Photo Essay: A Beautiful Mess at the Circle Hostel Zambales

I am a lover of beautiful messes. I love the concept of The Circle Hostel Zambales where guests can creatively put vandals everywhere. Aside from the vandals, you have hammocks, conga, ukulele, bread and peanut butter, and the beautiful Liwliwa Beach nearby (the life!).

A quick review of the hostel: They allow early check-ins, they have nice dorm rooms provided with mosquito net and nice shower areas, they have activities like island hopping and bonfire night, and the staff are really, really nice. They do not have a cafeteria or canteen but there are a lot of places to eat nearby. You can book a bed at a very affordable price. Circle Hostel stickers are sold for Php50.

One hot summer, an officemate and I went to the Circle Hostel Zambales to have a quick weekend getaway, and it was one of the shortest ‘short but sweet’ weekends I spent in my traveling life. I will be forever thankful that a lot of beach areas in Luzon Island in the Philippines are very accessible by bus from Manila. Here are some photos from the hipster hostel we stayed at. Enjoy!

The Circle Hostel Zambales
the circle hostel zambales
The Circle Hostel Zambales
SURFING BOARDS. I am seriously hoping that after the pandemic, I will have the chance to learn surfing, since I heard it’s a very good whole body workout.
The Circle Hostel Zambales
The Circle Hostel Zambales
The Circle Hostel Zambales
The Circle Hostel Zambales
The Circle Hostel Zambales

The Circle Hostel Zambales

SNAPSHOTS: ASIA Trailer

SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #15: A BEAUTIFUL MESS AT THE CIRCLE HOSTEL ZAMBALES (PIN IT! ๐Ÿ“Œ)

the circle hostel zambales

OTHER SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAYS

the circle hostel zambales
the circle hostel zambales
the circle hostel zambales
the circle hostel zambales

Where to Have Staycation in Pasig City: Privato Ortigas

ALSO READ: PASIG CITY MUSEUM: A MUST-VISIT IN METRO MANILA

In my opinion, it is not always a must to leave Metro Manila to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. There are a lot of good places where you can find serenity, and hotels within Metro Manila are one of them. I have stayed in several hotels in Manila for both work and personal reasons and I am lucky enough to have the chance to stay at Privato Ortigas in Pasig City to experience how unique it is as compared to other hotels.

Checking-In

The check-in process is a breeze if you have a confirmed online reservation. You will be just asked for an ID and a Php1000 incidental fee which is refundable upon check-out. You will be politely greeted by the front desk officers and they will properly handle your check-in process.

The Room

I stayed in a One Bedroom King Suite Bed With Kitchen which is a really spacious and beautiful room.

The living room has a very cozy sofa set and is equipped with a TV. The L-shaped sofa of Privato Ortigas is one of the things I liked about he whole room. I was able to relax and watch some news while just lying in the cozy sofa set. Looking outside the window with the view of Ortigas Central Business District is just awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚ The lighting of the room was not too light and not too dark which will enable you to relax.

The dining area and kitchen has a complete set of equipment which you can use to prepare your meals. There are also complimentary water bottles, coffee and tea. If you are saving money, you can bring in something to cook and use the kitchen. I tried their instant coffee and it tasted really great.

The bedroom is super spacious and the bed is so cozy. It was too huge for a solo traveler like me haha. The lighting is also perfect. The room has its own airconditioner so you need not to worry about the temperature in this area. There is also a cabinet for your clothes and a vault for your valuables since Privato really cares about the safety of its guests’ valuables.

The bathroom is spacious. It has two access doors (one from the kitchen and one from the bedroom). It has a rainfall-like shower (which is my favorite, by the way) hence I still was able to enjoy even during shower. It has two sinks and it has a complete set of toiletries, from shampoo to soap to vanity kit to comb. Hence, you need not to worry about not bringing your entire set of toiletries at home or buy them outside.

The Verona Roof Deck Bar

This is the part which I love the most at Privato Ortigas. It has a sweeping view of Pasig City and the beautiful skyline of Bonifacio Global City. The other thing I love about this roof deck bar is that the drinks are relatively not expensive. I love how relaxing it is to just sit and look at the BGC skyline while taking a sip of my watermelon fruit shake. It is also a good place to meet and mingle with other people, especially for solo guests like me. I highly commend the staff on-duty during my stay because they are really kind and accommodating.

The Cafรฉ

The cafรฉ is located at the lobby and is open from 11AM-7PM. They serve yummy coffee and desserts.

The Spa

Massage service is available at the hotel. You also have an option to have the massage done in your room. You just have to call the front desk for reservation of slots. The last call for reservations is at 11PM.

Privato Ortigas was kind and accommodating enough to entertain my request to have my massage done at 1AM. Luckily there are still massage therapists on-duty. I highly recommend not missing getting a massage during your stay at Privato Ortigas because it really is a good and relaxing experience. The massage therapists are really nice and they will make sure you will enjoy the experience.

Other Amenities

Gym

For a fitness enthusiast like me, this is something you should not miss if you happen to stay at Privato Ortigas. They have a lot of equipment from treadmill to dumbbells. Their equipment are quite new and really exciting to use.

Swimming Pool

This is also one of the best things about Privato Ortigas. The swimming pool is relatively small but is a kid-friendly pool which is perfect for guests with children. It’s a covered pool which also gives you a view of the Pasig City skyline.

