I will squeeze everything from the trip in one post. I will skip or try to skip the boring bits. But before that…
Last week’s long non-working holiday was a good opportunity to get some blog posts up, but I finally got my free Netflix subscription that resulted to a few sleepless nights. 😆 I also managed to sort some of my kalat in my other bedroom while I watched, so I was still somehow productive. Anyway, just an update as to why I haven’t blogged recently. Moving along…
I took some photos while we were on the road. I fell asleep just minutes after we left Ortigas and dozed on and off when we were already in Pampanga. I always get heavy-eyed in any moving transport.
The skies when in the city isn’t as beautiful as that. By the way, our travel time to Baguio from Ortigas is 4 hours.
Le Monet Hotel
Our accommodation arrangement was handled poorly (not my fault) that I only found out where during that afternoon drive.
Le Monet Hotel is a 4-star hotel located in Camp John Hay; a good location for those who want to be far from the busy city and be surrounded by nature. It’s also situated in between commercial establishments including restaurants, so one won’t be stuck with hotel food when you stay there. There’s Army Navy, Krispy Kreme, or Starbucks if you’re into those. 😉
My room was a twin deluxe. Its regular rate is around PHP7000 per night.
However, I’m not entirely pleased with my stay there. As to why, I’ll just leave here my review at TripAdvisor:
The front desk service took long to get my room arranged and I already waited a while before they even served the welcome drink packaged with my room. They even made a mistake of putting a different company’s name on my receipt, which I’ll get to later.
The room they gave me is non-air-conditioned, which is fine. It just got hot in the mornings even with the balcony door wide open. I like that their rooms have a balcony. My room has a forest view and, in the afternoons, I can hear the horses. That was actually nice. 🙂
The beds are comfy; there is cable TV, TV in the bathroom, tankless (and touchless) toilet, hot and cold sink and bath water, robes, towels, slippers, and toiletries. On the other hand, my room didn’t have a safe, room lights are dim, and noise from the hallway can be heard.
Save for the location, there’s nothing spectacular with the hotel. Their breakfast buffet was just okay. Some food were bland and cold. I had high expectations given the price rates (I think they’re a four-star hotel too), which I know is partly due to its location as well. Camp John Hay is great if you want to wake up to a nature view or without the pollution and hustle and bustle of the city proper. This hotel can and should do better, however. I would recommend as a last option to friends if there are other accommodations in Camp John Hay.
In regard to the receipt, it was my mistake that I didn’t double-check while I was still at the hotel. But when I asked for a new one to change it to my name (and what they gave me isn’t really an OR–printed on half a sheet), they wanted me to return the “payment receipt” via courier first. Such hassle.
Day 2: First agenda
Our first and main agenda was the courtesy call with Baguio City Mayor. Since he was still out of the country, the city councilors met with us.
Korean Palace Restaurant
We had lunch at Korean Palace Restaurant–an eat-all-you-can Korean buffet and grill–after the courtesy call. I wanted to eat a lot, but I was shy with the colleagues around. 😆 I only had tofu, sweet pancake, veggies, baby potatoes, and more tofu.
Price per head is PHP399 (exclusive of drinks). Leftovers and takeout aren’t allowed. Customers can also take selfies in a variety of hanbok. Kids sizes are available.
Korean Palace Restaurant
5-25 South Dr, Camp John Hay, Baguio, 2600 Benguet
Open 10AM to 10PM
I excused myself when we returned to the hotel. I was drained because I was up early, stressed over the courtesy call and interviews, and I had my period. =_= By 6PM, I was asleep.
Day 3: Surveys, Strawberry Farm, Good Shepherd, and Chef’s Home
I woke up early at 1AM and very hungry, so I had room service. This is what my pesto order looked like:
I should have just walked to Starbucks or Army Navy, but I was lazy to change from my pajamas.
I couldn’t sleep afterwards. Thank goodness for the hotel’s decent internet, I watched on YouTube and channel-surfed on TV. I struggled to get some sleep, but was only able to get quick naps until the sun rose.
My room came with breakfast buffet (and welcome drinks) for two. I should have brought a friend along. Sayang, no one used the other bed in my room and no one to share breakfast with.
