Balesin Series: Members-Only Balesin Island Club – A World Unto Itself

If you have been following my Balesin series, you would have already read about our 2 villas in Bali and Phuket, and the food we tried out in the island.

In this 3rd chapter, I am going to show you the rest of the island: Mykonos Village (Greece), Costa del Sol (Spain), St. Tropez (France), Balesin (Philippines) and the other facilities as well.

Balesin: Mykonos Village

Balesin: Mykonos Village

Balesin boasts of its sustainability, waste water management, eco-friendly transportation and organic farming. It was even declared as a Tourism Zone in August 2010.

When we were in the planning stages of going to Balesin, Mykonos was what really caught my attention.

Balesin Island Club - Mykonos and Thanarsis Taverna

Balesin Island Club – Mykonos and Thanarsis Taverna

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just biased with the color blue.Or is it my earlier years’ addiction to Greek Mythology?

Balesin Island Club - Mykonos and Thanarsis Taverna

Balesin Island Club – Mykonos and Thanassis Taverna

But right from the start, I said, I wanted to have a villa there. And when we were finally there, it’s the first village we went to. Its blue and white motif stood against the dark blue to light green water surrounding it.

Mykonos in Balesin Island Club

Mykonos in Balesin Island Club

The Thanassis Taverna looked real, like it was cut straight from a Greek painting or picture. (Well notwithstanding the presence of modern day celebrity Don Allado and Maricar de Mesa).

Balesin: Mykonos Village (Maricar de Mesa and Don Allado in the background)

Balesin: Mykonos Village (Maricar de Mesa and Don Allado in the background)

The villa seemed a little smaller than Bali, and the beach fronting it didn’t seem as accommodating as the beach in Bali and Balesin.

Chairman Ongpin had to hire a Greek Chef to train the future chef of the Taverna so he could serve authentic Greek and Mediterranean cuisines (yup, mostly lamb and pita bread).

Balesin: Mykonos Village

Balesin: Mykonos Village

Balesin - Mykonos' Taverna

Balesin – Mykonos’ Taverna

When one goes to the Mykonos Cove Deck, one would notice how the designers avoided destroying the rock formations in the area.

Balesin Island Club - Mykonos Cove Deck

Balesin Island Club – Mykonos Cove Deck

Balesin - Mykonos Cove Deck

Balesin – Mykonos Cove Deck

They also have bigger jacuzzis here (bigger than the ones in the villas).

Balesin Island Club - Mykonos Cove Deck

Balesin Island Club – Mykonos Cove Deck

We then went to St. Tropez Village (France), which contrasted the simplicity and quietness of Mykonos. St. Tropez’ colors yelled loudly – playful and definitely attention-getting.

St. Tropez in Balesin Island Club

St. Tropez in Balesin Island Club

This is where we had our dinner on the 2nd night, but it was closed for occupation because they were re-painting it.

St. Tropez in Balesin Island Club

St. Tropez in Balesin Island Club

It was only open for dining, touring and swimming. Even then, it still shined brightly along the northern coast of the island. Even its interior teemed with vibrant colors.

Balesin - St. Tropez

Balesin – St. Tropez

Balesin Island Club - St. Tropez and Creperie

Balesin Island Club – St. Tropez and Creperie

IMG_4828

Balesin - St. Tropez

Balesin – St. Tropez

Next stop we went to Costa del Sol which is between Mykonos and St. Tropez in the number of colors used in its villas and bars.

Balesin Island Club - Costa del Sol and Tapas Bar

Balesin Island Club – Costa del Sol and Tapas Bar

They also have a Moroccan-inspired videoke room at PhP 20,000 for 3 hours (2013 rate).

Balesin Island Club - Costa del Sol and Tapas Bar (The Morrocan-Inspired Videoke Room)

Balesin Island Club – Costa del Sol and Tapas Bar (The Morrocan-Inspired Videoke Room)

Balesin Island Club - Costa del Sol and Tapas Bar

Balesin Island Club – Costa del Sol and Tapas Bar

Their villas fronted the beach, which is the same spot for surfing. The waves are good for beginners, but may not be advisable for non-swimmers. The waves pounding the rocks remind me so much of the movie Chasing Mavericks (real life story of surfer Jay Moriarti).

