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“best food ever!!!”

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Balai Resort Anilao
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Mabini
QC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“best food ever!!!”
Reviewed 24 May 2009

me and my friend went to balai anilao last may 19 and it was a very nice and fun experience.after 2 hours bus ride and 30 minutes bumpy ride in jeepney we arrive at the resort around 12:30 pm..we went straight to the front desk to check in.the girl in the front desk is so nice she smiled right away we she saw us she entertain us very politely and after we showed her the receipt from UCPB (FYI before you can go to balai laiya you need to pay the half of your bill in their account in UCPB) the girl told tme that they implement that policy for marketing purposes because some of the guest have reservation but on the day itself they won't show up,they need to estimate the number of people that will come on a certain day so they could estimate the food that they gonna serve since all the meal is buffet.nwei going back after i showed her the receipt she show us our room then she said that the lunch is ready....since both of us is so tired due to the long bumpy travel time we just put our thing in our room then go straight to the dining area...there are 3 main dishes that you can choose from then soup and a desert.the food was really amazing!!!!it is just a typical pinoy food but there is some kinda twist on it...that makes it real mouth watering..me and my friend realy enjoy the food there.after eating we gear and and get ready to swim.. the sand is white but its not as white as bora though...water is clear and cold..i really enjoyed by stay at balai laiya..this is highly recomended

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank piffer12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2009

Last weekend, my sister and together with some firends had our overnight summer escapade at Balai Laiya Resort in San Juan Batangas. Though I have previously visited and stayed in couple of resorts along the shorelines of Laiya too, it was my first time in Balai. Alright, below are the things I noticed from beginning until the end of our trip.

1. Reservation - Never in my entire inquiry process had I have a big problem dealing with their resort reservation agents. They are consistent on the booking information and very much accommodating. You can ask them anything you want - from the size of the rooms, the look / ambiance of the resort, food menu they are going serve on each meals, house rules, flexibility of the inclusive packages, payment procedures - I must say they are very accurate and true. If you are a sigurista traveler just like me - then having an uber honest agent is like heaven.

2. Travel - Since we took the courage of commuting all the way to Laiya, one thing that amazes me is that the resort can be easily found. At first I have this gutty feeling that we'll get lost because along the road I hardly able to find advertisement boards and "this way" signs of Balai, but by asking on most all-so-knowing jeepney drivers on bound to Laiya, we were able to make it just 3 hrs of travel time. I think the resort's popularity in the whole Laiya town wont make you lost along the way - so, who needs map anyway?

3. Location and Ambiance - The entire resort is situated right along the shorelines of Laiya. You can see the clear waters approximately 15 to 25 ft away from the main resort hall. The resort has a perfect view of the whole stretch of Laiya especially when you stand in the sun deck area, what's sad though is you cannot actually see the sun sets nor rise. Also the resort is filled with tall sampaloc trees and flowers which I think adds the breezy, so natural and earthly feeling when you walk along the area. Resort's over-all design is rustic and light, they use more on natural materials such as woods, bamboos, nipa and stones.

4. Rooms and Facilities - Since the resort was fully booked as early as 5 days before the day we stayed, I only got the seaside room with maximum capacity of 3 person. At first I was reluctant to set the deal but because i feel the honesty of their reservation agent, I said yes to it. But to my surprise the room turned out just fine and what i expected. It was cozy, decent, clean, not smelly and has a nice private bathroom toilet inside. Bedsheets were smelly good, same with the towels and yes the room has a small veranda overlooking to the shoreline.

5. Food - This is the most distinct reason why I enjoyed my stay at Balai. Really, i cant believe that the food was so delicious! I always have this notion that when you dine in a buffet style places taken in the country side/provinces of Luzon - expect that they will serve the classic provincial menu, which I find it very typical, so expected and a bit mediocre styled way of cooking. But in Balai - provincial menus turned into a new level of elegance and high distinction. Where can you find a very chessy tomatao-based baked macaroni pasta with shredded eggplant inside - only in Balai. One thing as well, they serve in great quantities - super buffet!

6. Service - The whole staff of Balai is just super perfect. From the front desk (Elma), kitchen helper (Susan), the super tight mamang security guard up to the dining hall caretaker (Greg) - everyone was at their best in terms of respect, kindness and courtesy.

7. Value for Money - though standard rate may hit as high as 2,050 php per person on an overnight accommodation with 4 buffet packaged meal - it is still recommendable and so worth it. Like I already enumerated above, Balai Laiya offers real quality to their customers - and they make sure that your stay in the resort, will be the best ever.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank akosihetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manila, philippines
Level Contributor
47 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2009

rustic but clean accommodations, not crowded, quiet, very friendly and accomodating staff, clean beach, heavenly buffet :)

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jeyni13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quezon City
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2008

We have just returned from Balai Resort and the experience was great.

We had to commute, which was easy and the staff even called us to confirm directions already given.

The rate already included the meals and they were yummy. They served a starter, three entrees and a desert. Water, instant coffee, instant chocolate was available 24 hours in the main dining area.

The verandah has a great view of the ocean. The rooms were airy, doors opened to the trees and the ocean. The staff assisted us in a funny incident - a visit from a gecko.

