Homey hotel hubs
By Nico Erle Ciriaco

The Go Hotels of Negros Island, located in the capital cities of Dumaguete and Bacolod, are giving travelers more reasons to enjoy the provinces of Oriental Negros and Negros Occidental respectively.
In the wake of acclamations around the world, the Philippines is once again back on the radar of the most discerning global trotters.
With more than 7,107 islands of unspoiled and paradisiacal beaches like Boracay, inviting cavern systems like the Underground River, mystical mountain ranges like Mt. Apo, and pristine reefs like Tubbataha and Apo Island, the Philippines deserves to be included in every travelers bucket list.
Even respected international publications such as the New York-based Travel + Leisure magazine, the UK edition of Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times have all made their respective endorsements, placing our country in its rightful place in the map of must-see sites across the globe for 2013.
Having recognized the country’s huge potential in becoming the next big thing in the worldwide tourism market, property developer Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) is adding another reason to make it even ‘more fun in the Philippines.’
RLC, through its fast-growing chains of hotels, gohotels.ph, has created the perfect alternative for people who are in search of an essential service hotel. The brand has all the necessary comforts combined with great value propositions for every traveler’s hard-earned currency. It affords, foremost, any Juan with eight excellent amenities that cannot be found in other hotels of its class. These include Windsor beds that use only hundred-percent cotton sheets together with comfy duvets and pillows; modern bathroom fixtures (with hot/cold showers) and complimentary toiletry kits; free in-room Wi-Fi access; LCD cable TVs; safety deposit boxes; transport access; a fun vibe; and ‘service plus.’
“The ‘service plus’ feature are add-ons to on-line bookings such as breakfasts which are not automatically added. Fun vibe, on the other hand, are additional URC products afforded to guests like cup noodles; much akin to the fun games in any Cebu Pacific flight. And since we target business travelers as well, the complimentary Wi-Fi access is relevant,” intimated sales & marketing officer Adrian Ong.
“Manufactured locally, the Windsor beds are made specifically for the gohotels.ph chain. The super shower that includes both the hand-held and overhead spouts is also a plus factor. And most of all, our security measures of guards and CCTV cams assure our guests’ safety,” he added.
Recently, gohotels.ph added new branches, having opened one in The City of Gentle People (Dumaguete) and The City of Smiles (Bacolod), thus making a trip to the island of Negros, the country’s fourth largest island, more enticing and satisfying.
Gohotels.ph Dumaguete is perfect for those wanting to indulge in unhurried city life, gently rolling terrains, dive spots and a panoramic appreciation of its scenic vistas. Moreover, the city is within easy access to key entry & exit points like the airport, the seaport, and bus terminal.
Located within Robinsons Place Dumaguete’s sprawling complex, gohotels.ph Dumaguete branch gives tourists the privilege to bask in and enjoy the old charm of the city amid the burgeoning modern conveniences and its strategic location as jump-off point to nearby hideaways and destinations like Cebu, Tagbilaran and Siquijor.
Meanwhile, gohotels.ph Bacolod allows guests to enjoy urban dwelling in comfort and style. Located near Robinson’s Place Bacolod, it assures guests the comfort of having everything they might need within their reach. Since it is a stone’s throw away from the recently opened al fresco destination - the Bacolod City Walk – where a number of food-stops, bistros, cake & coffee houses as well as patisseries can be found, guests are further enticed to sample the many gastronomic treats.
Should you want to see the best of Negros products, simply visit the Negros Showroom at Robinsons Bacolod for a treasure trove of finds that include housewares, jewelry, bags, garments, furniture & furnishings, food and gift items. More than just a store of eclectic bric-a-brac, it is first a social enterprise that salutes the ingenious Negrense talent.
The Negros Showroom is a testament to what a people can do in the face of seemingly unbeatable odds and how they can turn the winds of change to their favor. It is the brainchild of the Association of Negros Producers (ANP), an organization founded by fifteen Negrense women who refused to accept the inevitable outcome of the 1980 sugar crisis. They proved that the island can be more than its (then) primary product – sugar.
Representing 114 SMEs, it has created more than 3,000 jobs that sustain thousands down the line. Its furniture gallery showcases pieces that meld art with function. Art Energy furnishings, Vito masks & décor, together with tasteful Tumandok interior pieces share center-stage with the fabulous abstraction works of home-grown artist Rodney Martinez and those of painters Katsang and Jecky Alano.
“Robinson’s Dumaguete and Bacolod are the first service malls in their respective localities when it opened - the latter in 1997 and the former in 2009. Both are complementary to all existing malls in the island. It’s the first shopping center to bring the malling lifestyle as well as the 3D experience to its cinemas in Bacolod,” informed regional sales director Joseph Sian.
As a budget hotel offering value-for-money rates, gohotels.ph follows the same ‘early booking, lower rates’ scheme that made its Manila flagship property in Pioneer (Mandaluyong) famous among constant travelers. This RLC chain’s variable pricing – bucket pricing - is considered a first in the hotel industry and was inspired by the set-up commonly practiced by airlines which rewards lowest available air fares to those with the quickest mouse click.
“Gohotels.ph is the first value hotel chain and we’re gaining ground. It offers no-frills accommodation although other conveniences are available upon request. Sporting logo colors co-relating with those of Cebu Pacific, the brand was a timely response to the emergence of smart travelers. The profile of our guests shows that they are those from the leisure category following unhurried itineraries and schedules. Thus, we promote locations and destinations worth seeing. That’s why for this trip, we opted for the land mode of travel from Dumaguete to Bacolod via Kabankalan to drumbeat our appeal to adventure travelers,” apprized Roseanne Cosculluela-Villegas, corporate PR director for Robinson’s Land Corp.
One of the must-sees in these parts is the beautifully-preserved Mariano Ledesma Lacson ruins at the border of Talisay and Bacolod City. Sitting majestically in the middle of a 44-hectare sugar cane field, the imposing edifice was razed by the Japanese Imperial forces in 1942. It took three days for the fire to burn most of the interiors but not the house’s main frame.
“It was one of the big houses mandated by the USAFFE to be burned so as not to be used as garrison or headquarters by the occupying forces. This house was built without an architectural design to speak of. The redevelopment of the surrounding gardens and the clean-up of the structure started in 2007 and we opened our doors to tourists the year after,” shared Raymond L. Javellana, great great grandson of the estate patriarch and fifth son to the union of Ramon Javellana and Mercedes Lacson, his maternal grandmother who was one of the daughters of Portuguese maiden Maria Braga and Don Mariano.
“The 12 children equally divided the land and my side of the family got the lot with this beautiful house. We have been voted as one of 12 fascinating ruins of the world by oddee.com,” he added.
From a distance, the chimney of what used to be the muscovado

mill looms over the house; like a sentry on active duty. The Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) named it as the best landmark of the Philippines. It is the fourth recipient of such recognition as an architectural feat and the first in the Visayas and Mindanao region as all the other three are located in mainland Luzon. These are the Banawe Rice Terraces, as well as the Summer Cross and Capas Shrine that are both part of the Death March in World War II to Bataan.
Gohotels.ph Dumaguete and Bacolod are currently offering inviting promotional rates for local residents at P788 and P888 respectively (VAT exclusive). Promotional rates are served simultaneously as those of Cebu Pacific. Expansion plans for this year are focused in the Visayas region. Aside from Negros Island, gohotels.ph are also located in Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, and Mandaluyong with scheduled openings for Ortigas, Otis (Paco) and Iloilo towards the end of 2013. For more information and/or on-line booking, simply log-on to their Web site, www.gohotels.ph.


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