The Circle Hostel Zambales
San Felipe, Zambales
- 9 Reviews
- 44 Recommend
- 8 Reviewers
- Business Hours
- Open 24 Hours
- Hotel Star Rating:
- Number of Rooms:
Most Recent Reviews
The Circle Hostel Zambales is one of the three from this eco-hostel chain; the other two can be found in Baler, Aurora and La Union. It categorized as a budget friendly, art hostel, and sure enough, the hostel is designed using environmentally friendly materials. The place didn't go shy with art, the lockers, the walls, even the bahay kubos themselves are painted in cool graphic designs and graffiti.
It's a 6-hour ride to Zambales from
Manila. We took the overnight bus at Victory Liner in Pasay terminal. Fare is PHP 223 (USD 4.48). We reached Olangapo City at around 11:00 in the evening where we had to take another bus to San Felipe, Zambales. Bus fare is PHP 61 (USD 1.22).
At 2:13 a.m., we reached the dark town of San Felipe and approached one of the tricycles that were spotted in the corner of the street. The fare ride is worth PHP 30 (USD 0.60). From the main road it took about 17 minutes to reach the Circle Hostel.
There we were met with stillness and darkness. Since we came very late, there was no one to greet us. The entrance has no lock so we were able to get in with no problem. I'm not sure if this is a good thing, because what if some crooks enter the place.
We tried to find anyone who could assist us to no avail and we weren't sure which part of the hostel should we sleep in. We decided to enter one of the houses, leaving our flip flops at the bottom of the stairs. The room was bare and we wondered where the other guests are. We picked a spot, each of us taking the lower bunks of the double-deck beds. It was equipped with a mosquito net and curtains to allow a bit of privacy, but since none of the staff saw us coming, we slept sans pillows or blankets.
The next morning, the staff was quite apologetic that they weren't able to receive us properly. We did text them last night but they were already asleep when the message came through.
As with the accommodation, they have 50 dorm style bunk beds (44 co-ed and 6 in an all-female bunk house) and hammocks. Bring your own towel, toiletries, and padlock for the locker. They do provide towels for additional price, I say just bring your own own.
There is free breakfast but do not expect it to be anything other than some bread and peanut butter, coffee, and banana.
There is a common area equipped with bean bags, playing cards, guitar, and hammocks. This is where guests can stay to hang out and maybe make friends.
The beach is about a 5-minute walk from the hostel.
- No. of Comments: 2
- No. of Likes: 7 Likes
You can take an Iba bus from Cubao (Victory Liner Cubao) make sure to arrive early cause seats sold out fast.
The place looked cozy. Too bad the dorm area doesn't have available plugs to charge gadgets.
500PHp per bed/night
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- No. of Likes: 3 Likes
The Circle Hostel is the first chain of eco-friendly hostels in the Philippines which aims to provide an environment where backpackers can reconnect with the beautiful environment we are in and at the same time meet new friends. Whether it is to surf or relax, this is where you want to stay. The Circle Hostel is a place with lovely people, friendly staff, owners with big hearts (Raf and Ziggy) and a relaxing atmosphere at a very reasonable price.
The Circle Hostel offers accommodation that suits all budget, from hammock to bunk bed and tent. Their facilities includes clean shower, clean restroom, fans, lockers, musical instruments, books, common area and a relaxing garden. A night stay in their bunk bed costs 450Php and 350Php if you prefer the hammock or the tent (all accommodation includes a hearty breakfast of bread and fruits). The Circle Hostel may not offer the typical staycation accommodation but it is definitely the best since I am able to interact with strangers (that turned to friends) and be with like-minded people.
*Bed linen and pillowcase are always new (they are given upon check-in) and don’t worry about mosquitoes they provide mosquito net and curtain.
Ride the wave and be a surfer chick/dude
Glide in the water with your skimboard
Stargaze and do night photography
Engage in community-based tourism projects
Unleash the artsy side of you and help fill the place with paint and artworks
How to Get There
Go to Victory Liner Cubao/Pasay/Caloocan Terminal and hop on the bus going to Olongapo or Iba Zambales (please refer to Victory Liner’s website for the schedule and fare), travel time is about 3 hours if via SCTEX and 4 hours if via San Fernando. If via Olongapo, take the bus going to Iba, San Felipe or Sta Cruz, tell the driver to drop you off at Bobolun Elementary School in San Felipe and from there you will take a tricycle going to The Circle Hostel.
One more thing that I also love about The Circle Hostel is they do not monopolize the community, they paved the way and support other businesses in Liw-Liwa like Mommy Phoebe's, Board Kulture and Kapitan's Liwa Surf Resort.
The Circle Hostel is definitely my happy place .
- No. of Comments: 2
- No. of Likes: 9 Likes
When in Liw-Liwa, Circle Hostel is my preffered place to stay. The place is very simple and backpacker type. Its not a place for conyo peeps like Jayson J hehe. Option when staying here are just bunk beds, hammocks or tent. An overnight stay on a bunk bed is just 450. :) Upon check-in Ate Vanje will give you a clean bed linen and pillow case. The toilet here is also common but they are very clean and well maintained.
