End of last October, before the long weekend, our little family went on a quick out of town trip to Subic to get some fresh air. At the time, we caught a bad virus that got us all coughing (I was the most miserable one!). So we decided just that day to get out the Manila and head out of town to get some fresh air. While we don’t necessarily live in the busiest city in Metro Manila, our air here is still not the best since my childhood home is right along a busy street and our stubborn neighbors still burn leaves/trash (aka nagsi-siga) even though it’s 2016. Anyway, it was such an impromptu trip. That Thursday morning, I was complaining to Oscar how bad my cough was getting and I just want to get away and breathe in clean air. We were chatting about it for a while and he just asked out of the blue if I wanted to go to the beach that same afternoon. Of course I said, “Yes!” and started looking for cheap but great accommodation that isn’t too much of a drive from our place.
Batangas was out of the question because just getting to Tagaytay would take us about 3 hours minimum. So that left me looking for something up North. I started looking for cheap but great accommodations in Subic, I found iCove Subic Hotel & Beach Resort and quickly searched for blog reviews and recommendations. Since we rarely go out of town, I’m not too familiar with any resorts up north. The only time we would go to the beach there is when we’re with family, and usually the book the trip for us. Anyway, I found a few good reviews from other bloggers and the photos were great too. My criteria while searching for a place for this quick trip were:
- It has to be a beach front hotel or resort.
- Rooms should be affordable but sufficient for the night AND clean.
- It shouldn’t be too far from Subic Freeport.
So I booked us a Standard Room (Php 2,2014/night nett) immediately and paid through PayPal. I already liked the resort just because they allowed PayPal payments and booking was very easy. I called up the resort as soon as our booking was confirmed to make sure they received it. I also got an email from their reservation partner to verify that the transaction is legit. They sent me an email to my email address connected to my PayPal account. Very nice!
While on the phone with them, I also asked if there were other rooms available should we wish to upgrade our booking when we get there. The Standard Room is only 17 sq meters, with one double sized bed. Basic amenities are: Cable TV, Free Wi-Fi, AC, mini ref, safety deposit box, hot and cold shower, and (2) TWO complimentary breakfast. I just planned on getting an extra bed for Jacob (it would still fit in the room, would just get a bit crowded).
We left the house around 5PM, took a stop along the way to buy some supplies and coffee. Got to iCove Subic Hotel & Beach Resort at 7PM. I didn’t get to take a photo of the front of the hotel with the parking lot, but it’s right along National Highway and you’ll definitely see their signage. Exterior is white with fish ponds.
Before we checked-in, I asked to see the rooms so I can decide if we would upgrade our room. Took a peek at the Standard Room, De Luxe Room and the Superior Room.
The Standard Room is okay if you’re fine with not having any windows or a balcony. It’s literally just a room. We’ll be getting this one at our next trip if we’re on a tight budget but really, really want to go to the beach.
The De Luxe Room still has only one double sized bed, but the room is bigger and it has a balcony.
Their Superior Room is perfect for families like ours because it has two double sized beds.
They also have an Executive Suite that is 54-60 sqm, has 2 double sized beds and has a sitting area.
We opted to just get the Superior Room for the night. Any amount aside from what was paid though PayPal, we settled at the hotel. Since we got there at night, I didn’t get to take much photos aside from the interior of our room. Scroll down below for photos of iCove Subic Hotel and Beach Resort that I took the next day. You can also watch our vlog below to see everything that went down during our impromptu beach trip!
We brought spaghetti dinner for all of us, but were tempted to try their Halloween menu.
I’m glad we tried it because their food is great! Great service from their staff too. Their fries are freshly made, everything was delicious and tasty.
Here are some photos of our room:
Jacob and I woke up extra early to play at the beach.
As soon as Wacky woke up, he went straight to the beach too! We could really live like this. How to move here??
The waves were perfectly clean and calm. We’re definitely going back!
iCove Subic Hotel & Beach Resort photos:
The breakfast that came with the room was served on a plate. It was okay, nothing special as I only had their corned beef meal. They have a nice selection of other breakfast dishes, including International cuisines, so I’m sure you’ll find something you like. We just didn’t want to spend extra for breakfast since we’re still going to Subic Freeport on the way home.
Some points for improvement:
The Superior Room is big and had these wall of closets. Maybe we didn’t get to maximize this feature since we’re just staying overnight, but I felt like one closet would suffice and the rest of the space can maybe have chairs and a table for eating.
All countertops/desks would have ants, so I was careful of leaving food on the vanity table. The only safe place that time was the little shelf under the TV.
The door knob of our bathroom was not working properly, so the kids could have easily locked themselves in.
The keycard holder to activate the room’s electricity was not working well and we ended up losing electricity in our room about 6x before I called the front desk and to get somebody to fix it. I figured it just needed another card to make sure it stays in place.
Our verdict: WE LOVE THIS PLACE! We’re definitely coming back whenever we can. The travel time is reasonable and getting their is very easy. The improvements can easily be fixed (except for the door knob situation) so I’m not worried. I told Oscar that with how iCove is so affordable, we can probably afford to go here every other month because the kids just love the beach. We really love that the beach is kid-friendly.
iCove Subic Hotel & Beach Resort is located at #123 National Highway Barretto Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines.
You may book your stay on their website or through their reservation center:
Tel: (047) 252.9978 (intl: +220.127.116.1178)
Manila: (02) 404.4784
This review is not sponsored by any means.