For the second report on our trips to Catbalogan, we will talk about Hotels.
I had read about, and seen pictures of, the CELL.COM Hotel, on San Bartolome Street. It looked like a nice place, with good prices, so we decided to stay there. But, when we got there we were disappointed. They showed us a couple of rooms, so we could decide which price to pay. When we went to the “Suite” room, there were several half dressed guys already in the room. I think they were supposed to be working on the room, as one bed was torn apart. Obviously, the room was not ready. We looked at a cheaper room, and the CR (bathroom) was in need of repair, so was the sliding lock on the room’s door. Additionally, the hall floors were very dirty, so we decided to try someplace else. Sorry, I did not take any pictures here, but you can see their promo pictures at their website: http://cellcomhotel.e-ph.net/
Our next stop was the Fortune Hotel, on Del Rosario St, which we had spotted on our way into town. This one was a little better, and felt safer. On our second trip, we had the bus drop us off about 20 meters from the Fortune Hotel front door. At present, Del Rosario St is being worked on, but our room was in the back, so we did not hear the noise. One thing that some people may not like, is that you have to go up a flight of stairs to reach the front desk. If you have done much travelling in the Philippines, you are probably used to that, especially if you stay at budget hotels, like we do. My favorite hotel in Calbayog, Eduardo’s, requires you to walk up 2 flights of stairs to reach the front desk. At the Fortune Hotel, we paid PHP 700 for an aircon room with cable tv, and private bath. The rooms with hot water are a little bit more, but we are used to cool showers, so it was ok. Also note that the “shower” is not a seperate part of the bathroom, as most Westerners are used to. There is no shower curtain, just a shower head on the wall. When I take a shower, I usually leave my clothes and the tissue paper outside of the CR, so they don’t get wet. Speaking of the CR, this one also needed a bit of repair. There was no toilet seat…something else I have gotten used to in the Philippines. Over all, our room was fairly comfortable, with a large, comfortable bed, a make-up table, wardrobe, and two plastic chairs. Nothing fancy, just simple, clean, and safe. On the second trip, my wife stayed in Calbayog, and her brother went with me. That time we had a similiar room, only with two small beds instead, and a toilet seat. Here are some pictures inside the Fortune Hotel.