Southpole Central Hotel: Your Strategic Abode in Cebu

Southpole Central Hotel: Your Strategic Abode in Cebu
Download PDF

Strategically located just a few meters away from the South Cebu Bus Terminal, Southpole Central Hotel was the perfect choice, if taking an early bus trip to popular tourist spots such as Kawasan Falls, Oslob and Moalboal. All of these can be reached via Ceres buses situated at the said terminal.

Read more

Hakuna Matata at The Funny Lion Inn in Coron

Hakuna Matata at The Funny Lion Inn in Coron
Download PDF

Coron, Palawan is one of the places that I always return to. There’s always something different and something new. Our experience in Coron was one Hakuna Matata! Remember that song?

Hakuna Matata… 

“It means no worries for the rest of your days. It’s a problem-free philosophy. Hakuna Matata!” – Simba, The Lion King

The jungle atmosphere started to unfold as I rode the free airport transfer of The Funny Lion Inn. The van passed by the grassland, where cows were grazing until it stopped at the modern-contemporary hotel in 25 minutes.

Warm smiles of the staff and a glass of refreshing drink welcomed us as we checked in at the newly-opened boutique hotel located at Governor’s Drive, Sitio Jolo, Poblacion V. The staff then ushered us to our room called the CUB ROOM.

THE CUB ROOM

The room was neat and tidy with twin beds covered with white linens and comforter. I approached the desk and saw a note from the manager, Mr. Edwin Taghoy. It was thoughtful. The personalized welcome note is  a signature of the One-of-Collection group of hotels, which include the Funny Lion Inn.

Room Amenities:

  • Slippers
  • Toiletries
  • Safe
  • Coffee and Tea bags with electric kettle
  • Hair Dryer

The bed was comfortable that I slept soundly throughout the night.

THE HUNT RESTAURANT

The night before, the kitchen staff handed me a checklist of breakfast choices. I like how they prepare ahead of time for the guests’ meals. I chose the lamayo (a local dried fish) and bacon paired with sunny side up egg and hot tsokolate drink.

It was perfect. I’m in love with the breakfast by the pool set-up while the sun embraces us with its warmth.

After breakfast, I had a chat with the Funny Lion Inn’s manager, Mr. Taghoy. He fondly related a folklore of a cheerful lion which once lived with the Tagbanuas in Coron Bay. He said that they have adapted the story, hence, the name of the boutique resort.

He then introduced us to the executive chef of the restaurant, Rafael Ongchiong. Chef Rafael shared that they offer a mix of Asian and European cuisines.

Take a look at these mouthwatering dishes. Meals range from Php 250- Php 500.00.

Noteworthy among these dishes is the “pinangat”. Pinangat is a local dish of Coron with ground pork meat, salted egg in the middle wrapped in gabi leaves and boiled in coconut milk.

“Mahilig kasi ang mga taga-Coron sa gata (The locals of Coron like dishes with coconut milk),” said Chef Rafael.

Guests may dine outdoor or inside the restaurant. You can also play board games inside the resto.

THE POOL

The infinity pool of the resort was fantastic to cap off the whole day of island hopping in Coron. It was indeed relaxing.

THE PRIDE ROCK 

By sunset time, I went to the Pride Rock, which is the lounge and bar of The Funny Lion Inn. One can take a dip at the two jacuzzis with a bottle of wine and a view of Coron Bay.

That’s what you call Hakuna Matata!

INTERESTING TIDBITS about THE FUNNY LION INN:

  • The Funny Lion Inn is the first resort that has the technology to reuse water from the toilets for gardening purposes.
  • The resort uses biodegradable soaps and shampoos.
  • Solar Panels are used for power generation. They have a back-up electric power as well.
  • There are two access roads to get to the resort. One is from Coron Town itself while the other one is used when you’re coming from Busuanga Airport.
  • Guests can use the safari-type jeepney to get to town for free at scheduled times. Or you can borrow the bikes for free at your own convenient time. It’s 10 minutes away from town.

For bookings, check out their website: http://thefunnylioninn.com/

 

Family accommodation in Singapore

Family accommodation in Singapore
Download PDF

Most hotel rooms in Singapore are only good for two. Only few hotels can accommodate four or more. Fortunately, we found a family accommodation in Strand Hotel Singapore during our April 2014 trip. It can accommodate six people.

LOCATION

Strand Hotel is strategically located at 25 Bencoolen Street. Location is strategic as the Hawker Food Center is just three minutes away on foot.

ROOM

Here’s the family room. The room has one single bed, one roll-away bed, and two queen beds. We were charged 380 SGD per room per night as six people occupied the room. It’s Php 12,849.52 per room per night in Philippine currency. If you divide that by 6 pax, it would cost Php 2,141.58 per head. The rate comes with free breakfast and inclusive of government taxes.

Pardon the reaction of my brother. He had a hangover.

Breakfast is buffet but the selection is so-so. Good thing, there’s a hawker center nearby.

PWD Accessibility

The entrance of the Strand Hotel has no ramp for wheelchairs so one has to take around five steps before getting to the lobby.

Amenities and Facilities

Toiletries and towels are provided. The hotel does not have a swimming pool but for the price, I guessed it’s understandable.

