Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Lazy Days in Kahuna La Union

When I said yes to a 7-day trip to La Union, I was a bit anxious that I'll be spending long days with a close group of friends that I don't go out with. We usually just say hi-hello during common events, and that's it! Although I feel that I'm the oldest odd-ball in this tight-knit millennial group, they were actually super friendly that I never felt left-out at all during the entire trip. Everything's just positive vibes and chill with them.

We first stayed at the Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa, a magical black hole in San Juan La Union that will suck the days of your trip without you knowing it. Kahuna is heaven on earth! We spent day-and-night inside the resort, and didn't even tried surfing because the pool and the beachfront were enough. If not for coffee and food, we wouldn't even attempt to go out of Kahuna!

Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa is located in the heart of surfing destination San Juan La Union. They have 40 boutique Balinese-inspired cottages, Ocean Villas and Rest Houses overlooking the beach, The Big Kahuna Bar and Restaurant, and 3 swimming pools. Bali-girl Kat Valdez told me our place reminded her of her favorite Indonesian destination. 

This accommodation is best of the best in La Union, I'd say it is 5-star level after sleeping in different hotels / hostels during this one week vacation. We enjoyed our bedtime sleep and TV as much as our pool and beach time.

We decided to split the room assignments into two groups, 4 girls and 5 boys. The girls stayed in one of the beautiful Ocean Villa Suites (Php 15,000 - 16,000 / night), a prime location with a semi-private swimming pool and sun-deck, and an easy access to the beach. We literally just sleep, swim, eat, repeat!

Mornings were the best at our Ocean Villa Suite. We girls took our sweet time in bed, waking up when it's already almost 10 am, just in time for brunch. One of us will call room service to order breakfast, and while waiting, they take their bikini OOTDs while I watch a random movie from our room's flatscreen cable TV with my hot mug of coffee. Ahhh the lifeee! 

After breakfast, we just go about with the day on our own terms - no itinerary or strict schedules. It was truly the most relaxing vacation I had. I usually spend the day in our infinity pool with Cha, while Kat and Rhea sunbathe just outside our villa. The day ends with everyone in the pool, or at the beach... Whichever felt right at the moment.

Social media time! Hehe, Kahuna also provides fast internet connection to their guests so more more Instagram and Snapchat updates!

Our typical breakfast in Kahuna:

Sunset swimming:

Our Ocean Villa Suite offers great privacy, a perfect place to stay for groups and families. We have two queen size beds, a minibar, in-room tea and coffee, and a spacious private patio area.

Our Balinese-style bathroom, where we spent our first night trying out Rhea's black face mask ala legit slumber party. We scared the boys by knocking in their villa with our black faces, and later on they joined in the fun!

Check out Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa's other room types HERE, and room rates HERE.

This is the Big Kahuna Restaurant and Bar, where we had some of our lunch and dinners:

They serve both local and international meals, with the inviting view of the beach:

Or you can have your food delivered to your room / patio:

And before the day ends, we walk to the beachside to hangout, take photos, or swim. Again, whichever felt right at the moment. No pressures. One time, they caught me at my childish self, as I jumped and recklessly chased the waves! Good times!

We also often take a walk along San Juan LU's busy street just to try the other cafes and restaurants in the area. Be careful when walking the side streets, the buses and cars drive by so fast especially at night!

I have a big smile here because we finally took a tricycle, haha! Rates of tricycle rides in La Union vary from location, to number of passengers, to the driver. I never memorized or predicted how much do we have to pay, so I would rather prefer walking instead.

Some of our favorite restaurants in San Juan La Union include Tagpuan, El Union, Moonleaf Milk Tea, Surf Shack, and a karinderya near Moonleaf / at the corner of the street leading to Circle Hostel. Wasn't able to get the name, but they sell really cheap meals for those who need to save.

During my last day in LU, with a different group of friends, I took them to El Union and Tagpuan for a nice 1-day La Union dining experience. If we still had time, I will take them to Surf Shack for the good music, pizza, and kebab rice meals, or that karinderya for tortang talong, extra rice, and Coke.

This was in Surf Shack, where we sang along sentimental songs from Lady Antebellum to Tell Me Where It Hurts, hehe!

It was also Kat, Rhea, Chino, and Dan's last night, huhu!

We passed by Flotsam & Jetsam several times, a photogenic place where you can chill with friends, drink at night, or have a healthy bowl of Makai. I had one when everyone left already, and I was waiting for the second batch of people I'll be with. Flotsam welcomes solo travellers well.

My Php 60 bowl of tofu and rice from Tagpuan, add lots of chili sauce - it's the best!

Best cold buko juice right next to Tagpuan:

We abused our hangouts in Moonleaf. One time, we spent an hour or so talking about random things from love life to blogs in this tea place!

This is the karinderya I was talking about. Cha and I had breakfast here one time:

Favorite namin ni Mike, hehe:

Ice cream break in Aloha, a rustic place I passed by while looking for a place stay before the Reef event. They have several unique flavors in the menu, but only have one available flavor when I went there, haha! A bit expensive for Php 100 (halos 5 subo lang sya, haha), but it is really good.

Olas Banditos, didn't get to eat here though:

El Union Coffee all day everyday! Haha, literally! This cafe is popular for their smores and cookie skillet! Order a large one for the entire group, it's enough na. You can order more graham crackers nalang for Php 10 / 4 pcs.

And lastly, of course, there is always Kahuna Mart and Stoked for the in-between meals! It's a usual minimart for snacks and grocery items, but they also carry Stoked and RipCurl apparel. I bought a Cornetto, Cheetos, and (for just one night) a bottle of beer here. It was perfect for our wholesome Cinema One nights, hehehe!

We always go home to a clean room and neat beds in Kahuna:

Group photo during our check-out, and before saying goodbye to half of the group!

According to the internet, the word KAHUNA means a wise man or a shaman in Hawaii, or a very large wave for the North Americans. How apt to name the best accommodation in one of our country's most popular surfing spots!

Can't imagine it has been two weeks already since I last shared a room, the pool, and our laughs and stories with this group! If there's anything that travel taught me, it's that the world is full friends you're just about to meet. And that, my friends, is the Kahuna in me talking. Hehehe!

Special thanks to Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa and McPol Cruz of http://www.weekendsidetrip.com for making this trip possible!

1 comment:

  1. Now this is our type of 'lazy day'! Feeling even extra lazy? Try this skincare routine perfect for a lazy day, or when you just want to take it easy! Check it out here http://www.skinmatters.com.ph/skin-care/article/id-39/skincare-for-lazy-girls/ :)


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