Category Archives: Hotel Review
I’ve been really, really planning to write about this but I only got the time, drive, and resources right now. Hopefully I can finish blogging about all the memorable and unforgetable experiences I had during those 24 days.
An Opportunity to Travel for the First Time in Batanes
It was around January or February last year when a friend asked me if I would like to go with her to Batanes. I grabbed the opportunity without a lot of thinking.
Batanes is part of my Travel bucketlist. Thus, when an opportunity came, I didn’t have any second thoughts.
There’s so little time to prepare. Our scheduled flight from Manila to Basco was on March 1. We need to be in Manila the day before our scheduled flight. This means that I needed to book an overnight accommodation near NAIA because our flight schedule was around 5 in the morning.
Unfortunately, I had the dates (of our depature to Manila and departure to Basco) jumbled, and ended up needing to book for a 2-night stay. Clumsy, disorganized me. ):
Searching for a Budget Accommodation near NAIA
Agoda is my most favorite hotel search engine when it comes to booking for accommodations that brings value for my money.
After careful filtering and scanning of guest reviews, I booked a 2-night stay at DG Budget Hotel NAIA.
You can never really find a decent accommodation in Manila under one thousand pesos.
DG Budget Hotel costs 1.3K plus per night despite the fact that it is a semi-hostel with no private bathrooms. But, despite these, the good things about this accommodation completely outweigh the bad ones.
DG Budget Hotel is only 5-minute away from NAIA Terminal 4 via taxi. Location-wise, this is one of the nearest accommodations to the airport if you are flying to Basco.
The place is near convenience stores and there is a bank and ATM at the ground floor.
Our room is quite clean and their common bathrooms are odor-free. The corridor leading to the information area is also well-maintained.
The only bad thing is, they don’t provide a trash container in our room. We have to make use of a plastic bag as a replacement.
As a budget inn, it provides enough comfort for travelers on the go. The 2 single beds room that we booked are not that spacious, but it doesn’t matter because we didn’t stay there all day long. We went out most of the day to the mall.
Their standard room with double bed though is quite comfortable. We booked that room on our last 2-day stay in Manila before we returned to Cebu.
They also provide a free hot and cold water station which is really helpful especially for someone like me who need more than 1 serving of coffee when I’m working.
The staff are okay. There’s not much things to do other than man their mini grocery area where you can buy instant coffee and cup noodles.
Because I bring my work anywhere I go, internet connection is a crucial factor I consider when booking an accommodation.
DG Budget Hotel NAIA has above average internet connection speed. It’s also satisfying that they have two WiFi connections. This is one of the major reasons why we stayed again there before we went back to Cebu.
Value for Money
Definitely one of the best choices when it comes to budget, location, and of course, internet. Be sure to book the standard room with the double bed. It’s bloody comfy.
I highly recommend this place for fellow budget travelers.
Next: My First Flight to Basco, Batanes Aboard SkyJet Air.
[Screenshot photos used in this blogpost are all from Agoda.com]
A standard room in this resort is as big as a family room in others but the rate is quite lower and very reasonable. When you travel to #Boracay, don’t forget to check Lingganay Beach Resort. You’ll surely be surprised how huge the place is and how beautiful their infinity pools are. #hotel #hotelreview #boracay
Probably the cheapest accommodation I booked via @agoda. For only Php300 plus per night, we got a private room, aircon, wifi connection, and a breakfast like that. Highly recommended for backpackers and budget travelers. #hotel #hotelreview #agoda #lamaria #breakfast
The title of this blog post summarizes my overall impression of this “budget” hotel. I was totally not pleased because they charge higher room rates but the service and accommodation are not good. Also, I can’t disregard the fact that their rooms are stuffy and dusty. That feeling when you entered a room and what you expected is the contrary. Don’t trust the room photos they featured in Agoda. They don’t look and feel the same.
Though, my overall review is negative, still I don’t want to disregard the positive things I experienced while staying there. Thus, I’ll start my official review by enumerating the pros and then the cons.
The Good Stuff
One of the main reasons why I decided to book in there was the promise of a rooftop pool. This can be categorize as part of the good stuff but honestly, their mini rooftop pool never impresses me. It’s a so-so. Perhaps, one of the good things about it is it’s centrally located. Their breakfast buffet is also good with an ample variety of dishes. Their reception and lobby area are decorated with a mural that has to do with Chinese warriors. Other than these, I can’t think of any thing good about it. Unfortunately, I got a lot of negative things to say.
The Bad Stuff
I booked a Standard Family room and it costs UDS52.45 per night. As a budget traveler, this is already expensive but I thought the rate is reasonable because it’s a big room that is good for 4 people and breakfast for 2 is already free. But, all my expectations crumbled to pieces when we arrived. We were greeted with a shady hotel surroundings (the ambiance outside the hotel is worse than Colon Street area), the room is dusty and stuffy, the furniture inside it badly need some repairs, the air-condition unit is not working properly, body massage rate is too expensive, check-in and check-out is kinda slow, and pool at the rooftop is not well-maintained.
We stayed there for 2 nights and we paid a total of USD104.90. This rate can actually make me afford a 4-night accommodation in another budget hotel minus all the bad stuff. Thus, I’m strongly not recommending this hotel to everyone, especially for my fellow budget travelers. Budget means you get the quality you want at an affordable cost. Quality should always be the priority.
Shogun Suite Hotel is located at 2867 Zamora Street, Rotonda, Manila. You can just search in Agoda and you’ll get the exact details of its location using the map they provided.
Though my review is mostly negative, the truth is, we still had a great time staying there. All the bad stuff were ignored because we spent most of our time outside, exploring and discovering the city.
Singapore is indeed a very expensive city. But, I did manage to travel there (with my hubby) on a “budget”. One of the difficult things I had to do before our trip was the search for the most affordable room. Since my hubby doesn’t want us to check-in in motels or dormitory type inns, I had to look for a hotel that has private rooms.
Grand C Hotel at 165 Kitchener’s Road
In Agoda, this hotel only garnered a 5.9 (above average) rating. This is really too low considering that I have never booked a hotel here in our country with ratings lower than 6.0. I tried to look for hotels with higher ratings but they are just too expensive. There are cheaper ones but they are mostly located in Geylang, a known red light district in Singapore. Thus, I have no other choice but to book for Grand C Hotel (4 nights & 5 days). In most cases, I would never book for one if most of the reviews in Agoda are negative, but I just had to because I can’t find any other options that are more affordable.
The Good Stuff
Booking in Grand C Hotel means value for money, central location, very fast WiFi connection, and good service (in my case, I met a very friendly grandpa staff who took good care of our room and things for 5 days). Value for money because you get what you’ve paid for (Singapore standard). Centrally located because it’s walking distance from Farrer Park (train station), Metro City Square and Mustafa malls, and there are a lot of small restaurants surrounding the area, thus you can easily grab foods whenever you’re hungry.
I was very happy with the excellent speed of their WiFi connection, considering that they are the cheapest of cheapest hotels in the area. And, of course, I had a chance knowing a local Singaporean through the very friendly maintenance grandpa who are fond of chitchatting.
The Bad Stuff
If you are very meticulous when it comes to cleanliness, then this is not the hotel for you. If you hate small rooms and the smell of herbs, then don’t stay in this hotel. If you like to be treated like a VIP, then stay away from Grand C Hotel. In short, this hotel is ideal for backpackers and travelers who only stay in a hotel to sleep.
Don’t expect extra frills or any kinds of add-on services. You get what you paid for. Cheap accommodation in Singapore is not at par in quality when compared to affordable hotels here in our country. Affordable hotels here in our country offer better accommodation and service despite the fact that their rates are around 60% lower than those cheap ones in SG.
We stayed in Grand C Hotel for 5 days and 4 nights (Superior Room – No Window) but most of the time, we only slept there. We spent most of our time outside sight-seeing and discovering the wonders of the small city. For our 4-night accommodation, we paid a total of USD201.76 ( or Php8,675.68). This is definitely the cheapest of the cheapest (and I’m not exaggerating on this). For regular hotels, you have to pay USD200 plus per night. At Grand C Hotel, we only paid USD50.44 per night. And take note that I got this deal because Agoda had a 50% promo. So this means that the original rate is USD100.88. Here in our country, you can already book a 3 to 4 stars hotel for that amount.
Would I go back to Grand C Hotel if I will travel back to SG sometime in the future? Yes. Despite the cons, I still feel that the pros outweigh the bad stuff. I highly recommend this to fellow budget travelers.
