Beaches, mountains, and an internationally-acclaimed heritage resort? It seems like the province of Bataan in the Philippines has it all! Located in Barangay Ibaba, Bagac, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar takes pride in beautiful and nostalgic Spanish-Filipino houses or casas. It’s one of the few places in the country where guests can experience true Spanish-Filipino culture, while bringing you close to Bataan’s natural attractions.
As your potential Bataan resort accommodation, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar offers spaces from elegant hotel rooms to its beloved private casas. You’ll find amenities like an in-room safety deposit box, cable televisions, and even options to have a view of the beach or plaza, which was definitely a plus for us!
Beyond breathtaking sceneries, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar provides interactive tours for anyone keen on learning the stories of its houses. After all, they hold a big part of the Philippine history — what better way to start your adventure in the country? If you’re wondering where to stay in Bataan, Philippines — consider this sought-after cultural getaway. Read our full Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar resort review to know more about it!
We opted for the Executive Suite to fit us all in but we were lucky enough to take a peek at the different accommodations of the resort upon joining the heritage tour. As with all other rooms, a full granite bathroom with separate bathtub and shower is an offering that allows guests to enjoy modern amenities while staying in a place influenced by the Spanish-Filipino culture. But perhaps the best feature the rooms offer is the different views you can choose to wake up to.
The Deluxe Room makes for a humble retreat because of its size of 36 sqm. It is equipped with one queen-sized bed, and features one full granite bathroom with a separate bathtub and shower. Located in either the Estero de Binondo or Paseo de Escolta, the Deluxe Room is befitting for solo travellers or couples who want intimacy in a charming, cosy space.
At 42 sqm, the Large Superior Deluxe is an upgraded version of the Deluxe Room. It has two queen-sized beds perfect for a small family or group of friends. Here, you will still enjoy basic hotel amenities, but with more space to relax in.
The Studio Loft is an alternative to the Large Superior Deluxe in terms of capacity. It features a staircase that connects the ground floor to a second queen-sized bed. Be mesmerised by the beauty of the room’s wood furniture and the floor design. In no time, you’ll feel like you’re living in your own grand abode.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar’s Family Suite has two to three queen-sized beds which can accommodate up to six guests. This makes it a fitting choice for those coming with their children. It has a chandelier centrepiece, as well as plenty of windows for unobstructed views of the plaza and beach front.
The most popular room in the resort, the Executive Suite has a total space of 120 sqm and has an occupancy of six guests, ideal for our group. It is suitable for overnight as well as extended stays. Among its highlights are three queen-sized beds, its own loft, and the excellent vantage point of the plaza and gazebo that it provides. All in all, staying in this room made us feel like a total VIP… yet in a completely different era.
More of the glory of the heritage park is manifested through their private casas (Spanish word for houses), all of which have distinct characteristics and history of their own. Naturally, a stay in one of the private casas will add to the experience of appreciating tradition and culture. We promise ourselves to rent one on our next visit in this 18th-century Filipino settlement.
The house, with its floral motif, was first built in 1898 in front of the famous Baliuag Church in the province of Bulacan. History tells that the lower part of the house served as a passageway for locals waiting for trips going to Manila, thus encouraging the house owner to set up businesses including a post office. Casa Baliuag was acquired by the heritage park in 2007. Today, this 124 sqm casa serves as a charming accommodation for big families or groups wanting to escape the bustling city life.
Casa Binondo I
Across Casa Baliuag is a private house called Casa Binondo I, which hints what life was like during the earlier days in Binondo, the world's oldest Chinatown. At 322 sqm, it has four queen-sized beds and can accommodate up to eight adults. The highlight of the house is the second floor balcony where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surroundings. For art enthusiasts, you’ll be happy to know that this casa also features Noveau art paintings!
Casa Binondo II
Perfect for a more intimate stay, Casa Binondo II can house a maximum of six guests. This 214 sqm property lets guests enjoy a great view of the sea. What’s more, anybody who knows a bit of Chinese-Filipino culture should be able to identify with the design of the house.
Casa Jaen II
One of the private houses that give off the feeling of being in a museum is Casa Jaen II. It is a two-storey building with two guest rooms on the ground floor, as well as adjoining rooms on the second floor. It can accommodate a total of 10 guests!
