Japan On A Shoestring with Karaksa Hotel

Asia, Hotels, Japan

Every Pinoy traveler’s dream destination includes The Land of the Rising Sun. And why wouldn’t it be, the place is screaming with so much culture and life, and every attraction is bucket-list worthy: the gleaming temples and architectures, modern cityscapes a la sci-fi film, stunning parks in vibrant colors, heavenly hot springs—all begging to be explored.

Its fusion of ancient traditions and modern technology makes it an endless discovery and a country that holds a lot of surprises. In fact, Japan is the fourth most-visited country in Asia last year according to the World Tourism Organization, so it’s no doubt that it’s on top of most people’s bucket lists.

Kyoto: A time-warp to old century Japan

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Kyoto’s Bamboo Forest

If Tokyo is the loud, beating heart of Japan, Kyoto is its more peaceful soul. This city is bursting with history and tradition, you’ll be amazed with how its century-old culture and architectures have remained intact up to this day.

Walk through the green wonderland that is the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, pass by the historic castles dating from ancient eras, admire the aesthetic pathway of Fushimi Inari Shrine, and experience the Japanese way of life by trying the delectable cuisine like the Kyoto’s popular kaiseki meal.

Golden Pavilion Kyoto

Golden Pavilion

One of the city’s highlights is the Kinkaku-ji, also called the golden pavilion, which sits in a lush of greenery surrounded by water where you can be one with nature. A trip to Kyoto won’t be complete without visiting this renowned Buddhist temple, so don’t forget to take photos while you’re there!

The city is also home to lovely cherry blossom trees and colorful geisha culture. With its reflective spirit and calm vibe, Kyoto is an amazing experience that you won’t get enough of.

Kyoto Facade

Karaksa Hotel Facade in Kyoto

Where to stay

Located at the heart of Kyoto lies Karaksa Hotel, a three-star leisure hotel that is a total bang for your buck. Think star-ranked hotels’ hospitality and facilities in a completely affordable price. It’s very accessible to the Arashiyama and is only 3 minutes away from Omiya station, so it’s a smart hotel option after a long day of exploration in the city.

Osaka Food

Osaka Food

The gastronomic adventure that is Osaka

Osaka is a dynamic city. For instance, it’s the food capital of Japan, so it’s the ultimate go-to place for binge-eating. If you’re in quest for the yummiest authentic Japanese eats like takoyaki, horumon and okonomiyaki—just head to Dotonbori or Shinsekai. Name it, they have it. The city is also home to popular tourist attractions such as Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, Osaka Castle, and Universal Studios Japan.

Osaka

Osaka’s familiar sights

For those who like to observe city skylines, Japan’s tallest skyscraper, Abeno Harukas, has an observation deck called Harukas 300 where you can admire the city’s sweeping views 300 meters high.

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

While you’re there, you can visit the Kintetsu Department Store and Art Museum just a few floors below. The nightlife is also flourishing here, so be sure to be wide awake at night while exploring its happy streets.

Osaka Breakfast Area

Osaka Breakfast Area

Where to stay

At the end of the day, have a good rest at the comfortable rooms of Karaksa Hotel, a leisure hotel just a few walks away from Osaka’s main shopping district, Shinsaibashi. Osaka Shinsaibashi I is located at 1-6-9 Bakuroumachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka City, just a 5-minute walk from Sakaisuji-Hommachi Station/Nagahoribashi Station.

Come home to Karaksa

Whether you went to get cultured at Kyoto or eat your heart out in Osaka, you can come home to the inviting comfort of Karaksa Hotel, especially designed for the smart Asian traveller.

Kyoto Hollywood Twin

Kyoto Hollywood Twin

Inside, there’s everything you need for a cozy stay. The rooms are fully-air conditioned and equipped with hot and cold shower, all of which contains the basic necessities like the latest flat screen TV, universal sockets with USB ports, bath towels, hair dryer, suitcase storage under the bed, Japanese-style bidet, mini refrigerator, toothbrush set, shampoo, conditioner and face soap, pajamas, sanitized slippers. There’s also a mini desk area if you have an urgent work to check. The room sizes include double decker and Hollywood twin for 2 adults and their child, and connecting room for group of friends or bigger families. The average room size is 18 sqm.

