Whenever I think of Subic, given that most of my visits to the coastal municipality were media events and press coverages, for some reason, Le Charme Suites always comes to mind.
I first visited Le Charme around five years ago. Just a few months after the hotel started operations, I met with the part-owner who referred to Le Charme as an accidental hotel. The building was originally envisioned to be a furniture showroom, thus the elevators are big enough to accommodate recreational equipment.
The hotel, which opened in March 2017 by Grand Pillar International Development, Inc. (a Filipino and Taiwanese-owned company), is French-themed (the hotel’s name is French for “charm” or a “charmer”), from the framed posters on the lobby to the Eiffel Tower statuettes at the lobby (made with Legos) and on every table in Mi Tapas Coffee Shop. It is also the only “bike-friendly” hotel in town and in Central Luzon
Through the years, this DOT-accredited, 4-star, handsome, sleek, and modern hotel has developed facilities to accommodate competitive and leisure bikers alike.
Upon entering the hotel lobby, a pair of bikes, hanging on racks on the walls, welcomes guests.
Upon getting out of the elevator, possibly with your bike, you walk along slip-free and wide carpeted hallways (it also has classic trainers or rollers, for bikes, in the middle) to your beautiful and stylish room, one of 46, which are, possibly, the most spacious in Subic Bay Freeport. It has the usual amenities of many 4-star hotel rooms -50’’ digital LED flat-screen cable TV; electronic door access; high ceiling, individually controlled centralized airconditioning, in-room safety box, personal refrigerator with complimentary minibar, and coffee/tea set-up. What differentiates itself from other hotels is that active professionals can bring their bikes inside the room and hang them safely and securely on bike racks along the wall.
These rooms use green technology, with motion sensor LED lights lighting up the bathroom and a soft touch switch panel (including the Don’t Disturb sign) is used to operate everything. Each room has a spacious ensuite bathroom with a bathtub and separate glass shower enclosure. The bath has French-made Rosslyn personal care products (conditioner, shampoo, and gel douche in tubes at the lavatory and refillable bottle dispensers in the shower enclosure.
The Le Charme Fitness Center, with its Zwift trainers and Spin bikes, also offers the first-ever spin bike class in Subic Bay. Here, you can groove and workout in style and also enjoy a sunset spinning session prepared to have your workout session in style.
Just recently, Le Charme Suites, with the support of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the Aeta community, and the hotel staff, initiated the First FRIKE (Fun. Ride. Bike) Enduro Challenge held at the 2.5 km. long Paco 55 Track of the Pamulaklakin Forest Trail inside the Aeta tribal reservation within the SBMA grounds.
According to Le Charme Suites CEO Josephine “Jho” Floresca-Pellicer, an active member of the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce, a total of 50 participants from Olongapo City and the nearby provinces joined the eco-friendly competition, with 30 in the Full Suspension category and 20 in the Hard Tail category.
Come next year, Floresca-Pellicer plans to hold it during the long weekend and she hopes that more will join and in an eco-friendly manner as well.
For those not into biking, there’s a world-class 22-meter-long, half Olympic-size swimming pool on the rooftop. Called Ibiza Roof Deck, it has a captivating, almost 360-degree view of the city and the Subic mountainside.
After a day of biking, swimming, or wall climbing, guests can rest their tired muscles at Taichi Wellness Spa, with its sauna and jacuzzi. They can also unwind at its in-hotel Las Palmas KTV Room.
Apart from its Mi Tapas Coffee Shop, guests can dine at the ground floor, hotel-owned Teppan 101, the only Asian-fusion restaurant in Subic. For intimate meetings and events, there’s the Versailles conference room that accommodates 20 people. And for wedding receptions, birthdays, and conferences, there’s the spacious Paris Hall that can house 200 people.