Hotels, Albay, Daraga_

Alinchlo Tourist Inn

Last month, I traveled solo to Sorsogon to see my family but before going there, I had to spend a night in Daraga, Albay because I already made a booking for Alinchlo Tourist Inn. I was supposed to stay there with Yoy and Julienne but they couldn’t make it so I had to go by myself. It has been raining too so I was like, yeah, bad weather, solo travel. Not exactly my idea of fun.

First of all, how to get there. I googled the location of this inn, and since I was travelling from Naga City via UV Express, I got off at San Ramon Nonato Church in Brgy. Tagas, Daraga along the Diversion Road on the way to the airport and van terminal. This also works for those coming from Manila by bus. From the church, you can just turn left and walk for about two minutes but I took a tricycle going to the inn (paid P20.00) because of my bags.

The staff who greeted me was welcoming and friendly. They have a small store at the reception where you can buy instant cup noodles, toothpaste, shampoo, biscuits and candies, other stuff too. I bought one cup noodles (batchoy flavor) and the room boy got hot water and utensils for me. DSC02077

The room. Kudos to the inn for its cleanliness. The room was newly painted, had simple but new furniture and good working aircon. The smell was nice and clean. I instantly felt comfortable. DSC02079

The view from my window.DSC02082

The bathroom was clean with new toilet and fixtures. There’s hot water in the shower too.DSC02089

Since I was by myself, I met up with Caressa (who I work with in Naga), who also happened to be in Daraga that time. We met at Ayala Mall in Legazpi to buy supplies and to have dinner. I just had to mention that when I was about to cross the road to board the Loop 2 Legazpi-Daraga jeepney to meet Ca, I very nearly got hit by a speeding bicycle. That was scary sh*t.

After about two hours outside, I was able to go back to the inn in one piece. Now, going out was a breeze since you know when you are in Legazpi because of the landmarks (malls, buildings, etc.) but coming back was a little tricky. First of all, you have to take the Loop 1 Daraga-Legazpi jeepney in front of LCC Mall (remember that from the inn I took the Loop 2 jeepney). Then, I felt like the ride was taking way longer than before and the sights were becoming more unfamiliar. So, when I was feeling like I might miss my stop, which was the San Ramon Nonato Church, I asked the driver to drop me off at the church (which happened to be a stone’s throw from where we were that time so I asked at the nick of time).  Finally, I can rest my feet and enjoy cable TV and the strong wifi before sleeping.DSC02093

The next day. That’s looking out my window and the weather was still gloomy. After putting in some work on my laptop, I checked out and went on my way to Sorsogon City.  DSC02085

I recommend this tourist inn for solo and group travelers, and for families too. If you travel with your own car, this is good value for money because you wouldn’t have to commute. Their rooms start at Php 800.00 if you book at the reception. I got mine at Php 896.00 via travelbook.ph.

 

 

Camarines Norte, Hotels, Jose Panganiban_

Victor Hotel (Jose Panganiban)

Hello guys! I missed you and I missed blogging but I’ve been really busy these past weeks. And I’m only finding my writing/blogging mojo back just now. I hope you all are doing well!

BTW, this post is about this hotel called Victor Hotel where we stayed during our short trip to Jose Panganiban – a town in Camarines Norte province. This would be my second time in Jose Panganiban. The first time we went there was last year during All Souls’ Day, and this time, to pay respect to the remains of Yoy’s aunt, our beloved Tita Iyah.

We weren’t able to see much of the town because of the very reasons why we had to go there anyway. Add to this the fact that travel time took more than 3 hours because of the ongoing road constructions resulting to heavy traffic and some of the roads are still really bad, particularly in the Cam Sur areas.

Here are some snapshots I was able to take when we tried (and failed) to go to the breakwater (sigh!). The breakwater seems to be the favorite spot to hang out for the people in town. We failed because the streets leading there that Yoy remembered from his childhood were either closed or blocked that time.  DSC01948DSC01947DSC01945

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So, there is actually a new tourist inn… I guess we’ll check it out next time.

This (below) is Victor Hotel where we stayed for the night. There are only two hotels in Jose Panganiban, the other one is APOLONIA HOTEL, which was also featured in my blog last year. DSC01954

The room we shared (there were 5 adults and 1 kid) was spacious enough with two beds (1 double bed and 1 queen bed) and was very basic. The room was clean enough but the bathroom was not very well kept. It was old and smelled of mold or some strong bathroom odor. One more thing, if you need to charge your cellphones, you might find it very challenging since the only electric socket in the room was very nicely hidden under the dressing table. Also, wifi worked great in mobile phones but I was never able to connect using my laptop so I still had to go to a computer shop to send my report. Good thing the shop charged only Php12.00 per hour and the owner was friendly. Actually, I have yet to find an unfriendly soul in J. Panganiban since all the people I encountered were friendly and helpful.

THE ROOM (Sorry for the mess though………..)DSC01936DSC01931DSC01937

THE HALLWAYDSC01934

THE STAIRWELL GOING TO THE SECOND FLOORDSC01935

I’m not showing you the bathroom because it’s not very nice to look at. Trust me. The thing that is better about this hotel compared with the other one (Apolonia Hotel) was that they have running water 24/7.

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Julienne takes a pic next to her Lola Iyah who remains beautiful in our memories…

I hope someday we’ll get to explore the quiet little town of Jose Panganiban, and maybe explore its beautiful islands and beaches too. I’m looking forward to really getting to know the place. Right now, the impression that I have is in the kind and smiling faces of its people. Oh, and the cars and tricycles are overspeeding so when you’re there, better watch out.

Thank you for taking the time to read! =)

Camarines Norte, Hotels, Jose Panganiban_

Apolonia Hotel (Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte)

Hello everyone!

From my last post, I was talking about our trip to Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, which is Yoy’s hometown. As it turned out, there were only two hotels that popped up when I google searched hotels in J. Panganiban, they were Victor Hotel and Apolonia Hotel, the rest were room/house rentals via Airbnb.

Apolonia Hotel was were we ended up staying in for the night. My early verdict: not the best budget hotel I have ever been in but not the worst (yet) either.

Like every budget hotel, it is pretty basic. As it is located in an old building and the fact that I was already given the heads up prior to the trip that there were no nice accommodations to be had in J. Panganiban, I have kind of also adjusted my expectations to match reality. And avoid much disappointment in the process.

So this was the room. It had lots of cabinet space than we actually needed. I have never been in a hotel room and seen a lot of color pink than when I entered this room. Even with all that pink glory, it still had that unmistakable old place vibe. It was like the feeling of entering the studio apartment I used to rent in Legazpi City, and not like being in a hotel.DSC01320DSC01322

Then the bathroom was so dated that the fixtures have obviously seen better days. It was not the cleanest I have seen, but since my expectations have been adjusted, I did not find things very disappointing. Well, except for the fact that the water in the faucet was almost (really!) non-existent the next day. Apparently, the water situation was hard in the area and the hotel was no exception.

More pics of the old building…DSC01331DSC01330

Then, this was what it looked like outside of the room. It really reminded me of an apartment than a hotel.DSC01329

It was an OK stay for the night for Php1,000.00 but the experience made me rethink the wisdom of trying out Airbnb next time around when I find myself again in this part of the Bicol Region.

Thank you all for reading! =)

Hotels, Sorsogon

Tentyard Hotel (Pangpang, Sorsogon City)

As we always do during the long holiday due to Undas (All Soul’s Day) here in the Philippines, we took the opportunity to go home to Sorsogon and see my family. It was Yoy’s first time to take a long drive ever since we got our little car so we were just a bit anxious I guess, but it was more like excited, if you ask me.

There were lots of things that put a cloud over our heads prior to this trip though. One was my disappointment that the trip was pushed back one day because the car’s maintenance check up took longer than expected.  Because of this, I had to cancel on our hotel, which I booked for the day we were supposed to be there. I was worried we will not be able to find another affordable hotel when we get to Sorsogon so I was really stressed out.

However, when we arrived on a Sunday afternoon, we were lucky enough to get a room in Tentyard Hotel in Pangpang, Sorsogon City. This is what it looked like from the outside. It was very new because it was the newly built extension or annex of the original drive-in hotel (more like motel if anything).DSC01229

They have air conditioned kubo villas (combination of concrete, wood and thatched roof) instead of the drive-in kind, which made them seem family-friendly as well.DSC01222

The location is very refreshing as it is set in the heart of a rambutan plantation. However, the trees were still very young and have no fruits yet. Oh, it would have been real nice if there were indeed ripe rambutan fruits on these trees.DSC01219

They even have a koi pond. The water was murky but I swear there were live koi swimming in the water.

 

So this is the room we got for Php 800.00 only. It was clean and it had the basic amenities. It was a real relief that it was clean by the way, because we had a nightmare of a stay in Tentyard Roro (San Juan) a few years back wherein we struggled with the dirty CR there. So, I’m really hoping the management will take extra care to keep this establishment clean.DSC01192DSC01190

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I highly recommend this hotel for the travelers in need of a clean place to lay their heads. It’s got parking space and the staff are polite and friendly.

