Baler Bound: A Sweet Rendezvous at Costa Pacifica Raintree
|Costa Pacifica's infinity pool|
Two weeks ago, we were so privileged to be one of the firsts to check out the newest boutique resort in Baler, the Costa Pacifica Raintree. Located on the fine black sand beach of Sabang in the Province or Aurora, the resort is managed by the Raintree group, the same group who used to handle Misibis Bay Resort and Casino, and some of the country's most talked-about restaurants: Saboten, Chelsea, M Cafe, Rocket Room and Stella, and Momo among others.
We left Manila at 2:30 am, taking the Joybus to our convenience (see how to go to Baler here), and arrived in Baler at around 7:00 am. The trip was nonstop and swift. At the Joybus terminal, a pasajero (a big buggy) was already waiting for us and had brought us to the resort before the clock hits 7:30 am. The resort manager, Mr. Randy Salvador, and f&b manager, Ms. Pettina Mae Cruz welcomed us at the spacious lobby. We were handed our welcome drinks - a refreshing buko lychee concoction - and a front desk officer promptly checked us in and gave us our keycard. Someone led us to our suite, a Pacific Suite at that.
|Buko-lychee welcome drink|
|The spacious lobby|
The entire resort was designed by the architect Ed Calma who had also designed popular projects like the Mind Museum and the De La Salle University Centennial Building.True to the signature Ed Calma look, the resort has clean lines, glass doors and high ceiling all over. It has a modern vibe with a touch of zen.
|The suites from the outside|
|The entrance to our suite|
We were so touched when we saw this handwritten note from the resort manager. It was so sweet of him. I love handwritten messages as it entails more effort than a printed, mass produced welcome letter.
The mini bar was also stuffed with chips, drinks and liquor including my ever favorite Belvedere vodka. Bottled water is complimentary and is replenished on a daily basis.
There was also a coffee- and tea-making facility en suite. The signature Aurora brew was aromatic and energizing. It's a milder version of the famous barako coffee.
|Aurora coffee for your drinking pleasure|
A sheet of paper caught our attention. It contains all the happenings around the resort for the entire long weekend (it was National Heroes' Day that time). We were so excited when we saw that the dinner buffet that night would showcase the best of Baler cuisine. So, we marked it already in our itinerary.
|Activities for the long weekend|
When we checked out our king-sized bed, we couldn't help but cocoon ourselves into the sheets and feel the softness of the bedroom linens. We rolled up our blinds, revealing glass doors that look out to a verdant garden backdropped by the calm Pacific Ocean.
|Our cocoon in Baler|
There was an LED television and a DVD player inside our suite, as well as personal refrigerator and a safety deposit box. The bathroom may be a bit tight, but the design and the soothing rainshower made us forget about it. The resort's premium bath amenities are also a delight with its coconut-scented shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and body lotion. I must say I love the body lotion as it is not sticky yet still moisturizing enough.
|The powder room|
|Premium bath amenities|
We also thought that the wall design was a stick-on thing, but our tour guide later on divulged that these colorful accents were hand-painted by some local artists. Beautiful isn't it?
|Hand-painted wall accents|
We were also fortunate to see the one bedroom suite next too ours (where Senator Angara would usually stay). The suite has a receiving room that looks out to the garden, too, and a kitchenette and a mini bar.
|The receiving are at the one bedroom suite|
The receiving room can double as a sleeping area at night perfect for small families or group of friends.
|Twin beds with plush bedding|
Unlike our suite, this one has a bath tub and a more spacious bathroom.
The suites at Costa Pacifica spell like a romantic rendezvous not only with your loved ones but with the beauty of nature that surrounds it. The resort is practically new, so it is the perfect time to check it out. Remember, you need not book a flight to go Baler. Just hop on a Joybus and you'd be here in no time. And that makes the difference.
Costa Pacifica Raintree
80 Buton St, Sitio Labasin,
Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora, Philippines
4/F Universale Building,
106 Paseo de Roxas cor. Perea Street, Makati
tel (632) 576.4555 | fax (632) 893.2561
Special thanks to Mr. Randy Salvador,
Ms. Mela Sison, Mr. Sherwin Cruz,
and Ms. Pettina Mae Cruz for making
our stay memorable.