Spot Stays: This City Hotel Is a Stone's Throw Away From Your Fave Iloilo Food Haunts

Citadines Amigo Iloilo is a 10-minute walk from Calle Real.

Citadines Amigo Iloilo
PHOTO L: Courtesy of Citadines Amigo Iloilo; R: Johanna L. Anes-de la Cruz

Citadines Amigo Iloilo
Iznart Street, Iloilo City, Iloilo
Promo rates start at P3,000

At a Glance
Room: Spacious, squeaky clean, and cozy; some are equipped with a kitchen, washer, dryer, and iron
Food and drink: You can prepare your own meal in your room, order from the in-house restaurant, or run down to your favorite Iloilo eatery
Staff: Available 24/7
Why you should stay: You get pet-friendly spacious rooms in a convenient location

(SPOT.ph) Revenge travel is all the rage these days, with the government easing COVID-19 restrictions and travel deals here and there. While most countries have yet to open their borders to tourists, it’s high time for us to get to know our own backyard and its 7,641 islands better.  

You can start rediscovering the beauty of the country at its very beating heart—Iloilo. Nicknamed the "Heart of the Philippines" for its location right in the middle of the archipelago, the province is known for its vibrant culture and friendly locals. Its eponymous capital, Iloilo City, is not merely a jump-off point for those who plan to hit the beach or go island-hopping, with Guimaras and its enticing shores a mere 20-minute boat ride away, but it’s also a destination on its own, worthy of a few days in your itinerary with its centuries-old churches, old-world charm, and sumptuous food.  

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If you find yourself in the city, a recommended place to stay is at the Citadines Amigo Iloilo. Located downtown, the property rises above homegrown shops, government offices, and restaurants. 

Also read:
10 Exciting Things to Do in Iloilo
The SPOT.ph Guide to Iloilo City

Citadines Amigo Iloilo facade
PHOTO BY Johanna L. Anes-de la Cruz
Citadines Amigo Iloilo lobby
Lobby
PHOTO Courtesy of Citadines Amigo Iloilo
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An Old Iloilo Hotel in Brand New Clothes 

In an interview with SPOT.ph, Citadines Amigo Iloilo Residence Manager Gerald Fontanos shared that the property was renovated​​ from what used to be the Amigo Terrace Hotel, a well-known accommodation in the region back in the day.  

"The owner, La Filipina Uy Gongco Group of Companies tapped the expertise of The Ascott Limited Philippines to manage the renovated property under the Citadines brand," Fontanos says. 

Citadines Amigo Iloilo prides itself as the first serviced residence not only in the city but on the entire Panay island.    

He explained that with Ascott’s rebranding comes "Brand 360." More than updating the property’s color palette, new signatures have been introduced. One of which is the Brand 360 Check-In experience that lets you taste the best of Iloilo coffee in the lobby while waiting to be checked in. 

"Called 'For the Love of Coffee,' it’s an in-house program and collaboration with the local community to inspire our guests through a unique coffee-related experience,” he explains. 

"We also have 'activeꝎ' (activate)," adds Fontanos, "[It’s] another brand signature, which is a mixture of amenities and signature programming for guests to jumpstart their city living."

With this, Citadines Amigo Iloilo offers a seamless "bleisure" (business + leisure) experience through their fully-equipped and well-appointed rooms. 

Citadines Amigo Iloilo bedroom
One-Bedroom Deluxe
PHOTO BY Johanna L. Anes-de la Cruz
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Citadines Amigo Iloilo kitchen
The room comes with a fully equipped kitchen.
PHOTO BY Johanna L. Anes-de la Cruz

Each apartment comes with a television, an en-suite bathroom, and air-conditioning system. Privacy, safety, and comfort are ensured with 24-hour security and guest services. The spaces are pet-friendly as well to ensure guests can enjoy their stay with their furry companions. 

"We have the convenience of staying in an apartment coupled with the comforts of staying in a hotel. This is such a big advantage for our guests, especially for long-staying ones," says Fontanos.  

He mentioned the property as having bigger rooms compared with its competitors, with a full-sized kitchen in most of the serviced apartments.

Citadines Amigo Iloilo laundry
Launderette
PHOTO BY Johanna L. Anes-de la Cruz
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Citadines Amigo Iloilo fitness center
Fitness Center
PHOTO BY Johanna L. Anes-de la Cruz

With Citadines Amigo Iloilo’s prime location, government offices, commercial establishments, banks, and even tourist spots are but a stone’s throw away. 

Looking forward, Fontanos explained that building and strengthening the brand in Iloilo is their target. "Development in Vis-Min is going to be exciting as we have a number of properties in the pipeline," he shares. 

"Citadines Bacolod City is slated to open [in the first quarter] of 2023. lyf Cebu, our lifestyle brand, is opening in Cebu, as well as another property under the Somerset brand. (Properties in) Davao and Cagayan de Oro are in the works and we are also looking at Boracay. The rise of the Vis-Min cluster will further strengthen our position in Iloilo as the premier choice of leisure and business travelers."

City Escape Promos 

For those going to Iloilo City soon, you’re in luck as Citadines Amigo Iloilo has an ongoing City Escape Promo until June. 

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With the discounted rates, you can book a Studio Deluxe for only P3,000, a Studio Executive for P4,000, or a One-Bedroom Deluxe for P5,000. 

These prices already include complimentary breakfast for two guests, free WiFi, use of recreational amenities, and one parking slot. Rates are also inclusive of applicable taxes and service charges. 

What to Do 

"Citadines" is a French word meaning "from the city." And true to its brand, Citadines Amigo Iloilo allows guests to enjoy their stay in one of the country’s liveliest and cleanest cities.  

Guests can take a dip in the newly renovated pool, relax on the sundeck, or burn those pesky calories away at the industrial-themed fitness corner. 

With its location right at the heart of the city, guests won’t run out of things to do. Nearby points of interest are the Provincial Capitol, Museo Iloilo, and Casino Filipino Iloilo. 

A jeepney ride away is a number of heritage sites like the Molo Church, Temple of Goddess Mother, Plaza Jaro, and a number of ancestral houses.

Citadines Amigo Iloilo downtown
The property is only a 10-minute walk away from Iloilo's famous Calle Real.
PHOTO BY Johanna L. Anes-de la Cruz
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Where to Eat 

The property serves buffet breakfast with the in-house restaurant set to open in a few months. 

In the meantime, guests need not worry because being in the city center means that you won’t have a hard time finding restaurants and cafés should any craving strike. 

All you need to do is walk a couple of meters from the hotel’s entrance to a branch of Merzci, a Bacolod bakeshop known for its napoleones. Three famous La Paz batchoy houses—Ted’s Oldtimer, Deco’s, and Toto’s—are also within a few minutes on foot from the property. 

A little farther afield, about a 10-minute walk, is Iloilo City’s beloved hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant Roberto’s. The 44-year-old shop is best known for its huge and flavorful siopao and fried snacks. 

Citadines Amigo Iloilo street
The hole-in-the-wall Roberto's along Calle Real is known for its huge and flavorful siopao.
PHOTO BY Johanna L. Anes-de la Cruz
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Where to Shop 

On the first floor of the property is a Shopwise branch and a few hundred meters away is the huge SM Iloilo complex, the very first outside Luzon. 

There are also many shops along Iznart Street leading to Calle Real, the city’s quaint thoroughfare with its collection of well-preserved American-era neoclassical, beaux-arts, and art deco buildings. 

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