Osaka Triple

Osaka Triple Room

Its interiors are charming—every corner is a minimalist’s haven. The hotel is an experience itself: their amenities include a smoking space, and prayer room for the Muslim guests. A high-speed Wi-Fi service is also installed in the whole building, so you won’t easily get bored. Guests can also assure their important belongings are safe with their safety deposit box.

The overall vibe of the place feels like home–you can chance upon its Filipino receptionists, and there’s a TFC channel in your room television when you feel a little home sick. That’s because it has a touch of Pinoy: the hotel’s owner, Xymax Corporation, Japan’s premier asset property management company has teamed up with Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC), one of the leading property developers in the Philippines. RLC is the official Sales and Marketing agent of Karaksa Hotel in the country.

Osaka Hollywood Twin

Osaka Hollywood Twin

The Osaka branch features a laundry area and a leisure space with massage chairs and a wide array of vendo machines for snacks, toys and souvenirs, plus dining sets for eating or chatting with your companions. The Kyoto branch, on the other hand, features only twin rooms: Bunk and High Floor for up to 2 persons and Hollywood for groups and families.

A trip to Japan most likely comes with a hefty price tag, especially since the country is screaming with lots of attractions to put in your itinerary. To maximize your experience, start by choosing an affordable hotel to stay in. Karaksa Hotel is a great value for money, complete with basic amenities and comfortable accommodation. It’s slightly cheaper compared to other hotels of the same kind in the city, but it offers a top-star hotel experience that won’t hurt your wallet.

Kyoto Hollywood Twin

Whether you grab a seat sale or impulsively book a tour to Japan, fret not! You can book at Karaksa Hotel easily through http://www.gohotels.ph/gohotels-now-in-japan/. By booking at any Go Hotels branch, you can get a chance to win a trip for two to Osaka. Click here for more details.

Karaksa Hotel, in partnership with Go Hotels, will open five more branches before the Tokyo Olympics 2020: Hokkaido, Sapporo, Tokyo Ginza, Shin-Osaka and Namba to cater more budget travelers. You can expect the Namba branch to open this November.

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A Summer of Exciting Explorations with Go Hotels

Hotels, philippines

Summer has official started! For those who still don’t have plans for this exciting season, we’ve got you covered. Here are places to maximize your summer adventure without breaking the bank:

Obscure food places in Mandaluyong

The city where food lovers unite and hippies thrive, Mandaluyong houses a number of food places catering to diverse taste preferences. Aside from the food spots inside the big malls, you can choose to explore some hidden and hip places if you’re in a quest for new things this season.

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Visit the All Day Breakfast in Bed, a cozy place at California Garden Square that serves breakfast food all day—perfect for catching up with friends over brunch. For night crawlers, there’s a New York-inspired spot called Borough that serves pub-type NYC food for 24 hours. A food plaza called Industrie Food Park is to open soon along Ortigas by the end of April, so get your taste buds ready with this another exciting food adventure.

After a long weekend of food exploration, stay at Go Hotels Mandaluyong branch along EDSA to ensure affordable room rates and comfortable stay. For bookings and inquiries, go to www.gohotels.ph.

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Maginhawa Street in Quezon City

Maginhawa Street is definitely the most famous food area in the metro. But the place is not your typical trite food destination. Art and culture hangouts also fill the entire place, making it an ideal entertainment hub for those who seek comfort from the heat with a culture fix.

