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Balesin Island Club: Why this exclusive, members-only destination is a favorite among celebs

By Camille Santiago Published Feb 22, 2022 8:11 pm Updated Feb 23, 2022 9:30 am

It's safe to say that Balesin Island has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Philippines. Many celebrities find themselves hopping on a plane to this secluded island just to get away even just for a bit. Which leads us to the question: what makes it so special among the rich and famous?

Situated in Lamon Bay in Polilio, Quezon, Balesin Island Club is the first and only lifestyle resort on the island. It was developed by business mogul Roberto Ongpin of the Alphaland Corporation.

The resort, which opened in 2012, sits on 500 hectares of lush landscaping and is situated 60 nautical miles east of Manila—just a 25-minute plane ride from their private hangar in Pasay City.

Celebrities like Heart Evangelista and husband Senator Chiz Escudero, the Belo family, and Kim Chiu and Xian Lim are just some of the A-listers that frequent the island. In fact, it's also a wedding destination of choice for some couples including the Escuderos, Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia, and former couple Cristine Reyes and Ali Khatibi.

World-class accommodation

Guests will be able to choose between the resort’s eight villages that are patterned after some of the most beautiful destinations in the world: Balesin (Philippines), Bali, Phuket, Mykonos, St. Tropez, Costa del Sol and Toscana. It also includes the Balesin Royal Villa, which is a 14-suite property that can accommodate up to 350 guests for events. 

Stepping in each village will be as if you were transported to the destination itself as everything from the architecture to the interior design, landscaping and food are "authentically recreated."

Luxurious living

Aside from the wide array of dining options (there are a total of 28 restaurants and bars in Balesin), amenities include the Main Clubhouse, Balesin Chapel, Aviary, Family Picnic Grove, Ifugao Village, nature trails, a fish pond, and a seafood farm.

Those who are looking for some relaxation can indulge in spa and wellness options at the Balesin Spa and Aegle Wellness Center, Belesin’s state-of-the-art wellness facility. Some of their most popular services include the Thalassotherapy, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, and Colon Hydrotherapy.

Meanwhile, guests who are seeking adventure can visit the Aquatic Sports Center for wakeboarding, waterskiing, windsurfing, etc. Members and guests also have the privilege to use the Sports Center, which houses indoor and outdoor courts for badminton, basketball, airsoft target shooting range, tennis, among others.

The M/Y Obsessions yacht is also available to charter day trips.

How much is the membership fee?

According to its website, the membership for international or non-residents of the Philippines costs US $50,000 (P2,566,000). Aside from the amenities mentioned, the member may enjoy nine free nights per year at The Alpha Suites in Makati and at Balesin Island Club. The free nights are also transferable to non-members who are not Philippine residents.

Additionally, the air transfers from Manila to Balesin are also covered.

There is also a three-year holding period for all shares from the date of purchase.

While there is no information on memberships for residents of the Philippines, it was noted in an article by in 2018 that a gold membership costs around P2.5 million with free seven nights stay. A diamond membership is at P4.5 million for 14 nights free of stay, and the platinum membership is at P6.5 million for 28 free nights. 

On top of that, members are required to pay monthly membership dues.

Can you go to Balesin even if you are not a member?

Yes, but only if you are accompanied by a member, or you’re attending a wedding or conference.

Its pristine white sandy beaches and superb amenities are just some of the reasons why celebrities and public figures like the island. But topping the list is the exclusivity and privacy that Balesin Island Club provides them.