LAGUNA | Baliraya Resort & Spa, a Bali-inspired Retreat near Lake Caliraya


Baliraya Resort and Spa

For no apparent reason, I was yearning for a staycation somewhere that would only require a short drive from home. The Philippine government also recently allowed kids outdoors which meant that my five-year-old could finally go out-of-town after being cooped up indoors for about two years. But I was not inclined to risking on a possibly crowded weekend, so the planned staycation turned into a weekday workcation.

I found Baliraya Resort by chance. I was browsing Google Maps, looking for a resort in eastern Laguna, when I stumbled upon this Bali-themed retreat. I have no basis to judge its Balinese motif as I have not yet been to Bali, but Baliraya's photos on the internet are beckoning. So, a room was booked posthaste for the next day's overnight stay.

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Baliraya Resort's entrance

The Resort

I did not ask around, but apparently, baliraya is a portmanteau of the Balinese theme and the resort's location—Baliraya is nestled along a serene shoreline of Lake Caliraya. Clever.

I was ecstatic as we entered the gates. I already had a glimpse of the non-infinite edge of the resort's infinity pool after a few walks from the entrance. At last, a change of scenery from the usual home office.

Resort's lobby

The resort was relatively not that big, but it was not small either. The property contains a parking space for at least one SUV, a spacious in-house restaurant, two large villas, a two-story building which holds the lobby and an outdoor lounge on the ground floor and the other five room accommodation upstairs, an infinity pool with an attached jacuzzi, and an access to the lake. Amid these amenities is still an adequate space to move about. Elegantly landscaped.



Baliraya Resort amenities
Balinese design

Rooms

In total, the resort has seven lodgings: two villas, three rooms with balcony and two smaller rooms. These rooms are named after popular places in Bali, Indonesia (Ubud, Seminyak and Nusa Dua among others).

We stayed in one of the rooms that have an attic and a balcony. Rooms with attic have queen-sized bed downstairs and a single bed on the loft—enough for three adults. Of the three rooms with balcony, one of them has a view of the entire property and the lake beyond. It is the best accomodation if not going to get one of the villas.

Our balcony room
Our balcony room
Nature-themed landscape

Near the lake, the villas are tucked in the thick of a verdure. I was not able to check inside because there were guests currently checked in, but from the pictures on the internet, the villas have tall windows that allow natural daylight to seep through. Since the villas were surrounded by lush trees and adjacent the lake, it gives off the feel of a forest retreat. These villas are perfect for groups and large families.

The rooms are generally well-kept and sanitized (already a standard for accommodations these days). The beds and pillows are cushy. Room furniture and bathroom fixtures are chic. All the rooms are equipped with an aircon unit, a flat-screen TV, and a hot and cold shower system. Our balcony room also came with free toiletries kit.

Resort's in-house restaurant
Baliraya's in-house restaurant
Free breakfast
Free breakfast

Restaurant

Room rates include a free breakfast. We were served a hefty silog (tocino and tapa combo) paired with either a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. For lunch and dinner, the in-house restaurant, with a pleasant Asian interior, serves mostly Filipino fare. Prices on the menu are typical of a resort—a bit pricey—but considering Baliraya's distance from the town center, these prices seem fair.

Try their lomi. They won't call it "Lomi Baliraya" for no reason.



Infinity Pool and Jacuzzi

Ah, the pool area. That was my favorite spot. The poolside chaise lounges were my workspace for two days. Not only because the spot picks up a steady internet signal (I needed to work), but it was the sight of the inviting pool waters, the fringing greenery, and the cozy pool design. I was at peace since it was a weekday. No crowd. It was an escape. It felt like we rented the whole place.

Infinity pool
Infinity pool
Jacuzzi
Jacuzzi

The infinity pool overlooks the lake. The water was not too cold, the pool was long enough and its depth slopes gradually down to five feet in the middle, so it was good for a proper freestyle.

Who did enjoy the swimming pool that much? Well, the kid who had her countless rounds of leap onto the pool while on her neon green salbabida (round floater).

My daughter on the pool


Spa and Lake Activities

The staff offered us a massage service that costs around PHP 800. According to him, massage therapists are on-call so anyone who wants a relaxing rubdown should inform the resort staffs ahead. Other activities in the resort include kayaking, fishing, stand up paddleboarding, and boating on the lake.

View of Lake Caliraya
Lake Caliraya
Lake activities
Lake activities

Issues and Final Thoughts

The only thing I disliked was the scarcity of mobile signal. In our room, it was almost non-existent even in the open balcony. The resort has Wi-fi but the speed was not enough (even a staff was using his own data connection when I asked).

I needed a fast connection because of my work. But if this trip was a pure staycation, I would still need it for emergency. Anyway, there was a spot on the pool area where the signal was consistently strong.

Fam time in Baliraya

Overall, it was a nice stay. The room rates, if measured against the resort amenities, it would be a value for money. This was my first ever staycation—I'm not really into that, I'm more drawn to exploratory trips—and this first time did not go wrong with Baliraya Resort.

The author chillin' on the jacuzzi

How to Get there

Address: Brgy. Lewin, Lumban, Laguna
Commute: In Metro Manila, take any bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Laguna then take a jeepney going to Lumban town proper. Charter a tricycle to bring you to Baliraya.

Book Your Stay

For up-to-date room rates, message Baliraya Resort on Facebook or book your stay through Booking.com.



About the Author

DJ Rivera is an I.T. professional, entrepreneur, blogger and travel writer based in Rizal province, Philippines. He juggles writing softwares and feature articles, managing his small businesses, and teaching software development in the academe. He contributes travel-related write-ups to several publications and websites, and narrates his experiences traveling around the Philippines in his own blog, PinoyTravelogue.com. He finds himself most engaged in chasing hidden waterfalls and rummaging through the history, arts and culture of the places he's been to. Click here to know more.


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