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Reviewed July 28, 2011

The good part of our stay was the fantastic view of the ocean from the balcony of our spacious 2nd floor room. It just can't compare to any other hotel we've stayed in.

After this, well it's pretty much ordinary to sub par. The bathroom is big but they only give you bath towels, no hand or face towels. The bar or soap was a tiny VMV which was good for the sink but a bit too small for the bath.

The breakfast is ordinary. The choices are few and quite boring. I'd have to agree that the foreign chef was very absorbed with his activity on his laptop. The other meals at Olives were ok. A bit on the expensive side though. The service was ok but you can see that they are trying very hard to please, A+ for effort.

There is not much to do at the resort, especially for kids. The pool is 4ft deep and wide enough but not very clean.

Overall we wouldn't bother driving 6 hours to go back & would not spend on a plane ride. It was an ok weekend but we wouldn't visit again.

PS. If you have kids, this place is not for you. They'll get bored with only the pool to entertain them. They don't have a nanny service either.

The room is spacious

Date of stay: July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank lizajg
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 28, 2011

We went here with 6 adults and 2 kids. The hotel is pretty nice all around but it has it's flaws.The rooms are spacious, beds are comfy, plenty of storage, big bathroom. But, the water pressure was awful so don't even think about taking a bath in that awesome jetted tub. By the time it's was full the water was cold. The towels looked like they were ten years old. Gross. The food is alright. The prices are steep unless you get a deal which they do have but limited rooms have the special deal so book ahead of time. I think we paid 7,000 pesos for our room. The casino is on the property but not connected to the hotel. They have a free shuttle service that can take you there in about 2 mins. You can walk it in under 10mins. If you eat at the Fiesta lounge in the casino, stick to the asian food. They can't make a burger to save their life. There's a dress code at the casino too. No shorts, sleeveless shirts and no slippers (flip-flops) The beach is a short walk away from the pool area and it's small but nice looking. The kids loved the shell collecting. It's pretty quiet here and you may get bored if you had to stay more than 3 days. San Fernando isn't very far if you had a car, (we did) and wanted to pick up something to eat in town. The airport is 5 mins away and there are daily flights from Manila. The place is under construction so I figure when we go back in a couple years it's going to look very different. The pool needs a waitress for food and beverage service. There is a swim up bar but the whole time we were there it was un-manned.

Room tip: All the rooms have a view of the sea and balcony
Date of stay: June 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Sanmanz
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 19, 2011

My wife and I stayed there for 3D/2N with 4 of her friends during the weekend. Here are my comments:

Location: 4/5
Trip from Manila took 6 hrs. Although you have the option to go there by plane (Zest Air I think)

Hotel: 4/5
The lobby looks great, and the overall quality of the establishment is really nice. I took 1 point out for not having elevators which makes the resort not PWD-friendly

Food:
Dinner @ Vegas Resto: 5/5
Food was great. A couple of varieties available. We had the salmon and chicken (both chef's special on our first night) which tasted great specially the salmon.
On our second night we had lemon chicken and fish fillet with vegetables (from the Chinese variety) and both tasted great.

Buffet breakfast @ Olives: 3/5
The food was alright. It's just that there wasn't much to choose from. I was expecting more from them actually.

Room: 5/5
Best room we had in any hotel/resort! Spacious with balcony overseeing the sea which comes with a coffee table a pair of chairs to enjoy coffee and the morning breeze. T&B is nice, clean and roomy. No jacuzzi, no bathtub which is fine with me. The shower is enclosed in clear glass panel.

Pool: 3/5
Overall it is nice. The design, the pool bar... they're OK. The letdown would be it's too shallow. I'm only 5'3" and the deepest part of the pool didn't even reach my shoulders. Imagine if you are a 6 foot guy.

Beach: 3/5
We did not go there. Too far from our room. Shoreline is a bit short and there are no cabanas. I guess it's is because it is actually near a cliff. you have to take the stairs to get to the beach. I'm not much of a beach guy so I didn't mind the flaw there.

READ THIS: DO NOT EXPECT A BORACAY-LIKE BEACH. There :)

Price: EXPENSIVE
The only reason we got there is because of a promo. My advise: look for the best deal out there :)

Staff: 5/5
They're great! Courteous, attentive and all smile.

Overall, our stay there was fantastic! Although I would not recommend staying there for more than 3 days as there's nothing much to do. Best to have your own ride when you go there so you could visit other places in La Union. They charge 250 Philippine Pesos (one-way) for shuttle service when going out of the resort's premises like going to the bus terminal.

