Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel – Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

I entered the lobby and immediately noticed the modish rattan seats on one end; the curvy lines of its back rest perfectly matching the clean lines from the glass windows. I went further and spotted some quirky mirrors silently hanging on one of the walls. The oddly-shaped light fixtures also complemented the wooden parquetry on some of the furniture. After a minute or so, it occurred to me that this newest hotel in Puerto Princesa City is utilizing local products without overlooking its aesthetic appeal; modernly minimalistic but surprisingly well-textured layout that works. The artist in me wanted to explore more on the detailed interior but my body was screaming for rest.

It was my fifth time on this quaint city and Puerto Princesa will always hold a special place in my heart as my first ever solo trip sixteen years ago; a bygone time when the airport closes around lunchtime, immediately after the last flight is cleared. I love the old school vibe of Palawan before.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan

Arriving at five in the afternoon after a choppy and the surprisingly on time flight, me and a travel buddy were welcomed at the arrival area of Puerto Princesa International Airport by a staff of Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel which I discovered while browsing through Traveloka. It was drizzling at that time and the chilly weather made me curl up into my comfy seat of the shuttle van. As I was about to find my perfect nap position, someone mentioned our arrival. We finally reached our home in Palawan, in just about five minutes (check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Puerto Princesa).

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan
Local craftsmanship
It was spanking new; the smell of freshly-painted walls and the glow from the light fixtures. The rattan furniture, capiz and wood parquetry details and marble tiled floor all harmoniously working together. It was stylish yet unintimidating as they utilized mostly local products to spruce up the hotel lobby.   

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan

A lovely staff assisted me towards the front desk to process our booking which went by swiftly (faster than I could finish the welcome drink).

In no time, I was ushered to my room on the fourth level. And as expected, littlest details of local craftsmanship were evident on the hallways and corridors. I was constantly asking the staff if I will be the first one to occupy the room, he repeatedly nodded his affirmation. I was too excited since this will be my second time to stay on a newly built hotel (the first one was on Thunderbird Resort Poro Point, La Union), like I will be the first one to use the room itself.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan
The view from the glass windows from the corridor
I tapped on the keycard and was fascinated by the detailed work on the wooden door, a tiled capiz served as an edgy design to it.

I went inside my Premier Room and immediately felt its laidback feel. With earth tones as the main color scheme, it blended well to the lush greeneries surrounding the property as revealed on the glass walls on the hallways.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan
Premier Room
I passed along a narrow corridor inside my room and noticed a wardrobe closet on my right with, again, tiled wood pattern. It housed the in-room safe, bedroom slippers, bathrobe and laundry basket.

A mini-bar with coffee and tea-making facilities rested next to the closet and underneath was a mini fridge loaded with snacks and drinks with the appropriate rates.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan
Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan

On my left was the en suite toilet and bath with gleaming fixtures; sparkly new and untouched.

Earth tones were again used and the marbled tile as bathroom sink alongside wood worked pretty well. Bathroom amenities were all provided for as well as a hair dryer. The rain shower head for the hot and cold shower made me want to freshen up a bit after the stressful flight earlier.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan

Moving on, I went to the bed and noticed a number of pillows. It was too many for me but perfect for pillow fights or slumber parties. The queen-sized bed was of best quality mattress and the duvet provided the right amount of warmth. My bed was ready for me, I could hear it whispering to my ear as if teasing me.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan
Pillow fight
The bedhead was one of my favorites. The soft foam was ruled by wood carving (woven-like) with another layer of tiled capiz on top; I loved the detailed work on this part. The end tables were also evident of the same design which made everything cohesive.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan
More details
A lounge chair on one corner provided a relaxing view of the greeneries outside. Across it was a work station with ergonomic chair and desk lamp. Again, the capiz and wood combo was employed on this area on both the huge mirror and the table itself.

A flatscreen TV with local and international channels rested on a long desk adjoining the work desk. It was sleek and functional altogether.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan

I lounged a bit and relished the tranquility of the room while enjoying the complimentary WiFi connection. I was busy sending photos of my room to my mom who visited the city a couple months back. She was envious of my mini staycation and thought of another trip with her in Puerto Princesa City soon (she loves hoarding pearls from the city).

After a little while, I roamed around the hotel to check out its facilities and other services. Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel has meeting rooms, conference center, a 300 sq. m. ballroom, cocktail lounge, outdoor pool, spa and massage services, gym, foreign currency exchange, luggage storage, laundry services and more. It’s actually a one-stop shop for either business or leisure travelers.

A photo posted by blissfulguro (@blissfulguro) on

Me and my buddy went out for dinner that night and noticed how convenient our location was. Restaurants, bars and other key spots in town (and even the airport) are mere walking distance away. We had a hefty dinner on a famous restobar in the area where we capped it off with a round of beer session which ended at wee hours in the morning.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan
Super snuggly bed
That night, I slept like I was paid to do so, it was too perfect.

I woke up feeling a little sluggish (blame it on the booze) and snoozed back right away after checking that it was too early for the breakfast time (my body clock wakes me up at five in the morning).

At nine in the morning, I regained my spirit back and headed for a long and lavish shower. It was so good that I almost forgot about the breakfast time.

The complimentary buffet breakfast is served at Anibong Restaurant which is an all-day dining/in-house restaurant of Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel. A wide array of local and international brekkie favorites were served and I immediately went to the soup station to warm up my soul. I love food and hotel breakfast is one of my considerations in future return visits; I must say that their breakfast was absolutely filling and satisfying.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan
Anibong Restaurant
I kept loading up on bacon, pork tocino, longganisa, beef tapa, and yoghurt. Weird combination, I know, but it works well with me. I haven’t tried the salads, breads and canapes but they all looked amazing as well.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan
Pork tocino plus everything...
I went back to my room without thinking of leaving it for a round of the city (I will do that later) and decided to check out the pool. The outdoor pool was cozy with daybeds and shrubs surrounding it. I was ready to have a quick dip but changed my mind as my body was yearning for my comfy bed.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan
Outdoor pool
I went back to my room, switched on the TV and started scanning it until I realized that I fell into a deep coma once again. If sleeping was a contest that day I’m sure to grab the top prize on it.

I stirred to wake as my buddy called my attention for our check out. I heaved a deep sigh of melancholy as I was just starting to mold myself into my bed and cocoon all day. I started to pack my stuff and lounged one last time on the bed. It was too hard to leave but we still have a flight to catch so I bid my last farewell to my room.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan

We were treated on a hefty buffet lunch before we left, and it was a feast.

We went back to Anibong Restaurant where we had a seafood banquet. Fresh salmon and tuna were carved into perfect sashimi slices while lobsters, prawns and crabs rested on a bucket. Soup, salad, and dessert stations were also available. It was totally a grand feast as we filled our plates with loads and loads of seafood (I love my crustaceans!).


Me love my crustaceans! :)
It was a bittersweet overnight stay as I reminisced the old city’s charm and the vibrancy of the new developments around it. We didn’t get to tour around the city, for we already did that years before. We’ve also been to the famous Underground River and the Honda Bay Island Hopping Tours. We’ve explored Coron, El Nido, Balabac, the southernmost tip of Palawan, and San Vicente for the longest beach in the country. But this was the first time I get to savor and feel the warmth of Palawan as I remembered it vividly. Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel is bringing back what I probably loved most about the city; that homey and laidback feel which truly echoed on the four walls of my super comfy room. And I will be coming back for sure, probably with my mom.

Best Western Plus Ivywall Hotel
Rizal Avenue extension, 5300,
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines
Contact Number: (+63) 48.716.5108
Email Address: dondon.posadas@bwplusivywall.com

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