I have been to Bataan twice prior to our recent trip. One was for a work-related weekend in Orion and Balanga in celebration of Araw ni Francisco Balagtas, the other one was a visit to Playa La Caleta in Morong along with other blogger friends for a coastal clean-up activity of the resort.
I don’t know if the third time is a charm, but my newest sojourn in the historic province was for a tour of the newly discovered attraction, the Mariveles Five Fingers, our experience coming soon on the blog. It was a tiring day of hiking and finger hopping, to say the least, good thing we had an enjoyable stay in Mariveles’ new four-star hotel, The Oriental Bataan.
There’s something old and something new in The Oriental Bataan. The hotel used to be the Hilltop Hotel which was inaugurated by the late Pres. Marcos in September 1974 and catered to the burgeoning export processing zone. (It is said to be designed by the late National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin, but this has yet to be verified.) Sadly, the hotel closed shop and was abandoned for decades until LKY Property Holdings, Inc. based in Sorsogon acquired the property and after intensive renovations, it is now the Asian inspired, The Oriental Bataan.
We went to the hotel in the morning but it was just to drop our things before going on a finger hopping tour so we did not have much time to check out the hotel’s facilities. It was only when we came back at night when we had the chance to experience what is Uniquely Oriental.
Coming from a tiring but a fun-filled day of gallivanting around the Mariveles Five Fingers, we definitely needed some time to recover, okay, we just needed to rest so we proceeded to our designated rooms.
We were fortunate to be billeted at a poolside accommodation, the swimming pool was literally outside our room. Now, that is a pool that is conveniently located. The shower in the room has a shower gel and shampoo dispenser and that’s pretty neat, more economical and eco-friendly than separate plastic bottles.
Fun fact: Since the hotel is on top of a hill (hence its previous name), we were on the first floor, the rooms downstairs were the 2nd and 3rd floors respectively. Lest you think the hotel is playing a prank on you.
The rooms just like the common areas are well-appointed and evoke the hotel’s Asian inspired theme. The hotel’s new management has exquisitely refurbished the building by combining the existing structure with modern amenities. I especially liked that there is a sliding door at the back of the room which leads to The Cliff Lounge, where you can just chill with friends and family.
After resting and taking a much-needed bath, it was time for dinner and we headed to The Oriental Bataan’s main dining area, Kulinarya. Touted as Bataan’s largest buffet, which I have yet to confirm as my gastronomic adventure in the province has been limited. The scrumptious breakfast and dinner selection would please foodies young and old.
Sorry, I was not able to take a lot of photos of the dishes but they have a wide selection, aside from the Halo-Halo and Dessert Stations.
The hotel also has a team building facility that has 18 obstacle courses, perfect for organizations who are looking to strengthen their team’s bond and camaraderie.
Speaking of teams, since they are located inside the Freeport zone, the hotel caters to corporate functions like seminars and conferences. They also manage the Bataan Convention Center which is just a couple of meters away from the main hotel.
The Oriental Bataan is a prime example that structures need not be torn down and make a new one. An existing one can be adaptively reused and refurbished and be given a new life. Good thing that it was LKY Property Holdings which has a history of taking abandoned buildings that got to manage the property.
If ever you are in Bataan, whether it is for leisure or business, The Oriental Bataan is a perfect home away from home. Now, do you know the answer to the riddle, “Isda ko sa Mariveles, nasa loob ang kaliskis”?
Till my next adventure. Peace and stay fresh peeps.
The Oriental Bataan
Freeport Area of Bataan Compound Brgy. Malaya, Mariveles, Bataan Philippines
Landline: (047) 612 3930 / (047) 612 3558 / (047) 612 3682
Mobile: 0927 886 8887
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