Utopia Resort and Spa, Puerto Galera, Mindoro

The company where I am currently working booked Utopia Resort and Spa for our team building for 2D 1N. This resort in Puerto Galera is just a 5-10 minute drive from the Muelle Pier so if saving the time for traveling is the concern, Utopia is the best resort to choose for the accessibility.

While it is accessible, Utopia still able to get what most people want and that is to see a majestic view. Utopia boasts the scenic view of the Mount Halcon, Varadero Bay, and the Puerto Galera harbor. Moreover, they have a big advantage among other resorts in the area since they offer a spa. The guests do not only de-stress through the eyes but also through the stroke of hands, a spa massage, offered by Utopia.
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We arrived at around 9 AM and the staff welcomed us with a roll of damped towels to clean our hands or to freshen up our faces. From that hospitality, they already showed that they have adapted the spa rituals.
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The Room

Utopia’s interiors and furniture are contemporary Filipino designs. They have 9 or 10 villas that can shelter the guests for the entire stay. The rooms are good for 2 to 3 pax up to larger groups.

Note: words in orange are the bad points

Our company had all the villas occupied. However, some of us had a problem checking-in. It’s already 2 or 3 PM but there were 8 of us left with no rooms. Nevertheless, they felt sorry for what happened and gave us a complimentary of biscuits, tea, and coffee sachets.

As we went in, the room gave us a satisfaction since the linens were clean, towels were a lot and so the toiletries. There’s a laundry bag, slippers, and bathrobe too. There’s a flat-inch TV, a rack for room service, a safety vault, good WiFi coverage, telephone, and a terrace with a nice view.

After that, we found out that the aircon is not functioning well and our shower mostly splashes us warm water no matter how much we control the heater. The rooms that got to experience these are Lily 1 and 2 for the aircon and Lily 2 for the water heater. The rest of the rooms I think functioned well. The good points for our shower room is it’s made for disabled or people who use a wheelchair.
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Swimming Pool

Beach resorts with swimming pool are what most people look for and Utopia also has it. It has a bar area where the other side of the bar will let your feet sink in the pool water.

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credits to Michael

Contrary to the size of the entire resort, the pool is small. There’s a spot in the pool where the flooring is high that is good for kids. What weirds me out is that the pool is generally 5’4″ the shallowest and 6’2″ deep. There’s no lifeguard or staff on standby but there’s a life vest available.

The pool area also has a stage good for a dance performance or live band. The WiFi works well, too, in this area. I also like the elegance of the comfort room here.
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The View

I don’t see much the charm of the place when I was looking at the scenic view from the dining area so I stand at the center of the greenery, probably it’s between the pool area and the dining area. From that spot, it is where I have said that the view was such an enthralling beauty.

Utopia Resort and Spa
credit to Irish

I also like that Utopia has a big space that is deemed fit for events like garden wedding, team building, etc.

The Beach

Utopia Resort and Spa has an access to the beach but the stairs and the road going there is steep so it is not recommended for family with kids and senior citizen.

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the road going down to the beach

Moreover, the beach is not exclusive so there are some locals when we went down but it’s okay. There are nipa huts available, too. We also took our Amazing Race challenge here on the beach area. The rocks are also good as a backdrop for taking solo photos. I don’t have much photos here because I did not bring my camera.

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At night, we had a bonfire and burned the marshmallows to eat while digging in the cool breeze and the sounds of crashing waves.

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credits to our company’s FB page

Also, my officemates helped me see the milky way and enjoyed the night photography.
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Food

The food is good, but it was not something remarkable. Since this is a team building, our facilitators were able to request to have our dinner near the beach which is a big effort for the staff since the beach is far from the resort.

The Service

I appreciate all of the services done by the Utopia. The staff are all kind, humorous, courteous, and attended to our needs beyond their work, especially Lourdes. However, it seems they are understaffed.

Anyway, Utopia Resort and Spa is perfect in its own way. After all, we have our own utopias. Should you wish to book them, details are below.

Utopia Resort and Spa
Facebook
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Address:  Utopia Resort & Spa, Sabang Road, Bgy Palangan, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines,5203

Disclaimer: While I have stayed here because of the company I am working, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I am writing this purely to share my experience.

