The vacation was planned; but at the last minute, there had to be a major change. We were supposed to go to a beach in Zambales, but thanks to the unpredictability of Philippine weather, we found ourselves on a jeepney to a nearby vacation spot.
Our choice was Hidden Sanctuary. It is a relatively new resort situated in Prenza, Marilao. It is a huge development that features a hotel and two wave pools. Wanting to actually stay for the night in comfort, we ended up booking a family room for all six of us. Now that I think about it, there really was no regret on this. It was actually a fun experience!
We arrived at around 4PM. The place wasn’t exactly difficult to find. Landmarks include Marilao Tollgate and Divine Mercy Shrine. As the area is considered a province already, there were so many trees around and it could get a little creepy at night. But I don’t think it wasn’t safe there. There were nearby establishments and light posts are working. Plus, transportation was regular in there.
The family room wasn’t exactly big; but it was good enough for all of us. There were two twin beds. The room has a cabinet, two chairs, a small refrigerator, and a cable television but the channels were limited so we end up just watching movies on it from my friend’s phone (thanks to Jeff’s gadgets!). The bathroom was quite en suite for a simple hotel, with a rain shower head. You also get free stuffs like toothpaste, shampoo, bath soap and a roll of tissue paper. Towels are provided upon request.
And like all others, our room has a balcony overlooking the private pool.
The hotel corridor is open, overlooking a nice green field with cows and all. It was a typical Bulacan spectacle, which I love so much. It makes me feel proud that there are still great places like that in a developing province.
The room service was nice and efficient too - except the complimentary breakfast, perhaps. The reception officer told me we’ll be having hotsilog and porksilog, but there wasn’t any fried egg in our meals. The meat tasted rather bland too; and coffees were served in Styrofoam cups. It’s not like we’re picky. It’s just that we would have appreciated it more if it was served in actual coffee mugs, right? But okay. Borg brought some canned Spam anyway so we feasted over that in addition.
But that doesn’t mean we didn’t like the customer service. It was over all good.
Moving on, the 4-storey hotel has free Wi-Fi which was surprisingly fast. We got to download stuffs while we’re there in minutes! As for security, CCTV cameras were installed in almost all corners. And the building has an elevator, thank God. We were joking how advanced the lift was considering that there weren’t actual buttons. Everything was like touch screen, until I realized that it was safer that way since people coming from the pool were wet and can be electrocuted when they push the buttons with their dripping fingers.
Speaking of pool though, we didn’t really swim that much because we weren’t comfortable. There was a huge family celebrating a birthday then and they were singing (out of tune, may I add) their lungs out on a videoke they set up on the pool side. Plus, there was this creepy man on the second floor who was obviously taking pictures or videos of us swimming. At first, we thought he was looking at us, girls; but we realize he must have been after my male friends. Don’t ask us how we knew. If it weren’t for them, we would have stayed longer. I really loved doing laps to exercise my lungs, even though I don’t exactly know how to swim.
But on second thought, it’s better that we didn’t because the water caused us some little allergies – which I think was normal though, because of the chlorine.
So in the end, we spent most times inside the hotel room, watching movies. We watched Four Sisters, and I had to bawl my eyes out since I can relate to most characters; and The Purge, which up until now, I hate. HAHA. The next day, we watched Olympus has Fallen, a movie which I REALLY LOVED!
As for the food though, we bought our dinner from the grill outside the resort. The menu was limited but the food tasted okay. Then as we were watching a movie, we ordered some bottles of beer which was delivered by the staffs.
Dude, I loved the fact that everything’s just a call away. Haha!
Over all, it was a good experience. The establishment does deserve its name, being a hidden sanctuary. It did hide me, at least, from everything. It was a good resort, a good venue for some self-searching, for some much-needed break.
It’s a place I’ll definitely recommend. J