Towards the end of 2018, I was down in the dumps physically and emotionally. The holidays can be a stressful time especially if you’re planning it for a large group. If there’s one thing I learned from last Christmas, it’s that I’m not great with DIY vacations for big groups and it’s better to leave the vacation planning to experts. I mean, I’m okay planning for our family of five, but not for a group of 20 or so. It drained me dry and it affected me big time. I had to give myself time to recharge throughout the start of the year and aside from self-care, I decided it would be great to have a chill vacation. Surprisingly, as I was planning our first trip of the year, our family was offered to stay in a beachfront hotel in Subic.
Subic has always been our go-to destination for our weekend chill trips. Most people immediately think about Tagaytay or Batangas for their weekend road trip, but let’s not forget about the beautiful Subic up north. Just a three-hour drive via North Luzon Expressway and SCTEX, Subic offers a range of activities for families. They have long stretches of beaches, adventure zones, zoos, and of course, homey and affordable hotels.
In our most recent trip, we stayed in Acea Subic Bay, a hotel that provides its guests with an experience that will make them want to keep coming back. I know because, after our stay, my husband and I were already planning for our next visit!
5 Things We Love About Acea Subic Bay
Its accessibility from Metro Manila. What we love about the hotel is that it’s just three hours away from Manila. They have a pretty good beach and excellent amenities so we don’t have to fly to an island to get the beach vacation experience we want.
The private beach. We’ve stayed in different hotels in Subic and I have to say that Acea Subic Bay has one of the best beaches. Although they are open to day trippers, the hotel limits the number of guests to ensure that we all get the space we need to relax and enjoy the facilities.
Comfortable and spacious rooms. Each room can comfortably house up to 4 guests with two queen beds each. If you’re staying with kids, you’ll be happy to know that the rooms are spacious enough for the kids to move around. The rooms come with two (2) complimentary buffet breakfast passes, too.
The delicious food. If there’s something Charlie loved most about our stay in Acea Subic Bay, it’s the food. SALT, the in house restaurant, prides itself to its wide variety of food choices derived from cuisines from all over the world. The best part? These are all prepared by their Filipino Executive Chef! Talk about Filipino pride!
Our favorites from our stay: Baby Back Ribs with Mashed Potato, their Asian Cheesecake, and the Acea Iced Tea!
The facilities. The hotel has everything a family needs to keep themselves busy during their stay. They have a private beach, an infinity pool, a kiddie pool, a gym, a game room (with billiards, KTV, and more), and a playroom.
You guys, the playroom is no joke. It’s HUGE! Check it out:
The all-around experience. Our family loves staying in when we go on staycations. But, if you’re into adventures, Acea Subic Bay is just a few minutes drive to adventure zones in Subic. Only 15-20 minutes away are Zoobic Safari, El Kabayo Waterfalls and Riding Stable, and Ocean Adventure. Around the area is Tree Top Adventure and JEST Camp. 30 minutes from the hotel is Inflatable Island. If you’re into shopping, Royal Duty Free Supermarket is also just a quick drive.
What to Prepare If You’re Staying in Acea Subic Bay
Since there are a lot of facilities and activities inside the hotel and surrounding it, here are a couple of things you need to bring with you if you plan to try everything:
For your hotel stay:
- Beach clothes (Something cool and comfy)
- Swimsuit (If you’re going to try Inflatable Island, I recommend using something that’s not stringy since you’ll be moving around a lot.)
For the adventures outside of the hotel:
- Rubber Shoes
- Leggings/Jogging Pants
- Insect repellant
- Lots of water
- Extra clothes
- Weekends can get a bit busy in Acea Subic Bay. If possible, book weekdays if you want a quiet stay.
- Book ahead because the hotel can be fully booked real quick. With just 64 rooms, they can’t really accommodate a lot of guests. Take note of busy seasons, such as when triathlons are held in Subic.
- Some time in September/October, turtles lay their eggs on the shores of Acea Subic Bay. If you’re lucky, you can witness the eggs hatch and the little turtles venture into the sea.
- It’s best to bring a car with you if you wish to explore the different tourist destinations in Subic. Otherwise, you can ask the hotel for help in renting a car for your family.
- Bring cash. While the hotel accepts card payments, a lot of the activities outside the hotel only accept cash payments. For instance, in Inflatable Island, you need to pay for everything in cash.
Former Dungaree Beach, San Bernardino Road,
Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales,
2222 Subic, Philippines
Tel: (047) 252-2232
(The hotel is searchable via Waze)