Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Club Balai Isabel - Talisay, Batangas

March 10-11 weekend was rocked by a trip to Club Balai Isabel at Talisay, Batangas with the family and relatives (so basically, it's still family, no duh). We had the tower offsite/team-building here as well but since I was the only one who has been able to set foot at Club Balai Isabel and the reviews about the place are pretty good, it was the target for the weekend getaway.

It was a familiar sight! :p
The pool at the Cafe Terraza at night.
There are no restaurants or other food shops inside the resort save for Cafe Terraza where they serve lunch buffets, too. Before you start complaining on the limited food choices you have, better be prepared to bring all your raw ingredients or buy food prior because they're not strict at all to whatever you bring inside their premises. You can bring a whole lechon and truckloads of alcohol for crying out loud and they won't mind (but please don't quote me on this). They have singers at night so you can watch while having your dinner, well, either you listen to them or watch the others wade in the swimming pool or maybe you can do both - whatever floats your boat.


It's a lake resort so don't be expecting fine sand and swim-worthy freshwater. The resort has 3 pools so you can choose where you want to drown yourself (they have lifeguards, mind you, so drowning successfully would be pretty difficult). There's also a church inside the place, so it's perfect for those who want to get married at a peaceful place with a nice view and near place for the reception.

The highlight for me though was the trek to the "real" Taal Volcano. Cousins and I took a boat ride to the island-volcano in the middle of the lake and there we started our 5km trek. It wasn't a difficult trek since I've been to a couple of mountains already and have been running for some time. It was PHP 2,500 for 6 people and it costs PHP 400 to ride a horse (to and from).

Boat ride.
Trekking trekking.
ISO 800 for fun.
Others opted to ride the horse all the way. The narrow trail can accommodate the horses as well as their excrement. Insider's tip: Don't be toooooo tired as to fail to notice the horse dung around the place and trail. They come in different sizes and freshness, so beware!

I don't know you lady, you don't know me. We're cool.
The horse isn't.


There were other routes but Club Balai Isabel purchased property that's basically a shortcut to the crater. Others have to traverse a farther distance to see that hey, there's another lake inside Taal Lake! Yipee! And they also let you drive golf balls.

View from the room. Yes, stupid enough not to open the sliding door.
See the dirt? :|
We rented a suite/room with a kitchen and can accommodate 12 people. I believe it's around PHP12,000 overnight, too. A thousand pesos per head is not bad since the room is pretty decent. You can cook all you can (no corkage!) and basically stuff people inside your suite. They don't count people and the security is not strict when you want to enter the resort (this might be a problem). It's not an exclusive resort (wherein you need to be a member) so it welcomes everyone to experience a lakeside resort (again, this is not a beach). It's peaceful enough for the family and the area is large enough for friends to pull off crazy stunts together. Definitely not the place to people watch but a good place to create memories with good company.

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