Friday, June 3, 2011

The Aston Marina Jakarta

Aston Marina Jakarta has everything I'd hoped for for an ideal accommodation. The room is very pleasant and neat, with the space just the right dimension. We stayed in a one-bedroom suite and I say it was a very pleasant stay.  The view provides a nice glimpse of a river and the city. It was ideally located about 30 minutes from the airport. The staff are very accommodating and nice. The buffet breakfast at the cafe has lots of food choices. Great value for money! I only wish I could have stayed longer.


Grande Island in Subic

Banana boating, ATV-riding, BBQ under the moonlight, swimming, trekking...There is a lot you can do at Grande Island Resort in Subic, Zambales. Whether you are looking for a suitable place to conduct your workshops/trainings or just want to hold family and friends reunions, Grande Island is superb location. Located in an island, this resort spells relaxation and peace. 
The resort have awesome units with beach front views. You can also arrange barbecue party at the terrace. Enjoy the sunlight and clear blue water, play billiards (for free), or just laze around the area if you aim to be one with nature. There are more water sports that one can try, though we were not able to, jetski and snorkeling.

IMPRESSION: The service was quite good, we were there as a big group and we were served food on time. The facilities for workshop is also ok. But the place is not so well-maintained, perhaps because the resort occupies the entire island. Also, the ferry did not come on time, 'waited for the late-comers.

TIPS: Ask for beach front room. Those are the relatively newer ones. The rooms there are beyond my expectation for a resort. The beach is rocky,  no shoreline, but the water is so inviting so go ahead and swim. The banana boat is a must-try! The best to explore the entire stretch is to rent an ATV. Finally, if you are in for a delicious adventure, bring Kikkoman and a tube of wasabe, walk along the beach early in the morning - coz you might get lucky to stumble upon fresh sea urchin, hmmm...yummy uni sashimi!

GREAT FOR: family/barkada outings, company events, retreats, and conferences, honeymoon for nature-lovers

One last tip, on your way home passing by Subic bay area - perhaps your itinerary will include shopping in the Subic freeport, drop by Meat Plus Cafe and you're in for a sumptuous meal.

You may also want to check out:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Legaspi Suites Davao City

If you're going to visit Davao City either for leisure or business, check out Legaspi Suites and I tell you, it's way better than some overrated hotels in the city. The rooms are spacious and clean, the linens impressively neat.
Legaspi Suites is located in a compound that offers more than coffee shops (Tata Benito's) and spa. The staff are very friendly, courteous, and accommodating. This rather small hotel has, surprisingly, an elevator, hot and cold shower, Wifi, and cable TV.  The P1,800 (approx. USD42) we paid for deluxe twin sharing was really a great value for  money. Also, they accept all major credit cards!

Complimentary breakfast is served at Kusina Selera. The "daing na bangus" was delectably crispy and delicious. The service, quick and courteous.
Check out its location from this map below.

View Larger Map

Also check out:


Introducing Miramar Beach

Still awaiting to get discovered is a beauty up in the north – Miramar Beach. If you are up for a roadtrip or a pilgrimage in Ilocos Sur’s historic churches or just want to take a look at what more this province can offer, go offroad into one of the local pride- Miramar Beach. This untouched and untamed piece of nature is located in the western portion of Magsingal, a small town in northern Ilocos Sur.
The northern Ilocos Region is slowly making its name as a destination for beach lovers, the most famous being Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte, and the surfing destination- San Juan in La Union.  Though Miramar Beach doesn’t have the white sand that well-known Philippine beaches have, it is a beauty in its own with its fine sand and spacious beachfront, unlike the rugged and rocky beaches in the southern part of Ilocos Sur.

People also come here to do beach football or just enjoy a dip in its inviting waters. This place is definitely not for the social animal but only for those who yearns for peace and quiet or just need to enjoy the sand, the water, and the soft breeze. Laze around or walk through the length of the entire beach. Enjoy the calmness and serenity of the sunset. Camp out and fire up that bonfire for a superb beach camp experience.

