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“A place that you should consider staying if you're in Bicol for fun and adventure”
Review of Balay de la Rama

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Balay de la Rama
Ranked #2 of 35 Legazpi B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 6, 2013

I went together with my mom, my friend and her mom for some Mother-Daughter bonding last November 29 2012. Staying in Balay de la Rama has been an AWESOME experience. Apart from the fact that its easily accessible to all the tourist attractions, they are really true to their word that you will feel at home when you stay with them.

The rooms are really spacious and have a homey vibe to it. We stayed in their Deluxe room in the 3rd floor. You can lounge on their common rooms at any time and the view of the Mayon Volcano in their 3rd floor is really picturesque. The staff here is really accommodating and they will help you get around Legazpi and beyond like a local. This is the hotel that you should consider staying if you're in Bicol for fun and adventure.

There are no TVs in the room that we stayed (which is completely fine with us as we are always on the go). Rates are really budget friendly (which is priced at 850/night last time we stayed here). You can also check in earlier! Just let Jess know in advance. The bathroom looks new and well maintained. There are no mirrors inside though. Overall cleanliness is average as I kept on seeing ant trails (we must be too sweet for them to come around). But overall, the place is well kept and service is very prompt if you ask me.

The food is good as they will offer you complimentary breakfast as part of the package. Most of their foods come from their very own farm. My only suggestion would be for them to also have complimentary chocolate drinks available (like Milo aside from coffee that is for kids or kids-at-heart) as I am not a coffee drinker.

You could also request to eat there should you decide to "dine-in" (just ask Jess and Caren). There's a friendly cat around too. Sadly I wasn't able to stay that long to get some pictures of the kitty and her kittys.

We truly had lots of fun getting around Bicol during this trip, moving around the area is quite easy thanks to the constant guidance and instructions of Jess, Caren and Clarissa. You will be entertained by their charming daughter Anina who, during our last day, kept giving me her toys.

We got to ride jeeps, tricycles and we even saw a bus going back to Manila (should you really decide to get back to Manila by land). We also got around to eat at good restaurants like First Colonial Grill (that will take you one jeep ride only to get there) and Small Talk Cafe (you should ride a tricycle to get there as its a lil' bit far from here).

Overall, I would say that this is an AWESOME experience and I am recommending you (yes you, fellow reader) to stay at their place when you're in Legazpi, Albay.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Michi A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fbaillard, Owner at Balay de la Rama, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2013

Thanks you very much and having guests like you and your mum has been a pleasure. Since the last time you came, we have been able to add additional plants in the bed & breakfast which makes the place even more homey. We also manage to hang new frames in the several bedrooms. We also improved the balcony on the 2nd floor. We hope to see you again in the future and Thanks a lot for the lovely comments ;-) Balay de la Rama your home away from home

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Reviewed January 5, 2013

More than just a B&B, would even prefer this than those 1 to 3 stars hotels in Albay. Rooms were really spacious and clean.

PRO's:
*Spacious Rooms
*Hot & Cold Shower
*Breakfast inclusive
*Near Cagsawa Ruins, Daraga Church Ligñon Hill & Local Market
*Vans/Buses/Jeepneys/Tricycles going to other tourist spots or towns readily available outside
*Jess will suggest an itinerary for FREE (doing the backpackers way) even though they offer package tours
*Staffs are hospitable and helpful in giving directions
*Free coffee & tea for the entire day
*Free Wi-fi

CONs:
*No daily room service, unless you'll request for it (I think)
*No towel rack & hooks in the bathroom. We either hang our towels in the doorknob or will open the cabinet to hang our towels inside
*No reception area, I made a reservation via Facebook but they don't have a log book/sheet for cross-reference (and they can't check it via FB the morning we arrived because there is no electricity that day). Quite shocked upon arrival because it seems like they are not aware that we are coming and we still have to confirm the dates of our stay, how we made the reservation and what type of room we reserved. Same with the day of our check-out, it seems that they still don't know the day of our check-out and how may days & nights we stayed there.

