Tag Archives: subic

Blue Rock Beach Resort, Part II of II — Bars, Restaurant & Dive Shop

OPEN: Restaurant/Bar — 24hrs., Floating Bar — Seasonal (Late Nov. to April/May), Mid-Afternoon until 11:00pm’ish Depending on Weather
PAYMENT: Cash/Credit Cards
SEATING: Open-Air, Semi-Enclosed Outdoor Seating (Smoking)
LOCAL PHONE #: See Part I
LOCATION: See Part I

Eating and Drinking at Blue Rock Beach Resort

I was looking forward to eating and drinking at Blue Rock Beach Resort during my stay. Blue Rock Beach Resort advertises extensively in a local magazine called the Blue Book in Angeles City.

My girlfriend and I ate just about every meal here for a couple of reasons.

  1. There’s not much else around without traveling off the property other than Wild Orchid which is also in Angeles City and has a similar menu.
  2. The food is relatively well reviewed, particularly their steakhouse and seafood choices.

I was also looking forward to visiting their floating bar which is situated just off shore during the dry season (typically late November through April/May) for some drinking and relaxing.

Food Experiences

We were hungry upon our arrival at around lunch time, so we dropped off our bags in our room and headed to the restaurant. The restaurant  and bar overlooks the beach and there are a bunch of great seats in the dining room.

We ordered Thai Style Shrimp Fried Rice and BBQ Chicken Wings. The fried rice was good but I was expecting some large, plump shrimp based on the reputation for seafood at Blue Rock and in Subic. Unfortunately this was not the case and it was just a basic fried rice. I swear there’s some small shrimps somewhere in there. Tasty, but nothing spectacular.

Average Taste

The BBQ Chicken Wings were as bad as they looked. I’m used to oddly cut chicken in the Philippines, but this was primarily bones, fat and skin with very little meat. Overall a slightly disappointing experience for our first meal and fairly pricey which is to be expected at a hotel/resort.

Disgusting

I had faith that future meals would be much better with the extensive menu and perhaps we just caught a bad meal which can definitely happen on occasion.

Dinner time was fast approaching and since it was our first night we decided to splurge. Blue Rock Beach Resort has a steak and fish grilling area where you can pick from daily specials and it will be cooked up in front of your eyes.

Steakhouse

I like this concept, but the prices were a little too expensive for my tastes and the side dish choices weren’t that appealing to me. We opted for the Seafood Platter for 2, Caesar Salad and French Fries instead.

The salad was good, but portion-wise it was small. I liked the dressing and the fact that they put real anchovies and cheese on the side.

Small Portion

For around $30.00 I thought the Seafood Platter  for 2 was extremely overpriced (especially since I know what it would cost me to piece this together buying the items in the market locally). There was a salty, MSG filled gravy on the crab, shrimps and mussels. This is totally unnecessary for fresh seafood unless you’re trying to cover up the natural flavor for some reason. The shrimps were small and were peel-yourself style. The fried squid, fish and imitation crab sticks (Really? Imitation crab sticks?!) were all just your basic fried variety. Tough to screw these up and at least they weren’t overcooked.

Overpriced

Since it was a special occasion being a 1 year anniversary and I had a few drinks in me I wasn’t complaining and did enjoy this meal. Including a 1/2 dozen oysters on this item without changing the price would have made me feel much, much better about it. So far my meals at Blue Rock Beach Resort were under achieving considering all the hype I’d heard and read about.

The next morning for breakfast I went with the North to South breakfast for around $8.00 which I would classify as an Australian type of breakfast. The sausage, bacon and eggs were good, but the canned mushrooms were a drag as were the generic frozen hash browns. I’m really not a big breakfast guy in the first place, but English and Aussie breakfasts are just confusing to an American like me. What’s with the grilled tomatoes and sometimes beans?

Confusing Aussie Breakfast

My girlfriend went with the Club Sandwich. I don’t know why she thinks this is a great sandwich and wants to order it at every opportunity. I’ve tried to explain to her that she’s not even a member and therefore can’t order this sandwich. For what it’s worth, here it is.

