Friday, May 30, 2014

Mines View Park, Baguio City

Your Baguio City trip will never be complete without visiting Mines View park.  This is so far the most popular and the most visited park in the city. Just looking at the panoramic view of the gold and copper mines and the surrounding mountains from the observation deck, you will already experience a spectacular sight that will surely give you an unforgettable experience visiting Baguio.

My daughter at the observation deck 

We had fun posing for photos while wearing the Igorot costumes.  This is my second time in Baguio but I failed to do this during my first visit which took place many years ago.  We have rented the costumes from the old Igorot Folks for Php20 per set which includes all the accessories and you can pose for unlimited shots using your own cameras.

family photo at the observation deck till you drop!

There's nothing much to see at Mines View Park actually except for that captivating scene which could be seen from the observation deck and those shops selling souvenir items.  One thing good about visiting Baguio is that you can never ran out of souvenirs which I considered already cheap compared to items I bought from other places we've visited.  I wished that I could have bought more actually but in as much as I would like to buy many "walis tambo" that could last for 3 years, sweets, strawberries and veggies, we could only afford to bring home what could fit in in our 2 extra luggage bags.

Until now, I am still hoping that I could go back to Baguio for few more times as I didn't have enough of what's supposed to be seen and bought (lol).

We've visited few more places which I would feature in my future posts.  

Please do come back for more updates on our Baguio trip! :)


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wright Park, Baguio City

After taking some photos at The Mansion House, our next stop was at The Wright Park which is just very near to The Mansion.  The proximity of these famous landmarks to our hotel made us decide to consider going to these places first before exploring other famous tourist spots in Baguio.  There's nothing much special about this place actually.  All that you can see are vendors selling silver jewelries, souvenir items and plants in pots which I find very cheap.  I've managed to buy 3 varieties and wished that I could buy more but we have to limit our baggage as it is very hard to carry loads of things when you're just commuting.

Aside from these vendors selling interesting stuff, all you can find are photo booths renting Igorot costumes for about Php10 to Php20 for unlimited shots.  You could also take time out to ride a horse for about Php200 per 30 mins. I did not ride the horse, I just let hubby and my daughter to enjoy the ride while me and my son went around the place for sight seeing and to buy some souvenir items and plants.

If you are interested to have some photos wearing the Igorot costumes, you better have it here as it is cheaper at Php10 per costume compared to Mines View Park which is Php20 per costume.

We left the place after an hour.  There's nothing much to see there anyway except for those horses (lol). There's no entrance fee though so I guess the place  is still worth visiting and by the way, we were able to have a taste of their Strawberry Taho there which I've found a bit sweet.

For the experience, I would still suggest to include this place in your trip itinerary when you visit Baguio. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Mansion House at Baguio City

The Mansion House known as the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines located along Romulo Drive right in front of Wright Park is one of the most visited tourist spots in Baguio.  Since the hotel that I booked is just walking distance to these two land marks, The Mansion was the first place we have visited on our second day In Baguio.  We arrived quite late on our first day, past 5 PM so we just had dinner at Solibao Restaurant located at Burnham Park and the rest of the night was spent in our hotel room.

It was our first morning at Baguio and we were welcomed by the cool breeze while we wlak our way to the Mansion.  It was just a short stop though as the guard did not allow any of the tourists to go near the building.  I wonder if it's not the rule before but anyway, we just contented ourselves posing for photos in front of the building near to the main gate.  

It was often said that the main gate of the mansion is a replica of that of the Buckingham palace in London, England.  The building was originally built in 1908 but was later rebuilt and improved in 1947.

A place worth visiting when you are in Baguio.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review of Albergo Hotel Baguio City

Our Baguio vacation was finally over!  I had been doing our trip itinerary even before hubby arrived home for his much awaited vacation.  I had a difficulty finding an appropriate hotel for us.  There were so many recommendations from friends.  Some said it's better to stay in a transient house as it is more economical. Some said, there are lots of affordable hotels within the heart of Baguio so staying in a hotel would be much more convenient.  Since it's summer, it's quite difficult to book a hotel because around 90% of the good ones were already fully booked. I normally book through Agoda for our trips locally and abroad, so for the nth time, I've decided to book again through Agoda.