How to go there: If you are coming from Legazpi City, ask the van/bus driver to drop you off at Tentyard Hotel in Barangay Pangpang. They usually know this place as it is just along the highway. If coming from Centro Sorsogon City, rent a tricycle to take you to this hotel. You may be charged Php 40-50 for a one way ride.

Hotels, Sorsogon

Second (and Definitely Last!) Stay at Selvina’s Hotel, Sorsogon City

I was debating with myself whether or not to still post this because I really regretted our second stay at Selvina’s Hotel in Sorsogon City. Just thinking about it now is still upsetting even though it’s been a month. It’s such a shame because I raved about this hotel during our first stay, that experience was a far cry from the second time we were there. So what happened, Selvina’s?

First, let’s start with the good points. Same as before – they have good firm beds, the room has a terrace (dirty by the way), complementary coffee and toiletries. List ends there.

selvina's hotel sorsogon1

 

 

Now, the upsetting part.  First of all, there was no personnel manning the reception and we rang the bell many times. We took the liberty to fetch someone from their resto or we would have spent hours waiting in vain at their reception area. This employee who checked us in acted like she did not expect us. She stared at the confirmation booking for too long without actually having an idea which room to put us in, like looking at a complicated puzzle and no idea how to solve it. So, maybe she’s not the receptionist. After all, she was fetched from the resto. Still, any decent establishment that dares call itself a hotel needs a receptionist. And still, it’s more than a bit awkward for the guest because they made us feel like an inconvenience for them. Something I mind a bit when I’m paying more when I could have spent a lot less elsewhere if I’m just getting lousy service.

One more thing, their cleaning lady (who arrived, I assume, to assist Ms. Clueless) was rude. She made a rude remark after I asked if the room was on the second floor. Something about “Duh, of course all our rooms are on the second floor” but in Sorsoganon dialect. Ok, I was tired and the important thing was we finally checked in, so I let that pass.

selvina's hotel sorsogon7
You can see the highway from the terrace

It got worse, the A/C in the room was very noisy and unable to cool the entire room. Summer here in the PH has a reputation for getting really nasty hot so I was already contemplating of complaining at the front desk. But thinking there was probably nobody manning the front desk again anyway, I decided against it. Instead, we went out to visit my parents, put the A/C on timer to run for two more hours and hoped that it will eventually cool down by night time when we got back.

The heat wasn’t as bad at night and we were able to sleep. The room they put us in had a queen bed and a single bed. I expected just one queen bed, just like the one we booked on our first stay, but since they really did not know what they were doing, gave us the wrong room. I should be grateful for the extra space, but I really would much rather have the room we first stayed in because it had a functioning air conditioning unit.

So maybe you’re thinking it wasn’t that bad. You’d be wrong. They cut the water supply of the hotel at 10:00 in the morning! Without so much as a warning. Can you believe a hotel cutting the water supply on their guests? Were they even aware that they still had guests to begin with? Fortunately, we woke up and showered early but what if we didn’t? We’d be stinking and all thanks to them. The pseudo receptionist mumbled some poor excuse of a water leak or something but not even an apology. What kind of operation are they running blah blah blah? (BLAH because I. Have. No. Words. and Blah because that’s how I feel about this hotel now. How was my stay? BLAH.)

selvina's hotel sorsogon4
The outdated bathroom where we could have missed a shower if we happened to wake up late the next morning

So, against my better judgement, I am posting this to mark my second and DEFINITELY LAST STAY at this hotel.

Albay, Hotels, Legazpi City

F2M Tower (Legazpi City, Albay)

Hello there! I’m glad to be back after almost three months of no activity here in my blog. It made me a bit sad and guilty at the same time that I have neglected my blog for that long but I’ve been busy and had some things that required my attention. One thing is for sure, I have made it a point to visit other people’s blogs and read a bit before I go to bed every night so that I still feel in the loop although my own blog has been a bit forlorn lately due to my lack of post haha.

Anyway, I just would like to share with you guys that we have taken yet another trip to Albay and Sorsogon City last week, which happened to be a holiday here in the PH (Holy Week). We’ve been doing this since I’ve moved to Naga City about five years ago to see my parents in Sorsogon. I wish we had a car so we could have taken a lot of detour and see places off the beaten path. That would have made a lot of stories for some worthwhile blog posts. But since we had to take a commuter van (UV Express), we couldn’t do this.  What I can do however, is to share with you our hotel experience during our stay at F2M Tower in Legazpi, Albay.

