IF there is one place that I can count as one of my most favorite hangouts on Saipan where I can gaze into the boundless sky and sea without getting bored, it is the lobby of Laolao Bay Golf Resort in Kagman.I’ve always been fascinated with hotel lobbies for as long as I can remember, and I fell in love with this lobby at first sight four years ago. This lobby is unlike those of other hotels. Forget boring reception desks, plush chairs and stuffy flower arrangements. Forget hanging chandeliers and brass lights, spiraling staircases and huge television screens. Count out sofa sets where people can have coffee and meet with friends or business clients. Forget about the sight of people staring at their laptops.
Except for one sofa set and a square wicker table adorned with husked coconuts on a wooden tray, and a couple of polished wooden stumps that serve as seats, this lobby is bare.
What makes up for the emptiness is the huge, open window that gives one a full view of the endless sky that blends with the blue stretch of the ocean, and the well-manicured golf courses with little pools in between the greens.
The lobby is bordered by a rocky miniature pool on two sides protected by a chest-high glass wall partition. Water gurgling from small fountain adds to the relaxing ambiance. I always have to curb the temptation to go wading in the knee-high water and if it was allowed, expect me to be the first to sit on the side with my feet dangling in the water.
Here is one place where you can enjoy the view of man-made and natural scenery and the fresh breeze from the ocean — without distractions. If only the Laolao Bay Golf Resort is not at the other side of the island, if only I have the luxury of time and deadlines are not part of the daily battles, I’ll be frequenting this place.
It’s just sad that only a few people seem to appreciate it. Most of the guests are in a hurry to get to their rooms and go out to the golf courses. Others either take the place for granted or think that it is too far out. They don’t know the long drive is worth it.
First published at the MARIANAS VARIETY August 10, 2012 issue