7 Reasons Why I love Staying at Ferra Hotel Boracay

July 29th, 2016





There are too many hotels to choose in Boracay.  If you ask me, I will tell you to pick Ferra Hotel Boracay.

I have stayed at Ferra thrice. First was last April 2015 for a media trip, then I brought my husband and kids last October 2015 . Last week, we stayed at Ferra when my sister came home from Japan with her kids.

Thus, I won’t be shy to recommend you this small hotel in Boracay. Here’s why.


Personalized Service, Attention to Details




Ferra Hotel only has 37 guest rooms. This hotel in Boracay benefited from the trend of more guests staying in boutique hotels because they render personalised services. Less guests means each need is taken cared of right away.

For example, my kids and nieces wanted to ride an e-tryk. All we did was informing the lovely ladies at the front desk and they go it for us. Same goes with my massage. Ferra staff provided us with skilled massage therapists. If you need help with your island activities, Ferra Hotel can assist you.

One of the details that I like are flip flops they provide. So, there is no need for me to bring my own rubber flip flops. I’m not sure if this is a big deal for others, but I appreciate it. Staying here thrice, I have seen some additions they fitted to the rooms for their guests to have the best Boracay stay.


Best Rooms




Looking for hotels in Boracay with great rooms was a challenge. Great rooms often come with a price, affordable hotels offer average hotel rooms.  Ferra Hotel Boracay rates is inexpensive yet guests can stay in one of the best rooms in the island. The sleep quality is often mentioned in other Ferra Hotel Boracay review.

When you bring your family to Boracay, you need to double your effort because you want to make sure they will be comfortable and it will pass their own standards. True enough, both my husband and my sister approve Ferra’s rooms.




Great Food for Everyone



Luckily, I have a fair share of hotels serving great food in the island and one of them is Ferra.  On top of their delicious food, they offer a wide variety to suit different palate. Guests at Ferra comes from different countries, and their food caters to each taste buds.

With last week’s trip, my kids can’t live without sinigang and grilled liempo while my Filipino-American nieces want their pasta.   Dinner at Ferra was a success with our kids enjoying their meals. Less hassle for the moms. On top of it all, food is inexpensive.




Their breakfast buffet spread is also good. We love how their staff offered pancakes ( waffles was at the buffet) to the kids. I love their pork longganisa, sister likes their noodles guisado.


Peaceful Boracay Boutique Accommodation




One of the complaints for Boracay hotels is noise – noise from the parties or nearby constructions. At Ferra, you will have a good sleep, especially after a good massage!

I took the photo above when we arrived after a long day at the beach.  Inviting isn’t it? Staying at Ferra also means staying in a safe hotel. I have brought my laptop and other gadgets while at Ferra.




That’s the normal day at Ferra. The lobby is never crowded, giving Ferra this homey vibe. It is relaxing. I think that is one of the many advantages when you book in a small hotel.


Nice Location



Ferra hotel Boracay location is at Bulabog. Bulabog Beach ( photo above) is only 6 minutes away on foot. It is also a short walk from D’mall and White Beach. At first, I thought it was a little bit far ( I was used to staying at White Beach) but it actually isn’t.

Likewise, if you avail watersports activities, they are now done at Bulabog. I like the plan, exclusively giving White Beach to swimming and paraw sailing.

Its location is an assurance of a noise-free stay in the island. Your short walk also let your absorb the unique vibe of Boracay.



Inviting Pool




If you want to stay in a hotel in Boracay with pool, book Ferra Hotel. It has a modern pool, great for quick laps. My kids love their pool and that is their only complaint when we were there- we didn’t give them enough time to swim.




Ferra’s pool is a good place to bring the kids when it is too hot to swim at the beach or pre-bedtime swim to release what is left of their energies.



Rooftop Bar




Aah..my favorite spot at Ferra – Ruf Resto Bar. If you want to spend a peaceful dinner, reserve your seats. I highly recommend this to those traveling with kids. Kids often start acting up when sleepy, just when the adults want to enjoy some “nightlife”.

