Warning: Photo heavy post ahead!
Remember my sister who we visited in Dubai a few months ago? Well, it was her turn to visit us here in the Philippines last October and to make her vacation worthwhile, we decided to go on a quick family weekender near the metro.
We had a number of destinations in mind but eventually went with Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar because it offered the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. Luckily, we chanced upon an Early Booking Promotion which granted us a 30% off discount on our booking.
Quick Tip: Be in the look out for promos posted on their website. Book with them directly to get the best available rates.
In addition to the cost above, we also paid P3,000 for 2 extra persons which included free breakfast, upon check-in. In total, we shelled out P14,900 for an overnight stay at their Executive Suites.
We got the Executive Suites because it was the cheapest room that can accommodate our group that was composed of 8 adults, 2 kids and 1 infant. We initially thought that it was a bit expensive, but considering the inclusions (heritage walking tour, tram ride, hop-on hop-off jeepney ride, free use of beach & swimming pool, breakfast), we felt that it was worth it.
Fast forward to our travel date: As we entered, everyone started gushing over the room. Sobrang sulit pala talaga! We knew that it was a loft-type room but we were unaware that it had a ground floor featuring a TV area, dining area and additional bathroom, so it ended up looking like a 3-floor room because the second floor was a spacious loft that had three queen-sized beds, a bathroom, mini ref and a small coffee table. The staff had no trouble adding two extra beds on the side.
The bathroom was also spacious but it definitely needed an update. It matched the old house feel too much.
AROUND LAS CASAS
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is HUGE — 400 hectares kind of huge. Fortunately, there are a number of vehicles circling the vicinity, for tourists to ride to get to different areas — from kalesa, to tram and even traditional jeepneys.
The place is overflowing with IG-worthy spots that are begging to be photographed ?
We honestly didn’t avail of our free tours and just decided to roam around by ourselves. This way, we were able to check the houses at our own pace, without the pressure of following a bigger group.
The toddlers enjoyed running around and posing for quick snaps.
For those who love the water, Las Casas also has a batis pool and a beach area.
FOOD & DINING
According to their website, the resort has five restaurants and one bar located along the beach. We only got to try three though:
- Café Marivent
Café Marivent is the main restaurant of Las Casas. It’s located at the second floor of Casa New Manila, which is where the front desk is located. The view from the huge windows of the restaurant gives the guests a sneak peek of what to see inside the resort.
Important Note: The windows at Casa Marivent are quite low and kids can easily fall off them, so make sure to keep an eye on your tots!
We honestly just ate here as we were waiting for our keycards. The food was good but expensive. Good thing we all had brunch at Jollibee earlier that day so we didn’t need to order much ?
Quick Tip: Bring food and water if you can. The food from all the restaurants here is expensive and the serving isn’t huge as well, so expect to shell out a bit more than usual if you’re with a big group.
- La Parilla and Pica-Pica
La Parilla was the nearest dining outlet from our room so when everyone got hungry and decided to eat early dinner, this was where we headed.
No heavy meals here, just your typical Pinoy pica-pica (as the name suggests). We tried their Arroz Caldo, Tokwa’t Baboy, Squid Balls, Fish Balls and Kikiam, which were all good but overpriced.
This is by far the most expensive “tusok-tusok” food that I bought, lol. The Arroz Caldo was good but there was nothing special in any of the dishes that would make us feel that they were sulit for the price. The serving wasn’t even big.
Quick Tip: Bring your own water unless you want to pay P60 for a regular-sized bottle here.
- Cusina ni Nanay Maria
This was where the buffet breakfast was served. There weren’t a lot of varieties but all the dishes tasted good. Everyone especially liked the kutsinta and adobo.
Note: According to the staff, the usual breakfast was only a plated meal. However, when there are more guests, they tend to do it buffet style.
Two words can summarize the dining outlets that we tried at Las Casas: good but expensive. Next time, we’d make sure to at least bring our own water and some snacks to minimize expenses.
The overall experience was a mix of pros and cons. Will we go back? Yes, because we know that there are a lot more sights to see to activities to try. Also, the whole place is undeniably beautiful so multiple visits won’t be a bad idea.
Quick Tip: An overnight stay might be too short if you’re with a big group since your pace is expected to be slower. If feasible, go for a 3D 2N stay.
The check-in (2:00pm) and check-out (12:00nn) times were strictly enforced, even if I asked beforehand for an early check-in if possible since we had an infant and senior citizens in our group. I know the resort doesn’t owe us this, so we waited patiently when they said it wasn’t possible. It wasn’t their fault that we arrived early anyway.
However, when we asked the front desk if our room was ready at around 1:50pm, which was 10 minutes before our check-in time, we got a reply that it wasn’t. Now I felt that that in particular was a little inconsiderate. We’ve already paid in full a few hours before, and we just needed our keycards to proceed with our check-in. Did 10 minutes matter that much to them? Still, we waited. What happened next almost ticked us off though.
See, we didn’t know that we’d have to wait for a jeepney ride (c/o the resort) at Casa New Manila (where the reception is) to take you to your room. Nanghinayang kami bigla sa 10 minutes. Though the ride was unarguably enjoyable, the whole experience still took up at least 45 minutes of our time because there wasn’t a proper queuing system set up for all the guests who were waiting for their turn. No one was taking notes regarding who’s party should go next, and we even overheard other guests complaining about the same thing. There’s a well-ventilated waiting area with enough seating, but apparently you’d have to stand outside the door if you want to get the next available ride. Thankfully, our room was so nice that everyone forgot the hassle of getting there.
Our check-out experience was fortunately a different story. Since there were no jeepneys available, the staff offered to take us to Casa New Manila via balsa instead. The balsa tour is priced at P400/pax and we got to ride it for free! Buti na lang pala walang available jeep LOL. The check-out process was quick too, so we were all smiles as we went home.
All in all, aside from the check-in issue and expensive food, our weekend experience at Las Casas was a good one. I’d recommend this to other families as well, especially those who are into photo ops (Pinoy na Pinoy!) and long walks.
For hassle-free transfers, we got Mang Gil’s (same driver we got for our Mt. Ulap adventure) van rental services for P9,000 all-in. We highly recommend him! ? He even suggested doing a quick side trip to Mt. Samat so we can check out the Dambana ng Kagitingan, which I’ve only seen in my grade school textbooks before.
Mang Gil’s transport service: 0925 643 2432