After giving you an idea of how to get to Club Balai Isabel and what accommodations and food to expect, let’s take a look at the resort’s facilities.
To say that Club Balai Isabel is big is an understatement because it is more like a small subdivision. It has an open basketball court and an open volleyball court, both of which are fully cemented.
You can even hear mass at the Spousal of Mary & Joseph Chapel, which is more the size of a small church than a big chapel.
And while it doesn’t advertise itself for its lakeshore, the three swimming pools to more than make up for it.
Of all the resorts I have visited, this is probably the greenest one I have ever seen. With all the trees and plants everywhere, I initially found it to be a bit messy and in need of some landscaping.
However, after taking a dip in the Talisay Garden Pool, I came to appreciate how the plants provided privacy. Thanks to strategically placed hedges, the pool was cut off from outside view. That meant no people oogling and no distracting cars blowing out noxious fumes directly into our faces.
But it was when it rained that I appreciated the greens the most. Not only was the sound of rain water relaxing, the air seemed to become even fresher.
Of course with so many plants around, insects aren’t too far behind. And while the big butterfly in our room was pleasant, the sight of mosquitoes buzzing about was a concern.
Thankfully, the cool air conditioning kept them moving slow enough to swat. So even if five mosquitoes came in the room, none left. If only the rest of the Philippines can be that way, we wouldn’t have any mosquitoes left!
Oh, and did I mention that the resort is a zero emissions resort? Yup, it’s one of the few resorts that actually help the environment while allowing people to enjoy themselves at the same time.
This place is really made more for office, groups, or big families. Not only is the area huge, but you will find many touches geared toward group activities. My favorite is the obstacle course by the side of our room that features everything from tires, ropes, to walls.
There is also a flight of stairs going up to a small square stage. From the looks of it, this is probably used to build trust among large groups. What happens is someone climbs to the top and takes a leap of faith, trusting the people below to catch him.
There are twelve air conditioned function rooms available for rent. Their capacities range from 700 to 40 when arranged in theater-style seating. Other seating styles can be accommodated, but this will mean less capacity in exchange for more free space.
In addition to this, there are eighteen open air function rooms to choose from. Their capacities range from a high of 2,000 to a low of 50 people.
There are even separate open basketball and volleyball courts that are fully cemented. If needed, they can be converted for outdoor tennis or badminton use.
There are three swimming pools to choose from in the resort. The first, and biggest, is the Kumintang Mega Pool which is also an infinity pool. Thanks to its sheer size, this was the favorite pool of guests.
The second is the Terraza Pool which is right beside the clubhouse. It is the only one with a slide and a clear view of Taal Volcano. One would think that because of the slide, it would be the favorite pool of kids but then it was the adults that enjoyed the slide even more.
The third, and smallest one, is the Talisay Garden Pool. During our stay, this had the least number of people making it the quietest among all the pools. The only con is that it is beside the administration office so most of the office staff hung around the tables by it.
When we were checking in, one of the guests asked if a nurse was available as he was felt a bit bad. In just a few moments, the concierge brought in a nurse from the Clinica Manila branch in the resort. And you wonder why I call it a small subdivision…
There are three places devoted to wellness in the resort. The first is a recessed area for the Foot Ion Detox. As the name implies, an ion concentration is mixed in to the water you dip your feet in to. The water then removes your body’s toxins by extracting it through the pores of your feet. The color of the water changes, depending on the body part getting the treatment.
The second one is the Butterfly Sanctuary where one can get a full body massage. For a total of PhP 777, you get tired muscled massaged for thirty minutes while watching the some of the biggest butterflies float around the sanctuary.
But the most intriguing had to be the Doctor Fish Foot Spa. In this small bathtub-like recess, are tiny toothless fish known as Garra Rufa. They dine on dead skin, removing them with more precision that any man-made object can do. The result is you end up having healthy skin after the thirty minute treatment. Not only that, but some people say that the effects last long after the treatment.
