Glamp it out!

- Maria Eleanor E. Valeros () - April 26, 2011 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Bluewater Resorts un derstand the psyche  of our times. People want to be closer to nature, comfortably. To acquaint media friends as to how to "glamp it out" and best enjoy the great outdoors, Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort hosted a simulation last April 14.

Glamping is a contraction for "glamorous camping," this was explained during the Glamping Media Event at the Allegrado Island by Mr. Rhyz Buac, Bluewater Resorts general manager, and Ms. Margarita Munsayac, vice president for sales and marketing.

"Glamping is camping that brings you even closer to nature," Buac said.

Meanwhile, Munsayac said that glamping in Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort, for example, is the firm's latest offering to rediscover nature, comfortably.

According to her, it is a unique escape for couples and a memorable bonding opportunity for high-energy families. Various camping activities provide an opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the island and spend quality time with loved ones, including island trekking, lagoon fishing, beachcombing and stargazing.

For the adventurous, one can indulge in snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boating and sailing, she added.

The Concept

In a statement, Bluewater Resorts explained that glamping is a great alternative to traditional eco-friendly camping. Here, one can still cuddle beside a warm campfire and fall asleep under the stars minus the reality of setting-up one's own tent and resting on bumpy ground. The experience offers pre-pitched tents and accessibility; the shelter provides a thin veil between cozy accommodations and the rough outdoors. Inside, there are real beds with mattresses and creature comforts, including closets, mini bars and electricity.

There are options for campsite dining. A camp assistant is also available to serve the guests' needs. One can also enjoy the resort amenities such as pavilion theme dinners, spa services and infinity pool. Sumilon Bluewater has special glamping packages, from couples and families to diving groups.

"Glamping is a new way for fathers and sons to catch up, couples to find a quiet moment for each other and friends to share interests amid the backdrop of Sumilon's natural beauty," Munsayac said.

As for Buac, he pointed out that "Nature is divine and man has a relationship to it that is connecting, healing, and energizing; and that Sumilon Island is the place to explore this special relationship."

Further, the statement read that the 24-hectare coral island located in southern Cebu is known for its rich biodiversity. Declared as the Philippines' first marine sanctuary, its reef has a collection of vibrant corals and wildlife that will put snorkelers, budding and expert divers in awe. Its diverging currents from nearby mainland Cebu, Negros and Siquijor islands, bring dolphins, the occasional whale (butanding) and coral sharks. Apart from having a zen-like experience, being in the midst of these creatures provide deeper appreciation of what we have and why we need to protect our resources.

Beyond the sea, the landscape is just as inspiring. The tiny island has a lagoon teeming with tall mangroves. An adventure trek will offer breathtaking views of the island terrain embraced by the ocean with its varying aquamarine hues. A relaxing walk along the protected forest will reward one with verdant foliage and sweet sounds of indigenous and migrating birds --- truly "food for the soul". Nearby is a "parola" (lighthouse). For the brave, a quick climb can give a 360° aerial view of the neighboring islands. Beside it is a "baluarte", a 19th century watchtower used to guard against invading pirates.

"Its shifting sandbar and cool blue waters provide a welcome respite from the warm tropical weather. Not to be missed, the golden sun rising from the horizon awakens the spirit. As the night sets in and warmed by the ocean breeze and crackling bonfire, one is draped by a canopy of flickering stars and moonlight," this was further learned.

Glamping packages

• Glamp Discovery Package (ideal for small families and couples). Price: P9,500 Nett which includes overnight glamping tent accommodations for two adults and one child (12 years old and below), fullboard meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and barbecue dinner for two persons), in-tent mini bar, island camp activities, camp assistant, and roundtrip boat transfers (Bancogon-Sumilon Island). A note read that "additional child without extra bed is free of charge, exclusive of meals; maximum of four persons in one tent."

• Glamp Excursion Package (minimum of four adults or four adults and two children). This is ideal for larger groups of friends and families, as well as wildlife interest groups such as scuba divers and outdoor enthusiasts. Price: P4,500 Nett per person which includes overnight glamping tent accommodations, fullboard meals, in-tent mini bar, island camp activities, camp assistant, roundtrip boat transfers (Bancogon-Sumilon Island).

• Glamp Nature Combo Package. This is ideal for guests who want to combine resort-style accommodation and glamping. This package is for families whose parents want to stay in a resort room and provide their kids with outdoor camping experience. It is also an option for groups with mature members who require a resort room for convenience and accessibility while the rest can enjoy glamping. Price: P14,500 Nett which includes overnight resort room accommodations for two adults, overnight glamping tent accommodations for children 12 years and below (maximum four kids per tent), fullboard meals for two adults staying at the resort room, meals for guests staying at the glamping tent will be on an ala carte basis only, in-tent mini bar (snacks and non-alcoholic drinks only), island camp activities, and roundtrip boat transfers (Bancogon-Sumilon Island).

However, Munsayac made it clear that these terms and conditions are subject to weather conditions; are valid from April 24, 2011 to March 31, 2012 only; price subject to change without prior notice; and that kids eight years old and below must be accompanied by an adult always.

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