Overall stay was great despite some drawbacks and I will definitely suggest them to everyone who plans to visit Albay. Given the chance to go back in Albay, without any hesitation I will stay here over and over again. There are still room for improvement but never the less we really enjoyed our stay at Balay de la Rama. Wish them all the success and hope to see them again soon :)

Room Tip: Room at the ground floor is huge and near the dining area but you can here the noise outside. Roo...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank iNIKKI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fbaillard, Owner at Balay de la Rama, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2013

Thanks a lot for the review. Following on your concerns:
- we will install some racks for the towels in the bathroom.
- For the reception area, we know that this is a draw back and we are planning to install a reception at the lounge area on the 2nd floor.

For the reservation system, a new system has been put in place and that should improve the handling of bookings.

Hope to see you again and happy to hear that you like your stay at Balay de la Rama

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Reviewed January 1, 2013

We're amazed with great space of the room for 2pax, appreciate the set-up with the big TV and dim light effect. The place is cozy and serene which gave us a nice sleep after a long travel.
Not to go afar, just in the 3rd flr of balay de la Rama you'll see the perfect view of Mt. Mayon. The staff, Jess and the rest of his family were amazing and helpful in giving directions, advice about the best place to visit also where to dine. The breakfast was served on time, the pasta was delicious and even their homemade banana jam.

This placed is very accessible from the tourist attractions like Cagsawa Ruins (jeepney ride-then walk, Ligñon Hill Nature Park (jeepney ride-then walk) and Daraga church which is just a walking distance.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank loumier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fbaillard, Propriétaire at Balay de la Rama, responded to this reviewResponded January 3, 2013

Thank you very much, we are happy you loved the banana jam, this is pretty new and we are pleased to hear that the banana jam is tasty! We also would like to thank you for the lovely flower you offer us. Since you left we bought additional flowers which makes the place even nicer than before. We are looking forward to see you again at Balay de la Rama :-)

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Reviewed December 22, 2012

I stayed with Jess and Karen for about 5 nights in total. They treated me virtually as family and the overall standard of the place was fantastic! The rooms and bathrooms are spacious and beautiful. I can recommend the premium room on the quiet side of the building. It is more isolated from the traffic noise from the road and it has a GREAT view of Mt. Mayon! The beds are great, it's always clean and they've even decorated the whole place for Christmas! I love it!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Tolle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fbaillard, Owner at Balay de la Rama, responded to this reviewResponded December 24, 2012

Thanks a lot, really nice from you to make all your way to Legazpi. We wish to have always guests like you in the B & B. We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Hope you are not missing too much the philippines and Balay de la Rama :-) . Hope to see you again!

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Reviewed December 21, 2012

I was very happy with the way the room turned out it was more than I expected from a B&B. it would put some hotels to shame. Owner and staff were very helpful with all my request since we had to do everything in a matters of a day and a half. The place had a nice comfortable vibe to it. Breakfast was great serving size was very good. Overall value for money and much more.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Gem M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fbaillard, Owner at Balay de la Rama, responded to this reviewResponded December 24, 2012

Hi thank you so much, this has been a pleasure to welcome you. Hope will see you again & Love to receive reviews like this!

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Reviewed December 12, 2012

View, atmosphere, people, help, advice, local tastes, quality of the house, nice rooms with balconies and very good standard furnitures: these are some of the things you will find at Balay de la Rama. We have had a lot of good experience with the tenants, Karen and Jess. If you want to feel the real guests of the family, go to speak with them. They are just waiting to become your friends! We have followed Karen to the market, while she was buying the breakfast food. She has helped us to choose evening food for ourselves. There is a very nice garden in the house and Jess organized a barbecue for us in the evening, after Karen prepared her secret marinade for the squids, the meat, and fishes we chose together in the morning. I was not so convinced about Philippino food before this stay, but the food made by Karen and the restaurants of Legaspi they recommended changed my mind.
We have also been in the coconut farm of the house, we have taken some bananas, cacao, chile directly from the trees, ate them and brought some back at the guest house. If you ask Jess and Karen, they can organize for you some camping nights in the coconut farm, with the wonderful view on the Mont Mayon!