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Inflatable Island, Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines

Discovering Inflatable Island in Subic was an accident. My family and friends including I thought that the Inflatable Island and the Aqua Thrilla Park of Samba are the same.
So, to be clear – the Inflatable Island obviously, is set on the sea while the Aqua Thrilla Park is on the land. They also have a separate booth as seen in the picture below.
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Inflatable Island is the newest attraction in Subic because it boasts as the biggest inflatable island in Asia. It is over 4,100 square meter, a size of 8 basketball courts! To experience this biggest water playground, here are the rates below:

Sprinkle (Whole Day on the Beach)
one-hour pass – P499
8-9 AM
9-10 AM
10-11 AM and so forth till 6 PM

Splash (whole day on the beach)
2 hours pass
8-9:50
10-11:50
12-1:50
2-3:50
4-5:50

Spray
Half day pass
8-11:50
2-5:50

Soaked
All day pass
8-5:50

My friends and I took the one-hour pass and it was hella fun. The way we described it is “the longest but also the happiest hour of the day”. Before getting to the Inflatable Island, the staff asked us to have a 10-minute orientation for the do’s and don’ts while we were in the area.
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The fee is included with a free access to the Bali Lounge with hues of pink and lavender colors and to the Floating Zoo.

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Pink Bali Lounge
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Floating Zoo

As you can see, all participants were provided with life jacket even if the participant knows how to swim.
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If there are two games that should not be missed on the Inflatable Island, that is the Human Launcher where person A is at the edge of the inflatable lying on his back, arms spread, and legs closed, whereas person B will jump on the opposite edge from a 12-ft height (my estimate). Imagine doing this will be both a challenge to you and to your friend to jump and to get launched. In my case, a professional trainer was the one who jumped and I was the one launched up to the sky. Being a professional, his jump was perfect and so my launch. I was so high, it was a surreal moment seeing my world twirled up – my sky is the sea and my sea is the sky and I was rotating in the air. It was so fast that I didn’t notice I already splashed in the water. They say I landed on my feet. Some of my friends landed on their back which hurt them a bit. So what hurt me? My nose, but the staff said beforehand not to cover my nose whatever may happen because I might scar it from the impact.  Too bad we don’t have waterproof gadget to record the moment. As you can see in the picture below, somebody will jump and the other person is on the edge.
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Translate: Yung pinaikot-ikot ka, iniwan sa ere at hinayaang mahulog. Sa huli, ikaw rin nasaktan.

Seriously speaking, the pain easily subsided so there’s nothing to worry. But if you are worried about the security, the staff are all there. Di ka nila pababayaan.

The next game worth trying is the Tarzan. Well, you just do how Tarzan did it. But when doing this, timing is important. Know when to let go of the swing or you might get hurt if you fall on the slide and not on the water.

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Tarzan swing on the background

Translate: Alamin mo sa sarili mo kung kailan ka ba dapat kumapit o bumitaw.

The slide was also fun especially when you do it altogether!
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Translate: Mas masaya pag sama-sama.

I believe we have tried all of it except the Kiddie Slide and Rock Climbing. We were not able to try most of the games in the Unicorn Island (see photo below) because we lacked time.

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Unicorn Island

Suggestion

I suggest you get the 2-hour pass to try all the games in the orange-blue island for one hour and spend another 1 hour in the Unicorn Island to take Instagrammable pictures and to also try the games there.Inflatable Island

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When our time was over, we just sat and rest ourselves in the Floating Zoo but not for long since it is starting to get hotter.

Cottage

Yes, the Pink Bali Lounge is for free as long as you have admission to the Inflatable Island play, but it is not really recommended if you have packed food, and wants to eat with a table so what we did is we got the cottage from Samba Bluewater Resort since they are owned by one company. We got our cottage for P1,450, where P200 is refundable. See more rates here.

We only stayed here a bit to take pictures under the pink and lavender umbrella then went to our cottage. Blend in with the colors of cotton candy!
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Food
There are food stalls in the resort.
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Party

They also have Sunset Party Packages but I don’t know the full details. They also accommodate team building.

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The Inflatable Island
CONTACT No. – 0917 150 1103 | 0917 835 2665
play@theinflatableisland.com

prof (3)-2

Address: Subic Bay Waters, National Highway, Lower
Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines

Samba Bluewater Resort, Subic, Zambales

The summer is back and I wanted my mother and my father to have the time to relax at the beach. We discovered Samba Bluewater Resort while our family is having our summer getaway last year. We past along on that resort that can be easily seen along the way. There are a lot of beaches in Subic, Olongapo but the Samba Bluewater Resort was the one who caught my attention because there are people lined up and it dawned on me that good stuff is where the crowd is. samba-bluewater-resort-front-2048x2000

Fast forward this year, I told my officemate that our family will go to Subic and my officemate recommended Samba Blue Water Resort since it is where the biggest
Inflatable Island in Asia can be found – a partnership or maybe owned by one company. Truly, I can say we were meant to set foot in Samba Bluewater Resort.