You are in Boracay, you need to enjoy your mojito! Plus, Ferra Hotel gives complimentary cocktails…love it!

This area gives us the right balance. We enjoyed our drinks while the kids are already asleep at the couch. The bigger kids went to the other part of the bar to watch a movie.  Therefore, if you are parent and want to have some nightlife, stay at Ferra Hotel Boracay.

Inexpensive, safe, relaxing with personalised service, you can never go wrong with Ferra. I have brought my family at Ferra and they all exclaim how great this accommodation is. My sister vowed to go back to Ferra for their next Boracay trip and I’m looking forward bringing my parents to Ferra Hotel, adding more reasons why I love staying at this new hotel in Boracay.

Thank you Ferra Hotel. I think you are one of the biggest factor why my sister’s first Boracay trip was a success. Traveling with 4 kids is no joke, and your hotel made it a breeze. All the best to you, Ferra Hotel!

For Ferra Hotel Boracay contact number and other information, visit their official site – www.ferrahotel.com





Nogas Island, 13 Years After

July 13th, 2016





While planning for our Boracay trip next week, I was reminded of our trip to Nogas Island last month that I still need to share to you. Sorry, it took so long.

Nogas Island is one of Antique’s off shore islands, located in Anini-y town. If you want to explore Antique, Nogas Islad is a good start. For our visit, it was our last hoorah before my kids go back to school.

Nogas Island is one special island to me. Sentimental so to speak. I’ve been trying to go back and finally, after seeing my friends’ posts on Nogas, I just need to go back.

Nogas Island reminds me of my well-loved History professor, Prof. Henry, who passed away years ago. It was during his class and we had to make a town profile of Anini-y. It was fun because we rarely do have field work when I was studying History in UP, plus, it was an overnight trip. Overnight trips for college students seem like a trip to Disneyland.

After our field work, before going back to our campus in Miag-ao, Sir Henry brought us to Nogas Island. Back in the day, “travel” is not what it’s like what it is today. Honestly, it was just another island to visit because our bunch were more into our noisy selves.






But I do remember how blue the water was. There is a part that the water turns indigo.  And my classmate wanted to keep on dipping his hand into the water while the bangka was running. Sir Henry tried to scare us to keep quiet and that there were sharks.

Some of the memories are snippets. I remember this line of Calachuchi, the flowers I used to adorned my curly hair whenever I do the Hawaiian dance. Today, it is mandatory photo spot among tourists.





We took a class photo on the exact spot sans the graffiti. I’m still trying to dig my friend’s Facebook baul to post the photo. Who would have thought I’d be going back to Nogas with these two beautiful boys?





We took a different trail 13 years ago. We went to other side of the island and took a longer time. I remember one of my friends, Reagan, with his purple batik sarong as shade from the scorching sun. And we I saw a mother and her daughter shore fishing for shells. The island was so to speak, man-free.

We never swam. Before going back, I asked myself why Sir Henry didn’t let us take a dip. I thought he was in a hurry or something. But to be honest, Nogas Island more on a snorkelling kind of an island rather than a dipping beach. The sand is bigger, coarser, and rock bottomed.





I returned after 13 years, and it was a low tide, I felt guilty stepping on healthy corals that  I asked my kids and husband to just leave and head to the shore. I hope the local government can designate a swimming area for tourists to keep off from the corals.





I disrupted my kids’ playtime in the water to take a hike with the caretaker’s son as our guide. That’s another unique thing about Nogas, you can go on a short hike just like what we did in Mantigue Island in Camiguin


Another phot op favorite is this Banyan Tree, though we didn’t see this during college days.





For a small island, you’ll be impressed with its vegetation. Kid2 asked if we were lost.





I love the moss covered woods.





I miss my college friends and my life back then. Good memories.





Still, Nogas is rich in marine resources. While I was rekindling college memories, my kids had close interactions with nature. Hello, Mr. Krab!





Is it you, Gary?



More shells..





A meadow of sea grass during low tide.





Nogas is a birding destination. These mangroves not only provide solace for baby fishes but to migratory birds as well.





