Club Balai Isabel, Talisay, Batangas

WARNING: Long post ahead.

It's sad and disappointing to hear the news (from wheninmanila) regarding the robbery at Club Balai Isabel that took place last Saturday, February 13. We also stayed there the weekend before, February 7 & 8. The place was indeed great and relaxing. The food was, uh-okay. The view makes it all worthwhile, especially seeing Taal Volcano right where you're at. The downside though is their customer service. They totally lack on that, which, I think, is the most essential part.

Reception Area

We arrived at the resort at 1pm. Our check in time was 2pm. We were an hourly early which was a good thing 'cause we would have the chance to rest after the heavy traffic caused by the fiesta in Talisay that day (February 7). Or so we thought.

One of the receptionists gave us coupons of free drinks (iced tea) because "the room isn't available yet" and that she'd give us a call when it's ready. So we headed to their restaurant to have lunch first. The food was good (or we were just hungry) even if it took like 30 minutes for everything to be served. We roamed the place a bit and adored the view a lot. It was love at first sight. Time has passed and it was already 2:10pm, and still no call from them. We came back to the reception area and followed up our room. The receptionist told me to wait for a while. I saw her making calls. My sister then was not in the mood already 'cause time was already passing and we hadn't checked in yet. Moments later, the receptionist approached and told us that the people who used the room (that we'll be using) lost the key. Who the fuck would lose a key to their room? Well, them. That's when my sister really freaked out. I tried to stay calm 'cause there couldn't be two angry birds at the same time, ha. Anyway, the receptionist couldn't give us an estimated time on how long would it take to find the fucking key. And don't they have a spare key? She didn't even apologize for having us wait for 30 minutes when we were supposed to be resting on our beds already. No. None. Nada. No apology was given that moment. After a couple of minutes, at 2:45pm already, a man approached and told us that the room's ready. He accompanied us to our building and to our room. He still didn't have the key with him and told us not to close the door. But how come it was open? I mean, what the fuck? We weren't allowed to close the door of our room now? He told us that he'd come back with the key. After a short while, he came back with *drum roll* fucking lost, now-found key (finally!) and sounded very apologetic (but didn't really apologize). He told us that a "corporate" was the one who rented the room, who lost the key. That they checked out without surrendering the key to the reception (yes, because they lost it). So the receptionists weren't aware that the key was already lost. To make this fucking already-long story short, we thought these people were just making up stories. We didn't know what really happened. Whether there's a lost key or none, Club Balai's staff should be accommodating enough to their customers. They should at least offer "extra" assistance to us when the delay happened. But none. No nothing.

Club Balai's in-house restaurant 

One of their best sellers, Calderetang Kambing

Since my family wanted to relax, we just let it all go. Dinner came, so we headed to their restaurant to eat. Of course, there were a lot of people. We were seated far from the waiters to see us. We were impatiently waiting for someone to take our order. No one was available. Every staff you see was either in a rush or doing something else. We were starving that time but it all just passed because of their inability to handle a number of guests. We just gave our orders to their cook or the one who works in the kitchen, and told him that we'd just pick it up after an hour. We came back to our room unsatisfied and just munched on something we had there then we fell asleep. At around 11pm, we were awaken by someone knocking on our door. We forgot to pick up our food. Ha! Good thing we left our room number along with our orders. The food was bland and cold, for sure. We managed to eat them because we were already starving. But we didn't finish them because they tasted so dull. We ordered Carbonara, Alfredo, Seafood pizza, and Clubhouse (the only food that's okay). We actually had a hard time identifying which was Carbonara and which was Alfredo because there were no labels. Meh.

Our room. Can you find Ria?

The next day, our last day, we just took advantage of the scenery. The place was really beautiful and magnificent to the eyes. Everything is great except for the service. But how would your relax in a place if the service couldn't satisfy your needs? So instead of having the best time of our lives, we were just disappointed. Not with the resort, though.

The beautiful me, er, I mean, Taal Volcano

Even if I really wanted to recommend Club Balai Isabel, I couldn't. Maybe others got the service that they deserved, but with me, it's a no. Resort is 8 out of 10. Service is definitely two thumbs down.

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