October 25, 2011

Club Balai Isabel at Batangas

Got to travel to Club Balai Isabel!Just along the shores of Taal Lake and across from the famous Taal Volcano, Balai Isabel is a place where you can relax and feel at home. With its 3 swimming pools, function rooms, sports facilities and even their own church, Club Balai Isabel can accommodate any occasion.
Club Balai Isabel Main Entrance
Price Rates and Packages
There were 9 of us so we got the Orchard Lane Suite. The price rate was Php6325 per night for only 6 people. We were charged Php550 per night for each extra person.We also added an extra bed since the beds at the Orchard Lane Suite can only accommodate a maximum of 8 people. Upon checking out we got  20% discount because of room issues which I will further explain below.

Just few meters away from the gates is the business area where you can find the reception. Checking-in was easy but finding a parking space for your car was a bit hard. 
Business Area / Reception
Colorful Reception Ceiling
Loved the open air restroom at the reception. It does need getting use to when peeing with no walls.
Reception Open Restroom
Waiting and Reception Areas
While waiting for our room we waited at what I think is a waiting area. Good thing they had a nice waiting area that we didn't notice that we waited for an hour to get our room. 
Waiting Area
It was raining hard that day and when we came out of the reception the road was flooded. Good thing that they have service vehicles to get us to the other side.
Flood outside the Reception

Our Room
Finally we got to check in our room. We got the Orchard Lane Suite which is a 10-15 minute walk from the reception. At first glance you would notice that most of the structures there looks new.
Where we stayed
Building beside ours
Personally I found the rooms fairly clean and well lighted but not 5-star clean.
Orchard Lane Suite Door
The interior is pretty basic. The living room also served as bedroom for 4 people. They got a small LCD screen with cable TV with limited channels.
Living Room / Bedroom
We had many problems with the kitchen. One was that the kitchen stove was not working. It was 10pm when they finally replaced the gas but the flame was still weak that we could not cook properly. Second is that their was not a single kitchen equipment. There were no spoons, plates and even no frying pan. The kitchen was disappointing. I know we got the place at a very affordable price, but they did say that the kitchen is fully equipped, so we expected that it was.
Useless Kitchen
There was only one restroom which had dual doors.
Dual Door Restroom
The positioning of the beds were convenient and not crowded even if there was 9 of us. 4 of us slept at the living room, each had there own beds. The other 5 slept at the two queen size bedroom plus an extra bed.

Living room bed with bed drawer
Room with two Queen Size Beds plus an Extra bed
There were small bugs inside the rooms like the one below. Although I do understand that there are many trees and open spaces in the area so its expected to have a few bugs.
Bugs and pests
Overall, I can't expect more for the price I paid per night. But the one thing I did not like the most was that there was no PHONE in our room. If we wanted to contact the reception we had to call the from our cellular phones, which costs us a lot when we were complaining our kitchen. So when checking out we demanded that they give us discounts since the kitchen was useless and there was no phone. They were nice enough to admit their faults and offered 20% discount on our final bill. We were satisfied with their offer.

Amenities and Facilities
There are three swimming pools in Balai Isabel. The first pool is at the Terraza Cafe Restaurant. The second is near the basketball court, which is the smallest of the three. I wasn't able to take a photo of the third and  biggest pool. The Terraza pool had the best lake view.
Terraza Cafe Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool near Basketball Court
They have basketball and tennis courts which guest can freely use.
Basketball and Tennis Court
They even have their own private church. That's why Club Balai Isabel caters weddings and receptions. Balai Isabel is also a wonderful venue for garden weddings or lake side weddings.
Balai Isabel Church
Inside the church
For nature lovers, Balai Isabel has some beautiful landscapes where guests can have a picnics or just hang around.
Bahay Kubo
Taal Lake Drive
The resort also has function rooms for corporate events and special occasions.

