Friday, January 28, 2011

Dumaguete for the frugal travelers: hotel for Php999 or less (good for 2 pax!)

Forget about Bethel Guest house. It has good location but too generic (and pricey!). Or Coco Grande--the sound of rats running on the ceiling is not on your bluelist! Or even Harold's Mansion where the restrooms are peppered with mildew!

Each time The Girlfriend pins down a visit to Dumaguete, I would hop around looking for nice and clean hotels days in advance. One hotel after the other, I'd ask for tariff and see the room for myself. I'd write a mental note about the plus and minus points for each property. What we look for in a hotel are: firstly, it should be within our budget (Php600 or less). Secondly, it's location. Last but not least, it must be clean, with aircon and with no musty smell. A distinct character the place evokes would be a plus! The works.

It was a sheer stroke of luck that we discovered one hotel during one of the busiest weeks of the university town. We came from a trip in Apo Island and headed-off to Duma to spend two nights. To our dismay, all the hotels were fully booked! With our backpacks, we hopped from block to block hoping to score any room. Nil!

I remembered a nondescript hotel two blocks from where we stood. I was hoping it was not fully booked considering its location. But I was wrong! Exhausted, we made tambay for a while in its cramp lobby. As we were about to leave, the front desk staff graciously offered help. Great goodness! She probably heard how tired The Girlfriend was and how desperate I sounded to find a bed. So, she called all the hotels she knew. As expected, full house. And then a glint of hope! One room left. When I asked about the hotel's name, it turned out it's the one facing the wet market. The Girlfriend and I gave up. But the staff was persistent and made a call to the last on the list. One room available. Two queen-size bed in a room plus AC/CATV and DVD player for Php899.00/room/night. Not that bad. Sounds worth checking! I thanked the staff for her help. And as they say, the rest is history.

Perdices St., Dumaguete City
telephone numbers: (035) 226.3244 and (035) 226.3245; 0922.859.0388

We loved the spacious room. Though there was a funky smell from the carpet, it dissipated as soon as the AC was turned on. Toiletries were provided complete with a comb, toothbrush and toothpaste in a box. Sounds like we have found a suki hotel!

But the next time we stayed at the hotel, we made a wrong decision getting the double standard (Php699.00). It was cramp and the carpet reeked of ammonia! Imagine a hostel room in Chungking Mansion with a water closet forced to fit in it! If you'd like to try the place, tell the front desk you specifically want to stay at room 306 or the room beside it. These rooms are big! Really big you can have ballroom dancing session inside. No kidding!  The location is a plus too. Just across Philippine National Bank or merely three blocks away from Rizal Boulevard.  

San Jose Street, Dumaguete City telephone numbers: (035) 421.0787 and (035) 226.3330; 0922.889.4911

After doing the rounds of hotels in Duma in the last couple of years, GF and I tried to score a room in this property but it was always full each time I book. Last week, I got lucky!

We got the twin room (Php999.00/room/night). The room was spacious and well maintained. What greeted me inside the room were paintings that appeared to be randomly picked in Unitop. The ceiling is high (both the room and the bathroom's) which is a plus since I am partial to rooms with lofty ceiling. The towels and linens smelled crisp and the room is equipped with basic amenities like AC, CATV and telephone. Each floor has a water dispenser for guests to use. Now, where is that thermos so I can have my instant noodles now?! The downside is that the room has no view. There are windows, yes, but it empties into a firewall. Food can be ordered over the phone. Other dining options are Cafe Laguna downstairs or Chowking and Jolibee just across the street.

Hotel Nicanor is located in the heart of downtown Duma. It shares the same block with Cafe Noriter and it is just a block away to Lee Plaza.

next: Honeycomb Tourist Inn and La Residencia Almar



  1. Hotel Camila looks cozy and spacious, pwede for families and group of friends

  2. and as i always tell my friends who plan to stay at hotel camila to book room 306. otherwise, you'll be relegated to a second-rate accomodation on the other floors.

  3. Thanks for sharing your resources of affordable accomodations in Duma. I'll keep these in mind so that when I visit the place, I know where to stay.


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