After hearing so much about it, I was tempted to think it’s overrated. More so after one celebrity wedding was held there. It’s just a small island off Mainland Quezon across Lamon Bay and fronting the Great Pacific on its other side. Sounds like Paradise. But alas! It’s not for everyone. This world-class island club in Polillo, Quezon is members-only. As luck would have it though, a plan was hatched to celebrate birthdays here with one celebrant being a bonafide member of the exclusive club.
Many have written about this 500-hectare tropical paradise and its 7 lovely themed villages: Toscana, Mykonos, St. Tropez, Costa del Sol, Bali, Phuket and Balesin. Took us only 20 minutes to fly to this Alphaland leisure get-away from Manila. Jeepneys and buggies were then waiting to ferry us from village to village, each one lovely and inviting. We chose “Toscana”, the Italian village where we also had our first meal. Lunch was a simple salad, pizza and pasta combination. I swear the pizza was outstanding. For a first meal, this was encouraging 😄
That first meal set the bar, and we weren’t disappointed. The cochinillo and paella (among others) dinner in Costa del Sol was superb. And the lamb dinner (among others) in Mykonos Village the next day was equally good even when we were already growing tired of eating. Seriously. Between meals, we visited the remaining villages except for the Royal Balesin Villa which was booked for a corporate event.
A whole day was spent visiting other villages and taking a dip in the pool as well as frolicking in the beach. The villages of Bali, Phuket and Balesin — all oriental-themed — seemed best for beach scenes. Too bad we couldn’t get past the entrance gate of the Royal Balesin Club then. But we checked out the spa and understood why the spa was actually used as wedding ceremony area in one celebrity wedding. Its all-white structure and the sound of waves slapping the shore make for an ideal, romantic scene.
There’s a lot to be said about how these villages were created, designed and decorated. Truly world-class. I just couldn’t help imagining how exhorbitant its maintenance program must be. More so if occupancy is limited to weekend visitors. There were many pools, the dining outlets are superb, the rooms and patios … just lovely! One is wont to think that much of the artfully designed villages may fall to disrepair if not maintained well and at a hefty sum, but the Management were obviously doing a good job. Even the jeepneys, buggies and gardens are all kept at global standards.
And so, was it a good weekend to celebrate birthdays? I say it’s a good weekend for anything. Just pray for good weather and try spending more nights for honest-to-goodness R & R. You’d need a lot of dough though at P16,000++ a room/night and around P8,000 for the plane fare. But just watching the sunrise and sunset here, enjoying a massage, dining leisurely and enjoying some water sports may be enough to comprise a blissful weekend.