I like discovering private resorts that provide a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. Recently, we stayed overnight in what I believe is one of the hidden gems of Bulacan: Casa Lina Riverside Adventure Resort. This private resort fits the bill perfectly — it has a 3-bedroom villa with pool located along an idyllic river, about 2 hours away from Manila.
Here’s our experience at Casa Lina Riverside Adventure Resort in San Rafael, Bulacan.
Our stay at Casa Lina Resort
I stayed here on a weekday, along with my boyfriend Hali, my sister and niece. We drove for about 2 hours from Manila to the town of San Rafael and then passed through a short rough road to the resort. When we reached the parking lot, a staff immediately greeted and assisted us to the villa.
Inside the Villa
My first impression is that the villa actually looks better in person than it does in photos I’ve seen online. It is clean, spacious, and with artistic murals on the walls.
There are 3 bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, with hot and cold shower. One bedroom has a double bed, and the other two are family rooms with a double bed and a bunk bed.
I like that there are indoor hangers for drying off towels and wet clothes; I feel that this is an important amenity that a lot of resorts neglect to provide. A minor issue that we had with the rooms is that the heaters in the bathrooms are too high, so if you’re short and you want to adjust the temperature, you might need to ask someone else to reach it for you.
Let’s head to the living room area, which is strikingly decorated with a lit welcome signage. It has comfortable couches and a large TV with videoke. The staff was kind enough to set it up for us so we could use it later. Personally, I prefer the quiet and none of us used it, but it’s a good asset for families who like to sing along together.
The front area of the villa features large windows that overlook the pool and the river. This part of the house is not airconditioned, but it’s fine and I liked that you can enjoy the fresh air if you open the windows.
Here you can find a billiards table, dining area with large wooden tables and seats, and a small kitchen with basic cookware and dinnerware. Other conveniences include a fridge, a microwave oven, and a water dispenser. There is also a grill outdoors if you want to hold a barbecue meal.
We mostly stayed here to eat and hang out because we like the view and the sunlight coming in from the windows. It was also a splendid spot to enjoy breakfast and coffee.
Pool and Surrounding Areas
Casa Lina Riverside Adventure Resort has a picturesque swimming pool with fountain and a basketball hoop. Like the villa, it is surrounded by trees and shrubs and overlooks the river.
The pool starts shallow and then goes as deep as 8 feet on the other end. The water temperature for me was just right, though my companions were initially cold when they went in.
We enjoyed our time here — bonding, swimming, and just appreciating the view. Hali enjoyed the deep area of the pool and he even tried shooting the ball in the hoop. I suggest being careful moving toward forward especially where it slopes downward.
There are ample green spaces surrounding the pool where you can stroll or have a break. There is also a hammock perfect for afternoon naps.
One of the highlights of our stay was the river activities. Casa Lina has a kayak and jet ski that you can rent for additional fees.
It was everyone’s first time to ride a jet ski, and so it was fun and memorable. Hali initially drove straight to the waterlilies, so he had to be rescued with a kayak. Haha. Afterwards, he had a great time zooming around the lake. On the other hand, I was slow and careful since I didn’t have the handle on it yet.
One tip that I can give you if it’s your first time to try a jet ski is to listen to the instructions and learn how to properly start and stop the jet ski. When I was on it, the jet ski immediately started with a light press of the start button, but the stop button needs to be fully pressed or the key disengaged from the vehicle.
The jet ski is a bit expensive, but in my opinion it’s worth it.
During our visit, there was only one one-seater kayak so we had to take turns. The staff said the two-seater kayak was not available then. I like kayaking so I enjoyed this one and wished we’d rented it earlier so I could spend a longer time slowly padding in the water. It was also a good time because the river was calm — the staff said sometimes there would be currents so paddling may be more tiring.
We had a really great time at Casa Lina Riverside Adventure Resort in Bulacan. As I said at the beginning, I like how it offers both a relaxing escape and an adventure-filled getaway.
Staying at the villa was a nice break from the city since it is secluded and surrounded by greeneries, and you can wake up in the morning by nature sounds and have a nice breakfast with a pool view. If you want to move and stretch, there is a basketball court, billiards, and the riverside activities.
I think some of the facilities like the pool area look a bit aged, but these are also properly maintained and cleaned and there are colorful and artsy murals to upgrade the look and feel of the interiors of the villa.
Lastly, the staff was very welcoming and helpful, so we had an easy time during our stay. The caretaker gave me her number, so she was just a text away when we needed some thing.
I highly recommend Casa Lina Riverside Adventure Resort for friends or families looking for a retreat in Bulacan.
Here’s a short video tour of Casa Lina:
How to get here
Casa Lina Riverside Adventure Resort is located in San Rafael, Bulacan. It’s about 1.5-2 hours away from Manila.
Here are the commute directions:
- Ride a bus in Baliwag Station (Cubao) bound for San Rafael, Bulacan. Travel time is 2 hours.
- From Baliwag Station, ride a tricycle to Casa Lina Adventure Resort.
Book your stay at Casa Lina Resort
Here are their current rates (Updated as of 2023):
- Day tour: P12,000 / Overnight stay: P15,000 (good for 15 pax)
- Kayak: P500 for 1 hour
- Jet ski: P2000 for 15 min
Additional fee for added guests apply.
Aside from the riverside villa, they are now offering a newly built Nipa Hut (P12,000).
Here are important things to note:
- Check-in time is 2PM, check-out is 12 noon.
- Bring your own food, towels, and toiletries.
- Wifi is available.
- It’s best to bring your own food since there are limited dining options in this area. If eating out, we recommend Bambu Cafe at The Viewpoint Dragonfruit and Grape Farm, which is about 10 min away by car (open from Fridays to Sundays). The cafe serves good food, and you can also tour the farms, take photos, and pick-and-pay produce depending on the season.
Disclaimer: Our stay was complimentary c/o Casa Lina Riverside Adventure Resort. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Do you have comments or questions about Casa Lina Riverside Adventure Resort in San Rafael, Bulacan? Let us know in the comments section below!
What to read next:
Heading to Bulacan? Check out these other articles:
- Casa Lina Riverside Adventure Resort
- Casa Bisita
- Floating Sanctuary Resort
- Day trip to San Rafael River Adventure
- 15 Best Resorts in Bulacan
- [Top Picks] 13 Private Resorts in Bulacan
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Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).