The province of La Union has quickly transformed into one of the country’s summer hot spots.
Located just four to six hours outside of Metro Manila, the so-called Surfing Capital of the North has seen a lot of development over the past few years, whether it’s in the form of new restaurants, bars, resorts, or hostels. Each visit to the province is different, and it can sometimes leave first-timers or even frequent visitors a little bit overwhelmed.
But one place has remained an institution: San Juan Surf Resort.
This 35-room resort opened back in 1992, way before surfing or even La Union became a household name in Manila. It’s located right in the heart of surfing town San Juan, just a few steps away from the world-famous Urbiztondo beach.
Despite being in operation for more than 25 years, San Juan Surf Resort is very much modern. The façade is a palette of white and black, complete with nipa hut-style roofs. The resort grounds, meanwhile, are a wash of green, from the palm trees that dot the resort compound, and blue, thanks to the ocean just a few meters away. Free Wi-Fi is also available in most areas, although you won’t be doing much scrolling and posting on social media with all the activities the resort has to offer.
The resort offers four styles of rooms: Ocean View, Deluxe, Premium and Condo-style. All are extremely spacious and affordable, whether you’re staying for a quick getaway from the city or for a much longer break.
The Ocean View rooms (starting at ₱4,280) offer a spectacular peek at the beautiful Urbiztondo beach, whether it’s through the room’s wide windows or through the balcony. Meanwhile, those on a budget can opt to stay at the resort’s Deluxe style rooms (starting at ₱2,850), which provide all of the same amenities, just without the beachfront view.
San Juan Surf Resort also makes sure that bigger families and barkadas are welcome as well. That’s thanks to their Premium rooms (starting at ₱2,600), which can accommodate up to six people, and their Condo-style rooms (starting at ₱3,725), which allow visitors to prepare their own meals in the in-room kitchenette.
But who wants to cook their food when the resort has its own restaurant? Coast Call Kitchen and Bar offers a mix of local fare and international favorites, along with a wide variety of fresh juices and healthy smoothies to help cool you off after a long day at the beach. The restaurant’s relaxed ambiance and choices between indoor or al fresco dining make it perfect for a romantic date or a chill hangout with friends.
If you find yourself needing sunscreen or other beach essentials, drop by the resort’s very own Surf Shop. The store offers flip-flops, beach towels, and even beach apparel like t-shirts and shorts.
A visit to La Union isn’t complete without trying out surfing. Thankfully, the resort has its own surf school and it’s considered to be one of the country’s best.
Affectionately called Surf Camp, San Juan Surf School was founded in 2003 by Filipino-Australian surfer Luke Landrigan. He was one of the first Filipinos to be given an Australian Bronze Medallion for surf rescue.
So that means whether you’re a first-time surfer or a long time veteran of the waves, you’ll be in good hands at the San Juan Surf School. All of the instructors are internationally accredited and the school only uses the best, safest surfing equipment.
Aside from teaching visitors, the school also makes sure to give back to the local community. With its partnership with Special Education La Union, the school helps children with special needs experience the thrill and joy of the ocean through surfing lessons.
But if surfing isn’t your thing, the resort also rents out stand up paddleboards as well as kayaks, body boards, and skim boards. They also help book tours to the beautiful and majestic Tangadan Waterfalls, located in the nearby town of San Gabriel.
The various activities the resort has to offer may sound exhausting, but you can opt to end the day in the spa. It offers services like the traditional Hilot Massage or the Hot Stone Massage. There’s even a jacuzzi to help your body relax after a long, hot day outside.
Although many say La Union is no longer the quiet province it used to be, San Juan Surf Resort proves that the low-key charm inherent to La Union is still very much alive today. Consider the resort to be your home away from home, the next time you need an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
San Juan Surf Resort
238 Urbiztondo, San Juan, MacArthur Highway
San Fernando, La Union
(072) 687 9990
Find La Union travel inspiration when you check out our Travel Guide.
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