Here is the reception area. The beach admission fee is good for 12 hours to stay and the swimming time is until 7PM only.
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Admission Fee

Adult – P250
Child – 250
Senior Citizen – 200
3.5 feet below – FREE

During holidays, the beach admission rate is:
Adult – P300
Child – P300
Senior Citizen – P240 (please present valid SC ID)
3.5 feet and below – FREE

My mom and my dad were the only ones who paid the fee since all of us, already paid the fee of Inflatable Island for one hour.

This is the view getting in and to where we presented our gate pass.
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Samba Thrilla Aqua Park

The first thing we saw is the Samba Thrilla Aqua Park. As I have said, we thought that this is the same with Inflatable Island but Samba Thrilla Aqua Park is a land-based inflatable slide and also the tallest in the Philippines. Expect Torpedo Slide that is good for 4 feet and above and Kid’s Place Wading Pool here. Below is the rate inclusive of beach admission while the check-in guests are privileged of 20% discount.
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2HR Pass
Adult – P500
Child – P500
Sr.Citizen – P400

Half Day Pass
Adult – P650
Child – P650
Sr.Citizen – P520

Whole Day Pass
Adult – P950
Child – P950
Sr.Citizen – P760

Beach Games
Volleyball (2hrs) P200
Futsal (2hrs) P200
Frisbee (2hrs) P200
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Cottage

The king is soaring up high and his rays were so bright. All that we wanted by that time is to get into our nest. Finally, we’re already in the cottage area.
Here is the rate of their cottages good for 12 hours.

Open Cabana
-P1,500 (Monday-Thursday)
-Good for 10 to 15 people
*Add P500 if Sat, Sun, and holidaysamba-bluewater-resort-open-cabana-2048x2000.jpg

One whole Pavilion
-P8,000
-With 6 separate tables. Good for 36 people
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Dissected Pavilion
-P1,000 (Monday-Thursday)
-One table. Good for 6 people
*add P250 if Sat, Sun, and holiday
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Canopy Tent
-P1,000 (Monday-Thursday)
-2 monobloc chairs and 6 monobloc
-Good for 6 people
*add P500 if Sat, Sun, and holiday

Pitching your OWN TENT
P300 for 12 hours
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Overnight Stay
If you are planning of an overnight stay or more, check in time is 1 PM and the check out is 11 AM. The breakfast is not included and bringing cooking appliances is not allowed inside the room. Below are the rates:

Zamba Villa
-P2,800 good for 2 people
-Maximum of 4 people, extra person is P250 (No extra blankets & towel; sharing of bed only)
-P3,300 if Sat, Sun, and holiday

Groupie Nipa Hut
-P6,000 good for 6 person
-Maximum of 7 people, extra person is P250 (No extra blankets & towel; sharing of bed only)
-P6,600 if Sat, Sun, and holiday

Deluxe Nipa Hut
-P3,500 good for 3 people
– Maximum of 4 people, extra person is P250 (No extra blankets & towel; sharing of bed only)
-P4,000 if Sat, Sun, and holiday

Glamping Cabana Beach Front
-P1,500 good for 2 people
– Maximum of 4 people, extra person is P250 (No extra blankets & towel; sharing of bed only)
-P2,000 if Sat, Sun, and holiday

Glamping Cabana Non-Beach Front
-P1,000 good for 2 people
– Maximum of 4 people, extra person is P250 (No extra blankets & towel; sharing of bed only)
-P1,500 if Sat, Sun, and holiday

Glamping Tent
-P1,500 good for 2 people
– Maximum of 6 people, extra person is P250 (No extra blankets & towel; sharing of bed only)
-P2,000 if Sat, Sun, and holiday

Pitching your own tent
P600 for 12 hours

Extra Mattress – P400
Extra Pillow with Blanket – P100

Water Sports Activities

There are few people who were having water sports activities. The rates are:
Jetski – P3,500 for 1 hr and P2,000 for 30 minutes.

Activities for 15 minutes
Banana Boat – P250, 4 people minimum
Dragon Boat – P250, 4 people minimum
UFO – P350, 4 people minimum
Bandwagon – P350, 3 people minimum
Disco Ball – P700, 5 people minimum
My friends also had their island hopping for P150 each. I did not join them coz I was feeling “tita” that time.

There’s a souvenir shop and henna and tattoo shop, too.

Verdict

To sum it all up, I highly recommend Samba Bluewater Resort if you are looking for a resort in Subic with clean facilities, good amenities, good crowd, a lot of water activities, and accommodating staff. It is 3 1/2 hour away in Quezon City so getting here will not cost too much of your travel time. Also, you can bring your own food and drinks without a corkage fee.

LOCATION
National Highway, Lower Kalaklan
Olongapo City, Zambales

CALL:
(047) 222-9288
0930-305-6055
0995-459-8849

EMAIL:
sambabluewater@gmail.com

FACEBOOK:
http://www.facebook.com/SambaBluewaterResortOfficial