04 Jun2006

I have to go to Legazpi (named after Miguel Lopez de Legazpi), so one wonders why the spelling Legaspi also equally applies (oh, maybe that’s because there is no Z in the Philippine alphabet), in a few weeks for some business. I haven’t been to Legaspi in 32 years and haven’t the foggiest idea where to stay. Internet searches suggest there are only two decent hotels in the city… Casablanca (or should this be Kasablanka???) Hotel and Hotel La Trinidad. The WOW Philippines website doesn’t even list a hotel for Legazpi…is that outrageous, or what? The Philippine Department of Tourism spends millions of U.S. dollars every year with these catchy WOW ads that sound like repetitive whining on a broken record and their website can’t even point you to a hotel in Legazpi city??? Who cares if their ad agency can create three word phrases like “Warm Over Winter” or “World of Weddings” or “Wacko Over Wildlife” (this last one is for real, I kid you not) if it doesn’t help potential foreign and local tourists find decent lodging in the destination they plan to visit? And worse, it seems despite the millions of dollars spent, the WOW Philippines Website boasts LESS PAGE VIEWS than MarketManila or other similar food blogs! Yipes, and I have never even promoted this site! At any rate, enough whining Marketman… Geez, we are ornery this weekend. I would be grateful if any of you could point me to the nicest hotel in Legazpi. Your suggestions are very much appreciated. Many thanks!



  1. Chris says:

    Hi MM. Sorry I don’t know much about Lagaspi but I just want to comment on the WOW Philippines catch phrase. To begin with, I think WOW is a pretty lame way to describe the Philippines. But that Wacko Over Wilddife is just… Wow! Who ever thought of that?!? hahaha

    Jun 4, 2006 | 5:02 pm


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  3. jj says:

    hi! i just ran into ur website while i was busy researching for articles on DIVISORIA. your blog really do help. ^^. anyway, legaspi city is my province… but im kinda clueless on the hotels… but i could help, of course. ^^ just gimme a yell on my mail. ^^

    Jun 4, 2006 | 6:06 pm

  4. RobKSA says:

    That would be Casablanca from search sites but the hotel’s suppose to be website is not even there anymore. Somebody also stayed at Legaspi Tourist Inn. Not sure which is the best but the Legaspi Tourist Inn has a view of the volcano from the restaurant. It says it’s just before you enter the town proper and very close to the market.

    Besides the volcano, there’s not much to see in Legaspi City, the reason maybe why there’s not much hotels in the area.

    BTW, I’ve not been to Legaspi City and my information are from searching the net. Goodluck!

    Jun 4, 2006 | 6:30 pm

  5. millet says:

    MM, I think it’s Venezia Hotel, but you’re so right, it’s so frustrating to search for travel tips on the web, there is such a dearth of info, and the more reliable sources are usually the bloggers. So far the most reliable book is…. surprise! Lonely Planet – Philippines. It’s comprehensive, detailed, tight, and relatively up-to-date.Available at National Bookstore – I think the latest edition was printed in 2004. But you can check out Venezia Hotel. Looking forward to your posts on pili and all its variants,sundang,laing and pinangat!

    Jun 4, 2006 | 9:16 pm

  6. raia says:

    hi marketman, i’m one of your new readers. I love your site, I’ve been reading it regularly for the past month. Anyway, me and my family went to legazpi last november and because it kept coming up on the internet,the hotel la trinidad was the first place we checked out when we got to legazpi. The rooms were spacious and the place looked as if it was a five star hotel back in the 80s but the place shows its age and everything seemed very old and dusty and empty. to be honest, the rooms at the la trinidad were much nicer compared to the hotel we stayed at but we kept away from it because it seemed so empty and we didn’t want to stay at a place where we were the only guests. the place felt like a hitchcock movie. nevertheless, maybe you should still check it out, the rooms are old but they are nicer than all the others and maybe you’ll still end up liking the place despite its lonely aura. we stayed at another hotel and I forgot the name but it’s easy to find because it’s just along the highway, you’ll see it straightaway when you enter the city proper. Its got a nice facade and it looks quite new but the rooms are small and nondescript and it has no elevator, so if you have a lot of baggage better get a room on the second floor. you can also check out a couple of places right beside the cagsawa ruins tourist spot, they might be promising although we weren’t able to check out these hotels/inns.

    Jun 4, 2006 | 9:46 pm

  7. frayed says:

    Torn and I did a roadtrip to Bicol 2 Christmasses ago and my friend recommended this place called Viento del Mar or something like that. It’s close to the sea and it was quite nice. They were a few white cottages with thatched roofs in this property with a lot of garden, which included the owner’s house. Don’t have the details yet – she texted her brother who lives there so will let you know soon. It was the most decent thing we’d seen – really relaxing, with a hammock pa in front of all the cottages. And I remember it was only P500/nt.

    Jun 4, 2006 | 10:34 pm

  8. Marketman says:

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone, still haven’t decided where to stay but since its a quick overnight or two trip then staying in the city is probably more likely…btw, is there a decent market in Legazpi? raia, I loved the description of being like “a hitchcock movie…” heehee. Yikes!