The Verdict

The monochromatic theme of the hotel is something that adds beauty to it. The front desk staff were really nice and accommodating of your needs. The room is very spacious enough to give you proper relaxation. I highly recommend not missing the Verona Rook Deck Bar and have some drinks there. Privato Ortigas provides you all the amenities that you might need to have a perfect stay. Lastly, please do consider getting a massage because it’s the best, I promise. Thumbs up!

Privato Ortigas

Travel Guides About Manila and Mandaluyong City

Privato Ortigas

706 Shaw Boulevard, Ortigas, Pasig City, Philippines
Email Address: reservations.ortigas@privatohotels.com
Website: https://www.privatohotels.com/

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ALSO READ: TOP 10 PLACES TO STAY IN LUZON, PHILIPPINES

Fil-Dane Inn at Dingalan, Aurora (Review)

(This is a sponsored yet honest review of Fil-Dane Inn at Dingalan, Aurora.)

Visit Fil-Dane Inn’s Agoda page here.

As I was looking online for a place to have a long weekend escape, I came across this town in Aurora Province which I haven’t heard of: Dingalan. First things first, I have to look for an accommodation in Dingalan Aurora since I chose to go this totally unfamiliar place to me. I only know Aurora because of Baler, a popular surfing spot. I tried Googling photos and places to see in Dingalan, and this is the view that I commonly see:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo1e_fGnppq/

IT LOOKS LIKE BATANES, RIGHT?

Apparently, Dingalan is also known as “The Batanes of the East”. I was surprised to know that such beautiful scenery exists just a few hours from Manila. Hence, the ever so spontaneous part of me packed my bags and traveled to Aurora.

Dingalan can be reached from Manila in two ways: (1) a bus at Baliwag Transit that has direct trips to Dingalan every 4AM everyday, or (2) a bus at Baliwag Transit bound to Cabanatuan and then a van from Cabanatuan going to Dingalan.

ACCOMMODATION IN DINGALAN AURORA: Fil-Dane Inn

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For my accommodation in Dingalan Aurora, I stayed at Fil-Dane Inn. It was not difficult to locate because it it just a walking distance from the Van Terminal right at the Public Market. Other previous guests made a mistake by riding a tricycle going to Fil-Dane Inn, but in reality it’s a few walks away. There are other accommodation in Dingalan Aurora available but Fil-Dane Inn I think is the most accessible one.

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Fil-Dane Inn is an accommodation in Dingalan Aurora owned and operated by the Hofman family. The name Fil-Dane originated from the nationalities of the owners, because it is owned by a Filipino and Dane couple.

THE CHECK-IN PROCESS

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Fil-Dane Inn is an accommodation in Dingalan, Aurora that has a very efficient direct reservation system which can be done either through their website (www.fildaneinn.com), via email, or via Facebook. You could also reserve through third party reservation sites such as Agoda. If you have a prior reservation, the process will be a breeze and will only take a few minutes. The Ates and other staff were so kind and accommodating to all my concerns. After which, you will be escorted to your room.

THE ROOM

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I stayed at Room 7 which is a very spacious room which is good for two persons, but in my case I stayed alone. Rooms at Fil-Dane Inn does not look like your commercial hotels located in cities, but instead it looks like a typical Filipino provincial home which is perfect for a homey, provincial vibe.

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Fil-Dane Inn provides the basic necessities to your room such as drinking water and toiletries, including towels and slippers.

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The room I stayed has a huge flat screen TV with a good cable reception. They also have a desk, a cabinet for your clothes, a basic mirror/dresser, and a nightstand/side table.

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The aircon unit provides just the right temperature for your room and the sheets are white, clean, and they smell good. So comfy!

THE HOTEL VICINITY

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Fil-Dane Inn is situated on a quiet street so you don’t have to worry about the sounds of people or vehicles passing by. Looking around, I get a garden resort vibe which is very relaxing.

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THE COMMON AREAS: Dining Area, Indoor Pool, Hammock

Fil-Dane Inn has a relaxing outdoor area (with an indoor pool and hammock) which guests can interact with one another or even with the owners. I had a chat with Mr. and Mrs. Hofman, the owners of Fil-Dane Inn, and I learned so much about Dingalan, Mr. Hofman’s life as an expat in the Philippines, and their life in Denmark as well, where he came from. Oh how I always love learning culture and the way of life of people from other places! So priceless.

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THE BREAKFAST

My stay at Fil-Dane Inn includes a complimentary breakfast wherein you could choose among common breakfast meals. Because I am a huge bacon lover, I would always, always choose bacon. Coffee and juice will also be provided.

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DINGALAN AURORA DAY TOUR

Fil-Dane Inn offers a Dingalan Aurora Day Tour for an additional fee (excluding the tricycle rent), and they have an accredited Tour Guide on standby if ever guests want to avail the tour. Kuya Bong Mariano was able to show me around the town for a Dingalan Aurora Day Tour.

What’s special about the Dingalan Aurora Day Tour offered by Fil-Dane Inn is that it is very customizable. You could suggest the places you want to see, depending on your preferences and the number of people joining the tour. Kuya Bong was able to bring me to several off-the-beaten paths of Dingalan, the one without tourists. That was one of the best guided tours I ever had on any trip. You may reach out to Fil-Dane Inn for inquiries about Dingalan Aurora Day Tour.

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VIKINGS RESTOBAR

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Fil-Dane Inn just recently launched the Vikings Restobar which serves good food and drinks. There, you could possibly spend the night socializing with other guests and enjoying the night.

