in tune at tune hotel

it  wasn’t a first for me to stay on one of tune hotel‘s establishments.  i have stayed in their branch in cebu (philippines), in penang (malaysia) and bali, (indonesia).

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their branch in ortigas was new and i was about to attend some refresher courses in a training center which was a 10-minute walk from the hotel.  i decided then to stay for four days.  i booked online and it only cost me P4500.00 (including add-ons), which was about a hundred dollars.  with tunes they have this “pay-as-you-use of add-ons” concept – say you pay for the toiletries, for 12 or 24 hours air-conditioning, TV and internet access.

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my brother dropped me off at the hotel too early for check-in time was strictly 2:00 pm.  i had to wait for two hours and was accommodated at 1:30 pm.  the hotel lobby was quite comfortable and there were desktop computers with internet available for use.

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the hotel has 12 floors and the room i got assigned to was at the 11th floor, 1122.  a keycard to get access to the floors is needed which is a good safety feature.

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it’s been a habit of mine to check the fire escape plan of the hotel i’m staying.

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they promise 5-star beds and in fact theirs are comparable with the other hotels i stayed.  internet connection works very good, a stub is given with the password upon check-in.

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there are no cabinets in the room for your stuff but there’s this stainless steel brace in the corner that you can hang clothes on, clear plastic hangers included.

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toilet and shower area was clean and looks very new.

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towels and toiletries (a tube of shampoo and bar of soap) are add-ons that you have to buy separately during online booking.

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my stay at tune hotel ortigas was fine and i never met any problems.  it is highly recommended if you want a very budget friendly, no-frills accommodation.

cebu weekender

my ma and i spent a weekend in cebu island the last time i was on days off.  it was a first for both of us to visit the island and i have planned it in advance as a special treat for her.

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after the flight from manila (also a ‘first’ for my ma where she was all quiet – i don’t think it scared her but i held her hand anyway!), we took a cab from the airport going to tune hotels, a budget accommodation found in the center of the city.

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i have stayed in tune hotels in penang and bali.  this is how their cebu branch looks like from the inside.

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at tune hotels, you only pay what you need!

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you won’t need a 24 hour aircon specially when you will surely be outside touring the city most of the day, tune hotels gives you that choice of a 12 hour aircon less the price of a 24 hour.  anyway, there is still a ceiling fan that is free for use inside the room.

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the room is clean with freshly laundered bedding.  water pressure in the shower was also good, i paid extra for the towels and toiletries.

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the next day was a sunday and we heard mass in the basilica.  we passed by the cross of magellan which was near the church.

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i think this painting depicts the spaniards’ introduction of christianity to the filipinos.

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the marker found at the foot of the cross.  i never knew that the original cross (as claimed) was encased inside.

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nearby was fort san pedro where my ma and i just walked going here coming from the basilica.

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there was a small entrance fee (i already forgot how much!).

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i walked around the fort which was small compared to the forts i visited in jaipur.

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we then went back to tune hotels, checked out and took a cab to check-in at marco polo plaza.

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i booked a double room from their website where they have this tempting offer, the weekender promo.

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this includes buffet breakfast for two and there was even a free havaianas slippers that we claimed at their gift shop.

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a grand beautiful flower arrangement at the lobby – and they were real!

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after check-in, we were assisted by a bellman with our luggage to our room.

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room was simple and worth the price.

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furnitures was made of bamboo, rattan and abaca rope.

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flat tv looks new and a small study was available in the room.

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wi-fi was without charge (i hate it when i get charged for internet connection!), and the connection was good and no disruptions.

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there is also a marco polo hotel in davao city, i hope to visit that too.

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clean toilet and bath with marco polo signature toiletries.

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this was the view from our window.

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i wanted my ma to enjoy her ‘staycation’ and we were never interested to go out from the hotel so i decided that we take our dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, cafe marco.

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after dinner i left my ma in our room to watch her favorite ‘teleseryes‘ as i checked the hotel’s other facilities.

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i found out that they charge for sauna use which was located in their spa.

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a well-equipped gym and a fitness personnel assists the guests.

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i went outside to check their pool.  i actually took a dip to relax my tired muscles.

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they also have a bar beside the pool.