Drop by Yesteryears Music Gallery and Vinyl Store and hoard vinyl items for your collection. For thrifty bibliophiles, there’s a bookstore selling cheap secondhand books called BookayUkay. If you’re looking for a chill hangout place with your friends while indulging yourselves with coffee and art, the Art Circle Café is just inside UP Diliman campus, a ride away from Maginhawa Street. For those who love attending gigs, head to Tomato Kick, a spacious bar and grill place where bands and OPM lovers thrive.

After a long day in the city, check-in at one of the newly opened Go Hotels branch located right across SM City North Edsa. The hotel is just a 10-minute walk to the prime malls and restaurants, a short minute drive to government offices, and accessible to major public transports. Find out more about this branch here.

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Nagtabon Beach at Puerto Princesa, Palawan

For a dose of “vitamin sea”, people can never go wrong with the breathtaking beaches of Puerto Princesa. While it houses a lot of beaches that are already known to tourists, this big part of Palawan still has its hidden wonders for those who love the silent sea treatment.

Head to Nagtabon Beach, a stunning beach spot just one habal-habal away from Bacungan, and enjoy its peaceful vibe. The place has fewer tourists, so you can do fun beach activities such as snorkeling and volleyball without the hassle of a big crowd. You can easily reach the place through private van, motorcycle or tricycle, and even via public transportation. For beach hopping enthusiasts, there are other secluded beaches you can go nearby like the Tagkawayan Beach, which offers a deserted island feel.

If you’re looking for an affordable place to stay that is easily accessible, Go Hotels Puerto Princesa branch is conveniently located at North Road, Barangay San Manuel. They also have free WiFi and LED cable TV, so you have a lot of entertainment options despite being in an island. Visit Go Hotel’s website to know how to get there.

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Relaxing on hammock

Zipcity in Davao City

As one the largest cities in the country, Davao City offers a slew of cultural places and activities to make you fall in love with nature. Since Davao is a great example of a place where nature and city meet, appreciate the great scenery of the place through one of Davao’s most thrilling adventures—zipline!

For first-timers, Zip City in Hilltop, Ma-a is the ideal place to go. Unlike other ziplines, Zip City will make you feel refreshed while you’re up in the air, and it overlooks the breathtaking view of Davao Gulf and Mount Apo. It’s perfect for all ages, and it’s just nearby Dencio’s Kainan, one of Davao’s famous native restaurant.

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Summer Holiday

 

If you fancy a dip, there’s an infinity pool at Mother Ignacia Healing Center, a retreat place located within the hilltop. To maximize your Davao City experience, visit the famous Butterfly House and Crocodile Farm nearby.

At the end of the day, have a good rest on comfy Windsor beds exclusively available at Go Hotels. Their Davao branch is conveniently located at Km. 7, J.P. Laurel Avenue corner Arroyo Street, Lanang. Learn more about the hotel’s exciting features here.

 

Get Away from The City Hustle and Unwind at Summit Ridge Tagaytay

Hotels, philippines, Uncategorized

The city is where everything happens — where life is a high-speed car chase to get to where you want to be. But being in the midst of the everyday hustle and bustle can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being.

We all need a break from the fast-paced lifestyle of the city every once in a while. Luckily, we don’t have to venture too far to enjoy life unhurried. Favored weekend destinations like Tagaytay are only a stone’s throw away from Metro Manila, making it an ideal spot for a quick rest and relaxation.

Among the plenty of accommodations you can find in Tagaytay, Summit Ridge Hotel is a welcoming respite for urbanites needing a quick break from the daily grind.

Only one and a half hours away from the center of Metro Manila, this cozy suburban hotel that sits along Aguinaldo Highway greets you with friendly and personalized service as soon as you walk through its doors. With hassle-free processes and Tagaytay’s tranquility emanating even from within, Summit Ridge immediately fulfills its promise of offering peaceful rest and relaxation to its guests, making it conducive for bonding and togetherness among groups.

Its 108 guest rooms are perfect for every type of traveler who can take in the fresh breeze and the picturesque view of Taal Lake through their own private verandas. Those who seek the most comfort from their hotel stay can book one of the 18 suites that feature a living area, kitchenette and two separate bedrooms.

