Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Where to Stay in Baguio: Forest Lodge at Camp John Hay

It's been years since we've last been to Baguio. We stayed at The Manor the last time we visited, which was almost a decade ago, and I was still pregnant with my youngest then. I don't really know why we took so long to go back, but it could be because there was a time in the last decade that I had 2 car seats and a booster seat in the family van. That doesn't make for fun road trips, noh. But now that the SCTEX and TPLEX are operational, and I'm done with car seats and booster seats, travel to Baguio is much more tolerable.




A pregnant me with my 2 girls in Baguio during our 2004 visit. How tiny they used to be!



My tummy is still not showing, but I think I'm around 4-5 months pregnant already that time. The Manor garden still looks the same, noh? In fairness, ako din, I still look the same after a decade. Teehee!:)



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Last summer, my side of the family went to Baguio together. We know that we wanted to stay somewhere in Camp John Hay so that we can enjoy the relaxing Baguio atmosphere and the fresh scent of pine trees. We were choosing between The Manor and its sister hotel, Forest Lodge. But the one thing that we were definite on is that it has to be inside Camp John Hay.
We wanted to be surrounded by pine trees... lots of it!
Baguio is highly commercialized already in some areas that sometimes it feels like Manila. 
We don't want any of that because that's what we were going away from, di ba? 


When my sister booked four rooms for our entire family at Forest Lodge, she convinced everyone that she made the right decision by sharing that Forest Lodge share the same management with The Manor, and some of the amenities were shared, too. The rooms were much newer since it is still a relatively new establishment, plus room cost was also definitely lower.



Superior Room

This is how our Superior Room looks like. It is worth every money at less than P3,000.00 a night. The room is spacious and had two queen beds in it. My husband and I, and  two younger kids stayed in this room comfortably.  While J stayed in another room with 2 of my sisters.


It has a writing desk, LCD TV, and a sitting area.


The room also comes with a mini kitchen. It's just really a small sink, mini ref and a small counter area with the usual complimentary water bottles which are re-stocked daily, cups and saucers, an electric kettle and a mini-ref.

The bathroom comes equipped a hot/cold shower, an adjoining dressing room with a hair dryer, iron & ironing board.

Because this is Baguio, most hotels do not offer A/C. The rooms are fitted with celiling fans, instead.


One-bedroom Suite

This is how the one bedroom suite looks like. My sister got this with the idea that everyone can gather here at night to play board games before heading to our respective rooms.  There is a small dining table, and a living room with LCD TV.




The bedroom has 2 queen-sized beds, and is separated from the living area by a door.


The mini-kitchen can actually be a working kitchen as it has a microwave oven. The generous counter area is also perfect for families who are traveling with infants and toddlers. I'm just thinking sterilizers, and other baby necessities.


My parents and brother got the one-bedroom suite initially, but the unit given to them was actually a loft. Because of their age, my parents did not want to go up and down the stairs anymore, and the hotel couldn't provide a one-level suite for them being that the hotel was fully booked, they just requested to be transferred to a superior room instead. The photos shown above are from a one-level suite beside our room taken on the day we checked-out.


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The Forest Lodge sits right beside The Manor, and has very similar features. It even shares the beautiful garden with Manor, which can be accessed by a hidden pathway.


The garden is as beautiful as I remember it.





We took this time to take some family photos. J wanted to "direct" our photo shoot, kailangan "fierce" daw. It took several tries before we could get our "fight" faces on... 




This is more what J was thinking... channeling Taylor Swift in Bad Blood daw...


As for me, I still wanted a traditional family photo of all of us smiling for the camera.


Shempre, the bookworm cannot be stopped. While J was busy directing our poses, this li'l girl stepped aside to read. Haay!



* * *

The cool Baguio weather even encouraged my kids to do some early morning run. They really planned to do some running so they packed their running shoes and shorts, and woke up early for this.
Running a trail as beautiful as this doesn't need that much convincing!


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