Claimed to be the “newest northern paradise,” Playa Tropical Resort Hotel, a beach resort and tropical hotel is yet another destination in Ilocos Norte. This is Bali in the North and where the best sunset in Ilocos is.
The Bali-inspired resort comes with five (5) two-storey Casa’s with private pools as its architectural centerpiece – rates ranging from P6k – P10K, depending on the season Opposite the Casa’s is the two-storey Casitas – the hotel rooms with rates from P2.5K – P6.5K, also depending on the season. We stayed in a standard room only and it was good and neat.
On the ground floor is the Café Amarra. Food is good but quite pricey. Breakfast for 2 only was complimentary and you may find meals at P800 on the average for 4-persons good or not so good depending on your budget. There are no nearby places to eat except going to the next town of Batac, 10-minutes drive from the resort where local food chains are located. Next to the cafe is a game roon where children and adults may enjoy, 24-hours.
In between the Casa’s and the Casitas is an elongated and beautifully constructed pond with 7-huts where I spent most of my time than anywhere else. The huts are the best place to eat, relax and stay away from the scorching heat of Ilocos sun for a while, or to enjoy wi-fi, [wifi not available in hotel rooms]. It could have been better though if the pond was better kept even with “Tilapia’s” instead of Koi’s.
Towards the seashore are the Solana Spa and the Infinity Pool where sunset is best seen. There is also the Yno’s kiddie Playground ont he opposite. The Infinity Pool is quite generous in size and has a wooden platform big enough to set a party overlooking the sea. Best time to hit the pool, or even the beach is in the afternoon at about 5:00 PM. In the morning, its good to be in the waters before 9:00 AM. Reason: you may not like Ilocos sun, it’s scorching most time of the year. It could have been nicer though if there was a section in the pool that has shades [i.e. trellis] to give guests respite from the heat of the sun even at noon time. I know Ilocos sun very well! It can bite you!
I just thought that the Solana Spa should be good even when it’s open. The sight of the pool and the sea breeze may provide a more relaxing massage. Thirty-minutes to an hour of massage cost about P795 – P 1,800. Try their Ilocos Glow Massage. The playground is neat and should provide kids more fun while you enjoy your spa.
Further down is a fine gray-sand beach that may be nothing compared to the white-sand beaches of Pagudpud but it’s not at all bad. If lucky, you may even see local fishermen catch along the seashore earlier in the morning.
Six months after I first came here [but only up to the reception], I finally got to spend sometime with my family in this resort. Except for some glitch in our reservation, and the warmth of local welcome “wanting” at the reception, our stay was memorable.
See more pictures of Playa Tropical in MY FLICKR here.
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