Clark in the Philippines, is not top of mind for most of us when we travel, but if you’re like me, absolutely fascinated with new experiences, perhaps a trip to Clark is in order for your next quick getaway. It’s under four hours away with two flights daily from Singapore to Clark via Cebu Pacific.
What to Do
While Clark is better recognised for it’s business-friendly environment being the business and aviation hub of the Philippines, it also boasts interesting tourist leisure activities and festivals. Take for instance, the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in February and Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul) in December.
A giant Christmas lantern typically seen during Ligligan Parul showcased at the Clark Museum & 4D Theatre
Clark, situated in the heart of Central Luzon and the province of the Philippine’s food capital, Pampanga, is also where you can fill your tummy with delectable Filipino cuisine. Catering to global travellers with diverse tastes, Filipino favourites are now re-interpreted with a modern twist by several enterprising F&B players in the city of Angeles (like acclaimed restaurant, 25 Seeds).
Farm-to-table restaurant, 25 Seeds by Chef Sau Del Rosario
Beef Asado “Essel Style” with french beans, sweet potato puree and egg
For history buffs, revisit Clark’s amazing past at the Clark Museum & 4D Theatre, where you’ll be given an opportunity to better understand the culture and way of life of the locals of Pampanga, and learn about how Clark, just less than thirty years ago, was covered in a thick layer of volcanic ash, after the second largest eruption of the century: the eruption of Mt Pinatubo. For the adventurous travellers, there are even day tours if you’re interested to trek up Mt Pinatubo.
The view of Mt Arayat from the Museum of Philippine Social History in Angeles
The way I see it, Clark is perfect for the millennial traveller. It offers “off the beaten track” activities for those of us who have been travelling to the usual gateway cities across Asia and are looking for something different to experience.
Where to Stay
Checking in at reception
If you’re looking for a place to stay, you’ll find that the 154-room Park Inn by Radisson Clark is a great “home base”, whether you’re on a work trip or if you’re keen to explore the rest of Clark and Angeles City. It’s incredibly accessible – less than fifteen minutes from Clark International Airport and just across the road from SM City Clark Mall complex.
Upbeat, bright colours and an eclectic mix of furniture
It’s the perfect fit for millennial ‘b-leisure’ travellers who don’t need all the bells and whistles of luxury hotels (we’re the AirBnb generation after all), but who wish to still enjoy a chic and contemporary environment to unwind at after a challenging day of work and play… and of course, reliable WiFi!
Communal spaces at lobby whether for socialising or for work
Splashes of colour and an eclectic mix of furnishings greet you as you make your way through the cozy lobby. There’s a comfortable, happy vibe at Park Inn by Radisson Clark from the moment you step into the hotel premises. It’s little wonder why! After all, Park Inn by Radisson Clark has a “Happiness Guarantee”, a promise from the hotel to guests. If guests aren’t 100% happy with anything during their stay, they are encouraged to let staff know during the stay so that they can make it right or the guest won’t have to pay!
Friendly, warm staff at the bar
With little enclaves and small spaces to work or relax at the lobby, you can choose to take a breather on your own or take advantage of the beautiful communal spaces or the lobby bar to meet and socialise with other guests. After all, in true millennial fashion, travel is all about the people you meet and their unique stories.
Pops of colour within guest rooms
This vibrant colour scheme of pop colours, blue, green, red, orange, make their way into the guest rooms as well and are seen in the walls, furniture and little accents. While all that colour may sound a little loud, I assure you, as you can see from the photos, the design is clean, simple, really tasteful and not the least bit tacky!
The guest rooms boast a simple, clean design
The standard room I stayed in came with a firm queen-sized bed for a good nights rest, television, mini fridge, safe, and complimentary coffee and tea (along with an electric kettle).
As I often work even while travelling, I appreciated that there were sufficient power points at the desk and bedside tables so I could work comfortably on my laptop from anywhere I wished in the room. The high speed internet connectivity was excellent throughout the hotel and this is a God send when you’re dealing with work each day.
Cozy, functional space with a design that’s suited for the well-travelled millennial
Gorgeous enough “for the ‘gram”, functional for work, and comfortable enough for downtime to recharge before the next day, the guest rooms are are designed to be cozy and everything is “just within reach” without being too constrained. I would even say, the entry level standard rooms are spacious for the affordable price.
A small bathroom with standing shower
The bathroom is modern and simple, with a standing shower with both hand and rain shower, fresh clean towels and plenty of bathroom amenities.
This is one of the main reasons why I choose to stay in a hotel most of the time. I like my bathroom cleaned up each day, because it’s where I get refreshed after a gruelling day of back-to-back work meetings or a crazy itinerary.
An all-in-one shampoo and body wash dispenser makes showering a zero fuss affair
Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten to bring along those bottles of shampoo and body wash. Park Inn Radisson Clark have built in these all-in-one shampoo and body wash dispensers. The hotel uses Dove soap for the dispensers. All you need is a good conditioner – which you can always skip out to the mall next door if you’ve forgotten to pack them. I actually forgot to bring along my travel-sized bath gel this trip, so this was great.
Beautiful mural of Clark adorns a wall at Hues, the hotel’s restaurant
Meals at the hotel’s on-site restaurant, Hues, is fuss-free as well. With a range of local dishes and international bites on the buffet line for breakfast, grab a quick bite before a hectic day begins.
A Filipino favourite, Pork and Chicken Adobo, is served at breakfast
Outdoor Swimming Pool
Keep to resolutions at the gym
As for keeping to those fitness resolutions, the hotel has a gym that’s opened from 6am – 10pm daily with floor to ceiling windows looking out to the outdoor pool.
The gym is equipped with basic exercise machines and weights
While small, it has sufficient equipment to keep your regime on track even while travelling. Think treadmills, yoga mats and weights.
The hotel also offers a 203-square-meter meeting facility and state-of-the-art meeting rooms, making them well suited for hosting both business and social events.
Embracing Cultural Travel with Carlson Rezidor
Excited about immersing yourself in the culture of the Philippines? Discover it’s history and learn of the struggles and triumph of the locals in Clark and find out how they faced the second largest volcanic eruption of the century, rebuilt their lives and took control of their homeland again.
This story features 25 Seeds in Angeles City and the Clark Museum & 4D Theatre.
2F Dycaico Ancestral House, Barangay Sto. Rosario, Angeles, 2009 Pampanga, Philippines
25 Seeds is a farm-to-table restaurant by Chef Sau Del Rosario located in the heart of Angeles Heritage District.
Clark Museum & 4D Theatre
S. Osmena Street, Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles City, Luzon 2023, Philippines
The interactive Clark Museum showcases the Filipino spirit of bravery, industry and ingenuity of a nation’s sovereign will running through a narrative across 4 galleries. The museum is also home to it’s latest attraction, a 4D Theater featuring a 20 minute documentary film highlighting Clark’s rich history from past to present.
Park Inn by Radisson Clark
Right next to SM City Clark, M.A. Roxas Highway, Brgy. Lakandula, Mabalacat City, Pampanga, Philippines 2010
Park Inn by Radisson Clark is managed by global hotel management group, Carlson Rezidor. The group also manages the Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson RED, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. Park Inn is the group’s vibrant upper midscale global hotel brand targeting business and leisure travellers looking for affordable accommodation.
Cebu Pacific Air
This no frills airline is the largest in the Philippines and boasts multiple flights from Singapore to Clark. With cheap domestic flights available for easy travel within the Philippines, consider flying in to Clark from Singapore on a four hour flight and using it as a gateway to the rest of the Philippine islands.