Jess is full of advice about the region. Apart from nice places to eat, he knows where to buy souvenirs, where to go for good hiking trips, and he can even sometimes come with you, and discover new tracks if you're opened to it.
After our stay at Balay de la Rama, he has advised us to spend some days to a very nice highland with great beaches. We were the only tourists in the whole highland and we borrowed the tents available in the guest house and slept on the beach, because there was not any proper tourist accommodation. If you're looking after places far from the touristic paths, ask him, he will have precious recommendations.

Room Tip: The ones with balconies and view on Mont Mayon are the best!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank maud s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fbaillard, Owner at Balay de la Rama, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Hi Maud, thank you very much for your review. It is true that you have done a lot when coming in Balay de la Rama. Between the coconut farm, the local market ,the hiking and the beach (or should I say the highland :-) ) Jess and Caren have been wonderful hosts as usual and they were able to advise you all the local places that only local can know.
We really wish to see you again and merry christmas and happy new year

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Reviewed December 1, 2012 via mobile

I stayed here for one night. It was a very comfortable stay. The room was quite spacious as well as the bathroom. There was a a lot of storage space. The room had ac and multiple light sources. The bed was a queen but felt like a king. The room didn't have a tv but I didn't need one. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. All in all a very nice stay.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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1  Thank Timothy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fbaillard, Owner at Balay de la Rama, responded to this reviewResponded December 3, 2012

We are very happy to hear that you felt home at Balay de la Rama. That's exactly what we want to hear from our guests. It has been a pleasure to welcome you in our homey place, we hope to see you again. To follow up the latest updates, join us on our facebook page.

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Additional Information about Balay de la Rama

Address: 1542 Banag , Daraga, Legazpi, Luzon 4501, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Bicol Region > Albay Province > Legazpi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 35 B&Bs / Inns in Legazpi
Price Range: $24 - $32 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Balay de la Rama 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the Bicolano language, "Balay" means house, and we strive to be just that, your home away from home but with the backyard view of Mayon Volcano, to add a bit of spice to it. Balay de la Rama is a six-room family house, with six spacious rooms available for short-term homestay. Like any provincial home, it has big windows to promote natural ventilation, and indeed, the gentle, or sometimes stalwart breezes are enough to lull you to sleep as you take your afternoon siesta by the wooden sofa, or better yet, on the hammock by the balcony. If by any chance it is summer, and the mango tree is in full bloom, you can spend afternoons picking mango, or if that is too much effort, you can wait for them to fall, so you can eat them with hot bagoong (shrimp paste). If you’d rather read than be hit by falling mangoes, then the owner’s personal collections are free for you to browse. Come dinnertime, you can join the family meal to sample that spicy Bicolano cooking, such as "pinangat," or "ginantaang gulay," or you can request for that poor man’s fare, such as tinapa (smoked fish) or "tuyo" (salted fish), if you suddenly crave for them. We won't force you to eat "balut" (fertilized duck egg), but would love to see your priceless expression as you try. If you came to Bicol to see moody, fiery Mayon, all you need to do is cast a sideways glance by the window, and there it is. But we know you may want to swim with the whale sharks in Donsol, wakeboard in CWC or island-hop in Caramoan, then this is a great jump-off point with easy access to all kinds of transport to your destination. The land at which Balay de la Rama stands has been with the dela Rama family for more than a century. While Balay itself isn't ancient, the warm family spirit and hospitality is. Your Bicolana host is herself an avid backpacker, but knows that indeed, there is no place like home. ... more   less 
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