Budget Hotel in Iloilo City: 88 Plaza Hotel

88 Plaza Hotel Double Room Iloilo

If you are backpacking The City of Love, there are a number of cheap yet decent accommodations in Iloilo city. For short time stay, check-in at Dragon Lodge for only 280 Pesos for a 3-hour stay. If you are staying overnight, at 560 Pesos, 88 Plaza Hotel Iloilo City probably has the cheapest and most affordable rates.

88 Plaza Hotel Iloilo City Room Rates

Single occupancy – 560 Php
Double occupancy – 690 Php
Triple occupancy – 760 Php

88 Plaza Hotel Iloilo City Location Map

Located in 88 Delgado street, the hotel is near to various landmarks in Iloilo City. It is few minute taxi ride away from the old Iloilo City hall, Iloilo Esplanade, Smallville and SM City Iloilo. Note that Iloilo airport is quite far from the city center. If you are visiting the city, do not expect hotels near the airport.

Due to the hotel’s cheap and affordable rates, their rooms easily get fully booked.  I arrived in the hotel at around 10 AM there were no available single occupancy rooms. I had no choice but to book a double occupancy room at 690 Php. By the way, that was way cheaper that my last visit in Iloilo where I stayed in Injap Tower Hotel.


Facade of 88 Plaza Hotel
Facade of 88 Plaza Hotel

The hotel’s facade is simple. From outside, the building looks old to me. There is an ample parking space right in front of the hotel. As for the security, there is a guard manning at the entrance. Once you get inside, the reception is situated on the right side. On the left is a mini cafeteria which is open 24 hours.

Double Room at 88 Plaza Hotel

88 Plaza Hotel Double Room Iloilo
88 Plaza Hotel Double Room

For 690 Php, the room was good. Not something you get when you check-in in a more pricey Iloilo hotel like Injap Tower. Nonetheless, the room and the toilet with hold and cold shower are very clean.  The air conditioning unit works perfectly. The hotel lacks WiFi facility but there is a space for work area. There is a mini cable television and a service phone. If you are a smoker, there are designated smoking areas in each level of the hotel.

As expected to a budget hotel, there is nothing special about 88 Plaza except for its affordable room rates. Nonetheless, the guard on the entrance was very welcoming. As for the receptionists, I just felt that they need to be more welcoming and accommodating. With their cheap room rates, I had no issues with their service. It was just getting the value of what you paid for. Overall, if you are a backpacker or a budget traveler visiting Iloilo city, I would highly recommend 88 Plaza Hotel!

Iloilo City Hotel Online Booking HERE

88 Plaza Hotel Iloilo City contact number: 0928 998 9925

1 Day in the Philippines’ City of Love – Iloilo City

iloilo convention center

Pegged as the Philippines’ City of Love, Iloilo City is the capital city of Iloilo province in Panay Island situated in Western Visayas. Iloilo City is one of Visayas’ major tourist destination due to its rich heritage and not to mention being the home of the warm and romantic Ilonggos.  The city is also highly urbanized and serves as a center of trade and commerce in Western Visayas region. Thus, apart from its delicious cuisines, old churches and historical buildings, Iloilo City has a wide array of hotels and accommodations for business travelers and backpackers alike. If you’re planning to visit the city, check out booking sites like Traveloka that allow you to choose the best deals and check out reviews.

View of Iloilo from Horizon Cafe
View of Iloilo city from Injap Tower Hotel

During my first visit in Western Visayas, I took a 2GO ferry trip from Batangas to Caticlan. My initial plan was to visit Aklan first before Roxas City and Iloilo City. When the ferry docked in Caticlan port, there was a passenger van route to Iloilo City. I hopped in the van and took that 4 hour trip from Caticlan Jetty port to Iloilo City. Having no concrete plans, I did not have any itinerary or even hotel or accommodation to stay once I arrive in Iloilo City.

I arrived at 2:00 AM. The van driver was kind enough to drop me in front of the hotel across SM Iloilo. Since it was already past 2:00 AM, after realizing that the check-out time was at 12:00 noon, I opted to look for cheaper accommodations in the area. Well, I love spontaneous travelling but I do not fully advise it. It’s fun but it’s still better to plan your travel ahead of time.

