Traveling is one of my few luxuries. It’s one of those things that I truly invest in, hence, I scour the ends of the World Wide Web for the best (without sending me to the streets) accommodations. For our severely-short-yet-richly-rewarding weekend vacation in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, we stayed at Palo Alto Bed & Breakfast. The boyfriend usually lets me handle the logistics of our trips so I had free rein on which hotel/inn to choose. I wasn’t getting men and their “bahala na doon” and “pwede na ‘yan” retorts, which is usually the reason why the boyfriend lets me decide.
The neat, organized and factual me spent days looking for a hotel that would pique my interest. Initially, I was set on Casa Fuerte Bed & Breakfast since they had great reviews and great (read: affordable) rates. But I couldn’t keep myself from re-reading travelers’ reviews of Palo Alto. Almost like divine intervention, I eventually went with my instincts and chose Palo Alto. Making our reservation was such a breeze. They were quick to respond to my barrage of inquiries and diligent in ensuring we book the tours we wanted. They even sent us our itinerary when everything was finalized.
When we arrived at the Puerto Princesa City airport, one of their drivers was already there to pick us up. We just had to wait for about 10-15 minutes for another group of Palo Alto guests to arrive before we drove off. Travel time from the airport to Palo Alto was quick–about 15 minutes–but similar to travelers’ sole complaint, the road to Palo Alto is like riding a horse.
Coming off the main road, we turned right towards a paved road. But eventually, the paved road became a dirt road that had it all–potholes, rocks, mud and whatnot. The bumpy ride is well worth it though.
To make up for this inconveniece, Palo Alto will drive you to the main road during the day, or direct to where you want to go at night. They will also fetch you at designated pick-up points that is really easy to get to.
Palto Alto is one marvelous sight to behold. As soon as we stepped off the van, you’ll immediately switch into full relaxation mode. I love the layout of the place. Since they’re surrounded by so many trees, it was only fitting that they embraced that. As such, all you’ll see is wood! Well, except for several concrete pillars that were painted to look like wood.
The reception area is so welcoming despite intriguingly banning footwear in the area. Yes, no one is spared from this rule. I actually like that idea. It’s an ingenious way to keep at least one area of their hotel mud-free.
When we were handed over our keys, a staff brought us to our room on the second floor and shortly gave us a “tour” of our room. For Php2,500 a night with breakfast, it was perfect. We had cable TV, hot and cold shower, a safe, a fridge, clotheshangers, etc. They don’t have a blowdryer though. Then again, I don’t think that’ll sit well with their theme.
They don’t allow smoking outside the rooms except for areas with “designated smoking area signs.” One is located near the reception area, while another is high up on the fourth floor-slash-tree-house.
The Forest View aka the Tree House offers a view of, well, trees. Lots and lots of trees!
The third floor is another cozy nook with beds on the floor for hanging out. This would be perfect for after-dinner beer sessions.
When I was snooping around for a hotel in Puerto Princesa, one that had a pool was not my priority. Lucky for us, Palo Alto had one. Well, it’s actually located about five steps across the gate. I guess business has been good that’s why they’re already expanding.
I think the pool’s only 5ft deep, which might disappoint some of the taller guests. Like my 5’10″ boyfriend, for instance. By the way, they don’t allow the white bath towels they provide in the room to be brought to the pool, they will instead lend you another one for poolside use.
There’s construction work around the pool. They’re building a function room and a couple of pool-front rooms for big groups. One of the staff showed us the freshly-painted rooms, which is really spacious. There are three double beds and enough space for about six or more extra beds.
Throughout our stay, we got to eat at their restaurant Salakot Cafe. Prices are fine, but the menu can definitely be improved. In particular, presentation and flavor. Breakfast however, was pretty good. It was the dishes we ordered off their menu for dinner that slightly left us wanting more, but their deep-friend oreo cookies however, is sooooo good.
The Salakot Cafe dining area consists of two floors, by the way. There’s one big tree in the middle, making it tree house number two. You have to see Palo Alto for yourself! It’s really awesome.
Palo Alto Bed & Breakfast is one of the best hotels/inns/b&b we’ve been to so far, just by their service alone. Their staff is superbly accommodating and friendly. I guess the kindness of the owners trickled down to their staff–from the reception officers to the drivers. Yes, the owners were there during our stay so we got to chat with them. All the raves you read over at Trip Advisor are true. I can vouch for that for sure.
So if you’re reading this blog post because you don’t know where to stay in Puerto Princesa, I’m telling you now that Palo Alto Bed & Breakfast is the best choice for you.