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When we arrived at Legazpi City Terminal, we just walked for a few minutes and after asking around where F2M Tower was, we finally found it beside Pacific Mall (Gaisano). Check in was a breeze since their staff knew right away who we were and did not even ask for a copy of the confirmation booking. I like it when hotels are efficient and their staff are polite and competent.

When we opened the door to our room, the air felt so fresh and it smelled really nice, like you know right away the room is clean. Yoy and Julienne liked it a lot.  F2M has only 6 rooms that they rent out and I was told by Jho (the staff who checked us in) that their concept is that of a condotel. So there are no staff to cater to your needs after their office closes, but it doesn’t matter when it is located in the heart of Legazpi. Whatever you need, you can just buy from the mall that is just a few steps away.

The bed was really nice and white. The sheets smelled and felt fresh (Ok, I’ve been saying that a lot lol). F2M TOWER LEGAZPI CITYDSC00317

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The faces she makes these days!

Now, let’s  check out the bathroom. It’s real clean too (almost immaculate in my opinion). It was a pleasant surprise how everything was thought of and furnished. There were towels available, hot/cold shower worked, there was a soap dispenser and a hair dryer. F2M TOWER LEGAZPI CITY 3DSC00312DSC00313DSC00315

There was also a water heater, utensils and a mini refrigerator inside the room.DSC00320

I liked the mirror of the closet’s sliding door so I took a selfie (Gaaaaahh!). Not posting this on Facebook, just here.DSC00299DSC00301

F2M TOWER LEGAZPI ALBAY 3

F2M TOWER LEGAZPI ALBAY 4
In the evening, Yoy and I had one  bottle of beer each over a plate of sisig that we bought near 101 Mall while the little girl enjoyed her Vitamilk (don’t worry she’s not drunk in this picture, just tired lol)

Over all, I liked it. It was the cleanest budget hotel we’ve stayed in in Legazpi City. And to better get your money’s worth, try online booking for promos and to get discounts.

Summer is here and a lot of people are going on out of town trips. I hope you will find this post useful! =)

 

 

Hotels, Sorsogon

Asia Novo Boutique Hotel (Sorsogon City)

Happy New Year Blogsville! I hope you all are happy and well this 2018.

I’m posting one of my hotel reviews now lest I forget the things I want to say about my stay at Asia Novo Boutique Hotel in Sorsogon City where we stayed last December 22.

Actually, we liked this hotel. The hotel is new so the room we stayed in, which was the Queen Deluxe or Queen Suite, was fresh and smelled fresh too (so important!). I like new hotels for a reason after having experienced staying at pitiful old establishments with old rooms that smelled of mold and mildew (yikes). NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 4

I especially liked that the sheets were white so you can see if it’s really clean or not. NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 1

This room we stayed in at Novo was also spacious and bright since there was ample lighting inside the room.NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 5

Also, the cable TV was working well and the A/C was split type so it tends to get very cold.NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 3NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 7

However, the room was not without its issues like wall paint coming off, less than immaculate bathroom, and that housekeeping forgot to provide us with bathroom tissue, bathroom door mat and trash bin (there was only one and it was inside the bathroom). Also, I noticed that the bathroom wall was wet and had map-like patches from within which I suspected was the result of heavy rains in Sorsogon and something like a glitch in building construction.NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 8

On the upside, I like that their staff on the front desk were gracious and welcoming. I’m happy they let us check in early (around 1:00 PM) even though when I booked, it was indicated that check in time was 2:00 PM, but I like that they accommodated us so we were able to leave our bags inside the room before we went to my Mama’s house. However, I noticed they were not very keen about online booking since they did not confirm to travelbook.ph that I stayed at the hotel on the date of my booking so I was almost penalized because I was declared as a no-show (Wait, what?! Does this look like a no-show?). So, after a few exchange of emails with the said booking site with me sending them pictures as Exhibit A, B & C (so hard when the burden of truth is on me), I finally got myself acquitted from the charges and was declared innocent beyond reasonable doubt (I hope).

So, what’s more to like? The hotel has an elevator for the convenience of the guests. That’s my baby Julienne between the elevator door and the Christmas tree.NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 13

Below is the view from the third floor where One Burgos Resto is just across the street. Their meals tasted great and were reasonably priced. We had our lunch there after we checked in at the hotel.NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 11

The next morning, we just ordered coffee and Nissin Seafood instant cup noodles from the front desk and Yoy went out to buy delicious breads from Kambal Bakery nearby before we checked out.

Over all, I am happy with my stay at said hotel, especially that I got it for only Php681.00 (24 hours) through online booking at travelbook.ph using the Php300.00 discount promo they sent me as a member. Thank you for the discount!NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 12