What I love about this place is the common area where you get to meet other fellow traveller hanging out. You could chitchat, play some musical instruments or just chillax on a hammock. So far everytime I stay in The Circle I go home with new circle of friends. True to their slogan There Are No Strangers.
I also love the artsy vibe of the place. They allow everybody to share their creative artwork or hugot inspirational quotes by painting on the wall. If you want to share your creative artwork you can simply ask Ate Vanje and she will give you a paintbrush and cans of paint. This colloboration of art made this place such an artwork.
Another thing that I like about this place is the way they help the local community. We were able to chat with one of the owner Raf. He shared to us some of his community project. One was the help they are giving to the aeta of zambales. They teach and help the community in having sustaininable livelihood. Actually you could sched an outreach to the aeta community via the circle. They'll gladly help you. Another project was this where you put all plastic trash on a plastic bottle. They collect this to build houses. Nice!
Overall I love the simple nature of this place and their core value. A place with a Heart!
- No. of Comments: 11
- No. of Likes: 13 Likes
Went here for a surf trip with friends and I just realized that there is a whole new world of surfers out there - which was pretty amazing.🏽🏽
Anyway, we checked in The Circle Hostel and I finally got to sleep in bunkbeds like theirs. I've always wanted to experience living like a local in a place far from home and this place was definitely on point. It was like just like a house, just with a different set up. They offer bunkbeds (450/night), hammocks and a place for a tent set-up (350/night).
The beds were decked up to three levels, and it has a "net" or "kulambo", a curtain that would serve as a divider or cover something and you'll also be given a pillow and a blanket at the reception counter. No aircons, just a ceiling fan. Meanwhile, the hammocks are lined up when you enter the hostel and you can freely choose where you want to sleep in.
They have a shower area and a restroom for both men and women (and a punlic shower on one area) but I think they have to add more because it gets crowded during the bathing hours. Its clean and well maintained though.
There's this guest area on the second floor where you can lounge in and eat or play games or whatever you want. They also have a locker where you can keep your belongings. Just bring your own padlock.
They also offer surfing lessons which is around 400php I think. And a board rental, if I'm not mistaken.
Overall this place is cool, best for backpackers, barkadas and those who are on a budget. Love the graffiti all over the place! Will definitely stay here again the next time!
- No. of Comments: 6
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We contacted them via the Contact Us form in their website as well as the contact number provided. Since we were late coming in from Manila we were also given the number of the receptionists/caretakers. Their email and text replies were not that fast but they responded.
We just followed the directions on their website and when we got there we found the gate unlocked. It was in the wee hours of the morning and we discovered that we had no cell signal. We tried texting/calling the provided numbers but the signal was really poor so we decided to just make ourselves at home since their slogan is There Are No Strangers Here. We paid for 2 co-ed dorm beds which is located upstairs. The beds are made of wood and provided with curtains for privacy and mosquito nets since the area is not fully enclosed.
Sans pillows, blankets, and bed sheets, we drifted off to sleep. We woke up after sunrise to get to the beach early. There's free breakfast downstairs at the locker area which consisted of bread, banana and peanut butter. Common lounge area is upstairs where you can hang out. There are bean bags and hammocks.
Loved the artwork around the whole hostel - graffiti and murals. You can leave your own mark around the walls and other surface areas. The shower and restroom are clean enough. There is also an outdoor shower where you can rinse after coming from the beach. There is no Wi-Fi here and that's quite a good thing because it forces you to interact with other people or just have your quiet downtime.
A good choice for backpackers, group of friends or solo travelers.
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My home away from home. Look for Ate Frexie or Ate Vangie to get the best visit experience in Liw- Liwa, San Felipe. Nothing beats in sleeping on a bunk bed and being served bananas, peanut butter and pandesal in the morning! The beach is not as crowded - great place for skim and surf! Surfing lessons are Php 50-100 cheaper than in Baler and La Union. The perfect hideaway after a toxic work week in Manila!
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The sky was clear, the wind was crisp, I can smell the summer breeze. I had early vacation from school and I wanted to relax so I decided to go to the beach. And since most of my family and friends were still busy doing school and work stuff I only had me.
I didn’t want to spend much because I didn’t want to be caged in our house for the rest of the vacation - if you know what I mean - so I had to find an affordable lodging near the beach which can offer me interesting activities. Seems impossible? Nah. I found a perfect place for that, The Circle Hostel in Liw-Liwa, San Felipe, Zambales. They offer really affordable lodging for as low as 350php plus, they offer surfing activity for around 300php, wow!
I arrived at The Circle around lunch time and I was so surprised to find myself alone apart from the staff. At first I thought that maybe people were just having lunch but no. I took time to enjoy the whole hostel, you can see art everywhere, it’s so inviting!
The beach was clean, you can tell at how the sky perfectly reflected in the ocean.
I cannot wait to be back here!
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