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“Overrated!”
Review of Club Balai Isabel

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Club Balai Isabel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Talisay
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Overrated!”
Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

Spent the weekend (3 days and 2 nights). Good thing it was shouldered by a client or else I would have gone on a rampage if I was the one who paid for the stay. In fairness to the place, it is a nice place but poorly maintained and managed. Terrible service or rather, it's lack of it. When we checked in, the attendant at the front desk looked clueless as to how to welcome us to the resort. Maybe because there was already a prior deposit made for me that the staff seemed to not care to welcome us anymore. We were just given a map and our room key and sent on our way to find our own room. When we entered the room assigned to us, it was dusty and the cable tv was not working. Called the front desk and was assured that they will send a tech guy to check it out. None came. There was no staff to attend to the needs of the guests. Housekeeping came the next morning and JUST swept the floor. At checkout, there was a long line at the counter because the attendant wasbusy looking at some papers than attending to guests who have formed a long line waiting for checkout. The lack of service of this resort really killed the place. Though I find the place quite breath taking, am never going to return anymore. The lack of service is so annoying that I have contemplated of ripping off the 2 plaques of hospitality awards given to it.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tripko4978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
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English first
Philippines
Level Contributor
64 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013

The check-in is so smooth, that we were immediately allowed to get inside room 205 on Orchard Road.

Resting mode on...
Entertainment and living area offer 2 sleeping sofa with extended cushions underneath it. They offer complete set of towels and blankets. Television has limited cable channels, but with radio station option.

Terrace has a small table and 2 short benches.

Bedroom offers 2 queen size beds, cabinet, hangers, and desk lamp. It also has connecting door to the bathroom.

Bathroom is spacious with separate slide for the ordinary shower (not rain shower). Don't worry if you notice a pail and dipping cup (Fil. tabo), it is a normal scene for Filipino culture. And rest assured that they provide hot and cold water efficiently. They also offer basic toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, soap and one roll of tissue paper.

Kitchen has frying pan, stove and gas, plates, coffee mugs, drinking glass and utensils. They also provide six complimentary bottled water and coffee sachets.

Good to see that they provide reading materials (http://balikbayanmag.com/) to promote Philippine tourism which I think will be much appreciated by foreign guests. In case of any problem or inquiry, front desk assistant is just a dial away with their provided phone inside the room.

On a side note, I do suggest that they add exhaust fan and maintain air freshener in the toilet. Add absorbent door mats, since having indoor sleepers will take much of an effort to keep it hygienic.

The only problem we encounter in the room is that the air-conditioner was not able to cool the room. I must commend the technician who was very accommodating to fix an overheat compressor even at 10:00 pm.


Hungry mode on...
Terazza Restaurant is the main restaurant inside the resort which offers an expensive buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can opt to cook at your place (Orchard Lane) or order from ala carte menu to get a cheaper combination of food that you can share to all.


Swimming mode on!
All in all there are 5 pools to deep dive: adult and kiddies’ pool near the restaurant (Terraza pool), garden pool (Talisay pool) and infinity pool (Kumintang pool) where adult area is 4-7 feet deep.


Be thankful!
Don’t fail to hear a Sunday mass even if you are on a vacation mode. Normally there is a 9:30 am mass at the Spousal of Mary and Joseph Chapel.


Bring a lot of patience when you check-out. It took us around 30 minutes before we get back the car pass and finally leave the place.

Visit http://ruffeecola.blogspot.com/2013/04/20130420.html for the complete photos.
I like the most is there are lots of green and trees all over the place.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ruffeecola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
quezon city philippines
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

Went here with my siblings in a very rainy day... The place is nice... So many swimming pools to choose from..and I like the view of the small house in the veranda of our room... Although it was freezing cold to swim...we still managed to enjoy... Enjoyable stay... :)

Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank beautytravelmode
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luzon, Philippines
Level Contributor
42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

My fiancee arranged for us to have our pre-wedding photo shoot. The hotel is easy to find by following the directions provided on their website. The staff were very helpful including assisting us to get our bags to the room and set up the A/C and TV.
The location itself was most refreshing with a cooling breeze coming from Lake Taal and the vista of the lake and volcano made an excellent backdrop for the photo session.
The staff were all friendly and as attentive as could be expected bearing in mind that on both nights of our stay the restaurant was quite busy. Our room was ideal, having two double beds, one of which was used to hold our clothes for the shoot and the A/C and bathroom were more than adequate.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed our short stay and would be happy to recommend to others.

Room Tip: If I were to return, I would opt for a room on one of the higher floors to make more of the view acr...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank garybyrne69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2013

We spent two nights in this resort. We were given a standard room with loft which could accommodate at least four or a maximum of 6 people given three queen beds in the unit. However, there was only one bathroom, so three people would be ideal for comfort. The room was alright, the aircon was working and there was hot water for bathing. One can also cook their food in the unit if they choose to. Check-in however was late at 3:00 pm given the large number of clients waiting to be checked in. Personnel at the reception were courteous and accommodating. The resort has three swimming pools but the most picturesque was the Terraza Pool as one had a clear view of Taal Lake and Volcano. The food was good although the menu had limited choices. Room rates included free buffet breakfast. The resort is very accessible from Manila using the South Super Highway and the Star Tollway and the roads were good except in some areas along the Tanauan/Talisay road which was under repair. Our only complaint is that the resort has very poor wifi. Connection is available near the Terraza Café but the signal is quite week. Overall, our experience in this resort was pleasant , great for family bonding.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Emma S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Muntinlupa, Philippines
Level Contributor
55 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We just had an overnight stay at Club Balai Isabel last Sunday with the extended family , and the rating I had should be a 4 but after enduring their bad customer service , it went down 2 otchesThe room that we had , 104 on Orchard Lane , was a family room, took several mins for the aircon to work but that's fine , we enjoyed our rest. There 2 swimming pools that I saw and my family and I enjoyed our dip near Lake Taal. Water's not that cold and maybe it was due to the sunny weather as well.
We brought our own food and we were supposed to spend it up to 3 pm yesterday but management told us that another family would be occupying our unit. My aunt and their Makati office had an agreement that she would be paying additional for 3 hours since the checkout was 12 nn. She was told that it was fine but yesterday, they didn't honor their agreement leaving us to hurriedly pack up for home , with all the uncooked ingreidients for lunch, not even trying to provide the next family to have their own unit even though we're willing to pay additional , turning off the cable tv and aircon while we're waiting in our room, even telling us that the electricity was fluctuating.

Like what I said the place is good, but management and their customer service was otherwise : (

Room Tip: " Units on Orchard Lane have ample shade "
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank rpangan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balai_Isabel, Manager at Club Balai Isabel, responded to this review, May 7, 2013
Hi,

We apologize for the brown out during your stay. We have standby generator sets that provided power after 15 minutes that day. There were next occupants in the rooms so we called to remind you of the standard check out time which is 12nn. The cable TV and air con went off because of the brown out. It was not intentional. There might have been misunderstanding since the account executive in Makati who handled your reservation confirmed that no commitment for extension has been made. Thank you for your feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Talisay hotels

Cainta, Rizal
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

It's always best to do an ocular inspection first whenever you can.

We were initially booked at a 3F room (suite with attic). Since we have a not-so-senior couple in the family, we requested that we be given a room located in lower floors. However, the reservation office insisted that we need to get two rooms for lower floors. But lo and behold, there's an available room after all, which can accommodate the family... but that's after we've paid for the previous room. The front desk admitted her confusion regarding the room configuration.

After lots of appeals/negotiations, we finally got the lower floor room. It was quite stressful, going back and forth from our "holding" area to the reception/registration. Due to change in room (this could've been avoided actually), we were able to check in at 4:00pm. Their check-in time is 3:00pm by the way.

In general, the registration (Gemini) handled everything in a calm and respectful manner... but you can't take away the fact that this could've been avoided if handled right initially. If I will have any complain against Gemini, It will be about the promised welcome/complimentary drinks which never came.... :) But overall, she was respectful. Getting more familiar with the rooms will help her a lot in handling same case/ in the future.

The Room :

We had a comfortable stay in general. The room was equipped with gas range plus some utensils, including plates and spoon/fork. We had water dispenser, A/C in all areas - living, kitchen and bedrooms (it had 2 and each has its own T&B). The room was not in pristine condition but not also filthy dirty, just right. Hot and cold shower, spacious dining and kitchen area. Beds were okay too, not too soft, not too hard.

The Place Itself :

In my opinion, Balai Isabel is just good for an overnight stay. Nothing more to do after 24 hours. But aside from the pools, they have bike rental, basketball court. Just in case you ran out of things to do. Room rate (villas) is not cheap. A 2-night stay will not be practical if one will equate it to what you can do/see there.

Taal Volcano is a come on. Just the view itself is great. If you have plenty of time, you can rent a boat, 2,500 for six persons I was told, for a trip to the volcano. We had this skipped.

Going there was also an experience. From Manila, we took SLEX, then STAR, then Tanauan-Talisay Highway, lots of road repairs (zig-zag). But going back, we took Talisay-Tagaytay Road and it was quite scary, so steep and winding (zig-zag). The first time I used my low (A/T) gear.

In terms of going back there, I don't know.

Will I recommend? For the experience, check it out... But for the budget, it will not be hard for you to look for better and practical options.

Room Tip: Get the lakeside or view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gearacam1969
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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