DUMAGUETE, called the City of Gentle People, is the capital of Negros Oriental and lies on the southeast coast of Negros, very near the southern tip of Cebu. It is not usually on the list of anyone's top summer destination, unlike Boracay, Bohol or Palawan. We, ourselves, were just forced to take on Dumaguete as this was the host of this year's Palarong Pambansa. Like our Iloilo trip for the Batang Pinoy Nationals, sightseeing was done only after the day's meet. Nevertheless, we made restaurant -hopping a priority, which I will share with you in my next post.
Our group, consisting of some of my daughter's NCR team mates and their parents, booked our rooms at Hotel Essencia for the entire duration of our stay. Hotel Essencia is the city’s biggest hotel with 150 fully air-conditioned rooms, all fully equipped with cable TV, safety deposit box, coffee/ tea counter, refrigerator, hair dryer and direct-dial telephone for both national and international calls. The hotel also offers free wifi for all it's guests, and the signal and speed of the wireless network was strong and consistent that updating my family back in Manila was a breeze.
The hotel is very reasonably priced and features a wide range of on-site facilities including a restaurant, coffee shop, spa, souvenir shop, travel agency, and function rooms. We got the cheapest room, the standard economy, at the promo rate of P1,200.00, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how big our room was, with two double beds at that.
...a sitting area and a flat-screen tv
The bathroom has a glass wall in the shower area; but if you are bashful, you can opt to draw down the blinds. You can also see the coffee counter and the mini-ref in this photo.
The bathroom is clean and adequately supplied with toiletries
There was no complimentary breakfast included in our package, but there is a restaurant on the ground floor which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Since the competition's call time was very early, way before the restaurant's opening time, everyone just decided to order food from either Jollibee or ChowKing.
Water is usually one of my biggest expense whenever I travel because I drink tons of it; it's a good thing I did not have to worry about that now since there are two water dispensers on every floor. I just refill my water container everytime before I go out of the hotel.
The hotel rooms use an electronic keycard entry system; but unfortunately, they only provide one key card per room. Which means that everytime we leave the room and take out the hotel key from the slot, the a/c in the room automatically shuts off. We tried doing what we usually do which is to put in TimeZone cards into the slot, but the card slot only reads magnetized cards, so we always came home to a warm room.
Hotel Essencia is located at very heart of downtown Dumaguete’s main business and shopping district. It is very accessible to the famous Rizal Boulevard and Silliman University and is close to all means of transportation available in the city. Fastfood outlets like Jollibee and ChowKing are all within walking distance from the hotel, and the grocery is two blocks away.
The most common mode of transportation is the tricycle, with a charge of P8-P10 for a trip anywhere within the city. It can fit upto 4 passengers in the side cart and 2 more passengers behind the driver, for a total of 7 people, including the driver. Which is something that you can find only in the Philippines. hahaha! Because even the cabs in Singapore are very strict about carrying only 4 adults inside the cabs. But that was how we rolled in Dumaguete.
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