They rented equipment and they would direct you to the dive / snorkel sites.

I found nemo and I shall return to say hello again!

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank gooneybud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gilroy, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2008

Quite farther than the other resorts in the area but it's location turned out to be an advantage as it is quite secluded. It has a beachfront which is not full of motorized boats used by divers as a take-off station. Adjacent to a protected marine area which makes it ideal for snorkelling. Great place, great food, great staff, great dive instructor, great price.

Helpful?
7 Thank FilipinoMaleTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2008

The motivation to go there was for diving.

But also we found a very nice, cozy and lovely place. It has a very personal touch with friendly and motivated staff.

The food, breakfast, lunch and dinner were always plenty and very tasty local cuisine.

The rooms are simple and clean. the bed is comfortabe, the air conditioning quiet, the bathroom also clean with shower and toilet. When opening the two winged door, you can roll down venitian blinds which give a romantic asian touch.

The price was really good, considering that even the meals were included. Outstanding value!!!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Iki5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2008

I checked in there with my family, which were 8 of us in total we required 4 rooms. Our ages ranged from 2 1/2 years old - 65ish). There were 2 who had prior scuba diving experience.

General:
Rustic, basic accomodations, with a homey feel. A place where you spend little time in your room and most of your time in the "main room." This space holds the dining room, gathering room, relaxation room, library, gaming station, and the deck is adjacent. If you are looking for marble tiles and feather pillow beds, this is not for you. What you will find are comfortable & clean accomodations, which you will use to basically put your head down for the night and wash up.

Food:
All I can say is Yum, Yum & Sarap (which is YUMMY/ Delicious in tagalog). buffet style, Me & my husband are not soup fans, but when it came from that kitchen, it was all so good that you had to try everything and we were not sorry we did. You were more sorry that you did not have more room in your stomach. The chef & operations Manager were eager to cater to our special needs as my son has a lactose allergy and did not always eat everything served on the buffet table, they were always catering to his needs. There was always more than enough and don;t worry, the buffet food that does not get served gets recycled in the community. There is a water cooler with bottled water available for hot or cold water. All soda and some juices are a la carte.

Staff:
The staff are all friendly faces, smiling and usually asking if you are done with your plate so you can move on to the next entree. The staff were always around, but never seem to be intruding or looking like they were bored. They were very quick to accomodate or get whatever you needed. We had a masseuse called in for our needs. A dive master was ready when we were.

Rooms:
Are very picturesque, bamboo, straw looking huts cascading on a hilltop. each one is different in it's exterior, but on the whole the interiors are the same. Each have 2 twin beds, which can be placed together if needed. A/C, hot water heater, so you still can take a cool shower if you choose. shelves to stack your things. There are no drawers, cabinets, or closets. The floor is bamboo and the ceiling in some cases.

Bathroom:
This is where I am generally very picky, the toliets are modern, basic sink setup. Hanging shelves with complimentary bar soap and shampoo. The shower is a nice size, they provide buckets in the event you choose to use a pitcher to bath, or only want to wet your feet or something. The ceiling structure in the bathroom was very unique as it gave you the feeling of taking a bath outside because the roof seemed to be made out of a thick plactic and some bamboo decoration. The bathroom was very well kept & very clean. I usually do not take my slippers off in public showers, but in these stall I felt confident that it was clean.

The beach area:
No sand, mostly shells, rocks, coral. Barefoot hurts a bit. There is a small corner with warm water, which seems to be a natural hot spring. I though my 2 1/2 year old would be bored, but he entertained himself with the coral and was building things usuin the tools. There was room for him to walk and even go in the water.

Scuba/ Snorkeling:
I snorkeled and saw many fish, including a water snake & jelly fish. Don't worry, the ones in their area only sting, they don't kill. Apparently it was the season and it had stormed several times, which is what makes them more vast. Most of the others scuba dived either as an introduction meaning tandem with the dive master or as a regular dive. all I was told was they are glad they did it as it was an amazing sight. My husband saw many clown fish and even some others that he had to look for in a book. The dive master was a good instructor and is excited about diving,so he transfers that to you.

When we were not in the water we were playing board games, talking, or eating the the main room.

I would like to add that the resort is eco-friendly as they support the communities effort towards recycling and cleaning up the beach fronts of garbage. The divemaster and operations manager dive and spend their time picking up garbage on the ocean bottom.

It was a beautiful was to end our trip. It will definitely be part of our vacation itinerary next time around.

  • Liked — the feeling of being in a home environment and not having to cook.
  • Disliked — it was a 2 hour drive from Manila, some of the road was not paved.
  • Stayed January 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mm1mami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Balai Resort Anilao

Property: Balai Resort Anilao
Address: San Teodoro, Mabini, Luzon, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Luzon > Calabarzon Region > Batangas Province > Mabini
Amenities:
Beach
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Mabini
Number of rooms: 16
Also Known As:
Balai Resort Anilao Hotel Mabini
Balai Hotel Batangas
Balai Hotel Anilao
Balai Resort Anilao Batangas, Philippines - Mabini

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