Iloilo City & Boracay, Philippines

Oct 23rd, 2005, 09:39 AM
  #1  
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Iloilo City & Boracay, Philippines

Hi! My husband and I are spending 2 weeks in Iloilo City (Philippines) to visit some friends. It's our first time to be there and might visit the island of Boracay for a few days.

I've tried searching places to stay online in Iloilo, but nothing reasonable seems to pop up. I think the city is not as modern, and therefore most hotels don't have web presence. My friends keep on recommending "Century 21 Hotel" or "Highway 21 Pension House"... but these don't have online reservation. Has anyone stayed here? Do I have to book the rooms ahead of time?

In Boracay, can anyone suggest a simple, affordable place? The ones that pop up online are pretty expensive. We just need a clean bed and enough water to get by.

Thanks.
mathildag is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 04:11 AM
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You would be better off searching other forums. This forum tends to be more upscale and the Philippines is largely ignored by most on this forum. We have traveled to the Philippines this year and are going back next- but not to Borecay or Iloilo so I can't coment on those areas.
BillT is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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mathildag - I have not been to Iloilo, but have been to Boracay last jan05. We stayed at the Red Coconut which was ok. Prices are relative - what woud you consider reasonable? I made the trip with my wife and daughter on a package deal - stayed 4day/3ngt incl breakfast, plus air/transfer from Manila domestic to Caticlan (nearest airport to Boracay)for about $800US(that's total, not per person). The Red Coconut was showing age, but it was clean. If anything better the an "ok" was to be said about the hotel, its location was great - right in the middle of the main beach drag, White Beach. We did not spend our trip in the Hotel anyway, so we just needed a clean room for the night. As with most hotels in Boracay, you don't really go to them because of their amenities. Boracay has some of the best beach in the Philippines. And the night life on White Beach is a great way to end a great day on Boracay's beaches. Everything is pretty much walking distance since most clubs/bars/restaurants are on White Beach. Going again this Dec05, but staying at the Regency this time.

- Rpak
Rpak is offline  
Oct 30th, 2005, 06:17 AM
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Thanks guys..

My husband's friend actually booked us in "Crystal Sand" in Boracay. He says it's a good deal and he knows the manager. Thanks for the suggestion, though. I'll let you know if "Crystal Sand" is any good.

As for Iloilo, he's booked us with "Highway 21 Pension House", which is probably the cheapest place in town. I found the website...
http://www.ann2.net/hotels/highway21/

As it turns out, "Highway 21 Pension House" and "Century 21 Hotel" are partner hotels.
mathildag is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 08:15 AM
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a few tidbits - if you like fruit shakes, try Jonah's, which is on the north side of White Beach. Best Fruit shakes on the island - maybe the whole Phils. Bargin with the vendors - We knocked down the price of a 3 hour sail around the island by more than half (and I totally recommend you take the native sail boats around the island - fantastic experience). Of course, most vendors prices are almost always on the high side anyway. If you show that you are a traveler, and not a tourist, you usually get the price that's right, not inflated.
Rpak is offline  
Nov 1st, 2005, 06:29 AM
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HI Mathildag! I don't know what your budget is but please check out www.asiatravel.com and search for Iloilo. They have a listing for Sarabia hotel which is right in the city for 2 people it's between PHP1,900-2,100. Conversion rate is 1US$ = PHP54.00. Iloilo is not a big city so I don't know what the condition of the pension house will be. In smaller cities in the Philippines, it's usually a safer bet to stay in more established places. But then again it all depends on the budget. Good luck and enjoy your trip!
Martinan is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for the tip, Martinan. I checked out the website you gave... really good. I'll make better use of it next time, since we have already been booked.

Apparently, "Highway 21 Pension House", where we are staying, is just beside Sarabia! My husband's friend says it's better to stay there because their rooms start at only P500 (not even 10 US$) and is actually cleaner than Sarabia. In fact, many of Sarabia's old customers have transferred to "Highway 21". I guess we'll see...

