The NIX Stop: Baguio in a New Light

April 08, 2016

I've been coming to Baguio ever since I was 2 years old for the summers. I thought that I had seen it all, and that the only new thing that I would get to appreciate is the Strawberry Taho and Strawberry Ice Cream that everyone's been crazy about lately.

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Turns out I am very sorely MISTAKEN. So come with me, and let me take you to my journey of seeing Baguio in a New Light.

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First things first, when going to Baguio, you would need a place to check in for the cold nights, a place where you can snuggle and keep warm under the covers in the cool mountain breeze that Baguio brings. A place you can call not just your room, but your holiday haven, your Home, if you will.

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Azalea Hotels and Residences gave us just that, and more. Located in Leonard Wood Loop, (a few minutes walk away from Teacher's Camp), location is great as it is quite near your usual city hotspots for checking out new restaurants along the area, and even clubbing and what not. Having a 4 star rating for being the first serviced apartment- hotel in Baguio City, Azalea Baguio has the right to boast about them being your holiday haven. ;)

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We were welcomed with a very hearty lunch from their in house restaurant, Tradisyon, and they stay true to the motto of Pinoy Comfort Food.

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We were served Ginataang Kalabasa and Okra, Stir fried Squid, Chiken Inasal, Pork Sinigang and the pahabol na Kare Kare.



[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Azalea_Baguio_EOS-7578 Chicken Inasal[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Azalea_Baguio_EOS-7580 Ginataang Kalabasa at Okra[/caption]

The simplicity of this dish is what made it taste so special. No frills and stays true to it's natural veggie flavors, this Veggies in Coconut Milk is a true Comfort Food. :)

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Azalea_Baguio_EOS-7588 Stir-Fried Pusit[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Azalea_Baguio_EOS-7591 Sinigang na Baboy[/caption]

I say pahabol to the Karekare because it was given to us after everything else is already served. Thus I wasn't able to get you guys an awesome food shot like the other dishes cause I was already eating at that point.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Azalea_Baguio_EOS-7596 Carrot Cup Cake[/caption]

Dessert is presented to us in the form of a really decadent Carrot Cup Cake with walnuts and a strawberry and cream cheese topping.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="427"]Azalea_Baguio_EOS-7575 Sweet Strawberry juice to start our Azalea Baguio Summer Getaway[/caption]

They offer buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But if you want a quick drink or maybe 3, 8 Degrees Lounge is an easy access to your cocktail fix. The place is called 8 Degrees by the way in remembrance to the lowest temperature ever recorded in Baguio City, which coincidentally is 8°.

Side story: We were already late for lunch when we got there because there's a heavy traffic buildup at Kennon Road, just after you pass the Big Ole Lion Statue. Yes folks, hindi lang sa EDSA #MayForever, you can also find it sa Kennon Road going to Baguio City. XD

After that we were presented to our rooms. Azalea Residences Baguio is inspired by a ski resort lodge, with 46 Deluxe multi occupant suite rooms, 17 one bedroom, 33 two bedroom and 3 three bedroom suites. Azalea is designed for Family Fun, Group Getaway vacations, hence the fully furnished rooms with kitchen and living room facilities. Yeah guys, you can cook rice or whatever dish you fancy if you don't feel like eating out, or if you're a mom on a budget, cause they have working stoves, rice cookers and complete kitchen and dining utensils! Cooking something up by the way is a great family bonding experience!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Azalea_Baguio_EOS-7610 This is how a 2-bedroom suite looks like... :3[/caption]

Our room is a 2 bedroom suite with a back view balcony (can accommodate up to 6 adults), and we were only 4 in the room hence the big space and room for privacy. Most of their rooms have the same homey and comfy ambiance, and can accommodate a lot of people, depending on the size of the room you got.  I really love hotels that adorn white/cream walls by the way as it gives the illusion of more space and it makes me feel at peace. :) Check out this link to see the rates and how large the rooms actually are!