Overall, I was able to maximize my weekend stay at Dingalan because Fil-Dane Inn made it so great — from the amazing tour to the comfort they provide after a tiring day of seeing around. If you guys happen to visit Dingalan, I highly recommend you consider Fil-Dane Inn as your accommodation of choice. You’ll never regret it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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6 Hostels to Stay in Brunei Darussalam

Brunei is a tiny little country in northern Borneo which is mostly unheard of to the Western world. On the other hand, one will always hear remarks about Brunei from people who have been there, labeling the country as “boring” and “just a layover destination”.

As someone who has been to Brunei several times, I always argue that people should give Brunei a chance, because the people here are amazing, the food is great, and the kind of peace it brings to people is something you will never find anywhere else. Sure, traveling around without a car can be a pain (because Brunei is a car country and no efficient public transportation system exists), but there’s always a way to find beauty in everything, right? Moreover, options on where to stay, such as top hostels in Brunei, are on the rise along with the rise of tourism in the said country.

I have compiled here my other travel guides about Brunei which you can check out by clicking on each item below:

So, are you looking for top hostels in Brunei, like, right now?

TOP HOSTELS IN BRUNEI
TOP HOSTELS IN BRUNEI: The homey entrance area of Co.Living Hostel

Are you planning a backpacking trip or perhaps you are a solo traveler to Brunei? I saw you just Googled “best hostels in Brunei”! Kidding! But I’m sure you are looking for a hostel to stay at this point in time. Well, the good news is, I did the research for you and picked the top hostels in Brunei that you could choose from! I extracted the basic and essential information for you, and I even compared them side by side! So are you ready to choose your hostel in Brunei? Let’s go!

TOP HOSTELS IN BRUNEI: SHERLYN’S CRITERIA

Personally, whenever I would visit another city and look for hostels, I usually use the following criteria:

  • LOCATION AND DISTANCE FROM LANDMARKS: As a backpacker/solo traveler on a budget, I would choose a hostel that is in a good location because I want to explore the cities by foot as much as possible and have access to basic establishments, such as convenience stores, public transportation, and such.
  • DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT: Factors such as time of our flights are important to consider choosing a place to stay vis-a-vis their distance from the airport. Some of us are staying in hostels for a layover and some of us just want to make sure we do not miss our next flights. Also, if we fly in or out at wee hours, public transportation is possibly not available and taxi is our only option, which can be more expensive depending on the distance of out hostels.
  • WI-FI CONNECTON: Most of us need an internet connection to do research about places to go and eat and things to do, or update out social media accounts with details from our travels, or connect with our loved ones. Whatever our purposes are, having a wi-fi connection at our hostels is a big factor.
  • FREE BREAKFAST: I am a morning person and I need to have breakfast, so this factor personally matters to me. I believe other budget travelers also consider getting their tummies full with a complimentary hostel breakfast before going out to explore the city.
  • RESTAURANT/COFFEE SHOP/BAR INSIDE THE HOSTEL: Some of us just wants to have access to these facilities at the comfort of being inside the premises of our hostels (especially after a long day of exploring!).
  • FREE BOTTLED WATER: A hydro homie here! This may not be popular in hostels, but most hostels have water dispensers provided but you have to bring your own bottle.
  • TOILETRIES: This is a deciding factor to me since as much as possible I don’t want to experience the hassle of bringing in liquids inside my carry-on luggage (only to get confiscated at the airport! Ouch!), so if basic toiletries are available at the hostel, I might only bring what I really need.
  • WASHING MACHINE/LAUNDROMAT: Light packers usually bring enough set of clothes, but any type of packer might run out of clean clothes to wear. Hence, it is a big deal for me personally if the hostel has a laundromat or a washing machine.
  • ACTIVITIES: Hostels are also places for socialization with other travelers, right? I am an introvert, but if I ran out of things to do or if I feel like socializing or maybe do something inside the hostel, this criteria matters.
  • AIRPORT TRANSFERS: Some hostels offer free airport transfer and we all should maximize this! However if I indicated a ‘yes’ answer for the airport transfer criteria here, please check with the hostel first if it is free or not.

TOP HOSTELS IN BRUNEI

So, without further ado, let’s proceed to reviewing and comparing the hostels picked!

CO.LIVING HOSTEL

LOCATION

Jalan Gadong, Co.Living Hostel, No. 2 Second Floor, Muhibbah Complex 1, Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 3.9 km from Brunei International Airport
  • 14.7 km from Limbang Airport Malaysia
  • 3.5 km from Bandar Seri Begawan Bus Station
  • 5.2 km from Bandtoo Sdn Bhd Rimba Depot Bus Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • The Mall Cineplex – 930 m
  • Our Lady of the Assumption Church – 1.48 km
  • Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque – 1.5 km
  • Tasek Lama Recreational Park – 2.63 km
  • Royal Regalia Museum – 2.92 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastYes
CafeYes
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesNo
Airport TransferNo
top hostels in brunei

HOSTELITE BRUNEI

LOCATION

Unit 101, 1st Floor, Sumbiling Lama Flat Jalan Istana Darussalam, Kianggeh, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 5.8 km from Brunei International Airport
  • 12 km from Limbang Airport Malaysia
  • 850 m from Bandar Seri Begawan Bus Station
  • 7.8 km from Bandtoo Sdn Bhd Rimba Depot Bus Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Sultan Omar Ali Saifudden Mosque – 360 m
  • Royal Regalia Museum – 450 m
  • Teng Yun Temple – 790 m
  • Mercu Dirgahayu 60 – 820 m
  • Kg Kianggeh Open Air Market – 910 m

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineNo
ActivitiesGame Room
Airport TransferNo
top hostels in brunei

