pusang kalye

I don't just blog travel, I live it.

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DISCLAIMER: Don't be deceived by the photos. I can take good ones. Pay attention to the story behind the pictures. Also take note that it was a chill weekend for me and fun time with my friends. All the things discussed in this blog post is a result of thinking about the experience deeply, and evaluating it logically. Also, be aware that Baguio Country Club has its own market -- upper class, middle to old age groups, well off families. The policies they have in the hotel for members and non-members are aligned with their vision of giving service on importance of exclusivity and their sales and marketing all aligned to it. This is just a personal view. To each his own. Each experience is unique depending on circumstances.
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The First and Only 5-Star Mountain Resort in the Philippines located in Baguio City has more than a 100-year history on its sleeves since its establishment in 1905. The hotel has  114 deluxe rooms, 15 Deluxe Suites, 19 well - appointed Executive Suites, three (3) Presidential Suites and 15 European style cottages. All rooms have a lanai that offers a choice of views - lush mountain vistas, breathtaking view of the golf course or view of the cottages.

In their Facebook page, it states ---
"The first hundred years of the Baguio Country Club is truly a milestone; for the history of the Philippines and the Cordilleras are incomplete without mention of the Club’s own history".

CONTACTS:
Email: customer_services@bcc.com.ph
Website: http://www.bcc.com.ph
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/baguiocountryclub/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/baguiocountryclubph

While it is admittedly a good hotel, I will not use the word "great", and I admire and respect its history, there are a few faults I see that may not be good for stay if you are not a club member.

1. Booking is a Hassle
Try to find them in booking sites and good luck! They are not listed in any. They have Makati Office for Manila and Manila buildup area residents. If you live in other parts of the country, good luck. And they rarely join travel fairs. It so happen that my friend is a member of PHILTOA so he received a newsletter of a promotion sale thus we were able to stay here.

According to their website;
"Room accommodation at the Club is on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to the following rules:
A. If a member or guest wishes to book a room, he/she may call the Reservations Department at (074) 619-2050 local 1 or email reservations_baguio@bcc.com.ph
B. The member or guest will receive a confirmation slip whenever rooms are available. The confirmation slip is sent to them through fax or e-mail. Such slip must be sent back via fax or email after the confirmation has been signed by the member or guest to reconfirm the reservation.
C. The standard check-in time is 2:00 p.m., and the check-out time is 12:00 o'clock noon.
D. Rooms during Holy Week and Christmas Season are available and are offered through a package;
E. If a member or guest has no reservation, Front Desk shall confirm with the Reservation Department for availability of room/s requested by members or guest."

Take Note:
2. Rooms Lack Life
The hotel is newly renovated. It exudes freshness from the hallways to the rooms.All details thereof from the walls to the carpets, doors, restroom tiles and even towels are noticeably new. While the rooms are classy and consistent with the rustic, historical feels of the building, what is lacking is warmth. Beautiful but lacks life. No feeling of being excited t o go back to your room each time.

Linens are new but I find the bed too hard and not very comfortable. I understand, it is the kind of bed that is good for long-stay as members might stay for a few days on each visit but comfort is a bit sacrificed if you are a short-stay (ing) guests.

The Bright Spot
It's not all bad. The rooms is the bright aspect of the hotel. Everything inside is spotless. The hot shower works perfect I enjoyed it a lot and the toiletries are top caliber. Also high five to the portable extra bed ported on the wall on the side of the restroom. And I like it that each rooms got balcony. Our view was not the golf-view though, that one is more expensive. Functionality-wise, I have no complaints about the room. Maybe this lack of warmth I was referring to could be mended by people who stay in it? Was it just me? But I was in a very good mood the whole duration of this trip. It is really strange why I felt that way.
The room is indeed photogenic in all angles,. But notice this photo, 
this illustrates what I mean by the lack of warmth.

