Summer is the best time to visit the Philippines; it’s when the sea is the bluest, the sky the clearest, and the trees the greenest you will ever see. Indeed, it’s a tropical paradise that most tourists could not resist. But summer heat can also be the cruelest thing. Hence, it’s the time of the year when most people frequent the malls and other establishments that have air conditioning. People also flock to the beaches, resorts, rivers, and other bodies of water in search of relief. And it’s also the time when Baguio City, the summer capital of the Philippines receives its most number of tourists. With a temperature that can go as low as 7˚C, Filipinos like to escape the summer heat by going to this province. I wanted to escape the heat myself so I was eyeing the Cordillera Region. Then an opportunity presented itself; Azalea Hotels and Residences, that new hotel that has been gaining quite a buzz in social media has invited some bloggers, including me, for a 3D2N rendezvous in Baguio.
Apart from the free staycation, Azalea partnered with some key establishments to give us the best tour experience in the city. But let’s save that for later, today let me focus on the accommodation itself.
The trip was set on May 17, 2016, but a previous engagement prevented me from traveling with the other bloggers. Still, I was not about to let this opportunity go so as soon as I finished what I had to do, I went to the Victory Liner terminal in Pasay to travel to Baguio. The EDSA traffic plus two 15-minute stopovers equaled to an 8-hour land trip. At 2:00 in the morning, I reached Baguio City and spotted a man in a blue shirt with the Azalea logo print. He was the driver that Azalea sent to fetch me.
It only took 6 minutes to get to the hotel. This is how fast the travel time is from the Victory Liner terminal to Azalea without the heavy traffic. It was 2 in the morning, I could understand if the staff was already feeling lethargic, but the people who greeted me were all nice and welcoming. I was given the card key to room 321 and made to sign a paper across my name. On the same sheet of paper, I saw the name of my roommate: Trisha Ignacio.
I was escorted by one of the staff to my room. I was surprised to see how big it is, with its own kitchen, a balcony, and a bathroom. The bed is big and inviting and I thought it’s where I would bunk but the bell boy led me to the last door at the end of the room. It opened to another bedroom, a smaller one but with its own TV, a closet, and side tables on each side of the bed.
There are three doors on the right side of the room, the first one is also a bedroom where my roommate was billeted (her room has its own bathroom), the second door leads to a shower and toilet (this is what I used), and the third is the bedroom where I stayed.
Toiletries were provided and there were also complimentary coffee and tea. The kitchen is equipped with a fridge, a water heating pot, and a microwave oven. It was obviously made for you to never leave the room because everything was already there.
You can watch TV, cook, there’s free WiFi so you can surf the net too, and there’s even a balcony where you can just lounge and relax while enjoying the beautiful view of Baguio.
I went to my room and thought, where’s the aircon? Then I remembered that I was in Baguio, lol.
The bed, let’s talk about the bed. It has a thick and soft comforter that felt so good to snuggle in that I never want to wake up. I swear whenever I go under it, I’d be out in a few minutes. It was ultra comfortable and I imagine more so if the weather was really cold. It’s May so the weather in Baguio was not on freezing levels, nevertheless, it was cool enough to not sweat a lot.
Azalea has its in-house resto café called, Tradisyon. This is where we had breakfast buffet-style while dinner and lunch were served to us by the staff. They serve Filipino food and I must say they were scrumptious.
There was a make-your-own noodle station and I had fun making my own mami. I went too far with the chili sauce though so I spent a few minutes coughing like I was dying, lol. So go easy on the chili babe.
Now here are some of the dishes that we tried, my favorite would be ginataang isda. Trust me, it’s delicious.
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My roommate turned out to be Trisha Velarmino of P.S. I’m on my way. This woman has been around the world and she told me that when it comes to customer service, the Filipinos remain number 1. I have to agree especially with Azalea. Their staff is well-mannered, always ready to help, always greeting us with a smile. Indeed, they are one of the reasons my stay at Azalea has been comfortable.
Before this, I’ve already read a lot about Azalea Residences from fellow bloggers. They were happy about their stay of course and have been giving the hotel high recommendation. Because those stays were sponsored, I was under the impression the positive reviews may be tainted by obligation. I was proven wrong when I experienced it myself.
Baguio offers many options for lodging from budget-friendly, such as homestays and dormitory, to more luxurious like bed & breakfasts and hotels. In those times that I visited Baguio, I never tried comfortable accommodation—and when I say comfortable I mean a hotel setting—until I was invited here. I’m the first to admit that I am willing to compromise comfort over budget, after all, when I travel, I am out wandering most of the time anyway. But I won’t deny the fact that if I’m able, I’d rather be in a lodging where I’d be treated like a queen, with good and comfortable bedding and my own bathroom. And I’m happy that I was given a chance to experience just that at Azalea. So hell yeah I am recommending it to you guys, it’s a good value for money. You can book Azalea via Agoda.