AE BACKPACKERS HOSTEL

LOCATION

Simpang 88,unit 3-F (1st flr) and (2nd flr),Lot 30116 Kg Kiulap Bandar Seri Begawan, Kianggeh, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 5.5 km from Brunei International Airport
  • 12.9 km from Limbang Airport Malaysia
  • 1.8 km from Bandar Seri Begawan Bus Station
  • 7.1 km from Bandtoo Sdn Bhd Rimba Depot Bus Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque – 880 m
  • Plaza Athirah – 1.05 km
  • Sultan Omar Ali Saifudden Mosque – 1.27 km
  • Royal Regalia Museum – 1.34 km
  • Tasek Lama Recreational Park – 1.69 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesYes
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesGame Room, Bicycle Rental
Airport TransferNo
top hostels in brunei

MILLENNIUM MALE HOSTEL

LOCATION

LOT 47323, 2nd Floor, No 11, Bangunan Arafah, Kampung Kiarong,, Kianggeh, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 2.7 km from Brunei International Airport
  • 13.5 km from Limbang Airport Malaysia
  • 2.7 km from Bandar Seri Begawan Bus Station
  • 6.7 km from Bandtoo Sdn Bhd Rimba Depot Bus Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque – 430 m
  • The Mall Cineplex – 1.35 km
  • Sultan Omar Ali Saifudden Mosque – 2.18 km
  • Royal Regalia Museum – 2.31 km
  • Mercu Dirgahayu 60 – 2.56 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterYes
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineNo
ActivitiesGarden
Airport TransferNo
top hostels in brunei

OURPLACE

LOCATION

Jalan Kiulap Unit 4, thien and Chuan building, Kianggeh, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 5.5 km from Brunei International Airport
  • 12.7 km from Limbang Airport Malaysia
  • 1.6 km from Bandar Seri Begawan Bus Station
  • 7.2 km from Bandtoo Sdn Bhd Rimba Depot Bus Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Plaza Athirah – 980 m
  • Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque – 1.06 km
  • Sultan Omar Ali Saifudden Mosque – 1.1 km
  • Royal Regalia Museum – 1.17 km
  • Teng Yun Temple – 1.54 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineNo
ActivitiesNo
Airport TransferNo
top hostels in brunei

EZ LODGINGS

LOCATION

2nd floor Unit 16, Block J, Abdul Razak Complex, Gadong, Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 4.7 km from Brunei International Airport
  • 14.8 km from Limbang Airport Malaysia
  • 3.7 km from Bandar Seri Begawan Bus Station
  • 5.2 km from Bandtoo Sdn Bhd Rimba Depot Bus Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • The Mall Cineplex – 80 m
  • Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque – 1.15 km
  • Tasek Lama Recreational Park – 3.14 km
  • Royal Regalia Museum – 3.19 km
  • Sultan Omar Ali Saifudden Mosque – 3.2 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesYes
Washing MachineNo
ActivitiesNo
Airport TransferNo
top hostels in brunei

TOP HOSTELS IN BRUNEI: COMPARISON

Co.Living HostelHostelite BruneiAE Backpackers HostelMillennium Male HostelOurPlaceEZ Lodgings
Wi-FiYesYesYesYesYesYes
Free BreakfastYesNoNoNoNoNo
CafeYesNoNoNoNoNo
BarNoNoNoNoNoNo
KitchenYesYesYesYesYesYes
Free Bottled WaterNoNoNoYesNoNo
ToiletriesNoNoYesNoNoYes
Washing MachineYesNoYesNoNoNo
ActivitiesNoGame RoomGame Room, Bicycle RentalGardenNoNo
Airport TransferNoNoNoNoNoNo

TOP HOSTELS IN BRUNEI: YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS ARE WELCOME! ๐Ÿ™‚

There you have it! I hope you were able to decide by now and book your corresponding chosen hostel in Brunei, based on the criteria I picked. Btw, if you think other criteria needs to be included in this list, or if you want me to add more hostels to compare, please let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy travels to Brunei and please share me your experiences with your chosen hostel from this list!

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Calaguas Gateway Hotel in Daet, Camarines Norte (Review)

For a local travel, will Daet, Camarines Norte be a top of mind destination of yours? Me, not really. What will I even see here? Okay lemme just Google. Oh, thereโ€™s the first Rizal Monument and an underrated surfing spot. But I believe thereโ€™s still something else. But before that, I have to find an accommodation! That’s when I came across my home in Daet: Calaguas Gateway Hotel.

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Iโ€™ve been randomly looking for nearby places to explore if I happen to have time to go somewhere far. As I checked the map for nearby destinations I havenโ€™t been to, Camarines Norte is one of them. After all, itโ€™s just one bus away. The usual me packed my bags and hopped on a bus at Pasay City bound to Daet.

Where to Stay in Daet: Calaguas Gateway Hotel

My stay in Daet on a solo travel was very relaxing, safe, and worthwhile because I was able to stay in a nice place: Calaguas Gateway Hotel. Prior reservation can be done thru email and the very efficient staff (Ms. April and Sir Matt) will be very attentive to your inquiries. I was able to ask them about their late check-in policy and the directions going to the hotel from the bus station.

CALAGUAS GATEWAY HOTEL

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Calaguas Gateway Hotel is located at the heart of Daet, Camarines Norte. Its location is very convenient for all travelers because it is near almost every important establishments. A 7-Eleven branch, the town market, and an SM Hypermarket is just a walking distance away, and it is located along a busy highway hence it is secured.

