Hogging toiletries and videoke aside, what’s a Filipino’s favorite thing to do in a hotel?
Breathing in the view. And if there’s a pool to swim in, that too.
Luckily, for guests of Asia Grand View Hotel (or AGVH), all those are a given. Yes, including the toiletries (Yay for hoarders!).
This Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence awardee’s name is a composite of two focal themes: Asian culture and arresting views of Coron Bay. Asian ornaments adorn walls and corners; tropical plants fringe corridors and roofs. Thatched bamboo huts, reminiscent of rural huts in Asian villages, comprise the spa and wellness center.
Saddling up the quieter hills of Governor’s Avenue in Coron, AGVH is far from the hubbub but close enough to dining and shopping facilities and attractions in both Busuanga and Coron.
And in contrast to most hotels in the bustling town 10 minutes away, here the panorama of Coron’s tree-lined islets is neither obstructed nor interrupted by roofs and electrical wires.
The takeaway: a solid sunrise and sunset-ogling experience, especially at the on-site bayfront resto (which we GRAVELY abused).
|Now, how’s this for breakfast?|
In other words, lots of ooohs and aaaahs.
And oooh-ed and aaah-ed we did.
Big First Impressions
Our 5pm arrival was received with AGVH’s signature lemongrass water – a welcome cure after a two-hour flight delay outta Manila. Bellboys were quick to carry our luggages down several staircases leading to the 46-square meter poolside deluxe room, which our party of four-and-a-half shared for three days.
Flanked by tall white walls and kickass high ceilings with dark wood beams and a fan, the deluxe room is the biggest of three room types – a massive build that can accommodate a party for The Mountain and his cohorts, even.
Guests can opt for either a king-sized bed or two twin-sized beds. Either way, the sheets and the mattress are so snug you’d want to bury yourself in it for days. Extra beds are available upon request.
Like the superior rooms, each of the 12 deluxes is equipped with an air conditioner, LCD TV with cable, a mini-fridge, a mini-bar (actually, a mini space beside the fridge with a thermos, China cups, and glasses), a spacious desk with intercom, and a cozy veranda.
Next to a small cabinet with a safe lies a walk-in bathroom, stocked with a full range of toiletries, water heater, and a shower.
|Superior Garden view room|
|Veranda of Superior Bay View room faces Coron Bay.|
How Much does a Stay Cost?
How’s the Service?
I also appreciate the proactive attitude among employees. If you asked about trikes, they’ll volunteer to hail one for you (no extra charges; P20 per head from the hotel to town). If you mentioned you’re going on a tour – and you’re not eating the complimentary brekkie at the resto – they’ll pack everything for you in tupperware containers.
Such hospitality was extended equally to both expatriate and Filipino guests, something I can’t say for other hotels in the country.
I’m specially fond of the restaurant staff, largely because they’ve been so wonderful to my daughter despite her nasty habit of throwing cocktail umbrellas and neat table clothes into disarray.
|A hotel built on a hill, you can expect plenty of stairs and leisurely walks along beautiful, tranquil gardens in AGVH.
Naturally, room service can be a little slow sometimes due to the distance of the main building to the rooms.
Every meal they never failed to ask if she wanted a toddler chair or a booster foam on her seat. They even gave her a free coco for breakfast (hint: hot coco is NOT free) . “For baby”, they said. *heart melting!*
What Amenities are Available?
|Towels and small bodyboards are available at the pool area.
Towels for tours can be borrowed for free at the front desk.
|Lia, in her overloaded diaper, taking a shot with me fellow travel bloggers,
Ate Gay of Exotic Philippines and Channel of Channel Marie.
Then There’s Food.
Speaking of tours, you can book yours straight from the 24-hour concierge. Coron land and island tours are available here, as well as jaunts to farther destinations like Calauit and Culion (we weren’t able to try this though as we had previous arrangements with the amazing peeps at Coron Blue Lagoon Adventure).
On the full-course breakfast spread are pastries, seasonal fruits, two types of meat, one veggie dish, pasta, rice, and light dessert (turon, cookies). Wheat and white bread, plus marmalades are served too.
For lunch and dinner, a complimentary basket of loaf and butter is served before the mains. Prices per dish range from P150 to P400. Fried dishes are fit for solos, but soup-based dishes are good enough for sharing for 2-3 persons. Beautifully plated and upscale, dishes are handcrafted by skilled European and Filipino chefs.
While I’m not so crazy about the just-okay calamares and the soggy Pad Thai (a bit bland too but plentiful), every plate we had was above par.
|Spell food coma. T-H-I-S.|
Do try the kinilaw, bulalo, and spring rolls. There’s also this delicious chicken in creamy white sauce dish (first row, upper left photo) – named after one of the owners, but whose exact name escapes me – that’s REALLY worth a try. Their artisan pizzas are a hit too particularly with the expats.
And if you’ve a sweet tooth for afters, the Fruit Trips Pagoda, a three-layered dessert of fresh ripe mangoes and paper-thin, crunchy dough, is a sweet treat to cap off a meal.
We aim to offer distinct, comfortable and elegant accommodation yet reasonably priced to discriminating tourists both local and foreign. We are an environmentally-friendly hotel and support efforts to conserve natural resources.
|She’s happy with her stay. We all were.|