Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 Starter: Club Balai Isabel


Ola! How's January treating you so far? I hope 2013 started right for all of us. :) 

I love the first quarter of the year. It's usually the least busy time for agencies, and it's when planning sessions happen. This gives us reasons to walk out of our offices and head somewhere else where we can rejuvenate our creative juices, have drinks and do silly team building stuff. It's the first time I played basketball in a really long while, and I made three baskets! It's also nice to be in a function room to plan 2013 campaigns and not be wearing office attires. I have a theory I also think big and better when I'm wearing denim shorts. ;-)

My first planning session for 2013 was done in Club Balai Isabel in Talisay Batangas. It's our first time to visit the place so we were surprised that we reached the place from Alabang in just an hour! We left before 6am and we're already munching our breakfast by the pool at exactly 7am. Just in time to enjoy the early morning view of Taal lake and volcano framed by an infinity pool.




The place is quite huge; there's function rooms, restaurants, sports facilities like billiards, basketball/volleyball/tennis courts, a lot of lakefront and lakeside villas and suites and a decent-sized swimming pool. They also have a "floating pool" (yes, a pool in the lake which is really cool) but it's not available during our visit.Too bad.

To manage expectations, you can't swim in the lake. It's deep, murky and seaweeds are floating everywhere. It's really the great Taal view and the feeling of being close to nature that sealed the deal for this resort. 

The Good:

  • There's a lot of things to do. You can use the sports facilities, get a massage, lounge in the lakefront, ride a kayak. You can fill your weekend to the brim. 
  • Very accessible. It's just 1-1.5 hours drive from Manila via SLEX and Star Tollway. No rough roads. Travel is a breeze. 
  • Since the resort is huge, you hardly see other guests. You can have your own space, peace and quiet. For people who value personal space as much as I do, this is heaven.
  • The staff are friendly and helpful. They will even sing for you endlessly during dinner.
  • The rooms are well-equipped. There's the usual toiletries, LCD TV, coffee facility, fridge, stove and mini kitchen counter. We got a lakeside villa with veranda. No view of lake from our room though. Go get the Lakefront rooms instead. :) 
  • The lakeside wooden lounge is a terrific hangout and drinking spot for big groups. We stayed until 1am and it was super cold and the sky's gleaming with stars! Ganda. :)  
  • The food is good, though not good enough to rave about. 
  • The pool is well-maintained and always sparkling clean. 
  • If you're a fan of Ryan Agoncillo and Judy Ann Santos, this is where they got married! Hihi.

The Not So Good:

  • Flies! Maybe it's the lake, but there are flies especially in the al fresco area. :(
  • Too dark at night. Maybe they should put more post lights so guests can walk/jog at night without feeling unsafe and gloomy.
  • Price may be a concern. Cheapest room is at Php 5,000 per night. Food at their resto ranges from Php 300 and up. Club Balai Isabel is not ideal for a budget travel.
  • The place feels a bit old. The room is clean but has an "old" smell. Needs a little bit of upgrading, which I think they are already doing.
  • The comfort room in the function hall is shared for boys and girls. Not a good idea. :(


A good view of the famous Taal volcano




That's the wooden lounge where we spent most of the night silly!

Club Balai Isabel is a good option if you're looking for a getaway that's not too far from Manila. It's peaceful, quiet and there's green everywhere which is a welcome treat for city girls tired of all the smoke and stress of Manila. You should try it. :)


For more information, visit their website HERE. 

Thanks to Jelly of Jelly Factory for the magnificent photos! :)


This is not a sponsored post.

From the Nook and saying TGIF,
Dang  

4 comments:

  1. Wow, ang aga nagstart ng mga pasyal mo for 2013! I hope this is a sign for you that you'll be traveling a lot this year! Looking forward to more posts about your adventures!

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  2. Thanks, Dea! I really hope so. I'm really hoping to see the world this year. We only live once! :) Take care, you and the baby please! Muah!

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  3. Nice one, Dang. Ganito nalang tayo. I'll take the photos and you blog kasi ang tamad ko! Hehehehe.

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  4. Thanks, Jelly! Let's push thru with the TMI project. You should be the EIC and Chief Photog! :D

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I'd love to hear what you think. Fire away!