Designated bicycle lanes extend to almost all areas in Nuvali's commercial district. Photo by Patrick Quintos for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – With the exceedingly cramped lifestyle in the metro, more and more urban Pinoys are looking for quick getaways to escape the city stress.
Among the more popular weekend destinations for Metro Manila residents is Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, which is located just an hour's drive from Taguig City. This sprawling development of over 2,000 hectares shows how greenery and modern architecture can co-exist.
And with the opening of Ayala Land Inc.'s newest hotel, the Seda Nuvali, weekend warriors can now check in and enjoy a longer break. The 150-room hotel, which just opened last March, is strategically located in the middle of Nuvali's commercial, industrial and recreational areas.
Seda Nuvali has resort-like facilities like an infinity pool. Photo by Patrick Quintos for ABS-CBNnews.com
Although it functions more as a business hotel, Seda Nuvali also charms families with its resort-like feel with facilities such as the cool infinity pool, a spa, as well as play and game rooms for kids.
While its high-tech rooms come with HDMI, USB and audiovisual connectivity, plus a strong Wi-Fi connection, what makes a stay at this four-star hotel really special is the stunning view of Nuvali's famous man-made lake.
Boating is a popular activity in Nuvali's man-made lake. Photo by Patrick Quintos for ABS-CBNnews.com
This four-hectare lake is at the heart of the Nuvali experience. Guests can bike, jog or walk around the lake or even take a boat ride.
For lovers of outdoor fun, a 10- to 15-minute drive takes you to Republic Wakepark, where you can learn the basics of wakeboarding.
Republic Wakepark is just a short drive from the hotel. Photo by Patrick Quintos for ABS-CBNnews.com
Getting up on a wakeboard is not as easy as it looks such that first-timers should try to get a hang of it first at the wakepark's beginners course.
(According to instructors, majority of first-time wakeboarders do not make it to the end of the beginners' course, so if you don't make it on your first try, do not feel too bad for yourself.)
Meanwhile, also near the hotel are the obstacle courses of Camp N for those who want to test their physical and mental strength.
Camp N is popular for team-building activities. Photo by Patrick Quintos for ABS-CBNnews.com
Fear of heights? Forget about that and try walking or hanging on ropes 20 feet above the ground.
Open on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Camp N is a perfect place for team-building activities or just plain outdoor fun.
If all those activities tire you out, just freshen up in your hotel room and try to get some sense of peace and relaxation before the sun goes down by feeding hungry kois by the lake.
Keeping it green
Ayala Land's Nuvali takes pride in being eco-friendly.
The 2,090-hectare mixed-use "eco-city" also features a bird sanctuary and hiking trails, as well as buildings that comply with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) standards.
This means that the Ayala-brand hotel is energy-efficient, using a north-south building orientation to maximize breezeways and minimize sun exposure, especially during hot afternoons.
Seda Nuvali complies with LEED standards. Photo by Patrick Quintos for ABS-CBNnews.com
Because the sun does not directly hit the hotel's windows, it serves as Seda Nuvali's natural lighting during the day, while eco-friendly LED bulbs light up the whole hotel at night.
Seda Nuvali is also water-efficient, thanks to the man-made lake, which by the way was not only made for aesthetics. The man-made lake has been integrated into the design of Seda Nuvali as it serves as a catch-basin for recycled wastewater.
And even if you are not an environmentalist, you will always be reminded of the importance of living in harmony with nature as signs like "recycle" or "conserve energy" are very much visible.
Stiff fines for smokers. Photo by Patrick Quintos for ABS-CBNnews.com
Jollibee of hotels
Seda is not only proud of its eco-friendly facilities and strategic location, but also of its Filipino brand of service.
"We've done an extensive research on Filipino hospitality. It's about family... embracing strangers... Filipinos don't want to be pressurized," noted Seda group general manager Andrea Mastellone.
Proudly Pinoy-made furniture in the hotel's public areas. Photo by Patrick Quintos for ABS-CBNnews.com
To match this Filipino brand of service, Seda Nuvali also features world-class Pinoy creations, such as furniture designed by Ann Pamintuan and Kenneth Cobonpue, in its halls and public spaces.
As for the future direction of Seda, Masterllone said they want to bring Filipino hospitality overseas.
"We want to be the Jollibee of hotels," he said, alluding to the success of Jollibee abroad.
Just barely three months since it opened, Seda Nuvali has already achieved a 70% occupancy rate, said general manager Jeffrey Enriquez, who added that they are expecting occupancy rates to go up as Nuvali continues to be developed.