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Here's my cozy bedroom, fully equipped with cable tv and wifi for the guests! All I wish now is a cuddle from Pichi for my Cool Baguio nights, but I'll have to make do with the very comfy and warm pillows and comforter that they have. :3

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The lavish bathroom is not to be missed! It really surpassed my standards for being a great and awesome bathroom.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="427"]Azalea_Baguio_EOS-7607 Travel Fact: You can tell if the place you're staying at is great if you have an awesome, clean bathroom, fully equipped with working heater for the showers. ;)[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Azalea_BaguioiPhone-0209 Complimentary basket of fruits for the guests! Yay for Bananas and Strawberries! :3[/caption]

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And oh I am loving this big cozy swivel chair, perfect for just chilling and basking in the Baguio scenery. And as with most hotels in Baguio City, you don't need the A/C cause the chilly weather of the City of Pines is enough. :)

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Azalea Hotels and Residences Baguio also has a number of spacious function halls and meeting rooms for your events, valet parking and car hire service, as well as a lavish garden and a cute, spacious playground for your kids and kids at heart to enjoy!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]C360_2016-04-05-21-14-00-955 (c) OhOhLeo.blogspot.com[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]C360_2016-04-05-21-13-44-267 (c) OhOhLeo.blogspot.com[/caption]

By the way, if you're looking for more discounts, guests can call Azalea's "Tawad Hotline" 450-1151 and book their rooms. There are discounted rates and promos available depending on the day they book and the day they will stay. #FrugalMommy! ;)

But of course we can't stay long cause our day has just begun! After we got settled in our rooms, we went on to this cool place that's just a few minutes drive from Azalea, and experienced the Baguio Culture that I have never experienced before.

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Ili-Likha Artist Village is one of the true Artist places that I have come across, aside from the now closed Sev's here in Manila. Located a few steps away from Session Road, this patch of creative space in the urban Baguio is a refresher.

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Looking at it outside, I thought that it was a rundown place that's gonna fall anytime, but once inside, I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, and I'm transported into this surreal world, wherein the whole place is ONE BIG PIECE of ART. Yeah.
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You will find an array of mini cafes serving true organic dishes as they are advocates of healthy eating, and we were also welcomed by 4 artists of their own craft. We were re-introduced to the native instruments that are made from bamboo, and some from metal.
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We saw and got to know that each art is inspired by anything, and you can use practically ANYTHING to create art, even used chopping boards and other trash. It became quite personal for all of us, with so much sensory stimulants abound us.

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Personally, Artist Sirk Deuda made me realize that each and everyone of us is an artist in our chosen craft. Yes guys, even writing is a craft. ;)
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After all the excitement in Ili-Likha, we went on our artistic journey to Tam-Awan, where we got to appreciate the sunset, the cool statues, paintings and of course, more Art.

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Tam-Awan Cafe's glorious Mountain Tea was served to us to battle the cool breeze while waiting for our turn to have our portrait drawn, and got to chill down and get to know my co-bloggers and roomies some more.. The said artists who did our portraits reminded me that I still needed to finish a couple of portraits that I have pending at home... :D

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Azalea Hotels and Residences is ingenious to let us tour and experience this place. They have shown us an even deeper sight to behold than the usual Burnham or Wright park. It is quite refreshing and that alone makes it perfect for a Family Fun Weekend Getaway, or even just a great barkada group getaway bonding experience. I would definitely recommend that you stay here and experience the warm hospitality and great suites that they have. Azalea Residences and Baguio indeed holds something different for everyone, see what it has for you. :)

For more information on Azalea Hotels and Residences, you can check out their Facebook page and website here.

PS: I will post more of my Baguio Summer Adventure, as one article will be way too lengthy if I stuff it all here.

 

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20 comments

  1. I had lived in Baguio for a decade but even I get surprised of its hidden treasures.The place you stayed in looks cozy.I love the pictures! Hopefully I get to visit Baguio this summer.

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  2. This journey is so uplifting. All those dishes! I've watched the video too and what a nice music, it's so happy and energetic. I love this trip so much, I loved to see how the world is on the other side and you just took me there. Amazing post about the Azalea Hotels and Residences!