The Check-In Process

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They practice a very efficient check-in process where you will just have to show your confirmed reservation and provide your ID card. They have a small reception area but comfortable enough as you wait for the process. You will then be escorted to your room. The rooms are located at the second floor of the building. The first floor is where the reception area and dining area are located, and function halls can be found on the third floor.

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THE ROOM

These are the room categories of Calaguas Gateway Hotel:

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I stayed in a room which is good for two persons. Since I traveled alone, I was able to enjoy the whole room by myself. It is so spacious and comfortable. What I love about this particular room is the presence of a big dresser.

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The bed is comfortable and it smells nice. The TV has a good reception signal. They provide the basics like slippers and towels.

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The comfort room is clean and well-maintained. They provide basic toiletries such as shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as tissue papers.

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THE COMMON AREAS

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There is a lounge at the second floor where guests can stay and mingle. The reception area can also be a place to chill. The balcony of the second floor will give you a view of the street and observe the hustle and bustle of the town.

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THE BREAKFAST

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Calaguas Gateway Hotelโ€™s breakfast comes in a choice of typical Filipino silog (or fried rice with egg) meal. You can choose between fried fish or pork (tocino or longganisa). It also comes with a coffee. The dining area is nice and well-maintained as well.

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CALAGUAS ISLAND TOUR

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Calaguas Gateway Hotel also offers a Calaguas Island tour to its guests. In my case, however, I was not able to avail the tour package because there was an advisory from the Coast Guard that the weather is not good enough for the boats to be allowed to go on a trip to the island. Maybe next time.

THE VERDICT

Daet is something not everyone will consider of going to, but my experience at Calaguas Gateway Hotel made my trip a comfortable and memorable one. Calaguas Gateway Hotel might not be your high-end hotel type, but the kindness and hospitality of the staff, the location of the hotel, as well as the quality of its rooms and amenities are enough for me to consider my stay as relaxed. If ever I will go back to Camarines Norte (hopefully to go to Calaguas Island), I will plan to stay in this place again.

https://flic.kr/p/QyiBVe

CALAGUAS GATEWAY HOTEL
2 Vinzons Avenue, Daet, Camarines, Norte
facebook.com/calaguasgatewayhotel
facebook.com/calaguas.hotel
0908 888 2188
calaguashotel@gmail.com

Lanterna Hotel in Boracay Island, Philippines (Review)

CLICK HERE TO VIEW AVAILABILITY AND RATES AT LANTERNA HOTEL BORACAY!

I arrived at Caticlan Airport on a very rainy morning and I was really tired from the travel. Moreover, I was a little sad about not being able to enjoy Boracay because of the weather, hence I was just looking forward to a nice staycation experience at least for that particular day. Thankfully, the place I stayed on my first day in Boracay was just perfect!

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs2x9BrnMPj/

Boracay, Aklan Accommodation: Lanterna Hotel

Lanterna Hotel is one of the many accredited hotels in Boracay by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). It is located very near the Bolabog Beach, a beach that is also worth exploring aside from the White Beach. It is owned by an Italian-Filipino family who were very, very hospitable. I arrived in the morning so it means I still cannot check-in, but the owners were kind enough to welcome me to the dining lounge to rest and chill while waiting for the check-in time. I was able to order my breakfast which was a really good and satisfying one.

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The Check-In Process

Lanterna Hotel has a very efficient check-in process. You can book your reservation directly through email or through third party reservation websites such as Agoda. At the reception area by the entrance, the owners/staff on duty will check your reservation and will assist you to the dining area to prepare for your check-in. While waiting, I was able to chat with the owner (the mom) about the weather in Boracay, her life in Boracay since the 1980s, and the like. After a few minutes, the room was ready for check-in.

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The Room

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I stayed in a Studio Type room which was so beautiful! Everything you needed is in there. I actually donโ€™t know where to begin looking. But okay, letโ€™s start with the kitchen.

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Look at this kitchen! Everything is color green, all utensils and equipment that you might need are already here. I just wish I could cook and I could stay longer, but I guarantee that this place is perfect for those who want to have a long-term stay in Boracay.

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The bathroom was huge and so clean. They provide everything you need in there, from the different types of towels to toiletries. It was like a 5-star hotel bathroom without the tub.

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The bed and the rest of the room was really cozy. The bed was nice and the sheets are comfy. There is a flat screen TV with a good cable reception. There is a rack for your clothes and a vault for your valuables. There is also a mini reception area with a nice set of table and chairs. The mini balcony outside allows you to hang your clothes and swimsuits after a day at the beach.

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Bolabog Beach

Since Lanterna Hotel is only a few walks away from Bolabog Beach, I decided to check it out and walk at the beach shore. There were only a few people at the area so I was able to enjoy the view. The weather is not so sunny (thankfully!) so I was able to stay and take photos.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrevdEFn7ex/

The Hosted Dinner

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What is unique about Lanterna Hotel is that they have a hosted dinner by the owners. It is a night of not only socializing with the owners and other guests of the hotel, but also to taste a legit Italian food! They have no specific menu for dinner, but you can choose if you want a vegetarian, pescetarian, or a meat-based meal. The meals were cooked by the owner (the Dad) who was an Italian chef. In my case, I chose a pescetarian meal and it was one of the best dinners I had.

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I had home-baked bread as a starter which was really good.

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The appetizers were so good that I feel so full already.

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And for the main course, a super yummy seafood pasta!

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The dessert was sooooo delicious!

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The idea of a hosted dinner and the food were so good, but the conversation I had with one of the owners (the daughter), was priceless. We were able to talk about so many things โ€“ the places we went to, our passion projects, our jobs, our education, and life in general. After all, this is why I travel. I want to meet people and hear different stories of anything under the sun.

