November 03, 2006
"Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino, the only 5-star resort in Northern Luzon. A spanish Moroccan inspired villa. "
This is the official marketing tagline of Fort Ilocandia. What they did not tell you is that it is a spanish Moroccan inspired villa with a chinese accent. It is an open secret that Fort Ilocandia is marketing to taiwanese gambler and chinese golfers. Golf and Casino is its biggest asset and with its proximity to China, this resort needs to attract tourist who has money. That is why all around the vicinity, you can see chinese poster, chinese rates and chinese TV stations, that would make you feel out-of-place in your own home country.
It is a 5 star resort indeed. If you come here via road trip it is like an oasis of city amenities in the middle of provincial neighborhood. When you are driving for almost 10 hours, seeing Fort Ilocandia is like seeing a Fortress in the North. You can opt to fly via Cebu Pacific directly to Laoag airport and it would only take you an hour to arrive here. The cost of a one way flight is equal or even cheaper than the cost of fuel going to the North. I prefer the road trip because you are not trap inside the resort and be held hostage with the activities and tours offered by the resort. You also control your time and itinerary if you have your own car -- that's the way I like it.
All the comforts you would need in a resort can be found here. But I would argue, why go all the way to the North and just experience city amenities in the resort? It is true that there are all sorts of activities that would keep you occupied. They have a hot air balloon for P900/person/flight (P1,400 on weekends) where the balloon would rise up to 20 meters above the ground and you can enjoy it for 15 minutes. There is a firing range (P550/ shot), golf driving range (P600/hour), paint ball (1,000/hour/ 100 rounds), wind surfing (P300/hr), and an all terrain vehicle (P550/ 20 mins) where there is a sandy track along the beach. There are tour packages of Laoag City for P750/person, and a Pagudpud tour for P900/ person. Again, I would argue, if you are already in the north you really need to explore the different churches, the heritage sites, the market place, see the Laoag mansions, or head over to Pagudpud. It would be expensive if you would just treat Fort Ilocandia as a sleeping destination.
C'mon, let Aidan tour you inside Fort Ilocandia and let you decide for yourself if it is worth coming here or not.
Welcome to Fort Ilocandia
The rooms are spacious! It is fun for Aidan since he can roam around freely without the fear of bumping to the furniture or the bed. There is a nice restroom also with a bath tub. They maintained the rooms very well to live up to the 5star reputation.
The Ilocos Norte Beach
Some Hamsters. I'm practicing my photo skills on how you can get the cage invisible. Not sure if you still notice the cage.
I'll leave you a picture of Aidan who was surprised to see a monkey who escaped from his cage. I'm glad I was able to capture it :)