Thursday, March 8, 2012

On Assignment for GoHotels: Palawan-bound

Go Hotels PPS Curvy Driveway
A bright new landmark in Puerto Princesa
Was it nearly three years ago when I last saw Puerto Princesa?  Hard to imagine that last time I was here, we got ourselves soaked in the humid air while waiting for our checked-in baggage in the open air luggage carousel.  In its place is a cool, expansive airport building ready to shelter the swelling number of tourists.  Post-announcement of the Underground River in Sabang as one of the "newer" wonders of the world, the city is bracing for a boom.

Riding a cab to an appointment over a month ago, I overheard Mayor Edward Hagedorn being interviewed on an afternoon radio show, saying something about the need for more infrastructure, including a lot more accommodations, to address the doubling, nay tripling of visitor numbers.
GoHotels Queen Room 5
Bright, airy, un-stuffy and cool
By chance, I got an assignment for GoHotels to revisit Puerto Princesa and shoot/sample this contribution to filling the need for additional accommodations.  This is the first branch of the value hotel that's located outside Metro Manila and having stayed twice in the original Mandaluyong location, I must say that it's a significant improvement in aspects of design and amenities.

Location.  About 15 minutes away from the airport along the main highway, on the North Road, in Brgy. San Manuel.  The standalone structure with 112 rooms spread across two floors is hard to miss, the recognizable bright yellow with green facade standing out against the blue sky even from the distance.  There's ample parking right in front.  I think the parking area does double duty as a buffer zone, keeping the rooms distant from the road and the occasional tricycle noise.
GoHotels PPS T&B 5
Rainshower head is now built-in
Amenities.  Maybe, it's because we were in Palawan where the landscape is dominated by wide open spaces that the rooms felt bigger.  The wide mirror on top of the bed/s is a nice touch, adding a bit of brightness via reflected illumination and making the room appear much bigger.  In the T&B, it was a pleasant surprise to see the rainshower head built-in to the ceiling.  Grabbing some much-needed rest, I immediately took a liking to the extra plump pillows and thick blanket -- the better to linger under the covers especially when the weather turns temperamental as it did during our second day.  There's also free Wi-Fi so the fold-away desk got some action during our stay.  The foldaway multi-hanger is a nice touch especially when airing clothes or keeping garments from wrinkling.

The rooms located towards the interior (in a layout that resembles the letter "U") looks out to a courtyard that reeks of "outdoor cafe" potential -- something that will be in place in the coming months.  Mercifully, most of the rooms have windows (I got lucky that I got billeted in one that looks out to the side road, with a view of fruiting mango trees).
GoHotels PPS Alfresco Site 4
Courtyard is future site of an outdoor cafe
Pricing.  Bucket pricing means booking well in advance yields bigger savings (the GoHotels website says one can get a night's accommodations for as low as P88).  During the opening month when we were there, there were still walk-ins but expect advanced booking clients to fill up the rooms in the coming summer months.

To book or get more details, visit www.gohotels.ph
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