Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Casa Corazon Museum, Events and Resort in Lemery, Batangas Review

The serene Balayan bay on a typical morning
When you board a bus going to Batangas, you have all reason to be elated. The land of Balisong is sure to get you hopping from one destination to the next. From coral reefs to verdant rainforests and mountain ranges to heritage and ancestral houses; bustling cities to pristine sandy beaches — wherever you go, the stay’s got to be memorable. And to save you the trouble of excessive research, we’ve recently visited Casa Corazon in the town of Lemery. Here’s what you need to expect when visiting this unique resort in that boundary of Calaca and Lemery towns.

Purple Plum fairy at Casa Corazon signage
Picture yourself lazing in a hammock in the balcony or looking down on the vast Balayan bay as you relax or think of your next adventure. Casa Corazon is perched right next to Balayan bay. The spectacular scenic beauty that the resort/hotel affords as one of its main attraction.

Purple Plum Fairy with Chef Erick Sabalza, ready for a Batangas getaway

A profusion of bird and wildlife are on the doorstep of this unique resort that brings a touch of style to the discovery of a remote and beautiful wilderness. The lodge is home to an aviary, wild pigs and peacock.  It also houses an amazing collection of motorcycles, vintage cars, race cars, unicycles and bicycles. 

Erick Sabalza and moi onboard a bus enroute to Batangas

The private suites are an ideal place to relax and romance, and all come with an extremely comfortable bed, high pressure shower and deluxe linens. During the heat of the day the cooling waters of the pool beckon and later the lounging deck is the ideal place to watch the sun set. A cook conjures up delicious meals, prepared only upon your order. 

Some of Casa Corazon's suites and rooms near the pool

Comfy bed at Casa Corazon

For privacy, Casa Corazon has blinds
Running water at the lavatory at Casa Corazon

Clean toilets with bidet at Casa Corazon

Hot and cold shower from Casa Corazon

Ali, the youngest son of the owner humbly said I shouldn’t expect the food at their resort’s restaurant to be that good. Of course, being a certified foodie, I brought along with me another food enthusiast—meet my friend, Erick—a chef at fine dining restaurant in BGC. And in fairness, we both love Casa Corazon’s version of baby back ribs. The free breakfast that comes with our staycation was a bit “bitin” for us since we’re both hefty foodies. The standard breakfast was composed of steamed rice, hotdog (a bit burned and overcooked) and sunny side up egg. Since we wanted to eat some more, we asked the server what else can we order from their menu, and we settled for baby back ribs. The baby back ribs were fork tender and it reminded us of good old adobo sans the vinegar taste. Erick said it may need a few improvements in terms of taste and presentation, but overall, he loved its taste. 

The overcooked hotdog and egg breakfast combi for guests

Casa Corazon's version of baby back ribs

Erick Sabalza with a vintage motorcycle behind, one of the vintage collections of the owner

Erick Sabalza tries his hand on the vintage slot machine, one of the things you can find at the al fresco restaurant of Casa Corazon.

Of course while we were there, since it was Erick’s first visit to the town of Lemery, we made sure he had a taste of the famous Batangas lomi and goto, even if it meant we had to travel quite far to get to the nearest Lomi House. Erick loved the lomi overload we’ve shared. It was so overflowing with toppings: lumpiang shanghai, kikiam, fish balls, pork liver, pork chicharon among many others. We didn’t finish the entire bowl because we were too full. 

The popular Batangas merienda Lomi Overload
We felt like we had the resort all to ourselves during our visit since we went there on a weekday for an overnight staycation. It was a good respite after working for almost a month like a dog for my recent writing gig. There were three available swimming pools: one for toddlers, a kiddie pool with a slide and the adult pool (around 5 ft). 

Erick Sabalza makes a selfie at Casa Corazon

Chef Erick Sabalza rides on this kiddie attraction from Casa Corazon

Chef Erick Sabalza enjoys lounging at the al fresco restaurant of Casa Corazon

Casa Corazon adult pool

Erick Sabalza swims at the Casa Corazon pool

Purple Plum Fairy with Chef Erick Sabalza at Casa Corazon pool

Purple Plum Fairy with Chef Erick Sabalaza enjoying the cool pool

Erick Sabalza feels like a kid again in this pool slide

An absolute favorite for weddings, Casa Corazon offers more than just a great locale for the sacred vows which makes it one of the best Batangas resorts for couples. They have air-conditioned function rooms for special events such as weddings and baptisms. Even if I'm from Taal, the next town before Lemery, I actually came across this place because of a recent bridal event

With their al fresco cafes cum restaurant with an overlooking view of Balayan Bay, Casa Corazon is perfectly placed on Lemery’s national road. Soak in the city’s spellbinding waters and the gliterring harbor of the soon-to-open Balayan Port especially from the terrace rooms.

Casa Corazon, according to the youngest son of the owner, Ali, was named after his Mom, Corazon, the late matriarch of the place. Coincidentally, it is also a Spanish term for “House of Hearts”. The resort pretty much reflects everything that the owner, Boy Tibayan loves.

The two-storey ancestral house, mostly made of brick and hard wood, was converted into a Bed & Breakfast. The house is filled with antique wooden pieces and furniture, family heirlooms, and a women’s shoe collection which fashionistas will surely delight with.

Since the owner is also fond of birds, there is an aviary with over 200 rare and exotic birds, including parrots and hornbills.

Some of the birds owned by Mr. Boy Tibayan

The main attraction of the house is the motorcycle and car collection of Mr. Tibayan. They are actually housed in four stand-alone show rooms, and are still in good working condition, looking brand-new. Boy has been passionately collecting and restoring two (and three) wheels for the last two decades, and they have now reached to more than 180, some were even imported from abroad. The eye-catching of course are the BMWs.

Boy Tibayan was able to establish the First Motorcycle Museum in the Philippines. If you’re fond of vintage cars or motorcycles, Casa Corazon is definitely a must-visit. This is what sets Casa Corazon apart from all the other resorts in Batangas—not everyone has a motorcycle museum + aviary hidden inside their resorts. 

Should you want a glimpse of what to expect on the Motorcycle Museum, please click this link. Entrance to the museum is around Php200++. An overnight staycation starts at Php4,000 for two inclusive of breakfast and use of swimming pool. 

How to get to Casa Corazon: From Manila, Casa Corazon can be reached via bus commute. Take Lemery-bound bus; upon reaching Lemery, take another jeep going to Calaca. Tell the driver to drop you off at Casa Corazon, which is just along the highway. It is near the border of Calaca and Lemery, just a few meters before the Calaca arc.

Casa Corazon is located at Brgy. Calauang, Sinisian West, Lemery, Batangas

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

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