6 Jul 2011
You guys are now informed of the pros and cons of riding PNR Bicol Express Train. They're all discussed in the posts I published while I was there in the "Heart of Bicol Region" that is Naga City. For our new guests, you can read the article which documented my travel to Naga from Manila by PNR Bicol Express Train in the post "To Naga On-Board PNR Bicol Express Train" and another one that guides commuters and tourists how to get to Cagsawa Ruins from Naga City in the post "How To Commute To Cagsawa Ruins From Naga City".
Today, I will guide you to locations of five hotels which are near to PNR Naga City Station. This is handy for first timers in visiting Naga City, and for those who, like me, decide to get to Naga City on a whim. In my case it went like this "Oh! It's PNR Bicol Express first trip to Naga this Wednesday , I got to be on-board on the maiden trip!". The way it turned out, it's the second trip to Naga that I would be in. Looked like misinformation saved me from the inconveniences that besieged those who boarded the first trip. I've had been coordinating with the Information Desk officers of PNR Tutuban, in fact, I had their contact number. I called them up the day before the soft opening. I was told that it won't push through and to call them the following week. Then I happened to read an article in Manila Bulletin in the morning of June 29, 2011, the soft launch date, that the opening indeed would push through. And so, I headed to PNR Tutuban in the afternoon of July 1, 2011.
The hotels nearest to PNR Naga Station are the following: Naga Regent Hotel, Crown Hotel, Aristocrat Hotel, Starview Hotel and the hotel where I was billeted - Naga Land Hotel.
These hotels are situated along Elias Angeles Street or E. Angeles street, one of the main road in Centro, Naga City. On the morning of my last day in Naga, I went to PNR Naga to buy ticket. I wanted to make sure I got in sleeper coach. On the way to PNR I took a tricycle, which, in my own view, the one that hold the title of the "king of the road" in Naga City. Watch for my separate post on how to move around Naga City. I went back to my hotel on foot.
Backpackers, all you need to do is walk but if you want a ride then take one of the tricycle that are available just outside PNR. If you're taking tricycle ride, just instruct the driver to take you to Naga Regent Hotel. Pay him 20 pesos once you get off the motored vehicle. From Regent Hotel which is located exactly where Elias Angeles Street begins, walk along the road to get to the other hotels. Read the rest of this post for more details.
On foot, take the only road going out of the PNR Naga Station. Turn right onto he main road which is called Biak na Bato. Immediately, you will pass through a bridge. Then, you will see the big public market called Naga City People's Mall to your left, and the road name changes to General Luna.
Now, Naga Regent Hotel is an upscale hotel. It's not a budget hotel. But it's your landmark. Walk along E. Angeles towards its another end. You'll get to see another big building next to Naga Regent Hotel. This second building is where the main Naga Regent Hotel is located. It's bigger than the annex located at the corner of E. Angeles. Next to Naga Regent is Aristocrat Hotel, I will not recommend the hotel simply because it's exorbitant considering its age. Walk on until you get to the big plaza to your left. This plaza is called Rizal Plaza.
Towards the end of the plaza to the right is the Crown Hotel, which is nice. I like the kindness of the staff, very accomodating. I almost checked in there. Rate is 2,200 pesos. But I decided to check out other hotels.
Next hotel is StarView Hotel, to the left of E. Angeles Street. It's a tall building. It's new, rate is 1,999 pesos. There's a Jollibee, the one where I had my first breakfast in Naga City, at the ground floor of the building next to StarView along the street that intersects E. Angeles.
Walk further past the small plaza until you get to the big building of E-Mall, to your right. Opposite the mall is the Naga Land Hotel. E-Mall is owned by Naga Land Hotel as written on its facade.
The factor that made me decide to check into Naga Land Hotel is their being considerate. Check-in time should be at 1 pm, but they allowed me to check in right at that moment. It's around 9:40 am when I got there. There's some waiting, about 30 minutes, but they did allowed me to get into my room. I was lucky because, the room just got vacated. And I was told that it needed to be clean up first. A man next to me was told that there's no more vacancy and that he needed to wait up.
The only setback of Naga Land Hotel is there's no wifi signal inside rooms. I needed to get down to the lobby to use their wifi. But the rate is reasonable. At 1,100 pesos with free breakfast, I give them a thumbs up. The room is great, I had 3 clean pillows, a thick blanket and complete set of utensils. Air-conditioning system is excellent, with hot and cold shower and a telephone. Breakfasst? I had Tapsilog twice because their tapa is so delicious. Except there's no free coffee.
There's a quite a lot of cheap hotels around the plaza that I've seen but never checked out. Rizal Plaza constitute the center of Naga City. You will not get lost as long as you're in the vicinity of the plaza.
In my upcoming posts, I will share to you where to eat, how to get to SM City Naga, why tricycle is the king of the road here, etc. Stay tuned.
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