Looking for an outing venue not too far from the city? I’m sure that Laguna comes to mind. Even back when I was a child, Laguna has been an in-demand place for group outings due to two main reasons: (1) affordability, and (2) proximity.
Just last February, our project team decided to have a team outing, and one of the developers suggested Duplex Hot Springs Resort in Los Banos. I volunteered to take care of venue reservation and it was such a pleasure to do!
Their website is very user-friendly, though I’d ditch the background music. Seriously. People should stop placing auto-play music in their sites. Another improvement suggestion: It was not that intuitive for me to assume that the rates would be in the “Book Now” page. I’d usually think that it would direct me to a contact form once I’m ready to book, but for this case, the page also had the rates. Maybe they could make a separate page for the rates?
I had a pleasant experience working with their booking specialist. In a span of two hours, I called her for about 10 times (no kidding!) since I had to check every now and then based on my friends’ questions. The booking specialist was accommodating and friendly–never showing irritation or annoyance with a very makulit customer. She was able to answer all of my questions, and was even kind enough to accommodate a special request to adjust the check-in and check-out time. They were kind enough to offer that we do not do a downpayment and just pay when we arrive — though we decided to do a 50% down for security :)
Facilities and Value for Money
Their rates are a little steeper than most places in Laguna but it was definitely worth it! We paid Php12,000 for 22 hours for about 14 people, as we booked Villa 1. There were three bedrooms — all air-conditioned and all could accommodate about 5-6 people. They had a huge space for cooking and grilling, which we loved! There was a fridge, a water dispenser (with free 5 gallons of water) and a gas range. Oh, and there were also LOTS of bathrooms! No need to wait for your companions to finish with their business before you get your turn.
And, our favorite feature was their outdoor wide screen, where we got to play our videoke songs! It was literally above the hot spring pool so even though people wanted to do their own thing (sing, eat, swim, play, etc), there was no feeling of being left out. You could easily take a few steps or look down/up and you’d see the rest of the people you’re with. This was mainly because there were stairs from the main activity area that led directly to the pool! There was also a basketball ring and a ball–the guys would surely have a good time :) If you don’t feel like using the outdoor screen or if the sun is already up, there’s also an LED TV that you can use. For a party atmosphere, there are also some disco lights ;)
Would we go back? Yes, definitely! Even though I had my first ever bone fracture experience because I slipped (they need to improve on the flooring; it’s slippery), the place was perfect for a team/group outing!