NEAREST ATTRACTIONS: 

The reason why we chose Strand Hotel is because of the Catholic churches that are in close proximity. My grandmother wanted to visit churches.

  • Cathedral of the Good Shepherd
  • St. Peter and Paul Church
  • St. Joseph’s Church

Singapore Art Museum is also within walking distance. It’s about 10 minutes leisurely walk from Strand Hotel.

TRANSPORTATION: The Strand Hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the Dhoby Gaut MRT Station and walking distance to the Bras Basah MRT, which can be helpful in going around Singapore.

VERDICT:

It was clean and comfortable enough for us. Though the rate might not be cheap, it’s affordable for the location and accessibility. I’d definitely recommend Strand Hotel Singapore to families who want to stay together in one room.

Lodging Review 101: Microtel Gensan

Lodging Review 101: Microtel Gensan
Download PDF

Exhausted from snorkeling at the Tuka Marine Sanctuary in Kiamba, we proceeded to Microtel by Wyndham in General Santos City to doze off.

LOCATION

Finding Microtel Gensan was easy as it was situated at Valley High along the National Highway of General Santos. The trike driver knew the place. It’s strategically located across St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. A McDonalds is also just a few steps away for fast food chain lovers.

It’s also 3 minutes away from SM General Santos City by trike. Or if it’s not hot and you want to exercise, it’s within walking distance.

If you’re buying frozen TUNA to take home, you can also ask a trike to bring you to RDEX which is a stone throwaway.

 

SECURITY

Aside from the Valley High security, there’s another security guard when you enter hotel itself. It assures guests that the area is very secured.

CHECK-IN

When I entered the lobby, I saw the familiar interiors that the other Microtel hotels have. I’ve been to Microtel Tarlac before and I saw the similarities. But when I looked closely, the wall decors showed its uniqueness to Gensan. The receptionist gave our key cards for our room located at the 2nd floor.

ROOM

The room was spacious enough to accommodate up to 4 persons. If you want to have a triple room set-up, you can request for a room where beds can be split. The beds and pillows were comfy to put us to dreamland as early as 8:30 pm and woke up around 8:00 AM. We were fully rested.

Microtel Gensan is a no-frills hotel but we got what we need. It’s fairly new as well as it was built in 2013.

 

The comfort room was spotlessly clean. Hot and cold shower is available. Towels were provided for bath, face and for the hair. Soap, shampoo and dental kit were also free.

If you want to dry your hair, you don’t need to bring your hair dryer as it is provided as well.

Microtel Gensan has 65 rooms including 6 suite rooms. A room with 2 queen beds costs Php 3,500 per night inclusive of breakfast. If you add Php 1,000, you get a free airport transfer, couple massage and laundry for their “Life is a Suite” package.

 

BUFFET BREAKFAST

Breakfast is free! During our stay, the menu was beef tapa, danggit, pork adobo, and longanissa. They also have an omelet station where you can choose your own mix. But what I love most was the unlimited beef tapa. Tummy was happy for the filling and delicious meal.

For those who are health conscious, you may opt for a congee, cereals and fruits.

Though Microtel does not have an in-house restaurant, guests can have coffee and cakes for snacks. For seafoods, steaks and Italian pasta, restaurants at Valley High are just a few steps away from the hotel’s doorsteps.

AIRPORT TRANSFER

We bade Microtel farewell and rode their airport transfer service, a Hyundai Starex. The ride to the airport was scenic while our driver, Rap was telling us about the surroundings that we passed by such as Mt. Parker, Mt. Matutum and Sarangani Bay.

The Airport Transfer has a fee of Php 150 per head per way.

 

FUTURE PLANS

As of now, Microtel does not have a swimming pool. Microtel General Manager Luigi Valdez shared to us that they plan to build it first quarter of 2015 to attract weekenders.

 

OVERALL VERDICT

Microtel is a business hotel but it’s also good for vacationers who want easy access to food and transport. You get the value for your money and the comforts of a hotel. The hotel’s strength is its strategic location that is closed to everything you need.

*****

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Thank you to Mr. Luigi Valdez and to the staff of Microtel Gensan for a relaxing overnight stay.

Holidays at Microtel Gensan

Holidays at Microtel Gensan
Download PDF

Staycations are best spent during the holiday season when hotels are fully decorated. In Microtel Gensan, a towering Christmas tree can be seen as soon you enter the gates of Valley High.

During our stay at Microtel Gensan, I had a chat with its general manager, Mr. Luigi Valdez. He shared that they will have a Christmas Lighting ceremony on December 5. Children from a foundation together with the children of the tenants at Valley High will hold lanterns around the tree. The ceremony marks their opening of the Christmas season at their hotel.

Microtel Gensan will also hold a choir contest that would be participated by schools and companies from December 15-20, 2014.

While on New Year’s Eve (December 31), they will have a promo of Php 3,750 for an overnight stay for two where guests will have a chance to watch a fireworks display as part of their New Year countdown and listen to a live band while dining in buffet style.

Microtel by Wyndham is strategically located at Valley High, National Highway in General Santos City.

For bookings, you may contact the following:

Phone Number: +63 (83) 553 8080
Mobile Number: +63 (917) 319 7447
Email:gensan@microtel.ph

***

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.