The mid-range, 96-room Canyon Woods Resort Club near Tagaytay is an affordable, albeit dated property with expansive grounds housing recreational facilities for both adults and kids. A rather necessary shuttle is available to transport guests around the resort in order to reach the multiple room buildings, indoor and outdoor pools, nine-hole golf course (a 12-minute drive away), a spa, and entertainment for kids. Rooms are simple and equipped with TVs, fridges, work desks, and safes, but past guests have complained of maintenance issues. The atmosphere here is peaceful and relaxed, best for travelers looking to stay on-site. For a more spa- and nature-focused retreat, consider Tagaytay’s Nurture Spa Village.
The mid-range Dogo Prince Hotel offers guests a traditional onsen stay, with highly regarded bath house facilities, 123 traditional tatami-mat and Western-style rooms, and fresh, seasonal Japanese dining. The onsen takes center stage, with a variety of baths (some private) that are both indoors and outdoors. Hospitality is important at this hotel: guests are welcomed with a drink, snacks are freely available, and the proprietor’s programming includes events that highlight aspects of traditional Japanese culture. The design is traditional and minimalist, but some furnishings are slightly dated. Guests looking for something a little more luxurious but around the same price should check out the Dogo Onsen Yamatoya Honten in town.
The upper-middle-range Camaya Coast is part of a larger residential development located about a two-hour ferry ride from Manila (or a four-hour drive). It sits on a pretty, palm-dotted beach, complete with cabanas and an inflatable island with waterslides, which is nice enough to warrant daytrips. However, despite the direct ferry, it’s a bit of an inconvenient destination and there’s little else in the area. Two attractive outdoor pools include an infinity one, and loungers line the decks. There are a well-equipped fitness center and a spa, plus guests have access to the sister hotel’s water park. Food is pricey though, and most of the options are of the fast food variety. The 35 rooms here are clean and pleasant, all with balconies or patios (but they’re unfurnished) and solid amenities like flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and mini-fridges. It’s worth comparing rates with the upper-middle-range, 21-room Acuatico Beach Resort & Hotel, which is a beachfront property in Leiya, a 35-minute drive from Naambon Falls.
With a prime location between Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona, Hotel Damaso is a chic and simple mid-range boutique hotel with a lot to like. Opened in 2017, the 39 rooms have a fun, bespoke style that uses patterns and color to make them feel more spacious and bright. All include individually controlled air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and Smart TVs, while Deluxe Rooms add terraces. A continental breakfast buffet is included in rates, and is served in the cheerful bar on the ground floor (where you’ll also find a small library lounge). The Hotel Damaso rooftop bar is the star of the show, though, with astounding Rome views and great wine. The Damaso is a nice bargain for the location and quality, but if you want to be closer to the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain, check out Albergo del Senato (though it’s less stylish).
The 382-room Sirata Beach Resort is a mid-range, family-friendly resort located right on a long, sandy beach in central St. Pete Beach. The property offers plenty of things to do on-site for all ages, including daily activities, a game room with video games, weekly bonfires at the beach, and live music in the evening. The highlights here are the three oceanfront pools, plus the hotel also offers two popular beachfront restaurants, a small fitness center, event space, and free on-site parking. Contemporary rooms are outfitted with solid amenities, including free Wi-Fi, smart TVs, and coffeemakers. About 75 percent of rooms offer ocean views from the balcony or patio. However, some guests have complained that housekeeping can be hit or miss. Postcard Inn on the Beach is a good alternative for travelers on a tighter budget.
Of the three couples-only Cove Haven resorts in the Poconos region, Pocono Palace is the most modern. That said, it still has all the corny retro romance factor that’s been attracting vacationing lovers to these mid-range resorts since the 1960s. Most of its 189 fantasy-themed rooms are equipped with their famously gaudy (and fun) heart-shaped hot tubs. It’s hard not to marvel at the tri-level Roman Tower Suites with their whirlpools shaped as giant Champagne glasses — though the saggy round beds, chintzy decor, and mirrors galore aren’t for everyone, so simple contemporary rooms are available. All-inclusive packages cover breakfast, dinner, and non-alcoholic drinks. (Discerning diners need not apply.) Between the umpteen seasonal lake activities, pools, and nightly entertainment, there’s plenty to do at this lovers’ only compound. Those seeking romance without the cheesiness, could try Pocono Manor Resort & Spa.
With kitchenettes in every room and a substantial free breakfast buffet, the Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Times Square offers families on vacation and long-term guests a good value and a central location. It’s set a block from Bryant Park, easy walking distance to Times Square and the Theater District, multiple subway lines, and casual eateries. The 357 studios and suites are a bit drab in terms of decor, but they all have kitchenettes, sofa beds, dining tables, and free Wi-Fi. An on-site market sells snacks and alcoholic beverages and a dinner-only restaurant serves American food. A modest gym, a business center, and coin-operated laundry machines are available. Travelers wanting to be closer to Central Park should check out the Residence Inn located a five-minute walk from there.