The travel and tourism industry in the Philippines is now slowly going back to business despite this pandemic. Tagaytay has been opened for tourists in September, while Baguio and Boracay have opened their doors since October 1, 2020.
Bataan province, on the other hand, is still strict with accepting tourists during this pandemic. Bataan is not a popular tourist destination compared to Tagaytay, Baguio, or Boracay. But it has one of our most favorite resorts hotel in the country, the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
Leisure Travels are still not recommended. However, to save the economy, the Tourism Industry is doing its part. We can contribute by going out, but let’s make sure not to disregard the health and safety protocols, not just to protect ourselves, but everyone around us and our family that are waiting for us at home.
This blog post is your 2020 travel guide for Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
About Las Casas
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a 400-hectare heritage resort consisting of 63 Casas with 128 rooms open for accommodations. The heritage houses came from different places in the country. The resort’s owner, Jose “Jerry” Acuzar, bought abandoned ancestral houses, transported them to Bataan, and reconstructed them to save them from total ruin. In other words, it’s a collection of ancestral houses!
Las Casas Filipinas is active on Social Media like Facebook and Instagram. They also have a website with up-to-date contact information. But most importantly, they have Sales Associates who are efficient and prompt with answering inquiries.
You can book your stay directly on their website or through a Sales Associate. In our case, we booked our accommodations a month ahead with the help of Francis Mae, Corporate Sales Manager at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. We were able to avail of a 55% discount on our accommodations for two rooms.
There were four of us, my wife Siona and I, and our couple friends, Efraim and Abby. It’s a double-date!
How to go to Las Casas Filipinas
There are no buses that travel directly to Bagac, Bataan. You will have to take a bus to Balanga, Bataan and take a jeepney to Bagac. During the pandemic, there are no buses at all. But don’t worry, it’s only a 4-hour drive. The best option would be via NLEX-San Fernando Exit. At the Expressway Exit, keep driving to your right, passing the towns of Guagua and Lubao, all the way to the City of Balanga. In Balanga, follow the directions to Bagac, which is to the right.
The Japan-Philippines Friendship Tower is the nearest landmark. Las Casas is just a few minutes away.
ARRIVING IN LAS CASAS
The first casa you will see upon entering Las Casas Filipinas is Casa New Manila. This casa serves as the reception area of the resort. There is also a western-type restaurant on the 2nd floor, but it’s closed during the pandemic.
Casa New Manila
The good thing about staying in Las Casas is that you can already stroll around the resort as early as 8:00 AM, even if your check-in time is 3:00 PM. This allows you to see the whole place, discover every corner of the resort, relax on the beach, and eat at your preferred restaurant before taking a rest in your hotel room.
But the best thing about Las Casas is that they have outstanding customer service. They allowed us to reschedule our booking due to an emergency for free! They even let us check-in early at 9:00 AM without a fee!
Most hotel rooms in Las Casas is in Accessoria. Accessoria is a term for Row House. Thus, it’s a row of hotel rooms on the beachfront. If you want to book a room with the best beach view, you may specifically ask for Accessoria 8. However, you may not be able to check-in early due to the limited number of rooms in Accessoria 8.
Where to eat in Las Casas
There are a few restaurants and cafes in Las Casas. La Bella Teodora, an Italian Restaurant, Cusina ni Nanay Maria, a Filipino Restaurant, several cafes, and a bar at the beachfront.
Lechon Carajay is a must-try in Cusina ni Nanay Maria, while Risotto de Teodora is La Bella’s signature dish. Risotto is now my favorite Italian dish!
What to do in Las Casas
There are several things you can do in Las Casas. But the best thing to do is to take your time and admire the beauty of the place. The whole resort and every casa on it are like artwork. Everything you see on it is carefully handcrafted.
Heritage Walking Tour
Do not miss joining the walking tour! It’s been my 3rd time in Las Casas, and there is always something new in every walking tour I attended. The tour guides are so friendly and entertaining.
Tips: It’s best to wear a slipper during the walking tour. You will be required to take your shoes off when visiting some casas.
*The first casa on the photo is under-renovation that’s why we did not have to take our shoes off.
You can tour around the casas that are not covered by the walking tour through a motorized balsa. There are new casas added to the balsa tour since we last visited the resort.
Take a plunge at the batis-inspired pool with a view of Hotel de Oriente across the river. Batis is the Filipino word for brook.
You may also tour around Las Casas on a Calesa. You can skip this activity if you have a soft spot for animals. But one thing I noticed was that their horses seem healthier compared to the horses in Tagaytay.
Las Casas Filipinas is facing the West Philippine Sea. Its beach has fine brown sand with big waves during the rainy season.
HOTEL DE ORIENTE
Las Casas’ Hotel de Oriente is just a replica of the real Hotel de Oriente in Manila that was destroyed during World War II. But this building is artistically magnificent inside-out.
Golf Cart and Bicycle rental
If you are traveling with an elderly, it might be a good idea to rent a golf cart for 750 pesos to tour around the resort. There are also old-school bicycles for rent at 200 pesos per hour.
You can stroll around the resort without a tour guide. You can take a picture anywhere you want, except on some privately-rented casas. Yes, the hotel rooms are not just in Accessoria. Most of the casas are open for accommodations and can be rented privately. Some casas have a pool of their own.
Every corner of the resort is so picturesque. Every spot you sit on is worth a click of your camera. That’s why Las Casas is one of our most favorite resorts hotel in the country.
Is Las Casas worth the money for a Day Tour?
Most of my friends would tell me that Las Casas is so overrated and not even worth a day tour. Personally, I can only agree with the latter part. Las Casas Filipinas is certainly not worth a day tour. It’s worth an overnight stay. You need to stay for more than just a day to really appreciate the place.
Las Casas Filipinas Gallery
There are too many ancestral houses in Las Casas, and each one has its unique design and character. I hope this helps you decide to visit the place and support our tourism industry during these trying times.
Please stay safe.