Members Only

A little later for lunch we ordered some nachos and a BLT Sandwich. Again, these were very average and pricey for what you got. The nachos were greasy, the meat was full of gristle and the cheese was Filipino style. In other words, my girlfriend loved this!

Greasy

This was the attempt at the BLT. At this point all the sandwiches were the same to me.

Sad Attempt

At some other point I also tried the Reuben sandwich. It was uninspiring. The picture below should give you a good idea on the quality. If I didn’t see the corned beef I’d swear a tryke driver ran over the bread before it was served to me. No that is not Swiss cheese and yes there is some sort of sauerkraut in it.

Uninspired

Again, not what I’m expecting at a “beach resort” for the prices paid, portion sizes and overall taste and quality. I had much higher expectations. Fortunately, I was in possession of discount card that gave me 10% off all meals and drinks which helped ease my disappointment with the food experiences.

My opinion is that the food at Blue Rock Beach Resort is overrated, pricey and average to fair at best. Good for a quick snack if you’re there or if you just want some bar snacks. We ventured next door to the Wild Orchid for dinner later that evening which was much better overall for food services.

Libations

So the food wasn’t the highlight of Blue Rock Beach Resort, but if you plan on just relaxing by or on the water there are great opportunities to get your drink on here.

During the dry season (late Nov. through April/May) the floating bar is positioned about 200 feet offshore and is open from mid-afternoon until late night. It’s a fun and unique spot to spend an afternoon or evening and the drinks are priced fairly.

Drink on the Water

Yes you can jump off the bar and swim, yes there are bathrooms on board. Operations are subject to weather conditions as are operating times.

The bar inside Blue Rock Beach Resort is also a great spot to have some drinks and spend some time. You can sit at the bar itself or grab one of the many seats in the restaurant dining room.

Drinks

Every night there was also a small live band consisting of a keyboardist, singer and guitarist singing popular favorites. Sitting on the water in the floating bar or at the bar or restaurant having some cocktails taking in the exceptional beach and view is always a great way to spend the day or night.

Live Band

Diving

Blue Rock Beach Resort also has on onsite dive shop. If you’re an experienced or first time diver or snorkeler the staff can help arrange some great dives at shipwrecks and other popular sites in the Subic Bay area.

Snorkeling

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Blue Rock Beach Resort, Part I of II — Accommodations

Entryway

TYPE: Full Service Beach Resort Hotel
RESERVATIONS: Required
ROOM TYPES: Standard Back (3), Deluxe Back (9), Standard Beach Front (5), Beach Front with Lounge (1), Beach Front (2), Deluxe Beach Front (7), Superior Beach Front (8), Executive Beach Front (4), Junior Suite Beach Front (1) and Junior Suite Pool Side (1)
RATES: See Attached PDF, Prices as of Nov. 23, 2013
PAYMENT: Cash/Credit Card
LOCAL PHONE #: (047) 224-9042
ROOM SERVICE: Available, Full Restaurant Menu 24hrs.
LOCATION: See Map Below


View Blue Rock Beach Resort in a larger map

Beachside Vacation So Close, Yet So Far Away

I’ve had many opportunities to visit Subic over the many years I’ve stayed in the Philippines but always declined the short trip. Having lived in California beach towns for over a decade and having already visited Boracay, Philippines I figured I’d reached the pinnacle and wasn’t missing out on too much.

The one year anniversary with my girlfriend was fast approaching and I had no plans and a limited budget. I finally decided that this would be a nice anniversary gift and it would be relatively inexpensive way to get out of town for a few days. I broke down and made us room reservations at Blue Rock Beach Resort, which by many accounts is one of the top spots to stay for a Subic visit. The restaurant is well reviewed (coming soon in Part II) and they have a large floating bar just offshore during the dry season (late November through April/May).

Years ago Subic Bay was home to a large U.S. Navy base but this has since ceased and it is now an economic freeport zone, though joint Naval drills and activities with the U.S. and Filipino armed forces are still practiced on a yearly basis.  While the Philippines is comprised of over 7000 islands Angeles City is not one of the beach front towns.  Subic Bay/Olongapo City is the closest beach destination and is located a short hour drive from Angeles.