I think we spotted some starfish here.





Thirteen years, I must say Nogas hasn’t changed that much. Though there are cottages in the island and a caretaker to assist tourists. To get to Nogas Island, travel all the way south to Anini-y,  and just go to Siraan Hot Spring, pay the environmental fee and rent a boat for Php500.

Nogas Island is great destination for those who prefer somewhere closer. Let’s keep the island sustainably developed – no trash and don’t step on the corals!

Thanks for reading!


July 8th, 2016


Fitness, fun, and fashion merge as UNIQLO joins the high-performance sphere with the launch of its newest line, UNIQLO SPORTS, in the country.Designed not only for sports scenes but also for daily life, UNIQLO SPORTS features athletic function without compromising comfort and style.

UNIQLO makes the good life better by continuously producing high-quality and innovative products that address the changing lifestyles of Filipinos,” says Geraldine Sia, UNIQLO Philippines General Manager. “This summer, we are thrilled to showcase UNIQLO SPORTS.”



HyperFocal: 0

Uniqlo’s newest line, UNIQLO SPORTS, brings together fashion and function. Photo shows runner         Lauren Young in a Light Pocketable Parka, AIRism tank top, dry sweat pants, and comfort bra.


UNIQLO SPORTS is part of the UNIQLO LifeWear collection that highlights apparel that comes from the Japanese values of simplicity, quality, and longevity. Designed to be of the time and for the time, LifeWear is made with such modern elegance that it becomes building blocks of each individual’s style. LifeWear is clothing that is constantly being innovated, bringing more warmth, lightness, better design, and better comfort to people’s lives.

Featuring highly functional DRY EX and AIRISM products, UNQILO SPORTS makes use of a special material and design to help you perform in style. The new line is not only for the gym or for the court; it’s for the contemporary way of life. Two products that showcase style in sports are the DRY EX-Polo for Men and the AIRism Full Zip Hoodie for Women.




Professional Tennis Player Novak Djokovic in a Dry EX short sleeve polo shirt and shorts. The Dry EX line features conventional quick-drying items.




Dancer Sonoya Mizuno in Women AIRism racerback bra sleeveless top, Women AIRism UV Cut mesh full zip hoodie, and Women Dry sweat pants.



Whether you plan to work out at the gym or are anticipating a day with intense physical activity, UNIQLO’s Dry EX Polo Shirt is perfect for you. This men’s polo is made with next-generation, high-tech DRY-EX material that can dry excessive sweat with rapid speed. Although it is 100% polyester, the texture is similar to cotton pique material. The cut is designed to allow excellent mobility, and the high-performance material is great for casual scenarios.


The AIRism Full Zip Hoodie for women, on the other hand, is great for both warm-weather exercising and everyday casual wear. It disperses moisture, helping the body feel cool, while its breathable mesh material lets you slip it on easily. Its UV Cut function also blocks UV rays and the thumbholes in the sleeves let you keep even your hands covered from ultra-violet rays.


Yoga Instructor Waka Nozawa in a Women ‘s UV Cut long sleeve full zip hoodie, dry sweat pants, and comfort bra.

Yoga Instructor Waka Nozawa in a Women ‘s UV Cut long sleeve full zip hoodie, dry sweat pants, and comfort bra.



The Women AIRism UV Cut mesh full zip hoodie has a light, supple fit.

The Women AIRism UV Cut mesh full zip hoodie has a light, supple fit.



Stay active and fashionable by upgrading your style with UNIQLO SPORTS. With its distinct innovation and basic style sensibilities, UNIQLO is the brand of choice for all Filipinos.

For more updates, consumers may visit UNIQLO Philippines’ website at www.uniqlo.com/ph and social media accounts, Facebook (facebook.com/uniqlo.ph), Twitter (twitter.com/uniqloph) and Instagram (Instagram.com/uniqlophofficial).


UNIQLO is now open in SM City Iloilo, Upper Ground Floor, Mall Extension. 


