Our 5-Star but Affordable Stay at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila Hotel

It’s a common notion that 5-star luxury hotels also come with a 5-star price, that’s why Beep and I only get to stay in such hotels once in a while because of discount deals or when we find hotels with top class amenities with surprisingly affordable rates. During the long holiday break, we found ourselves stuck in Metro Manila while most city dwellers escaped to the beach and islands. Luckily that time, Traveloka had an app-exclusive promo of 60% off on Metro Manila hotels so we booked 2 hotels for the holidays, one of our chosen hotels was Marco Polo Ortigas Manila Hotel (check the room rates here). Even without the discounts, the rooms in the 5-star Marco Polo Ortigas Manila Hotel can be booked for as low as PHP4,000-PHP5000+ a night. A steal price for a 5-star hotel!

Read More

Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Costa Pacifica Baler: Where Chill Surfing Vibe Meets Upscale Comfort

costa-pacifica-baler-70
As a country surrounded by bodies of water, local and foreign travelers are treated with plenty of beach destinations in the Philippines. City dwellers like us only need to drive for a couple of hours to get to beaches during weekends. But for the adventurous souls looking for more than just lazy days on the beach, surfing destinations like La Union and Baler are also easily reachable via bus or a private car from Manila. After spending most of our days off at the beach last year, we craved for riding the waves to kickoff our February, exactly a year after we surfed in Sorsogon.
Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Brisa Marina Beachfront Resort: A Picturesque Getaway Near Manila

brisa-marina-beachfront-resort-morong-bataan-banner
“What’s the best beach destination near Manila?” If we could get a hundred bucks for every time someone asks us that question, we’d probably have enough money to go jet setting every weekend now.

 

Most people think of Batangas as the best beach destination near Manila, it being just 3-4 hours away from Metro Manila. But if you want to to explore beaches aside from good ol’ Batangas, head to the North where we discovered a picturesque and very Instagrammable resort in Morong, Bataan called Brisa Marina Beachfront Resort (check the room rates here).
Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Hoyohoy Villas: Your Private Tropical Retreat in Bantayan Island

hoyohoy-villas-bantayan-island
What’s your idea of paradise? For us it’s being surrounded with palm trees while inside a nipa hut-like house with the sound of the waves lulling us to sleep on a lazy afternoon. Luckily, we have a lot of those here in the tropical country of the Philippines with our 7,641 islands. Bantayan Island in Cebu, an underrated destination that we fell in love with after staying there for a week (READ: Why Bantayan Island Should Be in Your Philippines Travel Bucket List) , is one of those places and we found the perfect tropical retreat in Bantayan Island’s Hoyohoy Villas (check the rates and book a room in Hoyohoy Villas here) that we discovered thanks to Traveloka App and became our home for 2 nights.

Read More

Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Azumi Boutique Hotel: Your Stylish Home Away from Home South of Manila

azumi-boutique-hotel-banner
For years now, there’s been a never ending comedic offline and online battle between citizens of Manila’s North and South. From stereotypical personalities to which is the better part of Manila to live in. This argument never ends. Here’s one example.

 

As someone who has lived South of Manila my entire life, of course I’d battle you out just to prove my point that the South is better. Compared to the North, we have a more chill vibe and it’s always nice to come home to the South with it’s homey ambiance after a tiring day at work. Since there are no infrastructures like the MRT/LRT and major thoroughfares like EDSA, it’s less chaotic, less polluted, and greener thanks to subdivisions and parks that don’t cut down lush trees to build business districts or malls. Not to mention, we’re pretty close to the airports! These are just some of the reasons why more and more people are considering settling down in our side of the Metro.

 

If you don’t have a home yet in the South or are just in Manila for vacation, you can get a taste of this comfy living by staying in Azumi Boutique Hotel (check room rates and book with better deals here) in the heart of Alabang. Beep and I booked a 2-day staycation in Azumi during a long weekend just this November using the Traveloka App where we got up to 20% off the publish rates. Read our review of Traveloka App for booking hotels here

Read More

Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Our Romantic and Flavorful Weekend Stay at Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay

taal-vista-hotel-cafe-veranda-interior-1
Whenever we crave for quick travels, Tagaytay is always a top choice because it’s just a couple of hours drive from Manila. Aside from being a day trip destination, we also sometimes rent a Tagaytay condo unit in Airbnb with a view of Taal Lake and Volcano and buy groceries and cook our meals. While that option is very homey and convenient, we also want to experience a different side of Tagaytay where we’re pampered and our meals are prepared with perfection in mind. Fortunately, we were invited by Taal Vista Hotel (check room rates and book better deals here), a historical landmark in Tagaytay, for a weekend full of romance and good food.
Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

We Traveled Back to The 18th Century at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

las-casas-filipinas-de-acuzar-6

Aside from the world-renowned tropical islands in the Philippines, one of the reasons why our home country is a must go-to destination is our rich culture shaped by our history. It’s evident not just in our traditions and cuisine, but also in our architecture. When you travel to a number of rural destinations in the country, you can still see old houses with Spanish influence since we were under their rule for over 300 years from 1521 to 1898, but there are only a few of them that stand today.

