Where to Stay in Bani Pangasinan: OldWoods by the Sea Nature Resort
After four days of continues travel through La Union and Pangasinan, the Lakbay Norte 9 batch started to feel a bit weary. It was already dark when our bus rolled into a secluded hideaway resort. Since I was looking forward to snuggling into my bed, I initially paid little attention at where we’re at. But we alighted from our bus and opened my eyes to my surroundings, the serenity of OldWoods by the Sea Nature Resort instantly arrested my full attention. “This is so beautiful. What a nice treat to end our trip.”, I thought.
Themed Rooms at OldWoods by the Sea Nature Resort
After a smooth check-in process, Marianne, Nina, Tiny and myself were led to our room. A spacious villa room with a lovely veranda strategically looking out to the sea. The polished wood finishing and furniture constitutes a rustic feel that summons a traditional Filipino-styled room. And instead of just crashing to my bed, I opted to have a quick but soothing bath time inside our room’s spacious tub.
And just as I was about to step out, I heard some ‘noise’ outside our room. I couldn’t really tell who it was, just some squeals and boisterous laughter. It was almost midnight, so we weren’t expecting any visitors. So with a towel on my head, I hurriedly went to the veranda to check what the commotion was all about. Lo and behold, it was our other travel blogger friends excitedly huddling in our veranda trying to take a peek of our room. It turned out all the rooms at OldWoods by the Sea Nature Resort were all uniquely designed from each other. And so our fun, spontaneous “room piligrimage’ began!
One by one, we toured all the participants’ and NLEX team’s rooms — Music, Mountain, Read and Write, Old World, even Flight. And while each room were charming in their own ways, ours seemed to be the grandest of them all. It was later on that we found out we had the Presidential Suite fit for 6. LUCKY, VERY LUCKY.
The Morning After
Ringing true to its secluded setting, I found out the next morning—as the sunlight lit up the surrounding garden—that our place is really sheltered by the best of what nature can offer: towering trees, lush foliage, the inviting sea.
After rousing myself to full awakening with a coffee at our room’s veranda, I joined the others for breakfast. A hefty buffet of eggs, rice, tocino, and corned beef. And by around 7:00 am, we were all summoned to go to the beach.
Faced with a choice of walking (400+ steps) or taking the resort’s shuttle, we elected to take the latter. A good 20-minute scenic ride knifing our way through the forest and passing through the quaint coastal town, we finally arrived at the beach property of Old Woods.
We then spent half an hour at the beach basking under the sheen of the sunrise and dipping our feet on the sea.
We took turns taking photographs of each other against the picturesque low-tide view of the ocean. I must admit, it wasn’t the most ideal beach for swimming. But somehow, the place looked so inviting and calm.
The Pool, Garden, and Playground
We continued our water frolic at the swimming pool at OldWoods by the Sea Nature Resort. As I arrived, Marianne, Nina, Edgar and the Cignal boys were already splashing about. I joined them as Marco set up his drone to shoot some aerial shots of us by the pool.
We even did a quick ‘flower’ formation for one shot. And at one point, I even gave in to their dare to swim between their legs underwater. Haha, FUN TIMES!
I also saw the rest doing other things around the expansive 7-hectare property of OldWoods by the Sea Nature Resort. Some were exploring the IG-worthy trellis garden and open-air function hall.
While others took turns taking photos by the playground and the Bali-inspired nests facing the sea. Too bad I wasn’t able to fully bask in the serenity that OldWoods by the Sea Nature Resort offers. But I told myself (and some friends) that I promise to bring my mom and sister here in the summer.
After packing our bags, we met the owners, former Bani, Pangasinan Mayor Cel Navarro and Dr. Beth Navarro. We gathered by the resort’s restaurant where they gladly shared the history and inspiration behind the place. We capped our stay at Old Woods with a quirky photo-shoot depicting the popular soap opera family; the Familia Zaragoza by the garden. Dressed to the nines, I had to play as their heiress daughter, of course. 🙂
Old Woods by the Sea Nature Resort Additional Information:
OldWoods by the Sea Nature Resort is situated at Olanen, Bani in Pangasinan. Along an isolated shore facing the West Philippine Sea. The main property sits in the middle of unaltered trees and manicured gardens. Each room is designed differently and features classic Filipino architecture with a pastoral touch. Refined wood furniture, warm lighting fixtures, comfy beds, and a spacious living are highlights of each room.
A café called Eliz serves authentic Filipino dishes and fresh sea foods. They also have huge function halls for those intimate to extravagant celebration. (I loved their pavilion with real tall trees growing inside). For the young guests, a kiddie playground and a swimming pool is also available. And if you’re looking for adventure, Old Woods by the Sea Nature Resort also offer tours to nearby beaches, waterfalls and island hopping.
So this coming summer, if you want to experience tranquility and create great memories with your family, then you should consider staying at Old Woods by the Sea Nature Resort. Definitely deserves a spot at the top things to do in Pangasinan! SEA YOU THERE!
*NOTE: Article and photos by Tina Punzal of Hungrytravelduo for Karlaroundtheworld.