After much dilly dally, I still decided to book for a hotel room instead of a transient house. Getting a transient house is much more economical, that's true and you can even cook your own foods if you want. But hey, we are there for a vacation and that means total relaxation so would I still be cooking meals away from home? Hmmm, that seems to be not a good idea.  Buying foods from the wet market and cooking meals at the transient house will be a total waste of time for us.  I should reserve my cooking expertise in my own home sweet home, don't you think so?

So here I am, going through all the hotel selection right at the heart of Baguio City but duh I can't find a good one in the central area.  Almost all are fully booked and it's quite hard to find a hotel which accomodates 4 persons in a room.  Yes, you heard it right, my older kids don't want to have a separate room as they want a total and complete family bonding.  Ahh, that's what I love in them, they're so sweet and would never cease to be our babies. (lol)

Okay, let's go back to business, here is my Albergo Hotel Review:  

As I've mentioned earlier, central Baguio hotels are fully booked, so I managed to get one to my liking from an area a bit outside the city proper but just around 10 mins drive from the city.  It's actually a few meters away from "Mansion House" and "The Wright Park".  This hotel is located inside a commercial building comprising of a condominium, shops and offices.  I guess, it's fully secured and that's a plus factor.

As the hotel is situated a bit off the city proper, you could expect a peaceful sleep.  It's so quiet in there and away from busy streets.

To be honest, I didn't expect that the hotel room is that big and spacious.  Beds are just of a right size (can accommodate two persons each) and the entire room including the beddings and pillows are clean.   

The comfort room is just of the average size but it's clean and is equipped with a water heater both in the lavatory and inside the shower area.  Water pressure is strong, the only downside is the flooring inside the shower room as it easily gets flooded when the shower is continuously running.  It can be tolerated though.

We have a seating area by the window and a small dining table for two.  We have bed side tables and lamps, a cabinet and an extra shelves to put our personal belongings.

We also have a writing desk where the LCD TV is placed.  A comfortable office chair is provided and I actually used this chair when watching TV at night.  The desk is also perfect if you want to use your laptop. However, free wifi is only provided at the floor lobby and every floor is equipped with a different password. Bringing a laptop in this case would not be so ideal and I've made a good decision of just bringing my tablet. 

at the hotel hallway

outside the hotel lobby

My daughter Mika having a rest after a tiring day of travel.

At 8th floor lobby

Photos below were taken at the main hotel lobby.

Hotel provided basic amenities such as towels and towelettes, foot rags inside the bathroom, toot brush, hair shampoo and conditioner,soap, slippers, glasses and coffee cups.  They just gave us sets of coffee and creamer on the first day though.  The following days, we have to provide our own.  There is a hot and cold water dispenser at the floor lobby which is just few steps away from our room so it's really convenient when you want to make coffee anytime of the day and we have saved a lot buying bottled water. There is also a daily news paper provided at the floor lobby for the hotel guests billeted on that floor.

Check in/check out is quite fast and easy and I can vouch for the hotel staff's hospitality and courteousness. I love the fact that they would greet you every time they see you around the hotel area.  

The hotel also provides complimentary breakfast for two and that's what seemed to be questionable for me. Why provide only two where they knew that we have booked for 4 people.  Anyway, that could be tolerated though as not all of us wants to have breakfast anyway.  Housekeeping staff would clean your rooms and replenish the bathroom amenities but you have to put the sign at the door, otherwise, they would not and that's understandable as there are some hotel guests who simply don't want to be disturbed. 

Overall, we had a pleasant stay at Albergo Hotel and I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to my friends when they visit Baguio.

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