Thanks everyone... we'll keep safe
mathildag is offline  
Nov 10th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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The following forum has a wealth of information about the philippines and is going to be a whole more useful than this forum. You can post questions and get answers from locals- can't get much better than that.

http://forum.virtualtourist.com/2/fo...ZXOrsUb4hfT2vM
BillT is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 05:32 AM
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Mathildag- You can check out Days Hotel, a chain of mid-priced hotels in the Philippines (like Days Inn) so should be pretty new and clean (not many new hotels in Iloilo, lots of pension houses though). Probably $60-70 a night incl breakfast.

For Boracay, Crystal Sand is ok. Also try Le Soleil which is nearby Crystal Sand, was newly renovated this year so should be nice. Would also recommend Sea Wind and Waling Waling (approx $80-100/night). Both hotels are beachfront, located in Station 1 which has the cleaner, more peaceful stretch of beach, a bit of a walk where all the action is. Crystal Sands is in Station 2 so should be in the middle of it all.

Also check out True Home- cozy "hotel", only has 8 rooms so service is very personalized. beachfront too. Around $80 during peak of peak season (Dec-Jan) w/ breakfast.
daisy88 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 06:46 AM
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We have stayred in Iloilo many times. At the Sarabia 40-50 U.S. or the Del Rio. Both are nice. Boracay, we stay at the Mona Lisa very nice and clean. It burned down last year, but it probably has been rebuilt. Easy to go there and get your own lodging - Places are close to each other and affordable.
Boop is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 06:56 AM
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Hi guys! Believe it or not, I'm typing away from Iloilo! Internet connection is surprisingly fast. Glad they have DSL.

We ended up staying at HIGHWAY 21 PENSION HOUSE, and I'm completely satisfied. It's no 5-star hotel, but it's got all the important things -- cleanliness, service and good location at an affordable price. I would definitely recommend it to those on a budget.

We just had the best seafood in the world at Tatoys Restaurant, which is near the sea.

I'll try to post again when in Boracay...
mathildag is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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Good for you mathildag! I'm glad things worked out for you.
Martinan is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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Thanks so much for posting.

We leave on thur for manila and hope to fly to boracy on Monday..so any info would be great...we haven't booked our flights or hotel yet..but are thinking of staying at True Home Hotel.

Thanks again
Irish_Chic is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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Irish chic-have a great trip and please post a detailed trip report when you return. We are headed to Manila in late February. This forum needs some new trip reports (besides BKK).
BillT is offline  
Nov 30th, 2005, 06:10 PM
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Whatever you do, DO NOT go to TIROL AND TIROL.

I hate Tirol and Tirol Boracay. The receptionist, Elinor, does not know how to properly book. My mom booked a beachfront room from a Saturday to a Monday. This intelligent receptionist booked us from a Sunday to a Tuesday! We were tired and hungry, and we really didn't want to ruin our vacation. So we settled for a smaller room, because there weren't beachfront rooms left.

In most hotels, that kind of faux pas could land you an upgrade and/or complimentary services. In crappy TNT, it will land you nothing--not even a proper and sincere apology! Our intelligent receptionist had the gall to even ask us to get 2 rooms because our smaller room can only accomodate 4 adults--we were 5 adults. I was about to erupt in rage, when my mom stepped
in and asked for a mattress instead.

And you'd think they'd give us the mattress for free?

No way! They charged us Php300 for a very crappy mattress. It isn't even a mattress--it's a thin foam pretending to be a mattress. And I know how much they cost, they cost less than Php500 in Manila! I know because we own one, we sometimes bring it along on roadtrips.

The crappier thing was, it took them HOURs to bring the stupid mattress--and the linen room was just a cottage away from our room! Kung kelan ako patulog, doon lang dumating!

The following day, we changed rooms. Unfortunately, the pull out beds did not have linens. We complained about it, and same thing--it took them HOURS to get the linens! My mom had to go to the linen room, pa!

It's really crappy!
litekimchi is offline  

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