THE VERDICT

Yes, Lanterna Hotel may not be located near the very popular White Beach like the others, but the fact that it is located in another nice but quieter beach is something you can also consider. Lanterna Hotel has only 6 rooms, hence you can experience a very customized and high-quality service from the management and staff. It was my first day in Boracay when I stayed in this place and I already felt belong and safe in the island. Their services (especially the hosted dinner) is something that is not offered by any other place I know, that is why if you want to have a unique experience in Boracay, you should definitely consider checking in at Lanterna Hotel. Thumbs up!

Lanterna Hotel Contact Information

Lanterna Hotel
491 Bolabog Road, Boracay Island, Aklan
+639085786742

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8 Instagrammable Hostels in La Union, Philippines

INSTAGRAMMABLE HOSTELS IN LA UNION, PHILIPPINES
INSTAGRAMMABLE HOSTELS IN LA UNION, PHILIPPINES: Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel

The province of La Union in Northern Luzon, Philippines is a popular beach destination especially to those based in Metro Manila because it is only a few hours away from the metro. Moreover, this province is facing the West Philippine Sea where the waves are great, making it a popular surfing destination as well.

Budget traveling encourages us to stay in hostels which we only had to pay for as low as USD5 per night to have a comfortable bunk bed, a nice place to socialize with fellow travelers, and possibly to snap that beautiful photo to be posted on your Instagram accounts and other social media accounts featuring the beautiful interior design of the hostels. Yes, I will repeat, all for as low as USD5 per night.

I have been to La Union several times, and I must say, there are countless Instagrammable hotels, resorts, and hostels to choose from! I make it a point to stay in another hotel or hostel whenever I have the chance to travel back to La Union so that I can try the best of the best.

But before anything else, you can check other best hostel recommendations in other countries/cities:

CLICK HERE FOR THE “6 INSTAGRAM-WORTHY HOSTELS IN MANILA” ARTICLE

Moreover, here are other articles I have covered about La Union:

So without further ado, here are some Instagrammable hostels in La Union that I recommend you to stay! You are welcome to book any of these through the links I provide via Agoda.com. I am a verified Agoda affiliate (hence the links are legit, promise!) where I earn commissions from your bookings with no additional costs on your part, at all (sometimes you will even get discounted deals from my links)! ๐Ÿ™‚

HOSTEL DE CATALINA

ADDRESS: 215 National Road, Urbiztondo, La Union, San Juan, La Union, Philippines

instagrammable hostels in la union

THE CIRCLE HOSTEL

ADDRESS: Urbiztondo, San Juan, San Juan, La Union, Philippines

instagrammable hostels in la union

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM HOSTEL

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwuFym1HITn/

ADDRESS: 12500 National Highway Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union, Philippines

instagrammable hostels in la union

BELLA VISTA RESORT

ADDRESS: Bauang, La Union, Philippines

instagrammable hostels in la union

EL NAVI SURFTOWN

ADDRESS: MacArthur Highway, San Juan, La Union, Philippines

instagrammable hostels in la union

RADA HOSTEL

ADDRESS: Urbiztondo Road Cor McArthur Highway, San Juan, La Union, Philippines

instagrammable hostels in la union

YANG HOSTEL

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9TvV4Un0_E/

ADDRESS: Urbiztondo Road, Urbiztondo, La Union, San Juan, La Union, Philippines

instagrammable hostels in la union

3BU HOSTEL LA UNION

ADDRESS: Rivera Street, Barangay Ilocanos Sur, San Fernando, La Union, Philippines

instagrammable hostels in la union

There you have it! These hostels do not only provide basic but comfortable places to sleep, but also corners to snap that Instagrammable shot to be shared to your social media followers! A vacation does not only involve seeing different spots in a place, but also having a wonderful experience in the place that you checked in, whether it is a hotel or a hostel.

INSTAGRAMMABLE HOSTELS IN LA UNION: YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS ARE WELCOME! ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you think there are other Instagrammable hostels in La Union that I missed including on this list? I know there are a lot of Instagrammable hostels in La Union but letโ€™s see if we could include more on this list. If so, please feel free to slide me a DM on my Instagram account @wheressherlyn. In the meantime, I hope you have a safe and Instagrammable travel experience in La Union, and if ever, let me know if you happen to pass by or stay in Manila! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Jejsellends Garden Cottages in Boracay Island, Philippines (Review)

Have you been dreaming of a milky, pastel-ish post-sunset view like this?

https://www.instagram.com/p/Brfk-yhHXfi/

This view can be found in Boracay Island, one of the most popular beach destinations in the Philippines, both for local and foreign tourists. Specifically, the White Beach is the most popular area because of its milky white beach, a stunning sunset view, and the presence of a lot of restaurant, cafes, and other fun activities such as island hopping. Boracay is a small island, but in order to enjoy your trip and beach escapade, it is important to stay somewhere which is just a walking distance from the beach, and Jejsellends Garden Cottages Boracay can be your best option in Station 2 area.

Boracay, Aklan Accommodation: Jejsellends Garden Cottages

jejsellends garden cottages

Jejsellends Garden Cottages is literally a stone’s throw away from Station 2 Boracay and is surrounded with different types of establishments. Staying in this place so near the beach is so convenient that you don’t have to bring a lot of stuff with you because you can easily go back for your things. It is also a walking distance to D’Mall. Moreover, it is important to note that Jejsellends Garden Cottages is a DOT-accredited resort in Boracay.

