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“Europe of the North”

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Thunderbird Resorts & Casinos - Poro Point
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Familiar with box office hit “No Other Woman” the resort depicted in the movie owned by Ann Curtis? That is Thunderbird Resort at Poro Point, San Fernando City, La Union. Going to La Union is a five long-hour drive from Manila or from Bataan (thru SCTEX) where I live but worth the travel. The Santorini inspired architecture of pure white wall with prominent blue dome will greet you as you enter the resort. The staff is great as they will serve you a welcome drink as you checked-in. The room may be a bit costly but you surely love it as it is complimented with small kitchenette with microwave oven, a bathroom with Jacuzzi and most importantly, a free wifi access yehey! The food is absolutely perfect, especially the complimentary breakfast. I managed to return to the buffet table two times! Hahaha. Aside from using their pool and beach, you can also try to bike around you just have to ask the guard at the front desk, its free then you can also use their golf cart to roam around but to certain area only, well the good thing is,.. again free. When you bike, you can get outside the resort premises and you may opt to go to nearby casino so you can see the whole area 360°. Then you can dine-in outside the resort, you may choose to go to ROSEBOWL Steakhouse and Chinese restaurant, believe me its very affordable (they have some sort of value meal) with big serving good to make you full and the taste! Wooow! Tried their patatim! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Then after you checked out to Thunderbird Resort, you should go to Baguio City since it is only less than an hour drive thru Naguilian Road this makes your trip worth the travel. After sun bathing you should try to cool down at Baguio City..haaaay

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank beautifulcomet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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380 - 386 of 459 reviews

Reviewed October 20, 2012

Their staff are beyond friendly! The place was just amazingly beautiful! I would definitely go back with family or friends hopefully soon. Five star accommodation, room was spacious and cozy, we wanted to just stay indoors and lounge the whole day. I miss their cotton cloud-like bed already. :)

Travel Date: July 2011

Room Tip: Call ahead for reservations and tell them specifically what you want, do your research of the place...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank ExperienceEnthusiast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

THE BASICS

Thunderbird Hotel, a Santorini-inspired project sits within the Poro Point Special Economic and Freeport Zone in San Fernando, La Union. The view of the Lingayen Gulf is the resort’s best feature with most of the rooms offering unrestricted ocean panorama.

It is a leisurely 7 hour-drive (we had two meal stopovers - breakfast and lunch, and a petrol refill) from Manila, via NLEX and SCTEX.

Rooms go for as low as PhP 5,200 (USD 125.00) per night.

Free WiFi is available but spotty.


AMENITIES

The resort has two pools - an infinity pool overlooking the gulf and a children’s pool in the same area. There are some construction walls put up so if you don’t mind swimming amidst some digging, then catch some sun which warms the water most of the day.

The Cliffs Golf course and Fiesta Casino are the biggest draw should you wish to head up north and stay in Thunderbird Resorts. The “beach” is minuscule - if you wish to go for a swim - stay in the pool.

Bring an insect repellant when you go exploring at night.


ROOM AND BATH

We stayed in one of the Deluxe Rooms (102) and found it to be clean and spacious. Odd seats in place of a lounge chair and an army of ants attack any food left on the table for a few minutes made relaxing in the room a bit of a challenge.

The bathroom is clean and modern, however, the shower head leaked from faulty plumbing instead of gently raining water down on you.

No hand towels in the bathroom as well. Standard toiletries provided by VMV Hypoallergenics.


FOOD

Absolutely disappointing and expensive for what it is. Choose between over-seasoned, undercooked or bland flavours that try to pass for Mediterranean style-cooking.

We ordered the snapper fillet which arrived a salty mess drowning in an equally salty tomato saffron sauce. The meal was replaced promptly by a now bland, yet undercooked (almost raw) fish.

We also had an average-tasting grilled boneless chicken fillet. For about PhP 460 ($12.00), you’re better off with a World Chicken meal for PhP 167 ($4.00) at your mall’s food court.

Zucchini Lasagna is a soup of cheese, with hardly any vegetable in it (I counted 5 slivers of zucchini). Locally, if you’re looking for a hearty vegetable lasagna, Apartment1B (Salcedo Village, Makati) plates a good one.


SERVICE

Prompt and eager to please, the staff made up for the inadequacies of the resort (e.g. food and faulty internet service).


THE BOTTOMLINE

Thunderbird Resort is not worth the drive although if you are extremely curious to see what the fuss is all about, take a flight from the San Fernando Airport instead.