Costal del Sol in Balesin Island Club

Costal del Sol in Balesin Island Club

There are two identical pools in Costa. One was salt-water (but not as salty as the sea) and the other, fresh water. The underwater pictures are from the fresh water pool.

Costal del Sol in Balesin Island Club

Costal del Sol in Balesin Island Club

Not to mention they serve the best paella here. =)

The Balesin Village was more contemporary than I imagined it. I thought it would have showcased some native fixtures and design but it was a good mix of that and contemporary design.

Balesin Island Club - Balesin Village and Clubhouse

Balesin Island Club – Balesin Village and Clubhouse

It houses the Balesin Clubhouse, where guests are welcomed after arrival at the airstrip. It has a pastry shop, the concierge is also located there, and serves as the waiting area for guests who are waiting for their return flight to Manila.

Reservation and check out also happens here, which is pretty much the heart of the island.

On the southern coast of the island (when looking at the map), it is situated at the end of the airstrip, to its west is the Bali Village, to its east, Phuket. So technically, when we transferred villas, we went from one end to the other.

Balesin Chapel

Balesin Chapel

The chapel has services once a week, unless there is a special request for a mass to be held there.

Balesin Island Club - Chapel

Balesin Island Club – Chapel

The Balesin Spa is one more haven one would want to enjoy. It closes at 9pm, and since we were pressed for time, didn’t have the chance to enjoy this facility. A quick tour was all we managed to do, as the very entertaining staff handed us each our bottled water for free.

Balesin: Spa

Balesin: Spa

The Ifugao Village houses “imported” Ifugaos from the An-A Tribe to design and create furnishings for Balesin.

Balesin Island Club - Ifugao Village

Balesin Island Club – Ifugao Village

They also live in Ifugao houses, too (that shouldn’t be surprising, right?). They also accept made to order benches, sculptures, doors, ladders, etc.

Places we haven’t been to in the 2 nights and 3 days we were there are: Picnic Grove, Fish Fun (we’ve only seen it from afar), Organic Farm and Fish Pond (we passed by those but we never stopped), Aquaculture, the Mykonos Beach Villas (extension of Mykonos Village) and Toscana Village, both of which are still under construction. When Jons returned in 2014 and 2015, it was already open, as well as the Mykonos Beach Houses and the Balesin Royal Villa. Here are his photos:

Balesin: The Royal Villa

Balesin: The Royal Villa

Balesin - Toscana

Balesin – Toscana

Balesin - Toscana

Balesin – Toscana

Balesin - Toscana

Balesin – Toscana

The island, I’m sure, will still offer a lot more than what it already has. And yes, my friends and I are determined to come back and have a blast again.

Beach Bummin' in Balesin Island Club

Beach Bummin’ in Balesin Island Club

Up next: The most emotional blog entry about Balesin. The Big Reveal. You wouldn’t bat an eyelash while reading it. I promise.

Why did my White Jack Purcell sneakers turn gray? Find out in the final installment of the Balesin series.

Why did my White Jack Purcell sneakers turn gray? Find out in the final installment of the Balesin series.

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16 thoughts on “Balesin Series: Members-Only Balesin Island Club – A World Unto Itself

  1. Wow. It looks beautiful. I understand why you waited to post about your flight – but I am amazed that you managed to enjoy yourself there after the trip!
    In the US, Mykonos has a reputation for being “the gay resort” of the Greek Islands. I haven’t been to Mykonos but I’ve been to Greece, and the resort definitely captured the look of the Greek islands.

    • Really? Now i understand why I have a connection with the place. =) Actually, the group first debriefed the incident, shared our fears, talked about what could have been’s, and what we can do to make sure we get to enjoy our 2nd lease in life. not to mention what we’ve already shelled out to make the trip happen. Thanks for you input =)

    • Hi Patricia please visit their site at balesin.com for more details. I know the last rate is at 4m per member. But don’t take my word for it. 😃 good luck! And hope you enjoy Balesin. (I am not a member myself)

    • Hi Ehnnasmg,

      I am not sure if you are still looking for a chance to go stay in Balesin, but I have a friend who is selling his chance to stay in Balesin for 2 nights 3 days, with airfare included, for 2 persons.

      The villas (good for 4) are usually PhP 20,000 a night and the airfare is PhP 14,000 round-trip (since this is a chartered flight).

      He is selling the whole package for only PhP 50,000.

      Let me know. This is not mine, I’m just helping him sell it.

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