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The recreational amenities available likewise add to the experience of a relaxed weekend getaway. Spa enthusiasts can relieve themselves of physical stress at the hotel’s own spa facility, The Ridge Spa, or opt for an in-room massage service. Guests can delight in the refreshing infinity pool set in the midst of Tagaytay’s lush nature and beautiful climate. Meanwhile, those who want to maintain or work on their figure even while on vacation can do so at the round-the-clock gym, or at the indoor basketball and badminton courts — facilities not found in most hotels in the metro.

When it comes to food, guests need not venture too far to indulge in mouthwatering treats. The hotel’s own onsite restaurant, Sisterfields by Cravings, serves sustainable cuisine that features a specially curated menu of comfort food dishes like Chicken Ala Pobre, Roast Beef, Crispy Kare Kare and Sisterfields Burger with quarter pound beef.

Summit Ridge also provides enough opportunities for its guests to unwind even beyond the hotel grounds with the various dining options, fun-filled parks and top must-see Tagaytay destinations all conveniently located and within reach.

Families can enjoy nearby spots like Sky Ranch Theme Park, Bag of Beans, Tagaytay Picnic Grove, and the next-door commercial center Summit Ridge Promenade. Couples who don’t mind splurging a little bit for an unforgettable vacation experience will delight in a fine dinner at Antonio’s or escape to hidden romantic spots like Chateau Hestia and Marcia Adams.

Barkadas can explore the city’s lesser known gems that serve healthy comfort food like The Dining Room at Gourmet Farms and Lime and Basil Thai Restaurant. They can also go on an adventurous trek to Taal Volcano and see the pride of Tagaytay up close.

Companies on their out-of-town retreats can make use of Summit Ridge’s state-of-the-art MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events) facilities and banqueting hall, complete with an efficient and attentive staff. During their free time, they can destress at Qiwellness Living, an Asian teahouse, bathhouse and spa, or play a few rounds of golf at the Splendido Taal Golf Club.

Indeed, there’s always something to do for every kind of vacationer.

Whether it’s a quick summer getaway or an affordable vacation, Summit Ridge Tagaytay is the ideal place to unwind with family, friends, coworkers, a loved one, or just on your own. With the beautiful weather you can relish just outside your window and all the leisure activities to enjoy within the area, you’ll definitely get the laidback vacation you deserve.

Visit www.summithotels.ph for more information and to book a stay today.

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REVIEW: Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island in Cebu

Hotels, The Philippines

Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, there are times when, after visiting one place, over and over again, you just become a bit bored, and your interest in visiting it once again wanes.

Cebu is a little bit like that for me. After visiting it for more then 20 times already for events, and business meetings over the past 13 years, it has become a very boring place for me and begged off some opportunities to come visit it again.

But all that changed when I had the chance to visit the city and stay at the luxurious Movenpick Hotel in Mactan Island.

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I have heard only wonderful things about the hotel and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience it for myself.

Needless to say, I had high expectations but I was also realistic.

Thank God that Movenpick exceeded all my expectations and then some.

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Located at the quieter side of Mactan (Punta Engano), Movenpick is miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city, giving you that much needed peace you crave for. Surprisingly, it is only 7 kilometers or about 30 minutes away from the  airport.

It is about 22 kilometers though from the the Cebu City and the usual shopping areas in the city.

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From the moment I arrived at its breezy, open air lobby and saw the grand sails hovering above and the comfy, colorful sofas, I was instantly in love. It was a nice contrast to the overall white color and Mediterranean feel and inspiration of the hotel.

The staff was very attentive and assisted me every step of the way until I checked into my spacious room.

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Deluxe Room. Photo courtesy of Movenpick

Again, I was in Cebu for a business engagement, so I had the chance to check out its amenities for MICE and I was satisfied.

For three days, I had my meals at The Sails, Movenpick’s main all day dining restaurant. It had limited choices but the food was good and the ambiance was cozy.

