Friday, May 7, 2010

The Lighthouse Marina Resort - Up Close & Personal

I felt so blessed for winning the grand prize in Hit A Bargain's Lighthouse Marina's Luxury Pampering Package valued at, hold your breath...Php 50,000 !!! I was at work when I learned that I won and boy was I dumbfounded. It was such a "wow" moment for me! It was only when I got the confirmation email from Hit A Bargain that everything sank in. I couldn't believe it! Yet, I was so grateful.

We scheduled our luxurious getaway last April 10. Booking a room with them was a breeze. RJ, one of Lighthouse's reservations hosts, made it all the more pleasant. He was very accommodating and very professional in answering all my queries about our prize package. Two days prior to our actual check-in date, he even called me up to inform me that the pool would not be available in the afternoon on the day we would arrive because the venue would be used for a wedding. Oh, I was fine with that. Nonetheless, it was still so nice of them to inform me about it.

We checked in at 1:30 p.m. and we were immediately greeted by friendly faces and were offered refreshments - iced tea at the lobby. It was also nice to have finally met RJ and Julie.

The Lighthouse Marina hotel staff with the hotel's Resident Manager, Mr. Argee Gomez.

Room 301

Upon entering our room, I was delighted and touched to see a chunky square slice of blueberry cheesecake that looked so yummy (and waiting to be relished) and a complimentary bottle of wine. Blueberry cheesecake happens to be my favorite! There was also a welcome fruit platter consisting of apple, mango and orange.

Blueberry cheesecake plus a bottle of wine

The bar area

Our room was so spacious and had a cozy balcony. It had a queen-size bed adorned with 4 big pillows (there were 1 other extra big pillow inside the closet), 1 sofa pillow and 2 bolster pillows.

Because of the wide space between the bed and the TV wall, Noelle put up her toy tent and made it her and her doggy's home sweet home. She actually slept there on our second night. Cute!

The 42' LCD TV was the biggest one we have ever encountered in a hotel room. I believe all their suites and rooms are equipped with this, plus a DVD player. The IPOD dock was also a nice touch. And if those weren't enough, the internet access was also fast! Also, on their office desk were the latest copies of magazines such as C!, Business Mirror and Calibre (or was it Top Gear).

A room with a great view
Our balcony had a great view of the beach. Turning to the left side, we could actually see our car (the black one) parked just right in front of the hotel entrance. And on our right side was a nice view of the wedding that would take place in the afternoon.

Ang banyo... bow
The bathroom was uniquely exciting and interesting. The floor-to-ceiling glass panel lets you see what's going on inside the floating tub even when you are in the bedroom or vice-versa. It had modern, attractive features and fixtures.

The main attraction - the jetted bath tub.
You can choose to roll down the curtain blinds if you want some privacy or watch your favorite shows on TV while you're relaxing in the tub. When we were there, the blinds remained rolled up the whole time.

What I found specifically cute in the bathroom was the ceramic soap dish with a mini lighthouse figurine. I wanted to bring it home with me.

We loved to just stay inside our room or try the tub right away, but there were also a lot of great things to check out outside our room, like the swimming pool, the beach and the lighthouse, of course. Oh, we just didn't know where to start :-)

Light(house) at the end of Subic Marina

It was our first time to see a lighthouse up-close. It was surreal. It was beautiful. The pool was likewise, so inviting. The fact that the lighthouse was its background and in front was the beach made it even more perfect!

their patio
The Lighthouse At Night
Seeing the lighthouse at night with its light on was magical. The light at the lighthouse changes its color. It turns into fuschia, then into bright orange and then into electric blue. Gazing at its different lights at night is the one thing that one shouldn't miss while being here.

Sands Resto & Grill
The atmosphere here at the Sands Resto and Grill is both relaxed and sophisticated. I loved how the place could maximize the natural light that was coming from the outside. We got to experience dining here in the morning and in the evening and both experiences were pleasant. The resto features an inviting menu consisting mostly of Mediterranean cuisine. I highly recommend their fresh green salads with their own distinct dressings. Delicious!

Their breakfast buffet spread was not overwhelming. Yet, it consisted mostly of our favorite Pinoy fare -- tapa, tocino, longganisa, corned beef, daing na bangus, Spam, sardines, sausages and my ultimate favorite -- bacon. This is the same place where we had our 4-course complimentary dinners.

Dinner 1:
*Seafood Chowder (with carrots and potatoes) - so thick & creamy; very tasty
*Summer Salad (sun-dried tomatoes & apricots w/ mixed greens in creamy cilantro dressing) - i liked it! The taste was a lot similar to Caesar salad
*Roast Chicken Breast (served with basil butter and chopsuey) - The serving was plentiful that I wasn't able to finish it. Babes liked the chopsuey so much.

For our complimentary drinks from 720 Sands, I had their Mocktails Aloha Punch (a combination of orange juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice and a dash of grenadine top with lemonade), while Babes chose the Wavecutter (a mix of Bacardi superior and orange cranberry).

with Sands Restaurant's staff and crew

We had dinner no. 2 at their patio just right outside Sands Resto & Grill, where a pretty singer (with a piano accompaniment) serenaded us with the classics like, Moonlight Serenade. We also enjoyed listening to her sing some OPM love songs. The music made the mood even more romantic.

It was actually nice to have dinner at their patio. We could enjoy the music and enjoy watching some of the guests swimming in the pool. It was a bit breezy and wasn't humid at all.

Dinner 2 consisted of *tomato soup (it had the right sourness taste to it), *smoked salmon salad with feta cheese and mixed greens in dill cream dressing (my husband liked this so much that he finished the whole serving and he even had some of mine) and for the main dish, we had *grilled pork belly. Our dessert was *fresh fruits consisting of orange, watermelon, apple slices and grapes.

That night, we had the pleasure of meeting the hotel's marketing manager, a very nice young fellow, Mr. Zed Avecilla. He told us that the day we checked in was the day the Commodore's Cup 2010 was held in which one of their yachts competed in the race. He even showed us some of the pictures he took at the event.

with Zed Avecilla, Lighthouse's Marketing Manager (leftmost)

Of massages and turn-down services
Our complimentary 90-minute Lighthouse Signature massage was very relaxing. Their brochure described it as, "A 90 minute journey to wellness and total relaxation. This treat is a special concoction of shiatsu and Swedish massage starting off with a relaxing foot soak. This massage is guaranteed to set you on a holiday mode."

I liked the idea of having our massages right at the comforts of our room. It proved to be convenient to parents like us who had kids to look after. While I was having my massage, the Yes Man DVD, which we borrowed from their library, was playing.

Their DVD list consisted of few but quality titles. They had a pretty nice selection. There's something that represents each movie genre.

Room service was fast and efficient. I requested for some additional towels and pillows and requested several times for additional bubble bath liquid soap and ice in a bucket. I had no complaints. In fact, we were happy with their service.

For their turn-down service, we were given some pastries. Lovely and sweet! It was actually our first time to experience such service from a hotel. The pastries were perfect for the hot chocolate drink we requested that night.

During our last day here as I was packing our bags, I remember I picked up their folder which boldly has this motto, "Watch us surpass all expectations" written in front. I thought about it and told myself, "Wow that's a tall order," and yet if you ask me if they delivered on their promise, my answer is a resounding YES!

Will we come back again? Oh yes, we will...and hoping it will be soon and very soon.

This has been another great adventure for our whole family. I'd like to believe that exploring new places in our country is one way to unleash that love and appreciation we have for our very own Philippines. I am an Explorer and I use IE8.

Lighthouse Marina Resort
Moonbay Marina Complex
Waterfront Road, CBD
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Zambales Philippines

Tel Nos:

Trunk Line (Tel/Fax): (63.47)252.5000 or (63.47)252.7545

Toll Free Manila Number: (632)711.0019

Manila Sales Office:(632) 892.3534 Fax: (632)815.8296

US No: +1 (415) 874-7470

Email Addresses:

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