We surveyed all bus and jeepney terminals in the city with an official from DOTr-CAR. I won’t bore you with photos of buses and jeepneys, but I have this Philippine Rabbit bus schedule someone might find useful.
The terminal for Philippine Rabbit and other buses is in Gov. Pack Road.
Media also followed us around to know/interview about DOTr’s plans for the city.
Those are houses on a mountain behind the jeepney. I found that actually amazing.
A quick chocolate crinkles loaf snack while waiting in LTO Baguio
Sizzling Plate Baguio
For lunch, somebody recommended Sizzling Plate Baguio because of the meat that’s apparently sourced from abroad.
To be honest, my food was bland. Even the restaurant’s sauce. I wouldn’t recommend Sizzling Plate Baguio.
Strawberry Farm, La Trinidad
Since we were headed to LTO La Trinidad after lunch, we had a quick detour at the Strawberry Farm. It’s not strawberry season, so no strawberry-picking for us. 🙁
Selfie time! 😆
Before we returned to the hotel, we went to Mountain Maid Training Center to buy Good Shepherd ube and strawberry souvenirs. Sadly, they ran out of strawberry jam. I bought a few bottles of the jelly instead.
Now this Asian fusion, hole in the wall restaurant I highly recommend.
Phad Thai, pechay and bokchoy in oyster sauce, a whole grouper (iirc), and Tom Yum soup with king prawns
My photo doesn’t do the food justice.
Everything was so good! My favorite has to be the Phad Thai. The serving size for each order is good for 2 to 3 and are reasonably priced. When I visit Baguio, I’ll definitely come back to Chef’s Home. 🙂
13 Outlook Dr S, Baguio, 2600 Benguet
Day 4/Last day: Tree Top Adventure and Bell House
The hotel restaurant was already full, so I had no choice. Nice view though. 😛
Our morning was free, but we already checked out early so we can head back to Metro Manila right away after some short sightseeing.
Tree Top Adventure
Bell House, which was what my Japanese colleague wanted to go to, was still closed. We killed some time at Tree Top Adventure since it was just beside Bell House. We did the Trekking and Skywalk activity (for PHP100 only).
Man, I got blisters from the walk because of my huge Melissa loafers. I wasn’t ready for trekking. The view though was worth it.
Tree Top Adventure Baguio
Special Tourism Economic Zone, Camp John Hay
Loakan Road, Baguio City
Phone: +6374 442 0800
Mobile: +63932-4041112 and +63927-5559144
Online booking: http://www.treetopadventureph.com/baguio-online-booking/
The Bell House was the former residence of Gen. James Franklin Bell, thus the name.
Besides transforming Camp John Hay “into a major military resort” (per Robert Reed–can’t find more information to verify), Gen. Bell also designed the amphitheater in front of the residence.
Historical Precinct, Camp John Hay, Baguio, Luzon 2600, Philippines
Entrance fee: PHP60
The Lost Cemetery/Cemetery of Negativism
Negativism is man’s greatest, self-impsed infliction, his most limiting factor, his heaviest burden
No more, for here is buried the world’s negativism for all time.
Those who rest here have died in vain–but for you a stern reminder.
As you leave this hill
remember that the rest of your life. Be more positive.
Entry to the cemetery is also through the Bell House. Humorous, but a good reminder of our negative traits we could failed to notice.
The Liberty Loop is located near the Bell House and in front of Tree Top Adventure’s entrance. No entrance fee.
And that’s all of the 4 days and 3 nights in Baguio! 😀 Thank you so much if you read up to this point! This must be my first post that I was able to squeeze in a whole trip.
I went to Baguio two weeks ago for work. I stayed at Le Monet Hotel, Camp John Hay. Besides our work itinerary, we went to the Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Mountain Maid Training Center for Good Shepherd souvenirs, Bell House, and Tree Top Adventure. Places I ate at were Korean Palace Restaurant, Sizzling Plate Baguio, and Chef’s Home (I highly recommend).
Leave a comment if you have questions or even corrections about the places abovementioned. I know there are other reviews of those places, but some of them seem already outdated.
View the entire Flickr album here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hyukta/sets/72157689785544855