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[Fort Ilocandia #1] a Fort Ilocandia Affair

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Fort Ilocandia

"Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino, the only 5-star resort in Northern Luzon. A spanish Moroccan inspired villa. "

This is the official marketing tagline of Fort Ilocandia. What they did not tell you is that it is a spanish Moroccan inspired villa with a chinese accent. It is an open secret that Fort Ilocandia is marketing to taiwanese gambler and chinese golfers. Golf and Casino is its biggest asset and with its proximity to China, this resort needs to attract tourist who has money. That is why all around the vicinity, you can see chinese poster, chinese rates and chinese TV stations, that would make you feel out-of-place in your own home country.

It is a 5 star resort indeed. If you come here via road trip it is like an oasis of city amenities in the middle of provincial neighborhood. When you are driving for almost 10 hours, seeing Fort Ilocandia is like seeing a Fortress in the North. You can opt to fly via Cebu Pacific directly to Laoag airport and it would only take you an hour to arrive here. The cost of a one way flight is equal or even cheaper than the cost of fuel going to the North. I prefer the road trip because you are not trap inside the resort and be held hostage with the activities and tours offered by the resort. You also control your time and itinerary if you have your own car -- that's the way I like it.

All the comforts you would need in a resort can be found here. But I would argue, why go all the way to the North and just experience city amenities in the resort? It is true that there are all sorts of activities that would keep you occupied. They have a hot air balloon for P900/person/flight (P1,400 on weekends) where the balloon would rise up to 20 meters above the ground and you can enjoy it for 15 minutes. There is a firing range (P550/ shot), golf driving range (P600/hour), paint ball (1,000/hour/ 100 rounds), wind surfing (P300/hr), and an all terrain vehicle (P550/ 20 mins) where there is a sandy track along the beach. There are tour packages of Laoag City for P750/person, and a Pagudpud tour for P900/ person. Again, I would argue, if you are already in the north you really need to explore the different churches, the heritage sites, the market place, see the Laoag mansions, or head over to Pagudpud. It would be expensive if you would just treat Fort Ilocandia as a sleeping destination.

C'mon, let Aidan tour you inside Fort Ilocandia and let you decide for yourself if it is worth coming here or not.

Welcome to Fort Ilocandia

Fort Ilocandia
Upon arrival, you will be greeted by this horseman statue.

Fort Ilocandia
A red carpet welcome greets you and you would notice the chandelier hanging in the main entrance. This is a place that seduces you to take your own picture as a remembrance.

Fort Ilocandia
Here is the grand staircase.

Fort Ilocandia
There is an atrium where you can relax and see a circular aquarium on the floor.

Fort Ilocandia
You'll be mesmerized and seduced by this wonderful architecture as you move around the resort.

Fort Ilocandia
The main asset is the swimming pool. We spend most of our time here instead of the beach. (you'll soon know why in the later post)

Fort Ilocandia
The rooms are spacious! It is fun for Aidan since he can roam around freely without the fear of bumping to the furniture or the bed. There is a nice restroom also with a bath tub. They maintained the rooms very well to live up to the 5star reputation.

Fort Ilocandia
There are lots of green grass around the resort where Aidan can just run all he wants.

Fort Ilocandia
There is a driving range in between the swimming pool and beach where you can walk freely if nobody is practicing.

The Ilocos Norte Beach

Fort Ilocandia
The beach is windy to the point that the beach sand goes with the wind. You can just imagine how painful it is and it becomes unbearable at times.

Fort Ilocandia
Usually nobody swims in the beach area. The waves are powerful.

Fort Ilocandia
The sun directly sets in front of the resort.

Fort Ilocandia
The sand color is mostly black.

The Mini Zoo

Fort Ilocandia
One interesting thing is the mini-zoo for the kids. There is an ostrich.

Fort Ilocandia
A Big "dirty" Monkey.

Fort Ilocandia

Some Hamsters. I'm practicing my photo skills on how you can get the cage invisible. Not sure if you still notice the cage.

Fort Ilocandia

I'll leave you a picture of Aidan who was surprised to see a monkey who escaped from his cage. I'm glad I was able to capture it :)

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Fort ilocandia brings fond memories. Last time I've been there was 2004 and it hasn't changed a bit. Great pictures Sir Anton!

wow! this is nice.. sana makarating din ako dyan someday :)

This is great! Fort Ilocandia still exhibits the beauty I remember when we visited for a college trip way back 1993.

"Spanish Moroccan-inspired' villa?" Whoever thought of that catch phrase to describe this resort must be cross-eyed or simply has low Filipino self-esteem. Obviously, Fort Ilocandia doesnt hint of any Moroccan-inspired medinas or riads (guesthouses), well, at least not with those Ive seen in Marrakech or Tangier.

I always find it amusing (wait, actually annoying) when these resorts market themselves as 'foreign-inspired this or that'. Isnt being Filipino good enough?

That said, I think Fort Ilocandia is a very nice resort (with a good Chinese resto to boot!) I love the airy-Imeldific-Pinoy interiors though last time I remembered, they could do better by lighting it up more at night.

Oh, and its the only hotel in the country where I saw an Olympic sized swimming pool. Something to remember the Fort by. ;o)

Anton -- wala bang mumu sa Fort I? I've heard a few too many spooky stories. Stunning place though!

Another great looking place I was't aware of. Lovely pictures as usual.

fort ilocandia brings a lot of unforgetable memmories to all of us....i hope i will stay again in your resort.....

ganda talaga d2 s fort ilocandia talo pa nya mga hotels d2 a manlila super!!!!!! ganda talaga!!!!sana makapunta ulit ako jan with my family...im sure they would like it..

looks like maganda nga. pero may mumu nga ba? scary... how much ang rate?

hehe...sori. nakita ko na how much. thanks!

My huband, parent-in-laws and I will be in Fort Ilocandia by last week of June. Can't wait to share our experience!

Btw, it's cheaper to take a package tour from travel agencies. 4d/3n with tour and air fare, cost 12K per head

i've been there and its a nice place. we have our tour there last jan 19-22. the place was so awesome... the facilities there the accomodation the mini-zoo the pool i love it... its so peaceful there you will enjoy spending time with your family and friends.

research work 'bout olympic sized pools in Ilocos has brought me to this site. Next time you go to Ilocos, don't forget to check out the town of Adams way up in the mountains near Pagudpud. It is one of Ilocos' best kept secrets. find out why.

WOw, ok will visit Adams when I'm back in Pagudpud...

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