Source: UNIQLO Press Kit


Mary the Queen Chapel: Delivering Dignity to the Community

July 5th, 2016






Relocating informal settlers is not as easy as we often see. It’s not just about removing and finding a new home for them, the site should be close to significant places like their source of livelihood and schools. My friend who works for a humanitarian group said, “..you have to give them dignity or else, you are just displacing families“.

The relocation site in Baranggay Lanit, Jaro is a community of residents used to informally settle along Iloilo River. Not far from the city center and the area is conducive for raising a family, Bgry. Lanit is a model relocation site. And to complete their new home and community, a chapel is built for their spiritual needs and guidance.

Mary the Queen Chapel is now part of Balabago Parish, serving not just Lanit Relocation Site but neighboring communities as well.

It’s beautiful, isn’t it? A chapel that the residents of the site truly deserve.





Located just beside the site, residents don’t have to travel or spend for transportation when they need to go to church.










Standing within a 1,500 sam property, the chapel has ample space for all worshippers covering an area of 326 sq meters.





The interior and overall ambiance of Mary the Queen Chapel radiate love and compassion.  Open layout with natural light and ventilation coming in, Mary the Queen Chapel is perfect for  intimate celebrations like weddings and baptisms.









This 6.1 million chapel was funded and built by Felicidad T. Sy Foundation.


Last June 27, Mary the Queen Chapel was blessed and turnovered to the archdiocese of Jaro. Present is SM Matriach, Felicidad Sy and Most Reverend Angel Lagdameo, archbishop of Jaro.






Here are some photos from the Blessing and Turnover Ceremony of Mary the Queen Chapel in Bgry. Lanit, Jaro, Iloilo City.






Members of SM’s Sy Family and SM Executives.





Archbishop Lagdameo officiating the Holy Mass











May the people and the parish, take good care of this holy structure. Warm gratitude to Felicidad T. Sy and her eponymous foundation.



Hipmunk’s Guide to Landing the Lowest Summer Airfare

June 27th, 2016



This post below was originally published on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on April 12,2016.





Gas prices are down, the temperature is heating up, and travelers are inevitably looking to take advantage of both this summer.

In fact, with all the sunny news about oil prices you may be itching to plan an escape of your own. But summer is three whole months long, airfare is usually priced at a premium, and there tends to be a lot of confusion for travelers around the optimal purchase date to obtain the best deal. Indeed, the most asked travel advice question posed to Hipmunk Navigators concerns the best time to purchase a ticket.

As of March 31, 2016, overall domestic summer airfare (flights departing and returning during June, July, or August), is down from a median price of $330 to $286.

Similarly, flights from the US to major European countries – Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland – follow the same trend: travelers this summer are paying about 15 percent less than last year, from a median price of $1331 to $1129.

And those savings seem to translate into a higher proportion of people planning longer getaways: In 2015, 46 percent of summer vacations that involved flights lasted four days or fewer, while just 33 percent lasted between seven and 10 days.

In 2016, however, 40 percent are four days or fewer, while 38 percent are between seven and 10 days, indicating a shift towards longer vacations.

To ensure that the hardest decision you’ll have to make this summer season is which umbrella drink you’ll order, Hipmunk analyzed its historical booking data to find the best time to buy summer flights on a monthly and holiday basis. Further, you can find an an interactive guide to summer airfare that show the best times to book flights book flights from the top US cities to trending destinations for summer 2016, as well as Memorial Day, Labor Day and July 4th here.

Let’s dive in.

When to Buy: Summer Holiday

An analysis of Hipmunk’s historical data found that flights booked at least five to seven weeks in advance of major summer holidays—Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day—generally lock in better airfares.

Memorial Day: 5 weeks prior

The kick-off summer holiday weekend is also the second most popular travel time of the season and flight prices rise rapidly. The optimal time to buy according to historical data is five weeks prior to the holiday. (31 percent less than the week-of high).



Fourth of July: 6 weeks prior


The most popular time to travel during the summer season is the week leading up to the July 4th holiday. To avoid steep price hikes, it’s best to book six weeks prior. (21 percent less than the week-of high).