    Jun 5, 2006 | 6:37 am

  9. Tiffany says:

    Try this
    Renaissance Gardens, Washington Drive, Legazpi City
    Tel : +63 (52) 481 0877; +63 (52) 481 0888; +63 (52) 820-0888
    Telefax: +63 (52) 820 4790
    email: info@hotelvenezia.ws
    Website: http://www.hotelvenezia.ws

    Jun 5, 2006 | 10:29 am

  10. spanx says:


    the 2nd best hotel in Legazpi would have to be Alicia Hotel,
    right across the street from Hotel Venezia.

    Gasthof’s has a fine branch very near these two hotels,
    (his wife is from Albay),
    and the food prices are 1/3 that of their Boracay restaurant.

    Believe it or not,
    during my family’s mega-road trip to Bicol this past May 1,
    around 30 of us gorged on the ribs, etc….
    and our bill only came up to less than P7,500.00!!!


    F. Aquende Drive, Albay District, Legazpi City
    Tel : +63 (52) 481 0801/0808, +63 (52) 245 5145/5173
    Fax: +63 (52) 481 4444

    you may also want to check out :




    Jun 5, 2006 | 3:36 pm

  11. spanx says:


    J Lo’s (yes, THAT JLo!)
    favorite secret handbag supplier is also in Legazpi City. Perfect pasalubongs for your wife and daughter.

    and for the best PINANGAT and LAING (frozen, ready for take-home) is at LET’S in Camalig, Albay, less than 10 minutes away from the Legazpi Airport.

    Jun 5, 2006 | 3:42 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    I take back some of my nastiness on WOW Philippines as I have revisited and searched some more and they do have SOME listings of Albay hotels imbedded somewhere… It’s sounding like Venezia and Alicia’s is getting a lot of mention… I was also thinking of the Hotel la Trinidad but the Hitchcock comment up above is scary… Spanx, I heard about the JLo bag in Maid in Manhattan that was made in Legazpi…

    Jun 5, 2006 | 6:43 pm

  13. honey says:

    I am somewhat familiar with legaspi city as I live in the next city and I oftengo to legaspi. I stayed at the Venezia Hotel a few months ago and it’s very new and the staff are accomodating. it’s in a quiet neighborhood. It’s a bit expensive though as the cheapest room i think costs around P2,000- P 3,000. It’s very near the airport (about minutes’ ride).the food is so-so.

    pepperland hotel also is good (also near the airport). I haven’t seen their rooms but from what I saw from their decor downstairs, it should be ok. the food there is good also. I don’t know about their rates.

    I haven’t been to the new market in the centro but it’s supposed to be clean and organized.the one in daraga is a bit messy but i think there are more produce there. the markiet is open everyday but the “informal” market (saud) is on thursdays (i think) and saturdays. the fish in both markets are supposed to be ok, good selection, and are safe from the lafayette poisoning. the crabs are not bad but the really good ones come from sorsogon (that’s where I am from). ours is cheaper too. if you’re looking for pasalubongs, ask your friendly tricycle driver to take you to satellite market in legaspi city ( a few minutes’ ride from venezia or pepperland). they have a good selection for pasalubongs and the prices are ok. We buy our pinangat in the canteen by the airport. But for the really good pinangat, there’s this old lady who sells great pinangat by the road. her pwesto is in front of LCC department store, by the side entrance. she starts selling at around 5 p.m. I don’t knwo her name but hers are one of the best i’ve ever tasted. family and friends based in manila like her pinangat too. Really, the better tasting food stuffs are sold by the ambulant vendors but it’s a bit hard looking for THE right one. you have to settle for the established stores.

    about the mayon volcano thingy? you can view it when your plane tiouches down in the airport. don’t waste your time looking for a hotel overlooking mayon. its may not show itself to you. you’re better off looking for a good hotel instead with or without a mayon view.

    sorry for the very long post, but if you’re looking for a place to stay in legaspi where you can cook, I think Carlos Hometel is the one for you. However, I think it’s a bit far from the centro.

    Jun 5, 2006 | 8:32 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    honey, thanks for all of that information. I will only be in Legazpi for less than 48 hours so I am hoping to do as much as I can though I will be busy…my grandfather was from a small town outside Legazpi so there are some roots and it will be interesting to see how much of the food seems vaguely familiar…many thanks again to all for your wonderful suggestions!

    Jun 5, 2006 | 9:18 pm

  15. check says:

    Hi! We were in Legaspi last April on the way back from Donsol. We checked out Hotel Casablanca first. The lobby was fairly nice but the rooms were decrepit. Dirty walls, torn carpets/no carpet. The only saving grace I think was the (paid) wifi access.
    We decided to stay at La Trinidad. The lobby was on the second floor and it smelled like a morgue. The corridors were dark for that complete Hitchcock ambience. The rooms however were surprisingly much better and cleaner than Casablanca’s – and there was no smell. The only trouble was the bathrooms were icky, like Casablanca’s. Good luck!

