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“It's better the second, and third time around...”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Club Balai Isabel

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Club Balai Isabel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Talisay
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“It's better the second, and third time around...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2011

What I like about Club Balai Isabel is that there is always room for improvement.
My First visit was 2 years ago, the hotel service was slow (like doing a dry-run), food is not so good, but the view of Taal Lake up-close was exceptional. What we enjoyed as a family was the beautiful lakefront suite (with a veranda facing Taal Lake), and the swimming pool right beside the hotel.
My Second visit a year ago gave me a few surprises, a chapel was built and a new bigger pool was under construction, there were also new hotel buildings being built. A new Japanese restaurant was also around to serve sushi and and our favorite shrimp tempura meal. What made this trip special was when we witnessed a couple getting married before sundown. It looks so romantic, and of-course complimentary music was played through-out the night. Club Balai Isabel was magical and festive the second-time around.
My Third visit to Club Balai was a week ago, I've decided to bring my 77 year-old dad to experience the beauty of Taal Lake. We were booked in two separate rooms, 101 & 201 Lakefront Suite of Balai Mabini. It was the perfect set-up right in front of the lake and right beside the pool and clubhouse. The hotel staff was kind and very accommodating, they took good care of us since my dad had special needs being on a wheelchair. The food was a big surprise, this time they offered a buffet set-up with home-cooked quality food which was very satisfying. The 3rd swimming pool (which was also the newest & biggest) was so beautifully shaped and offered a big kiddie pool for kids which my daughter enjoyed so much. New sport amenities, Spa services, family cottages are also welcome additions.
Overall, I think Club Balai Isabel is worth going back to... my family & I looks forward to the many new surprises and more happy memories.

Room Tip: Choose the Lakefront Suites, it comes with a veranda and perfect Lake Taal view. They also offer lo...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WowMom_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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534 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Manila, Philippines
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2011

We stayed here with family last December 21, 2011 for an overnight stay and this is my second visit here this year. There were not too many guests during our stay but I prefer it that way since my real intention is just to relax and enjoy the scenic view of Taal volcano while sitting in the viewing deck. I love the infinity pool and you can say that it is very well maintained, the water is clear and there is no smell, perfect for kids. This time we did not dine in the restaurant, instead we brought our own raw foods and cooked it in the room (the room has a kitchenette with electric stove and a mini ref) and for those items we do not have, we brought it nearby the resort.

Room Tip: If you want to fully enjoy the lake and tall view, stay in lakeside or lakefront suite either in 3rd...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Albert_Jarvis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Mateo, Philippines
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2011

This was our second stay at Club Balai Isabel. We came back with friends visiting from London because we liked the location on the shore of Lake Taal. In Tagaytay, most of the accommodation is located up on the ridge where people go for the views over the lake, but it is quieter down on the shore of the lake (and it is only a 15 minute drive up to the ridge).

The resort has expanded and improved a lot since we were there some years ago. There are more facilities now (an additional swimming pool, a spa, and new accommodation blocks replacing some of the old chalets). We checked in at 6pm and one of the two rooms we had booked was not ready. That surprised me given that the check-out time is 12 noon, but fortunately we didn't have to wait long for them to finish cleaning the room. The rooms in the resort blocks (called Bayani Suites) are spacious and have two queen beds and a kitchenette.

Overall we were satisfied with the facilities and the service, but for international tourists the food is not up to par for a four star resort. It is all local food (so Filipino guests may be fine with it) but international visitors will find the menu very limited. And the bar is not well stocked. Our English friends ordered a gin and tonic before dinner. What they received was tasteless, and when asked about what was in the drink, the waiter admitted they had put soda water in it because they had run out of tonic water (there probably wasn't much gin in it either because the drink tasted like water). So they ordered a rum and coke instead, but there was probably no more than a teaspoonful of rum in the drink. After ordering our main meal (fried chicken and rice) we asked what white wine they had, and they brought two bottles of red wine to the table saying that was all they had in stock at the resort. The breakfast menu was very limited too, and definitely no 'healthy' options.

