Whizzing down from the 4x track on a mountain bike felt like riding a roller coaster. On the first try, I gingerly held my brakes while going down, afraid I’d topple before I reached the bottom. After a couple more rounds, it was more exhilarating to just let go of the brakes and try to keep my balance.
After trying out the wooden berms, we explored some hidden biking trails that wove through trees and fields. At one point, all I could see was tall grass and the blue sky. I recalled running through the same trails trying to escape from zombies the last time I was here.
It’s hard to believe that Nuvali’s biking trails are just minutes away from all the comforts of urban living. Seda Nuvali, a lifestyle hotel, offers the best accommodations for business and leisure travelers in the area. After you’ve gotten your fill of the biking trails, there’s no need to drive back to Manila through rush hour traffic.
If you’re staying the night at Seda, you can go back to comforts of your aircon room, have instant access to WiFi, freshen up, enjoy good food and cocktails, take a dip in the pool or get a massage at their spa. Then, you can get up bright and early in the morning in time for more biking!
This is exactly what Outside Slacker and I found ourselves doing on the last weekend before Christmas Day right before driving to Bicol for the holidays. Great biking trails, comfy hotel stay and good food. What’s not to love, right?
Seda Nuvali is a modern 150-room hotel with gardens that open up to a scenic four-hectare lake. The hotel is strategically located within the 2,300-hectare Nuvali area which spans the municipalities of Sta. Rosa, Calamba and Cabuyao, all in Laguna.
Because of its location, Seda has become popular with businesses and BPOs in the the booming industrial sites of Sta. Rosa, Laguna and neighboring areas. The hotel has amenities that make the place ideal for formal business events, office team-building, R & R sessions and family staycations alike.
The hotel is also a great option for bikers and athletes attending runs, triathlons and wakeboarding events at the nearby Republ1c Wakepark, a watersports facility featuring a four-hectare lake. But even without sports events, Nuvali is a great destination for outdoor activities. It contains a 17-kilometer-long buffer green and forest zone for bird watching and other nature activities. It also has over 50+ km of off-road biking and running trails, so it makes a great base for bikers and trail runners.
This is the fourth hotel bearing the name of the Ayala-owned Seda brand. True to its name (Seda means Silk in Spanish), the hotel reflects modern elegance that blends seamlessly with nature and its surroundings. The whole complex was built with environmentally, economically and socially sustainable features. Seda is built around a man-made lake, which serves as a facility for catching wastewater and recycling it. We also noticed that the parking lots contain solar panels, which power the lights in public areas.
The hotel looks very contemporary, classy and elegant, making use of minimalist yet distinct pieces created by top Filipino artists, including cocoon chairs by designer Ann Pamintuan and large nature-themed black and white photographs in the lobby and common areas.
Since we brought our bikes, we drove going there and arrived earlier than the rest of the group who had taken the shuttle from Seda BGC. Traffic was surprisingly light and it took us only 1.5 hours to get to Nuvali from Metro Manila. We parked at the dedicated open parking lot for cars right outside the hotel. I asked the concierge how safe it was to leave our bikes on the racks locked to the car, and he assured us that there were guards on duty 24 hours of the day. He added that we could keep our bikes in their luggage storage for our “peace of mind,” which was much appreciated. It would be cool if they could install a rack for bicycle parking outside the hotel as well.
After securing the bikes, we checked in to our 30-sqm Deluxe Room on the 3rd floor, which had a giant king sized bed and a comfy bay window with pillows overlooking the lake. Apparently, each room was designed to have unobstructed views of Nuvali Lake, the green fields as well as distant Mount Makiling and other natural elements.
The room also came with a 40-inch LED HDTV with cable, coffee and tea making facilities, a mini-bar in the small refrigerator and in-room safe. One of the coolest features in the room was the media panel with HDMI, USB and audio-visual connectivity, complimentary Wi-Fi and broadband internet access, IDD phone with iPod dock, alarm clock voice mail and radio. Guests can enjoy free WiFi throughout the premises. This is great for those who need to get online work done (not that I did anything work-related during the stay). Near the lobby, there’s also an E-Lounge equipped with Apple computers.
