The Best Place to Stay in Zambales – The Circle Hostel

The Circle Hostel (or simply ‘The Circle’) is a private hostel co-owned by Offbeat Travel and Pursuit‘s Raf Dionisio. It features an open dormitory style for the ultimate freedom-from-the-city living. Here are the top four reasons why The Circle is the best place to stay when in Zambales, Philippines.

The Best Place to Stay in Zambales – The Circle Hostel
A vacation spot is always better when you’re staying at a nice place that gives off so much positive vibes. The Circle is certainly that kind of place, especially because…

The Food is Great and Cheap
Most guests who travel a lot to places like Zambales (a really cool surf spot for beginners!) come from the big cities of Manila. Food in Manila are notoriously expensive, and when on vacation, most travelers – myself, at least – want to spend more of my money on activities and not food. The cafeterias right beside The Circle offer great value meals and fresh food. Since most of the materials are locally-grown and organic, they’re much healthier too! Typical meals cost between PHP50.00 to PHP100.00.

The People are the Friendliest You’ll Ever Meet
Quite literally, friends are made at The Circle. You can come there all by yourself knowing no one – an you immediately feel at home with the boarders. The place gives off this vibe where you can’t help but feel welcome and at home. From the hospitality of the staff (the manager even brings out activity materials for guests if you didn’t bring any) to the warmth of the residents, The Circle is a great place to make new friends and bond with old ones.

The Activities are Absolutely Fun
From surfing to sky lanterns, The Circle is a place for anyone. For the more active and athletic types, The Circle is a good place to learn how to surf since the waves are very newbie-friendly. There is also skim-boarding along the flat beaches just across The Circle hostel. For the artistic guests, you can literally paint anywhere you like and leave a little something behind the place. Sky lanterns at night (don’t forget to make a wish!) is a peaceful way of symbolically releasing all of life’s worries and stresses. At The Circle, it’s just you, the waves, and positive vibes.

The Place Itself is Affordable
An overnight stay at The Circle is PHP350.00 – less than $10 – and this comes with all the facilities such as wireless Internet, hot and cold showers, and a bunk complete with mosquito netting and privacy curtains. The more ala-Bear Grylls traveler might opt to bring a hammock or a tent, and pitch this at The Circle’s grounds for PHP 250.00 per night. Overnight visitors also get fruit and bread for breakfast the next day! The nights are cool and breezy at The Circle, and comfort is the last of your worries. Just bring a padlock for the lockers, and you’re all set!

The Circle is a Great Place for Soul-Searching
Since The Circle is so far away from the bustling city of Metro Manila, common urban ‘conveniences’ aren’t readily available at the hostel. Instead of television in the morning, there’s surfing. Instead of computer games in the afternoon, there’s painting. It’s a beautiful place for rest and relaxation, and being ‘away from it all’ really helps anyone kick back and take a reflective moment on life and purpose. It’s pretty much the perfect Zen getaway, in my opinion.