Looking for a place to unwind in Benguet? Make your way to Camp John Hay’s Le Monet Hotel, where a quiet getaway awaits
“You have reached your destination.” I was roused from my sleep by Waze’s announcement that we had arrived at Le Monet Hotel. Thanks to our awesome driver and the relatively new expressways, we had arrived at the hotel two hours earlier than we expected, and because the team was asleep for the most part, we alighted from the van still not fully awake, squinting at the morning sunlight.
Despite our groggy state, the staff had smiles ready for us as they took our bags and ushered us into the lobby. The check-in staff was also gracious enough to provide us with access to their WiFi connection as we signed the obligatory check-in forms.
Because we had arrived early, we had time to explore the area before checking-in, and Le Monet’s location inside Camp John Hay made it the ideal base while in Baguio. An outlet store is just a short walk away, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafés in the area that guests are spoilt for choice.
We settled on having breakfast at Choco-Late De Batirol, which is also inside the camp itself. For locations further away, the hotel has partnered with Grab Philippines to help their guests move around the city.
What first struck me about our room was the fact that it wasn’t air-conditioned. Of course, who needs air-conditioning when you have Baguio’s weather to cool you? To let the Baguio weather in, I opened the glass doors leading to the balcony, and as I did, I was greeted with a gorgeous view of the garden of the hotel along with its towering trees.
Waiting for us at the beds was a bathrobe each, as if inviting us to put them on and just chill and relax in our rooms the whole day. To complete the welcome experience, a plate of chocolate chip cookies was also waiting for us in our rooms, delivered fresh from the Le Monet Bakery. The cookies are both chewy and crisp, with chips that are as chocolatey as they can get. They were so good that I didn’t even realize I had finished my share already.
It was a good thing that the chocolate chip cookies were also available at The Lobby’s breakfast buffet spread, and as we stayed for two nights, I ended both breakfasts with those delectable delights. But it wasn’t just the cookies that are note-worthy in the spread.
The juicy but crisp bacon is best paired with the margarine rice, and a side of congee is also available to warm your body up. But if you can only have a light breakfast, go for the eggs benedict. The made-to-order breakfast staple will give you an idea of all the effort and care The Lobby puts into the food it serves. The Lobby is actually an all-day dining restaurant, so you can also enjoy lunch and dinner here.
During our stay in the hotel, I found that there was always someone from the staff nearby in case any assistance is needed. There was always someone to help carry your bags, hold open the car door for you, lead you to the swimming pool, or even just help you figure out how the Handy works.
A smartphone and an in-room hotel guide rolled into one, the Handy is provided to hotel guests to help them explore Baguio beyond Le Monet. Guests can bring the Handy smartphone with them as they go around the city. It comes with free internet access, and we used it to help us navigate the city with Waze. I imagine it would be super useful to foreign guests, as you can also make unlimited local and international calls with it, as well as browse through the city guide. Le Monet is actually the first hotel to have the Handy in the country.
Baguio may be known for its cold weather, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a relaxing dip! Le Monet Hotel’s indoor pool is tempered so you can still enjoy a swim. Because not a lot of people think of Baguio as a place to swim at, I found the pool empty on my visit and enjoyed a quiet and undisturbed morning dip.
We had to check out an hour earlier than the allotted time (which was 12 PM) so we could make it back to Manila early evening. We returned our keys, and after signing off on some forms, we were on our van to Manila in no time.
Baguio is known to Filipinos for its cool weather and tall trees and Le Monet Hotel is one of the best places in the area to stay and take that all in. You’ll wake up to a cool breeze and gorgeous views every morning, which you can follow with a hearty breakfast at The Lobby before exploring the rest of Baguio. What more can one ask for? I would definitely recommend it especially if you’re after a relaxing retreat.