After meeting up with the rest of the group staying that weekend, we got a tour of the hotel’s other amenities. The exclusive Club Lounge on the 9th Floor (which has the best view of the lake) is where afternoon refreshments and cocktails are served to Club and Premier Room guests.
The hotel has its own fitness center and gym overlooking the pool so you can have a great view while working out. There’s also a spa called Seda’s Touch where you can enjoy a variety of treatments from 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM daily. Services include Aromatherapy, Swedish Massage, Shiatsu Massage, Combination, Dead Sea Salt Scrub, Aromatic Facial, Lifting Facial, Diamond Peel, Hair Spa, Foot Massage and Foot Spa.
Outside the main restaurant / dining hall is the swimming area, with adults and kiddie swimming pools.
At the back of the hotel facing the lake, there was a small children’s playroom, which is perfect for those who travel with toddlers and young kids.
One of the best features of the hotel is the Game Room. With a row of comfy beanbags in front of HD TV sets, and consoles (Wii and PS4), this place just makes you want to hang out. If the weather wasn’t good and we hadn’t brought our bikes, I’d have probably stayed here the entire duration of our staycation.
Instant plus points to any hotel that has its own dedicated gaming room for kids and ummm… older kids.
Misto Cafe is Seda Nuvali’s all-day dining restaurant, where we were treated to a sampling of their variety of international cuisine during dinner, buffet breakfast, and lunch the next day.
Dinner highlights included a carving station of glazed ham, roasted apples, crispy pork, vegetable gratin, carbonara and a medley of Christmas themed desserts.
For breakfast, I really liked the selection of fresh fruit juices, mini-pizza, baked tomato, bacon, and dried fish. Desserts are welcome any time of the day, of course.
Lunch was a Japanese-themed plated set that included sushi chicken teriyaki, tonkatsu, tempura and delicious spring rolls with salmon.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHECK-IN
For weekend out-of-town trips, the area of Nuvali is becoming a great alternative to Tagaytay. If you’re looking for a place for a weekend of biking and/or a relaxing staycation with the family, Seda Nuvali is the complete package. For those who can’t bring their own bicycles, but still want to enjoy leisure biking around the paved roads, Nuvali also offers bicycle rentals for P60/hour. This is a great option for just biking around the lake and park. For non-bikers, there are lots of other points of interest nearby including a wildlife and bird sanctuary, a koi pond where you can feed fish, the lake for boating, shopping outlets and restaurants.
Thank you very much to Seda Nuvali for the invitation to stay the weekend. Special thanks to the very helpful hotel staff who assisted us the next day when we noticed our tire had gotten a flat during the night. Unsurprisingly, our spare tire was also flat and we didn’t have the proper tools to change the tire. But that’s another story. :p
ADDRESS & CONTACT INFO:
Seda NUVALI is located in Lakeside Evozone, NUVALI, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, 4026 Philippines. Phone Numbers: (6349) 2558888 or (049) 5433788. Fax Number: (6349) 2558891. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.sedahotels.com/nuvali
HOW TO GET TO NUVALI:
- Nuvali is accessible through several exits along the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) including Greenfield City / Unilab / Mamplasan, Eton City Greenfield, Sta. Rosa, Silangan & Calamba
- Buses (Jam Liner) travel from Nuvali to Makati from 6:00 am to 6:30 am and from Makati to Nuvali at 5:30 pm , 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm every Monday to Friday
- Jeepneys travel to and from the Balibago Terminal to Nuvali all day from Monday to Sundays
- Travel time to key destinations: 50 minutes from Makati (approx. 40 km), 30 minutes from Alabang (approx. 25 km) and 15 minutes from Sta. Rosa Exit (approx. 15 km)