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Sunday Lifestyle

Hues of paradise in Puerto Princesa

RENDEZVOUs - Christine S. Dayrit - The Philippine Star
Hues of paradise in  Puerto Princesa
Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa GM Chris Guballa in front of the property
STAR/ File

I often say it’s difficult to leave the comforts of one’s home unless it’s for a better, more luxurious place. This philosophy is my barometer for embarking on travels here and abroad.

With the Philippines slowly but surely opening up, it’s officially “revenge travel season.” Feeling like the Mona Lisa, I discovered a haven between the mountains for some fresh air and the glorious beach for the radiant sun. In between verdant forests and marine life (plus food tourism) are the colors of leisure at the Hue Hotel and Resorts in Puerto Princesa.

The incredible people behind Luana Lifestyle and Leisure Hotel Inc., who have created Hue Hotels and Resorts Boracay — with Hue Hotels and Resorts Siargao in the pipeline — toast as they celebrate the fifth anniversary of their property in Puerto Princesa.

This cozy and upscale hotel boasts eclectic colors, an inviting lobby, a splendid restaurant, well-appointed gym and spa and the most competent staff you could meet.

Hue Hotels and Resorts’ Dexter Lee, Rep. Edward Hagedorn, Puerto Princesa tourism officer Toto Alvior, Hue Hotels and Resorts’ Dennis and Yvonne Lee

It was an honor to meet the owners, charming couple Dennis and Yvonne Lee, and Dexter Lee, as well as group GM Chris Guballa.

At the salsa-themed celebration with a splendid show of fireworks, we were welcomed with Palawan personalities like Rep. Edward Hagedorn and tourism head Toto Alvior. As we raised our champagne glasses and the sound of clinking filled the air, we were in joyful reverie.

Binagoongan at La-ud is truly a bestseller.

We learned from the indefatigable Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron and city sports director Atty. Rocky Austria that the amazing Ironman contest, which involves 1,700 athletes from all over the world, will be joining this incredible feat that Mayor Bayron plans to have for the next 10 years.

Toto Alvior also shared his tourism plans like sustainable projects, food tourism and cruise liner dockings.

The Iwahig Penal colony and farm is the epitome of justice and respect.

In the Balayong People´s Park, 1,000 endemic Palawan balayong trees (like Japan’s cherry blossoms) have been planted and will be the focus of the Balayong Festival next year.

We also learned from Guballa that they want the hotel to be the ultimate destination in the city.

It was indeed refreshing to know from the Lee brothers that they started their business in property management. They opted to create community-based projects to elevate the standard of living for anyone who aspires for a better life. They have embarked on development projects not just for themselves but for the community as well. Such endeavors bring these fine gentlemen the ultimate fulfillment.

Suite dreams are made of these at Hue Hotel Puerto Princesa.

Here in Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa, their ingenuity celebrates the flavor of Filipino culture and nature’s finest treasures. One can travel solo, as a family, group or even for business. You can organize your meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions here.

I immensely enjoyed my spacious and well-appointed 50-sqm. suite room with the most comfortable beds plus en-suite bathrooms with the most fragrant amenities ever.

As if that wasn’t enough, my professional masseuse from their in-house Aminah Spa gently kneaded my weary muscles after I explored the sun-kissed sand and azure waters of Honda Bay.

Rep. Hagedorn shared that Puerto Princesa has two heritage sites, namely Tubbataha Reef and the magnificent Puerto Princesa Underground River, where quietly discovering the centuries-old stalactites and stalagmites in the immaculate caverns is like watching a National Geographic episode come alive in front of you.

In the city that is still 73-percent forested, it is most interesting to visit the Iwahig Prison and Penal Colony Farm. The epitome of justice with respect, this facility, which is twice the size of Paris, is known worldwide as the “Prison without Bars.” According to information officer Levi Evangelista, over 2,000 inmates can freely roam around and enjoy physical and livelihood projects.

At La-ud, the showcase restaurant of Hue Hotel Puerto Princesa, we savored the delicious smoked pork ribs, the most savory crispy pork binagoongan, chicken binacol cooked in fresh buco juice, Thai chicken curry, tender, fall-off-the-bone spicy spareribs and the iconic halo-halo to refresh after a day of basking in dreamy tropical fervor, all prepared and cooked by chef Nonoy Rodriguez. We also celebrated the birthday of our beloved friend Buddy Recio, who was with his lovely wife, Divine. (You haven’t been to Puerto Princesa if you have not experienced the gustatory delights at Kinabuch and Badjao Seafood Restaurant.)

It’s worth noting that Puerto Princesa has very impressive piña fiber-weaving centers where the youth learn this craft. We also visited a microbrewery that serves among the best beers worldwide. Publicists Marc de la Cruz and Gemma Batoon made sure we would experience them — and more!

The Puerto Princesa experience became more complete with the presence of Val Julius Roland S. Pillerva, tourism operations assistant, as part of the team who welcomed us at the Puerto Princesa airport. How often does one leave the comforts of home to be welcomed not as a guest but as family?

At the end of the day, I would be delighted to relish and cherish my home away from home — Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa — over and over. What could be more luxurious than the eclectic hues that shine so radiantly here? Need I say more?

* * *

For booking and inquiries, call +639177734427, email [email protected] or visit https://puertoprincesa.thehuehotel.com .

Email the author at [email protected]

PUERTO PRINCESA

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