San Rafael River Adventure:The Best Destination for a Family Vacation
San Rafael River Adventure is a resort in Bulacan that is becoming more popular because of their glass accommodations, glamping with a twist packages, and picture perfect environment.
It’s because of the beautiful images and positive reviews available online that we chose San Rafael River Adventure for our year end family vacation. However, because of Typhoon Nina, this trip almost did not push through. But I am glad that the improvement of the weather on that day and my last minute decision to proceed with this trip really paid off.
San Rafael River Adventure is located in Brgy. Talacsan, San Rafael, Bulacan. Roughly a two-hour ride from Manila, we left the house at around 2 pm and arrived at the resort at past 5 pm. The ride was smooth, there was no traffic along the way but we somehow got lost and it took a while before we found the place.
And finally . . . San Rafael River Adventure!!!!
The left side of the entrance is the Bali-inspired reception area. I find the reception area quite remarkable, made of nipa and wooden materials. The receptionists are guests friendly and very accommodating.
Inside the reception area, you can find a variety of products and souvenir items which are for sale.
SRRA have a different check-in and check-out schedule so it is best to take note of this carefully. For the overnight package that we reserved, check-in time was 7 pm and check-out time is 6 pm of the following day. Since we are a couple of hours early, we were asked to wait for a while in one of the cottages near the pool area. Note: Early check is possible depending on the availability of the reserved accommodation, so it not always guaranteed.
While waiting, some of us took the time to roam around the place and took some pictures.
As we roam around the place, we can see clearly why this resort took the internet by storm.
To say that SRRA is beautiful is an understatement and my lack of photography skills clearly did not give justice to its beauty. This resort is undoubtedly a hidden gem in the province of Bulacan.
San Rafael River Adventure (SRRA) is a sanctuary. There are ornamental plants scattered in the resort and trees are everywhere.The luscious green resort grounds is beautifully designed and the overall vibe of the resort is serenity and relaxed atmosphere.This is definitely not an ordinary resort.
At the other side of the resort, there is an overlooking view of the area where some of the resort’s activities are being accommodated.
Near the pool area, a viewing deck with comfortable seats can give a breathtaking view of the Angat River.
At night, the viewing deck can be the perfect place to chill and relax with your family and friends.
San Rafael River Adventure is also a mini zoo. There are many caged animals all over the resort and guests with kids will surely enjoy looking at them. My daughter and my niece enjoyed checking out some of the animals that we encountered while wandering around the resort.
This monkey is caged near our cottage. And this is exactly the “sad face” he had when we were about to leave the resort. Poor little monkey.
Probably the most notable feature of San Rafael River Adventure is their beautiful infinity pool with a great view of the Angat River.
It has a “mini-island” at the center and a Jacuzzi near it. The infinity pool is really nice with many trees around it giving enough shade and adding beauty to the surroundings.
At night, the pool is even lovelier because of all the lights. So colorful, so beautiful, so magical!
Life vests are available especially if you want your kids to wear them.
We were ushered to our cottage at around 6 pm. The butler assigned to us lead us to Glass Cottage #1. I specifically requested the nearest cottage to the pool and I am really glad that they accommodated my request.
The Glass Cottage can accommodate up to 6 persons. It is made of one-way glass walls which enable guests to view the natural surroundings of the cottage.
So lovely and so shala! This is probably the most beautiful accommodation that we’ve been to. A lovely and unique accommodation surrounded with trees and beautiful plants to relax and get close to nature. Very relaxing, indeed!
This is the area where we chose to have our meals. Another table was added to accommodate our large family.
Inside the glass cottage, there’s an air conditioning unit, a TV, and a dining table with chairs. A full-size bed and a double size foam bed mattress (found underneath the bed) are also available.
The loft is another beautiful feature that can occupy two persons.
If you don’t want to be seen from the outside especially at night when all the lights are turned on, pull down the window blinds (as shown in the picture).
There’s also a wooden closet to store your things and a mini refrigerator for your food.
Opposite the wooden closet is this modern type bathroom with hot and cold rain shower. The bathroom is clean and toiletries were provided, except toothpaste so please bring your own.
Unlike in other accommodations where you tend to worry that you might disturb and annoy other guests (especially if you travel with kids), Glass Cottages in San Rafael River Adventure is situated far from each other. Meaning, less worry and more privacy.
It is also safe to walk around the resort at night because there are lights everywhere.
With all the lanterns turned on, the glass cottage looks magical.
For larger families or groups, the Glass Villa is recommended because it can accommodate up to 16 persons.
Glass Tree House
Aside from the Glass Cottage and Glass Villa, you may choose to stay in their newest offering – the Glass Tree House. This type of accommodation is perfect for couples because it has a Jacuzzi inside. The Glass Tree House has a capacity of 6 persons.
Glamping with a Twist
In addition to the Glass Cottage, we also reserved a night tour glamping with a twist package. This glamorous camping with a twist features a floating tent in the river.
This is the tent that was assigned to us. While the rest of the family stayed in the glass cottage, my siblings chose to stay in this tent. At first, I thought that the floating tent would be shaky and that sea sickness will be a problem, but I was wrong. The tent is stable enough that you hardly feel anything. I’m not surprised that my siblings had a good night sleep in this tent. This type of glamping is worth a try.