Miramar Beach is known only mostly to the locals in Magsingal and neighboring towns as they come here in the summer to do outings and parties. But it is slowly gaining recognition because Miramar is poised to be developed as a football capital in northern Luzon, thanks to Vgent, a foundation that spearheaded the development of football in this small coastal village. Catch one of those exciting football games in the summer in this slowly but surely rising football center in Ilocos (football photo courtesy of Fel Gorospe).

Miramar also boasts its fresh and delicious “tilapia” everyone should try. Their secret to this -they grow their tilapias in running rivers where fresh water flows. Ask the locals on where to get fresh tilapia if you plan to grill some for your picnic or may simply want to take some on your way home.

GREAT FOR: Swimming, camping, picnicking, sports events (beach football, beach volleyball)
TIPS: Miramar is not a commercial area but a rural one; it doesn’t have formal inns or hotels yet (as of publication time). For people who want to stay overnight or longer, they should find a host family. Definitely no ATMs. Nearest one is in the provincial capital - Vigan! Tourists are recommended to bring their own picnic food, for there are no stores yet along the beach. But there are sari-sari stores here and there. Bottled water and other drinks can be bought in these stores. Although there are no internet cafes, there are several sari-sari stores with WiFi, ask the store owners for access, for a small charge. 

GOING THERE: Magsingal is about 20 minutes away from Vigan and around 8 hours from Manila. You'll pass by this town if you're going to Laoag in Ilocos Norte. If one should commute from Manila via land travel, take long distance buses - Florida, Farinas, RCJ, or Maria De Leon in Sampaloc Manila or Partas ( in QC and Pasay). I recommend Florida, it has the cheapest rate and has CR. The ride is comfortable enough and doesn't have many stops (only about 2 in the 8-hour travel). It also has a newly-built station along Lacson Ave. solely for its Laoag trips (just across its original station that now caters to non-Laoag trips).

To get to Miramar, a coastal village, it takes about 15 minutes from the Magsingal public market to the beach. Look for Janet's Pharmacy across the municipal public market (the public market is a two-storey building that shows Rang-ay Bank, front). Take the barangay road beside the said pharmacy to go to Miramar Beach (left side if you're coming from Manila). You can also ride tricycle to go there, they are parked just in front of Janet's Pharmacy.

View Larger Map


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Metro Park Hotel Macau

People as OC as me would prefer to investigate first before jumping into something. And so if one is planning to book into one of Macau's three-star accommodations- Metro Park Hotel Macau, here are some photos of the deluxe twin room we have stayed in. I say, with the price we got at Asiatravel, it is good value for money.

The hotel is a few minutes walk from the bus stop (coming from the hotel lobby, walk to your right, then turn right on the first corner, to go to the bus stop) . There is of course a complimentary shuttle bus that runs every 30 minutes to and from the Macau Ferry Terminal. The comfort room was clean and so were the linens.
There is also a 7-11 store just around the corner and several money changers. I believe this is the best wing we got, a view of the city. There was no internet connection in our room but there was a business center at the lobby. If you don't want to eat out, you may also eat at the Ciao Cafe but it's pretty expensive. Hotel staff are polite and speak good English.
GREAT FOR: its location, just walk nearby and you can have a glimpse at various attractions of the city
TIPS: check out the schedule of the shuttle at night to avoid inconvenience

Bahay Marikit

There is a resort hotel in San Juan, Batangas, called Bahay Marikit. This hotel is like a hidden paradise because it cannot be seen from the national highway (although it is located along the highway), one needs to go through a narrow path lined with tall trees to see this hidden oasis. It boasts inviting pools and Mexican-Mediterranean-themed suites.
The suites can accommodate 4 to 6 persons. There are also rooms for twin sharing. These rooms have semi-outdoor comfort rooms. The resort also has a restaurant (which can be turned into a venue for meeting, seminars, etc.). The place, spacious and peaceful, is great for retreat/recollection. One great thing, although we did not try, is that they also have a nice veranda for BBQ party!
GREAT FOR: retreats and seminars, family outings
TIPS: The rooms are a bit dim and so make sure that all lights are working. During our stay we needed to call for maintenance as some lights were not working. The beds are okay. The restaurant closes at 7pm. And breakfast should be ordered at night if you have agenda away from the hotel and you need to eat early. I don't advise honeymooning couples to stay here for a getaway although the ambiance is peaceful.

You might also want to read:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...