I was supposed to celebrate my birthday at SM properties' Hamilo Coast in Batangas as I've heard it to be a new resort facility that's starting to be a favorite among families. Everything was arranged including the nod of a friend of mine to accompany me and shoulder half of the expenses. I imagined it to be a luxurious birthday getaway for me, something that I have not had in years.
Naga City to watch a friend dress his Virgin Mary effigy and Ligao City where the famous sunflower farm of Bicol is. I eventually made such stopovers and was glad I did because the payoff in Sorsogon City surprised me.
Arriving in Sorsogon City aboard an ordinary bus from Legazpi City bus terminal, I was sleep-deprived. I did not want to miss the opportunity to see the different landscapes that the bus would traverse in the course of the trip so I forced myself to stay awake most of the time inside the bus.
My only hope after the grueling bus ride was finally checking into a garden-style hotel that no one from my group of travelers knew about. My booked accommodation was in Sta. Clara Park Hotel and it was not mentioned in any of the previously published Sorsogon City-oriented blog posts that I've researched on prior to my trip. Most accommodations that other travelers listed down were located at the city center where it was a bit congested and noisy.
Nestled near the Maharlika Highway of Barangay Pangpang, Sta. Clara Park Hotel is accessible via a short path that opens to a simple but sprawling property. Its cluster of modern-style rooms were erected against an imposing hill. Next to the hotel is a vast rice farm that's set against a picturesque mountain landscape.
My room felt complete with its own living room space where the television set was across a comfy couch, a refrigerator was within reach from my bed, and a small dining table was set against a spectacular view of the garden and mountain outside.
I love how the garden of the hotel was not well-manicured. It was beautifully laid out in just the right places but it still looked naturally grown. I learned from a hotel staff that the hotel opened just a few years ago after being a private property for quite some time. It was suggested for the owner to share it with the residents of Sorsogon City and its tourists and so the hotel was finally born.
There was nothing much to do at Sta. Clara Park Hotel except to appreciate the garden and mountain view and relax with nature because the owner did not want to install a swimming pool for the reason that it was hard to maintain. I was just glad that two of the hotel's resident dogs accompanied me during my stay and a staff even had a coconut fruit picked from a tree in the property for me to enjoy as fresh buko juice during breakfast.
The accommodation was inclusive of a free breakfast so there was no need to go out early in the morning to find an eatery nearby. The room rate was so affordable at P1,500 that I stayed another night before returning to Metro Manila.
H O W T O G E T T H E R E F R O M
M E T R O M A N I L A
Board any Sorsogon City-bound bus (P800+) from NCR and ride a tricycle (P40) to Barangay Pangpang.
Visit Sta. Clara Park Hotel's official website here.
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