The Manor at Camp John Hay : The BEST!
There is really so much to love and appreciate about Baguio City. Blessed with a bounty of beauty and populated by friendly folk… Baguio remains always exciting, leaving you always wanting to return.
Last June, I was blessed to have the chance to spend a couple of days to get to know Baguio a little more. The trip was just so memorable, that no matter where I go, there’s always that feeling of being homesick because I have somehow considered Baguio as my 2nd home.
Sometimes, friends and readers ask me why I keep going back because they think, there’s really nothing more to see aside from the same old parks, restos, strawberries and ube jam. So in response to those who are saying that there’s nothing new to discover in Baguio, I listed down things which I dearly miss that makes me wanna go back to the City of Pines.
1. Ili-Likha Artists Center – Along Assumption Road near the famous Session Road is a place unlike no other. My visit here was quite unplanned. I was invited by my friend Karen and Christina coz they said we should check this place out because they heard this place was a food haven built within an old tree….
the enchanting main entrance…
We never thought that tiny entrance would lead us to colorful winding staircases..
and yes it is indeed built within an old tree. Looks so surreal and magical!
The whole place consisted of various food stalls each with their own specialty and the great news is that, they are all super affordable! Here’s what we had:
Pasta Bolognese made with fresh tomatoes and herbs
tuna filled crepes… the bomb!! MUST TRY!
2. Amare La Cucina for the Best Pizza
I consider myself really lucky to discover this place! Thanks to that sudden pizza craving, it got me asking friends on where I could find the best one in Baguio. If I remember right, I even walked for almost half a day, checking out random places. I’m familiar with some known Italian places, but I couldn’t just settle for “the usual” coz I knew that if I’ll be patient enough, I’ll eventually find what I’m looking for. While walking, I received a text from a friend telling me I should try out the pizza at Amare la Cucina because it was made fresh from an authentic brick oven. oooohhh!! Fortunately, my location then was only a few steps away from their resto.
And when I arrived, this was what I saw….
Here are Amare la Cucina, you can even make the pizza yourself! Super fun!!
their brick oven is so hot that your pizza will be ready in only 2 mins!!
simply the best!!
Aside from their pizzas, I also recommend their drool worthy baked ribs!!
also, for the ultimate Amare la Cucina experience, you MUST try their Nutella Pizza with caramelized walnuts and vanilla gelato. OMG I miss this soooo much!
Ahhhhhhh….. I can only think of happy heart warming thoughts whenever I think about The Forest Lodge and The Manor in Camp John Hay. For me, they are simply the 2 places which provide the ultimate Baguio Experience. Safe, charming, with enough space to breath and a bounty of flowers and trees to keep you relaxed and inspired… I just can’t get enough of this place. No wonder I always keep coming back and recommend them to friends and readers whenever they ask me for my recommended hotel.
4. Ketchup Food Community – every Baguio visitor I believe MUST visit this place which is situated near Wright Park. It’s an area with about 5 restos specializing in a partcular cuisine. In satisfying your every craving, you’ll never go wrong with this place I swear! I will surely go back to try out their other restos.
5. Baguio Craft Brewery – Since I arrived in Baguio, I noticed that almost everyone I met, mentioned I should check out the newly opened Baguio Craft Brewery. These people who told me seemed to be so proud by the fact that Baguio is now brewing its very own beer. I thought, maybe I can invite Frank there on our next trip but when Amare la Cucina owners Ed and Nikka invited me, I just had to say yes!
It was during my visit here at Baguio Craft Brewery where I got to appreciate beer more. I’m not much of a beer fan, but when I tasted my 1st sample, it was waaaay way different from the common brands. Here at Baguio Craft Brewery, you don’t need to be a beer connoisseur to enjoy them. If you want to know more about beers, this is actually a really good place to start. From the way on how Sir Chris told us all about how the beers are made, it shows in its taste that they were brewed passionately with much love and care. And as from what I’ve witnessed and tasted that night, I believe Baguio City will soon be also known as a place which produces great beer!
As you can see in the photo below, they offer a wide variety of brews as well as a guide for you to choose your preferred flavor.
You may also ask them for a free taste if you’re unsure on what to drink. My favorites were their DALOM and “Message in a Bottle”
I was able to taste most of the flavors but at the end, I picked a pint of DALOM! Super sarap!
OOOhhhh also, when at Baguio Graft Brewery, never ever ask for ICE as they are all served with a perfect temperature!
6. Sizzling Nguso at PETS Eatery by the bus station
After enjoying the beers over at Baguio Craft Brewery, my friends invited me to try Baguio’s Sizzling Nguso (pig snout) located at the back of the bus station near SM Baguio. The place looked like a typical carinderia and I never expected that I would find such an exotic dish right there at 3am! It was definitely a worthy experience and every serving is only for P70!!
7. Bikram Yoga at The Manor
– When I read a poster announcement about Bikram Yoga inside the elevator at The Forest Lodge, I was super elated! Been wanting to try Bikram Yoga for the longest time and I didn’t expect I’d find it in Baguio! I immediately called the front office to reserve me a slot. They have 2 sessions daily (7am and 6pm) for only P350/ session. There, you’ll get to meet the super kind yogi Tessie Anderson who will guide through the practice. I really miss her sessions and when I return, I will definitely attend again!
– If you love relaxing spas and detox treatments, then never miss the chance to visit Elements of Zen Spa located at Albergo Hotel and try their Zen Detox Therapy!
Look for the beautiful Ms. Christina, the pioneer of the Zen Detox Therapy here in the Philippines!
Her Zen Detox Therapy is unlike anything I’ve tried. At first, I thought it was just a common ventosa treatment, but this one used 100% pure silicon cups which absorbs toxins in your body during the treatment. Instead of using hands, they will use 2 silicon cups and gently glide them over your muscles..the result is of course a feeling of zen and you can also see the absorbed toxins after the treatment. I also recommend you try their instant non invasive face-lift.
9. Coffee and Snacks at Cafe by the Ruins – This place may not be new, but I always look forward in visiting Cafe by the Ruins whenever I go to Baguio. The food and ambiance is simply superb! Such a charming place! If you still haven’t been here, there you are truly missing out!
10. Blueberry Cheesecake at Vizco’s – Vizco’s I believe is already an institution in Baguio due to their signature Strawberry Shortcakes and other tempting delights. Their Strawberry Shortcake is indeed a must try but during my last visit, I had one of the best Blueberry Cheesecakes I’ve ever tasted and when I go back, I will definitely indulge once again!
Vizco’s signature Strawberry Shortcake
One of the BEST Blueberry Cheesecakes ever!!
These fine discoveries indeed made me fall in-love with Baguio all the more. The great news is, according to my friends, there are still a lot more to discover!
Next time you visit Baguio City, cross out the usual stuff in your itinerary and try these instead and I guarantee you’d go back home with satisfied tummies and hearts filled with new experiences and tales to tell.
Do you have other recommendations in Baguio? Please feel free to write them on the comments below so I can also visit them next time. =)