Summer is here! And for me, summer means getaway!
By the way, this post isn’t going to be a usual travel post so if you are looking for travel tips, this isn’t the right place for you.
Moving forward, why Bolinao?
Non-IG-husband asked me to look for a beach resort NEARBY Pampanga. So the choices were Subic, Bataan or Pangasinan. I have seen one VLOG about Bolinao, Pangasinan and I really liked the resort where the vlogger stayed. However, at the time of booking, it was fully booked so I had to find another resort. I saw something similar and booked a room, just like that. So excited I was when I told non-IG-husband about the hotel that I booked and he checked the location with Mr. Waze. And he was like, I told you to choose a resort nearby. This place is 4.30 hours drive, and it is infront of West Philippine Sea already. Is this your definition of NEARBY?
The booking was non-refundable so we had to go, I didn’t want to waste my money! I was a bit scared to be honest because this will be non-IG-husband’s first long drive and I won’t be able to drive once he gets tired because I can only drive at the speed of 20kmph without reverse LOL.
We left Pampanga at 7:30am and reached Bolinao at around 1:00pm. The drive was more than 5 hours and to think, we only stopped once for nature’s call, not even for a meal or coffee.
The drive was long but it was really nice. No hellish traffic except a bit in Tarlac but after the ‘city’ there’s nothing but amazing scenery specially upon entering Pangasinan and I was like, this country is really blessed. I was smiling while looking at the painting-like view, remember those elementary school art days when we usually draw a house in the middle of the fields and the mountains and clouds will be the backdrop? The scene was exactly like that, and of course better.
The drive to Bolinao was uphill and I was like, hey, Waze says we will reach the destination in just 30mins, so where’s the sea? I can only see mountains! So I felt like, we climbed up the mountains and went down to the other side to reach the sea. I don’t really know, I was confused. But all I know was as soon as I saw the boats and the blue sea after 5 hours of seeing only land, my heart jumped.
However, upon reaching the resort, I was quite disappointed. Firstly with the water. I read some reviews before booking it and they mentioned about the shallow beach, so I expected the same. But it wasn’t a beach as there was no sand. It was a very shallow rocky sea with so many snails on the side of the cemented part that separates the land from the water. It wasn’t very clean and it has seaweeds everywhere and some sea urchins too. Sorry but, I really didn’t even wan’t to dip my feet into the water.
And then I thought, no worries, there’s an infinity pool with an amazing view so that will do. I looked at the pool and the water was not clean but I saw a lot of guests swimming so I said, maybe try and take a dip but then I saw the green moss on the corners of the pool stairs and I just wanted to faint right then and there specially, thinking about the price that we paid for a night.
And it didn’t end there. I booked for a Standard Seaview Room so I expected a room with the view of the sea. When they took us to the room, I was like, where is the view of the sea? There’s not even a window. And even if they place a window, the view will be of the parking lot. So I asked the staff and she explained to me that I only booked a Standard Seaview. Only the Queen Seaview will have the view of the sea and I started explaining to her that Standard and Queen are room or bed sizes but if you tell me that the room has a ‘sea view’ regardless of the size, there should be a view of the sea no matter how small the window of the room is but you have to give me a view of the sea. The staff either didn’t understand my point or she knew that they were wrong all along but tries to pretend or maybe they don’t expect hoteliers to come and complain about the title of the room. Anyway, they told us that we could upgrade to the Queen Seaview if we add another 1000 Pesos. To be honest, I didn’t want to pay another thousand because we already paid 3800 but because the Standard Room was just so depressing, non-IG-husband just agreed to the extra payment so we could have a balcony and a VIEW OF THE SEA.
I felt like I was ripped off with the price that I paid for the night. Php 4800 for a room inclusive of breakfast. A room that isn’t spotless clean, you can see the dust under the bed, there was a cobweb on the bedside lamp, there were hairs stuck on the wall, the balcony was not clean, and I can spot countless things and this post will never end if I do that but I’m not sure if my expectations were just so high or I am just extra critical because I work in the hotel industry. But still I feel that the price was too high for what I got. Let me know if you feel the same about this because maybe I am wrong.
Come afternoon, the sunset was just amazing and I stopped being extra critical and just enjoyed the view. In the evening, we enjoyed having coffee by the balcony while listening to the waves and what’s best is waking up to an amazing view of calm blue water around 6 in the morning.
After having breakfast, we borrowed their kayaks and paddled out.
We checked out at 12noon and overall, we enjoyed our stay in the resort even after the initial disappointments. To be fair, the staff were very nice.
We left the resort and headed to the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse as it is said to be one of the must-sees while in Bolinao.
What broke my heart though was the vandals on a historic site.
*Non of the photos here were edited
*I didn’t mention the name of the resort as I feel I am being extra critical.
*Did you notice my photos? What can you say about non-IG-husband’s improved photography skills? LOL