From the McArthur Landing Memorial Park, I rode a trysikad going back to the highway in Campetic Crossing. I paid 10php for the trysikad. At the crossing, I hailed a jeepney with ‘downtown’ signboard, told the driver to drop me off at Robinsons Mall and paid 8php. I planned to drop by the mall to look for a refrigerator magnet souvenir, and maybe have some coffee. I just needed my dose of black coffee at that time.
The Robinsons mall is along the highway so it was easy to spot. Unfortunately, after checking all possible stores and gift shops, I couldn’t find any ref magnets. Most souvenirs sold were t-shirts and key chains. I decided to look for more in the downtown area. In the meantime, I went to find a good coffee shop, not the usual coffee shops found in Manila. I found The Coffee Lounge Tacloban on the second floor of Robinsons. A large cup of brewed coffee was priced at 90php. It was nice too that Robinsons Tacloban had free wifi so I was able to upload a picture and update my Facebook account.
After a few minutes of rest and checking of some boutiques, I rode a jeepney again going the downtown area. With the help of the map I prepared (of course, I checked it inside the mall, and not on the jeepney hehe), I know exactly what street intersection to get off. GV Hotel is located on the corner of Juan Luna St. and Avenida Veteranos. Jeepneys from Palo town and other towns down south would pass by Real St. Just get off on the intersection of Avenida Veteranos and Real St., where one would see a Mercury Drug Store on the corner. Walk along Avenida Veteranos and GV Hotel is just on the next intersection.
I chose GV Hotel since it was cheaper but safe and clean according to some online reviews. It was also located on a good spot; not too far from the downtown area but not in the center to avoid traffic noise. Jeepneys bound for the airport also pass by in front of the hotel along Avenida Veteranos so that I won’t be having a hard time when I check out. It was a plus when I saw on their website that they have a 50% off promotion for off-peak season. While in Robinsons, I made a call to GV Hotel and asked if they have a single room available. They said they have, and so there was no need to call the other budget hotels and pension houses on my list.
Upon entering GV Hotel, I easily felt secured since they have security guards 24-7. The receptionists were not very welcoming. Of course they were accommodating enough to answer all my questions, but they were quite timid and seemed hesitant to smile. I just thought maybe because I talked to them in Tagalog and not in Bisaya dialect hahaha! My room was on the second floor so no need to use the elevator. The room was clean and the bathroom was colored pink. Haha! Oh, I hate pink but I didn’t mind. I wondered if a guy asked for a single room, would the bathroom be colored blue? I forgot to ask them about it. There was a small cable TV and some basic toiletries. It was a small room but it was enough for me.
|GV Hotel (Standard Single Room)|
Location: Avenida Veteranos Cor. Juan Luna St., Tacloban City
Contact Number/s: (053) 523-0267 or (053) 570-0267 (landline)
Before I took the trip, GV Hotel was actually the third on my list of Tacloban budget hotels or pension houses. My first choice was supposed to be Welcome Home Pensione along Sto. Nino St. but when I texted them when I was still in Manila, I was told that their single rooms are already fully booked. Welcome Home Pension is located in front of Duptours Van Terminal. It would have been a good choice for me since I planned on taking the earliest trip by van to Samar the next day.
Welcome Home Pension
Location: 161 Sto. Nino St., Tacloban City
Contact Number/s: (053) 321-2739 (landline)
My second choice was Ron and Fire’s Place, a backpacker house, but it was located outside the downtown area. They offered cheaper accommodations and nice ambiance but since I was trying to save on my expenses, I needed to be near the downtown so that I can just walk to important sites and van terminals.
Ron and Fire’s Place
Location: Block 23 Lot 47 Kristina Heights, Tacloban City
Contact Number/s: (053) 321-6033 (landline) 09185110770 (mobile) 09174990035 (mobile)
After a short rest, I freshened up and started the first part of my city walk tour. Before coming to my first destination though, I passed by one pension house and a luxury hotel. Outside GV Hotel, I crossed Avenida Veteranos St., and walked along Juan Luna St. going west. Upon reaching Burgos St., I saw Rosvenil Pensione House on the right side. It caught my eyes since it had a nice garden outside. I love flower gardens! I took some pictures and asked for their price list. Maybe next time when I visit Tacloban City again, I would consider Rosvenil as a place to stay.
Location: 302 P. Burgos St., Tacloban City
Contact Number/s: (053) 321-2676 to 77 (landline)
|Rosvenil Pensione (Room Rates)|
I continued my walk along Burgos St., going north this time. I made a right turn on Paterno St., and there I saw Hotel Alejandro on the left side of the street. I have read online how the hotel was then a home of Dr. Alejandro Montejo and his family. Built in 1931, it served as an evacuation site during the war. It was then made into a hotel, and the first floor area houses pre and post war mementos displayed for the viewing public for free. A room in Hotel Alejandro was out of my budget for that trip but I couldn’t resist not seeing memories of the past and learn more about our history. As I entered the hotel, I really felt the chills. The security people were outside and there were no other guests around, so I was alone in contemplating how the war affected the Filipinos lives and how it united the people in the end. I just love what the hotel did in order to preserve the past for people like me…post war children. Hotel Alejandro is simply a must-visit place in Tacloban City!
For an upscale hotel, I recommend Hotel Alejandro because of its location and history. But I’ve read about other hotels in the downtown area and also one near the airport, but since I haven’t visited them, I couldn’t really say much about them.
Location: P. Paterno St., Tacloban City
Contact Number/s: (053) 321-7033 or (053) 321-7509 (landline)
Here is a map of the hotels and pension houses I mentioned above.
Next Stop: Walking City Tour in Tacloban