Saturday, April 20, 2013

2013 Apr: Philippines: Batangas, Club Balai Isabel

The first time I visited this place was on a rainy evening in 2011, when I'm suffering from fever and I was not able to enjoy the pool area.  I must say that visiting it on a summer day of 2013 is a better experience.

Barangay Banga, Talisay, Batangas, Philippines

How to get there:
From Las Pinas City, we took Filinvest Ave. and Commerce Ave., until we reach South Luzon Express (SLEX) way.  Passing the tollgate of Calamba exit (paid 91php), another tollgate for Sto. Tomas (Ayala Greenfields Estate) (paid 25php) and lastly Star Tollgate until Tanauan exit (paid 7php).  Continue to National Highway, drive for 14km, until you reach Club Balai Isabel resort on your left.

On media, it is the location of the wedding ceremony of Kristine Hermosa and Oyo Sotto.

Also, it is the location of the scenes on abs-cbn's prime time soap opera “Ina, Kapatid, Anak” (En. Mother, Sibling, Child) aired April 8-12, 2013 (during Julio's birthday party).

Reception and Business Center

The check-in is so smooth, that we were immediately allowed to get inside room 205 on Orchard Road.

Resting mode on... 

Entertainment and living area offer 2 sleeping sofa with extended cushions underneath it. They offer complete set of towels and blankets.  Television has limited cable channels, but with radio station option.

Terrace has a small table and 2 short benches.

Bedroom offers 2 queen size beds, cabinet, hangers, and desk lamp.  It also has connecting door to the bathroom.

Bathroom is spacious with separate slide for the ordinary shower (not rain shower).  Don't worry if you notice a pail and dipping cup (Fil. tabo), it is a normal scene for Filipino culture.  And rest assured that they provide hot and cold water efficiently.  They also offer basic toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, soap and one roll of tissue paper.

Kitchen has frying pan, stove and gas, plates, coffee mugs, drinking glass and utensils.  They also provide six complimentary bottled water and coffee sachets.

Good to see that they provide reading materials ( to promote Philippine tourism which I think will be much appreciated by foreign guests.  In case of any problem or inquiry, front desk assistant is just a dial away with their provided phone inside the room.

On a side note, I do suggest that they add exhaust fan and maintain air freshener in the toilet.  Add absorbent door mats, since having indoor sleepers will take much of an effort to keep it hygienic.

The only problem we encounter in the room is that the air-conditioner was not able to cool the room. I must commend the technician who was very accommodating to fix an overheat compressor even at 10:00 pm.

Hungry mode on...

Terazza Restaurant is the main restaurant inside the resort which offers an expensive buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  You can opt to cook at your place (Orchard Lane) or order from ala carte menu to get a cheaper combination of food that you can share to all.

Plus to their service is that their waiters in the restaurant know also how to entertain the guests.  They are also talented in singing and making the guests laugh, I saw this when they perform for someone’s birthday.

Swimming mode on!  
All in all there are 5 pools to deep dive: adult and kiddies’ pool near the restaurant (Terraza pool), garden pool (Talisay pool) and infinity pool (Kumintang pool) where adult area is 4-7 feet deep.    

Due to sad reputation of the Lake where there are drowning accidents that happened (just to clarify that this is on Taal Lake in general not on Balai Isabel’s area), I personally refrain to try their offered water sports such as: kayak, jet ski and pedal boats.

My favorite challenge, to take night photos without tripod

Be thankful!  
Don’t fail to hear a Sunday mass even if you are on a vacation mode.  Normally there is a 9:30 am mass at the Spousal of Mary and Joseph Chapel.

Have your final dive at the pool, quickly freshen-up, then, bring a lot of patience when you check-out.  It took us around 30 minutes before we get back the car pass and finally leave the place.  

In short, our stay at Club Balai Isabel is a good experience where we enjoyed their accommodation and facilities. Until the next Batangas journey!

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