Baler, Philippines: Costa Pacifica Resort Review

Baler, Philippines: Costa Pacifica Resort Review

 

Costa Pacifica Resort Location

illumelation.com | Exterior at Sunset. Costa Pacifica Resort, Baler. Review.

The location of Costa Pacifica is excellent. It’s right on the beachfront, with a surf school hut beside it. If you don’t fancy a dip in the roaring waves, then you can chill out in the swimming pool which is also along the beachfront, kept separate from the boardwalk by plants and palm trees. The main entrance of the resort and lobby are also directly across (literally, a one-minute walk) from the popular Groundswell Café, which sells cute, locally-sourced products like surfwax and gear, bikinis, beachwear and surf maps as well as yummy homemade treats and delicious iced coffee! Their mojitos are pretty good, just saying…

Costa Pacifica is super easy to get to. From the bus station, we took a tricycle for 20 pesos. Turns out that there was a free resort shuttle that would have taken us there. We used the resort shuttle on the way back. The shuttle driver kindly gave us an impromptu tour of the town since we were early for our bus, taking us to the Baler museum and the bustling marketplace. We noted that some of the fresh produce came from Baguio, which was only an hour or two away. We also saw the first President of the Philippines Manuel Quezon’s home, and schoolkids rehearsing for their Christmas performance in the town square. So cute! 

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Overall Cost for Two Nights at Costa Pacifica Resort

Two nights in a Junior Premier Suite, Friday to Sunday, including breakfast, originally cost PHP16,660 (£233/$353). The Junior Premier Suite with a Garden view is 37m2, with a balcony, flatscreen TV, air conditioning, and amenities.

It's worth noting that booking our rooms online - via Booking.com - was hassle-free and easy. We received immediate email confirmation.

When we were shown to our room, it was beautiful, but we politely asked if we could be switched to a Sea view room. The resort staff were very accommodating. They switched us (and brought our bags) to an even nicer room, the Pacifica Suite, with floor to ceiling glass doors overlooking the ocean.

From our balcony – heck, from our beds, even – we could see the sunrise, sunset, and surfers carving the waves. AMAZING. The cost for the Pacifica Suite was PHP 17,850 (£250/$379). The PHP1,210 price difference was worth it, just to wake up to that wonderful view.

Since I was jet-lagged, still stuck on London time, I woke up early every morning at around 5am. The sky was dark, and palm trees swayed to the gentle sound of waves lapping onto the shore. I’d sit out on the balcony and watch the sky turn to pastel, see the sun peek out between the clouds, and watch the first surfers paddle out to catch the glassy morning waves. Some shortboarders were crazy good, carving the waves like it was nothing. Local talent rocks!

 

Costa Pacifica Rooms & Amenities

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The Pacifica Suite was filled with natural light. The entire balcony wall was made of glass and overlooked Baler’s magnificent ocean. The interior and exterior design of not just the rooms, but the entire resort, was top-notch. Everything was clean, modern, minimalist, spacious, and bright.

The Pacifica Suite had two generously large double beds, with thick, cushy, high-quality mattresses and pretty plump throw pillows. (Every night we slept like babies.)

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There was also a striped couch by the balcony and chairs both inside and outside, plus side tables, as well as a rack to hang wet beach clothes and towels. The wardrobe was nice and big, equipped with drawers, a clothes rail, an automatic light, and importantly, an electronic safe. There was also a fridge and minibar, a flatscreen television, coffee-making facilities and free WiFi as standard. The WiFi wasn’t so strong inside the rooms, but this probably turned out to be a good thing, so that instead of constantly checking work emails, we could gaze dreamily out at the sea and completely chillax.

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The wetroom-esque bathroom was lovely, housed in a little alcove divided from the main suite by a glass panel. The showers were strong, with adjustable heads and reliable hot water. There was also an in-shower step (to improve ease of access when shaving one's legs!). The bathrooms came equipped with lovely-smelling natural soaps, shampoo and conditioner. I'm not sure if the products were organic, but we didn’t break out as we usually do (we have sensitive skin). The sink was located outside of the wetroom, with a huge mirror and cute handmade beach-chic tissue boxes. There was no window, per se, but rather a panel of glass that ran along the ceiling, giving the shower plenty of natural light. The towels were fluffy, too!

 

Costa Pacifica Restaurant & food

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Costa Pacifica Restaurant has a great reputation in Baler for its food. We wanted to chill out, so during our stay, all our meals were from the resort restaurant. We found the food reasonably priced, affordable, and importantly, freshly made. My favourite choices on the menu were the fish tacos and salad, which I ordered at some point everyday, because A) they were delicious, and B) I prefer eating light meals when by the sea. Sometimes the restaurant staff took a while to bring drinks to our table and so on, but often the restaurant was fairly busy, so that was understandable.

 Fish tacos aka my lifeline  

Fish tacos aka my lifeline  

The breakfast selection was a varied buffet. There's something for everyone to eat, whether it's fresh fruit, cereal, Filipino rice breakfast, oatmeal, pancakes, or local suman (sticky rice dessert wrapped in banana leaf). There was an omelette chef, too, ready to whip up an omelette to satisfy your heart’s desire. Onions and peppers? No problem. Eggwhites only? Piece of cake! Standard drinks, from tea and coffee to freshly squeezed juice, were also available at the buffet.

Costa Pacifica Resort SERVICES

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The overall service at Costa Pacifica was excellent. The maids left the room spotless, our beds were always comfortable, and room service responded to our phone requests within minutes. The masseuses we ordered via the hotel reception were also fabulous. On the first day we arrived we got two hour-long full body massages, PHP600 (£8/$12) each.

We fell asleep within the first half hour from pure relaxation. The masahistas were firm, but not painful, and they kneaded out all the knots and tension from our upper backs. We booked them again for the next day, and their skills were just as good. (Except it was a little more painful for me, since I’d been surfing for a couple of hours and my muscles were starting to pleasant-ache.)

 

Swimming Pool & Activities

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Apart from long walks on the beach and boardwalk, and of course, surfboard rentals and lessons, Costa Pacifica has activities such as ping-pong. There are also little cabanas along the grassy grounds.

There was a children’s pool and adult pool, complete with loungers. By the pool, free flavoured ice water – steeped in fresh cucumber or lemon and lime – was available for the taking. Refreshing!

External showers were available by the poolside, whether to rinse off chlorine or saltwater. Every morning, around 6am, the staff clean the pool – so you know it’s relatively germ-free!

The hotel also has a little boutique shop by the lobby which, like Groundwell Café, sells locally-sourced goods such as Nanay Pacing’s Peanut Butter (the bomb diggity of all peanut butters, ever). 

 

Overall Stay at Costa Pacifica

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We noted that the clientele of the resort was an almost even mixture of local families, Filipino travellers, and overseas visitors, giving an overall international ambiance. Our entire stay was peaceful and chilled. We had a wonderful time.

At the end of our stay, we found it difficult to tear ourselves away from the beautiful décor and calmness of the resort. I'll be back!

 Sunrise in Baler. Video game graphics eat your heart out.  

Sunrise in Baler. Video game graphics eat your heart out.  

Mel left London to chase summer around the world, one country at a time. She loves the ocean, writing postcards, and solo exploration. Travel with her on Instagram.