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Saturday, March 31, 2018

URBAN SANDS Iloilo: Where Small Hotel Means Warm, Intimate and Big On Service

There is nothing grand about this hotel. It is small and has only 12 rooms. But TripAdvisor ranks it at #1 among Hotels in Iloilo ( as of writing) and we found out why. Tripadvisor is not lying. This hotel punches way abovie its weight and truly deserving of the accolade. And we are glad we got to experience staying here during our recent Iloilo- Guimaras trip.

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ABOUT URBAN SANDS
Where your stay in the city brings you closer to the shore.
"Urban Sands is a concierge-type hotel dedicated to giving guests everything that they could ask for in a hotel. Urban Sands reflects a coastal feel with a sizzle of tranquillity and rejuvenation, and yet, it is still proximate to metropolitan Iloilo. 

Located in M.H. del Pilar Street in Molo, Iloilo City, this paradise is one ride away from restaurants, shopping malls, grocery stores, and other essential structures in the city. Enter a threshold into another world – of peace, calm, and serenity, disparate from the features of the city." - source


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A Concierge Hotel?
A hotel concierge is typically the first image that comes to mind when the word concierge is mentioned. A hotel concierge is available to make a guest’s overnight stay a positive and memorable experience. They often recommend and make reservations to nearby restaurants, arrange transportation and help secure tickets to special events.

Urban Sands calls itself a concierge hotel, that means highly specialized and personalized service.

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No Better Location 
The hotel's promise of tranquility is achievable thanks to its location. In is situated well within the city in Molo district which is known for its laidback feels. I actually thought Molo is already outside town because we visited Molo Church before check in at the hotel and the area around Molo Church feels more of an old country town than city. Urban Sands' entrance is opposite that of Iloilo City National High School and other establishments near and around it are mostly government institutions so the place is really quiet especially at night.

Still, it is comforting to know that all major establishments attractions in the city are minutes away. There are lots of jeepneys and cabs that ply the route. Just get out of the gate and getting a ride will as easy as 1,2,3.Once inside, you will hardly feel that you are in the city but more of  in a private resort away from it all.

How To Get To Urban Sands
From Iloilo International Airport, one can hire a taxi to get to Urban Sands. All taxi drivers know the place. In case your driver doesn't know, just tell him that it is opposite Iloilo National High School and they will not miss it.

The cheaper option, since the airport is located outside the city, is to ride the van from the airport to SM Iloilo and take the cab from there. Otherwise, the meter fair from the airport costs around 250 pesos (Airport-SM) but some drivers charge 350 pesos on late nights when there is no more van options available.


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All Rooms with Pool View 

There are two room types at Urban Sands, Deluxe and Superior with Deluxe rooms option of either 2 semi-double beds or a king size bed. We stayed at a Superior room. As I mentioned, there are only 12 rooms in this hotel and all are around the pool. That said, you get an amazing view each time you open the door or look at the window. Each room has a cozy one terrace with table and chairs where you can lounge and relax.

i find their rooms rather simple but comes with all the conveniences of a modern hotel. The bed so comfortable and the sheets smells good. Lighting is dim and intimate, airconditioning very good. There a small fridge, and a safety box and bamboo sticks by the mini-bar which adds accent to the room. I have a liitle problem with the lack of closet but the table by the tv and a small one next to the bed kinda compensate for it.

The restroom is clean and functional but I think it could be better if there is a glass divider between the shower and toilet. Overall, it was good.  

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Pool
The pool is the centerpiece of the hotel, it's soul. It is like a magnet that attracts positive energy to the whole place and draws everybody in. Not only that it gives aesthetic appeal to the hotel, it creates a resort-feel environment that one will fall in love with. With no tall buildings in sight, you will forget that you are in the city. We enjoyed swimming here and lounging by the poolside.

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Night Shots
Smallville, which is probably the most popular chill-out place in Iloilo City where pubs and hot crowd abound is only 50 pesos away by taxi. We went there at night and came back at the hotel past 10:00 pm. Too bad because the pool is open only until 10:00 pm but what waited for us was a lovely sight. The resort beautifully lighted, the pool looks so romantic and very relaxing on the eyes. 

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Breakfast

Imagine having breakfast with this kind of view. Gaganahan ka talaga. We went to some islands in Concepcion and  we were asked several times by locals why we came too early for summer. But the weather all throughout our stay since day 1 in Urban Sands has been prefect -- warm and sunny. And to have breakfast by the pool with this good weather is simply perfect.

They have a small restaurant next to the lobby but we opted to have breakfast by the terrace. Breakfast are plated with choice of some Filipino favorites like tocino, tapa or silogs. Food presentation is really impressive and I just had the most delicious breaded bangus of all friend bangus I tried to date.

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WHAT MAKES URBAN SANDS ILOILO #1?

Small Hotel Means Warm, 
Intimate and Big On Service
Everybody here is so friendly, from the guard at the gate to the front desk receptionists, to room staff and cleaners. I think that is the advantage of a small hotel, everybody gets to see each other more often that there is no choice but to be friendly and this friendliness becomes innate to all staff. I have reviewed countless hotels in many cities and I could tell if people are just friendly because they have to. It is different if people show real care and concern.

I remember we were so careless using our Go Pro Hero 4 camera going around the pool without its waterproof case and we accidentally dropped it in the pool. Que horror! A room cleaner overheard us panicking as to how to dry it and she approached us to offer a hair drier. I could tell the real concern.

Also, small means everybody is taken care of. Imagine a classroom of only 20 students compared to 50. It follows that the teacher can give more care to each student in a small class compared to one twice the size. The fact that Urban Sands can handle approximately 24-30 guests at one time max means everybody is served at its best.

Even the manger is so hands-on on the job. She can isolate herself in the safety of her office but she is always around looking after guests with a smile always on her face. She exudes a positive aura that is so contagious. In many occasions, she was the one who answered the phone when I had some requests like add ons in the room even with giving directions as to where to eat or shop. 

Indeed, Urban Sands Iloilo is the perfect example where a small hotel means warm, intimate and big on service. No wonder why it ranks top of the world's most popular review site.


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______________________________
Urban Sands Iloilo is located at:
San Pedro StreetMolo, Iloilo City Philippines 5000
Email: info@urbansandsiloilo.com
Website http://www.urbansandsiloilo.com

Globe 0916-462-7000
Sun 0922-747-7754
Landline (033) 508 1616

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