La Union is a 6 hour drive north of Manila – 4 1/2 if you’re lucky. But don’t count on getting lucky with Manila traffic which has steadily gotten worse with each visit. Four or five days after arriving to Manila we decided to take a road trip to San Juan, La Union. I couldn’t wait to get my toes in the sand and spend my first few days away from my kids in maybe 3 years. I needed that alone time because moms need breaks too.
San Juan, La Union is a popular spot for surfing. The beach isn’t your typical white sand beach. I didn’t even wade in too deep due to the jellyfish warnings. Yet, seeing the where the jungle meets the sea in this still foreign land was a beautiful sight. I can close my eyes and feel my heart at ease, like I was where I was supposed to be. More on San Juan, La Union later – for now I’m here to show you where I was able to unwind for 3 days.
Kahuna Beach Resort is a Balinese inspired hotel with cottages and beach houses facing the ocean. Even the most basic accommodation is beautiful with a touch of luxury. Whether you’re in the area back packing around the Philippines, here for surfing or visiting family, I would recommend the Kahuna experience – and no this is not sponsored at all I’m just your average blogger.
Located beachfront facing the West Philippine Sea is the Kahuna Beach Resort. Above is Kahuna’s lobby with the same Bali theme continuing in the suits. The hotel has a restaurant, spa, convenience store and you can sign up for surfing lessons. Breakfast was offered complimentary daily, accompanied by the most beautiful view of the ocean. I enjoyed plenty beers and cocktails as I watched the surfers out on the waves. Next to the open restaurant is a billiards table sharing the same panoramic view. The resort is small, and I can imagine how crowded these areas would get during peak season. We stayed in October and were joined by few other guests.
Pictured is the resorts large infinity pool facing the ocean. I was able to enjoy it to myself the first day. There’s a swim up bar which wasn’t in service during my stay. Mostly I enjoyed the peacefulness of sitting under the shade with a nice cold beer and my music. Sunsets from this spot were amazing. That’s when most guests came out, with plenty locals on the beach, and we would quietly watch the sun go down. The vibrant colors reflecting off the pool made it all the more beautiful!
We stayed in one of the 40 Balinese inspired cottages. The three of us were able to fit int a Standard Garden Room with rates starting at 5,265 PHP ($111 USD). Other options include: a Pool View Room which is same as the Standard Room but located in front of the pool. A Pool View Suite which grants direct access to the infinity pool. Ocean Villa Suites and a 3-Bedroom ‘Rest House’. As well as apartments you can rent out if you’re looking for long term accommodations.
The rooms were a little on the small side considering the price tag. But I enjoyed the rustic cottage design. Typical bathrooms except for the small hanging garden feature outside the window. The room included all the basic necessities such as a safe, closet space, bathroom essentials, desk and TV. Wifi was free although spotty. I wasn’t inside much apart from an A.C. break when I couldn’t take the heat. It was simple and comfortable.
Surf lessons are taught along the beach for 400 PHP if interested. This huge stretch of beach is lined with other hotels, cafes, and lived in bungalows. Sunsets were beautiful as I sat down and watched school kids with their backpacks, families, kids on bikes and friendly dogs quietly come together for these golden moments. I can’t remember any other sunsets that can compare to the ones I saw in La Union. Away from the buildings, the bustle, the smog of Metro Manila to this quaint paradise.
Pictured below is the stairway access to the beach directly from the restaurant. I walked along the beach snapping up pictures I would love to share on a separate post. As mentioned above I didn’t dare wade into the ocean because of Jellyfish warnings taped to the desk of our room. Despite those warnings there were always surfers and swimmers splashing around.
The customer service is a 5-star amenity on its own. As I’ve found all over the Philippines, the service provided by the staff is amazing! It makes the most simple of things feel luxurious. Always accommodating and always with a smile. Something that I rarely find in the states. Each day after cleaning, the housekeepers would leave cute towel creations on the bed. Overall I found the stay relaxing and I just know one day in the future I’ll find myself here again (only because it’s my Lola’s favorite resort in La Union).
The resort is a 15 minute drive into the town of San Fernando with Jeepney’s and tricycles aplenty.
Kahuna Hotel, Cafe and Restaurant
National Highway, Brgy. Urbiztondo
San Juan, La Union 2514
To Book a Room: www.kahunaresort.com