Private Pool Renting 101:
1. Location, location, location
Of course, looking of the perfect private pool resort is the #1 factor to enjoy your quick summer getaway from the city. And of course the places with the most strategic locations (usually by the roads and on the corners) are usually the ones you would typically go for. BUT in Laguna, or more specifically, in Pansol, Laguna, that is not always the case, since the hot springs stretch across the whole district, you could find some of the most beautiful resorts with the best deals deeper in the private subdivisions of the district. However, you cant just go browsing into subdivisions and homes that easily, that's where the 'kuyas' come in. They are your key in getting into some of the most secluded resorts and private pools that the place has to offer.
- don't stop on the first pool you see, rather, stop for the first 'kuya' you see and ask him about his offers. :D
- don't be shy to ask around or ask a 'kuya' they know all the resorts in the area and they could get you a good deal as well.
- farther resorts usually offer lower prices than those that are nearer the national hi-way, and sometimes they are even better than the nearer ones.
2. Be Specific
Once you get a hold of a 'kuya', dont tell him your budget right away because right then, you would limit yourself to a narrow set of selections, rather, tell him what you're looking for, for example: water temperature, size, amenities, safety and if its for a specific event. also, consider what you would be doing on those next 12-24 hours of freetime. would there be a program? a barbecue? a dance contest? a reunion? or even just a small party? be sure to consider the necessities of the venue that would be crucial to your purpose of stay. So make a list of specific things that should be present in the place, e.g. function room/common area, parking space, and tell that to the 'kuya' so you wont be wasting too much time and energy looking for the right place. that way he could show your around different places first(even though they're way off from your budget) and you can then HAGGLE (yes, even the rent costs are negotiable) for the right price. :)
- be specific about what you want then haggle for the right price.
This will be one of the greatest factors that would affect the cost of the resort, of course, bigger resorts seem to be much more luxurious, but it doesnt necessarily mean that its going to be better. Let's say you're a family of 4 plus the lolo and lola, would you think renting a resort for 12 hours big enough for 30 people, with 8 rooms and bathrooms would do you good? Im sure you not be able maximize the whole space and just waste money. Same goes for huge crowds and crimping on the venue, it'll be just too crowded and everyone wont be enjoying themselves bumping to each other all the time.
- dont hold back or be shy on scouting and looking at different places. I recommend scouting for at least 5 places before settling/deciding on which one to take.
Private pool kuyas can be found all over the long stretch of the Pansol National Hi-way
Even though renting a place to swim and sleep are what you're basically looking for, you can still enjoy some of the creature comforts in most of the pools that are for rent. So when you're asking the 'kuya' for different places, make sure to also ask if they have different amenities included. Here's what i've seen resorts offer/include: Airconditioners, hot/cold showers, Refrigerators, BBQ Grill areas, Karaokes, Water slides, Parking lots (yes, some of the resorts dont have one which could make your vehicle vulnerable to thieves) & security guards (for public pools and some high-end private pools). So be sure to to ask the 'kuya' if they offer this services and if they come with the resort or if you have to pay extra for it.
- aside from the general look of the place, always consider what's included in the rent, some creature comforts are actually necessities during vacation time. (would you rather have cheap warm beer or insanely expensive cold ones instead of renting a place with a fridge to cool them with?)
Like what i've said earlier, it is possible to haggle or 'tumawad' for the rent of the pool, although some 'kuyas' and caretakers have their cost on lockdown, some would be happy to reduce the cost of the rent just to make a sale for the day. Based from my experience you could get around 10-35% off from the price, but it varies from each resort, so dont be afraid to ask for a lower price, but ONLY DO IT IF YOUR INTENT ON GETTING THE PLACE, otherwise, theykuya/caretaker would just be annoyed and might throw you out.
- dont overspend on renting the pool,its better to have more food and eat it on some benches than to sit in front of a huge table and have nothing to eat at all :)
Good luck on getting that perfect private pool! :D
More tips and things to come in the next post! enjoy your summer vacations!