Most tourists are probably familiar with the Mediterranean-style Thunderbird Resorts & Casino in Poro Point, La Union. But did you know that there’s another resort under the same management just an hour away from Metro Manila?
Surrounded by greens and overlooking Laguna Bay and the Manila Skyline, Thunderbird Resorts in Binangonan, Rizal offers a laid-back getaway ideal for families and nature-lovers. For those looking for a quick weekend escape from Manila with refreshing views and that laid-back provincial feel, Thunderbird Resorts Rizal is a good option.
Thunderbird Resort in Binangonan, Rizal is located along Eastridge Avenue, atop a highland valley south of the Sierra Madre mountain range, some 210 feet above sea level. The resort is roughly about 45 minutes away from Metro Manila. Because of its secluded location, it’s better for those with private vehicles. The road going up is a bit steep, but it’s completely paved and accessible to all types of vehicles including sedans and motorcycles.
How to get to Thunderbird Resorts Rizal:
- From Makati or south of the metro, traverse through C5 Road then turn right to Ortigas Avenue Extension
- Drive to East Bank Road and get on Eastridge Avenue to Binangonan
- Alternatively, you can opt to take the Manila East Road from Ortigas Avenue Extension and proceed to Eastridge Avenue. You will pass by the Eastridge Golf Course to Thunderbird Resort Rizal in Binangonan.
Thunderbird Resorts Rizal also offers guest shuttle service to and from various points in Rizal (including Antipolo City, Taytay, Angono, Cainta, Morong and Binangonan) as well as SM East Ortigas and SM Masinag. Check their guest shuttle service schedule here.
BOOKING & CHECK-IN:
As a year-ender celebration for Art’s family based in Binangongan, we decided to treat them to an overnight hotel staycation. I booked two rooms for 6 people (4 adults, 2 kids) using the Traveloka app, my go-to hotel and flight booking app, making use of a combination of vouchers and discount codes. Booking hotels with this app is really so hassle-free and convenient. You have various payment options including paying by credit card, PayPal, bank deposit or even paying by 7-11. If you haven’t tried using it yet, you can download it here.
I was worried that rooms might get fully booked for the Christmas and New Year season, so I made sure to book the stay a couple of weeks beforehand. All I had to do was check the app and make a few swipes on my phone and key in the proper codes. After confirming the booking and payment, I immediately got the confirmation by email. I just had to give my name and present a valid ID at the check-in counter and they easily found my booking.
Check in time is 2:00 pm. After giving a security deposit (can be by cash or credit card) for incidental charges, we were handed the keys and assisted to the rooms. We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out by the pool.
The Deluxe rooms are supposed to be good for 2 persons only, but come with 2 Queen sized beds each that can comfortably fit families of up to four. The room is very spacious (47.0 sqm), and comes with air-conditioning, a large TV, refrigerator, coffee & tea making facilities, a desk, small sala area, private balcony/terrace with either a garden or bay view. Plus there’s free WiFi, which is always great.
Some of the rooms also have separate living and dining areas, as well as a kitchenette. But the main highlight of the resort is the scenery that you can enjoy from the room — of Laguna de Bay in the morning and the Manila skyline at night. The bathroom is also very spacious with a private bathtub, separate shower area, bathrobes, toiletries and hair dryer.
The main restaurant at Thunderbird Resort is the poolside Olives Restaurant, which serves Pinoy and Mediterranean favorites. This is good for light snacks while lounging by the pool and is also where complimentary buffet breakfast is served.
Each room comes with complimentary buffet breakfast (good for 2 pax). The breakfast buffet costs P399 for additional persons.
Compared to the normal cost of food in restaurants in Rizal, the ala carte prices here are very pricey. It’s a hotel after all. Unfortunately, some of the dishes good for sharing (pizzas and wraps) were not available during our visit, so choices were a bit limited. You can also enjoy meals at the Casino Bar & Lounge if you’re playing at the Fiesta Casino.
Thunderbird Resort in Rizal offers top-notch facilities and services. The highlight for families and kids is the stunning infinity pool overlooking towns in Rizal and the Manila skyline. There’s also a very inviting jacuzzi where you can enjoy the view from.
For those who want to relax, the Zaphira Spa offers in-room massage services. For those who prefer more active pursuits, the whole area has bike trails worth exploring.
The resort also boasts of open-air paintball grounds, an archery range, nearby golf facility (pre-arrangement required), videoke and private function rooms for events.
Expats, high rollers and OFW guests can also enjoy the Fiesta Casino, a world-class casino that boasts of a number of gaming tables and playing machines.
WHO SHOULD CHECK-IN:
Thunderbird Resorts Rizal is ideal for families and friends based in Rizal and Metro Manila looking for an alternative getaway to the more crowded areas of Tagaytay City or Antipolo. It’s a good option for families who want to enjoy a luxurious stay very near the city.
Since it’s the best resort in Rizal, this is a popular venue for events like weddings and debuts for Rizal-based families and clans. It’s good for staycations for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and family reunions, so everyone can just enjoy and relax stress-free without having to prepare meals for extended clans.
THINGS TO DO IN RIZAL / WHERE TO GO NEAR THUNDERBIRD RESORTS RIZAL:
Thunderbird Resorts is very near the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs Museum. You can bike to or walk to the site featuring human and animal figures engraved on a rockwall, the oldest known work of art in the Philippines.
Right near the entrance going to Thunderbird, you’ll also pass Perlie’s Garden Restaurant at Eastridge, which offers home-cooked meals with a good view. If you’re staying at the resort and don’t want to drive all the way down to the town proper, this is the nearest restaurant you can drive to for a meal. They’re only open from Tuesday to Saturday and are closed from Sunday to Monday.
The property also contains a golf course and bike trails. If you’re a biker (and have a car), it’s worth bringing up bikes to explore around the Thunder Trail or to the Petroglyphs.
First-time visitors and balikbayans might also want to combine their staycation with a tour of the art cafes and museums in Angono before going here or on the way home. There are lots of affordable and artistic dining options in the Angono town proper including Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Nemiranda Arthouse Atelier Cafe ideal for food-tripping. Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo is also worth a stop if you haven’t been there yet.
But since the point of staying in hotels is just to relax, you can make the most of your stay by just enjoying the rooms and spending quality time with family and friends.
Thank you to Traveloka for making this hotel staycation hassle-free! 🙂
ADDRESS & CONTACT INFO:
- Website: https://www.thunderbirdresortrizal.com/
- Phone Number: +63-02-6516888
- Email: email@example.com
Unwatermarked photos from Thunderbird Resorts Rizal website and FB pages.