Sunday, September 28, 2014

Baguio Holiday Villas: Of Good Coffee, Warm Welcome and Lush Greens

Baguio Holiday Villas Couch and Logo
Inviting interiors, warm welcome at Baguio Holiday Villas
Ahh, the coffee was very good with a subtle hint of nuttiness.

We just came from three days in Sagada and two in Maligcong to cap a week-long hiatus in the highlands with a sidetrip to Baguio and a steaming cup of nutty java made for a warm welcome in this day-long transition back to urbanity.  After days of holding back on the precipitation, the rains fell just as we checked in at Baguio Holiday Villas.  I've laid claim to one of the beds in the double room upstairs and caught a nap after a quick hot shower so waking up to good coffee with this kind of weather was just perfect.
Baguio Holiday Villas Garden View with Night Lights
Even more magical at nighttime
Fact is, it's hard not to relax here.  After weaving through the busy thoroughfares of Baguio, the sight of a lush garden abuzz with bees and butterflies is like a balm that soothes instantly, a cocoon that wraps you sort of like in a green embrace.  That it's right smack along Burnham Park is a fact easily forgotten for the greenery also helps muffle the noise of traffic outside.  Perhaps I'm biased as I'm a gardener at heart.  IMHO, plants instantly uplift the spirits and improve the surroundings, more so if the landscaping was given a lot of thought and caring.  From the friendly staff we learned that V, a once popular child actor once spent a week here.  Ditto, A, a child-star turned singer who strummed her guitar and composed new songs out in the garden.  It's easy to imagine why.

The garden is an important focal point which is why we collectively thought it's a shame that there were no garden tables and chairs save for a portion of the cafe that extends a bit to the roofed area overlooking the greens and a wooden bench at the far end.  Having said that, I would venture as far as imagining how wonderful it would be to get a massage outdoors as the establishment already has a spa out in front anyway, in a small cabana perhaps. 
Baguio Holiday Villas Overview of Living Room
View of the living room from the stairs leading to the bedrooms
We were billeted in one of the Deluxe Villas and it was generously spacious.  There were only three of us in the group and we were a bit comically well-distributed -- one watched cable TV while browsing the internet in the living room, another friend worked while snacking in the dining area, while I napped upstairs (totally pooped out and forgot about reading).  For the price of an overnight hotel stay, a 6-8 person contingent can be more comfy and less cramped here.  If we were staying longer, we would have definitely gone out to the Baguio market for ingredients and put the kitchen stove and ref to good use.

I was trying to enjoy what remained of my break so I woke up late the next morning (partly because of sleep debt incurred during the trip, partly because of the great massage as nightcap the previous night) so we had an alibi to try out the breakfast fare which was good, not a bad idea if you're just too lazy to market and cook, or as a good alternative to ordering for delivery. Not that the place is too remote as establishments like Good Taste restaurant (or if you're too hung up on ChickenJoy, Jollibee just a few steps away) are within very short walking distance.
Baguio Holiday Villas Double Single Bedroom
I slept here (could've been better with a reading lamp though)
If I didn't have a meeting coming up the following morning, we would've loved to stay, perhaps just to chill out, read a book, eat (but of course), grab some coffee, chat with the warm and friendly staff, and enjoy the Baguio cold for even just one more day.    Though a day or two short, this abbreviated stay provided a wonderful conclusion to a week-long break.   In fact, the only thing I can think of to better the experience is a reading lamp by the bedside.  That and a longer stay.

Info: Baguio Holiday Villas is located at No. 10 Legarda Road, Baguio City • Call landline (074) 442-6679 or 446-5378 (Baguio) or (632) 750-2907 (Manila) • Call/Text Mobile: 0922-8914738 (Baguio)/0922-8914744 (Manila) • Email: baguioholiday@yahoo.com.ph • Visit www.baguioholidayhotel.com • Off-season 20% discount promo on published rates ongoing until Dec. 13, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sagada Rock Farm Inn in Macro Mono

The original plan was to just stay put and rest in Maligcong and Sagada though that changed quickly.  Rock Farm Inn though was a natural choice in this respect.  Considering that it was a low season where a lot of other accommodations in Sagada were offering drastically reduced rates (we visited one offering something like half the peak season rate), Rock Farm Inn has not budged one bit and their rates were the same as usual. 

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