Labor Day: 7 weeks prior


The unofficial end of the summer also has the longest lead time. A safe bet is to purchase tickets towards the end of July when prices are their lowest—about seven weeks before the holiday weekend. However, if your plans are up in the air, you might be able to secure that same price up to three weeks in advance. (60 percent less than the week-of high).





When to Buy: Vacation Month


If your dates are more flexible and you’re trying to decide when to buy tickets to score the lowest prices for a particular month, our data showed that there were two times when travelers could optimize their purchasing power: two months before the beginning of summer or five to seven weeks prior to their departure month, with a vacation in August needing the least amount of lead time and a vacation in July the most.

June: Now, or mid-May




July: Now, or the first week of June



Now that you know the best times to buy for your summer vacation, it’s time to start planning. Try Hello Hipmunk, your free personal travel agent, to get flight and hotel recommendations straight to your inbox.




Hipmunk analyzed its historical roundtrip airfare data from the top 30 US airports to determine the best times to purchase airfare.

To compare summer 2016 airfares and vacation lengths to those in summer 2015: Hipmunk calculated the median weekly round-trip flight prices for all flights booked during the first week of Jan 2015 through the last week of March 2015 for flights that departed and returned between Memorial Day and Labor Day, as well as the number of days of trip length for those flights, from the top 30 US airports (flight prices were included the week in which the flight departed). Hipmunk performed calculations with the same criteria for 2016 flights, and compared the results.

To find the best times to buy for lowest airfares: Hipmunk calculated the median weekly round-trip flight price from the top 30 US airports, for flights booked from the first week of April 2015 to the last week of August 2015 .



Hipmunk considered a flight for a holiday weekend one that departs up to three days prior to a holiday and returns up to two days after.


Hipmunk Hotels: Places to Stay in North Carolina — Durham, Charlotte, Wilmington, Asheville and Chapel Hill

June 25th, 2016


The post below was originally published on A New Life Wandering on April 11,2016.


Image via Flickr by Yumian Deng

North Carolina has a diverse landscape ranging from beaches, mountains, and cool cities in between with lots of history. If you haven’t gotten to know this state yet, you will not regret a visit. If you don’t know where to start, the cities of Durham, Charlotte, Wilmington, Asheville, and Chapel Hill all have plenty of things to do. Each have their own charming personality.

Below, you can learn a little bit about these three cities and find ideas of where to stay if you decide to visit.




This is where I spent most of my three years in North Carolina. Home to the prestigious Duke University, Durham has a lively energy to it. One of the best things about Durham is the food scene; it was crowned the The South’s Tastiest Town by Southern Living, and I can vouch for that title.

A great hotel to book here would be the The King’s Daughters Inn, which offers the best combination of an elegant and luxurious hotel with a bed & breakfast style. It is centrally located near most of Durham’s best places including the Duke Gardens. For more hotel options you can browse cheap hotels in Durham.

Image via Flickr by Mr. Jincks



Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and offers countless activities, including browsing the NASCAR Hall of Fame, learning about post–Civil War history at the Levine Museum, and interacting with science at the Discovery Place. You can browse the city’s hotel guide to find a place to stay, or look no further than The Dunhill Hotel — a historic, vintage hotel that will make you feel like you walked into an old photograph.

Image via Flickr by DrOMM


I fell in love with Wilmington just minutes after strolling around downtown. The town has a strong history, and it shows along the mile-long downtown Riverwalk and along the waterfront. If you like movies, Wilmington houses the largest American television and film production facility outside of California.

If you want a full-on historic experience, you can stay at the 1913 revival style home Airbnb in the heart of the historic district and within walking distance to many shops, dining, and nightlife. If you would like to stay at a more conventional hotel, you can check out more hotels in Wilmington.

Image via Flickr by James Willamor



If you prefer a place closer to the mountains with a vibrant arts scene, a laid-back attitude, and historic architecture, then look no further than Asheville. Downtown, you can enjoy the many art galleries, museums, places to eat, and a historical aesthetic like the former factory buildings now being used as residences and art studios. To find a place to stay, used this easy-to-navigate Asheville hotel guide.

