Seated on a van bound for Sorsogon City from Daraga, Albay, a heavy downpour greeted us along the way.  We had nil insights of road directions towards the city, more so with the hotel for which we shall be staying for a number of days.

It was a long weekend - another opportunity to discover a province.  Despite the difficulty of getting confirmed tickets to the Bicol region, we managed to arrive at the city though late of the expected arrival.

Navigating the hotel was easy, with a signage prominently displayed at the national highway and being a walking distance from the Provincial Capitol building.  We informed the driver beforehand of where we shall be dropped-off and fortunately Fernando’s Hotel is known, so less hassle for giving details.

A cup of hot chocolate complemented by Sorsogon’s version of glutinous rice cake topped with grated coconut was ordered served by the matriarch of the family, Cecilia Duran, upon our arrival.  She facilitated our check-in and it was a breeze.  It was a perfect way to start the day in Sorsogon City albeit raining.

Fernando’s Hotel is named after the patriarch, Dr. Fernando Duran Sr.  A hospital in the city is likewise named after Mr. Duran.  The hotel is a family-run business that operated since 1994.  Its strategic location is the best advantage of the hotel and for having spanned a number of years in operations, it is a testimony of the family’s passion to serve and be part of promoting the tourism industry of their province.

“We are not a luxurious hotel”, says Ma'am Cecilia.  She might as well be referring to the grandeur of amenities and facilities that other hotels offer in the modern age.  I don’t mind actually.  The stay for me is enough to be defined luxurious.  In fact I was more than satisfied of the ambiance it emits and the rural landscape that surrounds the hotel.  The hotel has incontestably a charm of its own.  It was so rejuvenating and comfortable.

With the rainy stay in Sorsogon, sitting at the dining table whilst holding a cup of hot chocolate, facing the garden as the cool breeze hovers my face and being treated to a live music coming from a piano played, is more than a warm welcome of our stay in the city.  The piano was played then by Ms. Cecilia’s granddaughter, Kaye Agnes, a beauty queen of the city, former Miss World Philippines contestant.

We were booked at the ground floor of the hotel near the reception area and the main dining area.  The dining area is adjacent to a well-maintained garden.  It truly feels home.  The simple and unassuming interiors of the hotel gives an impression of home.  Basic as it may appear but it delivers.

The second floor of the hotel reached through wooden stairs, as in old Philippine mansions, houses rooms of varied themes, ranging from abaca, coconut, bamboo and the likes.  Rooms are named after the material from which the interior design is made of.  Quite interesting I must say.  (click here to check room types and rates)

The 24-hour room service and security of the hotel is an added consideration of making the stay in the hotel comfortable and relaxed.  All the staff and even security guards were amiable to give us a grand welcome and were so efficient and helpful in all our posed queries of where to go, eat (drink) and the likes. 

As expected of a rural setting, people interact more than concentrate on electronic gadgets.  While wi-fi connection is free and signal is strong on common areas such as the reception and dining area, signal is poor inside our bedroom.  The well-ventilated and air-conditioned room comforted us while watching television shows.  We always wake up late on grounds of a comfortable sleep.

Complimentary breakfast is prepared and served as the guest arrives at the dining hall.  The fresh serving and straight from the kitchen at that, made us feel so pampered for the “personalized” service we are getting.  The smile and greetings of the cook was more than enough to lighten the mood.

For our last night in the city, we had our dinner at the Fernando 168 Bistro operated and managed by Ms. Cecilia’s daughter, Ms. Angie Duran-Agnes.  She was there to assist us on all our needs making us feel a part of their family.  Their hospitality and personal service was beyond compare.

The Fernando 168 Bistro specializes on Filipino cuisine and particularly of the fresh seafood produce from the province.  Everything served was delectable.  The fried small shrimps, a local cuisine, was an instant favorite dish.  They are into catering service as well which explains the best-served dishes for the night.

Sorsogon, as we know is famous for whale shark watching as part of their eco-tourism adventure offering.  And we are fortunate to have met one of those who first documented these whale sharks – Mr. Fernando Duran III, son of Cecilia and Fernando.

The Duran family is one of the prominent families in the country whose hospitality and dedicated service to the tourism industry is exceptional.  We felt like a member of their family during our stay in Sorsogon that we were not there merely as clients but visitors of their humble abode. With this kind of service, it is no wonder why Fernando’s Hotel has spanned more than two decades.

Indeed, a cordial ambiance that made my short vacation on a long weekend relevantly spent.

3799 Rizal Street Piot.
Sorsogon City, Sorsogon

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  1. Looks like you had great fun in Sorsogon! I heard a lot of good things about Sorsogon and I wish I could visit and explore the place soon! ;)