The birthplace of revolutionary hero Apolinario Mabini and Japanese-era Philippine president Jose P. Laurel, Tanauan is a growing industrial, agro-industrial, commercial and urban hub because of its proximity to Metro Manila and key points in the Calabarzon Region.
Motorists and commuters often get trapped in the traffic-prone intersection of the old national roads named after the two eminent personalities which have been overtaken by development.
The good news is business and leisure travelers can look beyond the congestion and stay overnight in style to discover the natural and cultural treasures of the historic place.
Bravo Tanauan Hotel, a home-grown boutique lodging which is arguably the best in town, opened in September 2019 to cater to business travelers around Batangas. Situated at the Bravo Business Center, a strip mall in the heart of the city, it boasts of 22 comfy rooms of various categories which can match the features of its counterparts in Manila in terms of amenities and COVID-19 health protocols.
“Bravo Tanauan Hotel focuses on the needs of business travelers and not much on leisure, and thus put more attention on room comfort and less on the facilities,” says its president and general manager Patrick Leus.
He pointed out that they have installed a dedicated line that will guarantee high-speed internet, even if there are issues on the public connection in the area. They also have complimentary Netflix subscription for guests’s entertainment.
The hotel also has a function room which can host up to 200 guests, with movable walls to accommodate smaller events or private meetings in a board room setup. By early next year, it will open a gym for fitness buffs and guests who want to keep in shape while on the road.
Enhancing the intimate and cozy stay is Victorina’s Modern Restaurant and Bar which serves traditional Batangas cuisine and fusion dishes in a neo-classical ambiance. Named after Dra. Victorina “Turing” Leus, niece of President Laurel and Patrick’s grandmother, the dining outlet also serves the Cold Brew coffee brand, the local Pule fruity craft beer, and a host of other sought-after spirits.
For your caffeine fix and other cold beverages, there is a Cafe Amazon, Thailand’s leading coffee shop chain, which is the first franchise in the province.
With a formidable accommodation and food components, Leus looks forward to making Bravo Tanauan Hotel the hub in exploring town as an alternative tourist destination in this side of Batangas.
An old Spanish-era settlement, the city is home to heritage structures such as the Museo de Tanauan, the old municipal hall-turned-museum, the town plaza, St. John The Evangelist Parish Church, and the century-old ancestral mansions of President Laurel and eminent resident Claro Almeda.
On the other side of the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway is the sprawling new City Hall complex and multi-color building which lives up to its branding of being the “City of Colors.”
Situated nearby is the Mabini Shrine, a government museum which immortalizes the life and times of the so-called Sublime Paralytic and the Brains of the Philippine Revolution.
Meanwhile, the Taal Lake roadside villages are dotted with modest meal stops, hangouts, mountain-top eco-parks and viewdecks which lure cyclists, big bikers, and road trippers looking for scenic but inexpensive escapes. Aquasports lovers can bring their kayaks or use the crude bamboo rafts and glide across the placid lake.
A few minutes away from the shore are the islands of Napayong and Bubuin, and the Mag-Asawang Bato twin rock formations situated near Taal Volcano which erupted early this year. These unique spots make Tanauan the closest lakeshore point to the metropolis.
The fast-urbanizing city has also managed to preserve old-time barbecue food courts and eateries of popular local dishes such as bulalo, goto and lomi.
With the blend of business and leisure, Leus is confident that Bravo Tanauan Hotel can spice up tourism in this gem of a place hiding in plain sight.