Image via Flickr by Joshua A Cole

Chapel Hill


Last but not least, Chapel Hill owns up to its spirited atmosphere thanks to the local and beloved University of North Carolina. Places to explore here include the following: the Science Center, the Basketball Museum, the North Carolina Botanical Garden, the local favorite and must-visit Top of the Hill restaurant and brewery, and the historical Carolina Inn. You can make it easier to visit this gem by choosing to book your room there! Or, find a different place with the Chapel Hill Hotel Guide.

Image via Flickr by Tom

Whether you pick the foodie and smart town of Durham, the fast growing city of Charlotte, the charming coastal town of Wilmington, the artsy mountain town of Asheville, or the laid-back college town of Chapel Hill, there is no wrong choice.

UNIQLO Has Arrived in Iloilo

June 16th, 2016




The highly anticipated Japanese apparel brand has finally opened their doors, making SM City Iloilo home to the 3rd  UNIQLO store in the Visayas. The store will officially open on June 17th.

Together with members of the press, yours truly had a chance to get the first look at their store, right before the VIP shopping. The store tour was curated by no other than their lovely store manager. Let’s start!



UNIQLO tags LifeWear as their brand’s image, offering high quality and innovating everyday wear.




I’m familiar with UNIQLO and working as a eigo no sensei ( English teacher) in Japan a decade ago, this brand has been synonymous with affordable pieces. Because they were everywhere in Japan, UNIQLO was the place to go whenever you have wardrobe emergencies – you can always buy something from their store!



UNIQLO is so far the biggest clothing store occupying SM City Iloilo, offering a full range of everyday LifeWear essentials for men, women, and children. I still wear my reliable lounge hoodie and jogging pants till this day – UNIQLO pieces older than my kids. That’s how durable their products are.

I often shop for UNIQLO polos back in the day because they are inexpensive yet stylish, along with inner wear. I miss those camisoles with dainty neckline details. 



UNIQLO SM City Iloilo manager showing to us the mesh innerwear. No VPL ( visible panty lines).


Giving our “twins” the right support without the painful underwires.

Casual, everyday pieces for women. Great clothing when dropping off and picking up the kids. I have now 4 UNIQLO shirts, one more and I have a weekly “uniform”. haha.

If you want something a little bit ” dressy” and business casual..

Let’s check out the men’s section…

A great Father’s Day gift is a Pique Polo shirt, drying sweat and suppressing odor, courtesy of DRY technology. Then of course, AIRism pieces.

AIRism is light as air and dries sweat quickly, available for men, women, and even kids. I’ll definitely get AIRism polos for my kids, next time.

Another best-selling piece for men at UNIQLO is their Skinny Fit Tampered Jeans.

And for the kids and babies!

I got kid1 cargo pants and shorts,  while kid2 had a Doreamon shirt and a nautical themed shorts. ” Oh, it feels nice!“, said kid2 while touching his shirt during our fitting session.

So are you ready? Head to UNIQLO at Upper Ground Floor of SM City Iloilo and get discounts and other novelty items as part of their exclusive opening offers ! Enjoy shopping!

Business & Pleasure: Boutique Hotels in South San Francisco

June 13th, 2016



Photo by City Bitches Abroad via Trover 


Frequent travelers to California’s Bay Area often opt to stay in South San Francisco. It’s close to the international airport and business areas like biotech companies, so what more can you ask for? To balance business with leisure, South San Francisco also provides relaxing bay views, marina, parks, and other tourist attractions.

The next step is looking for the best place to stay. Check out these hotels in South San Francisco.

A Suite Life

All the suites at Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport bear a contemporary vibe and prove ultra-spacious with separate living areas. Thus, this is the hotel for those who prefer high-end hotels. Its main feature is the tropical atrium, which features a koi fish pond and fountain. There is also an indoor heated pool to soothe your tired muscles after a long day!

Business travelers will love the wide array of business amenities as well as the shuttle services to the airport, which is 3 miles from the hotel. If you are staying at the hotel on a Friday or Saturday, take advantage of the free motor coach heading to the downtown area.


