Local Insights Around Olongapo City and Subic Bay

Named as the number one tourist destination in Central Luzon and number four overall in the Philippines by the Department of Tourism in 2013 and 2016, the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) has truly cemented its place as a must-visit location any day of the year. With an assortment of attractions that cater to a wide variety of interests, the SBFZ regularly hosts visitors and travellers from every corner of the globe.

Jungle Environment Survival Training (JEST) Camp and Treetop Adventure for thrill seekers, Ocean Adventure and Zoobic Safari for animal lovers, and Pamulaklakin Forest Trail and El Kabayo Waterfalls for nature enthusiast – these places are just a few among many other destinations that make the Freeport a multi-faceted place.

Indeed, data from 2014 and 2015 show a significant increase in the amount of tourists who have chosen Subic Bay Freeport as their travel destination. Between 2014 and 2015, tourism traffic grew by over 21% – that is, more than 250,000 individuals visited the Freeport than the previous year.

Tourism Traffic growth in SBFZ (Source: 2016 State of the Freeport Address)

As expected, along with the upwelling of tourists in the Freeport came an upsurge of facilities intended for their accommodation. And as can be observed in the chart, hotel occupancy rates also experienced an impressive growth spike, from 64% to 70%.

From the most economic rooms for frugal travellers to the comfortable yet reasonably-priced accommodation for vacationing families, to even the most lavish and luxurious billets for the well-to-do and pampered visitors, there’s a place that perfectly matches anybody’s budget and lifestyle.

The Lighthouse Marina Resort with its luminous namesake set against the velvet night sky

A hotel name that is pretty much synonymous with extravagance in the Freeport is the Lighthouse Marina Resort. The three-story, 34-room boutique hotel adorned by its namesake structure, is an iconic sight along the Subic Bay shoreline. Established in 2007 along the now densely-hotel-packed area of the Waterfront Road, the Lighthouse Hotel has been and remains among the best of accommodations both for visiting dignitaries and the affluent.

Subic Bay Yacht Club’s iconic marina moored with vessels of varying styles and colorings

Another hotel that has made its name well known across the region both for its longevity and opulence is the Subic Bay Yacht Club (SBYC). One of the most deep-rooted accommodation in the Freeport and strategically located at the very heart of the Central Business District, it is a sight that anybody will find hard to not notice. Flanked by a quintessential marina that opens to the South China Sea on the west, adorned by numerous boats and crafts of various designs and colors, on one side and a recreation area with a multilevel swimming pool and tennis courts on the other, the SBYC is a sophisticated facility with a lasting appeal that is perfect for families and business travellers.

Best Western Subic Hotel’s facade showcasing its contemporary style

Though still relative new in the Freeport, a hotel that’s been making buzz is the Best Western Hotel. As a franchise of the well-known brand with over 70 years of experience under its belt, Best Western Plus Hotel Subic boasts a contemporary style tempered with their trademark traditions of value, comfort and style. Although it only started operation in 2015, Best Western is a hotel that can go toe-to-toe with its fellow facilities with its world-class accommodation and first-rate amenities.

Subic Bay Travelers Hotel’s entrance that’s within easy access to a many amenities within the CBD

For the more budget-conscious traveller, there is the Subic Bay Travelers Hotel. Situated within easy access to majority of amenities within the Central Business District, Travelers Hotel offers a good balance of price and comfort. In addition to being a perfect accommodation for business travellers and backpackers, the Travelers Hotel also boasts six different pillar-less function halls within its facilities.

A denizen of the forest stops by Mountain Woods’ Le Jardin restaurant for tea and pastries while taking in the majestic view.

While majority of the accommodations can be located within the Central Business District, a hotel that’s made a name for itself with the majestic view of the Subic Bay and woodland from its facility is the Mountain Woods Resort Inn. Nestled atop Kalayaan Heights, Mountain Woods is a quiet and relaxing haven away from the hustle and bustle of city living. With its uncluttered country-style architecture complementing the surrounding spectacle, a stay at Mountain Woods is sure to tickle the fancy of nature-lovers.

Of course, these five are just barely a sampling of the many places for accommodation while in the Freeport. There are many others spread across Subic Bay – with more yet to come, as demand can only surely increase in the future

And while the perennial traveller will most likely have stayed in some of these places multiple times other visitors have their own specific preference when it comes to their accommodation.

So, what about you? Is there a hotel you like in particular and what do you particularly enjoy about it? Or do you like sampling different accommodations during your visits?

Share your thoughts and join the discussion.

Loading Comment