If you are up for a romantic and luxurious stay in Baler, then Costa Pacifica is the place to go. Opened just about three years ago, the Angara-owned Costa Pacifica is a premier hotel and resort in this surfing town. During its maiden year of operation, Costa Pacifica was managed by the Raintree Hospitality Group, the same experts that used to manage luxury resort Misibis Bay in Cagraray Island, Albay, Discovery, and Discovery Hotels. It was designed by the famous architect Ed Calma, the same genius behind The Mind Museum.
When the resort was opened, the developers described it as espousing the philosophy of “barefoot luxury.” Looking at the property, one would immediately notice the absence of tall walls and gates. The main lobby as well as its signature restaurant, The Beach House, also featured large open spaces that effectively caught the wind coming from the Pacific Ocean. Overall, Costa Pacifica resonated an easygoing and unhurried vibe.
We booked a Junior Premier room. It was an impressive suite with a high-ceiling that provided an ambiance of lightness. Inside, there are large sliding glass doors that lead to the veranda which will provide a good view of Sabang Beach depending on where you are. The room was truly fabulous.
The walls are clean and devoid of framed photographs or paintings typical of most hotel rooms. Instead, the walls are adorned with hand-painted elements depicting Baler’s most popular vegetable: the humble fern or pako in the vernacular. To those who are unaccustomed, the young tips of pako are made into a simple salad composed of white onions, chopped tomatoes and red salted eggs.
Standard room amenities include a 21” LCD screen with cable, bar, personal ref, bottled water, coffee maker and free aurora blend coffee. We were also greeted by a plate of free Suman de Baler with spoonfuls of peanut butter and coco jam for dipping our suman into.
The bathroom, meanwhile, was separated from the main room with only a wall of glass. The sink was separate from the bathroom though and was open. This design further heightened Costa Pacifica’s easygoing atmosphere.
Bathroom essentials include soap, shampoo, shaving kit, dental set, shower cap, cotton buds and towels.
What else can you do in Costa Pacifica aside from taking a relaxing nap? One may opt to learn how to surf via Costa Pacifica’s in-house surf school, Charlie Does (http://www.charliedoes.com/).
If you are not into physically-intensive sports, you may just choose to take a relaxing stroll along the hotel’s lawn and then take a dip in the swimming pool afterwards. This was exactly what we did; we took a long walk around the property then went down to Sabang Beach to watch avid surfers conquer the imposing waves. When the heat was becoming uncomfortable, we immersed ourselves in the pool.
There are actually two swimming pools in Costa Pacifica – the kiddie pool and the adult pool. The kiddie pool, however, was closed due to renovations.
Despite the numerous vacationers, the pool was surprisingly not crowded. The water was warm and relaxing. We spent the whole afternoon just enjoying the water until it was dark and time for dinner.
Areas for improvement
We were initially billeted in a different room. It was as impressive as the room where we stayed in. In fact, it provided a better, unobstructed view of Sabang Beach. However, when we got inside, it was stuffy because the air conditioning unit was not yet turned on. It was not a problem, we can cool the down easily anyway. So we did, but after around 5 minutes, water began to trickle from the air-conditioning. It was slowly dripping but we immediately called the reception to report the incident.
After a few minutes though, it began to dribble faster until it was like an open faucet. A pool of water already began to form on the floor. Some 10 minutes later, there was still no one from Utilities so we again called the reception. After what seemed like forever, two utility men finally arrived. A few tinkers later and the air-conditioning was working normally. An attendant from room service came and swept the floor.
However, less than 5 minutes later, water was trickling again from the air-conditioning. This time, we requested to be transferred to another room. Again, it took forever for customer service to advise us to go to the lobby reception area. We were hoping that a room would be immediately available but we were informed by the staff that they will still look for a vacant room. Again, we had to wait for an irritatingly long time before the guest relations manager, Pettina Mae Cruz, came and assured us that she will personally look for a room and ensure that the air-conditioning was cold when we come in. After about 15 minutes, we were finally on our way to our new room.
Furthermore, we also suggest that they improve on their attention to details. We asked for two sets of cream and sugar on two occasions, both times we were only given one set.
All in all, it was still a memorable stay. Their facilities are top-of-class and their signature restaurant, the Beach House, is noteworthy and a must-try.
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Get in touch with Costa Pacifica Baler:
Telephone No.: +632 519 4249
Mobile Number: +63 917 844 8371
For inquiries and concerns, please email: email@example.com
Address: 080 Buton St., Sitio Labasin, Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora, Philippines, 3200
Facebook: Costa Pacifica Raintree