I’d always wanted to go to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan, ever since it had started to become popular in social media. In summer of 2019, Hali and I went with my family finally went here for an overnight stay. Here’s our experience at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
Our staycation in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Most people opt for a day tip in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar and I rarely read blogs that post about overnight experiences, so I was really curious what our experience would be.
Las Casas offers various options for accommodation, including hotel rooms and private casas. My sister booked us deluxe room, with each room good for 4 people. In line with the resort’s traditional Filipino-Spanish architecture, our room has that old-time ambiance — we had huge wooden cabinets, lamps with warm lighting, a ceiling with intricate design, a spacious bathroom with its own bath tub, and a veranda that looks out over the canal where we could sometimes see tour boats passing by.
I was very happy to know that modern conveniences are fitted in — we had soft, comfortable beds and airconditioning which is badly needed especially during the summer. We were also given complimentary items including coffee packets and cup noodles, toiletries and slippers.
Outside our room, there’s an alfresco table where we could hang out.
As you can probably tell, I like our deluxe room. Las Casas has done a good job in blending the old with modern-day necessities so we could enjoy both worlds. I also like that they didn’t scrimp on complimentary items — the food and slippers are convenient add-ons especially considering that exploring the resort can be tiring.
So moving on… One thing that surprised me about Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is how big it is. There’s a giant man-made lake in the middle of the resort and accommodations are located in “islands”. The old town where you can go on a guided tour is located in a different area of the resort.
These places are still within walking distance of each other, but if you’re feeling tired you can catch the tram to get around. Basically, you can spend a whole morning or afternoon just exploring the entirety of the resort.
During our overnight stay, what we did is stroll the grounds on our own to see the old houses and stores, join a guided tour, and swim in the pools and the beach (Hali enjoyed the newly opened Inflatable Island). My family also went to do other activities such as riding the kalesa and playing in the game room, where there are sports such as table tennis.
Even though we arrived at 12 noon and left the following day on the same hour, it still wasn’t enough to experience all the activities offered in Las Casas. My sister wanted to watch traditional games such as labanan ng gagamba and join workshops even, but we just didn’t have time.
I guess I was used to seeing people going to Las Casas to go on a guided tour and take photos for Instagram that I didn’t realize there’s more to do here than that.
If there’s one thing I didn’t like about our overnight stay in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, it’s the expensive food. If you’d been reading some of our resort reviews, I always explain how resort restaurant rates are reasonable which is often true, but it’s not the case with this one. We dined in at Cafe del Rio, and our budget was P400-500 per person. The serving was regular, the taste & quality is ordinary, and there’s nothing to justify that price.
However, our complimentary breakfast buffet was good — there’s a lot of options such as salads, rice meals, kakanin, and various fruits, which was a consolation for the ridiculous dinner price tag that we had.
Overall, we had a positive experience during our overnight stay in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. Moreover, I will recommend it especially if you want to have more time to explore and experience the various activities offered in the resort.
P.S. Thanks to my Ate Che for the libre! :p
About Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a heritage site located in Bagac, Bataan. It features over 20 heritage houses from the Spanish Colonial Period, including restored originals and replicas. You can also find the house of Jose Rizal here.
Please note that rates indicated in this guide are updated (as of April 2019). It’s best to refer to Las Casas’ official website for the current rates.
How to get to Las Casas
From Manila, travel time to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan takes about 3 hours.
- From Cubao, board a bus en route to Balanga (P200, 2.5-3 hours) and get off at the bus terminal. Then, take a jeep to Baga (~P50, 45 minutes) and tell the driver to drop you off the tricycle terminal where there are services going to Las Casas.
- From there, ride a tricycle to Las Casas (P100 for 4 people).
Take note that the Genesis bus en route back to Manila has its last trip at 7PM.
What to do in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Here are the free things you can do in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
1. Join the heritage tour
A guided walking tour of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar where you’ll get to know historical and fun facts about the houses and even see the inside.
Available every hour from 8:30 to 11:30AM and from 1:30 to 4:30PM.
2. Swim in the pools or beach
There are 2 pools and 1 batis where you can take a refreshing swim. There’s also a beach front and an Inflatable Island which is recommended for kids.
