Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015




















S A N T O

T O M A S

H O T E L









Microtel By Wyndham is no stranger to the Philippine landscape. As of this writing, the global chain of hotel brand has a total of 13 consistently well-designed facilities in the country. Access to its reliable amenities can be had in all three regions, mostly in mainland Luzon where I reside. Its Batangas facility is the latest accommodation that I've experienced as a hotel guest which I found long overdue.

I saw it one too many times from my bus window en route to various Quezon Province and Bicol destinations for the past two years but I simply had no essential reason to get off and see the town of Sto. Tomas where it's located. It's been more than a year since my hospitalization due to the complications of frontal sinusitis and I have fond memories of staying at 7 of its lodgings because of its chiropractor-approved mattresses. Truly, the hotel brand feels like my second home away from home.

Hotel facade
Chicken Parmigiana at Millie's All-Day Dining




Better Batangas Tour

After learning that a wellness seminar by public health and community medicine innovator Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan was to happen at Microtel By Wyndham-Batangas one pleasant weekend, I quickly hopped on a Jacliner Bus from Kamias in Quezon City. Originally, I was just going to see San Isidro Sur's fresh Rio De Camballao for a fresh out-of-town soak with the hotel as base. Next thing I knew, I was one-hour-and-a-half away from my highly urbanized domicile, standing a few feet from checking-in at the hotel lobby, and clutching the doctor's authored book about medicinal plants to covet a possible autograph.

The Hotel At The Park

The 442-hectare estate of First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP) where the hotel is nestled initially seemed overwhelming to me. It was like not leaving Metro Manila at all what with its master-planned world-class infrastructure. The distinct difference was palpable in the breeze though. Even with its stark concrete right-of-way roads weaving through the development, the environment was invigorating and bereft of a modern town's excess. This may be due to the diverse flora within the estate and the distant Mount Makiling which is visible from Microtel By Wyndham's swimming pool and some of its view-appointed rooms. I also noticed appropriate lighting, directional signs, pedestrian and bicycle lanes inside the FPIP.

The hotel swimming pool with gazebo
Hotel bathroom
Bedding details at the hotel
Hotel lobby





Relaxing Koi Pond

I still felt some city flair in the modern features of the 78-room Microtel By Wyndham and its surrounding structures but the fresh air was definitely still rural. My favorite spot at the hotel was actually the koi pond. The garden water feature, strategically located near the lobby, is next to a relaxing semi-outdoor corridor that leads to another part of the hotel where its F&B facility Millie's All-Day Dining is.

Wellness Seminar At The Hotel

The same corridor was incidentally the entrance to the sign-up for Dr. Galvez Tan's "Journey To Wellness In 2015" seminar which I attended on my first day in the town.

Millie's All-Day Dining
The seminar kicked off with the husky baritone greeting of the popular guest speaker and fully commenced with his highly recommended nine-joint exercise which the attendees, including myself, giddily obliged to. A remarkable point to ponder from the talk was how the food we eat can actually be the ones that can heal us from inevitable ailments. It culminated with a group photo opportunity with the doctor and I fulfilled my goal of having my mom's book -- Medical Fruits & Vegetables -- autographed by him.

Chicken Parmigiana At Millie's All-Day Dining

For dinner, I conveniently transferred to the next-door Millie's All-Day Dining which a lot of patrons know to serve a mean plate of baby back ribs. Since I was in the mood for pasta, I had a cheesy Chicken Parmigiana instead. My delicious order came with a serving of crisp salad dressed with oil, vinegar, and herbs which I considered a fitting accompaniment to the cheese-topped chicken and pasta. The balance of flavor was sensational -- not too sour nor sweet. I was glad I heeded ordering the recommended dish after consulting with a staff at the hotel.

Buffet breakfast salad station at Millie's All-Day Dining
Dining at Millie's All-Day Dining
My booked Queen Single Room




Queen Single Room and More

Finally, after a thought-provoking seminar and a lusty dinner, I had the chance to relax at my booked air conditioned Queen Single Room which was designed for solo travelers or no-fuss couples. It was spacious enough to move around in even with the inclusions of a trusty work desk, a small refrigerator, and an alcove seating. It helped that the LCD TV was on top of a decent cabinet and a reliable mirror was facing my bed space. I felt secure knowing that the room's door functioned on an electronic keycard entry system which means that closing it automatically shuts it, so fussing over whether I forgot to close it enough or not did not matter. Room Wi-Fi internet access was strong as I was able to upload on social media updates about the recently-concluded seminar.

Rio De Camballao of Santo Tomas
For the discriminating expat or couple, the hotel also has the Queen Suite which comes complete with coffee and tea-making facilities, refrigerator, microwave oven, kitchen counter with sink, a comfy sofa sleeper and bathtub.

The hotel's Queen Double Room (two queen-sized beds) can appeal to a group of three to four guests or simply two traveling partners who each want a queen-sized bed for maximum comfort during sleep.

Artificial and Natural Pool Dip

The next day, after a filling buffet breakfast (room rate-inclusive) at Millie's All-Day Dining, I had fun having a quick dip at the swimming pool that's also the hotel's attractive patch of garden where a charming gazebo is.

My booked Queen Single Room
The hotel koi pond
The attendees of Dr. Galvez Tan's "Journey To Wellness 2015" at Microtel By Wyndham-Batangas
Hotel corridor


It was terribly breezy and my slender frame was no match to the chilly January weather, so I decided to step out of the hotel and experience the natural freshness of Sto. Tomas' secluded Rio De Camballao. The river runs on a private lot and it took me an hour to reach it aboard a passenger jeepney and tricycle rental.

Read more about this side trip on my next blog post.

The town of Sto. Tomas may not be fully definitive of Batangas for me, but it can rise to the occasion as an essential stopover to a more distant destination or simply an ideal quick getaway from any point in Southern Luzon or Metro Manila. My experience of the latter via Microtel By Wyndham proved to be satisfying for a frequent local traveler like me. I managed to fulfill enough wanderlust in a location that's only considered by many to be just a transit point. With better things in mind, I crafted my own weekend escape and came home refreshed.

Check out the hotel's Bridal Suite Deal.

Find out more about Dr. Galvez Tan here.

Microtel By Wyndham-Batangas

Official website of Microtel By Wyndham-Batangas

Address: First Philippine Industrial Park, Sto Tomas, Batangas, Philippines 4234
Phone: +63 (43) 405-6957 to 58
Email: sto.tomas@microtel.ph

Manila Sales Office
Phone: +63 (02) 899-7171 | +63 (917) 888-1800
Fax Number: +63 (02) 870-0319
Email: sales@microtel.ph and reservations@microtel.ph



Check out my other Microtel By Wyndham reviews:

+ Acropolis, Quezon City
+ Baguio City
+ Boracay, Aklan
+ Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija
+ Luisita, Tarlac





More Photos Below:

The distant Mount Makiling
Buffet breakfast at Millie's All-Day Dining
"Journey To Wellness In 2015" seminar with Dr. Galvez Tan
Dinner at Millie's All-Day Dining


My booked Queen Single Room

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