Whenever one searches or asks where to stay in Bongao, Tawitawi, Rachel’s Place Restaurant and Hotel is surely one of the recommendations. Bongao is the provincial capital and where most visitors make their base. Despite its status, its just a small town with a handful of hotels and resorts. Although that is changing now as I’ve seen several expansions and constructions at the resort areas in my last visit last week.
Renovated façade and new rooms
I’ve stayed at this hotel twice and the last time was in October 2014. The place was dated and the rooms have seen better days. But when I was there last week, I was surprised that it was sporting a new look, a new façade! The lobby and restaurant at the ground floor by the entrance has been remodeled and airconditioned. Inside, there’s a brand new building constructed in 2018 too that has function rooms at the ground floor and seven new rooms with a variety of configurations. But the old building is still there with the same dated amenities.
As with the old section, the rooms are clean and the bed comfortable though. But be prepared to settle with broken toilet seat covers, low shower head pressure (I used the pail and tabo) and damaged aircon knobs. While wifi is available, like most of Bongao, it’s slow and difficult to access web pages.
The restaurant has been transferred to the airconditioned ground floor with lobby although the al fresco dining tables with parasols at the courtyard within the property are still there. When I was there, not all airconditioning units were operating that’s why the bigger restaurant space was hot. As for the food, it was ok although I should say the crab lumpia was good. They also serve brewed coffee and 3-in-1. Although they’re advertising fraps, these were not available when I was there. They also serve typical silog style breakfast for about 155-170 pesos.
Should you stay here?
There are two options when staying in Bongao:
- within the town proper
- head to the beach area for the resorts
Rachel’s Place Restaurant and Hotel is within town, thus no need to pay for a higher tricycle ride and you have more options in terms of food, walking around and getting into the daily life action of Bongao. With its renovated sections and seven new rooms, I think this hotel is the best place to stay for now.