From Nueva Ecija, we traveled for approximately 12 hours to reach Cagayan. Our Lakbay Norte group spent the night sleeping in the bus and woke up the next day in Cagayan. It was a cold and refreshing morning when we arrived as a light downpour welcomed us. Going straight to our destinations, it was again a busy day for everyone. As we wrapped up, we can’t wait but to be spoiled again with the warmth of a soft bed. And Balai Carmela did more than just that.

Balai Carmela is your homey dwelling place in Tuguegarao City. Established in 2014, it offers travelers a comfortable and quiet stay. Indeed, our first night in Cagayan couldn’t be so much better with Balai Carmela. As our room assignments were given, we immediately headed inside and unpacked our bags.

Lakbay Norte 6

Lakbay Norte 6 Group 12-hour ride from Nueva Ecija to Cagayan, Photo Credit: Martin San Diego of North Phililippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB)


As it is tucked in a faraway town, Balai Carmela surprisingly has that stylish and modern vibe. It also gives that home-away-from-home feeling. Balai Carmela is like an elegant family vacation house.

Balai Carmela's Comfy Queen Size Bed

Balai Carmela’s Comfy Queen Size Bed

The aircon room that was given to us has one queen size bed and a flat screen TV. I like its simple, white interiors. It’s spacious enough for me and my roommate, Rona (Travel with Maria). Since we didn’t have cabinets, we just placed our things beside our bed.

The small restroom had a partitioned toilet and shower areas. Towels and basic toiletries were provided. Everything looked well maintained to me. More importantly, our room including the restroom was really clean. Though Wi-Fi signal didn’t reached our room located in the second floor, Balai Carmela met my simple, non-negotiable need when I travel – a clean restroom.

Clean bathroom with basic toiletries.

Clean bathroom with basic toiletries.

Swimming Pool

When we enter Balai Carmela’s vicinity, the swimming pool immediately caught my attention. It looked really inviting. As much as we wanted to take a dip, we were not able to because of the rainy and cold weather.

Balai Carmela's Swimming Pool

Balai Carmela’s Swimming Pool

Other Amenities

The reception area of Balai Carmela was really nice (I forgot to take a picture 🙁 ). I remember comfy sofas where I even took a nap while waiting for the group to complete during our early departure. There was a lounge area which we had all to ourselves where we held our socials and played reversed charades. A laundry service and parking space were also available.

Lounge Area

Lounge Area

Socials at the lounge area.

Socials at the lounge area. Photo Credit: Martin San Diego of North Phililippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB)

Reversed Charade

Our group played reversed charades.


Balai Carmela is a favorite events place for different occasions like wedding receptions with its really cozy atmosphere. For travelers like me, it provides a home-away-from-home accommodations. The staff were warm and courteous. Simple and modern, Balai Carmela really gave us a comfortable stay in Cagayan.

Balai Carmela Resort and Hotel

Address: 8 Dunkin Drive, Capitol Hills, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Contact No.: (078) 377-0032
E-mail Address:

Disclosure: This Lakbay Norte trip was organized by North Philippines Bureau (NPVB) in partnership with Manila North Tollways Corporation / NLEX-SCTEX, Victory Liner, Inc., Nueva Ecija Convention and Visitors Associations (NECVA), and Cagayan North Convention and Visitors Bureau (CNCVB).  Lakbay Norte is an annual media familiarization trip aiming to promote Philippine provinces in the north.

Sponsored by: Department of Tourism – Region 2, Department of Tourism – Region 3, Petron Corporation and Prifood Corporation.