Albay · Baguio City · Bataan · Benguet · Bicol Region · Central Luzon · Cordillera Administrative Region · Ilocos Region · La Union · Oriental Mindoro · Pampanga · Philippines · Southern Luzon (MIMAROPA) · Zambales

Top 10 Places to Stay in Luzon, Philippines

To foreigners and local travelers alike, the Philippines may sometimes be an intimidating place to travel to. Firstly, we have a total of 7,641 beautiful islands. Secondly, the 81 provinces and several cities have their respective sceneries, food, and cultural practices to offer. Luzon island group alone (where I originated) have so much to offer, and it is the island group closest to Metro Manila, where almost everyone will land if coming from other countries. Since I am a frequent traveler to the Luzon area for both business and pleasure, let me provide you with the top 10 accommodations which you can consider while exploring the beautiful island group of Luzon (in no particular order):

1. Fil-Dane Inn, Aurora

Situated in the quaint town of Dingalan in Aurora, Fil-Dane Inn is a good choice for accommodation when visiting the said town because it is near the transportation terminal, public market, the church, restaurants, and the tourist information center, among others. It is a Green Hotel which advocates for preservation of water and energy. How environment-friendly, right? Also, their rooms are super clean, spacious and affordable. They also offer a tour package which will take you to both popular tourist destinations and off-the-beaten paths in Dingalan. You can book your accommodation at www.fildaneinn.com.

 

2. The Circle Hostel, Zambales

The town of San Felipe in Zambales is popular for surfing and it is best to go there between April and September where the waves are at its best. Circle Hostel  is a basic and hipster-ish accommodation that is popular for millennials. It has a very comfortable kubo-style rooms and a very creative and colourful design. They also offer group activities like a campfire night and island tours.

3. Azzurro Hotel, Pampanga

I have stayed here twice, both for business trips. I highly recommend this for a staycation as well because this hotel is relatively newer in the Angeles City area and the rooms are spacious and comfortable. The food they serve is also great, especially the breakfast. The rooftop pool is the best and they have sauna and gym! Also, there is a buffet Japanese restaurant just across the street and a dessert shop right beside the hotel. You’re welcome!

4. Lewis Grand Hotel, Pampanga

Located along the strip of hotels along Friendship Highway in Clark, Lewis Grand Hotel is very noticeable because of its super white and elegant façade. It has a good view of the Clark area and the rooms are nice and spacious. They have a jacuzzi and a big pool with a bar (yes, and it was nice!). It is also a short jeepney ride away from SM City Clark and Duty Free Clark.

5. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Bataan

Staying in this magnificent place is like traveling back to the Spanish and American colonial eras of the Philippine history. The rooms are super huge, and you gotta experience how elegant the way of life is during those periods – the super huge bathrooms, the high ceilings, and the queen-sized beds. Every part of this place is Instagrammable, just wear your best heritage-ish #ootds.

6. Juness Beach Resort, Bataan

Morong, Bataan is an underrated beach (and even surfing) destination in Luzon and therefore resorts in this area are never overcrowded. During my stay at Morong, Bataan, I had the chance to stay at Juness Beach Resort and they have the best beach area: the sunset view is the best and the sand is not white but very fine and smooth. The staff at Juness are also the kindest and the best.

7. Monaliza Surf Resort, La Union

San Juan, La Union is very popular as a surfing destination in Northern Luzon and looking for a good accommodation here can be difficult and intimidating considering that the town gets too crowded especially during long weekends. Monaliza Surf Resort is one of the pioneer resorts in San Juan and the beach area right in front of it is where the waves are the best. The sunset view in this part is just spectacular. The rooms are basic but very clean and homey. They also have a bar (Le Point) and a restaurant (Barefoot) which serves good food.

8. Mayon Backpackers Hostel, Albay

Legazpi City is known for the famous Mayon Volcano, and the city is progressive but still maintains its provincial vibe. I travel to Legazpi frequently and the reason why I keep on coming back is because the city is safe for women traveling alone. Mayon Backpackers Hostel is a good accommodation because it is situated at the heart of the city and the staff are the best. It is like staying at the comfort of your own provincial home and every part of it is well-maintained.

9. Parang Beach Resort, Oriental Mindoro

You can ditch the more popular Puerto Galera for Calapan City because this city also has a lot to offer. Parang Beach Resort is like your typical homey resort in the province and there are rooms that are house-like villas with attics which are perfect for a slumber party. Their restaurant serve good food and the view of the sea from the resort is great.

10. Baguio Village Inn, Benguet

I consider Baguio Village Inn as one of the cheapest but best accommodations in Baguio City. It is located along Magsaysay Avenue and tourist destinations are one jeepney ride away. The rooms are very homey and comfortable. It has common bathrooms but they are clean and well-maintained. Since in some times of the year the temperature of Baguio drops, there is no need for an AC.

