This Albay Hotel IS the Destination...
"I Dreamed Of This" is all about incredible experiences, and usually my hotel stays are just part of these incredible experiences.
However, at The Oriental Hotel in Legazpi, the hotel IS the incredible experience. Yes, I have some specific restaurant recommendations, and the service is pretty good, but what really makes the hotel special are these incredible views!
Imagine swimming in an infinity pool overlooking a tropical city...and one placed in the shadow of the most "perfect cone" volcano in the world.
Yes, that's something to dream about.
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The hotel is always working to dial in the best experience for its guests, but pay close attention to my recommendations here, and you are bound to have an incredible experience at the Oriental!
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The Oriental comes with a free breakfast buffet, and this is great, because I actually prefer the breakfast options to the ones at dinner. I am a big fan of pancakes...and here, along with a custom-made omelette and bacon (if you request), you can eat to heart's content. Coffee is unlimited, and there are pineapple, mango, and calamansi juice options as well.
For lunch and dinner, I recommend ordering off the menu. At dinner time, I believe you can do this by ordering in the lounge / cafe next door to Jasmine Restaurant. The "monster burger" is appropriately named...it's huge! It's quite good, and at just 250 pesos, a great value for such an upscale place. The grilled panini and chicken wrap (healthier) are also solid options. Don't forget to try the crispy and delicious calamares as well!
Now For The Main Course...Dessert!
In my opinion, dessert is where the cuisine at the Oriental really shines. There is an impressive assortment of treats like puto kutsinta, cheesecake, maja blanca, halo-halo,
brownies, and mouth-watering banana bread. If you truly are a dessert lover, the dinner buffet will provide you all of these options...
Good Luck Getting Out Of Bed...
The other place the hotel really shines is the comfort of the bedding. I'm not sure if all rooms have the same options mine did, but I will say that here I had the most
luxurious and comfortable rest in all of my time in the Philippines. The quality of the mattress, the silky sheets, and the down comforter + pillows make all of the difference in the
General Tips For Your Stay
I was fortunate to stay long enough to really experience everything the hotel has to offer, so you could consider me somewhat of an expert at this point! Haha. I just want to mention
a few helpful things:
Wifi - While not all rooms have this problem, on the 5th floor
I had a weak wifi connection. I was able to solve this by bringing my computer to the balcony, where the signal was strong. Truly an elegant solution, when you consider the
views from my new "office"! (Note: Sometimes the connection needs to be reset by the staff, but along with any other requests, they will gladly take care of this for
Elevator - The hotel is equipped with some cutting-edge
technology, but for me it took some getting used to. The elevator has touch-screen buttons, but unlike a standard elevator, they don't work when push them with your fingertips. Instead,
just press your thumb against them and it will work fine.
Aircon - Of course the rooms have cold aircon, but the massive
lobby and restaurant downstairs is cooled naturally. The cost to both the hotel and the environment would be astronomical otherwise. If you find that you are too warm, you can sit
close to the windows where the breeze is . They will also be happy to bring you a fan if you need.
Promos: From time to time there's a promo for 2 nights +
airfare from Manila for under 5k pesos ($125 USD)...keep an eye out for that, because for a hotel like this, it's a great deal. I also hear you can get rooms without a Mayon view for
half the price. Since the volcano may be covered by clouds anyway, you might consider saving some money.
Getting There / Booking a Room
The Oriental is located high on a hill in Legazpi City, and all trike and taxi drivers know how to get there. You can fly to Legazpi airport from Manila or Cebu, but the good news is that a
new international airport should be ready by 2016.
The Oriental would be a great place to experience while in Albay sightseeing or ATV riding up Mayon volcano. Afterward, you can keep the adventure going by heading to Donsol, Sorsogon to swim with the "gentle giants"...the whale sharks!
In closing, I would like to thank sir Marlon and the staff at the Oriental...and of course Governor Salceda and Bicolano Man for showing me the warmth and beauty of Albay!
You can book your stay with The Oriental HERE
- Nathan Allen
(photo by BM Snapshots...taken @ Vera Falls,
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