THE CHECK-IN PROCESS

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Since the new rule in visiting Boracay Island is to have a prior reservation before you will be allowed to enter the island as a tourist, you have to show a reservation voucher to the authorities at the Caticlan Jetty Port before you will be allowed to go to the island. Jejsellends Garden Cottages has a very efficient direct reservation process, and a voucher will be sent to you via email. You may also book through third party websites such as Agoda.com

THE ROOMS

Since I traveled alone, I stayed in a room good for 1-2 pax. It was located at the second floor of the hotel. It was a basic room but it was so relaxing and cozy enough and has got everything that you might need:

jejsellends garden cottages

The bed is nice and clean. The sheets smell good. ๐Ÿ™‚ The window gives a rustic lighting during morning and afternoon. Love it!

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With emphasis on the timba and tabo. This is a big deal especially for Filipino guests! Am I right? ๐Ÿ™‚ Not all hotels have these.

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I also had the opportunity to check out other rooms so that I could share the information to everyone and consider staying here again next time with friends and family.

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These are rooms that can fit 4-6 pax, and you can always request for extra beds for a fee if you have additional guests.

https://flic.kr/p/2d5Hn2Y
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THE VERDICT

Station 2 in Boracay Island is a nice place to stay because it is literally at the center of everything, and Jejsellends is the best option to stay because of (1) its location, (2) its friendly and accommodating staff, and (3) its nice rooms that are perfect for every type of traveler — solo, couple, family/barkada. For more information, you can always send an email to jejsellendsgardencottages@gmail.com or shoot them a message at https://www.facebook.com/jejsellendsgardencottages/.

Meanwhile, please check also this YouTube video teaser of Jejsellends Garden Cottages Boracay:

Have fun under the sun in Boracay! ๐Ÿ™‚

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ALSO READ: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 12 HALAL RESTAURANTS IN BORACAY ISLAND, PHILIPPINES

6 HALAL-FRIENDLY HOTELS IN BANGKOK, THAILAND

Are you a Muslim traveler looking for halal-friendly hotels in Bangkok? Having a lot of foreign and local Muslim friends who traveled to Bangkok and found it hard to look for halal-friendly hotels around, I felt the need to help them and everyone in the community. With that, I compiled this list of 6 halal-friendly hotels in Bangkok, Thailand. I have indicated here the features that make them a halal-friendly hotel, their address, and booking links.

Note that the booking links take you to agoda.com website. This website (www.sherlynmaehernandez.com) is a certified Agoda affiliate, hence I will earn a small commission if you will book through the links I provided (which I use for the maintenance of this website), with absolutely no additional costs on your part. I would appreciate your support to this passion project.

So without further ado, here is the list you clicked here for! ๐Ÿ™‚

ALSO READ:
24 HOURS IN BANGKOK: A TRAVEL GUIDE

AMARA BANGKOK HOTEL (4.5-star hotel)

Halal-friendly Hotels in Bangkok
Amara Bangkok Hotel

What makes Amara Bangkok Hotel a Halal-Friendly Hotel?

  • There are several halal restaurants nearby
  • There is a mosque nearby
  • Its washrooms are water-friendly
  • There are no adult TV channels in its rooms
  • There is no discotheque
  • It is not part of any gambling resort

ADDRESS: 180/1 Surawong Road , Sipraya, Silom, Bangkok, Thailand

THE PRESTIGE NANA (3-star hotel)

Halal-friendly Hotels in Bangkok
The Prestige Nana

What makes The Prestige Nana a Halal-Friendly Hotel?

  • There are several halal restaurants nearby
  • Prayer directions are marked inside its rooms
  • Its washrooms are water-friendly
  • There are no adult TV channels in its rooms
  • There is no discotheque
  • It is not part of any gambling resort

ADDRESS: 8/5-6 Soi Sukhumvit 3 (Nana Nua) Sukhumvit Rd., Klongtoey-Nua Wattana,, Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand

ORIENTAL RESIDENCE BANGKOK (5-star hotel)

Halal-friendly Hotels in Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok

What makes Oriental Residence Bangkok a Halal-Friendly Hotel?

  • Its washrooms are water-friendly
  • There is a mosque nearby
  • There are several halal restaurants nearby
  • There are no adult TV channels in its rooms
  • There is no discotheque
  • It is not part of any gambling resort

ADDRESS: 110 Wireless Road, Lumpini Patumwan, Siam, Bangkok, Thailand

ALSO READ:
3 THNGS MY FLIGHT FROM VIENTIANE TO BANGKOK TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE

NOUVO CITY HOTEL (4-star hotel)

Halal-friendly Hotels in Bangkok
Nouvo City Hotel

What makes Nouvo City Hotel a Halal-Friendly Hotel?

  • There is a halal restaurant right inside the hotel!
  • There are several halal restaurants nearby
  • Prayer directions are marked inside its rooms
  • They don’t serve alcohol
  • There is a mosque nearby
  • Its washrooms are water-friendly
  • There are no adult TV channels in its rooms
  • There is no discotheque
  • It is not part of any gambling resort

ADDRESS: 2 Samsen 2, Samsen Road, Banglumphu, Pranakorn, Khaosan, Bangkok, Thailand

CITY LODGE BANGKOK (3-star hotel)

Halal-friendly Hotels in Bangkok
City Lodge Bangkok

What makes City Lodge Bangkok a Halal-Friendly Hotel?

  • Its washrooms are water-friendly
  • There is no discotheque

ADDRESS: Soi 9, Sukhumvit Road, Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand

WOODLANDS INN (2-star hotel)

Halal-friendly Hotels in Bangkok
Woodlands Inn

What makes Woodlands Inn a Halal-Friendly Hotel?

  • There are several halal restaurants nearby
  • Prayer directions are marked inside its rooms
  • The don’t serve alcohol
  • There is a mosque nearby
  • Its washrooms are water-friendly
  • There are no adult TV channels in its rooms
  • There is no discotheque
  • It is not part of any gambling resort

ADDRESS: 1158/5-7, Charoen Krung Soi-32, Thanon Charoen Krung, Bangkok Riverside, Bangkok, Thailand

HALAL-FRIENDLY HOTELS IN BANGKOK, THAILAND: Your recommendations are welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

I am happy that I was able to provide you halal-friendly hotels in Bangkok that came from different categories (cheap, mid-range, to luxury). You are, of course, very welcome to book them using the links I provided. So, I do hope you will have a comfortable travel to Bangkok, which is one of the most vibrant but cultural cities I have been to.

In the meantime, happy travels, and let me know if you happen to need some help along the way and I’ll try my best to accommodate them!

IF YOU NEED HELP LOOKING FOR GUIDED TOURS AROUND BANGKOK, CLICK HERE OR THE KKDAY ICON BELOW:

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5 HALAL-FRIENDLY HOTELS IN MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Are you a Muslim traveler looking for halal-friendly hotels in Manila? Having a lot of foreign and local Muslim friends who traveled to Manila and found it hard to look for halal-friendly hotels around, I felt the need to help them and everyone in the community. With that, I compiled this list of 5 halal-friendly hotels in Manila, Philippines. I have indicated here the features that make them a halal-friendly hotel, their address, and booking links.

Note that the booking links take you to agoda.com website. This website (www.sherlynmaehernandez.com) is a certified Agoda affiliate, hence I will earn a small commission if you will book through the links I provided (which I use for the maintenance of this website), with absolutely no additional costs on your part. I would appreciate your support to this passion project.

So without further ado, here is the list you clicked here for! ๐Ÿ™‚

You may also want to check my comprehensive list of HALAL RESTAURANTS IN METRO MANILA here.

MARCO POLO ORTIGAS MANILA (5-star hotel)

halal-friendly hotels in manila, philippines
Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

What makes Marco Polo Ortigas Manila a Halal-Friendly Hotel?

  • There is a halal restaurant right inside the hotel!
  • There are several halal restaurants nearby
  • Prayer directions are marked inside its rooms
  • There is a mosque nearby
  • Its washrooms are water-friendly
  • There are no adult TV channels in its rooms
  • It is not part of any gambling resort

ADDRESS: Meralco Avenue & Sapphire Street, Ortigas Center, Pasig, Manila, Philippines

EDSA SHANGRI-LA MANILA (5-star hotel)

halal-friendly hotels in manila, philippines
EDSA Shangri-La Manila

What makes EDSA Shangri-La a Halal-Friendly Hotel?

  • Its washrooms are water-friendly
  • There are several halal restaurants nearby
  • It is not part of any gambling resort

ADDRESS: 1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, Mandaluyong, Manila, Philippines

DUSIT THANI MANILA (5-star hotel)

halal-friendly hotels in manila, philippines
Dusit Thani Manila

What makes Dusit Thani Manila a Halal-Friendly Hotel?

  • There is a halal restaurant right inside the hotel!
  • There are several halal restaurants nearby
  • Prayer directions are marked inside its rooms
  • There is a mosque nearby
  • Its washrooms are water-friendly
  • It is not part of any gambling resort

ADDRESS: Ayala Center, Makati, Manila, Philippines

MAKATI SHANGRI-LA MANILA (5-star hotel)

halal-friendly hotels in manila, philippines
Makati Shangri-La Manila

What makes Makati Shangri-La Manila a Halal-Friendly Hotel?

  • There is a halal restaurant right inside the hotel!
  • There is a Prayer Room inside the hotel
  • There are no adult TV channels in its rooms
  • It is not part of any gambling resort

ADDRESS: Ayala Avenue Corner Makati Avenue, Makati, Manila, Philippines

MANILA MARRIOTT HOTEL (5-star hotel)

halal-friendly hotels in manila, philippines
Manila Marriott Hotel

What makes Manila Marriott Hotel a Halal-Friendly Hotel?

  • There is a halal restaurant right inside the hotel!
  • There are several halal restaurants nearby
  • Prayer directions are marked inside its rooms
  • There is a mosque nearby
  • Its washrooms are water-friendly There are no adult TV channels in its rooms
  • It is not part of any gambling resort

ADDRESS: 2 Resorts Drive, Pasay, Manila, Philippines

HALAL-FRIENDLY HOTELS IN MANILA, PHILIPPINES: Your recommendations are welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope it did not disappoint you that ALL the halal-friendly hotels in Manila that I listed are 5-star hotels. But that’s the reality in Manila. It is really hard to find halal places (which is frustratingly ironic because we have a significant number of Muslim population in Southern Philippines, some of them are based in Manila). But don’t worry! I heard the Philippine government is working on making Manila and the rest of the Philippines a more halal-friendly travel destination.

In the meantime, please let me know if you have more questions and I will be happy to help! Enjoy Manila! ๐Ÿ™‚

IF YOU NEED HELP LOOKING FOR GUIDED TOURS AROUND MANILA, CLICK HERE OR THE KKDAY ICON BELOW:

halal-friendly hotels in manila
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LONELY PLANET TRAVEL GUIDES ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES