Save for a group of old foreign blokes merry-making by the beautifully lit pool, nothing about our arrival at Sheaven’s Seafront Resort was remotely merry. It was already 10 pm, and everyone was exhausted from the three-hour drive from Bulacan to Olongapo. Even the father-in-law – who was the one who summoned us to Subic during a one-week dry dock – failed to show his usual chipper demeanor.
It didn’t help that despite having paid in full days prior, the rooms weren’t ready yet when we arrived eight hours past the check-in time, which could’ve given the management ample time to fix whatever glitch there was. The air conditioners especially in the in-law’s family room, barely let out a whiff of air. The poor arthritic seniors had to wait an hour at the hotel’s open lobby for their complimentary suite upgrade. On another building.
|Views of sunset and sunrise from across our room. B-E-A-U-tiful!|
After a stressful late dinner at a nearby Mang Inasal, the husband developed a fever, the day’s final curtain call.
But putting aside the melange of disastrous events that took place, Sheaven’s itself is a breather. Lying on the outskirts of the Subic business district, the hotel features standard rooms (P2,100/ night) with beautiful glass windows that open to a panoramic view of the beach and surrounding mountains. Had we arrived earlier and fully energized, the room would have swept us off our feet: The elaborate swan-shaped towels over the bed, the decorative tangerine liners atop neatly pulled out sheets, and the extensive bed and bath facilities.
|Standard rooms each had a queen-sized bed, cable TV, fan, A/C,
dressers, a buddy ref, a small receiving area and toiletries.
Rooms were kempt and well-appointed though a bit small. WiFi and cable TV are available. A marble coffee table set for two sat outside our room on the third floor, overlooking the expanse of Subic Bay, and setting off an engaging mood for coffee over sunrise and sundowns. Two adjacent pools, shaded by lines of coconut trees, lie from across the sea: a smaller, bubbly one next to the bar, and an Olympic-sized pool by the dining area fronting the rooms. The staff was generally amiable, particularly towards cute little infants in two-piece swim suits (Stage mom taking over!).
|Bar fronting the pool. Relaxing but overpriced.|
The morning that followed greeted us with great sunshine. It was a beautiful morn to get dressed down and take a dip. The beach would’ve been my first choice, but while Sheaven’s says Seafront, it is just that. The entrance to the beach was blocked by a few scraggly men working on hotel renovations – although I doubt that the beach is even swimable at all, considering its proximity to two huge shipyards.
But first, we must feed. Continental and Filipino dishes fill the menu, but seeing the wallet-weeping prices, Jigs decided that we eat at the nearby Jollibee instead. Couldn’t blame him. P320+ for a plate of two small pancakes and eggs? I could make two dozen eggs and pancakes with that kind of money.
|Green apple shake. The only thing we ordered from the menu.|
Lia and I swam before the sun became too hot for her to handle while her dad and aunt watched from a distance and took pictures of her. From the tongue-out expressions and diligent smiles she put on the entire time, it sure seems she thoroughly enjoyed that swim. And so, mommy did too 🙂
By noon, we were packed and ready to leave. I was reluctant to leave, thinking, “But the day’s just getting started!” As we posed for the obligatory hotel departure shot at the veranda, I skimmed through mountain peaks and still waters. The butterflies fluttered inside. These are the things that make traveling worth it, despite physical debility, stresses, and bad check-in experiences.
How to get to Sheaven’s Seafront Resort, Subic, Olongapo:
* Directions from the official Sheaven’s Seafront Resort website.
From Manila, get in at the NLEX(North Luzon Expressway) all the way through to DAU exit and enter the SCTEX(Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway). Just go straight till you reach the end of the toll, which is at the TIPO ROAD. Just follow the main road until you reach the first traffic light (at the left is PETRON Gasoline Station, across it is Starbuck’s which is along Argonaut Highway), then turn right at Argonaut HIghway. Drive straight ahead, and turn right(opposite side of Subic Bay Convention Center) Travelling by car via SCTEx (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) (Approx. time of travel: 2 hours)
From Manila and any point in Luzon. Take the North Luzon Expressway all the way pass San Fernando through Dau Toll after 2 kms turn right and exits to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. Travel approximately 55km to reach a toll through Subic Bay Freeport Expressway (Tipo Road, Bataan) then another 1 km to reach the last toll. Turn right through Rizal highway and reach Kalaklan Gate. Drive north bound till you reach Baloy Beach Road on the left hand side. Proceed approximately 250 meters until you reach Sheavens.
Travel via Victory Liner TerminalMain stations from Manila are Pasay (Edsa, Pasay), Caloocan (713 Rizal Avenue Extension, Caloocan City) and Cubao (EDSA, Cubao). Buses’ schedule (either Zambales or Olongapo) is from 4:00 AM with 1 hour interval.
* Private Buses are available coming from Manila or Angeles. Please contact us for more information.
Travelling by car via Lubao and rural road (Approx. time of travel: 3.5 hours)From Manila take the North Luzon Expressway all the way to San Fernando exit and pass thru towns of Pampanga (Bacolor, Guagua, Lubao) and Bataan (Dinalupihan) to the Subic Bay Freeport Expressway (Tipo Road, Bataan).