Sometimes, not being in a prime location is what makes a secluded resort more appealing. My friends and I had so much fun at the Blu Serenity Villa, a boutique hotel just 15 mins from UPLB.
The odd seclusion of this gorgeous, Santorini-inspired resort makes it enticing to those of us looking for a weekend escape from the daily grind.
Where is it?
My Fil-Am college friend Roanna visited us in the Philippines last September 2022 and she found a great deal for the place on Agoda.
She was so excited to plan a pool party for us near our alma mater, UPLB. We were so glad that she found this hidden gem, smack-dab in our hometown! It was a perfect way for us to catch up and reminisce.
The boutique resort hotel is located at the farthest corners of Rhodas Subdivision in Los Banos, Laguna. About 10-15 mins from UPLB or a two hour drive from Manila.
Without further ado, here’s my objective review of the Blu Serenity Villas resort — weighing some pros and cons from our overnight stay there.
PROS: Ideal bed-and-breakfast resort
With rooms priced at PhP 6,000 (approx. USD 100) a night, it comes with an impressive breakfast spread, pool access, recreation (rec.) hall use (with a pool table, darts and mahjong). Other amenities come at an additional cost, detailed further down in this article.
If this photo of our Blu Serenity Villa breakfast makes your mouth water, check out another foodie review of these delectable cupcakes from a nice pastry store in Alabang, Manila!
Spacious one-bedroom units
Yes, Blue Serenity Villas are not your average tiny studio-type accommodations. It comes with one decent-sized bedroom, bathroom, separate living room and kitchenette.
I was honestly very impressed with the size of the space. Though it was crisp and clean, it did not feel like a hospital room at all, but instead it gave a tropical blue and white paradise vibe.
The living room smart TV was just mounted on the wall a little too high. But we didn’t book the place to binge-watch netflix anyway, so that’s not much of an issue for me. I just used it to play lofi background music to lull me to sleep.
Many fun-filled recreational activities to choose from
The other recreational rooms (movie theatre, jacuzzi, sauna and arcade with videoke) come at an additional cost, but the common rec hall with the pool table is open to all checked-in guests.
So the limited use to the common rec. hall is fair enough for a small group of about 2-4 pax.
To fully maximize your stay, the place is best rented out for events too (i.e. corporate team building, debuts and small wedding receptions). a private movie the
Balconies with a gorgeous poolside view!
The resort boasts of adorable room terraces overlooking the entire resort. It comes with quaint little outdoor tables and chairs for two. A perfect WFH spot or simply to spend a romantic day with your beau.
So the Blu Serenity pros may outweigh the cons, but these are definitely worth considering when staying at this resort:
We brought our friends’ toy poodle with us since the resort listing online indicated that they were pet-friendly. The hotel even confirmed via email that we were indeed allowed to bring pets.
But when we got there, the resort management gave us such a hard time about it. It turns out that they are not comfortable with pets staying over after all, despite their pet-friendly listing.
After insisting our rights, they finally caved and let us keep the dog. But after our stay, I was told they removed “pet-friendly” from their Agoda profile.
Gym not fully functional
The treadmill and other workout machines were defective, thus were only props to make it look like a gym. The treadmill was completely out of order. The bike machines’ peddles were ok, but the resistance level knobs were not working, making it pointless to use.
Not only that, the gym room was stinky and very dusty, like it hadn’t been properly cleaned in ages.
We ladies wanted to hit the gym before breakfast, and boy were we majorly disappointed. Since the machines were not working, we just hit the weights, did cardio and floor workouts instead. Which was challenging enough considering the limited floorspace and all the dust with no yoga mats to use. Not suitable for my yogi friends at all.
I honestly recommend using all other facilities here minus the gym. Until they can really make this a clean, fully-functioning gym, they might as well strike it off in their list of amenities.
The Movie Theatre was limited to Netflix only
The private cinema costs an additional PhP 3,000 (50 USD) for two movies or PhP 2,000 (34 USD) for one movie. We were expecting the facility to show upcoming/new movies, assimilating the actual cinema theatre experience. But it wasn’t the case. they only had Netflix selections to choose from.
So you’d just be watching regular Netflix, only projected onto a larger cinema screen while sitting on thick-cushioned seats. While the experience seems exciting, chances are that you’d already have Netflix at home on your smart flatscreen TV, which is pretty common nowadays.
While a private theatre is fantastic, it would be a vast improvement if they also purchased some new movies on Amazon Prime, Google Movies/TV or elsewhere for a better cinematic experience. Feature movies that are new and unavailable on Netflix. Perhaps add HBO Go at least.
Nonetheless, it is a really fun experience to have a private cinema all to yourself. Definitely worth splurging on if you’re bringing in a larger group.
The parking space could be improved
When we stayed there, the parking lacked a car ramp. It’s an elevated pavement converted into parking space. Best be careful with your low-rise sedan and enter the elevated parking space diagonally, so that your car doesn’t get scraped underneath.
The car space is enough for a small group of people. But if you are planning to have a whole wedding reception there or perhaps a large corporate event, do check the parking first if it will fit your guests list and the number of vehicles you might be expecting.
Minor imperfections aside, I would definitely stay here again (and again). The place is absolutely adorable!
I give Blu Serenity Villa 4 stars out of 5 for exclusivity/seclusion, cleanliness, diverse amenities and a Santorini-like poolside view.
Overall, the resort is a jaw-dropper for sure. It is an ideal resort venue for solo soul-searching, intimate dates for two and even for larger group gatherings. Go see for yourself!