When I asked what types of room they have, the receptionist said they only have 2. One with a queen sized bed and another with 2 single beds. Since I went here with my husband, we went with the former. The room costs P1,115 quite a steal given its proximity to Clark and also very near some restaurants.
The room was very simple yet highly functional. A bed with clean, white sheets, 2 pillows, A/C, TV with cable, hot and cold shower, hair dryer and a safe. Don’t expect breakfast too because there’s none. They do sell instant noodles at the reception but we were prepared, we brought our own Nissin Cup Noodles! Since we checked in around 9 and were to leave early the following day, I think the rate was really worth it.
Upside apart from value for money was it’s clean. The staff were really helpful too. Downside, there’s no parking and the tap water comes with a price.
- Conveniently located along Don Juico Avenue, where a host of restaurants, entertainment outlets and bars are located
- 20 minutes by car to local tourist landmarks such as Salakot Arch, Old Pamintuan, Bale Matua (Founder’s Residence), Camalig, Santo Rosario Church and Fort Stotsenburg.
- 10 minutes by car to get inside Clark Ecozone, a former US Airbase with hotels, resorts and the world-class Mimosa Golf Course.
- 6.1km to the Clark International Airport, formerly known as the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA)
- Check in time : 2:00pm onwards
- Check out time : 11:00am
SandBox is inside ALVIERA. It is a collaboration between Ayala Land and Leonio Land, Inc. It’s a sprawling 1,125-hectare development which will house various establishments like a commercial area, business and industrial park, university, recreational areas, and residential neighbourhood. SandBox is part of this grand master plan. It provides an outdoor attraction for family and friends to enjoy. Although I’m a bit wary for little kids, I think this works best for kids 8 and up.
We tried the Wall Climbing but goodness gracious! I couldn’t even lift myself up! Props to the husband who was able to go mid way up! That tower right there is what we had to climb. Trust me, it wasn’t as easy as it looks. The Avatar One was closed for repair. I think it’s been closed for 3 weeks. Too bad! 😦 This was the attraction I was really excited to try.
We didn’t get to try all because the lines were crazy long. During our visit, there were regular guests and an AXN event. There was also some confusion on where people should line up since the AXN guests had a line exclusive to them. Not a big deal for me but I just hope that the staff were proactive and attentive enough to make the guests queue where they were supposed to be and not making them transfer after an hour of agonising waiting. The scorching heat also didn’t help. There were tents for the queue but gaaaaah, I cannot take the heat anymore. I realised now more than ever that I like being out in the sun only when I am clad in a bikini 2 feet away from the beach.
We were so, so thirsty and the Snack Yankee Shack right at the entrance was our only saving grace. The menu is very American but it’s very affordable. The drinks were quite refreshing! See what we got below:
- It’s a rough road once you’ve entered Alviera to reach SandBox, be sure your tires are ready!
- I cannot stress the fact to wear comfortable shoes (rubber shoes to be exact) and clothing.
- Wear sunblock, the heat can be excruciating.
- If in case there is rain, the venue has the right to close the amenities for safety purposes. Better safe than sorry!
- There are age, height and weight restrictions for the attractions. Be sure to check them out here before you go.
- You cannot bring food inside but the parking lot is quite near so perhaps you can store your snacks and drinking water in your car.
- Last and the most important one: Driving all the way to Pampanga with the purpose of visiting SandBox alone may get you a little disappointed. There are limited things to do and the area is far from getting developed. So to have a good time, consider this as a one-of in a list of destinations you will visit in the North. I suggest you plan it out and perhaps go to Nayong Pilipino in Clark, extend your drive to Subic or go on a food trip in Pampanga (which we did).
Lunch at Meat Plus Cafe in Clark
Meat Plus is a popular steakhouse in Subic offering different kinds of steaks like American Angus steak. This is a classic Subic baby which started its operations back in the nineties when the American troops were still at the base. They now have a second branch at the Shell Station in Clark, Pampanga which we tried for the first time!
When in Meat Plus, one should order the steak so I got the Topsirloin steak which came with rice, vegetables and a drink. The meat was very tender, had it cooked in medium well. My husband who’s hard to please when it comes to my I-wanna-try food suggestions liked it too! (Yey!) He ordered a cheeseburger meal and said that the meat of bun tasted very much legit.
We ended our little food trip with Buko Pandan at Nathaniel’s Bakeshop in true Kapampangan fashion. But between you and me, we bought at their Timog branch hahahaha! We were looking for a branch in Pampanga via Waze but got lost so we opted for one which was along the way. 🙂
|Items||Amount in PHP|
|Toll Fee – NLEX||45.00|
|Toll Fee – NLEX||112.00|
|Dinner at Apag Marangle||760.00|
|Overnight stay at Tunes Hotel||1,115.00|
|Toll Fee – SCTEX Clark to Porac||30.00|
|Sandbox Entrance Fee and Attractions||850.00|
|Lunch at Meat Plus Café||560.00|
|Nathaniel’s Buko Pandan||260.00|
|Toll Fee – SCTEX||30.00|
|Toll Fee – NLEX Angeles to Balintawak||198.00|
|1-Hour Massage for each person at Nuat Thai||700.00|