Summer 2012: Best place to stay in Baguio – The Manor Camp John Hay

After almost 6 years, we are back in Baguio City!!!  When I was younger, my family and I would go to Baguio every summer.  There were lesser cars and houses then.  You can smell the scent on pine trees upon entering the boundaries of Baguio.  So sad that this is not the case now.  We could not even open the windows around the city proper area for fear of inhaling too much toxic fumes.

We left Manila around 4am on Holy Wednesday and took NLEX -SCTEX.  We opted to exit at Hacienda Luisita Exit instead of Gerona so that we can stop over for breakfast.  Had breakfast at Max’s (with free WIFI) and rested for an hour.  Then drove on Mac Arthur Highway past the towns of Tarlac and Pangasinan before going up Marcos Highway.  TIP: IF YOU SEE THE SIGN THAT SAYS ALTERNATE ROUTE TO BAGUIO, DON’T TAKE IT UNLESS ITS TRAFFIC  ALONG MAC-ARTHUR!!!   The alternate route will lead you to the country side/barrio roads and takes longer to drive through.  We arrived in Baguio around 10:30am.  Just in time to have an early lunch at The Forest House in Baguio.  The Forest House is one of the must-go-to-eat places.  With free WIFI again!   Parking can be a problem though.  Just make sure to go early or late to avoid the dining rush hours.

Checking in at the Manor Camp John Hay was a breeze.  Even if we had several last minute changes and requests, the reservations officer Sharlene was very efficient and patient.  We booked several kinds of rooms as we are three families checking in.  The superior room with forest view had two double beds that can adequately fit two adults but they were quite strict with the head count inside the rooms (max of 2 adults and 2 children).  The One-Bedroom Suite comes with a living room, dining area and kitchen (with microwave).  They allow up to 3 adults in the One-BR suites.  The Two-Bedroom Suite  also comes with living, dining and kitchen.  Max of 5 adults in the 2-BR suites.  Everyone from the Customer Service, Concierge and Housekeeping were efficient, kind and friendly.  Many thanks to the reservations staff, Sharlene, Michelle and Ella Mae.  I also had room service massage and it was the perfect way to ease the tired muscles after 6 hours of travel.  Must try to check out their Spa next time.  Also, don’t forget to try the sumptuous food at Le Chef.   Get a table facing the garden and eat while enjoying the beautiful scenery of mountains and trees.  I think Camp John Hay is one of the few places left where you can still smell the scent of  pine trees.  There’s also a new hotel in CJH called Le Monet.  The facade is very modern and clean but I think there are fewer parking spaces around the hotel.

Other great things to do in John Hay includes going to the Commissary just right across the Manor, having breakfast/coffee at Starbucks, picnic on the grounds around the camp, shopping at the other outlet stores, horseback riding, etc.

If you plan to go to the city, be prepared to face traffic, parking problems, etc.  I don’t know if its just because it was Holy Week or Baguio is really over populated already.  We just drove through Wright Park, the Mansion, Mines View since parking was a problem.  Didn’t even dare to go to Burnham Park  and city market anymore.  SM City Baguio was even worse.  However, there were police/traffic aides at almost all junctions to help with the traffic and were also helpful when one gets lost.  Kudos to the Baguio City Government for their preparations and hard work to keep their city orderly.

Went back to Manila on Saturday morning and took Kennon Road this time.  We were lucky that we left when there weren’t much traffic, there was one portion in Kennon where only one lane can pass through.  There were no traffic aide to supervise whether the north bound or south bound vehicles will pass first.  Que Horror!  And then there were several portions that were still under construction.  Unlike Marcos Highway, all the roads are wider and well paved.

To book at  The Manor at Camp John Hay, call their Baguio office directly.  I also emailed them and they do reply on time.  As to calling the Manila office, good luck.  I tried several times to call the Manila Office and was given the run-around.

Telephone : (+63)(74) 424-0931 to 43
(+63)(74) 424-0945 to 47
(+63)(74) 424-0950 to 53 local 1003/1004
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