Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Resort Feature: Balesin Island Club (Why It’s The Perfect Family Getaway) - Part I

In one of the long weekends of August, I took my family to Balesin in Polillo, Quezon as a birthday treat for my husband who recently celebrated his birthday. We had an 8:30 a.m. flight so we booked ourselves at a nearby hotel to make sure we got to the Alphaland Hangar on Airport Road on time.

We had a rough start because my daughter had fever when she woke up and seemed to have a cough. Thankfully, it broke quickly after we gave her Tempra. Her pediatrician told us to just observe her cough and give her double dosage of Ceelin in the meantime.

When we arrived at the hangar an hour and a half before the flight, there were already plenty of passengers waiting. Our flight was delayed for 30 minutes but it was fine because the baby was asleep. We boarded a bus to get to the plane, which took off shortly after. It was a quick 25-minute flight.

We were welcomed with a drink and lei when we disembarked. Then we walked to the Clubhouse to check in (You may opt to ride one of the jeepneys on standby but it’s really just a short walk).

We were booked at Balesin Village, which was perfect because it was just a short walk to and from the clubhouse. It was also fronting the best beach on the island.

Balesin is a members-only island club but you can arrange a visit if you're looking to become a member or if you know someone who is a member of the club. It's an ideal destination for families because there's plenty to do, whether you're a kid or an adult. I didn't realize how big the island was (it's 500 hectares!) until we got there and started touring the facilities.

We spent our afternoon exploring some of the villages guided by front office manager, Jason, who was so friendly and accommodating. He even volunteered to take us around again the next day to see the rest of the villages since it was too much to do in one afternoon with a restless toddler in tow.

Riding in a golf cart with Jason in the driver's seat, we got to appreciate the lushness of the forest cover, which enhanced the feeling of being tucked in your own private space. Our first stop was Phuket Village.

Every village has its own pool and recreational facilities, restaurants, and bar. Accommodations vary between villas and hotel suites, but all villas are similarly set up, with a king-size bed and a daybed, and a veranda.

Our second stop was Costa del Sol, which we were told had the best restaurant.

This is Costa del Sol's restaurant. Before we left for Balesin, the club's VP for Sales, Kathy Solis, advised me to partake of their cochinillo and wine offer. It sounded really good but it was good for six people. Maybe next time when we go back with a bigger group.

Jia and I, with Jayson, Balesin Club's warm and engaging front office manager
Our third and last village stop for our first day was the Royal Balesin Villa, which hosted the wedding reception of actress Heart Evangelista and senator Chiz Escudero.

The Royal Balesin Villa was huge, with a laid-back, very Miami vibe.

After our tour, we had ourselves dropped off at the Clubhouse for merienda then went back to our villa so that Jia can have a nap.

We opted to have our dinner at the lovely Toscana Village.

The village was patterned after Bobby Ongpin's villa in Tuscany. The olive oil used in the restaurant is from Mr. Ongpin's Tuscan vineyard. Mr. Ongpin is the owner and chairman of Balesin Island Club.

We ate fabulously in Balesin and this was just the first of many meals. Kudos to management for offering fantastic food at very reasonable price points. 

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