Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Baguio Burnham Suites

Baguio City, also called the City of Pines, has always been my dream vacation spot. Two decades ago, when the average person couldn't afford the luxury of air travel and before the rapid influx of world-class resorts in the country, the nearest place one can go to for some affordable yet memorable R & R was Baguio.

Lion's Head along Kennon Road. Baguio City's most famous landmark.

Widely-known for its cool climate, strawberries, Ube (Purple Yam) Jams and fresh produce, Baguio City still holds a place in the country's list of most visited tourist destinations. After all, it wasn't called the "Summer Capital of the Philippines" for nothing.

Strawberries from La Trinidad, otherwise known as the Strawberry Capital of the Philippines. The town is just a few kilometers away from Baguio City. 

Mountain Maid Ube (Purple Yam) Jams, Php 140/small jar. Each bottle is manufactured by nuns of  the Good Shephered Convent. Sales proceeds are used for charity projects. 

Last May, we drove north for 6 hours to experience the beauty of this city nestled high above the mountains. Since we have kids with us, we chose to stay at a downtown hotel. Apart from accessibility, we also prefer fully-airconditioned rooms. Hotels and transient homes farther up the province usually do not come with air-conditioning units. Instead, they take advantage of the cool mountain air which I do not believe to be totally  reliable these days with global warming on our doorstep.

The Baguio Burnham Suites is conveniently located right in the middle of Baguio, overlooking the scenic Burnham Park, one of the city's most popular attractions. The hotel is quite new and there's an available underground car parking space for guests. It's just a little disappointing that they do not accept requests for an early check-in. We arrived an hour before the indicated check-in time and was refused entry until the exact time, not a minute less. Quite harsh for guests who just had a long drive and were desperate for a  much-needed respite.

Photo from the Baguio Burnham Suites website.

Without a choice, we waited at the lobby which to my relief, is really spacious and clean. 

My son loitering in the lobby.

Beside the reception area is a small but charming dining place called Azzurro. Having seen their company logo, I immediately remembered the heavenly mango crepe which I was able to try in their branch at the A. Venue Hotel Suites in Makati. So, we decided to order some snacks while waiting for our room.

Mango Crepe, Php 132. Quite sweet because of the cinnamon, but the pleasing aroma gave it an extra-delightful spin.

Spaghetti Bolognese, Php 330. The rich meat sauce is just right and absolutely delish.
Mango Shake, Php 132. Wonderfully smooth but a little more mango and a little less milk would have done the trick.

At exactly 2:00 PM, we were assisted up the elevator to our De Luxe Studio Room at the 2nd floor. The room looks really nice and its size rather exceeded my expectations. It's almost as big as a suite, except for the absence of a living and dining area that usually go with one. 

The bed is comfortable. However, my husband had a ghostly experience which is very much common in eerie Baguio City.:)

The room is expansive and can accommodate around 4 adults.

A small counter with a sink and mini-bar.

Shower area.

Since we chose a room with a view of Burnham Park, this is what our windows revealed.

A De Luxe Studio Room-Park View costs around Php 3000/night. It also comes with breakfast buffet for two. But though breakfast was served at Azzurro the next day, it was obviously not prepared by the restaurant's chef for the food tasted bland and the buffet selection, far from satisfactory.

Macaroni Soup.

Scrambled Eggs and Garlic Fried Rice.

Bean Sprouts and Pancake. I'm seriously wondering what the bean sprouts are doing in this breakfast setup.

Pork Ranchero and Vinegar-Marinated Milkfish (Daing na Bangus). The Pork Ranchero tasted really bad and totally wrecked my appetite.:( 

My dining expectations are modest by standards. That's why I am truly disappointed by the hotel's lack of effort to please their guests' palate.

Taking advantage of the proximity of Burnham Park, we went for a morning stroll and were almost instantly drawn to the bicycle lane. It's been a long time since my last visit to this place, which reminded me at once of a few beautiful childhood memories.:)

Bike Rental: Php 40 for 30 minutes.

A trip to Burnham Park won't be complete without a boat ride on the man-made lagoon at the center of the park. 

Boat Rental: Php 200 for 30 minutes.

A view of the Baguio City Hall from Burnham Lake.

Going back home, a feeling of gloom suddenly struck me...just like before when I was but a kid leaving this majestic place behind. An attack of nostalgia? Maybe. For I'm almost sure it's the same thing that leads me back to Baguio time and time again.

My son on his first horse ride, his most remarkable experience during our short stay in Baguio City.

Baguio Burnham Suites
No. 6 Kisad Road
Baguio City, Philippines
Trunk Line: +63 74 4242211 to 15


Samuel Trust said...

How's the experience? I am planning to visit Baguio in December and I plan to stay on my cousins unit at Suntrust Baguio. But still anything can change. Thanks for this!

Cheryl Ann Lei Reyes said...

Baguio is really nice in December. Just the perfect weather. This hotel is one of the best, location wise. Enjoy your trip!

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