It was the perfect day to be at La Union’s premier luxury resort; the sun was blazing hot, the sky, cobalt blue with a few wisps of clouds floating lazily by, and the sea, with its deep aquamarine color, reflecting the heavens above. A peek from our balcony and a construct of white concrete blocks topped by blue domes, greeted me. I took everything in and breathed a sigh of contentment, I can’t believe I’m actually here at Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point.
|THE ICONIC THUNDERBIRD LA UNION DOME PAINTING|
|NOTHING BUT WHITES AND BLUES|
This is actually my second time here. Although my first visit was only a brief one and on an evening too, I can’t help but be impressed by the resort even then. I wished that I could’ve stayed the night then and enjoyed its five-star amenities, but we were already booked at Kahuna Beach Resort. It simply wasn’t meant to be.
|SANTORINI-ESQUE ARCHITECTURE AT THUNDERBIRD LA UNION|
Fast forward four years later and my wish has finally been granted. I received an invite to spend the weekend at the famed La Union resort, and even with the short notice, who am I to say no to Thunderbird La Union! I answered with a resounding yes, and immediately packed my bag.
|THE IN-HOUSE OLIVES RESTAURANT|
We missed the sunset by several hours, blame the horrendous metro traffic, and arrived at the resort way past dinner time. Without missing a beat, we were immediately herded to the Olives restaurant for a quick meal before retiring for the night.
|BRICK-BAKED PIZZA ILOKANO TOPPED WITH VIGAN LONGANISA ~ PHP 420.00|
Olives used to offer all-Mediterranean dishes before they decided to mix in a few international and local cuisines to their menu. Seven hours on the road can have a binging effect on one’s tummy, and while we initially thought of having a light meal, their offerings immediately made us change our mind.
|THE SANTORINI BURGER ~ PHP 320.00|
|PRAWNS WITH CAJUN AND GINGER SAUCE ~ PHP 680.00|
I personally asked for their Prawns with Cajun and Ginger Sauce while my companions ordered Olive’s Santorini Burger and Pizza Ilocano, to name a few. As expected on a luxury resort, the prices were on the high side. But indeed, it made up for it with its quality. The pizza was brick oven-baked, the burger was massive and my Cajun dish, richly flavored.
|CLEAN WHITE, THE DELUXE OCEAN WING HALLWAY|
Fully satiated, we were then led to Thunderbird La Union’s newest building, the Deluxe Ocean Wing. This part of the resort has just been opened and we were quite lucky to be one of the first guests to sleep in it.
|OUR ROOM FOR TWO NIGHTS, DELUXE ROOM AT THE OCEAN WING|
Entering our assigned Deluxe Room (check rates), we were stunned at how huge it was. The two queen-sized beds were not even enough to clutter the room. We can actually play tennis here! Lol.
|TWO KING-SIZED BED AND EVERYTHING WE NEEDED|
It was surprising how different the room interiors were compared to its Mediterranean blue and white facade. Although it was as elegant and sleek as can be with its dark furniture and clean finishing, I wished that it looked more like its outer countenance, with rough white walls and hand-painted blue highlights. But well, it has huge veranda that looks out to the West Philippine Sea, and that was enough to shut me up.
|EVEN THE TOILET AND BATH IS SUPER SPACIOUS|
The amenities were all spot on for a five-star luxury resort. Big flatscreen TV, check. Reliable and free Internet, check. Coffee-making facility, check. Mini bar, check. Bidet, check. Rain-type shower, super check! There’s no bathtub on our room, but who really needs one when you’ve got a pool and a beach outside.
|FILIPINO BREAKFAST BUFFET / ARTFUL LOUNGE CHAIRS AT THE LOBBY|
Breakfast the next day was again set at Olives. The buffet is complimentary for resort guests and the servings that day were pretty good. I prefer my Filipino morning meal over breads and fruits (which they have too, by the way), so I’m quite happy that they have tocino, sausage, pancit canton, bangus and even adobo! And lest I forget, crispy bacons too! Yum!