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i bought this ref magnet from their gift shop as a souvenir for me and my ma’s satisfied stay at marco polo plaza. 🙂

indonesia chronicles: bali heat

the plan for my solo travel to indonesia was to visit jakarta and bali. i chose to visit bali first and not jakarta for i was thinking it would be better to do that if some flight delays occur in bali en route to jakarta. flight to jakarta from manila by cebu pacific was at late evening and i arrived at soekarno-hatta airport with a layover at terminal 3 for six hours for my flight to bali. i brought a pocket-book with me to keep me company and noticed three solo travellers like me waiting for the same flight but were white women. i was too shy to approach anyone of them so i just tried to doze off in one of the cold stainless steel chairs in the waiting area. an hour before my scheduled flight i checked-in at the air asia counter, and waited for boarding of my plane to bali.

it was drizzling when i reached bali and tried my best to act like one of the locals (which was in fact ineffective) when i was trying to get a cab to my budget hotel. the cab fare started with idr 100,000 as i was asking the drivers offering me the ride and as i was getting nearer to the airport exit i stopped by in a convenience store to have a cold drink and asked the store lady how much is the taxi fare getting to kuta. she said it was idr 50,000. i then was approached by a cab driver as i went out of the store, he was asking for idr 80,000, i insisted on idr 50,000 and acted to ignore him and he gave in for the price i wanted. talk about bargaining!

it was still too early when i reached the hotel and was told by the receptionist to be back by 12 for an early check-in at tune hotel, a budget accommodation in kuta. i then decided to walk around then suddenly heavy rain fell i took cover in one of the shops near the road where i met ari, a local from jakarta who works in germany. when the rain stopped he invited me to have lunch in made’s warung a restaurant famous in kuta.

after we finished lunch, we walked around kuta passing by more stores and bars. there was one thing that caught my attention for we were getting offered of “magic mushrooms”. i took a picture of a calling card for “delivery service” for these stuff.

these are actually mushrooms with psychedelic or hallucinogenic properties. obviously it is in demand with foreigners in the area.

ari and i passed by this memorial, where the 2002 bombing incident happened in kuta.

it is considered as the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of indonesia, killing 202 people who were mostly australians and further injuring about 240 more.

i thanked ari as we parted ways and i walked back to my hotel to check-in. tune hotel in kuta is about a 6 minute walk to the beach.

this is my second time staying on a tune hotel (first was in penang). the room is clean and has the necessity i needed for my stay.

the next day i visited bali bidadari batik were one can see how batik is made. they also have these local women doing artisitic drawings on shirts and weavers.

i was more fascinated with the weavers which reminded me of our ifugao native women in the highlands who does the same.

i then went to the sacred monkey forest sanctuary were macaques live free.

it is actually a temple for people who worship them.

the monkeys may look harmless but it is advised that one should not touch or tease them for they may react in an unpredictable way. i never attempted to feed them but a juvenile grabbed the dangling strap of my camera and good thing it slipped off in his small primate hand.

this one was eating some coconut provided by the monkey experts who keep an eye of the safety of both tourists and monkeys.

too busy eating her banana, i am so tempted to touch her.

the sun at midday was so hot when i reached tanah lot, a famous rock formation.

here is a closer view of the temple. i read that over one-third of the structure is already artificial because the rock face actually have crumbled.

no(t) entry? well i wouldn’t do so!

on my background is pura batu balong, a smaller temple in the area.

i spent my last day in bali at the beach.

kuta beach is as crowded as our own boracay, but a white wall fence (worth 4 billion indonesian rupees) separates it from the main road of cafes and restaurants. it is said that it was built to prevent sand from blowing off to the establishments but it actually ruined the beach view if you will be dining in one of the restaurants or sit in one of the cafes.

bali is a great place but your own safety should always be a priority, specially if you travel alone (and this applies in every foreign place we go). i loved the nightlife in bali though i had these instances where i was offered marijuana not only once by a local and i just politely said no and walked away.

malaysia chronicles: penang

after spending two rainy days at kota kinabalu, my next stop for my trip was penang, northern part of malaysia.  the main reason that i wanted to visit penang is to meet my friend docgelo (of beyond toxicity), who’s based there together with his wife and my godson, gabby.  i have known angelo since our pre-med years when we were both taking up biology to become future doctors (he became one and i did not for lack of determination – lol!).

i took a two and a half hour air asia flight from kota kinabalu, found myself at penang airport and met up with docgelo and his family.  we went straight to georgetown by taxi to check-in at tune hotels, downtown penang.  tune hotels is an excellent budget accommodation operating around malaysia.

tune hotels offers low-priced rooms with comfortable spring mattress beds and bathrooms equipped with high pressure, heated “power showers”.

being a limited service hotel, optional add-ons include a 12 or 24 hour airconditioning but still there is a ceiling fan in the room.  i paid an additonal amount for the wi-fi with a good connection.

after checking in at tunes, docgelo invited me for dinner with his wife, tina and gabby at santorini (see docgelo’s post, food porn: penang) and had some coffee at starbucks, new world park which is only beside the hotel.  we returned to the hotel for a good night’s sleep to start the next day to visit the temples at penang.

read docgelo’s related blog post, reunion in penang.