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  3. Wow Sabine, thank you so much for watching my video! I tried to capture the moments and how each place took me away from the usual urban life... Looking back, it made me want to continue the journey of traveling (with my kids this time :D ), and please expect that on the next travel posts I'll try to create more better videos than what I have done. I'm really excited as well to use a new medium for showing you guys my experiences aside from my usual photos.. Hopefully, you can get the chance to come visit here on the other side sometime, yes? :)

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  4. ili-Likha Artist Village and Tam-Awan Garden in the Sky are now a couple of the places that I would drag my parents to when we come back here... So that they can also see and feel for themselves the cultural side of baguio and not just the usual touristy spots. :)

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  5. Azalea sure did know how to treat guests like kings and queens. Its a nice option considering that they have the tawad hotline, top.

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  6. This is so lovely! I am glad you went back to try again and give it a fresh start. Your images are beautiful. And I love their philosophy of art, you can make it out of anything, inspired by anything!!

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  7. As always, I enjoy seeing photos of Baguio. By the way, it occurred to me Azalea really is much like condo living. Anyway, for anyone who has never been to Baguio, there are so many places to see. I will be back there next year I hope.

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  8. This place was beautiful! The rooms were huge and like little apartments instead of just casual place to stay. What really got me was the food! I mean, every single plate of food looked amazing. I love when you are traveling and there are places around that you can go explore like this town with all of the stores and cafes. It looked like a fun trip!

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  9. This shows me that I still have many things to explore in Baguio. I should really plan to go back there soon. I'm so impressed about your finds, I mean, I didn't even know about that Ili-Likha Artist Village. It is so cool! I wanna go there. Also in Tam-Awan village, I've never been there too.

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  10. yeah.. it's like renting out a spacious condo for you and your family. and by spacious I'm talking about around 40 sqm for their 1 bedroom suite. :)

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  11. The summer capital of the Philippines! I just read that the temperature can reach up to 51-degree C and Baguio is a great escape. All your food photos are enough for me for this visit. You explored a lot, girl! More safe travels!

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  12. I visited Baguio many times already but I haven't been to the places you posted here. What I love in the place is the weather especially when it is sunny yet cold! Hope to visit the Baguio again soonest with my daughter and hubby.

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  13. Everything looks amazing! All that food, spacious rooms.. i love how they think about children too and have a playground. And i agree with what you said about bathrooms, haha. If they have a nice bathroom you know it's going to be great :D

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  14. What a wonderful journey you embarked on and your pictures have taken me there with you! All the food you had looks incredible and the Azalea hotels and residence is so inviting! I've never heard of Baguio before and I love reading about new places

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  15. […] guests checked in Azalea Residences Baguio, they offer tour packages,like this, alongside the Artist Villages I have visited the day before for your family or group getaway. Just approach any of their staff, or ask about it when […]

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  16. Baguio was one of my first out-of-town trips, and to this day it remains one of my most cherished memories. We went to Tam-Awan Village but this is the first time I've heard of Ili-Likha Artist Village. It's like every time I read about Baguio, there's a new artsy cafe or cultural spots I haven't heard of before. Hmm.. maybe it's time to go back?

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  17. Azalea Residences indeed looks like a holiday heaven. The rooms look nice and so do the meals served.
    The wooded details look very authentic. And of course you look very happy there so I guess this place is definitely great.

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  18. We went up to Baguio a couple of times last year-after probably a decade of not visiting-and we absolutely had no clue what to do! So we ended up eating in the same old restaurants and checking out the same old stores. This blog post is pretty interesting because I haven't been to any of the places you mentioned. I'm especially interested in the Artist's village. Now I'm raring to visit again. Thanks so much!

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  19. You're welcome for the new suggestions sis! :) Hope that you get there again safely soon :)

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  20. You seem to have had a lot of fun in just one day. I would love to visit those artsy villages, they look so interesting. I like the "painting" with the two guns, I wonder what is the story behind it. The food also looks delicious!

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let me know what you think! If you have any questions, suggestions or violent reactions just comment below ;)