Note: I initially planned on writing a long post about our Bolinao trip. But after writing the initial draft, it was so long I realized that I need to cut it in parts. So, here is the first one of a 3-part series of our quick summer getaway.
It’s been a long time – and I mean, a very loooong time – since the family had a beach vacation. I think the last one that I can remember was when my Dad was still alive. It was that long! We’ve had plans over the years but it was just this year that we really pushed for it.
I’ve been wanting to bring Zaine to the beach again and see how he fares with the water, the sun and the sand. Not that I don’t know how he does with water though. That kid loves the water. But the last time he was at the beach was a long time ago. He was only 9 months old when I brought him to our company outing in a resort in Batangas. He was weirded out with the sand back then.
We used to frequent beaches in Pangasinan back when I was a kid but we have never been to Bolinao. Bolinao is known to be the “Boracay of the North” given its white (actually, it’s more like beige) sand and nice beach resorts. And so we decided to go to Bolinao this summer.
I spent a few sleepless nights searching for resorts in Bolinao that will meet our criteria. Those criteria are: 1) swimmable beach, 2) kid-friendly place, 3) swimming pool, 4) comfortable accommodations.
Simple, right? Or so I thought.
I didn’t realize that some of the famous resorts in Bolinao are not beachfront places. If they are, the beach area is not conducive for swimming because it is rocky. They do offer a lot of water sports and activities though. Either that, or they don’t have swimming pools.
Until I came upon Treasures of Bolinao.
Doesn’t that photo take your breath away? The place just looks so beautiful that I had to check out their website to find more information. I also checked on reviews online but I didn’t get the information that I was looking for. But this place on the top of my list.
I was searching for other resorts that I could check on when a cousin of mine posted photos of their family getaway in Bolinao. And guess what? They went to Treasures of Bolinao, too. I messaged her and got her feedback of the place which convinced me that this was going to be our vacation spot.
I sent a text message and an email to the resort to ask about their availability and to make my reservation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the ocean view room so I settled with the garden view instead. Once that was done, all we needed to do was to book for the van rental – which my family took care of – and wait for the date of our vacation to arrive.
The Trip To Treasures of Bolinao
Zaine woke up very early and you can really tell that he was excited about the trip. He loves road trips, that little boy. We left Baguio at a quarter past 8AM. According to Treasures of Bolinao’s website, the trip from Baguio to the location is about 3.5 hours. It took us a bit longer than that, though. The drive was a bit more relaxed than what I was used to when Dad was still alive but it was all good just the same.
We had a quick lunch in one of the eateries by the roadside then went on our way. In long trips such as this, there just comes a point when you already wanted to ask the question, “are we there yet?” LOL! I’m serious! Especially when we reached the road where we were passing by one resort after the other. And yet, we were not yet anywhere close to our destination.
When we reached almost the end of the road, we found our destination. A resort just below the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse lies Treasures of Bolinao. It indeed felt like finding a treasure!
I didn’t expect the hoard of people though. But given that it was somewhat a long weekend, I should have had. There were company team buildings during that time, too. But let me tell you this. The photos didn’t really do justice to the place. It was really a beautiful resort.
We didn’t waste time after we checked in. As soon as we got our key to our room, we all went and changed into our swimwear and Zaine was off to the pool with my Mom. It was a really hot afternoon and the water felt nice. There were a lot of people but the pools were not crowded.
Exploring Treasures of Bolinao
The beach is not exactly the sandy type as the typical beaches look like. It has a corally-type, a quite rocky seabed (I recommend wearing aqua shoes when walking there). Given that it was low tide, the water was just about an inch to about an ankle length before it gets deeper beyond the breakwater. The water was so clear, too, you could see small fishes and other water animals swimming.
Zaine totally enjoyed the walk. He was busy picking up seaweeds and throwing it as he passed them by. It was really fun to watch. But since he was getting a bit cranky, he and my Mom went back to the room for a quick nap while my siblings and I went to explore the beach further.
We had coffee at the bar (albeit instant) while we talked and took a dip in the infinity pool before heading back to the room to prepare for dinner. We planned to dine outside the resort so I actually missed taking sunset photos.
There were a few eateries outside the resort but none really made an appeal to us so we drove about 10 kilometers to find a restaurant. We also had to drive a few more kilometers to get to town to buy a few things. Yes, the resort was that far! So tip number 1: make sure to have a car when you go there. Or rent one if you don’t have one.
After putting Zaine to bed, I went out to explore the grounds further. I walked to the view deck to get a good view of the place. And to find a good reception, I had to go to the roof deck. I stayed on the roof deck for quite a while and enjoyed watching the activities below. I also had a good view of the lighthouse from up there.
Morning View of Treasures of Bolinao
The next day, I tried to wake up before sunrise so I can capture photos of the sunrise instead. But when I left the room at around 5:30AM, it was already light and the resort was already buzzing with early birds. I didn’t expect a lot of guests awake and about at that time. So I went back to the roof deck to get a few photos.
By 6AM, Zaine woke up and, according to my sister, his first word as soon as he opened his eyes was, “isss”. That is how he says swim! LOL! So as soon as I got back to the room, we changed into our swimwear again and hit the pool. We played in the pool until breakfast was served at 7:30AM. LOL!
They serve a typical breakfast – fried rice, daing na bangus, longganisa, and scrambled eggs. It also came with instant 3-in-1 coffee. Nothing spectacular about it, but after a very early swim, it was a delicious breakfast. But really, I enjoyed it.
Since our check out was at 11AM, we didn’t go back to the pool after breakfast. Rather, we let Zaine play in the sand. It was actually a milestone to watch him play with sand without any fuss. It took him several sessions in therapy to even hold sand and to watch him enjoying filling his bucket with sand using his hands was totally awesome!
We decided to check out a little earlier since we planned to visit the lighthouse. You don’t want to miss going there since it is one of the tourist destinations of the place. It was beautiful there, too. But I will write a different post about that.
Before leaving, we had to take a few more photos as well:
There were a lot more to explore but since we only booked for an overnight stay, we definitely plan to come back soon. Hopefully the next time, my other brother would be able to come with us and enjoy the scenery, too.
Have you been to Treasures of Bolinao? How was your experience? Find out my review and more photos of this beautiful resort in the second part of this post.