Practicality Meets Comfort


Do you find boutique hotels in South San Francisco too expensive for your budget? Experience the benefits of staying in a small hotel like the CitiGarden Hotel, which is located not far from the business district. It’s perfect for guests who want to arrive in a peaceful environment at the end of the day, and this courtyard-style hotel has a pool and in-house restaurant.

Rooms are comfortable with TVs and Wi-Fi, and for a small charge, guests can have a fridge and a microwave. Want to relax or keep up with your fitness regimen? There are biking and walking trails close by.


Quaint Stay


Traveling for business can be rigid for some, and for guests who want to have a piece of home, La Quinta Inn San Francisco Airport North is the best choice. Rooms are old-fashioned but not dated, resulting to a homey ambiance. This lovely hotel is equipped with a fitness center, spa, and a pool. They also offer a 24-hour laundry service and valet parking.

Providing comfort and convenience, airport shuttle services are available, while key attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, and Golden Gate Bridge are a few minutes away by car.



Photo by Majid Shaheen via Trover



Cozy and Intimate Break

If you wish to stay in a boutique hotel in South San Francisco, pick the Inn at Oyster Point. There are only 30 rooms, assuring guests of personalized services and less crowded accommodations.

Each room is chic and indulgant, with charming décor, fireplaces, and picturesque bay views. Enjoy fresh seafood at the SouthHarbour Restaurant. The city’s Marina and shopping area are conveniently accessible along with the business center. For those driving to South San Francisco, the hotel offers free parking on top of their complimentary airport shuttles.

Modern Business


For those who don’t want to risk missing their flights, stay at Holiday Inn San Francisco International Airport. The hotel is the airport’s closest neighbor, but it is not secluded, with the downtown area easily accessible. If you want to travel in the city via subway, the station is just a few minutes away from this hotel. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley is only 30 minutes away by car.

All guest rooms are newly renovated, echoing sleek and contemporary themes — perfect for today’s business travelers. The hotel provides room service and a 24-hour gym. For post-meeting entertainment over drinks and food, head off to Houlihan’s Restaurant.

South San Francisco not only offers the best location, linking business districts and tourist attractions, but varied hotel options available for different types of travelers.  From inexpensive hotels to worth-every-pennyaccommodations, or intimate lodging to those with the best location, take a pick to any of the hotels mentioned above.

This article is written for Hipmunk’s Boutique Hotels in the US Fall 2015.

Family-Friendly Boutique Hotels in South Padre Islands

June 11th, 2016


South Padre Island has long been a top choice for spring break beach parties, but over the years, it’s also built a reputation as a family vacation destination. When traveling to South Padre Island with your brood this summer, check out these family-friendly accommodations.

Photo via Schlitterbahn Beach Resort & Waterpark

Fun for Everyone

Put your family in the center of all the fun at Schlitterbahn Beach Resort and Waterpark. Rooms are accentuated by recovered Loblolly pine from a 2011 wildfire, creating a relaxing vibe. Book a double king room or a two-bedroom suite, which includes a bunk bed set and a queen sleeper sofa.

The water park is the resort’s highlight, and it’s one of South Padre Island’s top attractions. The heated indoor water park is open year round, so you can enjoy all-day fun on 13 water slides. Attractions vary from baby-friendly to more challenging rides like an uphill water coaster and a surfing ride.


Affordable Stays

Traveling as a family can be costly, but you can save when you stay in inexpensive hotels like the Padre South Hotel on the Beach. The hotel’s two-bedroom suites have enough space for families, along with private balconies that offer views of the Gulf of Mexico. Families can save money on dining by preparing meals in the hotel kitchenette. Laundry facilities are also available.

Guest will love the pool with Jacuzzi. Top attractions like the beach, the water park, and Laguna Madre Nature Trail are just a few minutes away.


Photo via Pearl of the South Padre




Lap of Luxury

When you want to indulge, stay at Pearl South Padre. Everything from the guest rooms to the grounds is luxurious. The whole family will love the stunning pool, which is the largest in South Texas, along with the pristine beach and the restaurant’s delectable seafood dishes.

