I cannot believe that I’d be staying at Baguio City’s premier hotel for one night.
I always fancy staying at The Manor every time we visit the City of Pines, but its rates are too steep for mere mortals like us. We’d usually just saunter in their lobby, checking out the fireplace, the quirky political chess pieces at one of its nooks, then head over the gardens at the back for some photos.
The air was chilly as we alighted from our Lakbay Norte bus and unloaded our baggage at the hotel foyer. Warm lights illuminated the expansive wood-paneled lobby, the blazing central fireplace warming the nippy Camp John Hay night coming in from the hotel’s open doors.
Designed by Architect Ruben Payumo, the four-star hotel is instantly recognizable with its Canadian fir logs façade. It sits on a hilltop, the former location of the camp’s main clubhouse, emulating a classic European Manor towering over the land.
I found a welcome letter on my bed as I plunked my bags down. I munched on the complimentary cookies as I read the personalized letter with my name on it, really nice touch.
The room was beautiful as I expected; soft fluffy beds, plush sofa, huge flatscreen TV and spacious and clean toilet. The décor was simple, muted yellow and white walls dashed with splashes of orange for accents. The lighting was warm and inviting. Being in Baguio, there was no need for air-conditioning.
Although everything was perfect, there was only one thing that didn’t really clicked with me though; it doesn’t look like The Manor. I was expecting something that resembles the log cabin look of its exterior and lower floors, but there wasn’t one hint of their famous façade inside their rooms.
A tour of the premises was in order after we were all settled. From the spacious lobby, we were herded to artwork-lined hallways, their sweets shop, the dining halls and their suites. I love how they preserved their pinewood interiors; wood should be wood and there shouldn’t be a reason to paint over it. It is a beautiful material, and I’m glad The Manor shows it all off in all its grainy glory.
I also learned that I don’t have to be a rich baron to stay here, for just Php2,500.00++, I can book a room for two here during their off-peak season. Sweet!
The night was capped with a three-course dinner consisting of ratatouille soup, U.S. beef short plate in red wine shallot sauce and strawberry flambé for dessert. Whew, the names of rich-folk dishes are so complicated! Everything looked expensive and they most probably were.
Dinner was held at the open lanai facing the magically lit back garden of The Manor. Infused with multitude of stories, non-stop teasing and healthy dose of laughter, our meal lasted for two whole hours.
The cold evening air was already making its way through our thick sweaters as we finished our dessert.
Years after laying eyes on this huge log cabin of a hotel in the middle of the pine-laden Camp John Hay, it was finally time for me to bed down at The Manor.
The Manor at Camp John Hay
Camp John Hay
Loakan Road, Baguio City
Telephone: (074) 424-0931 to 43 | (074) 424-0945 to 47 | (074) 424-0950 to 53 local 1003/1004
Email Address: email@example.com
GPS Coordinates: 16.40059,120.617716 | Click to view location on Google Maps