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Palawan on a Budget: La Charica Hotel PDF Print E-mail

by Trix Deseo

So you've managed to get past the ruckus that is coveting a hundred peso worth of plane ticket online. Together with your friends, you've clicked almost endlessly, waited extra patiently, and finally, secured a seat for your next month's barkada outing. Your destination? The serene and beautiful Palawan.

The next hurdle is snagging yet another good deal in finding a budget-friendly hotel. Big hotel chains are out of the question since this is an impromptu trip. Besides, you would want to reserve your money for the tour packages you'll be needing for the trip, right? Again, you use your mighty Googling powers and come up with a list of the places that won't injure your wallet. But as you scan the options for the hotels that fall under the "below a thousand per night" category, you can't help but think twice. The dubious-looking, make-shift inns do not exactly give you that feeling of security. Will you really be sleeping peacefully in there?

And then you come across this article about La Charica. Congratulations, you may have found yourself one of the best deals you can get in Palawan.

La Charica is a fairly-new boutique hotel at 126 Abad Santos St., Puerto Princesa City. It's in a perfect location since you're just five to ten minutes from everywhere. Rizal Avenue, the main road where most of the shops and the restaurants are at, is a just a short walk away from Abad Santos.

I've come across La Charica's site while personally searching for a budget hotel to stay at within the city. Its website? A lot more decent than 90 percent of what I saw from the others online. A quick browse on the pictures that featured the charming little spots in the hotel convinced me to research further. One look at their rates, and I was sold. I quickly informed the travel agency I was coordinating with and they approved of La Charica since the hotel is also one of their partner establishments. Off to Palawan!

Upon arrival, we quickly found the driver outside the airport holding a placard with our surname on it. I'd be ungrateful not to note that he was quite jolly and helpful. His niceness made up for the outmoded hotel van that's supposed to take us to the hotel. After a little less than ten minutes of travel, we were welcomed pleasantly in.

The hotel is small and amiable. It's not exactly what you would describe as chic and elegant, but that doesn't make it any less attractive.

From the reception counter to the waiting area, there's a notable focus on neutral colors and the use of polished wood. They've also exerted a little effort in putting an indoor rock falls and quaint chandeliers.

Outside is a small garden, with huts, a bar, slightly bigger falls, and Mickey Mouse ceramics on the rocky pavement.

One flight of stairs up would lead you to a terrace with a refreshing view of trees around. This is the best spot to access their free wifi, and relax undisturbed.

We were initially booked to occupy a regular Family Room (P2,400/night) at the first floor of the hotel but perhaps because we went there during lean season, they were generous enough to offer us the Penthouse Suite (P5,500/night) at no additional cost.

It would take four flights of stairs to reach the Penthouse Suite. Those who're not up to taking that much stairs all the time are advised to take rooms at the lower floors. A Double Occupancy Room would set you back P1,300 while a stay at the Dormitory will require each person to pay P450 per night.

The Penthouse Suite isn't as fancy as what it sounds like. Do not expect a chichi room with walk-in closets, bath tubs, fluffy comforters, and wall-mounted LED TVs. La Charica's Penthouse Suite is basically one big air-conditioned room with one double bed and two singles, one small bathroom, a cable TV set, a mini-ref and an outdoor terrace with a sofa, garden table, a rocking chair, and a sink. When you're booked in here, you could basically do whatever you want without disturbing the rest of the hotel.

The suite is best for barkadas and families. After a tiring day tour, lounging by the terrace with some chips and drinks is the perfect way to end the night. Just make sure to slather on heavy-duty mosquito repellent lotions every now and then.

They provide basic breakfast, which consists of an egg, not-so-warm toast, banana, and instant coffee that is complimentary to every booking. You may also opt to pay extra for more items on their menu. But then again, Palawan's best restaurants are one trike ride away from La Charica. Finding a good breakfast place is no feat.

La Charica also offers 24-hour room service, security, and a stand by generator. You may also want to know that the hotel is equipped with smoke detectors and fire alarms. Massage services, foreign exchange, and tour packages are also available upon inquiry.

If you're planning a trip to Puerto Princesa, you might want to save yourself from sepending too much and consider this lovely hotel that's safe but is friendly on the budget. Besides, why would you need a hotel with a pool if Honda Bay's pristine beaches are less than an hour away? Those bucks that you'll save? Use them instead to partake in the culinary offerings, adventures, and endless surprises Palawan can offer. Visit











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