Junjun and I spent our first valentine as hubby and wife at Balay Indang. It was a wonderful retreat from the noise and hustle of the city.
Balay Indang (The Red Ginger Farm) is located in Indang, along the road that one passes by from Indang to Mendez. The big number “88” at its massive gate is the sign that you have found the place. We first stumbled upon this place when we were searching for a wedding venue. Unfortunately, we decided to hold our wedding in Manila, but we resolved that we would go back to spend a day or two at this place.
On our first day, we arrived at the place at around 6pm. Ms. Sonia welcomed us and we went to the main house (Balay). After which, a staff went with us to guide us to our room and give us the key. We stayed at the Rebekah room of the Yakal house.
The room was very spacious and cozy. It had big windows which you can open for more ventilation. There are also incandescent lamps which add to the rustic feel of the room. There was a “mini sala” which had a small sofa, banig carpet and lots of pillows. Also in this area were various magazines and books that you can read.
The bed was big enough for two persons, and there was another “sofa bed” which could also be used if you had a child with you. It also had enough pillows, and blankets which I really like.
I adored the bathroom, which had separate areas for the toilet bowl, the lavatory and the bath area. The flooring of the bath area was covered in pebbles and terra cotta tiles which you can step on while taking a bath. Toiletries and towels were also provided with the room.
After checking out the room and taking lots of pictures, Junjun and I lounged at the sala area and read some magazines. At around 7pm, someone knocked at our door and informed us that dinner was ready to be served. We then proceeded to the main house, where dinner was setup at the porch area.
**Meals in Balay Indang are served Russian style per guest table, but you could always ask for a refill if you want more. =)
For our dinner, this is what we had: salad (lettuce, pine nuts, corn kernels, peaches, carrots, cucumber, singkamas) with caesar dressing; onion soup; rice with grated carrots; shrimp with broccoli, mushroom and asparagus; embutido; parmesan crusted baked fish; baby back ribs; graham balls; chocolate fondue (apple, banana, pineapple and marshmallow); iced tea.
I loved the baked fish and the baby back ribs. The cheese gave the right amount of saltiness to the fish. The baby back ribs were flavorful and the meat was tender that I did not have a hard time getting it off the bone. I think we ate for about an hour, and we were filled to the brim. =)
After dinner, we walked around the property, lounged at the main pavilion, and took some pictures. We then retired to our room.
We woke up at around 7am the next morning. Again, we went around the property and inside the main house, taking pictures in the process. We were notified for breakfast at around 8am.
Breakfast consisted of: french toast with bananas and chocolate spread; garlic fried rice; chicken adobo; fried danggit; tortang talong; salted egg ensalada; pickled cucumber; ripe mangoes and hot native chocolate.
When we had our fill, we visited the different pavilions, stayed in the hammocks, and took a lot of pictures again. We also did the barefoot walk. It was a path that had different sized rocks and pebbles covering it, so that when one walks at it barefoot, the feet are stimulated and massaged.
Again, at around 10am, we were served the morning snack. We had some kind of crispy halo-halo. It consisted of bananas, jackfruit, beans, and kaong inside a wrapper, and fried like lumpia. Sesame seeds covered the outside. It was paired with cola. I liked the way the sesame seeds gave a nutty flavor to the snack.
We stayed in the main pavilion near the swimming pool reading magazines, until we were told that lunch was ready. For our lunch feast we were served: salad (lettuce, hard boiled eggs, pine nuts, corn kernels, peaches, carrots, cucumber, singkamas) with ranch or vinaigrette dressing; smoked fish tomato based pasta, shrimp kebab in mango-lime dressing; tortang cabbage; stuffed chicken; beef wasabi; curry rice; sweetened saba with jackfruit; dalandan juice.
Junjun liked the shrimp kebabs while I liked the beef wasabi. It was a unique dish – you can taste the kick of the wasabi in each of the beef cubes, but it is not overpowering or too hot for me to handle. The pasta was also good since it was light and flavorful.
After lunch, we rested for a while, and then we decided to hit the pool. We changed into our swimwear and went to the pool area. Even though the sun was shining, the pool’s water was cold. We stayed in the pool for less than an hour, the decided to call it quits when I started shivering.
We started packing for home, and at around 4pm, we ate our last meal at Balay Indang, which was a snack of pancit sotanghon, toasted bread and cola. After we finished packing, we settled our bill, and went on our journey home.
Our package in Balay Indang costs Php 2,400.00/person. This includes overnight accommodation in a non-aircon room, 3 main meals and 2 snacks. You are also free to do any of the activities in the place like use of the swimming pool and billiards table. There was also an additional service charge of 3%, which I think was ok given the service that they have provided. Ms. Sonia and the rest of the staff were very helpful and accommodating. Day trips are also available, for the rates, you may inquire with the owner.
You cannot go there walk-in, since they have to count you for the food preparations. However, reservations are hassle free. You just have to send an SMS to Ms. Marge the date and time that you will be arriving, and the type of “package” that you will be getting. Contact details are as follows:
Balay Indang (The Red Ginger Farm)
San Juan St., Mahabang Kahoy Cerca
+639178665825 (Marge Tan)
Overall, our stay in Balay Indang was very pleasant (not to mention, tummy-filling). Except for the squeaky doors, I did not have any problems with them (Junjun was thinking of bringing oil or WD-40 the next time we will go to there). I hope that service will not change, but definitely that can improve more. Looking forward to the next time that we will go back there.