Saturday, November 17, 2018

Lio El Nido

If you are looking for a semi-private relaxing experience but at the same time still accessible to shops and the beach,  i would say Lio is the place for you. traditional estate developments would usually cut down the trees for better beach clearing yet Lio managed to retain much of it - making the place lush yet chic.

Away but not far. 

Let me give you eight reasons why i love this place.

[1] Outdoor life
You have the entire 325 hectare estate to explore. You can play frisbee, beach volleyball or kayak, paddle board, skimboard, run or jog within the estate. You will be surprised that the place has so much to offer. A personal favorite is the bridgeway in this mini forest. You will notice this immediately once you've reached the main estate area. it is like you're entering an untouched forest. 

[2] Resort community 
You get three resorts in one complex and two more within a range of 5 kilometers of the estate. offering you awesome options whether on the high side or on a budget. we stayed at Casa Kalaw during our entire stay there. it has a swimming pool and a balcony with a view of the three-resort complex. the other two resorts are Balai Adlaw and Hotel Covo. 
if you want an even more secluded place, go for El Nido Cove Resort or the newly opened Seda Lio which can accommodate bigger groups and even conferences. if you're undecided here are some of the essential factors you might want to consider:
so if you want a place close to the main commercial area of Lio, Casa Kalaw, Balai Adlao or Hotel Covo would be the best option. If you want loft type rooms with a beachfront view, go for El Nido Cove Resort. if you're going as a large group and you want all the amenities including halls for reunion or meetings, go for Seda Lio.

[3] Eat, Relax and Swim
Imagine tree shades from towering palm trees, beach-perfect restaurants, relaxing night music, some buri mats and beach beds. the restaurants come with awesome food choices, each with elevated wooden dining areas giving a soothing view of the beach. we tried Globy Traveling Chef, Fat Choy and D'Factory. 
You have all the options for a 3 days/2 nights stay at the estate. you get a good range of other options and here's the complete list of restaurants and bars:
Globy Traveling Chef - Fusion food
Fat Choy - Chinese food
Pizza&Amore - Italian food
Shaka Cafe - Vegetarian and healthy alternative
El Nido Grill - Seafood fiesta
Seafood Island - Seafood fiesta
Pair-a-Dice - Burgers and Fries
Manille Beach Bar - Liquors and pica pica eats
Pukka Bar - Beers and pica pica eats 
Bead Cafe - Coffee, Frappucino, hot chocolate drinks and pastries

[4] Sunset View
Sunset by the beach and the lazy transition from an active day to a more relaxing night life. with a view of the islands of Bacuit archipelago particularly the giant Cadlao island where the sun sets down from this view. People at this point choose their own spot to see the changing colors of the sky and the sound of the waves. Highly recommended spot would be at Lio's jetty where you can also see small planes landing from the nearby airport. Makes you wish sunset happens at a longer time.  

[5] Artworks Everywhere
If you are a fan of artworks, you will have a great time moving around the estate. you can see art pieces almost everywhere. beside the restos, beach shade areas and even the designs of the restaurants. that's if you have a keen eye. with a short walk, you can reach Kalkye Artisano. Lio's own home to several local crafts and great display of artworks to feast the eye. you can buy these native crafts at the shops or just enjoy the place.  

[6] Connectivity
We understand that on our vacation, we wanted to spend most of our time bonding with one another. But Lio won't let you also totally disconnected from your families or relatives. In fact, during celebrations we also wanted our families and friends to also get in touch on those special moments. The entire commercial complex provides free WIFI access. So you won't really need to go back to your hotel just to get connected. Of course access via 4G or LTE also has good signal there.

[7] Just a boat away from Paradise 
You need not to book your island hopping tours at El Nido town, El Nido Yachting Club offers specialized tours with options of Speedboat or the chich looking Catamaran cruise. Packages includes tour to popular island destinations like the Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Cadlao Lagoon, Helicopter Island, Star Beach, Secret Beach, Shimizu Island, Seven Commandos. You can book it at the second floor of Kalaw Suites within the commercial area. 

