H I G H L A N D
V A C A T I O N
Anybody's who's enjoyed a Baguio City vacation returned to this side of Benguet and stayed not just for overnight but for more than that. The case is true with me who have long considered the city of pines my getaway since I first spent my summer vacation there as a child. It became a tradition for me and my little brother to stay with my cousins in the urbanized highlands of the province until early high school. And for my most recent revisit as an adult, a long stay at a residential district in the city demanded a lodging that responded well to my need for a home away from home. My choice of accommodation was the relatively new Baguio GM Apartel that's located in the laid-back community of Lower Scout Barrio. I've stayed there once late last year anyway, so a revisit was basically a homecoming.
Check out my previous stay at Baguio GM Apartel here.
Baguio GM Apartel was an easy choice for being just 5 minutes away from the nearest bus terminal (Victory Liner). It's also about the same distance from the tourist-thronged Session Road. What's more, it's just next to Camp John Hay where most pine trees still stand. As a result, the area is still chilly in the middle of the day and you can still have a whiff of that pine tree scent anywhere in the area unlike in the congested side of the city where it's starting to smell like toxic Metro Manila. At the common veranda, guests can also appreciate a mountain view of Baguio (Mount Santo Tomas) which is unlikely to happen at a modern hotel at the city proper. There's less road noise any time of the day and taxi cabs are easy to hail from the corner of the main road and Dahlia Street where the apartel is accessible.
|Baguio GM Apartel|
|The Studio Unit's kitchenette|
|Viewing Camp John Hay from my booked Studio Unit's private veranda|
|The charming pathway to the apartel|
Home Away From Home
Designed by a retired US navy officer, the lodging is modern yet homey in aesthetic. Since he frequented remote places worldwide during his service in the navy, he was always conscious when it came to making his dwelling a place that he could call home. Now that he's spending much of his time in Baguio, he has transformed the structure next to his family's house into a lodging that's seamless design-wise with the adjacent home.
Great For Long Stays In Baguio
Decked with no-frills fixtures, each guestroom is complete in itself with several cabinets for personal stuff, comfortable bed, TV with cable access, refrigerator for supplies, WiFi access, a kitchenette with stove and spacious bathroom for hot and cold showers. Each room also has wall paint that doesn't distract from one's pleasant vacation mode. The interiors may be devoid of the typical cabin-in-the-woods appeal, but it's for a purpose because it's meant to remind a guest that staying indoors need not be dreadful.
|The view of Baguio City from the apartel's common veranda|
|The apartel's common veranda|
|Our booked Studio Unit|
Each room is a cross between a typical home and a well-appointed hotel room which means that any guest can find it easy to settle into and yet attractive for extended sleep and relaxation. Long stays can finally be affordable in this part of the city since there are a lot of new attractions to visit per day.
Testing The Studio Unit
I stayed with a friend for a couple of nights at one of the lodging's Studio Units. Fortunately, it has a private veranda that has a view of the city's remaining lush greenery that is Camp John Hay. I found the unit to be spacious and perfect for a family with kids. Since each room has a kitchenette, I had the chance to visit the nearby Baguio City Public Market for supplies as I decided to prepare meals indoors at a specific time of our stay. Kitchenware and utensils can be borrowed from the owner's home that's adjacent to the lodging.
|The Coffee Library|
|Masa Mexitalian Grub|
For breakfast, we hied off to Camp John Hay where it's just a couple of minutes away by private car or taxi. When we got the chance to scope the city, we dined at two relatively new dining destinations, namely The Coffee Library that's along Upper Bonifacio St. and Masa Mexitalian Grub that's located in Trancoville.
Staying at Baguio GM Apartel did not just remind me of my childhood summers in the city when the entire Baguio was still less congested and still looked attractive with age-old trees. It's a prevailing reality in this side of the city which is thankfully being preserved by locals themselves.
|Strawberries at the Baguio City Public Market|
|Baguio City Public Market|
|Camp John Hay|
Guests who plan to stay at Baguio GM Apartel can take advantage of its lean season promo rate of 20% discount on standard rates.
Baguio GM Apartel
Official Facebook fan page of Baguio GM Apartel
Address: 76 Dahlia Street, Scout Barrio (lower), Camp John Hay, Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines
Baguio City Phone: (74) 424-9098
US Phone: 907-717-8272
Check out these recommended restaurants for dining in Baguio City:
• The Coffee Library
• Masa Mexitalian Grub
More Photos Below:
|The view from my booked Studio Unit's private veranda|
|Baguio GM Apartel's Studio Unit|
|American breakfast at Camp John Hay|
|Baguio Longganisa breakfast at Camp John Hay|
|Baguio City Public Market|
|Stacks of tinapa at the Baguio City Public Market|
|Other guestroom type|
|Common veranda of the apartel|
|Sunset-viewing at the apartel|