|THE SOUTH HOTEL WING|
|TRELLIS GARDEN ABOVE THE BEACH AREA|
Thunderbird Poro Point offers free golf cart services around the resort and we availed of that to see the property before going off on our own. We at least want to know the the lay of the land before wandering off by ourselves.
|BREATHTAKING PLACE TO PLAY GOLF AT|
|CUTE LITTLE VILLAS AROUND THE COMPLEX|
This place is massive. Set upon acres and acres of land, we putt-putted our way to their 9-hole golf course overlooking the sea, their boardwalk, the beach and even the Santorini-styled villas that dot the property. I was surprised to find that one can actually buy a lot here and build your own Mediterranean home. Of course, most of these are also available for guests to rent for a surprisingly reasonable price.
|SWIMMING POOL WITH THE NEW OCEAN WING AT THE BACKGROUND|
Back at the lobby, we went down the poolside to have a bit of a breather; the weather is just too darn hot. A refreshing dip, even under the glare of the midday sun, was simply what we needed. While most of our companions went back to their rooms, we went a’swimmin’ and a’glidin’ at Thunderbird’s infinity pool.
I was still soaking wet when my phone rang and we were called for lunch.
|LUNCH AT VEGAS CAFE|
I thought we’d be having that at Olives once more so I decided against going back to our room to change. Wrong! We boarded a van and headed off to Vegas Café, with my wet shorts and all! Oh no.
|PORK DINAKDAKANG ILOKANO ~ PHP 240.00|
The restaurant is part of Thunderbird Poro Point’s casino building and it was about five minutes drive from the main resort. A quick look at their menu reveals a mix of Filipino, western, Japanese and Chinese dishes with some grilled meats thrown in between.
|PINAKBET ILOCANO WITH BAGNET ~ PHP 190.00 / CHICHARON BULAKLAK ~ PHP 180.00|
Actually, plates of Pinakbet Ilokano with Bagnet, Sinigang with Beef Ribs and chop seuy were all waiting for us as we sat down, but we were asked to order a few more. Which gave me a sigh of relief as I really don’t eat pakbet—its bagnet toppings though really had me going, I was even dipping it on the sauce too!
|FRIED BAGNET KARE-KARE ~ PHP 460.00|
I requested for a bowl of Fried Bagnet Kare-Kare and my buddy ordered for a serving of Pork Dinakdakang Ilocano. I was surprised at how huge the kare-kare was! Now we’re talkin’!
I immensely enjoyed our meal at Vegas Café. Again, it is a bit pricy, but the kare kare and dinakdakan were just so darn good; add in the plate of chicharon bulaklak, and I almost forgot I was having lunch with my wet shorts on.
|THUNDERBIRD LA UNION’S BEACH AREA|
Not wanting to waste time, we immediately headed to Thunderbird’s beach area right after lunch. That stretch of sand is located on the northern side of the resort; you might actually miss it if you’re unaware that they have a beach.
|WATERSPORTS CAN BE AVAILED AT THE RESORT TOO|
The sand is creamy and the beach stretches to about 200 meters. Forgetting to bring our own mask and snorkels, we simply waded along the shoreline as it was kinda hard to swim at the deeper parts of the beach at the time due to the lowering tides.
|A MEDITERRANEAN RESORT AT THE HEART OF LA UNION|
And with time to spare, we leisurely sauntered along Thunderbird’s brick-paved boulevard to wait for the sun to set. We were told this place is one of the best, if not the best, sunset locations in La Union. People drive here just to watch the sun retire, so they say. But for us, we’re actually here not only for the sunset, but for everything else the resort has to offer as well. And it does offer a lot more than single weekend can accommodate.
~ BIG THANKS TO THUNDERBIRD RESORTS PORO POINT FOR INVITING US FOR A WEEKEND STAY AT THEIR RESORT
Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point
Address: Poro Point Freeport Zone San Fernando City,
La Union, Ilocos Region
Contact Number: (072) 888-7777 | (0917) 675-9094
Facebook: Click Here
Rates & Bookings: Click Here
GPS Coordinates Map: 16.609108, 120.286344