I have been longing to see Crystal Beach Resort since Q1 of 2017, and finally, after several months of dreaming about it, I was able to see the place, not just once, but twice. First visit was with h.s. friends, and it was unplanned. We were just thinking of where to go and I suggested Crystal Beach since it is just an hour and a half drive from Olongapo City (of course part of it was for me to tick the place off my bucket list). We only had a day tour because we all have other commitments the following day. Second visit happened only 2 weeks after the first one, with officemates. We stayed in the place overnight. Different date, different companion, but the excitement i felt when I saw the place was the same. Although I was not really impressed with everything that they offer, I still think the place deserves a fair review.
What I appreciate about the place?
1. The vast and relaxing beach will surely give you a spot where you and your friends/family can enjoy without being destructed by other guests.
2. The view is just so perfect for your selfies (though Im not really into it), and the place is filled with so much hugot lines that many people can surely relate to.
3. Tent they offer also includes basic toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste), beddings (foam, pillow, blanket), and bottled water.
4. Acoustic night was one of the things that I really enjoyed. It’s really fun listening to good music, while chilling out with friends at the beach.
5. Food is just fine. You need to have at least Php 150.00 for each meal, otherwise have it outside the beach (you will find stores that sell bbq, rice, siomai, etc.).
6. They offer variety of foods in their buffet breakfast and you can stay from 6:00 am – 10:00 am.
7. You are allowed to stay in the restaurant to play board games/ cards with your family/friends.
8. You can learn surfing from their professional surfing instructors (Php 400.00 per hour and that includes surf board rental).
9. Sunset view is perfect. Well, who doesn’t like to see sunset at the beach?
What I appreciate less about the place?
1. Front desk officers are not that accommodating. Oftentimes, you have to make a follow up for them to process your concern.
2. The place is too big that you have to walk quite far to the bathroom, unless maybe if your room has its own.
3. Some rates seem to be a little unreasonable. Their day tour is Php 500.00. From this, you’ll get a meal stub amounting to Php 150.00, which means that you do not have a choice but to buy food from their restaurant. You also need to pay the deposit fee of Php 100.00 that is refundable only if you check-out not later than 5:00 pm. I do understand that they need to charge extra if you will be staying at night because they have this acoustic night and fire dance show, but I don’t think charging additional Php 100.00 is still needed if the guest checked-in late afternoon. Another unreasonable rate is the tent. Tent rental is Php 950.00 per person and is usually for sharing, up to 4 pax, and again, you will be asked to have your deposit fee but this time, you have to pay Php 1,000.00 per tent, refundable upon check-out. Rate is also unreasonable even if you have your own tent. Whether you stay only for a day or overnight, if you want to pitch your own tent then you have to pay a fee of Php 685.00 per person, plus a separate deposit fee. Again, your payment includes meal stub.
Note: This place is more advisable if you wish to go surfing.
How To Get To Here?
Crystal Beach is an hour and a half drive from Olongapo City. If you are coming from Manila, that would be 4.5 to 5 hours travel. Well, if you will take public transport, ride Victory Liner bus to Zambales, or Olongapo City then take another bus to Zambales. Nearest landmark is San Sebastian Catholic Church in San Marcelino. From there, you can ride a tricycle going to Crystal Beach.
If you are using waze, do not turn left when it says, or you see, that you are arriving at the place. I saw a lot of cars heading the wrong way or to another beach beside Crystal Beach. I also did the same and so I had to make a u-turn. Entrance has signage and it is located just along the road. Anyway, it is the only thing that is not accurate with waze’s direction.
How Much Budget Would You Be Needing?
Day Tour – Php 500.00 per person + Php 100.00 deposit (valid for refund if you check out not later than 5:00pm)
Beach Cottage – free
They offer several types of accommodation depending on budget and number of pax.
Take note, you need to pay for deposit fee upon check-in.
Meal is included in your entrance fee (Php 150.00 meal stub for day tour, and breakfast meal stub if you are staying overnight). For other meals, an average budget of Php 150.00 is enough.
Just bring extra cash if you wish to have some beer or buy some foods.
You might also want to consider visiting Subic Bay before heading back home. Here is the link for some tips on where to go: