I think the world already knows what happened to Tacloban, Leyte more than three years ago (November 2013). Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated Tacloban and the surrounding areas putting the region on a global spotlight. Pre-Haiyan, one of the fanciest seaside resorts stood in Palo, The Oriental Leyte. It received the brunt of devastation being located by the beach. But three years would be more than enough to pick up the pieces. Along with the province and the city getting back at their feet, the Oriental Leyte was rebuilt. Last November 2016, the hotel opened its doors again, softly to the public.
The name F1 may seem to be a brand speeding off the race tracks, but F1 Hotel Manila have nothing to do with formula one racing. Though, the hotel has the reputation of having preceded everyone in the hotel industry being the first that stood in the heart of Bonifacio Global City (BGC). Offering upscale accommodations suited for both business and leisure travelers in the midst of a sophisticated BGC community.
More than a year after Typhoon Yolanda struck Tacloban City, the city looks like it is still going back on its feet. Standing up is a slow process though as until now many establishments are still undergoing renovations. I wasn’t expecting much on some of the old established hotels here but the disaster could also mean a fresh start for them. I stayed at two more Tacloban stay within the city Primrose Hotel and Etsu Hotel aside from the one in the fringes Z Pad Residences. Here’s my take on these two city hotels.
There used to be a time when GoHotels in Tacloban was the best looking hotel in the city. Now a quick search in hotel booking sites like Agoda would wound up at least 8 establishments with different types and price range. I was looking for a budget to mid-range priced accommodation and Z Pad Residences kept popping up. So why not stay for a couple of days there and see what the place is like after a year Typhoon Yolanda struck.
How about a panoramic view of one of Vietnam’s top attraction, the Ha Long Bay, either from the room window or a few steps away from its lobby doors? Halong Plaza Hotel, our home in Halong, Vietnam during our Cebu Pacific Air familiarization tour, has just that. This 4-star hotel is located at Bai Chay, Ha Long City near the Bai Chay bridge and fronting it is a small promenade where guest can have an unobstructed view of Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There’s comfort in familiarity at times. After more than a weeklong travel in Tawi-tawi then a brief stop in Zamboanga, I was yearning for something familiar. A place to slow down, re-organize and re-energize a bit. When I flew in Davao, it was comforting to know I would be staying at Microtel by Wyndham Davao. It’s actually my second time to stay here and the sixth Microtel by Wyndham branch I’ve been to.
I just realized it was almost three years when I last went to Banaue. This part of the Cordilleras has a special place in my travels being one of the first few places I visited in the Cordilleras. Ever since my first visit to Batad, I’ve gone back here more often than I could remember. But this time I was here to run my first 21k road-trail. Team Malaya organized a Banaue-Batad Marathon and I excitedly singed up. Since it was my first halfy I wanted to have a good rest before the race. When in Banaue, I often go straight to the towns of Batad or Bangaan but this time I have to stay in town. I looked through Agoda and glad to find Banaue Hotel listed there. A familiar sight for me since I’ve visited it before and explored the village behind it. I guess it was it’s about time I stay in this already an institution of an accommodation in the home of the 8th wonder of the world.