Club Morocco in Subic, Zambales
For the 2009 Philippine Advertising Congress, we were unceremoniously thrown by our crappy travel agency, Northstar, to this hotel in the middle of nowhere. Provided, the accommodations were screwed badly enough by the Ad Congress this year, leaving so many out in the cold, hotel-less and out of SBMA.
In the first place, this should never have been presented to us as an option. It smelled too much like a “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” between Northstar Travel and Club Morocco. Unfortunately, we were caught in a bind. They were basically telling us: we’re giving you no other choice. With the Ad Congress being less than a week away, we booked it.
We were told it’s 20 minutes away from SBMA. Imagine driving for 20 minutes without traffic. It’s basically like going from SM North EDSA to SM Mall of Asia. Only winding on the side of mountains.
What we were not told was that we will get hopelessly lost trying to find this Godforsaken hotel. We were not told that the main road was practically patches of dirt road. We were not told that at night, I would have to rely on my f-ing headlights because the road leading up there did not have functioning lampposts. Northstar didn’t even bother to ask us whether we would be bringing our own transportation! Had I not, we would have been royally screwed. As if we weren’t enough already.
If you’re looking for a travel agency. Stay. The. F. Away. From. Northstar. Such incompetent people.
Ok moving on. Club Morocco, as could be expected, was a kitschy place, which seemed grandiose probably for a few months tops after its opening but is now just a shadow of its former self. As soon as I stepped inside, I saw the big ball of plastic flowers, embarrassing in its ornate fakeness. There was a restaurant, souvenir shop, game room, both devoid of people and closed. Obviously we were one of the few people who were suckered by the crap travel agency to check in to this place.
We were showed to our rooms and thankfully, the room was okay. The bathroom was spacious and there was even a bathtub. What I just don’t understand is why for such exorbitant rates, they can’t maintain their facilities: some cabinet handles had scotch tape holding them together, plaster on the wall not uniformly done, plastic chairs on the terrace worn and weathered. I tried watching TV but cable wasn’t working. I had to call reception and ask them to do something about it. Turns out it had to be “loaded” for it to work. Why did they not do this beforehand knowing they were going to be having guests soon?
It was just depressing.
We went down for a swim that first afternoon, and I noticed the high-ceilinged lobby which was the kitschiest of all: the walls were painted like its supposed to be a scene at the bottom of the ocean and at the ceiling, illustrations of the 12 zodiac signs. WTF?? How’s that Moroccan??
I suppose the pool would have to be the highlight because it seemed maintained (although a little icky on one end where the water wasn’t circulating) and the water was warm enough.
Bottom line: Club Morocco would have been oooh-kay if we hadn’t been tricked into checking in. I think it’s overpriced. the place is passable for those who don’t care much for taste but the hassle of driving to and from there is so not worth it.
They did not refresh my complimentary water. They did not clean my room up, not once, during our three night stay.
Screw Northstar Travel Agency. They ruined the Ad Congress for us.