The thing about this Bed and Breakfast in Los Banos, Laguna is obviously it is chock full of frogs. I figured as much when we started considering it for a place to stay in for our Motherâ€™s Day weekend out. You donâ€™t share a space with a pond full of lotus flowers and pods without its natural inhabitants, and when we got to the place at almost 7 at night, the place had the little ones, the big ones, the slimy ones all hopping about.
I canâ€™t say I didnâ€™t freak out. I really did. A lot. Every time I saw one of the little buggers there was a little shriek and the reflex to want to run away. The staff was quite amused but really helpful in getting me to and fro from the places where we slept and ate and so on and so forth. There are golf carts that are used for transport and you can just ask reception to have them pick you up and drive you from one place to another. I used this a lot from 4 pm onwards to get to the restaurant to eat and back.
The best things about Lotus Pod were the space and the people. It really is beautiful. Itâ€™s all wood and white and clean lines. The place was so clean and nature still reigned, that there were fireflies on the trees next to the restaurant. There are no nearby neighbors blasting videoke. There are common spaces all around the bed and breakfast that are so conducive to relaxing with the people youâ€™re with, or just use to read and enjoy. I finished two books in around as many days I was so relaxed.
Each room has their own natural hot spring pool which was really a treat, and we enjoyed it immensely. The pools offered to the resort were also gorgeous, small and had a roof over them so you didnâ€™t melt in the heat, but the caveat being it was pretty small, only one group at a time can enjoy it without being in each otherâ€™s space. We did see that there was a significantly bigger pool almost done with construction and that should fix that right away.
You could also tell that they were trying to be more sustainable in their supplies. There were jars of shampoo, lotion and liquid soap in the bathrooms. The soap was homemade and was in a paper wrap. The coffee was in a jar provided with our own coffee maker and hot water kettle for tea. The only things that had one time use packaging were the sugar and cream packets for coffee, tea packs, ear buds. They provide really adorable woven slippers for use as well that were quite sturdy.
The staff were all very helpful, friendly and looked like they enjoyed their jobs. There was a bit of construction and from what we noticed, thatâ€™s where the noisier staff were (we could hear them from the pool), but overall there were no divas or personality complaints with the people we dealt with. Our favorites had to be Kim from reception, and the in house chef that helped with the breakfast buffet.
The realities though are the following:
- You could tell they were still starting up. There were a lot of things we asked that they had to confirm with their manager (extra pillow rate, how to get massages). Itâ€™s not their fault, but they definitely made sure to get the answers for us. There was a group that was using the lounge that we had to have our massages in (there was only one room with a door for massages), and that kept us from thoroughly relaxing as they were making noise and trying to actually peek through the one curtain that we were supposed to have another massage on. We were forced to get our massages one after the other, with the noise of people enjoying the pool and lounge in the background. It wasnâ€™t the staffâ€™s fault, they couldnâ€™t kick out people who paid for the day trip, but also they couldnâ€™t accommodate more than one massage at a time and it wasnâ€™t really a relaxing experience.
- The only way we could reach reception was with a tablet in the room, but the internet connectivity was spotty and sometimes took an hour to get a message through.
- The rooms were very close together and walls were thin. We were three adult women who didnâ€™t make much noise except for when I was using the speakers for music, but we could definitely hear our neighbors, one had a very cranky toddler fighting a lot with his caretaker, there was a family who enjoyed having loud conversations at night.
- Limited seating in the room itself. The rooms only have a bed, one chair in the room, and two chairs in the balcony. An extra chair inside/daybed would have really come in handy for hanging out in the space.
- Limited food choices. The menu was about a page of choices and only soda for drinks. They were very good at making sure we had cold water every time we sat down, but there are only around 7 main dishes overall. They were good dishes but limits you to around three days stay before you want to find something else. They told us we could order special meals but we didnâ€™t feel like a special order for three people warranted that 6 hour lead time.
Our favorite things about the place were:
- The congee and omelette bar buffet breakfast
- Ate Kim and the chef for breakfast
- The gorgeous pool and jacuzzi
- The personal natural pools per room
- The golf cart option to get around the resort
So truthfully, I could come back to Lotus Pod because I know even with the horror of my horrors frog population, the people make it so wonderful that you can almost forget about them.