Date of stay: July 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank hardware_syndrome
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 3, 2011

This resort has a wonderful view of the ocean from the hotel room's balcony. The staff are polite and helpful. The staff responded quickly to our requests. We enjoyed the facility, mostly because of the view. We were given a complimentary in-room massage but opted not to use it due to limited time. The hotel also gave us free 300 pesos voucher for the casino. However, in order to use the voucher you have to match the amount. The casino was crowded and small.
Presentation of food from the restaurant is beautiful but we were not impressed with the taste. The resort is in the Philippines but has no Filipino food in the menu except in the breakfast buffet.
We enjoyed the swimming pool. The pool attendant is gracious. The children's pool is great for the little ones.
Our room is in the second floor and my aunt has problems going up the stairs, but there is no elevator. This place doesn't seem to be handicapped accessible.
Laundry service is overpriced. A pair of socks is almost $5.00 and that is the cheapest.
Some part of the resort is still under construction.

Date of stay: June 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank mtabb
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed June 13, 2011

When we set off for a new holiday destination within the Philippines the question at the back of our minds is invariably the same: will this finally be the place where we will return at least once?
Thunderbird, on paper, has all the attributes to solicit a positive answer: it can be reached by car from Manila, it is inspired by Santorini's architecture, it is new and modern, it is located in a nice place, the website looks impressive, it offers reasonable inclusions in the package.
However, despite all this, already while packing the car before starting our journey back to Manila, I already knew I had just collected another 'probably not' answer to my 16 year old question above.
Let's go with order. The reservation process is already quite painful: nothing really terrible, but you need a lot of email exchanges to get the staff to understand your questions and booking requirements: half of the email exchanges could be spared if they only read your messages with a minimum of attention. This already gives you the feel that your experience is not in the hands of an organization who understands customers' needs.
Once there, the place looks quite nice: breezy, bright, new. But you immediately understand that the similarities with Santorini end with the use of blue and white paint. In fact, from an architectural point of view, the place is far too massive to give the same impression of coziness you get when you are on the Greek island. It is a huge block of concrete (actually 2 blocks of concrete), with an unaccessible rocky sea front and a tiny beach on the far end of the bay. In all fairness, the beach is nice, with a well groomed and quiet garden with showers just above it. Apart from this, though, the place is far too scattered and with areas which are too little developed and of average natural beauty to offer anything interesting to the visitor.
The pool is reasonably big, but with little fantasy in the design and far too shallow to be enjoyed by swimmers, unless they are kids.
The rooms are large, with microwave oven and the decor is acceptable, but the tapestry of the chairs is already quite dirty. There is free wifi connection, but it is so erratic that trying to browse is an extenuating experience which I would not recommend. The room had also a large desk for the laptop and a lot of space, but at night time you soon realize that you can't use the area because there are no lighting fixtures at all over the desk, which lies in almost total darkness.
There is also a nice balcony facing the sea, but there is no furniture at all in it, so if you want to enjoy the breeze you either stand or you need to drag the chairs outside.
The bathroom is large, and there is also a nice jacuzzi; but make sure you have at least 2 spare hours to fill it with water because the tub's faucet provides just a trickle of water and you need to be very patient to fill it up. We tried to use it for relaxation before leaving, but we had to give up because after 30 minutes of running water with the drain securely closed, the water had barely covered the bottom of the tub and the front desk was already reminding us to leave the room on time.
They offer also free massage, but it is of such poor quality that it would be an insult to ask people to pay for it.
There is a large car park, but it is under the open wild sky and loading and unloading the car in a scorching sun or under a torrential rain is not exactly a pleasant experience. Moreover, it takes one full hour drive to get the car to a reasonable temperature after you have left, even if your car and your aircon are both brand new and running full blast.

Breakfast is complimentary, but again it would be an insult if they would make you pay for it. Unless you are a fan of rice & tocino early in the morning, you won't have much to eat.
Cereals are few and of bad quality, fruit juice is cheap and nasty industrial stuff and so is the marmalade and the butter. I got away asking for poached eggs and filling myself with bananas. Fruit is also very scarce. And on the last day they even run out of yogurt...
There are two restaurants: a sort of mediterranean restaurant in the main complex, and an international one in the casino. Both are average at best and you are going to have a reasonably hard time eating there for three consecutive nights, despite the falsely reassuring presence of a foreign chef in the mediterranean restaurant. The problem is that he seems to spend more time on the laptop than checking what's going on in the kitchen.
Staff overall are quiet nice and friendly, particularly those at the pool who were patiently collecting and keeping all the toys scattered around by the kids during the day. However I found it annoying that we were reminded at 11.30 am by phone that our check out time was at 12 and as soon as I paid the bill (at 12 sharp) and while I was trying to air the car under the sun, porters and cleaners showed up at our room taking all the luggage out and lining it up on the wall in front of e car park to make sure we don't spend one minute too much in the premises.
So, a nice place but.. with a lot of but... Considering that 3 nights for a family of 3 set us back about USD 560 (including room, a poor breakfast and only parsimonious dinners with no wine and no lunches), one would be entitled to expect something more.
There was nothing extraordinary bad, but rather everything was in line with the type of service you normally get in the Philippines. That is why after 16 years living here I still know very few roads as I hardly ever go back to any of the places I have visited.

Date of stay: June 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
18  Thank Gilo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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