Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gran Prix Econotel: The 3 Essentials To Know About Budget Hotels for Business Travelers

Budget hotels or econotels are becoming popular for business travelers in the Philippines and even around the globe.

In India, it is projected that by 2020 a quadruple increase of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will result to travelers especially from the business sector to have an increase in the demand and hence supply of available rooms to stay to as many as 350,000 rooms or an 11 percent increase to the current supply.

Travelers to the Philippines (January to April 2011)

Here in the Philippines, the visitor arrival statistics has also been showing a promising increase. In the first four months of the year 2011, arrivals of travelers from different countries around the globe reached 1.3 Million. This attributed to an increase of 13.33% compared to the arrivals of travelers for the same months last year. This is expected to still increase come December given the Philippine economy is stable and that certain tourism parameters are maintained and achieved.

As a result, there is a need for more diverse tourism products that will meet the growing demands of different kinds of business travelers. As a traveling businessman myself I want an easy, economic and efficient econotel that will suit my needs to which I will refer to as the Three Essentials for Econotels.

I had the pleasure of experiencing one of the Econotels in Cubao called the Gran Prix Econotel thanks to Mr. Jonel Uy of and Mr. Jeman Villanueva of Orange Magazine.

Gran Prix Econotel

The Gran Prix Econotel is a budget hotel located in Cubao, Quezon City beside the Victory Liner Cubao Bus Terminal. The Grand Prix Hotel is owned by the Hernandez family who also owns the Victory Liner since the late 1950s.
Victory Liner Cubao Bus Terminal

As a traveling businessman, I have several tasks in my mind when I visit a location. That is why the room where I stay must also be optimal for the things I have to accomplish. The Gran Prix Econotel is initially built to cater to the needs of the Victory Liner passengers especially those who have a few hours to wait before and after their bus trip or maybe because they need to spend the night to sleep before their flight in the morning.
Three Essentials for Econotels

The location of a budget hotel must be easy to find so that as soon as I step down my bus I can get that R&R I need before I head out to my next appointment.

According to the Gran Prix website, they can also arrange for free airport or port/pier transfers for those who will booked their suite room packages. Currently, I am staying at their suite room.

It is also important that an econotel is economic hence the term "budget hotel". For a traveling businessman, my stay in the hotel will not be for leisure purposes hence I do not want to spend a big chunk of my traveling budget paying for accommodations especially when I am only staying as a transient. The rates for the Gran Prix Econotel can be found below.

Gran Prix Room Rates

And my last essential of a budget hotel for a traveling businessman is that it should be efficient. Since the nature of my trip is business, existing tourism services should meet my needs for me to be able to transact a smooth business. I have listed 5 of these traveling services:

a. refrigerator
If I am busy preparing for a presentation or a proposal and I need some time to stay in my room, I would need a cold food storage where I can conveniently store my food. There are stores and eateries just outside the hotel where I can buy stocks while I am busy working.

b. television with cable
I need some form of entertainment or to get updated on current events. I need access to cable if I want to check on the news or any stocks updates.

c. internet service
The Gran Prix Econotel in Cubao is using a PLDT wifi connection. In my current stay, the wireless connection was not available.

d. phone service
To talk to the operator just dial zero. However, the phone in my suite is not working properly. The management has explained that they will fix the problem early the next morning after I advise them of my most convenient time.

e. food service
The Gran Prix Econotel offers free breakfast for room packages. The breakfast will vary depending on the room you booked.

There are also different room packages to choose from depending on your need as a traveling businessman:

If you want a well-lit room, their superior suite offers the basic necessities you will need such as the ones I listed for an efficient stay in a budget hotel.
Gran Prix Superior Suite

For some R&R, you can also request for a dimly-lit room in one of their Deluxe Suites. This is perfect for a a full night of snooze before your next trip.

Gran Prix Deluxe Suite

Now if you are traveling as a couple on a budget you have a choice of sharing a bed or on different beds in their deluxe rooms.
Gran Prix Deluxe Room

If you just need a very short stay to freshen up and rest a few hours, the Gran Prix hotel offers a mini-stay package where business travelers can stay for three to five hours. An extra hour of stay costs Php 125 which is approximately three dollars. It is very economic especially for foreign business travelers.

Because the Gran PrixEdsa to go around the metro anywhere. There are also affordable eateries and pasalubong stores for a business traveler's convenience.

This Econotel also offers other features and amenities such as the ones listed below: So the next time your doing business along Cubao, Quezon City and you need a space to get your bearings, check out the Gran Prix Econotel in Cubao. For similar econotels, the Gran Prix has other branches located in Cebu, Pasay, Tarlac and two in Boracay.

  • Mitra, S.  Budget hotels capitalise on business travellers.Retrieved August 21, 2011 from

  • Visitor Arrivals Reached 1.3 Million in the First Four Months of 2011.  Retrieved August 21, 2011 from
  • Victory Liner: Company History retrieved August 21, 2011 from
TinTin/Gran Prix Receptionest (Personal Interview, August 20, 2011) 

I’d like to know how your business trip went while staying in a Gran Prix Econotel. Drop a comment below and feel free to share your business travel experience with me.For more details, check out

*Contributed by Ia Adam-Lim
 ('Search for the Blogger Apprentice' participant).

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