Mobile: 09152654636/09494268783

[8] Night Sights
You are miles away from the noisy Karaokes and Videoke places. So you will enjoy instead acoustic bands at night. Apart from these, the shops are also open until night time. Pick your spots for night shoots or just chill by the beach and restaurants. Or if you had a tiring day from the activities, go for a massage at Mayana Spa. nights are not meant to be boring. Go out, chat and enjoy the night vibes of Lio.

That's it. I think I've given you much of what to expect. There's no other way but to experience it yourself. A place with the goal of sustainability and eco-tourism. So book your next El Nido adventure at Lio Tourism Estate. You'll love it there. 

How to get to Lio Tourism Estate:
Access and Transfer
By Air: 
Via El Nido Airport: There is a transport vehicle assigned to bring guests directly to Lio Estate which only takes 5 minutes. 
Via Puerto Princesa: Take a van or bus from Puerto Princesa airport to El Nido public terminal. From the terminal you can take a tricyle to Lio van/shuttle terminal at the main town of El Nido. The Lio terminal is just beside the EL Nido Resorts main office (Real Street corner Osmena St). From here you can take the Free van/shuttle service to Lio (10minutes away). See FAQs for van/shuttle schedule.

Travel bookings at Lio:
Airswift Ticketing Office - flight booking from Manila direct to El Nido vv
El Nido Yachting Club - island boat tours

El Swift Travel and Tours - other tour and travel package bookings

[Q1] What is the schedule of the Free Van/Shuttle from El Nido Town to Lio Estate and vice versa?

Van Shuttle schedule El Nido Town to Lio Estate

Van Shuttle schedule Lio Estate to El Nido Town

Free shuttle service is on first come first serve basis. I recommend that you be at the terminal 15-20minutes before your planned departure time.

[Q2] What if we miss out the Free van/shuttle schedule from Lio to El Nido vv? 
The resort where you are staying or the guard at the van terminal at Lio can help you book for a tricycle to El Nido town. Current rate is P300/tricycle one way. can only accommodate 3 persons/tricycle.

[Q3] How far is Lio Estate from El Nido town?
It is just 5kilometers away. Van/shuttle trip takes only 10-15mins. No traffic congestion expected as it does not pass by the busy area of El Nido town. 

[Q4] Is there and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in the area? 
Yes. Currently they BPI ATM at the shops at Lio.  Bldg D

[Q5] Can we just go at Lio and do walk-in booking for the resort there? 
Yes but I dont recommend this as most of the resorts are already booked ahead particularly for weekends. It is best to book online at least 3 months ahead. You may check links below to corresponding resorts websites or you may also use online booking apps:

Casa Kalaw -
Balai Adlao -
Hotel Covo -
Seda Lio -
El Nido Cove Resort -

[Q6] What if we have run out of rooms and some of our friends had to book to other resort withinn Lio Estate, would it still be ok?
Yes. In fact, the three resorts Casa Kalaw, Hotel Covo and Balai Adlaw are just few steps away from another.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Best Hikes in San Diego

San Diego is not just about sunshine and beaches. In fact, there is a lot more to this much-beloved destination. The Southern California town boasts of a list of urban adventures and home to some of the most amazing hiking trails. Thus, when you head towards San Diego, think beyond those craft beer and surf sessions and explore America’s Finest City that offers some of the unique hiking experiences. Browse San Diego beachfront rentals to ensure that you stay at some of the best lodgings and get the best value out of your money. Get ready to explore San Diego and lace up those hiking boots to get on to some of the most picturesque walking paths. In fact, there is a trail for everyone in San Diego that will take you through those gorgeous views and waterfalls and abandoned buildings. There are plenty of both known and unknown hikes and points of interest that have now become a local sensation. Read on to learn about the most popular and the best.
Moderate to easy hikes

