unique design is Asian modern with warm touches of wood, 47 species of it to be exact. It is embraced by verdant forests, no wonder the air is very fresh and cool.

The dynamic entrepreneurial couple Ephraim and Malou Morillo, who own the resort, have a penchant for design that’s progressive, classy and posh this side of the region. Their charming daughter Bunny oversees the daily operations of the resort.  Winsome Jennifer Sanvictores, the sales and marketing and spa consultant, shared that Infinity Resort & Spa remains the most outstanding premier boutique resort  among the resorts around the area because it has a full service spa and serves amazing Japanese food and other local and international cuisine.

Infinity is a word that connotes class, grace and endless beauty. The infinity pool stretches out as far as your eyes can see or cannot see. The lap pool is a center where guests can gravitate. The spa with its world-class menus and treatments will leave you wanting more. The staff at Infinity anticipates your every need and knows when to leave you when you desire your private time and space. Its staff members also believe in impeccable service with a heart and bow with their right hand on their heart to greet each guest.

Modern Asian architecture epitomizes this exquisite resort as six 150-sqm. well-appointed villas await your stay. The resort gloriously resides on a two-hectare property with the mountains of Malasimbo, Talipanan and Alinbayan of Oriental Mindoro on one side, the aquamarine waters of the Verde Passage on the other side, and a river running through another. Every year, there is a Malasimbo Festival that is definitely well-attended. There are vibrant coral reefs for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts and diverse flora and fauna thriving in its forest. If one wonders, where the name came from, the endless possibilities, wonders, and excitement could offer an explanation.

The resort’s corporate social responsibility program includes showcasing of the artistry of the Mangyans who have been living in the vicinity for decades. Mangyans here and from the far towns of Mansalay and Bulalacao create intricte handicrafts. There are actually seven tribes in Oriental Mindoro; the Iraya tribe is the one that’s prominently living here.

Some things are simply better experienced than explained. This quote pertains to my experience in the Malasimbo Spa where I tried the resort’s signature massage. This massage gently cradles you to slumber as the dexterous strokes of the therapist hit the key pressure points and allow body tension some relief and circulation. The application of specifically blended therapeutic oil enhanced the total rejuvenation experience. My friends tried the traditional hilot massage using warm oils that soothe aches and pains. How can we forget the massage under the stars where we lay on our back and studied the constellations as the masseuse gave us hand and foot reflexology? The waft of virgin coconut oil and grape seed oil blended with essential oils of rosemary, lemongrass, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint and lemon is so enticing that you would want to have it every day.

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Another unique highlight at Infinity is the fish spa. The fish spa treatment promotes blood circulation and facilitates the regeneration of healthy skin.

The food at the resort is never second best. Its freshly made sashimi and sushi are a must-try, especially the Dragon Roll maki, spicy salmon roll maki, beef yakinuku, which is succulent pan-fried beef drizzled with mouth-watering yakiniku sauce. Its tempura ramen and katsu dishes are also strong contenders for best sellers.

 

 

 

 

You can also enjoy an intimate private dining experience by the beach with your loved ones and friends and be treated with the most personalized, elegant and exclusive fine-dining experience.

World-class diving is also accessible from the resort with several five star-rated dive sites within reach.  Hibo Reef is literally three minutes away from the beachfront. Advanced divers will appreciate its current-swept reef top filled with basket sponges and humungous fan corals. At the drop-offs, sharks, schools of snappers, batfish and a myriad other species inhabit the depths.

The Infinity Resort & Spa front desk can also arrange for a dive instructor to take non-divers on a “Discovery Dive” to see what lies beneath.

A diving site, aptly called the Desert, is just five minutes away. Who would think that the barren, desert like terrain right across the bustling bars and restaurants along white beach, is home to brightly colored shrimp, miniature frogfishes and even a sea-horse or two?

Fifteen minutes away is Clam City, where dozens of giant clams reside amid the watchful eyes of a caretaker. Surrounded by coral bommies, the white sandy bottom and shallow depth make it the perfect destination for beginners and experienced divers alike.

Dive safaris are also offered at the Canyons, Hole-in-the-Wall and Verde Island. These dive destinations are along the Verde Island Passage, which has been called the “center of the center of marine bio-diversity” after a 10-year-study by marine biologists. Simply put, it means that the waters host the most number of fish and coral species per square kilometer of any place on earth.

Children and adults alike will revel in the snorkeling activities right inside Puerto Galera Bay. The resort’s water taxis bring guests to the shallow reefs that are bursting with colorful rainbows of coral and fish that come close for a tidbit or two.

Puerto Galera is best known as one of the Philippines’ major sports diving and sailing destinations, but it also offers a variety of other activities and not all of them aquatic. You can even play golf in the challenging course of Ponderosa overlooking the sea.

The Ponderosa Golf Club is just 20 minutes away from the town proper and spectacularly perched on a mountainside overlooking Puerto Galera at 2,000 feet above sea level. Essentially it is a nine-hole par-three course with attitude and a compelling experience enjoyed by both serious and fun golfers alike. There may be no long drives down tree-lined fairways, but Ponderosa offers a serious challenge to any golfer’s short game with verdant jungle pushing in on all sides and sweeping panoramas over the beaches and bays of Puerto Galera, across the Verde Island Passage and the surrounding islands all the way to mountains and rim of Taal Volcano in Batangas.

The greens and fairways are maintained in surprisingly good condition considering the location and environment. Clubs and very resourceful caddies are available from the Clubhouse, as well as a good selection of new and used balls. My advice is to take more golf balls than you think you might need!

Other activities that one can engage here include parasailing, zip-line, go carts, and the climbing sports that are extreme in nature, island hopping and picnic lunch. New developments almost ready to open for are the glamping eco-park just 60 minutes away by land.

Infinity Resort & Spa is, indeed, perched on turquoise froth. I was reluctant to share this secret hideaway at first, but like most beautiful things, it will not take long till it is discovered.

In the diamond mine called Oriental Mindoro, its finest jewel is infinitely worth visiting again and again. See you there.

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For more information on Infinity Resort & Spa, please call 0917-7926353 or 0919-9933449 or check their website at infinityresort.com.ph. Enjoy the resort’s special seasonal rate up to November.

Email the author at miladay.star@gmail.com.

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