Church Hopping

After a long land-sea-land travel from Manila to Iloilo, I woke up late that day. Come noon time, I was excited to visit Miag-Ao church. I have only seen photos of the church on a gallery in National museum and Vigan Museum. I was amazed by its intricate and beautiful architecture.

I immediately left the hotel see Miag-Ao. I then realized that it was an hour away from the city center. I proceeded anyway and took a jeepney from the hotel to the municipality of Molo where jeepneys bound to Miag-Ao. I walked in the Molo park and checked-out the Spanish-colonial and heritage site – Molo church.  This national landmark features Gothic architecture is also known as the Feminist Church due to the all women statues of saints situated on the aisle pillars. Across the street is the popular Molo Mansion. Built in 1920, this mansion was believed to have hosted Presidents Quezon and Osmeña during their visit in Iloilo city. This once abandoned mansion has now turned into a Philippine souvenir shop.

Miagao church

I then proceeded with my journey to Miag-Ao church. After taking 2 jeepneys from Molo district. I arrived in Miag-Ao church. The church’s Baroque Romanesque architecture and its intricately designed facade make it one of the most beautiful church in the Philippines. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, Miag-Ao church has become one of Iloilo’s tourist destination.

On my way back to Molo district, I couldn’t help myself but to alight the passenger jeepney every time I see a church in the area.

Molo Soup in Molo District


It was already afternoon when I arrived back in Molo district. I asked several locals where I could eat the authentic Pancit Molo. One local informed me to eat at Tita Paz House of Pancit Molo.

Iloilo City Night Tour

I was lucky enough that I have relatives living in Iloilo. Come evening, they invited me for a dinner at Ayala’s Atria Park District, Iloilo’s relatively new lifestyle hub. Atria looks like a typical Ayala lifestyle center in Manila.

After our dinner, they toured me around the city. We visited the modern and state of the art Iloilo Convention center. Located in Mandurriao, this modern architecture was built-in September 2015. Just in time for the Philippine’s APEC 2015 hosting.  Next stop was the old Iloilo Provincial Capitol. This Spanish colonial architecture was declared as a National Historical Site by the National Historical Commission in 2010.

We then visited Calle Real which means “Royal Street” in Spanish. Located In the old downtown district, this street is home to the art-deco and luxury American neoclassical era architectures. It is said that the street used to be the area of high-end shopping outlets during the early period of American occupancy in the Philippines. We also visited what locals call as Esplanade. This Iloilo river esplanade is a popular destination among Ilonggos and tourists alike.


Where to Eat Pancit Molo in Iloilo City

The authentic Pancit Molo

One of the things I was looking forward in my DIY Iloilo tour is food! On my list are the authentic Illongo delicacies –  La Paz Batchoy and Pancit Molo.  During my first day in Iloilo City, I was lucky that my accommodation (Dragon Lodge) is located in Molo, a district in Iloilo where Pancit Molo originated.  I asked several locals for the best Pancit Molo house in town and I was advised to visit Tita Paz The House of Pancit Molo.

How to Get There
If you are coming from the city, just ride a jeepney bound to Villa Arevalo or Oton. Just inform the driver to drop you at Tita Paz/Molo County Bakeshop. Alternatively, you can also take a cab and instruct the driver to bring you to Tita Paz/Molo County Bakeshop.

Tita Paz Restaurant in Molo, Iloilo
Tita Paz share the area with Molo County Bakeshop

Tita Paz pasalubong
Molo County Bakeshop offers various pasalubong items

Tita paz restaurant
Tita Paz Restauirant in Molo, Iloilo
With only 5 tables, the dining area of Tita Paz is quite small. Nonetheless, the area is very clean.

Pancit Molo comes with a bread

Pancit Molo is a soup dish made of ground chicken or pork in wonton or Molo wrapper.  It does not actually have long and thin rice/egg noodles which makes it a not so traditional pancit in Filipino cuisine.  It  is called a pancit as the Molo wrapper is basically of the same mix with the traditional pancit noodles.

I ordered the largest bowl of Pancit Molo which costs 75 Php ($1.50). An order comes with Pandeciosa, a local bread.

The authentic Pancit Molo

To taste, soy sauce and pepper can be added to the Authentic Pancit Molo.

This dish is not new to me as my mother always cooks this very delicious soup. My mom’s version of Molo has milk compared to the original Molo recipe.  Overall, Tita Paz’s Pancit Molo is very delicious! The soup itself is simple yet you can really taste the broth. The rich in flavor dumplings are the main attraction of this Illongo delicacy!