    Jun 5, 2006 | 10:12 pm

  16. goodtimer says:

    There used to be a really nice 5-star hotel in the 70’s with the grandest view of mayon volcano, the Mayon Imperial Hotel. Had a grand staircase at the lobby (maybe it seemed “grand” to me at that time since i was only about 12 when we were there). So come 2002 when we visited Legaspi i looked for that hotel. It’s name has been changed. I could not recall if it’s now called Casablanca or La Trinidad, but boy, was I majorly disappointed! The “grand” staircase was gone, the marble in the lobby dirty, and the rooms, though spacious and had a really good view of the volcano, smelled of cockroaches! I had to buy a can of baygon since cockroaches were all over the room! Keep away from that hotel!!

    Jun 6, 2006 | 12:45 am

  17. Marketman says:

    goodtimer, we must be of similar age. I, too, stayed at the Imperial Hotel in the early 70’s and thought it was pretty good. The Imperials were friends of my Dad so we got particularly good service…to bad they couldn’t keep up the hotel… Gosh, someone in Legaspi should read these comments above!

    Jun 6, 2006 | 5:51 am

  18. elmo says:

    Guys! Iam from Polangui Albay and was spanx’s tour guide last may. The MIH is no longer around it burned down several years ago…I would also recommend Alicia Hotel, Venezia and pepperland are newer but a bit expensive. Aside from Gasthof there’s Chilli-peppers the newest resto, Colonial Grill and Small Talk Cafe all are in Albay District area, Waway’s resto serves mainly bikol dishes is along rizal street. But for real authentic bikol dishes….just visit my home or any home!

    Hope you enjoy your stay!


    Jun 6, 2006 | 3:24 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    elmo, thanks for the tips…will have to try some of those restaurants!

    Jun 7, 2006 | 7:09 am

  20. Dennis Santiago says:

    I hope this is not too late. I was just in Bicol, Tabaco City, a couple of weeks ago to visit my mom and her farm, and I would recommend Hotel Venezia as the place to stay in Legaspi. It’s kinda new, very clean, and good service. It is also the main take-off point to the Misibis Resort, which is being marketed as a world class resort/home. You might also want to try Small Talk Cafe. It’s a nice little resto built within an old house. Gasthof is also good. I like their baby back ribs. Have a nice trip.

    Jun 13, 2006 | 12:58 pm

  21. susan says:


    i’ve been reading this site over and over to find clues on where I could stsy in Legaspi. I am attending a seminar at Hotel Venezia this coming friday and the seminar will run for 3 days. The place is fully booked.

    Anyone, who can give me information on where to stay? I am really on a tight bubget since the school tht is sending me is not paying for my accomodation. Is Carlos bed and brerakfast a good place to stay? Is the place clean? Please help me. Thank you very much.

    Marketman I hope you dont mind? Thanks. I am desperate. The web offers too little info on legazpi. :)

    Oct 15, 2006 | 12:28 am

  22. susan says:

    Sorry for the typos. I am running out of internet time. No time to edit, Sorry

    Oct 15, 2006 | 12:30 am

  23. Marketman says:

    Susan, Hotel Venezia is fairly near the airport and there are three or four hotels within walking distance of it for convenience as you attend the seminar. I didn’t see the inside of the other hotels but readers seem to like Hotel Alicia and Pepperland Hotel. I am not familiar with Carlos Bed & Breakfast. At any rate, everything in Legaspi is relatively close together or a just a short tricycle ride away… good luck with your visit!

    Oct 15, 2006 | 9:23 am

  24. susan says:

    hello marketman,

    thank you very much for your time. i really appreciate it. i hope that i will enjoy bicol as much as you did. :)

    i am sorry if this will be posted twice, my internet connection is challenging my sanity again.

    again, thanks

    Oct 16, 2006 | 8:26 am

  25. jennifer ong says:

    My family and I are going on an educational trip to Legaspi this weekend. The kids want to see Mayon and the Ruins. We will be staying at the La Trinidad. After reading all the above comments though, I’m worried. My only consolation is that we will only be there for a night. If anyone can point me to JLo’s handbag maker before Friday, it would make for a real treat. Actually am not expecting to do much while there. I suppose we could do the Mayon/Cagsawa in half a day.

    Nov 1, 2006 | 9:20 pm

  26. Sweet says:

    Hi! Can anyone help me what’s the new name of the five star hotel in Legazpi in Albay – formerly MAYON INTERNATIONAL HOTEL but this time it was own by Singaporean investors buy Bicol hotel. I was searching but i cant find it…if you can please email to me. I aprreciate it! Thanks!

    Apr 2, 2008 | 9:44 pm

  27. Marketman says:

    Sweet, to my knowledge there is NO five star hotel in Legaspi.

    Apr 2, 2008 | 10:06 pm

  28. prettydiver says:

    i think mayon imperial hotel was changed to mayon international hotel. but it operated only for awhile. as of today it’s closed.

    there are also budget hotels like the sampaguita hotel and the legaspi tourist inn in legaspi city.. i think cost is less than 1k per night.

    good news for those who didnt like la trinidad hotel.. it has been bought and newly renovated. its now called the st elize hotel, but still not operational.

    Jan 25, 2009 | 11:00 pm


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