We had a tradition of celebrating our anniversary at some place we’ve never been to. This year, we could have set another out of the country celebration but due to some uncontrolled expenses (and investments), we decided to do it within the country. And it was an easy decision for us to celebrate at the beautiful Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
Las Casas Heritage Resort
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar earned its fame through its picturesque, historical and one-of-a-kind resort. It became famous at social media platforms specially on Instagram and many travel groups on Facebook. Being a heritage park, it became a must-go place if you want to indulge in our rich Filipino history and culture.
Personally, I love history as a subject. I am wowed and intrigued on how people from the past lived. So upon knowing about Las Casas, I immediately listed it on my bucket-list. But I also knew the price of staying there isn’t cheap. So, I had to constantly search for deals and promo.
Luckily, as I was searching for a rightful place for our 7th anniversary, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar has an ongoing rainy days promo. It was a huge discount that’s happening only for a week. I did not hesitate to buy it as I was expecting a fair weather on our day, plus even with some shower, being there alone is an accomplishment to our bucket list.
Traveling to Las Casas
We drove our way to Las Casas from Batangas City for around 5 hours. It was my first time driving beyond Manila northbound, and I found it exciting. We wanted to maximize our time at Bataan so we went to the famous Bataan marker – Mount Samat Cross. It’s another topic for another blog post so we’ll leave it there.
Las Casas was not far from Mount Samat, and the road was so smooth. There was no traffic at all. It was such a fit for road trips.
The entrance to the heritage resort was a rough one — it’s not even cemented, but that’s just fine. Upon entering the gate, we headed to the reception and registered. We were immediately taken back to the Spanish era with the brick roads, and Guardia Civil, Filipiniana, Barong costume of the staff that welcomed us. Two iced juices were given as a welcome drink.
If you have a car, it shall be left at the parking outside after registering. The mode of transportation inside are their jeepneys, golf carts and trams. You can also rent a bicycle or shuttle if you want to have a grasp of your time.
We were accompanied towards our room, a Deluxe Room at Plaza Marcelino which is just in front of the sea, with a river view. The room is best for couples and friends wanting to explore the old-world charm. It has a total floor area of 36 sqm and can accommodate a minimum of 2 and maximum of 3 guests. By default it has a huge queen-sized bed.
Room Features / Review
The hotel’s lobby screams classic beauty so I was kind of expecting the same with the room’s interior. The door is powered by a card lock, but of all the card lock we’ve experienced, it’s a little bit hard to open and close.
Upon entering the room, it’s like we have transported back in time. The rustic decors, and wallpapers, the intricate carving of the ceilings, with the modern presence of a flat screen TV and air-conditioning show a balance of old days and the present times.
The bed is indeed thick and premium. There’s table and chairs next to the door leading to the veranda with a river view. There you can have a relaxing view of all other buildings and structures with colonial style. But it’s hard to stay when the condenser of air-conditioning units are on full throttle as its spitting hot air. My suggestion for this is to move them further towards the river so guests can utilize the veranda thoroughly.
Let’s talk about one of the most important room feature, the rest room. Well, this was definitely one of the biggest I’ve seen. Full granite covers the entire bathroom while maintaining the rustic and classy feel.
There’s a separate enclosed shower and bathtub. Well, make sure to bring some bath tub bubble bath so you can enjoy it. You can see an oddly-looking thing beside the toilet bowl. I wondered what it was but figured out it’s a mother of all bidets. Haha. The sink, shower, bidet toilet and bathtub have hot and cold water for your relaxation. Tinkering with the temperature is a bit challenge than usual but you’ll manage to do so.
Aside from the luxurious staycation in Las Casas, the resort offers various activities that will immerse its guests into its history-rich houses and facilities. Some of them are:
Here guests will experience wandering along the brick roads while listening to the tour guide about the interesting facts and stories bridging the world of yesteryears. In our overnight package, they’ve included a free walking tour where we joined day tours held. In other packages listed on their website, there are other activities bundled. Also, prices vary — it’s pricier on weekends and holidays compared to weekdays.
