ZAMBOANGA'S BEST LOCATED HOTEL
Lantaka Hotel is among the oldest hotels in the city but centrally located where from you can walk to the City Hall, Fort Pilar, Zamboanga Museum, Pershing Park, the Ferry Terminal and the shopping areas. Try to request rooms on the first floor overlooking the swimming pool for better views. Rooms are basic and simple. Apart from its very good location, they have a swimming pool, bar with a view of the ocean and a good restaurant serving local and international cuisine.
ZAMBOANGA'S BEST LOCATED HOTEL
Lantaka Hotel has good facilities like a swimming pool, a bar overlooking the sea, good restaurant serving local and international dishes and an in house travel agency. Try and request for a room overlooking the swimming pool for better views. Walking distance to the Historic Fort Pilar, the Ferry terminal. Pershing Park, City Hall and the shopping areas.
Historic hotel by the sea
Unlike most of the tourist hotels which are on the road to the airport, this hotel is at the seashore, within walking distance to the downtown area, and in the historic Spanish area that includes Fort del Pilar. This is a comfortable older hotel with A/C, high celings, a lot of wood, and definitely not a cookie-cutter Hilton or Radisson type. The dining facilities are al fresco overlooking the channel between Zamboanga and the neighboring island of Basilan (currently notorious for the Abu Sayef). The staff is extremely efficient and genteel. It is an unhurried spot that doesn't try to hustle tourists.
Hotel by the Sea
This is not a new hotel but it's main selling point is it's commanding view of the sea. The seaside rooms have porches where you can see the wharf and the sea. On a Friday night, there is a live band playing in it's poolside restaurant.
Rooms are old but clean and spacious.
The hotel will pick you up and/or bring you to the the airport for P75/person/one way.
Shampoo is not provided for, only soap. The hotel has a rarely used large swimming pool set amidst coconut trees.
Right outside the hotel's restaurant are sellers of pearls (6 am - 6 pm). The pearls are real and come pretty cheap.
Also, outside the hotel are travel agencies and tour operators.
Good old luxury!
While I have stayed at other accommodation facilities in Zamboanga City, being back at this place is still a welcome respite to make feel a real vacation.
Service is still the same prompt and friendly, the facilities are vintage but kept to standard, food may not be fancy with those tongue-twisting names but still delectable worthy of a hotel. Their thick and tasty hot chocolate should probably be the hotel's signature!
The rooms are spacious with big glass windows and a terrace for a good view of the sea and the pier. You can watch those fastcrafts come and go right from your room. Looking beyond also gives you a hint of the famed Sta Cruz Island. Bathrooms have tubs if you want to laze around in that department. I just wish they'll put in some kind of exhaust things in there so it doesn't become truly a spa during hot showers!
Fridays and Saturdays there are bands or acoustic singers who will hum you songs during dinner as you look out to little lights flickering in the sea. There are even some little nipa huts where you can privately enjoy your dinner or drinks.
The basement has a travel agency that can arrange tours and the lobby has a free wireless broadband internet if you crave to surf. Then again the whole facility is wi-fi friendly! This is one of the few places in the city that has a swimming pool. And the only hotel with a good view of the sea (from the room, the restaurant, the bar or the pool).
Call it unique, this vintage of a place also has a vintage crew! Yes, most of their service personnel seem to be older than usual! :)
Seen Better Times
While researching for hotels in Zamboanga, I came across a name that I remembered from many, many years back growing up--Lantaka Hotel in Zamboanga. I remember it being 'upscale', and people back then considered it a "high-class" hotel. Well, times have changed. Although there was hardly anything on the hotel online on how to reserve (no website, no email, no nothing), I called the facility directly and booked a room.
I arrived on a nice, sunny day in early August (2009) in Zamboanga and was picked up by the hotel's van (a good deal for P75 so better to pre-arrange it as the tricycles and jeeps can gouge you), and found the place to be in a fairly nice neighborhood near the city hall, Fort Pilar, and the downtown shopping district.
The hotel itself is very old, and is in dire need of an upgrade. The lobby was dark (which was okay), and had traditional decors and two large wilted flowers in big vases. It was warm--due to poor insulation (gaps in the entry doors), the airconditioning could hardly keep up. The hallways to the room was dark and hot (no a/c). The scent and darkened hallways reminded me of the Bablyon Hotel in Baghdad when I worked in that city.
The room itself was very big, and had a nice view of the pool. It is however a throwback to the 70's--parkay flooring, old rattan and wooden furnitures, thin sheets and towels. There were no other amenities other than a phone and small bars of soap--no tourist guide maps, hotel information, shampoo, etc. Nonetheless, the room had everything I need--a somewhat working A/C (either the room was too big for it to completely cool, or it just wasn't up to the task), an electric fan, a comfortable bed, and decent bathroom.
The pool is nice and inviting, and it's just a stones' throw away from the ocean (not swimmable). The gardens in the back are nice as well.
As for other amenities, I didn't try the restaurant as I thought it was overpriced for this type of hotel (4-star prices for a 1 1/2 star hotel). There is a P55/day (7am to 7am the next day--don't know why) charge for wireless Internet, but you can only access it from the lobby OR the restaurant. They will let you sit down in the restaurant if you have your laptop with you. Decent pool, nice quiet location near Fort Pilar, City Hall, and downtown shopping. People at the hotel are incredibly friendly.
LANTAKA HOTEL POOL
Room at the Lantaka Hotel
Museum in Fort Pilar, very near the Lantaka Hotel
Lantaka Hotel & Safety
I plan to travel to Zamboanga in mid August and stay at Lantaka Hotel.
Could someone who know help me with the following questions :
1. Is Lantaka a safe hotel to stay ?
2.Are the restaurants and other facilities at Lantaka well patronized by locals so much so that its too crowded at times ?
3. Can we depend on the hotel to provide a safe airport pickup and drop off service ?
4.Are there any reliable and reputable spa/massage service around the vicinity of Lantaka Hotel.
5.I would like a single room facing the sea and the pool.Which floor would be the best to ask for ?
6.What are good eating joints around Lantaka ( any time of food..ie Filipino, Western, Japanese etc )
7.Can anyone recommend some names of companies that provide a care rental service ( with driver )..safe , reputable company with competitive rates ...ie to move around Zambonga instead of using tricycles
Re: Lantaka Hotel & Safety
let me answer you per item as enumerated above:
1. yes (the police and city hall is a walk away)
2. only weekend lunches and dinners but not too crowded
5. second floor (you can see the pool & fast craft pier)
6. make it "around zamboanga since everything is relatively near)
7. the travel agency at lantaka (lower ground floor)
on item 4 and 6, my best bet is over at Garden Orchid Hotel (a few steps from the airport) but just a short trike ride from Lantaka. esp for item 6 the area teems with good establishments
Re: Lantaka Hotel & Safety
I am going there too, when are you arriving. I would like to stay there too but not sure. I like the Garden Orchid Hotel looks but not at $118/night. What is the rate here do you know? Russ