Before we begin, I just want to say that I have been to Baler 4 times already this year, since I wrote that first post. I have become so attached to it, that I make it a point to visit the town every month. And during my first time this year, I stayed in Bay's Inn, which I said was laid back and all, but their accommodations are very basic and worn already.
Costa opened just in August this year, so it is very new. Managed by the Raintree group, you are sure to have a world class experience in the sleepy town of Baler - something very unique I would say.
Let's start off with the rooms. We arrived late in the evening so it was such a joy to come to a room that had these comfortable beds. The room was huge, to a point that it was awkward already. The space could have been maximized. But hey, I am not complaining, since it only cost P4,500 all in a night.
Even the bath was spacious, though again no tub, only a shower. I liked how simple the design of the room is, blending in splashes of color in some details like the toiletries, pillows and wall art. It's about time that the Philippines focus on low cost high gloss resorts, and I'm happy Costa is one of the frontrunners.
But what I loved most is its ability to open up to the outdoor world with a full wall glass terrace door. Our room had a garden view which is not bad, but of course, I would choose a beachfront anytime. Though take note that the beach view doesn't mean the sand is at your doorstep. It just has a view of the sea.
I would choose the left wing over the right one, since the right one is bigger, hence less privacy. And the garden in the left wing is smaller, so mention that to the receptionist when you check in.
And so, in the morning, Costa Pacifica marveled me a happy atmosphere that you can't get anywhere else. I said happy because the design of the place can really make you smile in the morning as you head to the Beach House restaurant for your free breakfast. Everyone is smiling, greeting you, like there was a sunshine all over.
The pool was amazing and huge by any resort standards. I was afraid that they would be branding Costa as a luxury hotel when I think it is not. It is even better. It is the type that I like more, character. And this character is fun, lively, bright, laid back, down to earth and friendly. It is such a charming hotel with all the comforts of a luxury hotel.
Bursts of color continue to paint Costa amidst the bright blue skies. The resort is as open to the outdoors as it can be. And the view of the mighty beach of Sabang is perfect from the pool deck.
We had our breakfast al fresco, and since there are not many guests, we were able to order ala carte, something I am beginning to like better than having a buffet.
I ordered my staple of bacon and eggs, and look what I got - a slab of perfectly grilled bacon meat and creamy scrambled eggs. Just the way I like it.
Because the pool was so inviting, my friends spent the entire morning lounging there with beer with that sun singing tunes. I began to wander off to the beach, where I saw more people. The waves were not as strong yet. They begin to get wild starting end September to February.
Sabang Beach is a long and wide stretch of fine brown sugar sand. Some people may get turned off with non-white sand, but Sabang's is alluring still. It is very soft and clean as well. The water may not be clear because of the blackness, but if you hold it in your hands, then you'll find that is is actually clean. Hey, it came from the Pacific. it is as fresh as seawater can be.
Of course, the main draw in Baler is surfing. In my previous visit, I was able to stand up on the board on my first try. And that was my first time to surf. Riding the wave may look daunting, but if you give it a try, you'll realize that you can do it, especially if you have tried wake boarding, ice skating and the likes that need you to balance.
I encourage anyone to surf. Admittedly, I was afraid to fall and all, but when I got on that board, I was immediately hooked. And this is partly the reason why I go back to Baler every month - well, aside from this beautiful resort that I have already called my home as well. Costa Pacifica has changed the face of Baler, and I do hope it continues to make waves. It is about time that Aurora gets the attention it needs for travelers, because it is such a unique, laid back yet stunning and amazing destination.
So what more is there to do in Baler? I have been here more than 5 times already in my lifetime, but I can't say I have explored Aurora extensively. In my next post, I go back to my first visit this year, where we visited a popular tourist spot, a waterfall. So stay tuned!
Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora
+63 2 576 4555
Over-all Experience: 4
IE Score: 3.75 (Good)