With the cold weather, tall pine trees and the familiar long and winding road, nostalgia suddenly struck me. It was more than a decade since I last set foot in Baguio. With the scorching Manila summer heat reaching as hot as 37 degrees Celsius, fleeing to the City of Pines is a total retreat for me.
Since the last few years, I always look forward to going to Baguio because of its flower festival, popularly known as Panagbenga festival, celebrated during the month of February. But I never did (face palm)! Aside from this season, the best time to go to Baguio is during summer. Fortunately, I was able to explore the place once again with a group of blogger friends.
I almost can no longer recall in much detail what Baguio was like since I last visited it. Every now and then I’m seeing friends share their recent vacation in it. Getting enticed with all the photos I’m seeing online, I knew a lot had changed already. One of the things that sparked my much-awaited Baguio getaway is Azalea Hotels and Residences.
Azalea Hotels and Residences
Retreat and transient houses have become popular in Baguio ever since I can remember. And Azalea Hotels and Residences have actually raised the standards of that traditional vacation getaway being the first and only 4-star apartment hotel in the City of Pines.
Azalea is actually a flower that symbolizes hope, hence you can notice flower decors in their luxurious interiors. Elegantly modern, Azalea offers accommodations suitable for family, “barkada” or group of friends and even couples on a romantic getaway.
Hit the Hay
Our group stayed in one of their two bedroom apartment suites. Simple yet really cozy, I like the minimalist feel of the room on white interiors. The contemporary ambience built on concrete walls and floors are accentuated by some wooden furniture and even doors. Being a wanderer and an enthusiastic travel photographer, I greatly appreciate the hugely framed old photo of Session Road they put on display.
I’ve been to some sophisticated hotels before and I can say Azalea Hotels and Residences plays the game more than lavishly well. And one thing that sets them apart is that they made me feel home, they are actually among the few ones that gave me that home-away-from-home vacation.
Room and Bed
The 60-sqm bedroom is more than spacious for our group of six adults. Apart from the Master’s bedroom, our apartment suite also have two other spacious rooms. I like how our bed is not overly soft with smooth linen and comforter. Each room has its own television set and can be made colder with the large wooden ceiling fan. Huge cabinets with hangers and bath robes are available. I also noticed there are a lot of electrical sockets in different parts of the room.
Kitchen and Dining
Rarely do I get to see a nicely set kitchen and dining in a hotel suite for an affordable price as offered by Azalea Hotels and Residences. I think their kitchen and dining is almost complete with the basics – refrigerator, microwave oven, dinnerware set, electric water kettle and cooking paraphernalia. And yes, the marble mini bar rocks!
Our room has two wide and clean bathrooms complete with toiletries. I like the Azalea branded bath amenities especially their body wash. My non-negotiable hot shower is also available.
On the Plate
Tradisyon Coffee Shop is Azalea’s very own restaurant. Open from 6AM-10PM daily, it can accommodate approximately 70 guests. As its name “Tradisyon” (tradition) implies, the restaurant’s atmosphere aside from its food speaks so much of Filipino culture evident on its wooden tables and chairs. I’m amazed with the several small chandeliers that contributed to the classy vibe of the place.
Azalea’s morning buffet include breakfast favorites like tocino, adobo, corned beef and bacon. Don’t miss their signature hot chocolate, too! During one of our lunches, we get to try much loved Filipino cuisines like Kare-kare and Sisig. I seldom eat Kare-kare (which I know is a bit weird because it’s one of Filipino’s popular dishes) but I surprisingly like Tradisyon’s version of Kare-kare.
Aside from the traditional food, Tradisyon Coffee Shop also offers international cuisines. They actually have scheduled themed buffet meals like Mongolian and Pizza and Pasta buffet. If you don’t want to avail their buffet, you can opt to have ala carte meals.
Feel free to create your own Mongolian meal with 21 different sauces! In case you don’t know what to mix and match, you can ask the staff to make one for you.
Pizza and Pasta Buffet
- Azalea Hotels and Residences location is near Baguio city’s tourist attractions.
- You can also avail of their vacation packages that include accommodations, transportation and Baguio city tour.
- Availing their membership means lots of perks and discounts!
- Aside from the Tradisyon Coffee Shop, they also have a bar called 8 Degrees Bar Lounge in case you want to grab a drink.
- A small playground is available for kids.
- With rooms scattered on several floors, the hotel is equipped with elevators.
It was more than a decade indeed. And the total experience Azalea Hotels and Residences provided me compensated for all those years I’ve been wanting to go back to Baguio. I’ve waited for so long. And Azalea made all the wait worth it.
Money to Burn
*For updated rates, please visit Azalea’s website.
Azalea Hotels and Residences
Address: No. 7 Leonard Wood Loop, Baguio City
Contact Details: Baguio – (+6374) 4248710 / Manila – (+632) 4501151
Disclosure: My accommodation is courtesy of the joint partnership of Travel Book PH, TAG Media & Public Relations and Azalea Hotels and Residences. Nevertheless, I wrote this article with my own insights influenced by my personal experience.