What’s inside the tent? Bed mattress, towels, tissue roll, electric fan and a camping lamp.
Relaxing and peaceful view of the river.
We also had a quick bonfire at the side of the tent.
Other photos of the glamping tents.
If you want to stay in a normal glamping tent, San Rafael River Adventure also offers glamping packages from day tour, night tour or overnight packages. The glamping site is located near the area for team building activities.
Team Building Facilities
Since the glamping with a twist night tour package that we got is up to 6 am only, my siblings left the tent early and transferred to the glass cottage. After which, we had an early morning stroll around the resort.
Along the way, we saw this green garden with beautiful plants.
Aside from the glass accommodations and glamping packages, San Rafael River Adventure is also a team building facility.
There are a lot in the area for team building exercises such as obstacle course, balance beam, tug-of-war and many others.
The kids happily jumped on the trampoline.
WHAT TO DO
While in San Rafael River Adventure, here are some of the things that you should consider trying/doing to make the most of your stay.
1. Request a room service and try their Stone Massage.
2. Read a book or relax under the trees.
3. Play a board game with your peers.
4. Take the Floating Bridge Challenge.
5. Try to catch some fish.
6. Explore the resort using an ATV.
7. Cruise around the river.
7. Practice your balance on a Stand Up Paddle Board
8. Kayak your way around the riverbanks. . . err the river.
9. Swim like there’s no tomorrow.
10. Unleash your inner SUPERMOWDEL.
11. Try the other water activities.
12. Be a kid for a day – try to catch the pig.
Probably the most enjoyable activity and the highlight of our vacation was the “Baboy Damo Catching”. Normally, this activity is part of team building activities.However, I specifically requested to include this activity in our package because, why not? And besides, I am a firm believer that every once in a while we should do something we’ve never done, especially when on vacation. It makes the trip more unforgettable and worthwhile. And the kind people of San Rafael River Adventure granted my request for FREE! Yey!
The pig pen is near the trampoline in the team building area.
SRRA Activities Rates
For the other activities, here’s the rate which I requested thru email.
- Jetski – 1,750/ half hour
- Paddle Board – 250/hr
- Sit-down Ski – 1,250/ 15 mins
- Wake Boarding – 1,250/15 mins
- Knee Boarding – 1,250/15 mins
- Banana Boat – 300/pax / 15 mins
- Pedal Boat – 150/pax
- Speed Boat – 2,500/ half hr
- Speed Boat Ride – 300/pax / 15 mins
- Marine Boat – 1,200/hr
- Fishing Rod – 50/hr
- Bicycle – 100/hr
- ATV – 400/half hr
- Horseback Riding – 350/hr
Overnight packages include FREE BREAKFAST. The butler got our breakfast choices the night before and our breakfast was served at around 7 am in the outside dining area of the glass cottage. Coffee or iced tea was included.
San Rafael River Adventure allows bringing of food inside the resort without any corkage fee. When we went there we brought food with us. There is also a griller in every cottage where you can grill some hot dogs, marshmallows or barbecue. Charcoal can be requested from the reception area at a minimal amount.
If you prefer hassle free vacation, the resort also offers cooked foods at a reasonable price. For our lunch, we ordered one serving of Sinampalukang Manok, 2 orders of Pork Sisig, an order of Grilled Tilapia, 8 orders of rice and a pitcher of iced tea. The pork sisig was tasty and delicious. The grilled tilapia was fresh and well cooked. But our favorite was the Sinampalukang Manok because the taste is perfect and the sourness using tamarind leaves was not overdone.
Here is their menu with price list which I also requested before our trip.
How to Get There?
- Commute: From Cubao, ride a bus going to Baliwag Bulacan and alight at Baliwag Bayan. Hire a trike to take you to the resort.
- Private Vehicle: Just follow the provided map or use Waze.
My Personal Pros and Cons
- glass cottage is very lovely
- unique accommodation
- rooms are clean
- accommodating staff
- kid-friendly and Senior Citizen friendly resort
- great amenities
- relaxing atmosphere
- assigned butler
- not crowded
- There’s no telephone inside the glass cottage so if you have concerns or if you need something, you have to go to the reception area because there’s no other way to contact your butler.
- I am not really a fan of silk bed sheets and pillowcase.
- no online bookings
How much did it cost?
For 8 persons (6 adults and 2 children) we got the following packages:
1) Glass Cottage Overnight
2) Glamping with a twist night tour
Inclusions: Free Breakfast, access to infinity pool, free 1 hr use of kayak or paddle board, baboy damo catching
Total Price: Php 15,000 (downpayment is required to guarantee the reservation, so we deposited Php 6,000 weeks before our trip)
Additional (lunch): Php 750
We really had so much fun time together. We enjoyed the fresh air, good food, numerous activities and beautiful amenities of the resort. San Rafael River Adventure is really a perfect place for that much-needed family vacation.
Above all, seeing this happy and smiling faces of my loved ones makes this trip all worth it!
Travel Date: December 26, 2016
Traveled with family