Sunset Cliffs
Most relaxing and enchanting ones. In fact, the hike can double as a romantic
date located at Sunset Cliffs Blvd and Ladera St. Sunset Cliffs, the hike sure
is one of the option as one finds himself surrounded by sea cliffs and ocean air.
Enjoy looking at plenty of seals splashing along the rocks and the bottlenose

Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain trails are well marked and maintained. It is an extremely popular
destination for the hike because of its diverse Californian beauty and a backdrop
of sprawling hills covered with purple lilacs. The trail is family-friendly and a big
favorite with horseback riders. Because the trial has little coverage from the sun,
it is recommended to make an early morning start.

Anza-Borrego and Borrego Palm Canyon

The hike through Anza-Borrego and Borrego Palm Canyon is breathtakingly
desolate but filled with desert charm that is made of wildflowers, cactus gardens,
and bighorn sheep. Enjoy hiking on the relatively flat trail that ends at the third
largest palm oasis in California. The hike is the quintessential adventure and offers
a stretch of deep colors that are provided only by desert sunset.

Los Penasquitos Canyon

Los Penasquitos Canyon hike is suitable for all kind of hikers and all age groups.
The relatively easy route provides some of the most impressive natural sights such
as streams and creek and waterfalls. Moreover, if you keep your eyes open, you
might just see a deer crossing the path.

Oak Canyon Trail

The Oak Canyon Trail in the Mission Trails Regional Park is more than 40 miles.
There are endless options in this urban national park that lies near Lake Murray
and Kumeyaay Lake. The hike winds north from the Old Mission Dam and takes
one through sycamore and oak-lined ravine. It is a joy to find the babbling stream
accompanying the hikers all through the trial and later the route drops into the
The intense hikes

Goat Canyon Railroad Trestle
Goat Canyon Railroad is the most significant wooden railroad trestle, and the
hike is likely to take the whole day. Thus, go for it if you are experienced and
used to tougher hikes. Be prepared as the trail is not well marked or properly
maintained. Carry a map or a GPS before you march into the desert and the
rugged terrain that is inhabited by glowing orbs and snakes.

Cowles Mountain

This is another intense hike that will take you to the highest peak in San Diego.
The intensity lies in the steepness of the trail, and once you are at the top, you
get 360-degree views of the city. On the way, one will come across plenty of other
hikers and lots of dogs. It sure is a steep hike, but if one is determined, anyone
can get through it.

Mount Woodson

The locals refer to it as the "Potato Chip Rock" because of the unmistakable rock
formation. Lined with massive boulders, the zigzagging trail has become a rite of
passage. The difficult hike is not for the inexperienced hikers. The hike leads to
the highest points from where one gets amazing views of Lake Poway and Palomar

Cedar Creek Falls

Take the Cedar Creek Falls Trail with a precautionary warning because of the
swimming hole at the end of the trail, the Devil’s Punchbowl. The swimming hole
has seen multiple deaths over the years because of cliff jumping. The sight of the
massive waterfall that pours into the natural pool is indeed marvelous. The hike
is difficult and recommended only for the experienced hikers.

Three Sisters Falls Trails

The Three Sisters Falls hike is considered to be one of the most challenging hikes
as it follows the rocky terrain and steep inclines. The visitors climb up and down
by making use of the ropes that are secured throughout the route. The hike is
certainly not for the faint-hearted and moreover, climbing over the rocks and
boulders requires experience and skill.

Be well prepared for a hiking trip

Regardless of what kind of hike you opt for or how experienced you are, it is a
must to be well prepared in advance and stay safe so that you not only come back
with an enjoyable experience but make the adventure go smoothly. Always check
the weather and be sure of the route before hitting the trail. Pack all the essentials
such as a good map, UV-blocking sunglasses and creams, extra non-cotton clothing,
lightweight flashlight and first-aid supplies. Carry waterproof matches, Swiss army
knife, calorie-dense nutrition, emergency shelter kit and loads of water.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Why Bagdogra is the Gateway to the heavenly North East

If there is ever a testimony to prove that big things come in small packages, Bagdogra, a silent Himalayan town is a prime example. This small pristine town located on the foothills of Himalayas may not be a popular city or a big name, but for travelers and nature lovers, Bagdogra is nothing less than a gateway to the heavenly North East.

