Travelers Pod, Cagayan de Oro
Five years ago, when I would still go on a business trip to Cagayan de Oro about twice every month, the city looked like it still has a long way to go. There were only a few malls (Limketkai, Gaisano, and SM in the far, far away land), and the airport was still the small one at Lumbia. There was insufficient boutique hotels and decent backpackers' inn. Well, there were a few but somehow appeared to be rather rustic and most have accessibility issues. Now, half a decade later, I went back to Cagayan de Oro, this time for a leisure trip, and was happy to know that the city had progressed, quite rapidly.
Way back, I used to stay at the Maxandrea Hotel at the corner of Borja and Aguinaldo Streets. The hotel seems to look a bit tired and old already. I tried asking my friends in Cagayan de Oro for their recommendations and some pointed me at Mallberry Suites which is just a few meters away from Limketkai Mall. The hotel indeed looks fresh and new, but the rates took me aback. It's quite steep for a backpacker like me. Then, someone recommended that I check out Travelers Pod in Limketkai Center. There, I found my match!
Travelers Pod is conveniently located at the ground floor of Gateway Tower, a building that I believe belongs to the Limketkais, too. That being said, the location is near major establishments like malls (Limketkai, Robinsons, Ayala Centrio) and supermarkets like Shopwise and Puregold. It's also within a few steps away from dining hubs like famous fast food chains (Jollibee, Chowking, Teriyaki Boy, Figaro, Krispy Kreme and many more) as well as the iconic Kagay-anon Restaurant and a lot more.
The inn fuses luxury and comfort, without emptying your pockets too much. It has a minimalist contemporary vibe that makes guests feel relaxed after a long day of touring around. It may not be the cheapest inn in the city but backpackers would definitely feel their money is all worth it. Read on to know why.
Travelers Pod has an array of accommodations to suit every travelers' need. If you just need a space where you can take a nap or sleep for the night but you have limited budget, you may opt to stay at their Single Pods -- single beds with plush linens secluded by floor-length curtain dividers. The Single Pods are located at the hallway on the second floor but you need not worry as there is minimal action in the area so you could still be assured of a good night's sleep. I recommend this if you're in transit or just killing time before your flight. But, should you still prefer to have a solid, secluded room of your own, you may check out the Standard Pods which are rooms with full sized beds or twin single beds and TV. Guests at the Single and Standard Pods have access to clean and spacious shower rooms and restrooms. Guests in transit may also avail of the hourly rate instead of the nightly rate.
The more private Deluxe Pods, on the other hand, have either a double bed or twin beds, as well as a well-appointed private bathroom with hot and cold shower, and a flatscreen TV. This is perfect for travelling couples and this is where we had stayed.
If you're coming in with a group or a family, the Premiere Pod is the best fit. It can accommodate up to six people, and has the same amenities as the Deluxe Pod.
All pods come with free Wi-Fi access.
The pods, especially the Deluxe and Premiere Pods, have floor areas that are not too cramped, beddings that are fresh and neat, and clean, well-maintained restrooms/bathrooms. For these alone, every penny you spend is worth it.
|Our Deluxe Pod|
|The flatscreen TV|
|The Single Pods (photo courtesy of Travelers Pod)|
|The Spa Area (photo courtesy of Travelers Pod)|
|Common Restroom for Single and Standard Pods|
Just like what I've said in the first part of this entry, Travelers Pod is conveniently located in Limketkai Center, thus, everything you need is just a few meters away. The inn can be accessed easily via public transportation as jeepneys ply this route regularly. So, even if your flight arrives late, you need not worry as you can still go to this inn safe and sound.
The Gateway Tower is just beside the newly-opened 4-star Limketkai Luxe Hotel. There's also a walkway leading to the Limketkai Mall where the Magnum Express lounge is located. Magnum Express is a shuttle service going to and from the Laguindingan Airport. I shall post about this in a separate story.
|The facade of the Gateway Tower|
|The newly-opened Limketkai Luxe Hotel|
Security is also tight at the Travelers Pod. There's a guard at the main entrance of Gateway Tower near Jollibee and there's another guard manning the elevator going to the corporate offices at the higher floors, near the inn's entrance. At the entrance, there are about two to three receptionists on duty 24/7.
|The walkway connecting Gateway Tower and Limketkai Mall|
|A view of Kagay-anon Restaurant from the walkway|
Though Travelers Pod does not have a pool or a grand lobby, it has the conveniences that travelers and backpackers would most likely need. There's a coffee shop for those who want a quick bite, or for those who will be meeting some friends or business partners. I heard the cafe mocha here is good but I didn't have the chance to try it. If you prefer a breakfast that is a bit gourmet-ish, avail of their special Figaro breakfast add-on for a minimal fee.
For backpackers like us who already came from another destination (we came from a 3d2n Camiguin tour already), the massage service at the inn is a big temptation.
- If you are a big group, might as well get the Premiere Pod for your utmost convenience and privacy.
- If you will only stay for a fraction of a day, take advantage of their hourly rate.
- Bring your own toiletries.
- If you are getting the Single Pods, safekeep your luggage at the baggage counter for your own peace of mind. At least, you won't have to watch over your stuff throughout the night.
Ground Floor, Gateway Tower
Cagayan de Oro, Philippines