I've rated this place 'Average' because there is no classification between 'Average' and 'Very Good'. It deserves something better than 'Average' for the facilities, but I couldn't rate it 'Very Good' because of the poor food offerings. In addition, the management if the resort seems to be somewhat lackadaisical. We were woken up early by their staff testing the sound system for a wedding reception that they were setting up near the infinity pool. That's just plain stupid in a resort to which people go for peace and quiet. And a family having breakfast near us was complaining that the pool doesn't open until 10 am. I've never come across any other resorts where the pool doesn't open until 10 am - especially in the tropics!. So this is not a place for someone who likes an early morning swim.

Would I go back a third time? Yes, I probably would, but next time I will plan to have dinner up at one of the restaurants on the ridge and bring some fruit and yoghurt to supplement my breakfast.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DavidAstley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2011

We stayed in Balai Malvar 201 so we had the perfect view of the Taal Volcano. The lake was so relaxing. The huge pools are great. Its a very big place so there's always a room for everyone to roam around. Even if there are many guests at that time, its still not too congested. The view and the ambiance is perfect. Its a real great experience and I would love to go back. Only one negative comment, the food is not very special :)

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rez1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2011

I wasn't expecting much from the place, but to my surprise the place was better than expected.

Nice location on Taal Lake. Don't expect a beach. There isn't one. You can't swim the water either.

Staff is very nice. I give them an a for effort. Will go back again.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FairGuy88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2011

Been here with my family oct.31-nov.2. It's our second time here but we are still in awe of the taal volcano and lake. We stayed in Balai Recto room 103 and it's luxurious enough for us. It has 2 queen sized beds, cabled tv, working phone, good a/c unit, microwave, electric kettle, small ref, kitchenette, hot and cold water system and a dresser for make up and accessories.
There's a terrace where one can seat and view the majestic lake. The food in the terraza is great and definitely worth it. The service is wonderful and fast.
If you want a relaxing place to enjoy a vacation with family or friends away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Where you can freely walk barefooted, do some fish catching, swim in your hearts content. .heinhale fresh air, be with nature and pray in a quiet church....this is the right place.

Btw...the price is affordable for such a luxurious place and service. See you there in December!

Room Tip: Orchard lane is too far from the lake and pool so this is not good if you have kids. Lakefront, lake...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Kareen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2011

We stayed there for one weekend for a retreat on October 28-October30, 2011 in Balai Malvar Room 402.
The location of the property is perfect for those who wants to relax and just enjoy the scenery.
The rooms are very cozy and clean. The view from our room is fantastic. I'm really glad this is the place where our organizers decided for us to stay. Every penny is worth it.
Food was also great! ^_^ Very yummy!
Pool is clean and maintained.
Staff are friendly and honest. Since we're in a big group when we went there, some things were misplaced and each and everytime they return it. Also, in our room, when we asked for the staff to clean it, we left some of our valuables, and nothing was stolen or lost.
I'd definitely recommend this place for couples, families and friends. Even solo travellers would love it here.

Room Tip: Get the top floors for an amazing view ^_^
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mimifrommanila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Balai Isabel

Property: Club Balai Isabel
Address: Taal Lake | Banga, Talisay, Luzon 4220, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Luzon > Calabarzon Region > Batangas Province > Talisay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Talisay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Balai Isabel 3*
Number of rooms: 228
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Right on the shores of the world-famous Taal Lake and across from its volcano is a place where you can relax, connect and be with nature. Club Balai Isabel offers an option for an active lifestyle with all the comforts of city living. A mere fifteen minutes from the Tagaytay ridge, it offers an up-close and personal view of the lake and its world-famous volcano. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Balai Isabel Hotel Talisay
Hotel Balai Isabel
Club Balai Isabel Talisay, Batangas, Philippines

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