Casa Meycauayan initially stood in San Fernando, Pampanga in 1913, before being purchased and transferred to Bulacan in 1950. Finally, it was brought to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in 2005. This 316 sqm house can carry up to 10 people, thanks to its two guest rooms on the ground floor and three more ones located on the second floor. Needless to say, this is a fitting choice for families who want to experience life in the olden times together.
Casa San Miguel
Measuring 260 sqm, Casa San Miguel stands out with intricate Spanish architectural designs. It comes with a dozen queen-sized beds, a living room, a game room, and a dining area. With a maximum capacity of 12 guests, the luxurious house will have no problem accommodating larger families and groups.
Bonita may translate to ‘small’ in the Spanish language, but this particular house offers big opportunities for your getaway in Bataan. With its studio-type setup, the 46 sqm Casa Bonita allows guests to move from one corner to another without a hitch. Like the other accommodations, it features a granite bathroom, as well as its own king-sized bed.
The Casa Terraza makes for a lovely home for two guests. A king-sized bed, beachfront location, and a sweet view of the ocean – what more can you ask for in a private room? It has a four-poster bed that will make your stay even more dramatic and special. We certainly recommend this casa for couples!
Find solace and comfort in the 130 sqm Casa Esquina located at the plaza. Perhaps the most enticing feature of the house is that it somewhat lets you take a peek into the life of a Spanish royal couple, with its imposing designs from the ceiling down to the floor. Furthermore, the bathtub is so lush, you won’t help but to soak in!
Many señor and señoras lived in peace in the kind of houses like the Casa Lemery. No doubt, your stay in will be just the same. It is designed for four guests, featuring two separate king-sized beds. The house is decked head to toe with authentic Spanish designs. This will make it easy for you to relive a part of Philippine history you only read about in books.
From afar, Casa Ladrillo looks like more of an ornate vintage workplace. But once you step inside, you’ll immediately feel its homey ambience. Spanish artistry and architecture are written all over the house. Moreover, it can be occupied by a maximum of six guests. There’s a refreshing beach view and an open bathtub and shower in the master bedroom.
The three-storey “bahay na bato” serves as a testament to the floral period for Philippine ancestral houses that flourished during the 1880s to 1930s. After the Second World War, the house was leased to various tenants. It was eventually demolished and transferred to Bagac, Bataan. Today, it stands as a grand, dazzling accommodation that features a private butler available round the clock.
A state-of-the-art residence located in the plaza is Casa Tondo, which was built in the 1900s. It stands out with its intricately designed roof. This quaint house is a spacious retreat for a maximum of six adults, and boasts a lovely view of the lush greenery around the property.
While there is already so much to learn and enjoy from the amenities and attractions at the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, visitors can spend more time of their immersion to old culture by engaging in different activities around the heritage park and convention centre.
#1 Join immersive heritage tours
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is true to its goal of sharing Philippine history by offering different types of heritage day tours. The most popular of all is the Walking Heritage Tour. Together with knowledgeable tour guides, know more about the various casas in this Bataan resort. This activity is available all week and takes approximately one hour (except for the Full Weekend Heritage Tour). You’ll also get the following perks upon signing up for the tour: a drink, map, kalesa ride, and more!
Visitors can also opt to take the River Tour, Hotel de Oriente Tour and Art Tour. The River Tour is available day and night. It lets you see the resort from a slow-paced perspective while appreciating simple sceneries like brick walls and arched bridges along Umangol River. On the other hand, the Hotel de Oriente Tour takes you to the replica of the first luxury hotel in the Philippines found in Binondo, Manila. Bearing exquisite wooden sculptures and figures, Hotel de Oriente is now the premier convention centre of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. Finally, the Art Tour gives you a chance to get up close and personal with Filipino craftsmanship. It has an ongoing collaboration with a group called Bellas Artes Projects, which supports local artists.
#2 Sign up for signature leisure activities
Aside from tours, guests can also experience this resort in Bataan through different leisure activities. The one we’d most recommend, especially after doing tours, is watching the cultural shows. They’ll give you a better understanding of traditional Filipino culture and important aspects of our country’s history. You can also try traditional Filipino games offered at Casa Lubao, listen to old Filipino songs at the music shop in Paseo de Escolta, and, perfect for a hot day swim in the resort’s stream-inspired swimming pool.
