Review: Evangeline Beach Resort in Saud Beach, Pagudpud

Going to Ilocos Norte without seeing Pagudpud is like … well, going to the beach and not swimming! It just doesn’t make sense going over the trouble of wandering up north, then not going further up to this paradisiacal spot in Luzon -- taking the extra mile, I might say. I’m telling you, the extra 2-3 hours travel is totally worth it. Just wait until you see the awesome beaches!

There are two popular beaches in Pagudpud: Saud and Blue Lagoon. We stayed in Saud, at Evangeline Beach Resort—ranked #1 in the list of specialty lodging in Pagudpud in Trip Advisor. I’m not sure if I agree, as our stay was not exactly stellar. Read on to find out why.


Don’t miss any of these posts in the Ilocos 2014 series:


Facilities and Service

I’m not sure if I can properly review our room at Evangeline Beach Resort, because there was a mix-up and we got billeted into the Rinnovati Hotel. Apparently, someone who had the same name as my friend Kat took our room (blame the reservations office) so they were forced to upgrade our room, but in a different hotel. In fairness, the beds from Rinnovati were huge and comfortable, and the room was quite spacious.
Twin-sharing suite: PhP1,700/night
What I hated about this suite is the bathroom. Again, like Palacio de Laoag, water supply was pathetic. I never used the shower and chose to bath using the pail and dipper. The sink was clogged. In addition, a divider was very inconveniently placed to the right of the toilet—making it hard to … you know. And no bidet!

The room also didn’t have a phone, so if you needed anything you have to walk to the reception area. I found this to be a minor problem until, after four visits to the front desk, I got fed up because it was always empty. I don’t know where the hotel people were—they must be swimming or something. In general, the hotel staff were kind and welcoming but I was skeptical that they really knew what they were saying. Verdict: considering hotel service only, EBR was highly NOT RECOMMENDED.

The Beach

I’m not sure whether EBR has its own beachfront, because “Villa del Mar Ivory Beach Resort” was written all over the beachside area. In addition, I found going for a swim a bit inconvenient since our room was at the farthest end of the resort—we had to pass by several other hotels first and go through the restaurant before getting to the beach.

Apo Idon Hotel is the one nearest the beach.
Lounge chairs infront of the Emohruo Beach Restobar 
However, I can’t deny that Saud Beach is incredibly beautiful. The fine sand is light brown in the afternoon and blinding white by morning. Compared to Blue Lagoon, I think Saud gravitates more toward a quiet and relaxing kind of retreat.

I spent some time waiting for the sunset and took a couple of pictures. Check them out below:

At night the water glows with all the jellyfish around, so you might want to be extra careful. In general, Saud Beach was deafeningly silent at night—no music pumping from the beachside restaurants, no lamps or whatever. Just the moonlight and the jellyfish. I think it's a perfect getaway especially after exploring Ilocos Norte the whole day. Unfortunately, I get weird sometimes and despite the exhaustion, I prefer places with a bustling—or at least an existent—nightlife.


What Evangeline Beach Resort lacked in terms of hotel service, it definitely made up for in the dining aspect: their restaurant, the Emohruo Beach Restobar, had awesome food.

The place was almost full when we got in for dinner—from the looks of the other restaurants, Emohruo seemed like the most popular place to dine there. The restaurant is situated beachfront, with elegant wooden furnishings, impeccable table settings, and cute little benches located nearest the water.

But while I found the set-up to be charming, alfresco dining was a bit uncomfortable because insects flew around like crazy—some even diving straight into your drink. Beware of the shore benches as they can be crawling with red ants.

We ordered the Sizzling Seafood in Mango Sauce (PhP400): a medley of fish fillet, calamari, and prawns in a slightly sweet and creamy mango sauce. We loved the huge fresh prawns as well as the generous amount of fish fillet. Plain rice works best since the tastes can be overpowering if paired with flavored ones. And look how cute the garnish is—a flower made of tomato and basil leaves!

The Grilled Chicken in Cheesy Mushroom Sauce (PhP248) was another brilliant choice—two quarters of perfectly cooked chicken, smothered in a thick mushroom, cream, and cheese sauce. The sauce could be too rich and overwhelming, good thing there were some alfalfa sprouts and tomato-flowers to munch on. The serving is good enough for 2-3 people, but I tried to finish it all. Hahaha!

Alcoholic people like me could find refuge in Emohruo’s extensive bar list. They have a signature drink, the Pagudpud Sling, but I opted for a mojito (PhP118). The server informed me that they had no mint leaves at the moment, but I told them to squirt some toothpaste into it and I’d be fine, haha just kidding!

The staff were knowledgeable and skillful, but be prepared to wait for your food as they cook it upon ordering.

Our complimentary breakfast was pretty awesome too. The delicious French toasts came with strips of bacon and a fried egg, as well as a choice between coffee and juice. The pancakes were moist and fluffy—perfect with the sweet banana slices and yummy bacon. I like my bacon strips NOT crispy, so when I saw this I seriously wanted to hug everyone.

This boy approached us carrying palitao sold at PhP10 apiece and we quickly bought some—as if our breakfast wasn’t sweet enough.

Oh, and since Emohruo is fronting the beach, you have no choice but to look at the glorious morning while fueling up for the day!

I have mixed feelings for Evangeline Beach Resort because like Palacio, the only thing that made me want to come back was the food. Normally great food is enough to sway the vote, but if there was another place with awesome food and equally awesome lodging then it wouldn’t be so hard to choose, agree?

Overall, if you can’t resist fresh seafood and creative dishes, are craving for some real peace and quiet, and are not too choosy with accommodation, then check out Evangeline Beach Resort in Saud. Otherwise, if you want a bit more of activity, you might want to stay in Blue Lagoon instead, like the Kapuluan Vista Resort.

Evangeline Beach Resort
Brgy. Burayoc, Saud Cove, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Contact: click here
Rates: click here

Have you been to Pagudpud? What was your favorite part about going there? Where did you stay? Share your experiences in the Disqus section below!

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