For food, Balai Isabel only has one restaurant which is the Terraza Cafe. Their buffet price rate is very affordable and the food is good. While dining there you would have a great view of Taal Lake and a closeup view of Taal Volcano. For prices and details click Terraza Cafe.
Overall Resort Experience
Though the rooms did have some setbacks, it's something they can improve on and I think they will. And they did apologized and gave discounts as a compromise. The amenities and facilities are great and the view is just awesome. Not your classy resort but still a great place for friends and families to bond. Despite Balai Isabel's shortcomings, I would still recommend it.

How to get to Club Balai Isabel Batangas
Barangay Banga,Talisay, Batangas
From Manila, South Super Highway via Tagaytay
(This route will pass a very steep downhill road with tight turns. So I would suggest that you check your breaks and tires. Preferable use a very well maintained car. This is not an exaggeration)
  1. Take the Sta. Rosa Exit and turn right.
  2. Follow the main road leading to Tagaytay.
  3. At the end of that road (Tagaytay), just after the market, there would be an intersection.
  4. Turn left at the intersection. Go straight for 10 minutes, until you see a small road on your right named Ligaya Drive. It's a single lane road so be sure not to miss it.
  5. Turn right at Ligaya Drive. Follow the road down to Talisay. Please exercise caution: this is a steep road.
  6. When you reach the bottom of the road you will come to an intersection. Turn left at this intersection.
  7. Just go straight and Club Balai Isabel 10-15 minutes away on your right.
From Manila, South Super Highway 
(Instructions from www.balaiisabel.com)
  1. Go to the end of South Luzon Expressway straight to the STAR Tollway.
  2. Go up the ramp at the Tanauan City exit and turn right. You are now on the National Highway.
  3. Follow the road going to Talisay.
  4. When you reach the town proper of Talisay, go straight ahead.
  5. Club Balai Isabel is 500 meters from the town proper on your left side. If you see the second bridge, then you have gone past the resort.
From Manila, Public Transportation 
(Instructions from www.balaiisabel.com)
  1. Go to the bus terminal in Buendia-Taft, across Atrium hotel. Bus liners Tritran and Jam offers the trip going to Lipa,Tanauan, Batangas City.
  2. Take the bus with the sign board Lipa, Tanauan, Batangas City. It will cost you around P70-P80 pesos per person.
  3. Get off at Tanauan town proper bus terminal. Once you get off, you will see the tricycles beside the bus terminal.
  4. Take the tricycle and ask the driver to bring you to the Talisay jeepney terminal besides Mc Donalds Tanauan. It will cost you P8 per person./td>
  5. When you have reached the jeepney terminal, take the ride with the signboard TALISAY.It will cost you P 20 per person.
  6. You will reach the town proper of Talisay, the jeep will stop near the church of Talisay.
  7. Take the tricycle at the terminal near the church where you get off. Ask the driver to bring you to Cub Balai Isabel. It will cost you P8.00 per person, if you wish to take the trip alone and not wait for other passengers, be prepared to pay P 24.00.
  8. The tricycle will bring you to Club Balai Isabel.

Club Balai Isabel Contact Information:
Makati Office: (632) 897 0229, (632) 393 8337
Resort Office (63 43) 728 0307, (63 43) 773 0004, (63 43) 954 4157      
Mobile Phone: +63917-5044157, +63917-8721512
Official Website: www.balaiisabel.com


Pinay Travel Junkie said...

Not having a phone in the room could really be a problem. Especially if the reception is in another building. It sucks too that the "equipped kitchen" is not so equipped at all. I hope the management does something about it, the place actually looks nice.

Unknown said...

Yah, we were really mad coz we bought lots of uncooked food with us. It took us forever to fry those hotdogs. haha. But the place is still developing and expanding. Hopefully they can improve. Disregard the shortcomings of the room, the amenities and facilities are really nice. :)

Admin/Author said...

Nice place! Good thing it is accessible by public transport. I hope they can improve on their intercom facilities. That is very important for me, especially if there are emergencies.