The rooms do provide for restful sleep and I love waking up to the view of the gulf but the food has been nothing short of traumatising. By the end of day one, I was tempted to head out to look for roadside barbecue or find the local carinderia (cheap neighbourhood eateries) for a decent meal.

Should you find yourself here, come armed with a few cup noodles (there is a small electric kettle in the room) and lots of chichiria (snacks).

Thunderbird Resort is blessed with a good location but underwhelms on so many levels. If you are looking for an average resort experience, then this is the place to go.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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10  Thank Pinoywasabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2012

phoned the Makati Office to clarify our reservations.
i was referred and transferred to 'Sales'
then a girl named SUSHI answered but was NOT very helpful.
finally i was told to call again after 5 minutes.

WOW. this is what you folks call world class? #smh

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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9  Thank AceDome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2012

I spent my birthday in Thunderbird last July. It was worth the 5-hour drive from Manila. Our room was very clean and so pretty! And the view- superb. One of the best hotels ive been to. Looking forward to stay there again.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Princessfeifei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2012

We stayed in Thunderbird Poro Point for 3/2 nights. We just love the whole surroundings. The lobby so magnificent especially the dome-shaped ceiling. The staff was very pleasant and made every request we have possible! You can't find fault on their accommodation good enough for 4 persons but still we decided to stay in two separate superior rooms overlooking the majestic South China Sea. My little 3 year old loved the pool so much. Should i mention the complimentary fruits and chocolates? It was divine wioth those cute Kisses chocolates. I havent heard any complains from my partner and in-laws for the duration of our stay there.Two things that diasppoint us: They forgot to provide us with the 600 pesos casino bets (WE RANG THE RECEPTION TWICE ABOUT IT)included in the package, and OLIVES breakfast selection was a dull.

Room Tip: Always choose the third floor rooms on the left wing. Marvelous view!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Oriellini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Booked a stay at Thunderbird Poro Point for father's day, which coincidentally is also my dad's birthday. Honestly, it is really really far from Manila. I'm not a fan of long drives and around the 6-hour mark I was already regretting going there in the first place.

Luckily they gave us a villa for our family of 5. Our villa is detached from the actual hotel that overlooks the pool area so we either had to drive or walk two minutes to get there. The villa is more suitable for couples or for honeymooners because first of, there is only one bedroom so two of us had to sleep in the living room with the sofa bed instead. Second, the bathroom has an open concept so if someone were taking a shower, the others couldn't use the toilet, or brush their teeth. Pretty inconvenient if you ask me. Also, it seems that the villa has a lot of broken facilities. The bidet in the toilet was broken, the jacuzzi was broken - why couldn't they fix it beforehand?

About the pool area, it overlooks the ocean, and there is a path that leads you to the cabana with a small private beach. Just a warning - you can't actually swim in the ocean because the current is too strong. You have to make do with the pool.

Buffet breakfast was okay, and the staff were really nice and friendly. I have to say though that for a resort that is 6-hours away from Manila, this place is pretty disappointing and not exactly the "Santorini" that I was expecting.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank alternachic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tbrphilippines, Manager at Thunderbird Resorts & Casinos - Poro Point, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2012

Dear alternachic,

Thank you for choosing our hotel as your accommodation choice to celebrate Father’s day which happens to be your dad’s birthday as well. Customer satisfaction is our priority and your feedback enables us to improve the products and services we offer to our guests. Your kind words on the buffet breakfast and staff have been shared with the team and this will certainly motivate them to keep up the good work.

However, we have taken serious note of your comments regarding the Villa that was given to you and your family. Our General Manager together with the concerned Department Head has been informed and action has been taken to address these concerns. We are pleased to inform you that we checked the bidet you were referring to and it was not broken. The toilet bowl has a lot of buttons/gadgets. Please accept our sincere apologies if our staff was not able to explain to you how to use this. Rest assured that appropriate action will be done to address this matter.

On behalf of Thunderbird Resorts, I would like to thank you once again for taking the time to share your comments with us. We sincerely hope that this unfortunate experience will not deter you from staying with us again.

Sincerely yours,
Therese G. Samala
Hotel Quality Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thunderbird Resorts & Casinos - Poro Point

Address: Pennsylvania Avenue | VOA Compound, San Fernando La Union, Luzon 2500, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Ilocos Region > La Union Province > San Fernando La Union
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in San Fernando La Union
Price Range: $158 - $397 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Thunderbird Resorts & Casinos - Poro Point 5*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hospitality and Leisure ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thunderbird Poro Point Hotel San Fernando La Union

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