Friday, October 2, 2015

Thunderbird Resorts – Poro Point, La Union

Thunderbird Resort La Union

I was in the middle of finishing a rousing chapter of my book when I noticed that the sun was beaming across the huge rice fields. I tried to carry on but the letters formed a string of meaningless lines, curves and dots. I tossed the book back to my rucksack and focused on the marvelous sky display. I closed my eyes and imagined how great this sunset would be on our home for the weekend – the Thunderbird Resorts in Poro Point.

Thunderbird Resort La Union

Thunderbird Resort La Union

Located at Poro Point Freeport Zone, Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point is recognized as one of the prominent luxury resorts in the Ilocos Region (if not, the whole country). I heard about this Santorini-inspired resort as one of the most famed wedding destinations of the celebrities. The 65-hectare property houses a 9-hole golf course overlooking a gorgeous cliff, a boardwalk perfect for joggers and lovers, the beach with a manicured lawn and hill, enormous swimming pool and luxurious rooms, suites and villas set on a Mediterranean village.

Thunderbird Resort La Union

Thunderbird Resort La Union

The van silently halted in front of the lobby. We were handed cold towels and refreshing drinks as we stepped out of our ride. The blue and white dome, illuminated from above, continued the theme of the whole resort. Blue is my color. I loved the resort instantly.

Thunderbird Resort La Union

Thunderbird Resort La Union

It was way past dinnertime and we were all famished. We headed to Olives Restaurant, the in-house all-day dining of Thunderbird Resort, to satisfy our hunger.

The Mediterranean and Greek cuisines on the menu list were overwhelming. The Asian dishes were equally enticing. The restaurant boasts its legit brick oven that’s unique in the region. I would want to scrutinize the dishes some more but was glued at the rice meal options. I requested for Roast Pumpkin Soup (P180) for starters and Devilled Chicken (P460) for the main dish. My buddy opted for Prawns with Cajun and Ginger Sauce (P680) while others asked for salads, pastas, burgers and pizzas.

Thunderbird Resort La Union Olives Restaurant Burger
The Santorini Burger (P320)
100% pure beef burger with lettuce, tomato and served with French fries
Serving time was fast. I dunno if it’s because we were the only diners at that time or maybe it’s just the standard. My pumpkin soup was thick and as I stirred, it revealed a lovely aroma that in no time made me dig my spoon in. And it was delish, like I really felt the smoky taste of the roasted pumpkin and the perfect blend of different herbs and spices.

Thunderbird Resort La Union Olives Restaurant Pumpkin Soup
Roast Pumpkin Soup (P180)
Lightly spiced with garlic, cumin, nutmeg and pepper
Served next was the Devilled Chicken. My first bite revealed that it was not as spicy as the name suggested. It was tender and tasty but I was totally looking for that perfect kick of spiciness. Nevertheless, it was a lovely dish. I also tried Pizza Ilocano and the prawns and both were also yummy. But I still couldn’t get enough of the yummy soup I had earlier.

Thunderbird Resort La Union Olives Restaurant Devilled Chicken
Devilled Chicken (P460)
Half chicken with olives, chili flakes, marble potatoes and red wine
Thunderbird Resort La Union Olives Restaurant Pizza Ilocano
Pizza Ilokano (P420)
Tomato concasse, mozzarella, cheddar cheese, Vigan longanisa tocino, tuna and onion
Thunderbird Resort La Union Olives Restaurant Cajun Prawns
Prawns with Cajun and Ginger Sauce (P680)
Sauteed in Cajun spices and herbs
We all felt tired from the 5-hour ride and the sumptuous dinner that we went straight to our assigned rooms. The front desk officers were gracious enough to process our booking while we’re dining, such an ease.

We were all ushered to our respective rooms which I heard was the newest addition to the complex of lavish rooms in the resort - the Ocean Wing. What’s nice about the new wing is that all of the rooms are fronting the sea.

Thunderbird Resort La Union Ocean View Wing

The clean white finish of the textured corridor walls was brought to life by the colorful wall paintings on the pillars. Me and my buddy headed straight to our room for two nights and were both astounded as we went inside it.

This is really huge! I kept on muttering as we inspected the whole space. I ran towards the other end, totally forgetting about everything, and quickly pushed aside the drapes. It revealed a glass door leading to a spacious veranda. I could hear the roar of the waves but the dark sky didn’t allow us a peek. The next day promised to be a great one, I was sure of that.

Thunderbird Resort La Union Ocean View Wing Deluxe Room
Ocean Wing Deluxe Room
I went back inside and noticed my buddy lounging on the couch that lined the work desk. Our Deluxe Room (check rates) was well-furnished with two queen-sized beds with the perfect mattress and comfy duvet, flatscreen T.V., work desk, mini fridge, coffee and tea-making facilities, wardrobe closet, in-room safe, and more.

Thunderbird Resort La Union Ocean View Wing Deluxe Room

I went to the en suite toilet and bath and was, again, stunned with its size. It could fit in a number of budget rooms inside. Toiletries were provided for and the hot and cold rain shower was very inviting.

