Upon entering The President Hotel’s grounds in Lingayen, Pangasinan, you won’t miss the Philippine flag and the historical marker, declaring the site as the place where former President Fidel Ramos’ childhood home once stood, before it was destroyed during World War II. While the hotel offers the accommodations and amenities that hotels usually have – and with affordable rates, at that – it is also very much steeped in history. You can even explore this history further by visiting the replica of the Ramos house with family memorabilia. The house is visible from the hotel grounds and is just a walk around the hotel’s corner street.
Ramos House replica, as seen from The President Hotel
Initially, I thought the hotel was named The President Hotel because of Ramos. I found out later, though, that Ramos was not the only inspiration for this hotel, but other past Philippine presidents as well. Rooms, especially suites, are named after past presidents.
The hotel hosted me and my friends at the hotel’s annex, just one building away on the same street. The rooms at the annex are quite similar to the rooms in the main building, judging from photos of the main hotel’s rooms I saw online. The rooms are simple but spacious. I had the feeling of being at home, but with hotel services. I think the wooden floors and furniture add to this ambiance. This may be the effect The President Hotel is going for – this was, after all, the site of Ramos’ home.
The amenities are basic – a bed and a clean toilet and bath, as well as places to keep things, like a cabinet and a small table with drawers. There is also cable TV, though I did not really watch anything during my stay. There is Wi-Fi in the main building, though not yet in the hotel annex.
The hotel’s basic facilities and amenities. A nice feature, though, is the headboard with the hotel name and a Philippine flag.
Rooms also have complete basic toiletries.
Hotel annex interiors are simple but have nice details like these curtains (left) and chandelier (top right).
What particularly earned a thumbs up from me, though, is the hotel’s 24-hour room service and affordable food. The delicious broccoli in oyster sauce good for two which we ordered, for example, costs only Php120.
Another plus is the water dispenser on our floor. As someone who brings a water bottle during travels, I appreciate a water dispenser at the place I’m staying. I need not buy bottled water or look for other places to refill my bottle.
I also enjoyed exploring the hotel grounds, brightened up with much vivid greens.
Trees line the path to the main hotel lobby.
The grounds also have sculptures and a fountain, though the fountain wasn’t open during our stay.
As you leave the hotel lobby, you will walk into a courtyard bursting with greens, much like a house’s garden.
I love the hotel’s simple chapel, too, especially the wooden pews and the stained glass window of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Find this simple but charming chapel at the left side of the hotel grounds.
Aside from exploring the hotel grounds, my friends and I had fun exploring the nearby tourist attractions in Lingayen. The capitol building – one of the grandest Philippine capitols I have seen so far – and its park is just around ten minutes by foot from the hotel. Five minutes away from the capitol is the Balinese-inspired Urduja House, where the incumbent Pangasinan governor lives. Another five- to ten-minute walk will bring you to the beach with its fine gray sand.
The President Hotel is just 10-15 minutes away by foot from tourist attractions like the capitol park (top left), the capitol building (top right), Urduja house (bottom left), and the beach (bottom right).
Of course, what also made my stay pleasant were the friendly and accommodating staff, a must for any hotel or accommodation. From inquiries to room service requests, the staff made sure we were attended to.
Staff at the main lobby
Given the rich history of the place, though, I believe the hotel can offer more. What I would like to have in particular is a deeper appreciation and understanding of the hotel’s history. It would be nice if hotel staff were trained to share interesting historical information, and even encourage guests to visit the Ramos house replica. If not all staff can do this, posting hotel history and trivia in the main lobby for everyone to read can also help increase historical appreciation. After talking with one of the staff, I liked the trivia he shared – that the hotel’s building was previously used for Ramos’ presidential election campaign days.
I believe historical sites like this have stories to tell, and, as a traveler, I would love to hear such stories.
The President Hotel
Address: Capitol Park, Maramba Boulevard, Lingayen, Pangasinan
Contact numbers: +63919-8726846 / (075) 206-0886 / (075) 542-3056
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Room rates: Start at Php800 for a single bedroom and Php950 for a matrimonial bedroom