Tranquil. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario.

Revenge travel is real—and it is intense. This is good news for hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other tourism-related businesses, which were all severely and adversely affected by strict lockdown restrictions for the better part of two years.

While establishments with offerings that focus on outdoor activities and attractions have always been popular, they are reaping the rewards of people wanting to spend even more time outdoors such as out on the beach, soaking up the sun.

“It’s a big paradigm shift… Before, people would always look for indoor attractions, where it is airconditioned. Nowadays, everyone wants to go outdoors,” said Walid Wafik, SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation’s senior vice president for operations.

“Pico de Loro is lucky to have a gorgeous beach and other outdoor offerings which allows us to capture these ‘revenge travelers’ and bounce back faster from the slowdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Lunch at Santelmo Cove. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario.

So many people are finding the courage to travel again that Wafik and his team have had to deal with the rush of people visiting Pico de Loro in Nasugbu. In terms of guests and visitors, they exceed Pico de Loro’s hotels and clubs numbers from 2019, which is their best-performing year. In fact, he predicts they’ll be able to overtake their 2019 numbers.

“We are maximizing every space so we can accommodate such rush. Fortunately for us, we have more than enough space at Pico de Loro for everyone,” Wafik said.

What makes Pico de Loro even more enticing to guests is its “Break Free” package offering, a two-night, three-day accommodation stay in Lagoon View rooms that are meant to give visitors a much-needed respite, having been cooped up inside their homes for such a long time.

The package includes full-course meals, including breakfast in the garden, private dining at the beach picnic at Santelmo Cove, and dinner under the stars. Also included in the offer is a sunset cruise with snacks and cocktails, select sports and recreational activities, as well as dedicated events specialists to plan their itinerary.

The “Break Free” package comes with a P23,700 price tag per person for non-members, or a discounted rate of only P21,330 per person for members. The offer lasts until December 21, 2022.

Spacious rooms. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario.

Aside from having a resort full of happy guests once more, Wafik is excited to bring back many of the sustainable projects they have had to put on hold during the pandemic such as putting water stations in every floor of the hotels, as opposed to putting bottled water in guest rooms.

In the short term, Wafik wants to improve the offerings they have so guests get more value for their money. Long term, he wants to put up more restaurants in the area, and speed up developments in the property, too, including more accommodations. This way, their guests will always have something to look forward to every time they come back, bringing fresh and exciting experiences every single time.

For Pico de Loro, it’s essential that they continue to have something new to offer. But it was never how old or new a property is, it’s how the establishment keeps its guests happy. This is especially true for Filipino guests who are “very sensitive.” If they’re not happy, they won’t return, he said.

Wafik said: “We’re also focused on further developing our culture of hospitality here at Pico de Loro. After all, guests won’t remember how beautiful the cutlery is. What they would remember are the meaningful interactions they had with our staff.”

Walid Wafik, SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation’s senior vice president for operations.
Santelmo Cove from the viewing deck. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario.
Green. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario.