No matter how many places in the Philippines I’ve been to, there’s really something about Baguio that’s just special. I will always have fond childhood memories of eating fresh strawberries, picking up pine cones, horseback rides, and sitting by a fireplace with hot chocolate during family summer trips to the City of Pines. Later on, work-related trips or trips with friends meant scouring the markets for awesomely cool designer jackets and boots, videoke sessions, food tripping along Session Road, and even playing airsoft!
Despite all the changes the city has gone through, Baguio remains one of the most popular tourist destinations year-round for families and friends. It always feels comfortable and easy to come back here yet there’s always something new to look forward to. Over the weekend, I got to visit old favorites and discover fun new things to do in the Summer Capital.
Thanks to Azalea Hotels & Residences, a few travel bloggers and I got to zipline and freefall from the treetops, soaked in Baguio’s artsy vibe, raced around a famous haunted house, went dinosaur-hunting, and had our fill of pasalubong shopping at the local market. Oh, and I got to add a couple of locally brewed craft beers when I visited the Baguio Craft Brewery. 🙂
Azalea Hotels and Residences Baguio, which is located along Leonard Wood near Teacher’s Camp, offers cozy and comfortable accommodations suitable for large families and groups. The six-story contemporary log cabin-inspired hotel is elegant and classy, yet not intimidating. In fact, it feels very homey. I immediately liked the artistic vibe in the hotel lobby of the wood carved flowers. The flower theme carried over to the rooms, with a nice floral arrangement and fully-loaded welcome fruit basket waiting for us.
The room assigned to us (I shared a room with Nina of Just Wandering and Mica of Senyorita) was a 2-bedroom suite, which had a master’s bedroom with a queen sized bed and its own bathroom, another smaller room, a separate bathroom, and a living room with a sofa bed.
The room also had a kitchenette, with a refrigerator, bar table, and all the implements needed for cooking. The bathrooms had hot and cold water and had complimentary items that were artistically packaged and customized for the hotel. They don’t give out just the basic toiletries like soap, shampoo and a toothbrush either. There were things like sewing kits, shoe mitts, razors, a vanity kit and lotion in there. Very nice.
Another cool thing was that each room (and the sala) had its own flat screen TV with cable! Like most Baguio hotels, there’s no air-conditioning, but it’s not really needed since the weather was quite cool. The ceiling fans are more than adequate in keeping rooms cool.
During our hotel tour, I learned that Azalea is the only establishment in Baguio with complete living, dining and kitchen facilities in all suites. They currently have 99 suites, which ranges from 46 deluxe suites, 17 one-bedroom suites, 33 two-bedroom suites and 3 three-bedroom suites. So the place is a good option for couples on romantic retreats, wholesome family trips/extended clan gatherings, and friends who are fond of road trips and group getaways.
Aside from the floral motif, the hotel has some vintage black and white prints of old Baguio in the rooms that add to the nostalgic vibe. The carved details of woodland animals in the restaurant’s coffeeshop makes the place feel like a ski lodge or something. It definitely feels like Christmas!
During our stay, we got to enjoy meals at Azalea’s two in-house restaurants: Tradisyon, which serves Filipino Comfort food and a bar called 8 Degrees. I liked the selection at the complimentary buffet breakfast served in Tradisyon. Aside from the usual continental breakfast options like cereal, toast, pancakes and omelette, I was glad to see local delicacies like Baguio longganisa, and danggit, and arroz caldo being served during breakfast. The crispy bacon was a winner though.
Azalea also offers weekend buffets and special themed dinners at the hotel, which we obligingly sampled. Hey, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.
From Friday to Sunday, they have a weekend brunch buffet (P350/adult) of Filipino favorites available from 11 am to 3 pm. On Thursdays, you can choose what you like to cook and how you like it with the Mongolian Buffet (P180/adult). There’s also a yummy Pizza Pasta Buffet (P350/adult) every Saturday.
Hot Pot Night (P395/adult) on Fridays is perfect for Baguio’s cold weather. Imagine a steaming hot blend of sashimi, oysters, strip loin, rib-eye, shrimp, lobster balls, oysters, mushrooms and vegetables in choice spices. Yum!
We also got to try out their new Coffee Bundle package with different variants of coffee and tea, served with pastries, cookies and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
All in all, we had a very nice stay at Azalea Hotel in Baguio. For those who want to visit but hate logistics, they currently offer worry-free packages for families and groups which includes 3D2N stay, daily buffet breakfast, meals at their in-house restaurant, and countryside tours aboard the chauffeured air-conditioned van, and adventure activities for the whole family or group.
ADDRESS & CONTACT INFO:
Azalea Hotels and Residences Baguio, Leonard Wood Loop, Brgy. M. Roxas Baguio City. Hotel Reservations Direct Line: (074) 4248716 / (074) 4248166
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.azalea.com.ph