As we drove down the one-lane back road to Coi.PH, I was as excited as a child on Christmas Eve. I was confident that the family would love this staycation because we love modern Japanese food and interiors, my friend Tina had highly recommended it, and it was created by the people behind Qiwellness Living.
Although many people rave about the infinity pool sunset session with a backdrop of Mount Batulao, there is little mention of the food experience, which is especially important when traveling and going on staycation with kids.
Is the teishoku food any good?
Is this one of those resorts that is only good for Instagram?
Is it worth the trip all the way to Calaca, Batangas?
Our family of six stayed in the Yang Villa, which has the master’s suite with an extra bed and the guest’s suite.
The accommodation packages range from ₱16,800 to ₱21,800 per couple. It is best to secure the master’s and guest’s suites so that you can have exclusive access to the infinity pool.
The ‘RYOKAN EXPERIENCE’ for 4 persons at the ‘YANG’ villa master’s suite
• Matcha for 4
• Exclusive use of the plunge pool for your family during your stay
• 60 minute Zen Bodywork massage for 2 persons at 8:30 pm
• Japanese-inspired ’teishoku’ private dinner for 4 at 7:00 pm
• Overnight accommodation for 4 persons in the ‘YIN’ villa master’s suite (check-in time is at 3:00 pm, check-out time is at 12:00 pm the following day)
• Japanese-inspired ’teishoku’ breakfast for 4 at 9:00 am the following day
The teenagers secured the master bedroom since it was quite spacious and they had their own beds.
The little ones got the living room with a sofa bed and at least they have their own TV.
The master suite bathroom is quite long and spacious, with its own Japanese garden accent and walk-in closet.
The ‘RYOKAN EXPERIENCE’ for 2 persons at the ‘YANG’ villa guest’s suite
• Matcha for 2
• Exclusive use of the villa pool for your family during your stay
• 60 minute Zen Bodywork massage for 2 persons at 5:30 pm
• Japanese-inspired ’teishoku’ dinner for 2 at 7:00 pm
• Overnight accommodation for 2 persons in the ‘YIN’ villa guest’s suite (check-in time is at 3:00 pm, check-out time is at 12:00 am the following day)
• Japanese-inspired ’teishoku’ breakfast for 2 at 9:00 am the following day
The parents got the guest room for some serenity away from the kids.
(Note: There is no closet space in the guest room, so you can place your bags on top of the console table.)
Loved the toilet with heated Toto seats, relaxing shower, and Japanese garden view.
Chef Mike Santiago welcomed us with a welcome matcha tea session during check-in. He is the head chef for Coi.PH and Qiwellness Living.
They likely used a high-grade matcha, which is slightly bitter and pairs well with the sweet cookies. The matcha is prepared upon your arrival, so you can witness the whisking drama.
Check-in time is at 3:00 pm, so you have plenty of time to hang out in the pool with the kids before golden hour.
We brought a few snacks, lansones, and a few chi-cha for the pool bonding session. (Yes, they allow snacks to be brought in and they provide Japanese snacks also in the room.)
We had to remind each other to be quiet, as there were other guests in the neighboring villas.
The lighting for family portrait shots is perfect during this time. You can literally see the sun setting on the horizon from the infinity pool vantage point.
(Tip: It’s hard to take a photo directly at the sunset, so angle your camera slightly towards Mount Batulao.)
This was also a good time to watch movies with the family without the sun’s glare.
The magic hour is the perfect time for a cocktail session and some sparkling sake.
Check out their Cocktails 360 menu. (Their cocktails are just OK and can be improved.)
The highlight of our stay was the teishoku Japanese dinnerl, which the family loved. The kids got to enjoy their own sets without fighting over each other, and we had a great family meeting.
The teishoku set meal is being prepared in the kitchen as the sun sets. It’s quite appetizing to see how each dish is prepared and the whole set assembled.
The Japanese-inspired set meal is served in three courses first with the appetizer plate:
CHIRASHI. nori taco’ kani
MAGURO. tataki + sesame
The dinner set was served with delicious and filling side dishes. We took the opportunity to explain each one to the kids so they know their Japanese food when they eat with friends.
SUKIYAKI’ GYU. yolk + benishoga + caramelized onion
EDAMAME. spicy garlic salt + sesame
IZAKAYA POTETO SALAD. smoked ham + nori
MISO ONION SOUR
SUNOMONO. cured seaweed + tsukemono cucumber
KIMUCHI. seasonal vegetables fermented with chilis
HIYAYAKKO. chilled tofu + ponzu+ bonito
The main dish of the dinner set was sukiyaki beef served with raw egg,
The kids had to order extra servings of the Japanese rice to pair with the beef.
The highlight of the meal was the Australian Okan wagyu ribeye. We discussed marbling with the kids and explained why wagyu tastes better because of the intramuscular fat. The ribeye was served from the refrigerator and cut into cubes.
Yes, we get to grill our own genuine wagyu cubes to our desired doneness, adding only Himalayan salt for flavor. There are other sauces available, but wagyu is best eaten as it is.
‘THE FRUIT’. beignets + soy miso butterscotch
The dinner ended with a delightful sweet finish: sugar-glazed beignets filled with soy miso sauce. They were beautifully presented, and the kids were fighting over it.
ZEN BODYWORK MASSAGE
The bonfire’s flickering flames added to the romantic serenity of the place.
The guest room in the Ying Villa was converted into a massage room, and we usually prefer the last massage slot at 8:30 PM so you can sleep afterward.
We had the most relaxing morning, with an early morning swim before a teishoku breakfast at 9:00 AM. We all wore the provided robes and were planning to make a “who wore it better” video after.
We love Japanese breakfast because it offers a variety of small dishes that make up a balanced meal. We had grilled mackerel, which goes well with the rice and the soft-boiled egg.
GRILLED SEASONAL FISH. misoyaki glaze + gari
ONSEN TAMAGO. soy – dashi broth
SUNOMONO. cured seaweed + tsukemono cucumber
TEA / COFFEE
Overall, this is one of the best staycations we had near Metro Manila this year. We love the teishoku dinner with the Okan Wagyu beef and the Japanese breakfast set. Nothing beats the view of the Batangas sunset from the infinity pool with Mount Batulao overlooking the Batangas valley. The massages are the best specially at night. Most importantly, the kids loved it and had awesome bonding moments with them.
A few tips:
• The lighting is great for family portraits, so take this time to get your family photos and bring clothes if needed to capture that moment.
• Bring some snacks and fruits for the pool session, movie time, and the bonding sessions.
• The internet is strong, so you can also do remote work here.
Thank you to Angel and the Coi.PH team for making our stay serene and delightful.
Live an Awesome Life with Christ,
Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: Thanks to Ken and the Coi.PH team for the experience. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
Please click on the Waze link: https://waze.com/ul/hwdmzv8c3s
DO NOT search for Coi in Waze or Google Maps as the results may mislead you. If you are coming from Metro Manila the best way is to drive through Tagaytay. As you reach the Twin Lakes complex in Alfonso Waze will tell you that you are only about 20 minutes away from Coi. Just follow the very simple directions from there.
Also, the last stretch from when you turn right is a narrow single lane road and you or the oncoming vehicle will need to yield on the side for one to pass. This road is 750 meters to Coi.
The Yin Villa has the same setup as the Yang, but with a smaller and more intimate dining table and a comfortable couch for your movie time.