Of course, you can’t leave Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar without visiting the Napiya Spa for some traditional Filipino massages and posing in traditional costumes for a historical photo shoot with Fotografia de la Escolta, the resort’s own photo studio. With the resort’s wide options for transportation, going from one activity to another will be a breeze. If it’s your first time in the Philippines, be sure to choose the jeepney, the country’s most common public transportation, or the kalesa (horse-drawn ride), its more traditional counterpart in the Spanish colonial era. Other options include a shuttle, a golf cart and a bicycle.
#3 Indulge in a wide array of dining options
Filipinos are some of the greatest food enthusiasts around. To pay homage to that, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar offers several dining options serving local and international cuisines. Chow down on authentic Spanish-Filipino cuisines chicken binakol and gabi ice cream at Cafe Marivent, the resort’s flagship restaurant. Or, satisfy your cravings for Italian cuisine like risotto and pizza at the La Bella Teodora. Remember that this resort in Bataan is fronting the West Philippine Sea so you can also take advantage of the perfect view of the sunset while sipping on a cocktail drink at La Casita.
In 2017, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar officially joined the prestigious Historic Hotels Worldwide, a project of U.S.’ National Trust for Historic Preservation, which advocates heritage and cultural promotions by historic lodging across the globe. It is the first resort in the Philippines to make the feat, becoming part of the elite group of old-built hotels like the renaissance-style El Castillo Hotel in Argentina and the iconic Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Turkey. To be selected in the list, a lodging property must be at least 75 years old, relevant as a place of a historic event, a historic city centre and other criteria.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar and its attractions have gone through dramatic development since the resort’s formal opening in 2010. The centrepieces are the private houses, most of which were neglected properties that were transferred to the resort to be restored. Named after the provinces they originated from, the casas showcase traditional Filipino craftsmanship throughout the Spanish occupation. Fluent in both Tagalog and English, the tour guides tell the unique stories of each casa during the heritage tours.
The 400-acre seaside property combines an open-air museum, heritage park and beach resort, which is a first in the Philippine hospitality scene. It is all thanks to Bataan native Jose “Jerry” Acuzar, an art collector and a construction magnate famous for his passion for historical architecture. He also owns the building firm New San Jose Builders Incorporated, the same company which, together with Asian Grand Legacy Hotels, built the heritage resort in Bataan.
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Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is located in Barangay Ibaba, Bagac, Bataan. By private car, simply take the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and exit through San Fernando. The drive will take roughly three hours.
If commuting from Manila, take the provincial buses bound for Balanga City. When you reach the Bataan Transport Terminal in Balanga, take a jeepney or bus to Bagac proper. Tell the conductor that you’re heading towards Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar so you will be dropped off outside the resort. Then, you may take the tricycle to go inside.
Alternatively, you can take the ferry from SM Mall of Asia going to Orion in Bataan. From Orion Port, ride the free shuttle bus to Alauli (Mariveles-bound), where you can hail a bus or jeepney headed for Morong and Bagac, respectively. Alight at the main entrance of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
As if the Las Casas is not enough to keep you occupied during your stay, you may take a detour to some historical landmarks to maximise your exploration in the province of Bataan.
Mount Samat National Shrine
Also known as Dambana ng Kagitingan, the 1,787 ft tall Mount Samat National Shrine is the world’s second tallest cross. Built in 1970, the steel cross stands atop Mt. Samat in Pilar, Bataan. It aims to commemorate the heroism of Filipino soldiers who fought during World War II. Also an adventure park, Mount Samat National Shrine makes a great venue for picnic and adventure activities like riding a zip-line.
Philippine-Japanese Friendship Tower
Bataan is one of the Philippine provinces to host the vicious battle against the Japanese Imperial Army in 1942. To symbolise the renewed friendship between the Philippines and Japan, the Bagac Friendship Bell Tower was inaugurated in 1975. The peace monument consisting of three pillars and encircled by rings, is located at the intersection of the Gov. Linao National Road and the road to Bagac town proper.
Pawikan Sea Turtle Conservation Center
A few kilometres away from the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is the Pawikan Sea Turtle Conservation Center in Morong, Bataan. The facility is located in the nesting coasts of Bagac and Morong and was built as an effort to save endangered marine turtles. The highlight of the centre is the night patrol, where volunteers and tourists walk along the coast to wait for the turtles to lay their eggs. If you plan your visit in November, you may even catch the Pawikan Festival in the locality!