Luckily for our generation, a treasure trove of these houses are now well preserved in a one-of-a-kind open-air museum and heritage resort in Bagac, Bataan – Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (check the rates of hotel rooms at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Traveloka). Just 3-4 hours of travel from Manila, the capital city, you can already step back in time and get a taste of what it felt like to walk in the cobblestone streets of old Philippines at Las Casas. Now we can proudly say that we’ve traveled not just to the most beautiful spots in the country, but to 18th century Philippines too.

Read More

Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Diamond Hotel Philippines: A 5-Star Experience in Manila

diamond-hotel-philippines-premier-room-manila-bay-view-9
Travel guides will tell you that watching the famed Manila Bay sunset along Roxas Boulevard is a must-do when you’re in Manila, Philippines. I’ll be honest, I’ve lived here all my life but I’ve never really went out of my way to go to that famous strip and actually wait and watch the sunset until it gets dark. I know, I know, for someone promoting exploring the #PhilippinesFirst not just to tourists but to my fellow Filipinos, I should be ashamed of myself. That’s why a few weekends ago, Beep and I planned a staycation in one of the hotels along Roxas Boulevard for the best view of the sunset and get a much-needed short trip too.

Read More

Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Why the Eco-Friendly Cocoon Boutique Hotel Is Worth the Splurge

cocoon-boutique-hotel
We don’t really get to stay much in luxury hotels or resorts during our travels. We just don’t see the point of splurging on an expensive room that we just sleep in for a couple of hours because we spend most of our time outdoors exploring the beauty of Mother Nature. For us, Mother Nature IS the best luxury resort. As long as we have a roof over our heads, even if it’s just a tent that we pitched ourselves, then we’re fine.

 

However, when we do have extra cash to burn, we treat ourselves once in a while too, usually on special events where we don’t have any budget trip planned. We look for accommodations in the city where we can have a weekend of peace and quiet to take a breather from our busy corporate lives. One of our favorite city staycation destinations is the Cocoon Boutique Hotel in Quezon City.

 

Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Escape to Nature: Aquascape Lake Caliraya

 

What’s your idea of a perfect escape? If you ask me and Beep, it’s getting away from the noise of the city, just the two of us, alone and one with nature. It doesn’t even have to be in a high-end resort or beach – the more isolated we are, better. Like when we pitched a tent in one of the islands in El Nido, Palawan where we cooked our dinner by fire under the moonlight;  the soft waves, the rustling of the trees, and the sounds of the animals living in the island lulled us to sleep. Spending time outdoors, and one with nature, has a lot of health benefits too! While there are islands that are a couple of hours away from the bustling city of Manila, it’s seldom that you’ll have the place to yourself since you’ll have to share the island with other campers or travelers. That’s why Beep and I are always on the lookout for private getaways that we can easily drive to. We’ve tried renting houses but none of them can compare to that night in our own island, until we found out that there’s a floating cottage  somewhere in Laguna thanks to an invitation from the owner of Eco Saddle [now Aquascape]. Planning a trip to Manila and its nearby provinces like Laguna? Find cheap flights to Manila here.  So last weekend, we drove to Eco Saddle in Caliraya Lake/Aquascape and spent the night in their motorized floating cottage. It was like having an island all to ourselves again, but this time we had a fully-furnished house that can cruise around the lake. Who needs a yacht when you have a real Hobo house? 

Read More

Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Pradera Wake Park: Your New Weekend Playground in Pampanga

pradera wake park pampanga

As the pair behind Travels with a Hobo, you’d think that Beep and I are always traveling during weekends. The truth is, we’re both home buddies and often spend the weekend sleeping in and watching Netflix. We love traveling but we love our beds more! So when we do go out on weekends, it has to be something worth losing a good day of sleep and binge watching for.

Read More

Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Budget Trip in Coron? Stay at Patrik & Tezz Guesthouse

When you’re traveling backpacker style (with a very limited budget), a luxurious hotel is definitely out of the question. Why stay in rooms with 21-inch flat screen TVs when you’re just going out the entire day anyway? You’re traveling to enjoy a place you’ve never been to before (or some place you like going back to again and again), not to watch TV just like your usual lazy weekends in your own home.

Read More

Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.