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What really made me fall in love with Movenpick is the Ibiza Beach Club and Churrasco Grill. They made sure that after a whole day’s worth of heavy work, I was able to unwind at the comfort of my own hotel, and that there’s really no need to go downtown to have a party.

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And since this is a 5-star luxury hotel, the clienteles were mostly businessmen and more discerning and affluent guests.

Movenpick is a bit pricey but the rooms are excellent, the amenities are satisfactory and the overall experience is topnotch. I think it’s definitely worth your money’s worth. And without any hesitation, I would surely come back a second time.

A Review of Park Inn Radisson Davao

davao, Hotels, The Philippines

Let’s be honest. No matter how grand the amenities are, now matter how posh and comfortable your hotel is. There is always this nagging feeling that you’re somewhere unfamiliar.

You can’t put a finger on it, but it’s just the feeling of being somewhere you don’t necessarily belong.

In Filipino colloquial terms, we call it ‘namamahay” derived from the root word ‘bahay’ or house/home.new.

I always get this feeling when I stay somewhere away from my own condo unit. Although I usually get this feeling after a day or two. I still don’t like to feel it in the first place.

After some observation, I realized that part of this feeling emanates from the fact that most hotels where we stay have the same dull, generic colors, mostly pale yellow, white, or cream.

These colors give the hotel a feeling of unfamiliarity and it’s a glaring reminder that this is not your home, and you are just passing through.

Absent are the colors we use to make our personal space more personal and intimate. Case in point, my room wall is covered by pictures showing a barrange of colors. It gives me that warm feeling and it evokes happy emotions.

This awareness on the importance of color and the emotions it gives you must have been a top consideration in building the all new Park Inn Radisson in Lanang, Davao City.

Park Inn Radisson Davao is the latest project of SM Hotels and Conventions Corp., next to Radisson Blu in Cebu, Pico Sands Hotel in Hamilo Coast Batangas, and Taal Vista in Tagaytay among others. It is in partnership with Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the largest hotel chains in the world.

This 204-bedroom structure is basically a businessman’s hotel but it threw convention and stereotype to the wind by providing a burst of colors everywhere, resulting in a hotel that mimics  just your own personal space: that space where you can just relax and enjoy. A space where you can be you.

This is quite apparent as soon as you arrive. Park Inn Radisson Davao’s main lobby is the most colorful lobby I have ever seen and that’s saying something given the number of hotels/hostels I’ve seen here and abroad.

It screams you are welcome and you will instantly feel it

Once you get over the hues, you will notice the bits and pieces of furniture that makes the lobby quite warm and relaxing.

Because this is a mid-scale business hotel geared towards visiting business and leisure guests, who are always out touring the gorgeous sights and spots of Davao City, the rooms are not as big, but each one is equipped with the basic services you will ever need.

There’s also a gym and a pool, which is actually not present in most business hotels.

Security is tight and you can only use the elevators through your electronic card key.

For dining, the rbg grill is located the left side of the main lobby. This also serves as the breakfast area of the hotel.

Park Inn Radisson Davao is located in Lanang, just in front of the newly constructed SM Lanang and SMX Davao so the location is quite convenient for those attending MICE events.

There’s even a walkway from the second floor of the hotel to the mall.

It is also close to various attractions such as the Crocodile farm and the outdoor events center.

I was really happy with my stay at Park Inn Radisscon because it provided the basic luxury and amenities I needed during my three-day visit. And quite honestly, I never really had to get over that feeling of discomfort at another hotel because of the warm, friendly and familiar ambience the hotel gives.

Add to that the very accommodating staff and my stay was simply memorable.

When I visit Davao City, again, Park Inn Radisson will definitely be my hotel of choice.

A Review of Market Cafe, Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila

buffet, Food and Dining, Hotels, restaurant, The Philippines, Weekend Food Trips

I am definitely a man who’s after value for money.

