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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm planning a vacation to the surfing capital of the Philippines, so I'd Like to reach out to any expats living near the beach area who would have any knowledge of any reliable, safe, security conscious places to stay.


Thanks!
Chris
 

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I don't live there but have visited a few times.
The best hotel is Kahuna, but it's expensive.
For more budget friendly places, try Fat Wave, San Juan Surf Resort or Sebay Surf central.
Or if you are looking for more of a hostel vibe, try either Circle or Charlie's Hangar.

Everywhere I have been in San Juan has been safe. It's a very chilled place, with good vibes. Nice place to spend a few days.
 

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Hi,

I'm planning a vacation to the surfing capital of the Philippines, so I'd Like to reach out to any expats living near the beach area who would have any knowledge of any reliable, safe, security conscious places to stay.


Thanks!
Chris
Hey Chris, our stomping ground also, while we have stayed in some of the abodes mentioned by Simon and no problems. It really depends on how long, budget and proximity to the surf. Do you want resort style accom or a basic house close to the surf area? Do you have wheels?

We found a house within walking distance to the surf area 10 minutes, 3 minutes to the beach, San Juan wet market 3 minutes, street food etc. Lock off whole house, 2 bed 2 bath, private and great hosts (secure) that live in the house next door, no parties though I would suggest.
We stayed for a month earlier this year and cost about PHP 30k, this time we booked direct with owner for 25 nights and only PHP 20k. The secret is out, send me a private msg if you want contact details and their website or other info.

Cheers, Steve.
 

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Hi,

I'm planning a vacation to the surfing capital of the Philippines, so I'd Like to reach out to any expats living near the beach area who would have any knowledge of any reliable, safe, security conscious places to stay.


Thanks!
Chris
I live in Bauang about 10km south of San Juan and this area is very safe. There are a host of properties there and in Bauang all on the water. The Kahuna mentioned in another place is the top line place to stay, but it depends on your budget. You can get a very nice hut type accommodation for about 1600 pesos a night.
 

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Hi,

I'm planning a vacation to the surfing capital of the Philippines, so I'd Like to reach out to any expats living near the beach area who would have any knowledge of any reliable, safe, security conscious places to stay.


Thanks!
Chris
Costa Villa Beach Resort 1,350 pesos on www.agoda.com

https://www.agoda.com/costa-villa-beach-resort/hotel/la-union-ph.html?checkin=2017-10-24&los=1&adults=2&rooms=1&cid=-1&searchrequestid=25c146e3-c01d-4a9d-bb78-48cef28846e8&PAPIReqId=0e517a69-27bc-4151-a646-60bd9f5d3bfc&recommendedIndex=2

It's located 100 yards from construction of Waves/Dusit, walking distance to Kahuna, surfing.
 

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That is a good price, depends on the presentation I suppose. Some here are less than satisfactory by external appearance.
 

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I know the land and exactly where it is. We know the mentioned resort and will never entertain. We looked at buying one of these lots a couple of years ago but was tied up and not available, (in negotiations) since sold all 7 odd hectares,,,, I have never seen surf on this beach and the video offered showed pristine white sands (somewhat bias and inaccurate to say the least, the development offered is all CGI),,,,,,ain't gonna happen there. No surf, no white idilic sand, well not that I've seen and not from the local tales, a Leopard doesn't change its spots. Media hype to sell? The whole lot was sold for this resort complex and offers grey sandy beaches with no surf, Bauang revisited with a multitude of accomodations, resorts and pension houses that struggle to stay afloat but offer their services and some sad situations. The surf is 5 minutes walk. San Juan surf when rolling commands top dollar and is reflected with property prices. Rental, purchase or resort living.

We have often stayed in these commercial establishments and while some good and others bad, they are all expensive and generally over rated compared to other parts of this fine country. San Juan sells if you want to surf and play as a tourist but if you choose to live? move north or south and drive 5 to 10 minutes and save a heap.

The OP Okinawaboy wants a vacation and I gather good surfing, look at the time of year with breaks and then decide, research. Good luck mate.

Cheers, Steve.
 

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That is a good price, depends on the presentation I suppose. Some here are less than satisfactory by external appearance.
And while many look good with external appearances often lack internally and proffered services, others look shabby but offer excellent position and services, roll the dice.

I/we hear exactly what you are saying/have experienced Ron as we have but the proof of the pie is in the eating and that's why we are here, to share and give to others, as they also do for us, based on personal experiences and not here say. The OP asked for this area and we contribute based on personal experiences related to the area. 20 bucks a night or 200 bucks a night. It really comes back to your comfort zone, expectations and funds. We could go on but all get the drift.

Cheers Steve.
 

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I'd not heard of the new development. Looks horrible in my opinion. It's a shame that people can completely destroy an area, rather than developing smaller buildings that will fit into the existing landscape.
Another example is Hannah's Resort in Pagudpud.
 

