Greece would be an ideal place to be lost in if I were to travel to that part of the world. But that seems to be a distant dream for now. It’s a good thing international resort chain Thunderbird brought a piece of the Greek Island, Santorini at the land of La Union. Perched up high on a scenic cliff at Poro Point, the grand Greek architecture stands out from a distance to welcome visitors at Thunderbird Poro Point Resort.
Going Greek Up North
The blue dome on top of the huge central dome gives the distinctive Santorini-inspired look of the resort. Viewed from a certain angle, on the higher floors, the horizon reveals the sea, making it look more like a snap from the famous island mentioned. The occasional hints and accents of monotone colors on its plain white walls were artistically done, particularly the ceiling painting at the reception lobby. As soon as the sun settles down, the dramatic lighting shows another aspect of the resort at night – warm and romantic.
The garden landscaping is beautifully done around the resort grounds complete with columns and gazebos, designed to complementing the Mediterranean theme. The moderately size pool has a splash of creativity as well on its irregular shape and floor design. It’s great they have a nice pool since the beach there is just okay
We had a Deluxe Room with two queen sized beds. Most of their rooms are spacious, with minimal but artistically designed interiors and all have a garden and sea view. They got most of the facilities in room like wifi and LAN connectivity, large LCD TV Screen with surround sound system, mini-bar, and electronic in-room safe. The only problem we had there was the electronic room key card which seems to reset every day. We had to go back to the reception to reset it but it’s probably just a system error.
Cliff Golf and Fiesta Casino
These are probably two of the main reasons why you would want to stay in Thunderbird Resort. I do not play golf but I do appreciate the scenery of their golf course when we drove around with their golf carts. What can be more inspiring for a golfer than to walk along the scenery on his way to hit his next golf ball to the hole.
The Fiesta Casino is also the main draw of the resort, surprisingly; there are more patrons from nearby provinces playing here. We had a chance to play some cards on the VIP room, no real money at stakes here though. A few rounds of baccarat and black jack and I was already into the game, probably because of my lucky streak. Now I understand how fun these games could be that I wish I was playing with real money after having stacks of chips in front of me. It also helps that the staff in the casino are friendly and professional making it easy and fun.
There’s the Vegas Café which serves different Filipino and Asian food at the Fiesta Casino building. I wasn’t that enthusiastic about the food there though after several tries. I’m leaning more on the Mediterranean-style cuisines served at the Olives. Their breakfast buffet is good; don’t forget to check the wanton and they make really tasty wood-fired pizza.
Thunderbird is a bit cut-off from the town so if you stay there, it’s only natural to make use of their facilities and dine in their restaurants alone. But I think they have Van services or if you have your own vehicle, you can just drive out a few minutes if you want to dine out. I also saw a jeepney terminal with rides going to town right by the gate entrance.
The Thunderbird Experience
It’s definitely one of the high-end resorts up north. It has a very impressive architecture and the gardens are beautifully landscaped. Golfers and Casino Gamers would definitely enjoy this place a lot. Families with kids would be fine just chilling out here as well. The resort do lack a wellness center and fitness facility right now but I was told they are currently in the works, but there are in-room massages available. The Poro Point Residences is also in development at the lots before the resort. That would be really interesting to see. If those houses are also Santorini-inpired, it would add to the Mediterranean feel of the place.
Thunderbird Poro Point Resort
Poro Point Freeport Zone, San Fernando City, La Union
Makati Office: (632) 886.5555
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.