Last month I spent three days with friends in Dumaguete, an authentic university town in the Philippine province of Negros Oriental. We were looking for the perfect place to stay and stopped suddenly when I noticed a bright red door on Hibbard Avenue that said Island's Leisure Boutique Hotel. Leisure sounded good. Plus I love boutique hotels. I got curious, so I entered the door and stepped into a completely diffferent world: I found myself in a zen garden.
Honestly, I was impressed. Imagine stones on the floor. A tropical lush garden. Hanging and swinging chairs. A bright red fountain in the center of the courtyard, surrounded by lounge chairs and cozy couches with many pillows. In an instant I was in love with this place. Someone spent a lot of attention to the details. Someone who obviously loves art and collects beautiful pieces. I felt like wandering through an art gallery instead of a hotel lobby...
Two smiling ladies were welcoming us at the reception. I was expecting high rates and was surprised when I saw that the room rates started from only PHP700 (USD15) including breakfast. My friends went for the Duo Pad Room and I checked in for the Premier Room. It was early and the room wasn't ready yet as we arrived before noon. It was OK to wait as there was so much to see. I couldn't wait to discover more ground of this beautiful hotel...
I wandered around and discovered a pool at the garden in the backyard. Not a very big, but still big enough to cool down... They were also sun beds and a table. I already saw myself chilling on the lounge chairs and sipping on a beer later. Such a nice place to hang out and relax...
My so called Premier Room was simply beautiful. Like a piece of art. It was so cozy and colorful with all the paintings on the wall: One portrayed Marylin Monroe - I spotted quite a few Monroe portraits around the hotel, seems like someone was a big fan of her...
The room was lovely designed in every detail. The warm colors immediately lifted up my mood. I felt like staying at some friend's artistic house, not like staying in a hotel.
My spacious double room included a table and a lounge chair, closet, fridge and kettle, a flat screen TV, and of course an ensuite bathroom with a hot shower. The bed was wonderful comfy, exactly the way I love my mattress. Firm, but not too hard. Everything was fresh, clean and smelled good.
Each hotel room is unique, I was lucky enough to spot a few of the other rooms. Every room is interesting and artistic in its own way. Check out the photos, here's more of my Premier Room... (click to enlarge!)
There was a cozy lounge on the ground floor, looking like a living room from one of those shiny furniture magazines. A lovely place to hang out, read a book or get online... (free WiFi!)
The Island's Leisure Hotel includes a complimentary breakfast to the room. I love free breakfasts! I just don't like to wake up early. Breakfast time is between 07:00 - 10:00 AM but the cheerful staff promised I could have my breakfast later than that. Yay.
The hotel offers three types of breakfast: Filipino, American and European. The first day I've choosen American which was eggs and bacon, the other day I tried the pancakes with jam and honey. Both was very yummy and a good meal to start the day...
Like the rest of the hotel, also the breakfast room was wonderful decorated. Wherever I looked, modern and artsy interiors, an eclectic mix of Western and Asian influences. Very charming and inspiring, I got many ideas for my own home... if I will ever have one.
BTW, the Island's Leisure Hotel do not have their own restaurant, therefore they offer only breakfast, no dinner or lunch. If you don't want to get far for food, check out Neva's Pizza and Pasta, the restaurant is just a half kilometer away and they deliver great food. We ordered daily our dinner there. Pasta is below PHP100 and extremely delicious! The pizza is good, too! Try the Tuna Pasta. Yum.
Update: Just received an email from the owner of Island's Leisure Hotel. Good news! The restaurant is now open! Looking forward to try their food next time!
The Wellness Spa was my favorite part of the hotel. Who doesn't love massages? Actually my boyfriend doesn't, but who cares, so more for me!
On my second day I tried a Swedish Massage and it was heavenly. The staff was amazing and surely they know what they're doing. I had the feeling they really enjoy their job and love giving massages.
The Spa is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy premium treatments by the trained staff in a beautiful ambiance. Try one of their packages!! Absolutely recommended! I'll promise you'll feel like new born after...
I absolutely loved the Island's Leisure Boutique Hotel. The staff made my stay, because they were simply amazing. Welcoming, super friendly and always smiling. The Hotel is art in its purest form. An oasis of plants, combined with modern design makes this place a beautiful and tranquil spot to relax and escape the hustle of the city.
Thank you for reading.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sabrina Iovino is the founder of JustOneWayTicket.com. She's half German, half Italian and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe. She feels weird to write about herself in the third person, so she'll switch now. Phew...much better! Let's restart:
Hi, I'm Sab! This is my blog and I write about the things I love. Mostly.
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