[Connectivity to the North East and beyond]

As part of the Greater Siliguri Metropolitan Area in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, Bagdogra is home to the Bagdogra International Airport, which is the only airport in the entire North Bengal region offering connectivity from all metropolitan cities from India and overseas. It offers direct connectivity from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Guwahati, Chennai as well as international destinations like Paro and Bangkok.

Bagdogra Airport is located at a distance of 9 km west of the city of Siliguri, the second largest city in West Bengal. Cabs are easily available for travelers to visit Siliguri or explore the pristine natural surroundings of Bagdogra town.

[Things you can do at Bagdogra]

Due to its strategic location right at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayan ranges, Bagdogra provides a gateway to the natural beauty of the North East. Travelers visiting the popular hill station of Darjeeling opt for Bagdogra as a preferred stopover as the town offers the closest air connectivity to the region. There are ample accommodation options in Bagdogra, including resorts near Bagdogra Airport, for tourists to explore the lush green natural habitat and the natural tea trails on offer.

For the adventure loving tourists, Bagdogra is nothing less than a heavenly paradise. The town offers a number of adventure sport options like river rafting, trekking, and fishing excursions in and around the Teesta River. From walking on the exotic tea trails to sipping some of the finest Himalayan Tea, exploring nature and indulging in water sports, Bagdogra offers ample options for just about everyone.

[Repository of culture and heritage]

The cultural heritage of Bagdogra is another attraction for tourists from all over. Even amid the modern world frenzy of commercialization, the town of Bagdogra and its inhabitants have a strong connect with their cultural roots and heritage.

The town hosts a number of rich cultural festivals with the ‘Gangasagar Festival’ being one of the prime attractions. Visitors and locals indulge in a holy dip at the merging point of River Ganga and the Bay of Bengal in a location called Sagar Dwip.

While North East India is known for its rich and heavenly natural beauty, the rich cultural heritage and traditions are as much a part of the people and their everyday lives. All of this cultural affluence makes Bagdogra a true gateway to the heavenly North East.

Unwind at Bagdogra, experience the North East

The presence of the Bagdogra International Airport with its good connectivity has ensured that there has been a phenomenal rise in the number of weekend tourists in the town. With ample accommodation options right from exotic resorts near Bagdogra Airport to budget accommodation options, the town is the perfect destination for weekend excursion or getaway.

Being one of the few airports in India with zero sales tax on aviation turbine fuel, it is no surprise that the air traffic to Bagodra Airport is witnessing a rise. Visitors wanting to explore the North East, especially the regions of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik, and Kalimpong, find it convenient to reach the Bagdogra Airport to resume their journey ahead.

With Bagdogra Airport even offering helicopter flights to Gangtok with on-the-spot permits for foreign travelers, Bagdogra is truly the Gateway to the heavenly North East.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

seda vertis north hotel experience

Tired of the busy North? Not until you explore Ayala's newest district in Quezon city. The biggest add is the city's largest hotel. Whether it's your first experience of staying at Seda or you're familiar with the chain's best standard for staycation. I give you 11 reasons why you need to explore this side of Seda Vertis North Hotel.