Choose an oceanfront suite to enjoy unrivaled views of the Gulf. Kid-friendly offerings like Summer Kids Camp, complimentary breakfasts for kids under 12, and family movies are available. Mom and Dad will enjoy their much-deserved massages from the hotel’s spa.


Hip Place for the Family

If you are looking for a boutique hotel on South Padre Island, check out Wanna Wanna Inn. There are just 15 rooms that include staples like a fridge, cable TV, and a microwave. Even without the frills, however, this property has this beach vibe that your whole family will love.

At this beachfront hotel, kids can play in the sand or swim in the saltwater pool. Bring your furry friend along for the trip, since Wanna Wanna Inn is pet friendly.


The Best of Both Worlds

Properties like WindWater Hotel offer a more complete list of facilities without the high room rates. Top attractions and the beach are just a few minutes away. After a long day at the beach or enjoying the island’s attractions, find comfort at the hotel’s pool and hot tub. Free Wi-Fi, breakfast, and parking are also nice perks

WindWater Hotel only allows guests 21 years of age and over, so this is the perfect place for families with adult kids. Pets are also welcome at the WindWater Hotel.

Whether you’re a parent looking for a family-friendly resort or a kid who wants to plan a nice beach getaway for siblings and parents, you’ll have your pick of hotels on South Padre Island. From affordable rooms to indulgent accommodations, these South Padre Island hotels will make your trip special.


This article is written for Hipmunk’s Boutique Hotels in the US Fall 2015. To know more hotel properties, visit and read these articles..

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Boracay Tropics Resort Hotel Review

June 10th, 2016




A few years back, Boracay Tropics Resort Hotel was  home to the stars and celebrities while in Boracay. A Best Western Boracay Hotel, Boracay Tropics is located in Station 2.  Their location used to be a humble accommodation in Boracay – Rainbow Villa- and we stayed there during my first trip to the island back in 2011.

I booked directly and got a good rate compared to booking Boracay Tropics Agoda. It might not be a beachfront hotel, but situated along the main road, there is no need to get a Boracay Tropics location map.

The lobby is fairly small but we had a quick check-in. You will be given a resort necklace and billeted right away to your room. Welcome drinks follow once you are settled.



The room is spacious and well maintained given the number of years.




The interior mirrors the trend during its time. Thus, if you have stayed in other new hotels in Boracay, the look of their rooms might come as outdated. Personally, I just want our room to be safe, clean, and spacious.




Deluxe bathroom…




Our roof has a view of the pool.




The main attraction of the hotel is their pool. I took this photo early morning, checking how they keep the pool clean.




It’s small, so expect some “crowd” but we had our space. Fellow guests were considerate.




Boracay Tropics pool area, I believe is the resort’s ace. The whole resort is peaceful and a solace from the energetic White Beach of Station 2. It was nice to arrive in a quiet place after enjoying White Beach. The water is good too.



A nice place to unwind. Read a book. Suite rooms have hammocks and a balcony.



Traveling with a big group, Boracay Tropics is one of the hotels in Boracay with family rooms. You can also check the Boracay Tropics dorm room. The breakfast buffet was fine with plenty of choices and the staff were attentive. But I have to say, the food was average.



As a whole, I recommend Boracay Tropics Resort Hotel. If you want to have a relaxing time and want to avoid overcrowded hotels during peak season, this is a good place to stay.

Here are my comments:

1. Noise. I read in Tripadvisor about the noise. There was a construction during our stay but it didn’t disturb us. This is happening all over the island. Better ask the hotel first if there are constructions nearby and request to be billeted away from the noise.

2. Playroom. I informed the front desk officer about this. The hotel’s site needs to be updated-  they don’t have a playroom now, yet it is still published in their site. I for  one as a parent, was looking forward to such facility.

Overall, a good place and a kid-friendly hotel in Boracay. Have  you stayed at Boracay Tropics? Share your story!

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