Creative endeavors every M-W-F.
During the holiday break, I was lucky enough to go to Balesin Island Club with my husband’s family. Another tan over my Boracay tan? Why not!
A short description from the official website:
A destination of unmatched natural beauty located off the Eastern coast of Luzon in the Philippines, Balesin is a 500 hectare tropical island paradise with 7.3 kilometers of pristine white sand beaches. Located 21 kilometers southeast of Polillo, Quezon Province and just 60 nautical miles east of Manila, Balesin is a quick 25-minute plane ride from Manila, yet is a world completely unto itself. Alphaland Balesin Island Club is your unique, members-only, private leisure getaway-today and for generations to come.
You go to the Alphaland hangar to take the plane, which seats 19 people. The island has its own airstrip so it’s very convenient. You land at El Tordesillas Airport where you get a welcome drink of coconut juice. The staff will give you an overview of the island with a map of where the villas are. The seven villas are based on luxury beach destinations: Balesin (Philippines), Bali, St. Tropez, Toscana, Mykonos, Costa Del Sol, and Phuket. So far you can visit five of the seven. From the airport you are shuttled to the main Clubhouse via golf cart to check-in.
We stayed at a Balesin Clubhouse suite, which has two floors, and can house up to eight people. It has a bathroom on each floor, as well as Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf single-serve machine! Wait, there’s more – the most gorgeous-smelling toiletries from Crabtree and Evelyn’s La Source line.
And when we thought the room couldn’t get better, we see the deck with four lounge chairs overlooking the infinity pools blending in with the beach.
Breakfast buffet was first on the agenda, then took the kids to the playground, then some swimming. The pools are awesome. The pool nearest the bar has lounge chairs in it, so you can lay down submerged in the water. Love!
You can choose to go around the island in mountain bikes, golf carts, a jeepney or a small VW van-inspired shuttle.
We took the jeep to Phuket for lunch.
Then we checked out the sports center, which has a gym, several tennis and badminton courts, a basketball court, and a climbing wall. They also have scheduled Zumba and Capoiera classes. They also have a health bar that serves snacks and protein shakes. The table tennis area inside the cafe is a nice touch.
The next day, we made the trip to Bali, which featured a bar way out in the water. Really beautiful. The food was great, too.
Then we went to St. Tropez for some crepes. The colors were lovely, but could get a bit overwhelming after a while.
It started to rain on the way to our dinner in Mykonos, so we couldn’t appreciate the view so much. Rob and I went back the morning after to see what it looked like in the day. The blues and whites are just so relaxing. Most pools in the Mykonos deck are bean-shaped Jacuzzis.
The island also has a golf range and spa. You can ride a horse on the beach, go kayaking, surfing, and paddle boarding. If you want to spend time in the beach, bring a pair of aqua shoes, there’s a strip of shells on the shoreline. But once you get past that, it’s all good. I filmed my sand cats timelapse at the beach.
The Clubhouse has other facilities like a game room where you can play table tennis and pool, or rent board games. There’s a karaoke room, too, and a shop (with my name!) where you can buy sunblock, hats, swimsuits and snacks. We were regulars at the shop to satisfy my Yan Yan craving.
Rob and I ended our trip with a quick game of table tennis and family lunch in the Japanese restaurant. The popped rice appetizer was a pleasant surprise. I’d eat that over popcorn anytime. I had cold soba and green tea ice cream over coffee jelly. Y-U-M.
The architecture, interiors and all the little details really make you feel like you’ve traveled out of the country. If you have the chance/relatives/friends/your own money to take you to Balesin Island Club, go for it.