Baguio City’s holiday haven
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte
Weaving the past and the present in its intricate and undulating terrain, Baguio City is the highland hideaway where exotic beauty continues to enchant visitors from across the globe. Hundreds of kilometers away from metropolitan Manila, and touted as the highest elevated city in the archipelago, Baguio rises from the clouds as a dynamic and sparkling gem across the mountain ranges of the Sierra Madre. It has become the perfect getaway, all year round.
The refreshing atmosphere of the country’s summer capital is brought to the fore with the spacious and stylish rooms of the newly-opened Azalea Residences Hotel. Exhibiting convenience in its six-storey contemporary log-cabin inspired architecture, the traditional character of the Philippines shines through in its design and décor.
“We have three basement level parking spaces that can accommodate 60 vehicles. We have 99 room units to choose from - 46 deluxe studios, 17 one-bedroom suites, 33 two-bedroom suites and 3 three-bedroom suites. There’s a multi-purpose tent that serves as our events hall that seats 250 covers. Azalea is managed by Enable Management, an entity that builds horizontal developments in the Visayas and Mindanao areas. Our team enables hotel owners. We partner with upstarts who want to go into the hotel business and who want them professionalized with quality services and amenities, though small. We provide the science to services so the execution is calculated,” shared general manager Elisa Escobar.
As the Pine City’s very first premier vacation residence hotel, Azalea Residences Baguio offers the style and comfort of a deluxe serviced apartment ideal for a family vacation, leisure getaway or business travel. All of its guest rooms are furnished with a kitchenette, dining and living area facilities for utmost flexibility and comfort of every stay, may it be short or long.
“Our units are sizeable because they’re meant for families, as they always come in groups,” continued the very amiable GM, while touring us around the hotel’s facilities.
Azalea is a premier vacation club that aspires to give its members holiday ownership with world-class facilities at the fraction of the cost. “Azalea is the hotel that would offer the brand of convenience and amenities of top international brands yet maintaining the natural texture and traditional character of the Philippines at a very affordable rate. We are the first hotel to have a driver’s lounge. We know how tired chauffeurs can get, they need to rest too! We have beds and phones in the lounge so drivers need not sleep in the car. At best, they are made comfortable and ready for the next driving assignment,” intoned chief operating officer Dulah Lipardo.
If visitors come to Baguio to have fun, Azalea Residences has unfolded a veritable menu of niceties to settle in – cook, watch films or the boob-tube, surf the Net, or basically just laze around. After all, vacations are meant to be the complete opposite of one’s normal daily grind.
The thing to make any Baguio vacation complete is to enjoy it with kith & kin. The cool climate makes warm bonding moments with loved ones even more special. And should the family or barkada decide to explore the city more, they can rely on the hotel’s travel concierge to arrange tours of their fancy.
“Our aim is to open hotels and resorts in various key tourist destinations that the whole family could enjoy. We are promoting the Filipino culture of togetherness. You come to Baguio to relax and unwind. We help you achieve that objective with our amenities. Even those who have to squeeze in some time for work have nothing to worry about. We have a business center and the Wi-Fi connection is free, inside and outside the rooms,” Lipardo shared.
For honeymooners in particular, the studio unit is ideal. “It gives them privacy, is not cramped, and has enough space for occupants to enjoy the place,” she added.
The in-house restaurant, Tradisyon, offers local dishes and Pinoy comfort food. After dining, guests can check out the bar lounge, 8 Degrees, for a quick nightcap or take some time sampling alcoholic concoctions while enjoying music from a live acoustic band. “A personal chef can cook for you. Just give him the resources to procure the ingredients needed and he will whip up a good meal for you right in your kitchenette! And for those who love to cook themselves, the rooms’ kitchen gadgets – pots, pans, refs, microwave ovens, and stoves – should do the trick,” quipped Lipardo.
Azalea Residences location is an ideal holiday-goer’s spot. Just five minutes away from Session Road, the hotel has enough for guests to enjoy the convenience of being near the city’s most happening places, as well as the peace and quiet of being tucked along a secure private road. Perched on top of a hilly nook, guests will find the quietness of the place even more relaxing.
Its timeshare vacation club membership is highly recommended for frequent travelers. “Azalea is into the timeshare market. We’re currently offering timeshare privileges on a special promotion. That’s seven free overnight stays annually for every timeshare bought. It’s a very sensible idea especially that the holidays are forthcoming. Timeshare owners can always stay in their preferred units as long as they inform the front office in advance. What’s more is that our timeshares are perpetual and can be passed on to other people unlike most that runs only for 50 years and are non-transferable.
“Aside from Baguio, we have vertical Azalea properties in Puerto Princesa (Palawan), another in San Juan, two in Makati City and soon in Boracay’s Station 2. We opened last February. And since we’re affiliated with RCI, this allows our holders to use their timeshares in other member countries,” GM Elisa said in closing.
Azalea Residences is affiliated with Resort Condominium International (RCI), the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world’s largest full-service vacation rentals business, providing access to more than 85,000 vacation properties in approximately 100 countries. Azalea Residences Hotel is nicely tucked along the Leonard Wood Loop in the Pine City’s Brgy. M. Roxas district. For more details, simply visit their Web site, www.azalea.com.ph, or call their Manila office through tel. nos. 579-4894 and 579-4890.