We’ve come to that time of the year when everyone gets too excited to go to the beach, plan their trips to some place colder or hotter? In my case, it is escaping Manila to avoid the heat and traffic.
The first on our long list of places to visit this summer is Subic. The place is very convenient with it being just 3 or so hours away from Manila by land, beaches are a few minutes away from the city, and most homestays are inside villages surrounded by lush rainforest. Subic is actually like a city within a forest. If you’re flying in, you’ll be glad to know that it is also very near Clark airport.
We stayed for a weekend at a house that we found on Airbnb. In case you didn’t know yet, Airbnb is a huge platform where you can find and book rooms, apartments or entire houses for your private use. I’ve already listed my reasons why I always choose them instead of booking with hotels nowadays in this previous post. But simply put, I prefer the freedom that comes with booking Airbnb homes. Because most of the time you are allowed to use the kitchen, toiletries are provided and sometimes you are free to use everything in the house. It’s like staying at another’s home but it doesn’t feel that you are away from your own.
Review of Subic Rainforest Retreat
House rooms and amenities
This particular house has three rooms in it. All roomy and can sleep 3 to 5 persons or more in each room. The beds are all pallet type, placed on the floor but mattresses are firm and comfortable to lie on. They don’t have air-conditioning so it can get a little too warm in the summer.
One room has its own toilet and bath while the other 2 rooms share one toilet and bath that is found along the hallway.
Wireless internet connection is available but it can get weak when you are inside the bedrooms. It works well in the dining and living areas.
Pet-friendly with occasional sightings of neighborhood monkeys
Guests with pets will also find it a plus that the house is pet-friendly. The household has several dogs roaming around the vicinity which they all take care of. These dogs are friendly as well, they only get all noisy when there are monkeys jumping over the fence or roof. Of course, they also have cats.
Monkeys occasionally make their appearance by the fence or the roof. On Sunday morning before we left, the monkeys decided to come out and annoy the dogs. You’ll know when the dogs start to bark non-stop and when they run outside around the house as if chasing birds on trees and fences. If we have left the terrace doors open, we might have unwelcome monkeys inside the house.
On reducing carbon footprint
What’s even more interesting is that this house is eco-friendly. It is an old military house that was modified and updated with the environment in mind. It takes major advantage of natural lighting, passive cooling and solar power all for the aim of reducing carbon footprint.
This home has high ceilings, segregated waste bins and tap water that is potable. Although they do have water filter if you want to make sure your water is safe to drink. They use no air-conditioning, just electric fans and the beds are all futon type or pallet bed type.
They have an organic garden with compost right outside the house. All guests are welcome to help themselves to herbs available in the garden to use for their meals.
Location and getting around town
Rainforest retreat is inside a quiet neighbourhood that is very near the bay in Subic. The closest restaurants and convenience stores are about 10-15 minutes away by car while the beaches are some 20-30 minutes away.
Driving is preferred since public transportation is quite rare in the village. However, public transportation pass by the nearest mini grocery store that you can walk up to in 5 minutes or so. It becomes easier when you reach the town.
Address: Rainforest Retreat, Zambales Highway, Olongapo
How to get there by private transportation
You can find the location of Subic rainforest retreat on Waze. It is pretty accurate and honestly you will not have any problems locating the house because Corey, the host will send you a link to get directions easily. He will also send you a detailed instruction on how to find the house complete with photos of landmarks and street signs.
How to book this home?
We booked Rainforest Retreat via Airbnb. The host will require you to verify your account several ways before you will be able to reserve it on your preferred dates. Alternatively, you can send the host a message and inform him of your intent to book his home. Leave a short description of who you are and who you are traveling with, if you are traveling with kids, the dates when you want to stay and other important details.
If you are not registered on Airbnb yet, you can use this link to register and receive USD22 in travel credits. You can use the credits on your first booking.
Once you are registered you can already search for the home’s listing Subic Rainforest Retreat.