Have you’ve been to this hotel? Share your experience and reviews by commenting below. Ciao!
Note: This is part 3 of my #TravelReview2013 photo-blog post series. Since I haven’t blog that much last year, I’m doing this series to feature all the travels I did on that year. And, because my brain is still not yet ready for lengthy word combats, let all the photos do the talking. (:
BE Resort’s Deluxe Room Interior
Their beach front and the amazing lounge pods.
Amazing beach shots.
More about BE Resort at www.beresorts.com.
The beach front
I’ve never been to a resort here in Cebu wherein you can instantly see the beach front even if you are still standing at the entrance door of the main building. It is only at Be Resorts (formerly known as Microtel) that I immediately see one, spruced with Greek-like architecture, carpeted with man-made white sands.
Be Resorts’ main reception area is covered with glass walls and lavishly decorated with Kenneth Cobonpue’s artworks. Yeah, you read it right. Kenneth Cobonpue’s.
Despite the affordable rate, which by the way, is now as low as Php 3000 (net twin sharing with breakfast), I think Be Resorts put justice in the word grandeur. From their cool activity center, executive function rooms, comfortable and refreshing bedrooms, enticing pool to limb twisting kayaking (which I enjoyed a lot), it is one great beach destination here in Cebu especially if you wanted to feel like you are in Greece. (:
Be Resorts is nestled in Punta Engaño, Mactan Island. It is located minutes away from the Mactan International Airport and easily accessible via the Marcelo B. Fernan bridge. For booking and reservations, contact the Cebu Sales and Reservations Office, Punta Engaño Road, Mactan Island, Cebu 6015, Philippines. Telephone: (6332) 2368888 local 8800 (Sales); local 8832 (Reservations). Fax: (6332) 236 8088. Email: sales-mactan#beresorts.com. Website: www.beresorts.com.
N.B.: The Php 3000 net twin sharing is a local summer promor rate. Limited rooms only.
Photo by PinoyWorld
Yes, you read it right. One of Cebu’s finest beach resorts is inviting again another batch of bloggers all over Philippines to have an all day stay in their blue water and white sand paradise. And the key word here is, it’s for free. You should check PinoyWorld’s post for the detailed guidelines.
If I will be asked what makes Maribago Bluewater totally different from other beach resorts I’ve known, then, my primary answer is definitely the way they market their services. It’s actually the very first time that I heard of a high end resort that utilizes the credibility of bloggers, using their online power to reach international target markets. This is one thing that lots of establishments haven’t realized yet.
Anyways, if given the chance, it will be my second time going there. I went there last May with CBS, and we really had a great time together. Maribago Bluewater is a beach paradise carpeted with beautiful white sands; decorated with glorious pool bars, restaurants, royal bungalows; liven up with various leisure activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, live entertainments, etc.; and crowned with Alegro Island, the spectacular 1.1 hectare man-made island which added charm and harmony to the whole resort.
For your convenience, below are a few Maribago Bluewater resources that you should check before you’ll go there.
For more details about Maribago Bluewater Cebu, you can visit their website. Happy Blogging!
Obviously, this is not my first post about Maribago Bluewater, but it was my first time going there last May along with my co-blogging cyborgs. For all those people who don’t know, Maribago Bluewater is one of the finest beach resort here in Cebu. Its world class amenities and high quality customer service made it one of the most sought tourist destination worldwide.
Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort was established on July of 1989. The establishment has a 50-50 recruitment process, that is, they hire employees 50% from agencies and another 50% from independent applicants. Their target market is mostly foreigners, and the Japanese chinks topped their list of regular customers. These are few of the information I learned after the small conference they held.
One of Maribago Bluewater Cebu’s main attractions that captivated my interest and awed me a lot, is their man-made island. I’ve been to a lot of resorts here in Cebu and outside the province, but I never seen such kind of attraction. A man-made island a few meters away from the main beach is just simply terrific. It’s just too bad we didn’t able to explore the place because our time was limited.
Anyways, there’s another good news. Once again, the Maribago Bluewater management in cooperation with PinoyWorld, invite another batch of blogging cyborgs to visit their Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort. This beach resort is located in Sumilon island, a 15-minute boat ride from the town of Oslob, Cebu. For more information about this tourist destination, you can check their Sumilon Bluewater blog, or you can also watch the Maribago Bluewater video.
Photo Credits: Michelle