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I'd not heard of the new development. Looks horrible in my opinion. It's a shame that people can completely destroy an area, rather than developing smaller buildings that will fit into the existing landscape.
Another example is Hannah's Resort in Pagudpud.
QUOTE=Simon1983;13320346]I'd not heard of the new development. Looks horrible in my opinion. It's a shame that people can completely destroy an area, rather than developing smaller buildings that will fit into the existing landscape.
Another example is Hannah's Resort in Pagudpud.[/QUOTE]

Simon, It's sand and flat (very) dunes, numerous single and multi level private homes with beautiful beach and ocean views,,,,,,,,,,, not for long.
Hannahs we stayed a couple of nights 2 years ago and though memorable had zilch to do with our accomodation there but what the surrounds offered, after all as a tourist I want to see all on offer the at the end of the day simply sleep then start again the next day, a bed is a bed, hotels like these are overpriced and marketed according to what? Same as all over the world.
Perhaps Simon you suggest we go simpler? For us yes, gives better spending power on the desires for the area.

Cheers, Steve.
 

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Yes "Kahuna" is expensive although it's ideally located to the good surfing areas. "Final Option" is German owned resort north of Kahuna. Lodging is reasonable and the food is pretty good: Filipino, Western and German. Big assortment of German beers. The swimming pool is more for kids. The beach has a strong undertoll so it's not good for swimming. Several people have drowned there. You can catch a jeepney or trike to the surfing beaches. Maybe a 10-15 minute ride. Don't go to "Awesome" next door because it's expensive. It should be called outlandish. "Sunset Beach Resort" is in San Fernando near the airport. They have good clean accomodations and the best food around. Lots of cultural handicraft spotted throughout the resort. The pool is okay. Nice garden-deck overlooking the beach. The water is swimable. It's owned by Englishmen and well managed. The only disadvantage is that it's tucked on the west side of the airport and is a 1 kilometer drive from the main road. Trike access isn't frequent. If you have your own wheels, there's plenty of guarded parking. Food is excellent. "Oasis" is on Quezon Avenue in San Fernando, but it's not on the beach. More of an urban setting. They have one of the best pools. 35 meters long with washed small stones embedded in the pool bottom. Children's pool with slide. Good food, service and accomodations. Although almost 50 years old, it's maintained and managed well. Jeepneys and trikes frequently pass by going north to San Juan. Maybe 20-25 minutes. "Sea and Sky" is okay. It's in San Fernando on Quezon Avenue, but closer to San Juan than Oasis. A little run down. 25 years old. Sea side good views of San Fernando bay. Accomodations okay and food? Never tried. Also lots of jeepneys and trikes pass by going north to San Juan. My opinion: either 1) Sunset Beach Resort, 2) Final Option or 3) Oasis.
 

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Again we are on the same page Steve. When I went to San Juan and have seen it a few times since we have been here. Just been too busy with the house to spend more time there.
I saw clean white/yellow sand with a small surf rolling in. I am not a surfer and certainly not likely to see 4 meter waves there (except in a typhoon maybe).
Black sand is the common factor mostly in Philippines from what I see, it may not look as pretty but it is ok. I am not here for the surfing life.
I have been told but not been there that HOtel 45 at Bauang has just undergone a total revamp and supposed to be nice. Will go and check it out for the information of members.
We are not here to please everyone Steve, just as you say, passing on info from what we have found from feet on the ground. It is up to them what they do with it!
 

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Perhaps Simon you suggest we go simpler? For us yes, gives better spending power on the desires for the area.

Cheers, Steve.
Yes I think the attraction of staying in a place is the surroundings - the beach, the waves, the palm trees. Take somewhere like the Blue Lagoon, before Hannah's arrived it must have looked idyllic. Now the first thing you see there is the resort. It has sort of taken over the surroundings rather than fitting into it.

It seems all these developers have grand plans of making big bucks but I'm sure most of these places dont make any money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks to all

Thank you all for your tips and recommendations. It's always nice to get the down to earth tips and personal perspectives.
 

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Yes I think the attraction of staying in a place is the surroundings - the beach, the waves, the palm trees. Take somewhere like the Blue Lagoon, before Hannah's arrived it must have looked idyllic. Now the first thing you see there is the resort. It has sort of taken over the surroundings rather than fitting into it.

It seems all these developers have grand plans of making big bucks but I'm sure most of these places dont make any money.
I think you are right Simon, just about every 'resort' (they use this term very loosely here) in Bauang is for sale, most not making money. I go:confused: a couple of times a week to one, the lease is nearly up there, so they are doing no spending (not that they ever did by the look of it) but the bar is nice, lovely sea breezes and cold beer, what more do I want!
 
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