Haya Nature Resort in Botolan, Zambales was the answer to my husband’s desire for much-needed downtime. He was desperate for an out-of-town break because city life was getting on his last nerves. Father’s Day weekend seemed like the perfect time to whisk him off to this beachfront resort.
Why Botolan, Zambales? Better yet, why Haya Nature Resort?
We’ve both never been to that part of Zambales. When I found Haya online, I liked what I saw – a resort big enough to be nice and pretty without being overly fancy and overwhelming with people.
We have three considerations when looking for accommodations:
- PET-FRIENDLY. We bring our furbabies when we travel, so this is non-negotiable. We can rest easy when they’re with us. Peace of mind is priceless.
- SENIOR CITIZEN-FRIENDLY. My senior mom walks around with her trusty cane or rides her wheelchair. We try to look for places that are senior citizen-friendly – flat terrain, must be easy to get around, not too many stairs/steps.
- CLEAN. Granted, we can’t really judge a property’s cleanliness until we’re there, so we cross our fingers on that one. At the very least, we try to look for pictures of the property posted online by people who actually went there.
Haya Nature Resort fits the bill.
How we got there
It was a four-hour car drive from Quezon City without stops. Haya’s location is hard to miss due to its outside signage.
There was some ongoing construction that I thought of asking about but decided it’s none of my business. The reception area wasn’t a reception area in the way we’re all accustomed to. Perhaps it was one of the changes they made to adapt to the pandemic?
Our Little Villa
I was going to book their Yasmin Beach View villa for the two of us with the dogs, or Villa Frangipani if my mom and my sister were coming along. Alas, on the day of booking, only Meria Standard was available for my husband and me, plus our two furbabies. Surprisingly, Meria Standard with its 28 sq.m. worked out for us. (You can check their rooms here.)
Our room came with one comfortable queen bed with really fluffy pillows and equipped with a SmartTV and a working air-conditioner. There was a work area with a safe and a mini-bar with an electric kettle and a pitcher of drinking water (what an eco-friendly practice!).
The private toilet and bath came with a hairdryer, fresh towels and toiletries like shampoo/conditioner, body wash, and hand wash. There was a private veranda for in-room dining/room service. They even had robes for the two of us laid out on the bed.
When we arrived, the room was clean and smelled clean. Even better, the room was quiet, so sleep came easy at night. The only issue we had with the villa was the door lock, which took us forever to get the hang of opening and closing. Hopefully, they’ll install better ones that won’t test one’s patience (mostly mine).
As far as their claim of being a beachfront resort goes, it’s true – beachfront with direct access to the beach. YAY! It was just right there.
They also have a swimming pool for adults and kids that looked way too inviting, plus an outdoor playground for the kids.
Kudos to the Haya staff for being attentive to our needs without fussing about unnecessarily. Everyone was polite and friendly, truly service with a smile.
They won major brownie points from us for welcoming our two furbabies at the resort. We even saw six other furbabies – leashed and/or in carriers – during our stay! Their owners also brought their pet strollers, much like what we did. Just some reminders for furbaby parents who are interested in visiting Haya:
- You can’t leave your pets unattended in your room.
- Pets are not allowed in the pool.
- Clean up after your pet.
What we ate
They have an on-site restaurant, Bird’s Nest Restaurant, but we only ate there for breakfast. The staff brought some of our meals to our veranda. I took these restaurant pictures after all the other guests were back in their rooms.
Simple, good food is really more than enough.
By the way, our booking came with free breakfast. There were even complimentary beverages after check-in. Truly refreshing after such a long drive.
LOVE. WILL GO BACK.
Accessibility: The property is very wheelchair-accessible and stroller-friendly. Can’t wait to bring my family there in the future.
Booking: The straightforward booking process via their website deserves a thumbs-up. The website even allowed me to input the info that we’re bringing our furbabies!
Accommodations: Villas and kubos. I don’t know much about their kubos because we only passed by those around the resort. I did notice that the kubo area feels cramped. But the villas and its amenities are pretty good.
Pet-friendly: Well done on this point. The first pet is free, but additional ones are at P500 per pet. Not bad.
Just a quick PSA: I beg of you, if you don’t like pets around, then please keep in mind that Haya is a pet-friendly place. In fact, Haya is the most pet-friendly place we’ve stayed in here in the Philippines so far. It’s hard enough for furbaby parents like us to find lovely accommodations that welcome our little ones wholeheartedly. The people complaining about pets just for existing and minding their own thing is a downright downer. I understand if the animal is being a nuisance or a danger, but otherwise, why mind them if they’re not minding you? What’s more, people are accepted and welcomed everywhere, but pets? Not so much. Some places claim that “pets are allowed”, which means exactly that – they’re allowed, but at best they’re tolerated. I even contacted a resort where pets are supposed to sleep crated outside of the villas. Yikes! For us, that’s weird because our furbabies are indoor doggos. They’d freak out sleeping outside. We do bring their beds when we travel, but getting crated? Not something they’re used to. So if you’re not a fan of pets and people traveling with their pets, please don’t discriminate against us. Like you, we also love traveling and we try to be as responsible as we can. Anyway…
Haya Nature Resort was a great respite from city life. Hubby got the break he needed. He was fine staying at the resort, so we didn’t venture out to check out the local area attractions. As for me, I’m really more of a mountain gal than a beach bunny. But this time, I actually enjoyed hanging out by the beach, staring into the horizon with blue skies and taking it easy.
We hung out there during sunset while everyone else was busy frolicking in the waters.
Even at night, they made it nice enough to hang out by the beach.
We were planning to return before we even left Haya, so that summarizes our enjoyment of the place. What a great discovery!
Haya Nature Resort
Lot 7409, CAD. 614-D, Botolan, 2202 Zambales, Philippines