We visited several historical houses which were transferred from its original location from different provinces in the Philippines and brought to Las Casas piece by piece, reconstructed and restored beautifully. Although it’s about 40% original and 60% rehab, you can still feel the history embodied in those casas. The storytellers casually informs which parts are the antique ones. There are also paintings and items of the owners dating to the Spanish era.
Some of the casas we visited are:
- Casa Biñan – Teodora Alonso’s house, mother of Jose Rizal),
- Casa Binondo, Casa Hidalgo – trivial house which were used for abortion, live sex shows / former UP campus
- Casa Lubao – has a veranda which has the best view. This is where you can hire a kalesa or book river cruise.
- Casa Mexico – reconstructed from a junk shop using an old photograph
If you’re in for a faster tour around the huge heritage park, this is way to go. We paid just P50 at Casa Lubao for the ride. I think it’s the cheapest and most bang for the buck activity you can enjoy.
We luckily got the classy white kalesa which is used on prenups. It’s bigger and lot cooler than the others. Haha.
Our chauffeur also acted as a tour guide and share stories of the casas inside. But the biggest bonus we’ve got was he also became our photographer. On cool spots, we asked him to drop by and take a picture of us. And I was amazed on how good he was on taking pictures.
Apart from the tours mentioned above, river cruise also equips guests on histories of the houses en route which were not included on the heritage and kalesa tour. We didn’t tried it but I’ve witnessed other visitors who availed surely had fun. The tour is priced at P700 each.
It’s a little weird that we beach bummed at night. The sand is black but were fine thus great for walking barefooted. The humidity is not that heavy on the skin compared to usual beaches.
We were targeting star gazing at the beach but the clouds veiled the sky. We just sat down and relaxed on their wooden swings while savoring the cold breeze and listening to the sound of the waves.
If you want to have some booze, there’s a bar near the beach or the batis pool.
Las Casas at Night
The sun went down but we cannot stop ourselves from snapping photos. The place were transformed after the lights went on creating a serene atmosphere and reminiscing view. Here are some shots we took on that lovely evening.
The reflection of the building on the calm lake made it like were transported to a European country. Plus the purple color of the sky made it more interesting.
Dinner at Italian Restaurant
Since it was our anniversary, we thought it’s just fitting to indulge a bit of Italian food. The restaurant’s interior was full of rustic decors, the ceiling looks classic together with the kitchen area. But what bothered me a little is that the place is not air-conditioned. Maybe, it’s meant to be for a more fitting vibe it may give.
We ordered pasta, pizza and leche flan.. The foods tasted good, but what stand out for me was the leche flan. Why? Because that’s my favorite dessert, and they did it very well. The overall bill is around P1700 which is on the expensive side. Well, if you’re on a budget, you can spend around P400 per pax.
Free Buffet Breakfast
I wanted to see the beauty of the seashore in the morning but I needed much sleep. So, we ended up rushing to the hotel for our free breakfast.
The hotel has plenty of guests when we came. Ample amount of food and varieties are served on the buffet table. Overall, the taste was good but nothing notable. The hotel ambiance with its intricate ceiling might have uplifted our breakfast experience.
La Casa dela Fotografia caters studio shoot and we’re thinking of availing their services, but the place was loaded back then and there’s only little time left to explore the place. Instead, we watched the ongoing play nearby.
A couple of actors and actresses were seen portraying on historic events as prominent people and heroes from the past. Some we’ve witnessed were the tearing of cedula in which the audience ourselves were given each cedula torn simultaneously. The declaration of independence by Aguinaldo and the sewing of the Philippine flag.
After the play, we were given the chance for photo-ops together with the casts.
Review Summary + Notes
- The overnight was not enough to cover all the activities and visit all the houses and beautiful corners this heritage resort has to offer
- Overall, it’s a bit pricey experience so you must have a budget or control your expenses / activities before going. We spent about P2000 on food and activities alone
- Look for promos and deals on Agoda or at their website. If you won’t do that, the cheapest room will be more than P10000.
- If you love taking pictures, a photography enthusiast, or just an Instagram warrior, this place is definitely for you. Picturesque spots are everywhere.
Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar Phone: (02) 8332 5286 https://www.lascasasfilipinas.com/