Las Casas: Time Travel to 18th Century Philippines

When traveling, I book a hotel only if I need a staycation. Otherwise, I choose hostels or inns because all I need is a decent place to sleep after spending most of the day outdoors. Thanks to the destination wedding of my friends Koke and Pam, I discovered the staycation resort, Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar—quite a mouthful for a hotel name, so let’s just call it Las Casas (the houses).

The beachfront accommodations. My deluxe room was about ₱7,500/night for 3 pax.

The beachfront accommodations. My deluxe room was about ₱7,500/night for 3 pax.

Me at Casa Landrillo

Me at Casa Landrillo

This massive property in Bagac, Bataan features heritage houses and buildings as hotel accommodations. To keep historical homes from further dilapidation and demolition, Las Casas investors came to the rescue. Each structure was painstakingly moved, brick by brick, from its original location and rebuilt in Las Casas. The traditional furniture and fixtures are also preserved, while the cobblestone roads bring together the rustic vibe of each structure, making the visitors feel like they’ve time-traveled to 18th century Philippines.

The nightly rates vary, depending on the building or house you choose. Each structure in Las Casas has a story—some of love, murder, mystery, and arts, all of which I learned through the official tour guide. All checked-in guests are free to join the one-hour walking tour scheduled every hour from 8:30-11:30 a.m. daily.

Las Casas reminds me of Calle Crisologo in Vigan.

Las Casas reminds me of Calle Crisologo in Vigan.

The tour guide takes you inside the relocated and refurbished homes, gives you a background and history of each place, and shows you the preserved gadgets our Filipino-Spanish ancestors used back in the day. It’s like a refresher on my history classes in grade school and high school, only this time I got to walk through the actual descriptions straight from my textbooks.

The houses came from different parts of the Philippines. There’s Paseo de Escolta, a replica of the 1900s buildings in Escolta, Manila. There, you can visit the bakery and souvenir shops or check into one of the deluxe family rooms. There are stone houses like Casa Unisan, which was originally from Unisan, Quezon in the 1830s, and wooden stilt houses like Casa Cagayan.

I noticed that the information on their official website isn’t updated, and since there are many houses still under construction, it’s best to just call the hotline for questions and reservations.

For my fellow travelers planning to book a stay in Las Casas, here are tidbits I compiled from my experience.

Freebies for check-in guests:
1. Breakfast buffet
2. Welcome drinks before the walking tour
3. Walking tour
4. Cold towel after the tour
5. Regular jeepney shuttle to take you around the resort
6. Access to board games in the game room.
7. Resort guide map a la theme park. Yes, the place is that big!

Chicken wings from Cafe del Rio

Chicken wings from Cafe del Rio. My friend Neil and I split this dish, plus a plate of fries and iced tea. Our total bill was about ₱800.

Things to do:
1. Walk around the resort on your own to explore the structures and restaurants, and not to mention, take a million Instagram-worthy photos.
2. Swim at Bagac beach.
3. Book water sports or island-hopping tours.
4. Swim at the pool inspired by the batis, a natural stream of water where our ancestors went swimming and bathing.
5. Rent a bike, golf cart, or kalesa (horse carriage).
6. Visit the game room in Casa Lubao.
7. Get a spa service inspired by the Filipino hilot (massage).
8. Go on the free walking tour with the official guide, who speaks in both English and Tagalog.
9. Go on a merienda (afternoon snack) food trip at the food stalls next to the reception area. You may buy Filipino delicacies such as cassava cake, kalamay ube, and puto bungbong.
10. Explore the tourist spots outside the resort. Click here for recommendations.

Sanctuario de San Jose, the church where my friend got married last weekend.

Sanctuario de San Jose, the church where my friend got married two weekends ago.

Kate’s notes:
1. The place is pet-friendly, but each pet gets charged as an additional head per night.
2. It’s not PWD-friendly as there are no elevators or wheelchair ramps.
3. Many buildings are still under construction, so you may find a bunch of noisy bulldozers and builders throughout the day.
4. You will end up walking a lot, so make sure you bring your best flip-flops or comfy sneakers. There’s a free jeepney shuttle that goes around to pick up guests, but I found that it wasn’t frequent enough, so I walked throughout my stay.
5. The food is pricey, and there are only five restaurants to choose from around the resort. The fine print said that they are strict with implementing a corkage fee, so get ready to shell out for food.
6. Aside from the accommodations, the money is in the walking tour, so make sure you don’t miss that.

Overall, Las Casas reminds me of all-in-one resorts like Villa Escudero that give the visitors a crash course on Filipino culture while getting staycation services.

Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar is located 20 kilometers away from the Mt. Samat Shrine in Bagac, Bataan.

December 16, 2015



10 Comments

  1. Ericka S wrote:

    This is a super nice place! I also plan to take my prenup photos here (kapag nagkajowa ako) haha! Madami na po pala talaga ang nadagdag. Mas gumanda na siya ngayon. Sana makabalik ako sa future, at sana may kasama na akong jowa. Hehe.

    Pricey pa rin po ba yung mga food sa La Bella Teodora and Café Marivent? May na-experience po ba kayong mga katatakutan? Sabi po kasi madami daw pong nag sshare ng kanilang mga horror stories dun sa ibang old houses. 🙂

    Nice photos po pala! So loveeee the colors! 🙂

  2. Jeremy Garcia wrote:

    Amazing place only in Philippines:) Ganda talaga! I’m impressed on how you meticulously in every details that’s why I’ve learned a lot. You also share things to do and many more. Ang galing mo:)
    Super love ko ang name “La Casas Filipinas de Acuzar”, their heritage houses architectural and cultural value are commendable.Heard that they have 30 houses in all? Napanood ko nga ang Heneral Luna and I saw that spot. Oh, their food is pricey.*nakakasad naman* hehe. Walking tour sounds really so exciting:D
    How much kaya aabutin ang expenses of having a vacation here Ms. Kate?

  3. Brenda wrote:

    I love the place tho. I’d never thounght there’s a place like this in Philippines. Hope I could see this place one day.

  4. This is one of the places listed on my bucket list! I first found out about it through Julia Barretto’s debut pictorial. I instantly fell in love with Las Casas!. Hopefully I get to visit next year! Your experiences will be really helpful in planning my own trip. 🙂

  5. So pretty! So IG worthy talaga! Would love to go there too. Malapit lang naman sa Manila. Would love to see all of the houses in person and to relax at the beach as well. But the houses are a bit pricey ha, especially the big ones. Haha. Would include this in my list. 🙂

  6. All of the houses look sooo great!!! This is one of the places I want to visit someday! Hopefully, I’d get a Bataan getaway after graduation day.. with the love of my life someday 🙂

  7. If there are any couples/debutants that are planning to have their shoot at Las Casas and in need of photographers, please contact us! We would be more than willing to shoot you for free. We are Advertising Arts students from UST and we are looking for debutants/couples to shoot at Las Casas. Photos would be used for our thesis. For those who are interested, you may reach me at 09156627230. Thank you! 🙂

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