Gray Matter


Hotels in the Olongapo and Subic Bay Areas

RT Cunningham | September 2, 2020 (UTC) | Locations

hotelsThere are more hotels than you can imagine at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. 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 the freeport zone. There’s usually a new hotel to look at or yet another being built.

Hotels and Resorts

Each of the hotels at the freeport try to be different from the others. The “Sun Plaza Subic” 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 the freeport zone. Almost as soon as the former United States Naval Base was designated 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 the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, 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 in 2016, and I didn’t see a hotel attached to it. It was supposed to be a public beach, but they charged 25 pesos (a little more than 50 cents USD) per adult visitor. Children were allowed in free.

The admission fee was quite acceptable. After all, it paid the people who cleaned up the place after visitors left their trash behind. They also had 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 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 the Subic Bay Freeport Zone 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 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.

Prices and Amenities

I don’t spend much time thinking about the hotels in these areas. 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. And thank goodness because it wasn’t a good hotel.

TripAdvisor is a 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.

Less Expensive Hotels in Olongapo

The less expensive hotels inside Olongapo City can make an expensive trip a bit less expensive. Arlene’s Inn (actually three inns) is one of the more affordable places to stay, especially for solo travelers. In some cases, it may even be cheaper to stay in a hotel than it is to rent a place.

Some people balk at the prices, but I can tell you those hotels are cheaper than almost anywhere in the United States. If you avoid the beach resorts, you can easily spend less than a $20 a day. Of course, you still need to check the amenities.

Photo Attribution: RioHondo at English Wikipedia / CC BY-SA
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in February and April 2016.

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