So when my mom asked me whether I wanted to try having a buffet dinner at Market Cafe for about $50 per person, it was an understatement to say that I was skeptical about it. In fact, I wasn’t that thrilled. I wasn’t planning on spending $100 when I can dine at a great restaurant for a fraction of the cost.

But since we were in the area, (my mom tried her hands at the slots), we proceeded to have dinner at Market Cafe, located at the third floor of the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Malate, Manila.

Now, being the food lover that I am, I am very much familiar with buffet dinners. I’ve tried having dinner at Spiral in Sofitel; Circles in Makati Shang; Heat in Edsa Shang; Escolta in Manila Pen; Cafe Ilang-Ilang in Manila Hotel and Paseo Uno in Mandarin Hotel. So you see, I had great expectations going into yet another buffet dinner. I wanted to see and taste what it is that makes this restaurant unique.

What does it offer that other restaurants in its category do not?

It turns out that my mom and I was in for a good surprise.

Market Cafe, while not as famous as other restaurants offering buffet dinners, probably because Hyatt Hotel and Casino is located in Malate, and not in posh Makati, offers a wide range of cuisines enough to satisfy its mostly foreign customers.

My mom and I were part of the few Filipinos dining on a Saturday night, with most of the customers being Caucasians, Japanese and Koreans.

They served authentic Oriental food and I loved their dimsum. I also loved their steaks and blue marlin placed raw at the meat section. They were big cuts that satisfied my appetite, and you can have it grilled anyway you like, medium rare or very well done. They had a wide range of meats to grill, you have your usual pork and chicken skewers, tanigue, lamb chops, and prawns.

The dessert section was quite interesting as well. Not only did they serve the usual cakes and sweets, but they also served Filipino delicacies you don’t usually see in buffet dinners. Have you tried nilupak and maja blanca?at any of the other restaurant in its category?

My mom particularly loved the Japanese section since you can have an unlimited number of tempura which the chef will gladly cook for your and have it served on your table.

I guess the best part the buffet is the unlimited soda and beer, which was a real treat. Of course, you can also order champagne and wines, but they are not included in the buffet.

Imagine, coming from a casino night, and you can enjoy your cold beer while overlooking the busy streets of Malate.

Also, the restaurant staff were very accommodating and they were willing to serve any food you want.

We were so full, that I didn’t even get to try their Thai section. But I guess, I was so full and contented that we decided to leave after several rounds of beer.

Now, if you’re wondering if I got my money’s worth at Market Cafe, I can safely say that it was one of the most satisfying buffet dinners I’ve ever had. The experience was made even more memorable by the chat I’ve shared with my mom.

And at the end of the evening, I had to thank her for recommending a great new restaurant that I’m sure we will visit very very soon.

A Review of Melia Lebreros Hotel in Sevilla, Spain

Europe, Hotels, Spain

It’s been more than a month since my Spanish getaway and I still couldn’t get over the excitement of my first-ever European trip.

I just love Spain: the food, the people, the architecture and the culture totally blew me away.

The lobby of Melia Lebreros

But a lot of the positive experience I had can be directly attributed to the awesome hotel we stayed at for the greater duration of the trip.

Melia Lebreros, a four-star accommodation, may not be the best, and the most high-end hotel in Sevilla, but when it comes to location, service and value for money, it will give other more esteemed hotels a run for their money.

Location

Located at the heart of Sevilla, Melia Lebreros is quite accessible to almost all places of interest in the city. It is about 8-15 minutes (or 8-10) euros away from Plaza de Espana, Seville Cathedral, and the historic center.

Grand Staircase

It is about four kilometers from the Isla Magic theme park and the gypsy quarter of town called Triana. It is about 10 minutes away from both the Santa Cruz and La Macarena districts of Sevilla.

The hotel is also close to all various modes of transport in and out of Sevilla. It is a mere 400 meters away from the Santa Justa station where you can take the AVE or high speef train to Madrid and other parts of Spain. It is also close to the Sevilla San Pablo airport.

