Mitzi Ilagan | Pinoytrekker.com
Even before you have thought about going to Santorini, you might have dismissed the idea of doing so because it is in Europe. As most Filipinos see it, it may cost us a lot of money for a trip to that place. But now, there is not only one, but four Santorini-inspired resorts which you could visit without having to ride a plane.
Location: Mabini, Batangas
This resort in Batangas aims to be something apart from the diving resorts in Anilao. Though it was temporarily closed for renovation and change of ownership, it was opened again and is now gaining more fame because it is accessible from Manila. It surely is a copy of Santorini with its white and blue walls and architecture, plus the scenic view of the beach. Aside from the fact that it’s nearly 2-3 hours away from Manila, its rates are also affordable if you’re expecting quality accommodation. For day tour, you could pay for Php1700/pax on weekends and Php1500/pax on weekdays. The fees includes complimentary use of infinity pool, sea swimming, water activities (kayak and snorkelling), use of towels, and lunch at Greeka All-day Dining Restaurant.
Location: Sabangan, Santiago, Ilocos Sur
Up in the North, Santorini could also be found where the famous bagnet also hails from. Its modern, and of course, blue and white interiors and exteriors makes it feel like living in Greece. Their resort is atop mountain cliffs which gives a stunning view of the sea and the Santiago Cove. They also offer water activities such as jetski, kayak, banana boat ride, wakeboarding, and use of infinity pool. Also, Vitalis Villas boasts a restaurant offering various dishes such as pizza, pasta, and lechon belly. It would take you around 7 hours to reach Vitalis Villas via NLEX from Manila.
One of the most accessible Santorini-inspired resorts is located in Marinduque, the Bellarocca Island Resort & Spa. It is literally situated atop an island, which gives you a good view of the sea in 180 degrees. Of course, the white and blue architecture is there, alongside their 30 hotel rooms, a 9-hole golf course, a fine dining restaurant, and 3 swimming pools. If you’re up for a luxurious travel to Bellarrocca, you could rent private helicopters or luxury yachts from Manila. But if it isn’t on your budget, there are regular land and sea transfers in which the resort staff would facilitate for you.
Location: Poro Point Freeport Zone San Fernando City, La Union, Philippines
One of the Santorini-inspired resorts in the North is Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point. Aside from the same architecture and view, they offer a world-class hotel, a restaurant offering Mediterranean dishes, spa and a world-class gaming facilities in the area. Their rooms have LED TVs, DVD players, pantry with coffee and tea making facilities, and some rooms even have furnished kitchenettes.