I've been to Club Balai Isabel four times, and all those times were work-related. The most recent was during our teambuilding. If you want an area that's relaxing, conducive and affordable, CBI is one of those perfect venues. Their account executives and manager are easy to talk with, and their staff are courteous and very helpful. I was one of those who recommended this place because my past three stays were almost hassle-free, with the participants enjoying the scenery, their rooms, and the food.
In all my stays, I've stayed in different types of rooms - in one of those two-storey three-bedroom villas along the main road, in the regular hotel-type rooms near the main resto and front desk, and in a studio-type room in one of the newest buildings. I guess I can count myself lucky that every time, I could count on lying on comfy beds, having the bathroom fixtures working, and eating good food -- the most important considerations for participants to enjoy their workshops and training!
Prior to our teambuilding, I had last been in CBI in 2009. I was pleased to see a lot of changes. More pools, with the biggest one just right behind our accommodations -- which was great since we didn't have to swim in the pool behind the resto where other guests could gawk at us or, worse, find their food unappealing because of the sight of us in our bathing suits destroying the perfect view of Taal.
My officemates who arranged our team building were very pleased, because at the rate we got, they all felt we had a good deal, especially with the delicious buffet meals. The only blight was when we were assigned to a function room where the air conditioning was not working. Add the fact that we were served hot lomi for merienda and pretty soon we were sweltering.
Another gripe: the phones in our rooms. Ours was working, thank goodness, but we could call just the front desk, and not the other rooms. Inconvenient for some of us who didn't have enough celfone load, LOL.
Back to the buffet -- I was glad to see that a portion of the resto was closed off for air conditioning. Too bad they enclosed the ladies' room in that area too, because that area can be a bit exclusive for some participants and it almost felt like we were trespassing if we needed to go in.
Glad to see there was a pasta pizzeria there, too, serving affordable fare. Too bad we forgot to order before we left!
At night, diners are serenaded by someone singing -- we didn't have that before! And for our final night, we had dinner and cocktails in one of their function rooms behind the resto. A band played for us.
The boutique beside the resto has also grown in size along with their merchandise! We love their herbal/organic goodies, like scents, healing balms (smells so good!), pillow spray, and massage oil -- which was perfect for my occasional sessions with my masseuse back in Manila.
We were pleased to see a church (Espousal of Joseph and Mary) inside the premises. It was convenient for us to attend Mass here as our team building extended up to Sunday. I don't think they served weekday Masses, though, because our rooms were located just across it and we didn't hear any activity. And why was I not surprised that the bossa singer whom we enjoyed listening to during dinner was the one who sang during the Mass?
I was also glad to see them renting out bicycles of all sizes. I could see kids enjoying their stay by biking around the premises.
We were disappointed to see, though, that it looked like some of their wastewater was being dumped into Taal Lake. We hope we're wrong -- but there are gaps along the shore where you can see some smelly water draining straight into the lake. Please fix this up, it's not good for the environment! And to think that the tasty tawilis and maliputo can only be found in this lake!
As before, you could arrange a trip to Taal Volcano Island where you can trek or ride a horse uphill to the crater. The horse costs P450, however, but the 3.5-km trek is free. Just be sure to avoid the sulphur smoke seeping from the rocks, and the "land mines" left by the horses along the trail. But then that's another story. :-)
CBI is a perfect getaway that's not too far from the city. Talisay is a small town at the bottom of Tagaytay City (there's a small winding road leading straight down to it from Tagaytay, or you could go via SLEX-STAR Tollway-Tanauan/Sambat exit). If you're looking for a few goodies to eat but don't want to order from the resort, the Talisay town proper is just a couple of minutes drive away, and they have 7-11, bakeries, and even the public market for some pasalubong.
Clarification: Club Balai Isabel is not the resort owned by Kuh Ledesma. That's Hacienda Isabela off Tagaytay City. :-)
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly, Cancelon and Travel Book Philippines, Inc. so you can book your Club Balai Isabel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Club Balai Isabel Hotel Talisay
- Hotel Balai Isabel
- Club Balai Isabel Talisay, Batangas, Philippines