After covering the Golden Anniversary and T’nalak Festival in Koronadal City, I extended my trip to explore more of the region and opted to stay in Microtel by Wyndham – General Santos City. Located on the shores of Sarangani Bay, this independent city is geographically part of South Cotabato in Mindanao and is the gateway to other provinces including Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, and (North) Cotabato.
General Santos or GenSan is roughly an hour away from Koronadal, the capital city of the province where festivities were held. I’ve stayed in different branches of Microtel all around the country and checking in always feels comfortable and familiar. Known for pioneering the “no frills” hotel concept, Microtel provides consistently clean, comfortable, and secure accommodations at value rates.
Despite being a business hotel with the same general look of the rooms and lobby in all the locations, I appreciated the little unique touches. Inspired by the the province’s tribal women who weave geometric patterns of the locally-produced T’nalak, South Cotabato has adopted the tagline “The Land of the Dreamweavers.” It was nice to see the framed t’nalak weaving in the room and touches of indigenous artwork and textiles incorporated in the lobby and dining area.
Conveniently situated along the National Highway just 30 minutes away from the airport, Microtel Microtel by Wyndham – General Santos provides an affordable stay for leisure and business travelers. The hotel is part of the Valley High Complex, a collection of lifestyle restaurants, café’s, wellness and medical establishments, convenience stores and a major fast food restaurant.
Microtel is also easy walking distance from SM General Santos, where you can find lots of retail shops, restaurants and a souvenir shop for those looking for last minute-pasalubong from the region. I recommend Tuna Chicharon and unique locally-made chocolate bars from Great Harvest.
Aside from being known as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines,” GenSan is also known as the hometown of boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. Boxing fans might also be interested to stop by Pacman’s Wild Card Gym right across SM, where you can buy Pacquiao memorabilia.
Microtel GenSan has 65 Two Queen Bed-Rooms and One Queen Bed-Suite Rooms. Each room is about 25 to 30 square meters large, well-appointed and contains comfortable chiropractic-approved mattresses.
I had been staying in a Pension House in Koronadal that was very near the festival action with blaring loudspeakers playing music up to late night and turned on early at the morning. After hectic days that involved motorcycling and hiking to Lake Holon, festival coverage in the blazing heat and night-outs joining the festivities, it was a welcome relief to just stay in the comfort of a hotel room. It rained the afternoon I got to GenSan, so I took that as an excuse to just sleep and catch up on online work and deadlines.
Fortunately, the hotel rooms have all the comforts you need to stay connected. It had fast and free Wi-Fi Internet access in all areas including the rooms, a cable TV, IDD/NDD phone, and private toilet and shower. For added security, keycard access was required for the elevator, hallway doors and hotel rooms.
Though Microtel doesn’t have their own in-house restaurant, complimentary buffet breakfast was provided at the lobby. The buffet breakfast was generous with a wide array of Filipino staples and regional specialties including tuna paksiw, adobo, danggit, as well as a cereal, bread and fruit section. There was even a waffle and omelette station.
For lunch and dinner, the Valley High Complex right outside the hotel was a good choice for families looking for a quiet and secure setting. Restaurants here include Big Ben Steaks & Grills (Angus beef steaks), Red Trellis (seafood and Asian menu), C Bistro restaurant and bar, Mama Paulita’s (traditional chicken and FIlipino cuisine), Good Fellas (Italian & European Cuisine) and Café Amoree (coffee & pastries). A 24-hour fast food restaurant is also inside the complex.
The Valley High strip has become a favorite hangout place and center of nightlife. Even at midnight, there was a sizeable crowd enjoying drinks and coffee. I was craving for seafood, so I ended up eating in Red Trellis, which specializes in live seafood.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHECK IN:
Microtel GenSan is a good option for business and leisure travelers looking for a clean, safe and secure hotel while in the city. The dining establishments nearby make it convenient for those who don’t want to stray too far. WiFi is fast for those who need to get work online done. Most taxis charge at least P350 going to the airport, but for added convenience, Microtel offers shuttle service to and from the airport at a more reasonable rate. There are also tricycles stationed right outside the hotel for those who want to go around on their own.
September is said to be the best time to visit General Santos City, as they’ll be celebrating their annual week-long Tuna Festival. The city becomes extra festive with float parades, street dancing competitions, and other events. Microtel is located near many of the festival venues.
ADDRESS & CONTACT INFO:
Microtel General Santos City is located in Valley High, National Highway, General Santos City 9500, Philippines