There are more hotels than you can imagine at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ).
More than you’ll find in neighboring Olongapo City.
There’s no way I could keep up with them, even if I wanted to.
When I get the urge, which isn’t often, I’ll take a quick tour of the areas that cater to tourists at SBFZ. There’s usually a new hotel to look at or yet another being built.
Each of the hotels at SBFZ try to be different from the others. The “Sun Plaza Subic“, one of the newer hotels, claims to have luxury condos to live in. I don’t know about that, but I know it has the “Le Soleil et La Lune” restaurant at the front.
Some hotels are newer than others at SBFZ. Almost as soon as the former United States naval base was redesignated an economic zone, they started going up. If I’m not mistaken, the first one was a converted barracks.
There are a lot of older hotels, mostly in the Barreto barangay of Olongapo City. Like SBFZ, most of them are resorts next to the beaches.
Not all the beach resorts are like that. I went to the Driftwood Beach Resort (in Barreto) with my wife (Josie) and some of my relatives yesterday and I didn’t see a hotel attached to it. It’s supposed to be public beach, but they charge 25 pesos (a little more 50 cents USD) per adult visitor. Children get in free. The admission fee is quite acceptable. After all, it pays the people who clean the place up after visitors leave trash behind. They also have what they call “cottages”, which are just covered picnic tables (made of cement), that cost extra.
Most seaside resorts include a hotel and the beach behind them. All of the resorts I’ve seen charge an admission fee for beach access. Some are way more expensive than the Driftwood Beach Resort. Of course, I’m getting off-topic here.
When I’m sightseeing, I like to take pictures of unique-looking hotels. The hotel named “The Lighthouse Marina Resort” on Waterfront Road at SBFZ fits that description. There’s nothing remarkable about the hotel itself, but there’s a lighthouse behind it. There’s a restaurant at the base of it, but I’ve never been there. It’s isn’t a real lighthouse even if it resembles one. There’s a real lighthouse nearby and when I once asked about it, the person I was talking to thought I was talking about the hotel.
I don’t spend enough time thinking about the hotels in this area. I’ve lived here nearly 10 years and I’ve yet to stay in one. Back in 1986, Josie and I stayed in a downtown Olongapo hotel for a very short time. I don’t remember the name of the hotel, but it doesn’t exist anymore. At least, not with a name I can remember.
TripAdvisor is pretty good web resource and you can find prices and reviews by following these links:
I don’t think you’ll find all the hotels at those links. I believe they only show those with reviews.
By: RT Cunningham
February 7, 2016
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