Just like I posted around this time last year, I am missing Dinagyang yet again. For me, there’s always next year to try to participate in Iloilo’s famous festival that’s comparable to Cebu’s Sinulog and Aklan’s Ati-atihan. But if you’re actually planning to fly to the City of Love next week to join in all the fun, I envy you, and I’m here to suggest a good place to stay: Injap Tower Hotel, a three-star property that offers the best view of Iloilo City. I booked our stay here via Agoda (click here to book for this weekend or anytime in 2016).
View from Injap Tower Hotel
Situated right across the biggest mall in Iloilo, SM City, Injap Tower Hotel’s location is one of the best since it’s close to all the conveniences you need. It’s also within walking distance to one of the city landmarks, Plazuela de Iloilo, which houses several must-try restaurants and shops. If you love walking (and are not in heels), you can even take the trek all the way up to the nearby Smallville, Iloilo City’s popular night spot that draws locals and tourists alike even on weeknights. Otherwise, it’s a very short cab ride away, and it’s easy to grab a taxi right in front of Injap Tower (speaking of which, there is GrabTaxi in Iloilo!).
There are three places in Injap Tower that offers awesome views of the city. One is from the rooftop restaurant, Horizon Cafe, where they serve the complimentary breakfast that comes with your accommodation from 6AM to 10AM. It’s also a great option for dinner, as their menu features Asian fusion and several Western cuisine favorites, which you can enjoy with a view of the twinkling city lights below. The view will get even better as Iloilo City develops.
Dining at Horizon Cafe with a view of city lights at night
While we’re in the subject of Horizon Cafe, I just want to mention that they have good food, and I particularly enjoyed the free breakfast that came with our stay. It’s a set that includes your choice of dish to go with garlic fried rice and egg: beef tapa (Tapsilog), bangus (Bansilog), tocino (Tosilog), or longganisa (Longsilog). They also have Sunshine Omelette and vegetarian options. Your breakfast is served with your choice of Singaporean coffee (Kopi) or tea (Teh) sweetened with creamy condensed milk, or orange juice.
Enjoyed my Tosilog, Kopi, and the view
In our last stay in Injap Tower, my boyfriend and I were able to try the Tapsilog and the Tosilog, which we both recommend you order when you get the chance to stay there. The beef tapa is so tender and flavorful, with hints of sweetness and lots of fried garlic bits. The tocino, meanwhile, is likewise tender, juicy, and sweet. Both dishes went so well with the rich, bold Kopi, which was perfect for kickstarting our day.
Another spot where you can get a good view of the city is at the pool deck, which offers an almost 360-degree look at the surrounding neighborhood. Around the pool are chairs and benches where you can catch some sun or just sit around and chill at night. This floor also houses their in-house spa and gym.
Pool area at night (photo courtesy of Agoda)
And the third place where you can enjoy a view of Iloilo is from the privacy of your own room. Ours faces SM, and you can see (and sometimes hear) the bustle of Iloilo City below. I like the rooms in Injap because while they aren’t big, they are cozy and made good use of the space—and even managed to fit a HUGE flat-screen TV that makes it so tempting to just stay in and watch movies all day and night in the comfortable bed (there are two, actually: a single and a twin-size bed).
The bright and clean room is equipped with all the basics you need for a comfortable stay in the city, from an oven to a water heater for making coffee, a mini refrigerator, a desk, safe, ample closet space, and complete toiletries. They even gave us complimentary bottled water and snacks.
I am pretty pleased with their toiletries kit (so aliw, in fact, that I took a photo of its contents, which you will find in the photo gallery below) that includes cotton buds, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, dental kit, and shaving kit. And, it may seem like a minor thing, but it’s important to me that the restroom has a bidet, and I’m glad the bathroom is equipped with one.
Injap is easily accessible from the airport, and you can easily go to where the Dinagyang parties are via cab from here. The hotel is becoming more and more popular among the locals, Filipino tourists, and foreign tourists, as we’ve seen in the last couple of times we’ve stayed in this hotel. It’s about time you experienced Iloilo, and what better way to do so than by booking a room in the highest building in the city.
Oh, in case you are wondering: my Globe Telecom signal (and internet) is pretty strong on any floor of the hotel, anywhere in Iloilo City, and even the more distant municipalities of Iloilo. My boyfriend and I even recently drove from Iloilo to Caticlan and back to attend a wedding in Boracay, and I was able to use my Globe phone’s Google Maps app to navigate easily. It didn’t let me down even when we were in the inner towns and yet to be developed areas of Western Visayas. If you’re a Globe subscriber, you need not worry about mobile signal and internet when you’re there.
My Ilonggo boyfriend Jessie and I at the Injap Tower pool area (with Plazuela de Iloilo in the background)
For more photos of our room, the hotel, the views, and the dishes, view the gallery below. Click the first thumbnail to enlarge the image, read the caption, and launch the rest of the slideshow.
Photos inside the hotel by Trixie Reyna
Exterior shots courtesy of Agoda