[1] Fitness and Wellness
Either you end here from a long trip north of Luzon or entirely maximizing to enjoy the hotel's wellness facilities. You can pamper yourself with spa, massage and the enticing swimming pool at the third floor. Zumba and yoga rooms are also available here. Two thumbs up for the massage.
[2] Accessibility
The hotel is located walking distance from the upcoming central hub of Quezon city. That means you are just a walk away from MRT 7 (ongoing construction) and MRT 1 common station. Apart from that you are also accessible to commercial, sports and transport hubs:

Active Sport Hubs:

Quezon Memorial Circle [10mins]
UP Diliman Oval [15mins]
Power Up Center - Wall Climbing [15mins]
Amoranto Stadium [15mins]
Capitol Hills and Country Club [15mins]

Bus Terminals/Expressway/Transport Hubs:
Cubao Bus Terminals [15mins]
Monumento Bus Terminals [15mins]
NLEX EDSA exit [15mins]
NLEX Mindanao exit [20mins]

University of the Philippines Diliman Campus [15mins]
Ateneo de Manila University [25mins]
Miriam College [25mins]
St James College [25mins]

Our Lady of Hope [10mins]
Iglesia Ni Cristo [15mins]
St Peter Parish [25mins]
Sto Domingo Church [25mins]

Work Hub:
UP Ayala Land Technohub [10mins]

this sure is the advantage of almost all Seda Hotel's strategic location. 
[3] Skybar
The Straight Up skybar for sure is one of  my favorite highlights during our stay. You have a skybar that offers an indoor and outdoor area for your night activities with friends. Don't miss the Four Elements drink there and the live band.

[4] Breakfast/Lunch Buffet

Wide range of breakfast food for the morning tummy cravings at Misto. Among my favorite includes the special pudding, fried Tawilis, Arroz ala Cubana and unlimited fruits combined with yogurt. 
For lunch, Seda for sure knows how to feed your lazy bodies with a buffet. Soup noodles, pastas of sorts, Japanese makis, lechon kawali and my personal favorite would be their own house ice creams.
[5] Chef's Table Experience
Available by special request is the hotel's own chef's table dining experience. This was my first time and it was a "wow" time as the chefs prepared for us meal sets served to fill the unusual cravings. Don't be surprised if at the middle of your meal chef will start to show off their other talents. 
[6] Vertis North Complex
This is the emerging business and lifestyle district that not much has explored yet. on our stay at Seda Vertis North, we were surprised to see that there's this complex of shops, restaurants and entertainment area. Vertis North mall is just across the hotel and unlike the ever busy shopping mall of Trinoma, here you get a vibe of more private places to unwind from a busy day after enjoying the hotel's facilities.

[7] Morning Habits 
You need not to leave the hotel if waking up in the morning and driving out somewhere will be a hassle. First reason is you get a very comfy bed and the next reason is you go for that zumba class, yoga sessions or just go for the gym facilities. 
[8] Club Lounge
A more private area limited to guests occupying Club, Premiere, Corner and President's Suites. There are also special rooms for exclusive meetings and discussions. Breakfast is also served here for a more private time. Don't forget to try out their guava juice. Not everyone knows about it. So just ask it to one of their staff at the club lounge. 
[9] Spacious Lobby
almost half of the entire lower ground is the lobby. checking-in will be smooth and easy. kids will love the mini play place while adults will enjoy the Mac with large flat screen PCs available to guests. 
[10] Modern Artworks
It is quite unusual if I tell you that you need to explore the entire hotel to find special art pieces. Oftentimes only noticeable when you really look closely into details on small corners. You will see furniture designed by the famous Kenneth Cobonpue or even artworks by Jaime Zobel de Ayala. I'll leave it up to you to look for those artworks. 
[11] Business 
Part of the hotel's large area are its huge halls and conference rooms. It can hold big conferences, weddings, events and exhibitions. You have an entire high ceiling floor for all these. 
This side of Quezon City is the vastly changing and just across Seda Hotel here is Vertis North Mall which is home to the country's cinema with the largest theater screen. You deserve a day out in this new district. Food, shopping or staycation. You will love it here. 

Seda Vertis North Hotel
Astra Corner Lux Drives
Vertis North, Quezon City
Tel: (632) 7398888
Seda Hotel Website


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