Monday, October 5, 2009

Microtel Inn & Skylight Hotel - Accommodations in Puerto Princesa Part 2

We weren’t aware of Microtel Inn and Suites until we were in Palawan. People speak of it in moderated exclamations – and for a very good reason! My visit to Microtel was serendipitous at best. I was supposed to visit Nagtabon Beach west of Puerto Princesa. After having learned of the risky road conditions, I ordered my van to backtrack and go back to the city instead. On a whim, I told him to head straight to Microtel not knowing exactly what to expect. Upon reaching Barangay San Manuel, we turned left from the National Highway and traveled 3.2 kilometers.

I was unsure if we would be allowed in since we weren’t registered guests, and the place looked pretty exclusive, going through guard houses and a well secured compound. We decided to get some snack instead. I was sure they wouldn’t turn down paying guests. Upon entry, we were met by the affable Ms. Mariam Gabo Orlido who escorted us to the beachfront. We were told they were on their soft opening, currently hosting a team-building group from Davao City. While waiting for my order, I was able to gallivant. I was in awe of the expanse of the beach. The waters have ebbed back to the seas so there was quite a stretch of sand dunes that go for about 150 meters or so. The waters were crystal clear and there was hardly a soul walking around. They have a swimming pool facing the sea, and the immediate grounds were combed into a surreal spot that fantasies are made of.

Microtel Inn and Suites has 50 fully furnished rooms (and those inviting chiropractic-standard beds) and is the only beachfront hotel resort in mainland Puerto Princesa. It sits by the shores of the white-sand Emerald Beach in Puerto Princesa City, just 7 km from the Puerto Princesa Airport. Prices start at PhP4,000 with discounts during off-peak season.

For more information, visit them here - or call them at +63-48-723.0977. You can also email them at Their Manila office is at 2F PHINMA PLAZA, #39 Plaza Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City 1200. Call them at +632-8997171 or +632-8700100. Resident Manager is Mr. Rene C. Suarez. For further info, once you’re there, look for the accommodating Ms. Maryam Gabo Orlido.

Facing the beach...


Notice the spectacular mangrove design of the table.

A huge serving of pesto pasta at PhP164 ($3.50)

Skylight Hotel is my friend Elena’s recommendation when I asked her while I was planning for this trip. Skylight’s main come-on is its very central location – right in the heart of town, along Rizal Avenue, a few strides from Jollibee, ATM’s, NCCC, and some 3 blocks from the Provincial Capitol or the Baywalk. Skylight also offers free airport shuttle and transfer service, and price is inclusive of buffet breakfast. The main drawback of the place is the stifling room space. A 3-bed room feels cramped, and one could easily slide into claustrophobia if there were more than 2 persons in the room. There’s skimpy space to navigate between your bed and the bathroom, which was thankfully clean, dry and has new fixtures.

Skylight rooms have verandas, which was where I made my calls because the walls were very thick resulting into poor to zero signal. I had to leave my cell phone outside the veranda while I was sleeping just so I won’t miss any incoming message. What I like about the place (it’s recently been upgraded from an apartelle-type accommodation to a hotel) is its smell and its bright freshly-coated rooms, spanking new A/Cs that will freeze the bejesus out of you, spacious bathrooms, clean and new and comfortable bed, cable TV (of course) and a very friendly and efficient front desk staff. In fact, upon check out, they offered to take us (for free) to our next hotel (we moved to 3 different ones during our Palawan stay). We didn’t even ask coz we weren’t going to the airport, and to be honest, if my guest were moving to another hotel, I’d rather not take them there. That was a very magnanimous offer.

For breakfast, you have to get your “stubs” from the concierge and present it to the waiter at the restaurant. I was looking forward to the buffet but the spread was limited and at best, mediocre, which was a disappointment since most of my gastronomic experience in Puerto Princesa had been very satisfactory. Oh well.

The hotel proper is located at the back of their restaurant. To get in, you have to pass through the restaurant, or a side lane beside the restaurant. My room was worth PhP1,750 ($37.30) based on double occupancy, which we booked (via long distance) through Ivy. If there are 3 of you, the 3rd person has to pay an additional PhP580 (making it PhP2,330 of $49.70 for 3 persons). Skylight Hotel is located at 210A Rizal Avenue in Puerto Princesa. Call them at +63-(048) 434-4872 / 434-7886 (63) 917-533-6967. 

Skylight Hotel's shuttle service

Badjao Inn is the other backpacker institution in Puerto Princesa. It's located at 350 Rizal Avenue , Puerto Princesa City. Call them at +63-48-4332761 for reservations. Badjao Inn is located very close to the Provincial Capitol. The side street just beside Badjao Inn is the same road going to Casa Linda Inn. Right across the road is One Rover's Place (below), a new affordable hotel in the city. Check out their site - Rates start at PhP950.

No comments: