Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday, January 09, 2016
A private terrace of the apartel




Nothing says an iconic Baguio stay than a highland dwelling with gavel roof, clapboard sidings, and bay windows that face a bucolic view. With the passing of time, the city has become highly urbanized that updated design sensibilities contributed a noticeable difference to the new landscape 5,000 feet above sea level. Tourists can now expect to see less pine trees and cabin homes in favor of modern architecture and more restaurants.

As a result of numerous tourist-thronged spots in the area, affordable lodgings for long stays have also become quite sought-after. This is probably why the formal opening of the newly-constructed Baguio GM Apartel has never been more timely than this year. With the Panagbenga Festival happening in February and another round of summer months hitting the scene soon, the three-storey lodging is a must-book.

My booked studio unit
My booked studio unit's bed and bathroom
Baguio GM Apartel from a distance

Lodging Next To The Owners' Home

Baguio GM Apartel's name was derived from the initials of its owners' names -- a couple from Leyte and Montalban. Both had earlier chosen to form a family in the city of pines until they decided to migrate to the United States with the rest of their grown-up children. They've been coming back to the Philippines on vacations for the past few years and recently decided to convert a part of their property into a lucrative lodging for travelers. The structure is actually fronted by the family's house which evokes a homey atmosphere for guests who have managed to previously stay at the apartel's seven fully-furnished accommodations that range from studio to two-bedroom units. When approaching it from along Dahlia Street, it's the one with the brown trellis at its mini-gate.

A patch of lush pine trees a stroll away in the same neighborhood
Perfect Fit For A Budget City Tour

For part 2 of my "Benguet On A Budget" Tour (Check out part 1 here), I decided to test one of the studio units of the apartel for a layover from my hike in Itogon. I was on my last night in the city and I was looking for a decent lodging that wouldn't set me back for more than P2,000. It was the low season during my overnight stay and my body ached like hell from feeling spent trekking the province's Santa Fe Ridge the day before. Baguio GM Apartel seemed to be a perfect fit for its affordable rate. The best part is that the facility's practically new.

Fully-Furnished Units

The room's between 25 and 30 square meters and spacious for at least two guests. The addition of a couple of chairs and a table was fond enough for stashing my electronic devices although the whole space is equipped with a lot of cabinets for storing various items. Had I known that it's also designed with a stove, refrigerator, and a kitchenette, I would have bought supplies at the Baguio City Market. Thankfully, though, I was able to spend memorable meals with the apartel's owners next door as they were in the city during my stay.

The apartel's common terrace for splendid city views
Sunset view from the apartel's third floor
The loft-type two-bedroom unit
Loft-type space of the two-bedroom unit

Elevated Location For Splendid Views

My booked studio unit's located on the ground floor but the whole property sits next to a sloping terrain so the common terrace from my doorway provided me an elevated view of the city. Since the lodging address (lower Scout Barrio) is basically part of Camp John Hay, the view I had was accentuated by lush pine trees. Sunset over Mount Santo Tomas was romantic while I consider sunrise to be best experienced at the third floor where another common terrace is accessible for guests.

For rooms that have a private terrace, I recommend the loft-type two-bedroom unit at the third floor

Room Rates and More

For rooms that have a private terrace, I recommend the loft-type two-bedroom unit at the third floor. Guests can also choose from a couple of one-bedroom units with one that's highly considered for couples for having a discreet layout.

A view of Mount Santo Tomas from the apartel
(top) The owners' home fronting the apartel; (bottom) Facade of the apartel
Room rates range from P1,500 to P3,000 (low season) and P2,000 to P3,500 (peak season). Studio rates are good for two guests. Two-bedroom rates are good for a total of four guests. An additional person costs P200 per night.

With the reliable comfort of a modern home, Baguio GM Apartel is easily a better choice in Baguio City than rickety inns where I've encountered friends to have lost stuff from robbers in the past. It's also unlike standard hotels at the city proper where road noise is unbearable. The quiet neighborhood of old Scout Barrio (lower) where it's located is just a stroll away from Camp John Hay, so the highland vibe is not lost in the presence of lush pine trees. The new apartel is definitely worth coming back to for my revisit of Benguet soon.

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
Mobile: 0999-471-0377
US Phone: 907-717-8272

Check out my other Baguio City posts:

+ Dining Over Spanish Dishes at Te Quiero
+ The Two Faces of Baguio City
+ Visiting The Bell House and Amphitheater
+ Mine's View Park Then and Now
+ Snacking At Choco-Late De Batirol
+ Baguio City Stopover Before Sagada

More Photos Below:

The view from the third floor terrace
The apartel's other units
The second floor terrace

The ground floor terrace

My booked studio unit's kitchenette


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