Thursday, January 3, 2013

Iloilo: Where To Stay

I initially planned to do a travelogue on the province, thinking that our 5 day stay there for the Batang Pinoy National Championship would provide sufficient time to squeeze in a city tour; but quickly realized after having spent half-day cheering my daughter on by the poolside, under the humid Iloilo sun, I was too pooped to actually go around the city.  Nevertheless, I was lucky to be in the company of some great people who managed to make our stay there fun and super-comfortable.  So even if I can't share city sights with you, you will still be getting the dish on Iloilo's must-visit restaurants in my next post.  

We took PAL's first flight out, and got to the province at the first crack of day.  Typhoon Sendong was making its arrival the same day, and expected to make landfall early evening.  While, it did spare Iloilo from its wrath, the other provinces were not as lucky.  News reports days later tagged Typhoon Sendong as among the deadliest cyclones to hit the Philippines.  So lucky for us that the typhoon's path spared Iloilo!  Look at the flooded streets of the nearby province of Cagayan de Oro.

Anyway, to move along...  For now, I will post about where we stayed.

We stayed at the Days Hotel, and booked the classic deluxe room, which we found roomy for its class.  Our room had two double beds, which could easily have accommodated a family of four. 

This is how the classic deluxe room looks like
image source
This is how the modern deluxe room looks like.
image source
The classic deluxe room wasn't as pretty as the refurbished room, which they called modern deluxe room, but I figured if I took out the tacky green duvet, the room won't look as bad.  And I am right!  Save for the headboard, lamps, duvet cover and the outdated upholstery, the rooms are seemingly identical.
look at the difference it made to the room with the tacky duvet half-drawn down

While the rooms are clean and well-maintained, the lighting could be improved on.  If you've read my blog post about Swissotel @ The Stamford when we celebrated the holidays last 2011 in Singapore right here, you'd know my preference for a bright room. Nothing that a request to housekeeping can't fix.  The true gem of Days Hotel is clearly the wonderful and accommodating hotel staff, all armed with that distinct Ilonggo hospitality.  The housekeeping staff quickly provided my room with bulbs of higher wattage and even added a floor lamp.  It also has a sitting corner and an office desk, which we found very useful as J needed to review/ do advance study after the day's competition to make up for the long absence from school.

Our room came without window views; I opened up the curtain to a blank wall.  But the lack of view did not really matter to me.  The bathroom is adequately sized, with the toiletries being refilled everyday.  We brought our own body gels and shampoos, and just used up the hotel's hand soap, but the staff kept refilling the hand soap each day with a new one. The open closet was provisioned with several hangers. And there was even a safe where to put one's valuables in the comfort of the room, though I did no bother to use this amenity.  They claim to offer free wi-fi, but the signal was choppy, at best.  

Our hotel stay came with daily complimentary breakfast.  There are a lot of food choices, but I am a creature of habit;  if available, I usually start my breakfast buffet with congee.   One of my best Iloilo memories is having authentic Filipino/Ilonggo breakfast while watching the early morning traffic from the window across my table.

Days Hotel is right at the heart of a very busy commercial area.  This three-star hotel's layout can be confusing initially as it sits on top of the Atrium Mall, with the hotel lobby at the fourth level of the mall, and the guest rooms on the fifth level.  The first to third level house a mini mall which includes a grocery, and food court.  
The hotel lobby.  image source

If I would go back to Iloilo next time, I would definitely stay here again.  The room rates are very affordable, and the hotel's location makes for convenient travel for everyone:  the grocery store on the first floor, the steady stream of cabs on the street fronting the hotel, the free breakfast buffet, the food court on the lower level.  And not to mention that SM Delgado is just a few walks away. 

Days Hotel Iloilo
Address: :  4F The Atrium Mall, Gen Luna St., Iloilo City
Phone:  63-33-3373297