Angeles City To/From Subic Transportation

Getting to Subic from Angeles City is fairly simple as a couple hotels offer shuttle services on a daily basis for about 1000 pesos round trip (about $23.25). Travel via private car, public bus and even motorbike are options, but each of these methods would require some additional research, planning and expense.

We took the Southern Cross Shuttle Service from the Brass Knob Hotel in Angeles and we arrived in Subic less than an hour later. The drop off point was Wild Orchid resort and Blue Rock was just a short walk away.

Getting back was just as easy. We simply walked back over to Wild Orchid at the departure time and got on the bus back to Angeles City where we were dropped off on the highway to a waiting car that took us to our desired destination.

Superior Beach Front Room

I had booked a Superior Beach Front Room due to my late decision in making the trip and it being the cheapest room available. This is one of the higher priced rooms at Blue Rock Beach Resort at 3,150 pesos (around $73.25) a night , so I had high expectations.

My first impression upon entering the room was that it was much smaller and not quite as modern as I had anticipated. I hadn’t seen a non-flat screen TV in years! The room looked like it was overdue for a major renovation.

Fan and TV

Having been the victim of a robbery in a hotel room before I’m very safety conscience. The door to the room was a hollow, plastic door that you could practically see through when the sun hit it at sundown. The door also had some repairs/modifications done to it. It had a push button keyed lock and a safety chain, both of these mechanisms provide minimal security for a room steps away from the open beach, away from the main restaurant/bar area on the ground floor. Surprisingly the window locks seemed good. Even though these shortcomings were a disappointment from my safety standard I felt I was in a safe area and didn’t have much to worry about.

Entryway

Once you entered the room there was a large cabinet with toiletries, mini-bar snacks, a refrigerator with drinks and small sitting area with table and chairs.

Sitting Area

Mini-Bar

The in-room safe was secured inside this cabinet, but was placed in a position that makes it easy to crack by accessing the back. I didn’t trust it to hold my valuables and money combined with the door/lock situation.

Just around the corner of the cabinet which divided the sitting area and the sleeping area was the bed which had a mirror on the ceiling and a full body mirror on the opposite side of the cabinet. I was slightly disappointed in the overall cleanliness. The fan was filthy with dust  as were the tops of all the cabinets and the queen size bed frame had two stains on the headboard. The bedding was extremely thin and there is no blanket.

Dirty Headboard

We were provided with two thin towels, which doesn’t seem to be enough for a beach resort, soap and some glasses. The bathroom was of decent size as was the shower which was actually closed off from the rest of the bathroom keeping the floor dry. The bathroom fixtures were not nearly big enough for holding toiletries and it would’ve been nice to have some additional shelving.

Spacious Bathroom

Enclosed Shower

Overall Room Assessment

While the room didn’t live up to my expectations I wasn’t completely disappointed. The view from my window was spectacular and it was literally a few steps from the beach.

Beach

I didn’t anticipate spending a lot of time in the room anyway other than for sleeping. I also had the added benefit of being in possession of a discount card that gave me 10% off each night. This trip was also an anniversary gift so spending the extra money on a room closer to the water was worth it for this special occasion. These factors contributed significantly to keeping me a happy guest.

On a future visit I would reserve the cheapest room available (no deposit or credit card necessary) and then see the room and other available rooms upon arrival before making a final choice. If nothing was to my liking, I’d check out the neighboring hotels which seem to have similar or slightly higher prices but appeared to be newer and more modern. This could backfire if you don’t have a room reserved for your entire stay and is a gamble during busy times.

If you want to stay directly on the water then Blue Rock Beach Resort is definitely worth a look. They have over 40 rooms and I’d suggest staying in the least expensive room you can book as my experience is that:

  1. You won’t be spending much time in the room
  2. The higher priced rooms don’t seem to be of great value

Resort Amenities

Other than heading out one time we spent virtually all of our three days at Blue Rock Beach Resort and ate most of our meals here. Part II of my review of the this resort will focus on the restaurant, bar, floating bar and other activities available.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)