3. Experience a tram ride
Because it’s pointless and fun. The tram goes on selected stops every half an hour.
4. Shop at Escolta
Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or something useful and fun, it’s worth visiting the shops at Escolta. Shops include Panaderia, Tess the Farmer, Fotografia, La Tiendecita at Escolta, Souvenir Shop at Casa New Manila.
5. Join a craftmanship workshop
Learn how to make woodcarvings and bricks.
Available every day except Mondays, at 9AM and 3PM.
6. Witness special weekend events
Every Saturday and Sunday, there are various events you can experience, including cultural show, carabao parade or race, palosebo, labanan ng gagamba, sabong (cock fighting), and hampas palayok.
There is also a Sunday mass at the Sanctuario.
7. Other activities
There are plenty of activities you can do for a fee, including kalesa ride, balsa tour, cycling, and various types of watersports.
You can also get a massage at Napiya Spa.
Where to eat
You can find various restaurants inside Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar:
- La Casita – coffee shop and bar
- Cafe Marivent – Western/international cuisine
- La Bella Teodora – Italian cuisine
- Cusina ni Nanay Maria – Filipino cuisine
- Cafe del Rio – tapas bar
- La Parilla and Pica-Pica – Filipino street food and beverages
Cafe Marivent is Las Casas’ main restaurant.
Food is expensive inside the heritage resort. Prepare P400-500 per person for every meal.
Guests are allowed to bring snacks inside the resort. However, full meals should be brought in one of their restaurants. Otherwise, you need to pay a corkage fee of P500 per person.
Here are the current rates (Updated as of 2020):
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar offers various day tour packages:
- Regular weekday tour – P1500
Monday – Thursday
Includes admission, guide tour, and refreshments.
- Regular weekend tour – P1850
Includes admission, guide tour, and refreshments + balsa cruise or dining credit, calesa ride, and Hotel de Orient access.
- Full weekend heritage tour – P2500
Saturday – Sunday
Includes admission, guide tour, and refreshments + P500 dining credit, balsa cruise, calesa ride, and Hotel de Orient access.
Note that transport is not included here. You have to go here on your own,
If you want the whole experience, I definitely recommend booking for an overnight stay.
You can choose between hotel rooms and private casas.
We booked a deluxe room. Here are the details:
- Deluxe room
- Rate: P9000 (good for 4 people)
- Comes with complimentary items (coffee, snacks, toiletries and slippers)
- Free breakfast buffet
- Check in 3PM, check out 12noon
I honestly think it’s a good deal considering all the inclusions. To maximize our time, we came in the resort early (past lunch time) and left our bags at the reception area so we can do a guided tour before check-in time.
Click here to book discounted rates to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
These are optional activities.
- Kalesa – P75 per pax
- Balsa (day or night tour) – P500 per pax
- Kayak – P400 for 30 minutes for 2 pax, P700 for 1 hour for 2 pax
- Golf cart – P750 rental per hour
- Bicycle – P200 per hour
- (Game room) Billiards, darts, table tennis – P100 per hour
Watersports and games:
- Jetski – P4500 per hour
- Banana boat – P2800 for 15 minutes
- Flying fish – P2800 for 15 minutes
- UFO – P2800 for 15 minutes
Budget and expenses
For a day trip, a safe budget would be P2500 per person. For overnight stay, it depends on how many you are in the group.
As for us, we came here via private car (say, P1000 on gas and toll). Our room costs about P9000 (good for 4 people) and our budget for food is P400-500 per person which we’d spent for dinner. Breakfast is complimentary. That will make it about P3000-3500 per person, in a group of 4 people.
Reminders and tips
Here are some tips before visiting Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar:
- Wear comfortable, easy-to-remove footwear. During guided tours, you’ll be asked to enter houses barefooted.
- Bring a bottle of water with you.
- Take note of the schedule of guided tours so you can effectively plan your schedule.
- If you’re going on an overnight stay like us, I recommend having your lunch first before heading to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. There are cheap eateries near Balanga Terminal. There are also fast-food restaurants such as Jollibee and McDonalds nearby.
Have you been to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan? Did you like it? Tell us your experience below!
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