What originally got me interested with San Rafael River Adventure was their unique glamping accommodation referred to as glamping with a twist. Sleeping in a tent is nothing new for me, but sleeping in a tent on board a raft certainly makes for a one of a kind experience.
Booking wasn’t a pain, our preferred weekday wasn’t available so we settled for another weekday two weeks away. They confirmed our booking, we deposited 50% to their bank account, sent them a copy of the deposit slip and that was it.
Initially, San Rafael River Adventure’s pricing scheme confused me. I’m used to seeing either day tour rates or overnight rates, for them, however, the accommodations are on a per 11-hour basis which makes their overnight (23 hours) rates expensive.
Since San Rafael River Adventure is just two hours from Manila, we didn’t mind dropping in for just a day tour which was from 7 am until 6 pm. We arrived at 8 am and the check-in process was smooth plus the staff were all courteous.
From the parking area, one of the staff carried our bags and escorted us to our tent. Make sure to watch your step as some bamboos along the walkway would roll once you step over them making the walk a bit tedious.
The glamping with a twist area is a bit isolated from the main area of the resort. It was a good thing their staff left us his number allowing us to easily reach him in case we needed further assistance.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t expecting the rafts to be so close together. I’m not sure if this will be the glamping area’s permanent set-up, but their old setup would have been nicer.
The glamping with a twist area is a good option if you want some peace, with the view of the river giving a more relaxing ambiance.
Most of our photos were taken in the morning before the majority of the guests started arriving. The central area where the glass cottages and swimming pool are located had a very calming feel to it. The other areas, however, felt a bit rushed and incomplete. I’m guessing they’re still in the midst of polishing the entire resort.
We ordered lunch at around 10 am which the staff said would be delivered to our raft by 12:30 pm. The menu had limited selections and was priced fairly but it would still be more cost effective to bring/cook your own meals.
By afternoon, the heat was becoming unbearable, so we decided to swim in the pool. I was surprised that the pool’s dress code wasn’t enforced strictly. Guys swimming in their basketball shorts and sando while others were wearing cotton shirts. The pool area was chaotic with kids running around and even a few guests diving into the pool. It was evident that the pool was too small to handle the number of guests they were allowing to accommodate. Whatever peace we experienced in the morning, quickly dissipated in the afternoon.
From there, we decided to just check out the floating pool. Fewer people swimming in this area, but it was completely exposed to the heat, so we just admired the view from a narrow viewing deck.
By 5 pm we proceeded to the toilet to take a bath before checkout. We were in line for at least 30 minutes since most of the day tour guests were getting ready to go home by this time. Some kids were already using the toilet’s bidet to shower. I’m not sure about the other toilets, but they certainly need more shower areas near the pool.
I think staying in one of the cottages or villas will make your stay more enjoyable and relaxing. If there are four of you in the group, I would suggest just getting the glass cottage for Php 5,000 (day tour/night tour rate). Each person would end up paying the same price we paid for glamping at Php 1,250 per person. I’m still on the fence whether or not the night tour would have been more worthwhile because that would mean fewer people yet it would also mean an awkward 6 am checkout time.
Based on San Rafael River Adventure’s overnight rates, I honestly was expecting more. It feels like they’re accommodating too many people too quickly while still in the process of completely expanding their facilities. Unfortunately, this makes one’s experience too dependent on the number of guests currently within the resort especially if you’re planning to spend most of your time in the pool.
San Rafael River Adventure Contact Information
- Website: http://sanrafaelriveradventure.com/
- Phone: +6325131569 (landline) or +639959746224
- If you’re staying in one of the tents or kubos, shower before 5 pm to avoid waiting in line. There are only two female and two male shower areas near the pool. There’s also one near the glamping area but is a bit farther away.
- Consider the standard glamping accommodation:
- if you want to be able to park you car near the tent area
- if you need a toilet nearby
- Book using their website’s booking form, you’ll have a better chance of getting a response
San Rafael River Adventure Photo Gallery
Also checkout our other glamping experience at Sand and Stars Resort.