If there is one thing I've learned from our trip in Ilocos - it is - plan your trip well. We were so busy with our work and I got surprised one weekend that it was already time to fly on Monday night. I was not able to do the itinerary (like what I always do so I can also plan the clothes that I would bring), and even check and compare hotel reviews. I packed my stuff 6 hours before our flight, and I was just glad that I didn't miss the most important things to bring (e.g. chargers).
The original plan is to stay in every stop point - Vigan - Pagudpud - Laoag. We want to declare to ourserlves that we are real backpackers, but it was too late for me to realize that we would waste our time in meeting the check out time and cutting our trips short. From Vigan (Day 1), we planned to stay in a hotel in Pagudpud (for Day 2). I realized it would mean, we would only have morning of Day 2 to explore the place; then maybe, afternoon of Day 2 after check out (but with all our luggages and bags joining us for the photoshoot!).
My friend had already reserved and deposited payment in Balay Da Blas for our Day 3. We were too late to decide that we need to check in and stay in Laoag for Day 2 and completely dismiss the idea of staying in Pagudpud - instead do a day trip and travel back to Laoag at night.
Balay Da Blas can no longer accommodate our request for another day of stay (for our Day 2), so we got panicky that we wouldn't have a place to stay in Laoag... Alas! There is Northview Hotel!
How to get there?
Coming from Vigan, we waited in the Partas Bus Terminal for the van service. They have this free airport transfer service, so if you are coming from the Laoag Airport, coordinate with the hotel staff your Estimated Time of Arrival.
By car, I honestly don't know how to get there, but you may find this map and location address helpful.
It is a 3-storey hotel with spacious parking infront. I noticed though, the it doesn't have elevator, so if you would be staying on the third floor, you would get a good exercise walking up and down the stairs.
There is a coffee shop in the ground floor where they serve breakfast. Breakfast is included in the rate that we have availed, but they only serve the usual stuff - fried rice, egg, and fish - and overflowing coffee.
There is a souvenir shop on the drive way, next to the concrete dining area outside - but I didn't bother checking because I have already bought some stuff from Vigan.
There is a wooden set outside the reception hall where we loved to stay for our morning "reflection" - until this point, there is still a Wifi connection.
Accommodation and Room
The room has a motel-esque appeal on me. It has a queen-sized bed, TV with cable, sofa bed, table and chairs (which served as bag rest), and hot and cold shower.
It's a good place to spend the night, but it lacks the comforting atmosphere I needed everytime we would unlock the door after a tiring day's trip. Maybe it's because of the lighting? or the tiled flooring or the material of the bed?
But I'll give it a Golden Star for the Biddet!
In general, the place and room is clean (no sight of insects, whatsoever), but I would say, it still need a little more maintenance (or maybe I am just a little particular with rooms).
We got the double room at Php1,050 per night. Maximum of 2 pax, with Hot and Cold Shower. If you are really on a budget, you may get the Standard Room at Php950 per night, without Hot Shower (you might consider, if it is summer) - but Hot Shower is the best after a day's trip to ease muscle pain before going to bed. :)
For complete room rate listing and amenities, please check it here. Extra hour after check out time is Php100. We have extended for 2 hours and they charged us Php200. I was a bit disappointed, considering the next room is still free which means the hotel is not fully booked, plus we checked in around midnight, but what can I say, it's called business. ;)
I would recommend this hotel for those who are on budget. What is good about this hotel is that it is along the highway, and going to places would only cost Php10 per tricycle ride.
On our first night, I thought of checking out and transferring to Balay Da Blas, but we thought that this again would mean cutting our trip short just to meet the check out time (for those who are not yet informed, hotel check in time is at 2:00PM, check out time is always at 12PM - even if you check in the middle of the night, the hotel would not count 24 hours stay to calculate for the room rate).
So we stayed in Northview Hotel for Day 3 (until we left back to Manila). Bottom line is, we lost 50% downpayment at Balay Da Blas.
If there is anything that would compensate for the lack of ambiance (bear with me, it is just really me), it is the accommodating staff.
1. They let us stayed in the reception with our bags kept on the side while we waited for our flight - we get to use the free Wifi connection too.
2. The other reason that we stayed in Northview Hotel until departure is that it offers free airport transfer.
3. My friend even slept at the reception - and the staff was considerate not to make any noise whenever they would pass by the area.
4. Breakfast is usually served at 6:30 AM, but we requested for a 5:00 AM service and they didn't disappoint us and our itinerary.
5. When we were in the van, ready to go, the staff was waving with sincere smiles - showing how happy they were with the business that we gave.
I hope that you find this review helpful. Happy Trip!