I understand that in other countries, huge pools are devoted to these fish. And while only the hands and feet are exposed in Club Balai Isabel, European countries allow them access all over the body. Studies indicate that having fish dine on old skin helps in conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
So for the cost of PhP 555, you get better skin and get to feed a school of hungry fish, all in the span of thirty minutes.
If you are looking for souvenirs to take home or a shirt that proudly tells people you have visited Club Balai Isabel, you can find what you need at the Souvenir Shop.
Located in the clubhouse, where the Terraza Pool and Restaurant are located, it is literally just a few steps away.
Not only will you find native and other local products, you can get yourself an new pair of shorts or even a whole new swimsuit if you decide to extent your stay. One of the things my wife appreciated about the shop was that they stocked various organic soaps and shampoos.
They take credit cards so you can save your cash to purchase fresh Pakwan, or Watermelon, in the fruit stands by the side of the road on your way home.
We’re nearing the end of our trip. But before leaving with us, you need to kiss the lucky Carabao by the Spousal of Mary & Joseph Chapel for luck.
A wise farmer once said that if you kiss its cheek with a pure mind, the Carabao bring you luck for the next 365 days. And if you kiss its bottom with a pure heart, you double the days and your luck. Don’t worry; it’s just a statue so there is no danger of it kissing back or your lips meeting a lump of fresh fertilizer as it shows you appreciation.
I didn’t know what name the wise farmer christened his lucky Carabao, so I named him Nognog. When you happen to visit him on your trip to Club Balai Isabel, perhaps you can whisper a “Hi” for me in an ear.
[Okay, okay, so I just made up the entire thing about kissing Nognog the Lucky Carabao. But you can’t deny that he does make for a nice picture, eh?]
Since it is beside a lake, the air was not salty like those found on beaches. The wind coming over the lake coupled with a huge number of plants made the air as fresh as possible and I came out feeling fully recharged the next day.
Yes, prices may be a bit steep, but some guests find that to be a good thing because resorts tend to be less crowded, have better service, and provide better food.
Not that the price discourages people from coming here because the Club Balai Isabel was fully booked during our stay. The good thing was that even if all the rooms were occupied, it never felt crowded. We always had a level of privacy and space all to ourselves.
So if greens are your thing and having some privacy matters, you may want to check out Club Balai Isabel. Just don’t expect it to have a great shore as it doesn’t advertise itself that way.
|Sampaguita Manor||PhP 5,544|
|Ylang-Ylang Suites||PhP 5,544|
|Ylang-Ylang Suites w/ loft||PhP 7,392|
|Lakeside Suites||PhP 6,160|
|Lakeside Suites w/ loft||PhP 8,008|
|Lakefront Suites||PhP 7,084|
|Lakefront Suites w/ loft||PhP 8,932|
|Two-Level Lake Front Suites||PhP 11,825|
|Lake Shore Suites||PhP 6,325|
|Deluxe Lake Shore Suites||PhP 11,825|
|Orchard Lane||PhP 6,325|
|Family Villa w/ Pool (Lower Level)||PhP 12,825|
|Family Villa w/ Pool (Upper and Lower Level)||PhP 25,625|
|Family Villa||PhP 14,784|
|Deluxe Family Villa||PhP 16,500|
|Lakeshore Family Villa (Upper Level)||PhP 18,480|
|Lakeshore Family Villa||PhP 18,480|
|Each person in excess of the regular capacity will be charged extra||PhP 550|
|Address||Barangay Banga, Talisay, Batangas 4220|
|Telephone (Makati)||+63 (2) 897-0229, +63 (2) 895-7230, or +63 (2) 556-8442|
|Telephone (Batangas)||+63 (43) 728-0307 or +63 (43) 773-0004|
|Telephone (Mobile)||+63 (917) 504-4157 or +63 (917) 872-1512|
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