Where to Eat La Paz Batchoy in Iloilo

a Paz Batchoy in La Paz Iloilo

I have tried the delicious Tita Paz Pancit Molo during my 1st day in the City of Love and I would not definitely leave the city without having a taste of the original La Paz Batchoy.  During my second and last day Iloilo City, I left Injap Tower Hotel early to try the famous La Paz Batchoy for breakfast.

La Paz Batchoy originated in the district of La Paz back in late 1930s. This Illonggo delicacy is an egg noodle soup with pork innards, crushed pork cracklings, beef loin, deep fried garlic, spring onions and pork broth.

La Paz Public Market Iloilo The authentic La Paz Batchoy is nowehere else to be found but in La Paz Public Market.

La Paz Batchoy in Iloilo Right in the middle of La Paz public market is Netong’s Original La Paz Batchoy.

Netong's La Paz Batchoy restaurant Given that the place is located in a public market, I was surprised that Netong’s restaurant is enclosed and air-conditioned. However, there is no comfort room in  the restaurant. Nonetheless, the place is clean and well-maintained.

eating la paz batchoy In a progressive city like Iloilo, It feels great that llonggos patronize their local restaurants. In fact, I was the only traveler when I dined in at Netong’s. All guests were speaking Illongo.

La Paz Batchoy Iloilo City I ordered an “EXTRA” size bowl of Batchoy which costs 80.00 Php ($1.60). The Batchoy was served hot in less than 5 minutes. It comes with a a puto (rice cake) too which I initially mistaken as suman.

a Paz Batchoy in La Paz Iloilo The aroma of the soup was appetizing!

La Paz Batchoy, La Paz, Iloilo, Philippines I could no longer recall the last time I had Batchoy in Manila. Netong’s batchoy really tastes good! Plus having the authentic La Paz Batchoy right in the place where it originated was awesome!

Netong’s Original La Paz Batchoy Menu

La Paz Batchoy  Megabowl – 100.00 Php ($2.00) Extra – 80.00 Php ($1.60) Super – 70.00 Php ($1.40) Special – 55.00 Php ($1.10) Others: Miswa – 80.00 Php  ($1.60) Bihon – 80.00 Php  ($1.60) sotanghon – 80.00 Php  ($1.60) Linaga – 50.00 Php ($1.00) Arroz Caldo w/ egg – 25.00 Php ($0.50) Arroz Caldo w/out egg – 15.00 Php ($0.30)

Aside from Netong’s, there are also other La Paz Batchoy houses in the area. You may try Ted’s Old Timer La Paz Batchoy and Deco’s La Paz Batchoy.

Hotel in Iloilo: Injap Tower Hotel Review

Room for three at Injap

Injap Tower Hotel is located along Diversion road and is just across SM City Iloilo. This tower is actually the tallest structure in Western Visayas. Being the first and only high-rise building, this 21-storey hotel is considered as one of Iloilo’s notable modern landmarks.

I was originally dropped off by the van at Injap Tower Hotel during my first day at Iloilo City. I opted to look for a cheaper hotel instead and landed at the Dragon Lodge where I spent my first night in Iloilo. Upon reading good reviews about Injap Tower, I did not hesitate to transfer in this hotel for my second night in the City of Love.

The highest building in Western Visayas
Facade of Injap Tower Hotel

Modern Feel at Injap Tower Hotel Lobby

Injap Tower Hotel’s lobby has this simple yet modern feel. The lobby is simple, very clean and well maintained. The furniture and fixtures look very new and modern. However, the entire lobby and the reception area look a bit small for its towering size.

The hotel’s hallways are plain simple, clean and spacious.  There is nothing much to see here except for the noticeable high-end key card door locks in as you pass by each room.

Hotel Room

All rooms are 21 square meter in size and come with a queen size and a standard bed. At 21 square meters, the room look spacious.  It was surprising to see a mini kitchen with sink,  microwave oven and a mini refrigerator in the room. Apart from these, rooms also come with a telephone with NDD and IDD calls, 46” LED cable TV with HDMI Capacity and a free Wifi access with strong internet connection.

