An architectural icon of Balanga City in the province of Bataan, The Plaza Hotel features a neoclassical facade overlooking the city plaza and the 18th century cathedral. Exuding an old-world European appeal, the 34-room boutique hotel sits squarely in the city plaza, which was redesigned with the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, Spain – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – as the inspiration. Besides the hotel and cathedral, the plaza encompasses the city hall, two shopping centers and a pre-war water tank. The entire place becomes truly magical at night, when the classical-style buildings light up and a dancing fountain entertains park-goers with its lively and colorful display.
The Plaza Hotel has 34 classy and stylish rooms, with floor areas between 24 to 32 sqm and furnished with airconditioning units and hot and cold shower. An card-access elevator services the six floors of the building. There’s a restaurant at the lobby level on the third floor and a dining hall on the roof deck with incredible views of the city and the surrounding mountains, including the iconic Mt. Samat with its 36-storey tall WW-II memorial cross. The hotel, however, has no gym or swimming pool.
Already included in the room rates, the breakfast buffet is served at the sixth floor roof deck dining hall. For lunch and dinner, the hotel restaurant Café Kyoto on the third floor serves authentic Japanese cuisine carefully prepared by their in-house Japanese executive chef. I’ve eaten at this restaurant three times and every single dish they served – from their ramen and katsudon to their sushi and maki – were all remarkable. Dished out in generous portions, the food exuded a delectable balance of flavors that delighted the palette yet was never overpowering. I highly recommend their spicy tuna maki (PHP 240), katsudon (PHP 370), miso ramen (PHP 260) and sushi platter (PHP 640).
There are numerous dining options within the city plaza as the hotel is flanked with two modestly sized shopping centers. An excellent place to eat nearby is Stregato Gelateria, an ice cream parlor at Galeria Victoria Mall that not only serves exceptional Italian-style gelato but also mouthwatering Continental dishes like grilled salmon and roast pork – all at very reasonable prices!
How to Get There
Take a Genesis or Bataan Transit bus (PHP 170) from Pasay City or Cubao, Quezon City to Balanga City. From the integrated transport terminal in Balanga, take a short tricycle ride (PHP 8 per person) to the Plaza Mayor or city plaza, where The Plaza Hotel stands. Total travel time is roughly three hours.