Cicadas ruled the night as our van dropped us at Baguio City’s newest luxury hotel, the Azalea Residences. A slight breeze started and the pines chorused along with a soft whisper. I looked up and regarded my abode for the night; it was definitely a thousand times better than where I slept the previous night.
As we walked towards the hotel’s grand lobby, I ruminated how thankful I was that the PTB and Azalea guys welcomed and adopted me without question even for just a night. I wasn’t really supposed to be part of this crew but they were kind enough to let me in the group after relating my lonesome stay at the AKAP dormitel.
To be fair to the dormitel, their rates are more than fair for the accommodations they offer. In contrast, judging even just from Azalea’s fireplace-heated waiting area, I can surmise that I can’t probably afford this hotel’s rate if I was just backpacking through Baguio by myself.
The hotel staff were all very courteous and immediately took care of our belongings, quickly carting them to my companions’ room. Which I guess is also my room now. I just can’t believe my luck. First, a free ticket to Baguio City, and now free accommodation at a swanky hotel!
Our room, or should I say suite, was much more than I have imagined. It was probably twenty times as big as my previous room. It has two regular bedrooms, a master bedroom with its own toilet and bath, a kitchen complete with cooking utensils, a living area with a huge flatscreen TV and an outdoor deck. The only thing missing really was a view of the city.
I checked the toilet and yes, hot shower! At last! I can’t feel my fingertips the last time I took a shower at my dorm. The fixtures were all sparklingly clean and modern; their toiletries would probably delight even the pickiest lady out there.
All the beds in the suite were already taken that night, but who am I really to complain. Azalea’s sofa can be converted into a soft bed so I was cool with that. Besides, the thought of not sleeping alone on an eerily deserted dormitel was comfort enough for me.
But before retiring for the night, we had a little drinking session at the suite’s breakfast nook. We raided the ref for beers and made do with whatever snacks was around for pulutan. I have only known these guys from the web. It was really my first time to meet any of them, so it was a good way to re-acquaint ourselves in real life.
The next morning, the Azalea Residences peeps showed us around the hotel, letting us peak into other rooms available. I personally love their Deluxe Bedroom. I actually like it better than the suite since it’s more compact, perfect for couples enjoying a quick get-away in Baguio.
I also love the fact that it has a better view than the suites. I can just imagine how the surrounding mountains would look during sunset, and of course everything would probably be lit up come evening. A uniquely Baguio spectacle which would be perfect while sipping a cup of coffee in the balcony.
As we were about to go for a second round of the Panagbenga Festival, I noticed the soaring ceiling at the hotel lobby. It was beautifully decorated with gigantic flowers carved from wood; azaleas ascending towards the sky.
The morning sun warmly greeted us as we all went out. The buzz of the cicadas were gone, replaced by the cheery chirps of mountain birds. I had a good night at the Azalea Residences; it can definitely pass as a second home while in Baguio City. Well, actually, better than a second home if I really have to be honest about it.
MY SINCEREST GRATITUDE TO AZALEA RESIDENCES FOR SPONSORING THIS PART OF MY BAGUIO TRIP