[PHOTO -Located at NAIA Terminal 3, Luggage and More offers travelers a storage facility counter for temporary storage of one’s luggage.]

MANILA, MAY 14, 2011 (STAR) Finally, there’s a luggage storage facility in the Philippines for the traveler who wants to maximize their time without the weight of their bags on their shoulders. Located at NAIA Terminal 3, Luggage and More offers travelers a storage facility counter for temporary storage of one’s luggage.

“Passengers waiting for their flights can go around the city for a day tour, enjoy the sights, and have a nice dinner with friends or family, instead of just waiting around in the airport,” said James Matias, area manager of Luggage and More. “It’s really a great service to offer to travelers who want to be more relaxed before or after a long flight.”

Luggage and More can store bags of every size and number — from briefcases, duffels and backpacks, to heavier items such as backpacking equipment and scuba gear, including balikbayan boxes, trolleys, surfboards and golf bags — to help the traveler feel comfortable before or after flying off to their next destination.

Aside from convenience, Luggage and More can offer passengers peace of mind. “Sometimes they bring their bags in the café or in the restaurant and because they are in a hurry and stressed out, they forget and leave some of their things behind,” says Matias.

Parking rates are reasonable. Small bag sizes are priced at P150 for three hours, and big bag sizes are at P200. In excess of three hours, customers will be charged a day rate of P300. More importantly, security is assured. “We work with the NAIA terminal airport security and we have 24/7 CCTV coverage within the facility,” says Matias.

In case people get any dubious ideas, airport X-rays and security sniff dogs are there to make sure that questionable items don’t get through. They also offer storage services per day. “They can leave it for 15 days, a month, or even several months, as long as they pay in advance,” said Matias.

Upon checking-in, passengers will be given a parking storage form that they have to fill up. It has the basic information such as name, contact numbers, email addresses, number of luggage, description of luggage, special instructions, and time and date to be claimed. “They just need to indicate the sensitive and fragile items,” said Matias. Clients will also be provided with a bag tag to hang on their keychains for the men or shoulder bags for the ladies so that they don’t lose their stubs or forget about their items.

Clients will also be provided with a bagtag to hang on their keychains for the men or shoulder bags for the ladies so that they don’t lose the stubs or forget about their items.

Luggage and More has insurance coverage that even covers acts of God. Luggage and More can accommodate 300 items a day. “In case they fly out and forget, we will take the necessary steps to get in touch with passengers, and remind them of their belongings and their instructions on how they would like it back,” said Matias. However, should there be no contact after several weeks, Luggage and More will turn the items over to the NAIA security team’s lost and found section.

There's more to legazpi than mayon By Lester Gopela Hallig

MANILA, Philippines - That was what we discovered. For as soon as we landed in Legazpi City in Albay, we were promptly brought to Hotel St. Ellis, a stylish 40-suite hotel in the heart of the city. We also immediately fell in love with the hotel’s welcoming staff and its minimalist design, clean lines, white and cream hues, wide spaces, intimate atmosphere, and an almost retro feel that we could not shake off. It was truly a very pleasant surprise to find a hotel like this in the Bicol region.

Centrally located in the busy streets of Legazpi, Hotel St. Ellis formally opened in December 2009 and is managed with distinction by Genesis Hotels & Resorts. Hotel St. Ellis general manager Liza Arbis said they attract a consistent and constant flow of businessmen.

“Because of our location, they appreciate the fact that everything is walking distance from the hotel,” Arbis said. “They can walk from here to the city’s center of shopping, recreational, and tourism activity called Embarcadero de Legazpi. Even the other shopping centers, stores, markets, and churches are just blocks away. The people who come here are usually those who do not want to rely on their local partners to bring them around.”

It must be said that guests can avail themselves of the complimentary shuttle to Embarcadero in one of their electric-powered jeeps.

Indeed, even families and balikbayans have taken to Hotel St. Ellis as their second home. Why shouldn’t they? Each suite is fully furnished with a 32-inch LCD television set with satellite cable connection, high-speed Internet access, NDD/IDD telephone, in-room safe, electronic door lock system, coffee and tea-making facilities, mini-bar, hair dryer, and more. The hotel’s pervading airy, light atmosphere is expertly reflected into the suites so guests do not feel cramped and stuffy.

But naturally, guests would love to explore their St. Ellis premises more. For the business travelers, Hotel St. Ellis offers a business center which has secretarial services, Internet access, printers, and copiers. Meetings and conferences can be held at the boardroom which seats 10 persons and features state-of-the-art facilities.

Arbis said, “We have the Top of St. Ellis, which is highly recommended for socials. It has three sides and three views of the city - the Mayon side, the Gulf of Bicol side, and the city view - framed by ground-to-ceiling glass windows.”

Downstairs is the Theatre, which has a lower level and an upper deck. Already a preferred venue for concerts, Arbis pointed out that the former cinema’s acoustics are outstanding.

All work and no play can get pretty dull for any traveler. Hotel St. Ellis invites guests to some relaxing treatments at the Essences Spa. “We are very proud of the Essences Spa. It is the complete deal, from conducive treatment rooms to our well-trained therapists. We have the pool, the gym, the souvenir shop, and the beauty salon. The latter has become a rarity in hotels these days, and we are happy to have one in our premises,” Arbis said.

She added: “Our owners thought of putting up a children’s activity room. Kids can play there while their parents attend to business and other matters.”

With all these amenities, it is no surprise that Hotel St. Ellis has already received its accreditation from the Department of Tourism as a first-class hotel, the only one of its kind so far in Legazpi.

First-class can also describe the in-house restaurant Crossroads Café & Lounge. Sitting on over 1,200 square meters of meeting space, Crossroads is masterminded by Executive Chef Louis Jurilla who cooks up comfort food from around the country and the world.

Jurilla told us, “I always insist on the freshest ingredients and the creative ways of cooking and presenting dishes. These should translate to our concept of comfort food, presented in a less formal and more relaxed way.”

Impossible to resist were his versions of the famous Bicol Express, laing, American country fried chicken, French-inspired adobo, dimsum, satay, pizzas, pastas, and desserts. One must try the pili nut pie, a tribute to Bicolandia’s favorite nut. The 60-seater restaurant turns into a cozy music nook on weekend nights, courtesy of an acoustic band that plays contemporary favorites.

Arbis said, “Despite having very strong F&B facilities in the hotel, our prices are still very friendly. If you are from Manila, you will be surprised that the prices are not too high.”

“We are only too happy to bring the technology of modern hotel living to Legazpi from Manila. It is also our vision to introduce these types of dishes to the Bicolanos. We are glad that they are warming up to our offerings. In terms of service, we continue to improve and raise our standards. We take meticulous care in training our employees and providing their families with a source of income,” Arbis said.

Right now, Hotel St. Ellis is offering guests a package that includes swimming with the butanding or whale sharks of Donsol, Sorsogon. With rates starting at P10,500 net per person, the package includes: three days, two nights’ stay in a deluxe room; daily breakfast; use of swimming pool and fitness center; roundtrip airport transfers; whale shark interaction tour with lunch and transfers; Misibis Bay day-tour inclusive of transfers, lunch, and use of select facilities; and 10 percent discount at the salon and spa. Travel period is until May 31.

Arbis declared, “So you see, there really is more to Legazpi than the volcano. Three things that we are very happy about at Hotel St. Ellis: elegance, comfort, and location.” We are definitely taking her word for it.

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Hotel St. Ellis is located at Rizal St., Legazpi City, Albay. For more information, call (52) 480-8088 or (632) 470-4403 or log on to

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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