Sure, Manila also has a lot to offer, but it won’t hurt to consider nearby places in Manila to check out the beauty of the Philippines. These places to stay I recommend are the ones where I had the best experience both for a staycation and resting after a long day of doing some activities in the town they are situated. So what are you waiting for? Plan your Luzon itinerary and book your accommodations in these places! Just message me on Instagram if you have further questions. Happy traveling!

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National Capital Region (Manila) · Philippines

Where to Have an Instagram-Worthy Dining Experience in Taft Avenue Area: Noriter Cafe Manila

Being always in a hunt for Instagram-worthy places here in Metro Manila, I am more than excited to share all of you guys what I have just found: just across De La Salle University is the Noriter Cafe Manila.

The signage pointing to the location of Noriter Cafe Manila which is at the 2nd floor of the Reyes Building.

The facade of the cafe is really colorful and inviting!

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National Capital Region (Manila) · Philippines

Where to Eat in Tomas Morato Area: Papa Kim’s Korean Bakery and Coffee

I am a frequent diner at Tomas Morato area and there is so much to recommend there — from Filipino restaurants, to Korean BBQ, to fine dining. However, if you want a chill Korean night with your friends while sharing some delicious food and drinks, I know such a place: Papa Kim’s Korean Bakery and Coffee.

Papa Kim’s Korean Bakery and Coffee is situated along Tomas Morato Avenue in Quezon City and they offer a vast selection of menu items, from starters, main dishes, drinks, and desserts.

Upon entering the place, you will be pleasantly greeted by their staff. Their interior really gives you a bakery vibe with the presence of brown chairs and the brick designs on their wall. Also, the music in the restaurant are your favorite K-Pop hits and K-Drama OSTs. Very Korean! 🙂

What I loved about Papa Kim’s is that they offer a wide selection of drinks. If you love something caffeinated, you can choose among the coffee frappes as well as the hot and iced coffee drinks. If you love cream-based drinks, they also have them in frappes. They also offer milk teas and fruit drinks, among others.

Since Papa Kim’s is also a bakery, they offer a lot of fresh breads, and the bread lover in me was really, really happy!

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National Capital Region (Manila) · Philippines

Where to Have Dessert in Ortigas Area: Froozy Snow Bar (Review)

Iced desserts are becoming more popular nowadays, and all of trhem have their own unique features, such as different flavors, different toppings, and even a chance to customize your orders. The rampant ones come in a form of “bingsu” or Korean iced desserts, but aside from them, there are dessert places that have their own uniqueness.

Speaking of uniqueness, I was able to come across this colorful place at the Second Floor Veranda of Robinson’s Place Galleria which serves different types of snow desserts: the Froozy Snow Desserts.

Opened on the first week of March 2018, Froozy has been spreading some awesomeness to the mallgoers at Robinsons Galleria by offering different flavors of snow desserts. After eating a heavy meal somewhere, who does not want to have some dessert after?

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National Capital Region (Manila) · Philippines

Where to Have Takoyaki in Ortigas Area: Takoichi Takoyaki Bomb (Review)

The last time I was able to have some takoyaki is at a takoyaki restaurant in Akihabara, Japan, and it was really good and tasty. In there, you will choose which flavor you want to be stuffed inside your takoyaki. To be honest, takoyaki stalls here in the Manila were not my first choice when it comes to comfort food, until I discovered Takoichi Takoyaki Bomb.

Takoichi Takoyaki Bomb is located at the Building A of SM Megamall. It opened last September 2017 and has been providing a taste of Japanese comfort food to its customers. What I love about Takoichi Takoyaki Bomb is the presence of eight different toppings to choose from: classic, chili, crab and corn, onion, teriyaki, mentaiko, melted cheese, and corn and bacon. More importantly, the toppings are free! How nice is that?

SM Megamall is one of my frequent food crawl areas being the closest mall to my workplace, and I wish I have discovered this store early on. So much for that, because finally I was able to taste some of their bestsellers:

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National Capital Region (Manila) · Philippines

Where to Stay in Mandaluyong City: Garv’s Boutique Hotel (Review)

Attention everyone! This new minimalist hotel in Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City can be your next staycation destination!

Garv’s Boutique Hotel opened just recently and is already accepting guests and visitors. Look how inviting the entrance facade of the hotel is! The overall theme of the hotel is minimalist. It is full of blacks and whites, as well as touches of green. Beautiful!

Garv’s Boutique Hotel is the sister hotel of the BGC Boutique Hostels.

The Check-in Process

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National Capital Region (Manila) · Philippines

Where to Eat in Caloocan City: Pages & Lattes (Review)

Caloocan City might not be one’s usual destination, but let me tell you a secret: there is a newly-opened coffee shop here that can make both your brains and tummies happy! How’s that? 🙂

Pages & Lattes is located along EDSA in Caloocan City near Manila Central University. They offer a vast selection of food, dessert, and caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks. Aside from that, they also have books for you to borrow as well as a study area exclusively for those who want to get academic-related stuff done.

The interior of Pages & Lattes is so bright and relaxing which is perfect for a nice and chill hangout session with your friends and family.

I seriously loved this part of the cafe where you can have your photo taken. 😉

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