Should you need to shop during your trip, you can literally cross the street to the nearby El Corte Ingles and the Nervion Plaza.

Service 

Melia Lebreros has a total of 437 rooms including five junior suites, five family roooms and a premium floor. Each roo, has a king-size bed or two single beds, a 37-inch LCD TV, mini bar and free wifi. The rooms are kept clean every day and the staff are very polite and accommodating.

I had some trouble with our room assignment and I had to add an extra bed and the front desk staff helped me. Just a note though, a lot of hotel employees in Spain do not speak English at all so it will be helpful if you bring with you some useful Spanish words and phrases.

Amenities

When it comes to amenities and add-on attractions, Melia Lebreros is also impressive.

It has a gorgeous outdoor pool measuring 270 square meters and a disco bar at the ground floor. It also has a 24/7 gym available to all guests.

Restaurante Arcos

For dining options, the Arcos restaurant at the 1st floor, serves buffet breakfast and it boasts of mixed international, Andalusian and Mediterranean cuisine line-up.

The Taverna La Dehesa located right beside Melia Lebreros is a great, if a bit pricey dining option in Sevilla. The restaurant has a bullfighting theme/ design for its interiors and it serves tapas and jamons from Huelva. It also prides in wines ordered from as far as Cadiz.

For the service and the amenities and its proximity to everything that’s important, I think the price range of Melia Lebreros is justified.

My colleague and I stayed at a classic room with king size bed and we paid for about 160 Euros inclusive of buffet breakfast for two.

Overall, I really enjoyed my stay in Melia Lebreros and if I ever get the chance to go back to Seville, I will definitely come back and stay there again.

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Melia Lebreros Hotel

Calle Luis Morales, 2

Seville, Spain

An Enjoyable Vacation at Royal Garden Hotel in Ozamiz City

Hotels, The Philippines

Because my job requires me to make frequent trips locally, I have become quite familiar with the quality of local/provincial hotels and I can tell you, only very few are really awesome.

And most of the time, they are quite expensive.

But during my most recent visit to Ozamiz City, I had enough preparation so I researched for the best hotel in town. All travel blogs pointed to Royal Garden Hotel as the best available hotel in Ozamiz. Who was I to resist?

Located along Burgos Street, Royal Garden Hotel is located at the center of Ozamiz’s business district. It is just blocks away from the major church and the available malls and commercial centers in the city.
It is about 10-15 away from the airport.
I initially booked a deluxe room since I thought that it would be a bit expensive considering that it is a boutigue concept hotel. it turns out, the hotel is super affordable and I upgraded to a suit room for only P3,000 per night. It was a total bargain.

When I finally saw my room, I knew that I made a good decision.

 The room was quite spacious, and it had a queen size bed. The room was newly renovated, I can tell, and the AC was supercool (it’s my main requirement).

It had a private bar with complimentary water bottles and coffee, a dining/salon area located on the mezzanine floor.

It had a 32-inch plasma TV and strong, super fast wi-fi signal.
The bathroom was spacious too with a clean, new tub and a functioning heater.
The room was really homey and comfortable that I decided to just stay in as soon as my business engagements for the day were done.
Since it is a boutique hotel, its amenities are limited but it has a royal grand ballroom, a coffee shop located at the ground floor and dining restaurant called Hukad.

During my stay, I simply ordered room service from Hukad and their meals were awesome. I discovered binigbit in this restaurant. The P3k bill does not include complimentary breakfast.

For only P3,000 a night, I really had a great stay in Ozamiz City. I never expected to have a great experience in Ozamiz but thanks to this hotel, my most recent trip was quite enjoyable.

Here are some photos of Royal Garden Hotel for your appreciation.

 

A Review of Metro Center Hotel in Tagbilaran, Bohol

Hotels, The Philippines

Visiting Bohol was definitely a welcome surprise for me. So much so, that when my boss told me that I am headed to Tagbilaran for a project, it only took a minute to say yes.

