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Thunderbird Resorts and Casino Poro Point: Santorini of the North

Amazing view of the Thunderbird Resorts.

Thunderbird Resorts and Casino: Must Visit Destination in La Union

When one speaks on La Union, first thing that comes to mind is Surfing. Truth be told, this bustling town is not confined solely to their beaches, surfing areas, and dining places, but is also home to a unique and dream destination – the Thunderbird Resorts and Casinos (Check rates and availability).

Thunderbird Resorts is situated on a cliff overlooking the West Philippines Sea, same with the location on Santorini in Greece.

The 65-hectare property is surrounded with a golf course, a hotel with 64 rooms ranging from premiere deluxe, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom villas, and the ongoing presidential suite. There is also a clubhouse, swimming pools, villas, restaurants and a beach club.

Facade of the resort from the beach club.
Facade of the resort from the beach club.
The pool area at the Fira Beach Club.
The pool area at the Fira Beach Club.

Arrival at Thunderbird Resorts

On April 5, Thursday, we met up with the BCDA team and went to San Fernando, La Union for the much-awaited Sillag Festival.

Travel time going to our hotel was about 4-5 hours. Thanks to the accessible route, we were able to arrive fast at our destination.

Villas at Thunderbord Resorts colored in white and blue.
Villas at Thunderbord Resorts colored in white and blue.

As soon as we step foot at the impeccable hotel, we were awed with its Santorini-inspired themed villas, rooms, and every corners detailed to make the feel and ambiance more authentic.

We were offered with welcome drinks and hot towel, and greeted by the hotel’s genial staffs.

We though that we were staying at the hotel room, but much to our surprise, we headed over to a villa via service. Our Villa features a spacious living area and elegant furnitures, 2 huge rooms each with a bathtub and a transparent bathroom shower, complete toiletries, and towels too.

Hotel Location

As mentioned earlier, the whole 65-hectare property is nestled in a cliff and is fronting the West Philippine Sea. If you happen to tour around the property, you’ll see the panoramic view of the peninsula of the Poro Point. When we got there at around 4 p.m., we stayed at the beach club to watch the sunset, and it was really amazing. After watching the sunset, we ate at the Fira Beach Club where we dig in some authentic Japanese cuisine.

Sunset at the beach club.
Sunset at the beach club.

If you wish to travel on nearby establishments, San Juan is just a few minutes away. You can either visit the Poro Point lighthouse, the grape farm in Bauang, and Halo Halo de Iloco, at Zandueta St, in San Fernando. We suggest you take a tricycle ride going there, as the road is too steep and you might find it hard to park. There are also some shopping centers nearby the area, and fast food chain around the area, so you’ll never ran out of options in case you get hungry.

The Villa Experience

The hotel provided us vans going to our villas, but you can just walk if you want to. The whole street were colored in white and blue, going for authentic Santorini experience.

As soon as we entered our villa, we were surprised with the impressive interior design and spacious living area. Inside are a refrigerator, a separate bathroom, a sofa, a dining table, and a cabled TV. The villa has two rooms, and we also had our own cable TV, huge high-end quality beds, and the main part of the room, the bathroom.

The living area.
The living area.
Coffee and tea-making facilities.
Coffee and tea-making facilities.
High quality beddings.
High quality beddings.
Our vast bathrrom at the villa with complete toiletries.
Our vast bathrrom at the villa with complete toiletries.
Our bathtub at the Villa with a transparent ceiling.
Our bathtub at the Villa with a transparent ceiling.

If I’m not mistaken, it’s as huge as our room which is equipped with complete toiletries and towels, which are changed every day. There’s a hot and cold shower, and across the bathroom is a separate area for the bathtub. Yes, a bathtub with a chandelier as an accent to the whole place.

Resort Facilities

The Thunderbird Resort (check reviews) houses various of areas for both kids and adult. Like for example, the Kids’ Club located at the hotel where a mini playground for the kids are built. There’s also the teenagers club for those who wanted to play some PS4 and pool.

The teenagers' club.
The teenagers’ club.
The kids' club.
The kids’ club.

There’s also a gym and a pool at the clubhouse. The Zaphira Spa is also located adjacent to the gym for who wanted to destress and experience their signature massage. According to Thunderbird Resorts’ General Manager, a tennis court will be built in the clubhouse in 2 months time. But that’s not it, there’s the Sports Bar near the conference room area if you wish to have a grub.

For golf connoisseurs, the resort also has a 9-holes all-weather golf course with driving range.

You will never ran out of food choices as they house the Pianosa Café, Patio Santorini Bar and Lounge, Helios Pool Bar, Fira Beach Club, Casino Mian Bar, and the Olives Restaurant where we ate our buffet lunch.


We had a wide range of selection for breakfast from garlic rice, scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, fried daing, pancit, roasted and fried chicken, cereals, and breads. All of these were eaten at the Olives Restaurant. This dining place is an al fresco terrace that serves Mediterranean cuisine, and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Breakfast at Olives Restaurant.
Breakfast at Olives Restaurant.

As mentioned earlier, there’s also the Pianosa Deli Shop, which is a perfect place for that mid-day or after-meal treat from freshly baked pastries, wine, coffee, and tea. There’s also the Fira bar located at the beach bar, where there was a wedding reception being held when we were there.

You can also drop by the Patio Santorini for exquisite beverages, cocktails, and more.

How To Get There
  • Exit Balintawak to NLEX. Exit NLEX and head to SCTEX, then take the the TPLEX route.
  • Exit to Urdanet City or Binalonan or Rosario Exit.
  • Head North and go through towns of La Union (Rosario, Sto. Tomas, Agoo, Aringay, Caba, and Bauang)
  • Enter San Fernando and turn left at soldier’s monument.
  • Go straight to main gate of Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC) then turn right.
  • Turn left to gate of Thunderbird Resorts and Casinos Poro Point.
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Written by Denise Alyssa G. Villamar

Dog whisperer, literature organizer at Thought Catalog, and a sucker for music photography.

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