JUST like any other business, innovation is the key to survive and remain competitive, especially in these times. The 36-hectare Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park has taken the cue and flexed its muscles to remain a major force to reckon with in the leisure business.
Gilbert Remulla, Island Cove’s managing director, told the media in a recent familiarization tour that innovation is quite important for the growing number of tourists, both local and foreign. “We strive to keep things interesting and exciting by offering something fresh all the time. We also make sure that our facilities are up-to-date and continue to cater to the changing needs and wants of our market.”
“We are most proud of our ability to be consistent in delivering excellent service. We make an effort to fulfil our mission to satisfy our guests and partners, and go the extra mile to help them,” he added. Since 1998, Island Cove has been cited for offering a variety of attractions, there is something to do for every member of the family—even the four-legged ones are welcome.
Remulla said Island Cove strives to remain relevant by responding to the challenges of the times by searching for its niche and strengthening on that niche. Ten years ago the company decided to be a family-friendly destination to make the business sustainable.
Originally known as Puro ng Burrungoy, Island Cove opened in 1976 under its former name Covelandia. In 1998 it was renamed Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park. In November 2017 the Department of Tourism accredited it as a four-star resort.
Remulla, who celebrated his sixth birthday in the resort known at that time as Covelandia, recalled the place is now quite different compared to its early years. “Some facilities like the bowling alley are now gone,” he recalled.
In the 1970s, he added, clients and guests had to travel by boat to access the main road and reach the island resort. Today, a bridge serves as an access point to the entrance of Island Cove.
For its 20th anniversary, Island Cove added a few attractions and lined up some promos to ensure the continued strong foot traffic to the resort.
Remulla said the leisure park recently opened the Island Aviary to enable visitors to appreciate wildlife creatures through the 3,200-square-meter (sq m) animal zone. Visitors can see the Brahminy Kite, peacock, parrot and many more.
Moreover, the resort encourages guests to feed the rabbits and the ostrich, and hold the 200-pound Burmese python as part of the bonding process with nature. Zookeepers will serve as guides and provide information, such as how the heron has hardly stepped out of his little bird house after his spouse passed away some months ago.
For both young and the young at heart who are yearning for speed, Island Cove has a fleet of go-karts these speedsters can pedal around the premises for P100 for every 15 minutes. Unlike bikes, go-karts are rider-friendly as they don’t require balancing skills.
To keep the guests “connected” all the time, the rooms have USB charging ports, Wi-fi Internet connectivity, flat-screen TVs and modern bathrooms.
For a safer playing environment for the children, Island Cove has introduced the King Crawler, a Dutch-designed vertical urban play structure, which combines several functions, including different types of climbing opportunities that has been made safer for children with the installation of colorful rubber flooring to minimize the possibility of accidents.
The leisure resort is also promoting a healthy lifestyle by launching Fit Club Fitness Journey, a body transformation challenge that aims to reward those with the biggest weight loss.
The Bayside Deck is the latest addition to Island Cove’s inventory of function areas. Overlooking Manila Bay, yet air-conditioned, the 170-seater is perfect for events on sweltering days.
The Fishing Village expanded its menu to include Kamayan Sets good for six to eight persons. The appetizing bundles encourage you to eat kamayan style. There are three sets to choose from, with price ranging from P2,800 to P3,300.
For people looking for Western cuisine, Sangley Point’s Western cuisine is the place to be, as its menu has been spiced up with new dishes, too, ranging from Starters to Share (garden vegetable sticks, chicken lollipops, fried Shanghai rolls, fried plantains, baked mussels, French fries and onion rings), served with its signature sauces to the Madras Style Vegetable Curry (spicy fresh garden harvest cooked with curry, coconut milk and fresh cream, accompanied with steamed rice and fried onions).
Island Cove also recognizes the importance of pets to the family nowadays. For P1,500 per night, per pet, Executive Assistant Manager Malu Samaco said rooms may be provided with sleeping baskets for the pets.
The resort has a hotel with a range of room classes, cabanas, and dormitories.
A major attraction is the Oceania Swim & Splash Park, which features a 3,000-sq-m lagoon-shaped pool with four giant fiberglass slides and giant inflatable slides.
Remulla said it’s the staff providing the excellent service to the guests for the past 20 years. In fact, some of them have been with Island Cove from Day One and have stayed for two decades.