Ever since I went to Zoobic early this year, and noticed the signs of a resort I have not heard of in Subic, I have been running after Kamana Sanctuary in my mind. Finally, because of iTravelerAsia.com, I was able to experience it and satisfy my curiosity.
Kamana Sanctuary Resort and Spa had a pretty name. Its website also featured fantastic pictures of the resort. I assumed it was a luxury property in Subic, which was a welcoming addition to the otherwise bland choices of resorts int he former US base. Before Kamana, the only "luxury" properties were the Lighthouse Marina and the relatively new Segara Villas. Both are located in the boardwalk waterfront. Kamana's location in the secluded Nabasan cove was a definite plus for the resort.
Kamana Sanctuary opened last January 2011, so the place is relatively new. However, even with its newness and modern building design, I didn't feel it was a luxury property. It was more of a getaway type, perfect for families and friends.
I remember Nabasan beach when it was naked before, no resort, just huts for picnic goers. I loved Nabasan before, because of its secluded charm. Now, Kamana Sanctuary has turned it to something like a clubhouse.
I smiled upon the sight of their infinity pool which really was effective in bringing the sea to blend in with the view. The pool and the sea really had the same color. At a certain angle, the pool does look like it's part of the sea. Pool lounges without shades line up the pool facing the picturesque mountains of Zambales.
We booked ourselves in a casita, because I thought that this was the only unique characteristic of the resort. If we book a standard room, I may just get disappointed.
The casitas are over-water villas along Nabasan Beach. There are 14 casitas, and we booked the furthest, Casita 1.
The Casitas are huge and the bed was really inviting. It faced the sea, so you can just imagine waking up to the view of the water. The bath was also spacious, but quite uninspiring. Nevertheless, all the amenities were functioning well.
But what you really pay for with this room is the balcony. If you just focus yourself on the rock in front, you would feel that you are in El Nido. The ambience that the balcony gives transports you to a different place.
And with the sun setting just in front of you, this casita is already proving its worth to its visitors. Include two very comfortable and long day beds, you can practically sleep outside (which was what we did).
Since our casita is at the edge of the resort, we didn't have any other casita beside us. This gives us a view of the beach as well. It wasn't recommended to swim here though, since there were jellyfishes near the shore.
Now, here's the verdict on Kamana. Overall, I was disappointed. If we weren't staying in the casita, I would probably have not enjoyed my stay. I had high expectations, so this explains the immediate disappointment. I thought Kamana was a luxury property, given the steep prices. There also wasn't a spa onsite. They should just drop SPA in their name. The service was also very disappointing. I called up the restaurant to order dinner in our casita. They told us that they didn't do room service during peak periods. But they explained to me that when there are few guests, they offer room service. It was the first time I heard something like that.
So would I recommend Kaman Sanctuary? Yes and no. I have given all the disappointments so that you can lower your expectations. I think Kamana should lower their prices though given all its flaws. I would still visit it again, just because it is in Subic and because of that balcony in Casita 1. I hope the management get their act together because Kamana has so much potential.
West District, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, 2222
Tel nos. +632 843.7851 to 52 (Makati)/
Fax +63 47 250.0724 (Subic)
Smart: +63 9474075119
Globe: +63 9279859870