3. Customer Service is So So
As dull as their rooms, customer service lacks warmth. In the duration of our stay, I have not seen people at front desk smiling. They are so focused at what they do, and they are goof at it but they lack the TLC you find in other hotels. I am so used to staying at hotels and being greeted every now and then but I never got a single greeting here. Don't get me wrong, I prefer not being bothered, I prefer a quiet stay and always try not to catch attention but I still get greetings from friendly staff whenever I cross path with them.

PS: We checked-in at 7:00 pm, already a bit late as we left Manila at 7:00 am but dropped by several locations including Manaoag church, The Diplomat Hotel (where there is a cultural con art fair) , Lourdes Groto and had dinner in a Korean restaurant along Legarda.  My friend made did the transaction at the front desk and I think because everybody was already exhausted, so asking for room specifications already slipped his mind.We ended up in two adjoining deluxe rooms with two single beds. Perfect for couples like us! When I called reception to request transfer on a queen-size single bed, I was told they cannot offer any as they were fully-booked for the day. Perfect!
Again, not completely their fault but for a 5-star service, should have been asked by reception but they got busy asking us to fill out forms and for incidental cash deposit. This is what I mean by doing your job well but with no TLC. Oh, the guards and the one in-charge of valet parking are even more responsive and warm.
4. A 3-Star Breakfast Buffet
Admit it, one of the things we look forward to in staying in a 5-star hotel is the breakfast buffet. For a 5-star hotel, I was shocked to see that the food selection at BCC is very limited. Main dishes includes Baguio longganisa, pork adobo, fried bangus, bacon and egg omelet. I was like ---that's it????? So let's say the adobo was the most expensive they can offer? OMG. To be fair, the adobo was nice and their omelet was really good but what else? They have fresh garden salad, and you know in Baguio, greens come really affordable. And then they have breads, but the cheap ones as well, and they come in miniature sizes too. One notable favorite is their bibingka, the best I tried anywhere. And I loooove yogurts, they have, but in very small container almost the size of a shot glass. lols. Friend raisin bread is really tasty. Other that what I mentioned, nothing I can no longer remember. In short, breakfast buffet at BCC is forgettable and of 3-star hotel level. How sad.

The consolation is that you get a nice view of the golf course while having breakfast. Although since restaurant is at ground floor, not so much of the overlooking view that is. And one thing I observed, the restaurant was always full, at any time of the day. I wonder why.
Kate Reed 
Try their pastry shop next to the lobby. It offers a wide selection of home-made cakes and pastries. You can have coffee here with the best view among the six dining options at BCC. In all fairness, their raisin bread is really good and when you order juices, you can really tell that it is fresh with no artificial flavors. Although you can also sample this raisin bread during breakfast buffet, buying a whole loaf at 220 pesos is so worth it for take home.


5. No Free Use of Amenities
Now this really sucks. If you are a non-member, you pay for an 8,000-peso room, get a complimentary breakfast for two and that is all. Very few hotels in Baguio ( I only know 2), have swimming pools and Baguio Country Club is one of them but you have to pay 400 pesos per hour per pax if you are a non-member and want to use it. To think that the pool has nothing to wow for except that it is a heated pool. We decided to go to the bowling center instead. Again, non-member not free. 90 pesos per game per pax. We ended up playing ping-pong (table tennis instead for 150-pesos per hour. The gym? We did not check it, not enough time, but I reckon that non-member will have to pay extra for it too. In short, not good value for money.

VERDICT: It's not all bad. We did enjoy our stay. The details might have sounded grim but it was not that bad. At the end of the day, it's the people you are with that dictates the quality of stay in any place may it be a 5-star or 2-star hotel. It was just that when I have given much thought on it, with a published rate of Php 7,800.00 being the cheapest room (not the gold view), and you only enjoy a room and a so so breakfast buffet and not a single amenity unless you pay extra, not worth it at all. You can live like a king in many other hotels with that value. In conclusion , it was a good experience for a one-time stay but that is it. If you ask me if I will come back, no. Not worth it.

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