The bed and pillows are very comfortable and are par with that high-end hotels in Manila. The air conditioning unit works perfectly. If you are bringing work at your Injap Tower Hotel room, there is a small table that can serve as your work space. As for the toilet and bath, it was very clean and fixtures look very new. Toiletries are provided on a mini pouch with Injap Tower Hotel branding. There is a glass partition separating the shower from the toilet. There are no issues with the water pressure. Hot and cold shower is works perfectly too.

Tip: Since Iloilo City is a smoke-free city, there are no smoking areas in this hotel. If you are smoker, I would suggest checking-in at Dragon Lodge Iloilo instead.

Injap Tower Hotel Room Rates

Room rates vary depending on the occupancy per day. In my case, I paid 1,800 Php ($36.00) for a night at the Injap Tower Hotel. Check room availability and prices HERE (Agoda).

The Horizon Cafe

The hotel is also famous for its Horizon Cafe located on the 21st floor, the highest floor in the hotel. Being the tallest building in Iloilo, Injap Tower Hotel’s Horizon Cafe provides a panoramic view of Iloilo City to its diners.


Other facilities at Injap Tower Hotel 

  • use of lap pool located in 5th floor
  • use of the gym at the Injap Fitness Center
  •  Access to The Horizon Café at the 21st floor of the tower
  • Ample Parking space
  • 3 high-speed elevator units
  • 24/7 standby power generator

I should say that I enjoyed my overnight stay at Injap Tower Tower. The price may be a bit expensive for a budget traveller. Nonetheless, with the accessibility, clean-rooms and being the current tallest building in Western Visayas, Injap Tower Hotel is truly a must visit hotel.

Injap Tower Hotel
Contact number (+63 33) 330 7111.
Online booking  HERE (Agoda)

Dragon Lodge Iloilo City

Room for 2 at Dragon Lodge Ililo

After a long 4 hour van ride from Caticlan, I had no idea where to stay in Iloilo City. The van dropped me in front of Injap Tower Hotel. By merely looking at it’s facade, I told myself not to check the rates as my goal was to travel as thrifty as I can. With that in mind, I asked one of the cab drivers parked in front of Injap Tower to bring me to a cheaper accommodation in the city. He asked if I was fine with a lodge or an inn. I said yes since I don’t find anything wrong with an inn or a lodge.The driver brought me then in Dragon Lodge Drive-in Hotel.

The moment I arrived at Dragon Lodge, the set-up was like that of taxi room motels in Manila. Well, this explains why the cab driver asked me earlier if i was fine staying in a lodge or an inn. I later learned from locals that lodges and inns in Iloilo are actually motels.  I didn’t mind and immediately checked-in as it was already 2:00 AM.

Formerly known by the locals as “The Green Dragon Lodge”,  Dragon Lodge or DL Drive-in Hotel is located along Lopez Jaena St., Molo, Iloilo City. It is a 10-minute jeepney ride from SM City Iloilo.

Dragon Lodge in Iloilo City

Given that this is a motel, the room is very decent, clean and relatively new. The interior is modern minimalist. The toilet is separated  from the room itself by a glass partition. There is also a cable TV!

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Dragon Lodge Iloilo Room Rates

3 hours 220 Php/$4.40
12 hours  770 Php/$15.40
24 hours 1300 Php/$26.00

If you will be staying here during your Iloilo City visit, here are the pros and cons:

All rooms are good for two persons only.

Since this is a motel, they do not issue the room key to their guests. Some motels in the Philippines do not issue room keys as places like this are actually built for short time accommodation.

There is a small vestibule in the room where the first and main door is always locked outside. With this, you will always have to call the operator when you want to go out of your room. Moreover, you will also have to ask the reception to open your room door if you are coming from outside.

The rates are very cheap. This place is a good choice if you are traveling on a budget.

Unlike with hotels where check-in time is usually at 12:00 PM, you can check-in here at any given time of the day. I actually checked-in at 2:00 AM. Check-out time depends on the room rate you have availed.

My Take
If you are a budget traveler, I would definitely recommend this place. Security might be an issue since you do not have the door key while you are out and you can not easily go out of the room in case of emergency. Nonetheless, I was assured by the staff that the place is very safe. During my 24 hour check-in period in Dragon Lodge, I was mostly outside wandering Iloilo City and all my stuffs were safe while I was out. If you do not want to stay at Dragon Lodge, you may also check and book your Iloilo City hotel here.