Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

After visiting Bataan for more than three times already, I experienced a different side to it when I recently stayed with friends at The Oriental Bataan in Mariveles. Just when I thought that our visit of Five Fingers would be the highlight of our pre-summer getaway, I discovered the hotel to be a wonderful surprise on its own. The kick-off point to the natural attraction is just a few minutes away, but staying at this hotel is as exciting as seeing the rugged shoreline of the peninsula.

I've stayed in another property of the hotel chain years ago, particularly in Albay's Legazpi City and it effectively complemented the distant view of the majestic Mayon Volcano. In Mariveles, though, the complementing view is the harbor. It's the most romantic thing to see from the hotel's al fresco restaurant. The hilltop hotel is, after all, located at the peninsula's Freeport Area.

Arriving In Style For Check-In 

We arrived in the province via the new ferry that's operated by 1Bataan Integrated Transport System (ITS). With pun intended, it's a real departure from my usual three-hour bus commutes from Metro Manila because it was fast and comfortable. Check out my review of the ferry ride here.

The hotel's inventive elliptical swimming pool
Dining at the hotel's The Cocoon
The hotel's outdoor lounge area
The buffet dining area past the lobby
Brutalism Brilliance

The structure of The Oriental Bataan was originally operated as Hilltop Hotel in the '70s and '80s as part of the Export Processing Zone. Hence, the dated Brutalist architecture that's reminiscent of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the Manila Film Center, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) which were all constructed in the same decades. This is why guests can still find the two-storey facade of the hotel a bit imposing because it's like entering a remarkable block of concrete that's bound to surprise with details inside. And it did surprise me in many ways!

Walking around the garden pathway that surrounds the hotel, I enjoyed seeing the distinct Brutalism style of the whole structure. From its modular aspect to its functional zones, the entire property beautifully comes on its own indoors via the lobby cum buffet dining area and its elliptical swimming pool, most of which are communal and green-inspired.

The hotel scenery
The view of the harbor from the hotel
Statement pieces adorn the hotel walls

Thai-Inspired Interiors

The hotel's interior design pays tribute to Thai sensibilities, so you can expect to see exotic chandeliers and other light fixtures, plus intricately carved wooden pieces that reflect that side of Asia. The staff even wears the official design of the place as uniform and the restaurant that serves dining guests -- Cocoon -- is also Thai-inspired.

Room Inclusions

Our booked air-conditioned Cellar Twin or Cellar Deluxe Double room was spacious and sought-after for being a poolside accommodation. It was actually just five to 10 steps away from the swimming pool. It has a sliding door on the other side of the room that opens to the hotel's garden.

Our booked room
Lounge by the day
The hotel gym
Room inclusions include a complimentary buffet breakfast and free transfer within the Freeport Area of Bataan and Mariveles Bus Terminal. It also allows access to Wi-Fi, cable TV, hot and cold shower, complete range of bathroom essentials, electronic in-room safe, free bottled water and in-room coffee and tea-making facilities. Guests can also use the hotel's gym, the Cliff Lounge (daybeds for lounging), and swimming pool for free.

Ongoing Room Rate Promo

The hotel has an ongoing promo that lets guests book its various rooms for way less amount than the published rates. You can check the promo rates here.

Kulinarya Buffet Dinner
Buffet breakast
Delicious In Mariveles

Aside from being enamored by The Oriental Bataan's structure, the best part of my stay at this hotel in Mariveles is the food. The buffet breakfast had a little bit of everything I wanted even if there was no bacon during our stay. Fitting alternatives were available at the buffet spread anyway, so I still had a hoot having my breakfast for more than two hours! Even our buffet dinner and lunch had me enjoy spending as much time in the dining area more than I did inside my room. The Pork Estofado and Pork Inasal were simply delicious. And I appreciated that the dessert spread was a variety of selections from halo-halo to chocolate fondue.

Ongoing Dinner Buffet Promo

The hotel has an ongoing Kulinarya Dinner Buffet which happens every Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 6:00pm to 10:00pm for Php488 only.

Dining at The Cocoon
Singaporean-style Chicken
(from top to bottom) Pad Thai, Stir-fried Green Beans and Seafood Chopsuey at The Cocoon
Cozy At The Cocoon

Before check-out, I also tried dining with my friends at the hotel's The Cocoon Restaurant. Serving popular Asian flavors, the sophisticated F&B facility literally keeps you dining inside a cocoon of Asian-inspired design from its wooden tables to its inventive ceiling and lighting fixtures.

We indulged over orders of Pad Thai, Seafood Chopsuey, Singaporean-style Chicken and Stir-fried Green Beans. My choice of drink was a Blue Malunggay Lemonade, a refreshing drink sprinkled with moringa leaves, and we also ordered a plate of Lava Cake for a sweet ending to our meal.

40 Minutes Away From Five Fingers

For an adventure of the nearby natural attraction called Five Fingers in the same town, we simply booked the hotel's 12-seater shuttle to bring us to the pier where all the pump boats leave for that rugged shoreline of Bataan. It's just a few minutes away by private car.

Read more about my visit of Five Fingers here.

Day tour of Five Fingers
The Oriental Adventure Camp

The Oriental Adventure Camp

Guests who book for seminars and workshops can find the hotel's The Oriental Adventure Camp to be useful if they intend to extend their activities outdoors. The clusters of team-building facility is a set of 18 obstacle courses designed to challenge the body and mind of participants.

Events Place and More

Guests who plan to hold big events can take pleasure in knowing that the hotel has a modern property called the Bataan Convention Center By The Oriental. It's designed to cater to such events in the town and it has an elaborate entrance to complement them.

As of this writing, the hotel is scheduled to open one of its new projects in Mariveles -- The Dormitory By The Oriental. The property is touted to attract so-called locators or long-staying investors in the Freeport Area of Bataan where a lot of industrial enterprises can be found.

Bataan Convention Center By The Oriental
The Dormitory By The Oriental
The next time you're visiting Bataan, consider the less visited towns. You've most probably seen Balanga or Bagac once already. Try exploring Mariveles where you can discover a new natural attraction called Five Fingers and stay at the storied property called The Oriental Bataan. You won't regret the experience.

Read about our ferry ride to Bataan from Metro Manila here.
Read about my visit of Five Fingers here.

The Oriental Bataan

Official website of The Oriental Bataan

Address: Freeport Area of Bataan Compound, Brgy. Malaya, Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines
Phone: (047) 612-3930/ (047) 612-3558/ (047) 612-3682
Mobile: 0927-886-8887


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