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“Short weekend”
Review of Club Balai Isabel

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Club Balai Isabel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Talisay
Paris, France
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Short weekend”
Reviewed January 3, 2012

Decided to get out of the busy city for the weekend... with recommendations from friends this resort was chosen.
Travelling to Batangas is as smooth as silk... no traffic. The new tollway really made the difference.
The accommodation we got for a 5 adults and 3 kids was at the Orchard Lane... 2 double beds and 2 pull out beds is very good for the family.
The small kitchen really helped. The resort provides kitchen utensils, flatwares, glasswares..just bring the items you need to cook..
Food at the restaurant is good, serving has enough for the family. Service attendants are very good.. they were right on their recommendations.
Three pools are available ... just choose the one that suit your needs.
The resort was full during our visit. I have no objections on accepting company accommodations.. but it would be good to have some rules for big groups... they where running all around the resort ..
Suggest to place additional clothes hanger or towel rack inside the bathroom... no area to hang clothes while bathing.
The weekend was a good experience for the family!!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank blue_eyes07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Las Pinas, Philippines
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2012

We checked in at the hotel December 30 and check out on January 1st, 2012. The location of the hotel is okay if you want a respite from the traffic in Metro Manila. You can either use SLEX-Star Tollway or go via Tagaytay. However, we were advised to go via SLEX-Star Tollway because the Tagaytay route is kind of "stiff.".

The hotel is nice. You have many choices as to your accommodation: lakefront, lakeside, or you can stay in the villas.We stayed at the Balai Agoncillo, hence our room, with a veranda, has a front view of Taal Lake. The view, either in early morning or evening, is magnificent. It is worth the price we paid!

As to activities- there are two swimming pools - the Infinity Pool or the Terraza Pool. We enjoyed swimming at the Infinity Pool! The Taal Lake is a "no swimming" area! We also had a massage at the Adol Ya Linawa Wellness Center. The price for the massage is reasonable. There are other activities to do: go on a boat ride to Taal, etc., but we preferred to stay at the hotel and had a quiet rest.

The only thing which bothered us was the hotel service. FIRST, we booked for a lakefront room but were given a different room; the reason- lakeview rooms only have single beds and we were 3 in the group! They gave us a room at the Balai Mabini. We agreed at first but when we found out that the room has no telephone, the comfort room has no exhaust fan...well, our being patient run out! Fortunately, when we went again to the front desk, a different staff, Ms. Grace, was on duty. When she learned about our concerns, she immediately transferred us to Balai Agoncillo and gave us the room which we originally booked and paid in advance. She also told us to open the window of the comfort room because the hotel rooms have no exhaust fan. It was okay with us as long as they would tell us beforehand. SECOND, on our 2nd day, we requested that our room be cleaned at the toiletries be replenished. We have run out of toilet paper! We were 3 in the room and they provided us with 1 roll of toilet paper. Our room was cleaned late afternoon. We noticed that while the room was cleaned, the veranda was not. The table and chairs in the veranda is full of cobwebs. The same, with the railings.

The food is okay but not that special.

I really hope that the management would take note of the maintenance of the hotel. I even noticed that the lights in the corridors of the 1st floor was still lighted at 10:00am! We even saw an empty box near the stairway at the 2nd floor when we checked in; it was still there, when we checked out! It seems as if nobody is assigned to clean the corridors.

To sum it up, the hotel is okay but it has to improve its services.

Room Tip: the lakefront rooms are the best
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank normita072960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2011

What I like about Club Balai Isabel is that there is always room for improvement.
My First visit was 2 years ago, the hotel service was slow (like doing a dry-run), food is not so good, but the view of Taal Lake up-close was exceptional. What we enjoyed as a family was the beautiful lakefront suite (with a veranda facing Taal Lake), and the swimming pool right beside the hotel.
My Second visit a year ago gave me a few surprises, a chapel was built and a new bigger pool was under construction, there were also new hotel buildings being built. A new Japanese restaurant was also around to serve sushi and and our favorite shrimp tempura meal. What made this trip special was when we witnessed a couple getting married before sundown. It looks so romantic, and of-course complimentary music was played through-out the night. Club Balai Isabel was magical and festive the second-time around.
My Third visit to Club Balai was a week ago, I've decided to bring my 77 year-old dad to experience the beauty of Taal Lake. We were booked in two separate rooms, 101 & 201 Lakefront Suite of Balai Mabini. It was the perfect set-up right in front of the lake and right beside the pool and clubhouse. The hotel staff was kind and very accommodating, they took good care of us since my dad had special needs being on a wheelchair. The food was a big surprise, this time they offered a buffet set-up with home-cooked quality food which was very satisfying. The 3rd swimming pool (which was also the newest & biggest) was so beautifully shaped and offered a big kiddie pool for kids which my daughter enjoyed so much. New sport amenities, Spa services, family cottages are also welcome additions.
Overall, I think Club Balai Isabel is worth going back to... my family & I looks forward to the many new surprises and more happy memories.

Room Tip: Choose the Lakefront Suites, it comes with a veranda and perfect Lake Taal view. They also offer lo...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WowMom_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
1 review
Reviewed December 28, 2011

We stayed here with family last December 21, 2011 for an overnight stay and this is my second visit here this year. There were not too many guests during our stay but I prefer it that way since my real intention is just to relax and enjoy the scenic view of Taal volcano while sitting in the viewing deck. I love the infinity pool and you can say that it is very well maintained, the water is clear and there is no smell, perfect for kids. This time we did not dine in the restaurant, instead we brought our own raw foods and cooked it in the room (the room has a kitchenette with electric stove and a mini ref) and for those items we do not have, we brought it nearby the resort.

Room Tip: If you want to fully enjoy the lake and tall view, stay in lakeside or lakefront suite either in 3rd...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Albert_Jarvis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Mateo, Philippines
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2011

This was our second stay at Club Balai Isabel. We came back with friends visiting from London because we liked the location on the shore of Lake Taal. In Tagaytay, most of the accommodation is located up on the ridge where people go for the views over the lake, but it is quieter down on the shore of the lake (and it is only a 15 minute drive up to the ridge).

The resort has expanded and improved a lot since we were there some years ago. There are more facilities now (an additional swimming pool, a spa, and new accommodation blocks replacing some of the old chalets). We checked in at 6pm and one of the two rooms we had booked was not ready. That surprised me given that the check-out time is 12 noon, but fortunately we didn't have to wait long for them to finish cleaning the room. The rooms in the resort blocks (called Bayani Suites) are spacious and have two queen beds and a kitchenette.

Overall we were satisfied with the facilities and the service, but for international tourists the food is not up to par for a four star resort. It is all local food (so Filipino guests may be fine with it) but international visitors will find the menu very limited. And the bar is not well stocked. Our English friends ordered a gin and tonic before dinner. What they received was tasteless, and when asked about what was in the drink, the waiter admitted they had put soda water in it because they had run out of tonic water (there probably wasn't much gin in it either because the drink tasted like water). So they ordered a rum and coke instead, but there was probably no more than a teaspoonful of rum in the drink. After ordering our main meal (fried chicken and rice) we asked what white wine they had, and they brought two bottles of red wine to the table saying that was all they had in stock at the resort. The breakfast menu was very limited too, and definitely no 'healthy' options.

I've rated this place 'Average' because there is no classification between 'Average' and 'Very Good'. It deserves something better than 'Average' for the facilities, but I couldn't rate it 'Very Good' because of the poor food offerings. In addition, the management if the resort seems to be somewhat lackadaisical. We were woken up early by their staff testing the sound system for a wedding reception that they were setting up near the infinity pool. That's just plain stupid in a resort to which people go for peace and quiet. And a family having breakfast near us was complaining that the pool doesn't open until 10 am. I've never come across any other resorts where the pool doesn't open until 10 am - especially in the tropics!. So this is not a place for someone who likes an early morning swim.

Would I go back a third time? Yes, I probably would, but next time I will plan to have dinner up at one of the restaurants on the ridge and bring some fruit and yoghurt to supplement my breakfast.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DavidAstley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2011

We stayed in Balai Malvar 201 so we had the perfect view of the Taal Volcano. The lake was so relaxing. The huge pools are great. Its a very big place so there's always a room for everyone to roam around. Even if there are many guests at that time, its still not too congested. The view and the ambiance is perfect. Its a real great experience and I would love to go back. Only one negative comment, the food is not very special :)

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rez1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2011

I wasn't expecting much from the place, but to my surprise the place was better than expected.

Nice location on Taal Lake. Don't expect a beach. There isn't one. You can't swim the water either.

Staff is very nice. I give them an a for effort. Will go back again.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FairGuy88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Club Balai Isabel

Property: Club Balai Isabel
Address: Taal Lake | Banga, Talisay, Luzon 4220, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Calabarzon Region > Batangas Province > Talisay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Talisay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Balai Isabel 3*
Number of rooms: 228
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 
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Also Known As:
Club Balai Isabel Hotel Talisay
Hotel Balai Isabel
Club Balai Isabel Batangas/Talisay

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