I completed all pending tasks in Manila and quickly found my way to Tagbilaran.

And my first stop after landing at the airport was a check in at the Metro Center Hotel.

Located at the central business district of the city, Metro Center Hotel is basically a stone’s throw away from the

airport (5 kilometers away or 10-15 minutes drive) and this is one of the many advantages of this hotel.

It’s central location is also quite convenient for business travelers since it’s close to the major the malls, schools and other commercial establishments.

The hotel has a total of 72 rooms ranging from standard rooms to a presidential suite. Rates range from P2,165 per night (standard) to P9, 885 (presidential suite).

For a businessman’s hotel hotel, this is quite affordable.

It’s also great that the hotel as few amenities you can use during your stay. They have a gym area, a business center, a restaurant and bar at the ground floor and a club (Atmosphere) also located at the hotel ‘s lobby.

The rooms are standard size and homey. The ACs are new and quite cool. The beds are comfortable giving you a good night’s rest.

But the thing that really won me over was their ever-dependable and super fast wi-fi service.

The wi-fi password is given to you as soon as you check in, together with your room card and breakfast coupons.

Speaking of breakfast, I was a bit disappointed to find out that they didn’t have a buffet breakfast. In fact, their only choices are Filipino and American breakfast at the hotel lounge.

Overall, my stay at the Metro Center Hotel was quite pleasant. The breakfast experience was underwhelming but to be honest, you can’t really expect too much from the hotel’s price range. You definitely get value for your money.

hotel lobby
lobby chandelier

Nearby Dauis Church

Estacio Uno Boracay: Highly Recommended

Hotels, The Philippines

As one of the most famous beaches in the world, Boracay welcomes thousands of visitors year-round.

But the great news is, Boracay is big enough to accommodate everyone with its hundreds of hotels and restaurants no matter their preference and budget ceiling.

We recently had our summer outing/Christmas party in Boracay and it was indeed a blessing that we held it in December when the weather is much more forgiving and the crowds not too big.

Our company decided to stay at Estacio Uno, one of the newer hotels in Station 1 and I must say that we loved it and we were really pampered.

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With its awesome rooms, amenities, location and service, I can honestly say that it’s one of better accommodations in Boracay. And with multitudes of options, that’s saying something.

The Location

Estacio Uno is located right the beachfront of Station 1, a few walking distance to Discovery Shores and SeaWind. It’s a few meters from the grotto.

the roofdeck

As you can expect from station 1, it’s not that crowded and the white beach is more pristine than those in other parts of the island. This also means that you will be mingling with the more discerning crowd and clienteles.

The Amenities

 Estacio Uno offers its visitors with  enjoy aside from the glorious beachfront.

They have a unique pool in front of the hotel and a sky lounge where you can simply read books, enjoy casual conversations or simply chillout.

They have a fine dining restaurant also located in front of the hotel.

With their restaurant, I can say that serve amazing food and the food selection is quite enjoyable, something you don’t usually see and taste in a beach hotel.

But what really sets Estacio Uno apart from the b-rated hotels in Boracay are their luxurious rooms. They have standard 2-bed rooms, seaside suites, deluxe rooms with pool access, deluxe executive and deluxe rooms.

the pool

They also have suprior and standard 1-bed rooms. The room rates vary depending on season and availability. Check this link for the rates http://estaciounoboracay.com/rooms.php#rooms

The Service

Also, what made our stay in Estacio Uno quite memorable are the superior service they provided.

We were fetched from the airport, and they assisted us to the private boat jetty. They have their own boats so you don’t have to go to take the public boats.

All throughout our stay, they had staff waiting on us to assist us on our every need and they were quite courteous.

Overall, it was a memorable stay at a luxurious hotel. But more than than amenities and the hotel itself, the the toprate service make Estacio Uno highly recommended.

beach view from the roofdeck

view from beachfront
photo courtesy of Estacio website