Thunderbird Resort La Union Ocean View Wing Deluxe Room

Thunderbird Resort La Union Ocean View Wing Deluxe Room

I wish though that the blue and white theme of the resort echoed through our room (which felt like more of a business kinda type of accommodation) to really feel the Greek concept. But hey, I ain’t complaining here.

I rested my tired bod on the bed and started to doze off easily. My buddy asked me if I’d want to have some coffee. I hesitated for a second, but slowly got up and walked toward the glass door.

Thunderbird Resort La Union Ocean View Wing Deluxe Room

As predicted, I slept like a baby drowned on the comfy duvet and pillows that night (blame it on the perfect mattress). Awakened by the sea breeze coming from the veranda, I immediately went there and found my buddy enjoying a cup of coffee with the perfect view of the sea. We bid our morning greetings and carried on with our reflections.

After a quick shower we went to Olives Restaurant where the complimentary breakfast for in-house guests was served. The buffet spread was a mix of international and local favorites. Tocino, sausage, daing na bangus, salted egg and fried rice overflowed on my brekkie plate. Another round and I surrendered.

Thunderbird Resort La Union Breakfast
The perfect Pinoy brekkie
We went for a look-see via a golf cart to check out the vastness of the property. The exploration provided a quick overview of the places we’d chill out later on.

Thunderbird Resort La Union
The couple blended well
Thunderbird Resort La Union
Wedding proposal. Right here. Is just too perfect.
Thunderbird Resort La Union

The unforgiving heat brought us to the swimming pool where at around noon, we decided to take a quick dip. It was refreshingly satisfying to finally hit the water. 


Thunderbird Resort La Union
Hot! No, not me, the friggin' weather that is
Thunderbird Resort La Union

Thunderbird Resort La Union
Empty without me, I know...
The swim was a short stint though for the group decided to have lunch at the Vegas Café.

A short van ride courtesy of the resort brought us to the casino complex. Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and western dishes were listed on the menu. I could hardly wait for the feast awaiting us.

I easily spotted Pork Dinakdakang Ilocano (P240) which translates to a yummy roasted sisig. La Union is famous for this dish and I really wanted to try their version of it. Others opted to follow my suit and headed for an all-Filipino spread. Chicharon Bulaklak (P180), Sinigang with Beef Ribs (P480), Fried Bagnet Kare-Kare (P460), and Pinakbet Ilocano with Bagnet (P190) dominated our side of the table.

Thunderbird Resort La Union Vegas Cafe Pakbet
Pinakbet Ilocano with Bagnet (P190)
Local vegetables sauteed in bagoong and topped with crispy pork
Thunderbird Resort La Union Vegas Cafe Kare-Kare
Fried Bagnet Kare-Kare (P460)
Fried Bagnet stewed in peanut sauce with local vegetables
At first bite, I knew that the Dinakdakan was legit (sans the ox brain). The Chicharon Bulaklak was also a good contender. Overall, our lunch feast was wonderful that I could hardly move. Oh, did I tell you that they have an overflowing salad, soup and fruit stations?

Thunderbird Resort La Union Vegas Cafe Dinakdakan
Pork Dinakdakang Ilocano (P240)
Broiled pork head and offal mixed with vinegar and calamansi juice
topped with red onoins, salt and black ground pepper
Thunderbird Resort La Union Vegas Cafe Chicharon Bulaklak
Chicharon Bulaklak (P180)
Deep fried pork intestine served with special sauce
The group went back to the resort for a quick respite. Being such restless souls, me and my buddy ditched the afternoon siesta and went to the beach. We’d want to check out the underwater world but were hindered by the incoming thunderstorm. It was drizzling as we explored the 200-meter cream-colored sand.

As the storm hit our way, we went to the swimming pool and enjoyed the rest of the downpour afternoon.

Thunderbird Resort La Union

Thunderbird Resort La Union
Very promising snorkeling site
We waited for the sunset which I heard was really stunning. The rain continued to pour and it became too chilly for me to stay at the pool. So we went back to our room, had another cup of coffee and enjoyed the endless drizzle. And it didn’t ruin the trip.

We might not have experienced the marvelous sunset of Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point but we’re quite pleased with everything that has happened. And so we headed to Patio Santorini and guzzled endless cocktails till the wee hours of the morning. 

Thunderbird Resort La Union
We.Will.Be.Back.
The next day, with a combination of the previous night's drink and wanting more of Thunderbird, I called in sick at work. And that, my friend, is how you extend a splendid northern weekend.


Thunderbird Resorts – Poro Point (book online)
Poro Point Freeport Zone, San Fernando City,
La Union, Ilocos Region
Contact Numbers: (+63) 72.888.7777 | (+63) 917.675.9094
Email Address: reservation-poro@thunderbird-asia.com




4 comments:

  1. happy teachers day maam.

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  2. Hi! I would like to ask a question. Perhaps, you have an idea. We are planning to book a deluxe room (which is like good for 2 pax). We are 4. Will they do headcount? Will they ask us to pay for the extra 2 pax (since deluxe room is for 2 pax only)? Thank you in advance! :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anniza, I don't know about the headcount but I think they have a strict policy on the maximum persons allowed. The breakfast will also only be for two persons. I heard that an extra person will set you back at P1,000 +++ :)

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