Who knew you could enjoy a wonderful sunset in Baguio City! Sure there's the cool breeze and the pine trees but I haven't heard of the city being associated with sunsets at all. The photo above was taken from the balcony of our room at Le Monet Hotel in Camp John Hay just recently. We stayed there for just one night and this post is about our experience with the hotel.
Architecture and ambiance
Le Monet stands in stark contrast to the warm and cozy feel of nearby The Manor and The Forest Lodge, also inside Camp John Hay. Its modern design, characterized by concrete, glass, hues of black, gray, white, and dark brown, and further accentuated by changing colored lights, tries very little to conform to that "old Baguio" feel of wooden cabins of yore.
While such designs are no longer stranger to other areas in the city, inside John Hay it's still something relatively new. Well, at least it conforms to the color scheme of the other buildings there.
A section of the lobby.
Le Monet has 70 rooms, 5 of which are suites, so it's not big of a hotel after all. Its attempt at grandeur with all those illuminated glass crystals suspended from the lobby's ceiling is quickly neutralized by the lack of open space. The whole floor was virtually filled with seats and tables for dining, which are, by the way, so close to each other.
Most of the available floor space is used for dining. This is also where breakfast is served.
One other thing I didn't like were those paper flower decorations all around the lobby. While they may be remnants of the hotel winning Best Float at the 2013 Panagbenga Festival, such accouterments were unnecessary and inconsistent with the hotel's interiors. To put it bluntly, they're tacky.
Reservation and check-in
They have an online booking facility but since I got a deal, I booked directly with the hotel through phone, after which I was asked to email them details of my trip. However, it took them a few days before sending me a confirmation email.
The very efficient front desk personnel. On the downside, tacky paper flowers everywhere.
Check-in, on the other hand, was fast and efficient. We arrived two hours early but they were gracious and swift enough to allow us an early check-in.
We were assigned a deluxe room facing the street. I was hoping for one facing the forest but I was pretty happy with it anyway because I got to witness a beautiful sunset from our balcony.
Our room had two queen-size beds that can accommodate four people. I would have wanted just one bed to afford us more space but it was all good. If I wanted more space, then maybe I should have just gotten a suite then.
I love the dark hues all over. The room was carpeted and had a 32" flat screen TV, a minibar, personal fridge, and a coffee and tea-making facility. There's in-room WiFi but it's spotty. I don't know if I just missed it but I didn't notice any safe inside the room. And as with hotels inside John Hay, the room isn't air-conditioned. I had a bit of a problem with the ceiling fan, though. I found the max speed too slow, which was a slight concern during daytime when it's warmer.
The two queen-size beds take up most of the space inside the room.
Another view of the room. Not much space to move around, eh?
Our room from the balcony. That's the bathroom behind the glass panel and the mini-bar and coffee-making facility on the left.
The bathroom was nice and clean in hues of black, white and brown. Everything was functioning perfectly. The toilet is electronic (Cool!) and there's also a small TV screen inside.
Notice the TV screen? Now you don't have to miss your favorite program even while doing your thing in the bathroom.
The shower room.
Even though we're facing the street, there wasn't much noise coming from there. You're more likely to hear noises from the hallway than from the street down below.
Looking down from our balcony: everything LED and neon lights up the hotel grounds at night.
As mentioned, most of the floor space at the lobby is dedicated to dining. This is the Dinelli Gourmet. I haven't seen their menu as I've only been here for the buffet breakfast. About that, there were fairly enough choices from Filipino breakfast staples of rice, fried rice, tocino, etc., to sausages, bacon, and a host of other things. There are also stations for your sunny side-ups and omelets, bread, cereals, fruits, and drinks. That said, breakfast was pretty good.
The Malt Room.
Another dining option at the hotel is The Malt Room, where steaks are served. It's also a bar for cocktails and other such drinks. The place is dimly lit and with a lot of neon lights. Haven't tried the food, though.
Le Monet has business and function rooms, a mini gym, a spa, and an indoor swimming pool. They also have a complimentary shuttle service to and from select destinations but I don't know any other details.
The mini-gym. It's really mini. I suppose hardly anyone uses it anyway.
The guys's locker room.
We had a good hard massage at the Vida Verde Spa & Gym. It's a small place with limited massage rooms right next to the gym. There's a sauna and shower room, though. Ambiance-wise, there's not much to it but our masseuses were really good. I also remember loving that really soft blanket they used to cover areas of our body not being massaged.
The spa area.
One of the massage rooms. The other one doesn't have an in-room bathtub, though.
However small, it's quite surprising that this spa offers a lot of other services besides massages and scrubs. They do facials and even botox!
This is where they do all the facials and other related treatments. Notice all the equipment on the sides.
As with checking in, checking out was a breeze. I told them I accidentally broke a teacup in our room but they never made me pay for it or anything.
While Le Monet Hotel may be a departure from good o'l Baguio architecture, it's a nice forward-looking hotel, especially if they get rid of all those paper flowers. Being inside John Hay, the location is good. It's "very Baguio" with all the pine trees around.
Although beds occupy most of the space, the rooms are nice and cozy. Moreover, having private balconies is a huge plus. And in my very short stay here, I found the staff to be nice and efficient, which is something guests will remember more than the hotel's modern design. The food's good, too.
That said, Le Monet is a great place to stay in Baguio. I'd love to go back.
Glass crystals galore at the lobby.
Le Monet Hotel is located along Ordonio Drive inside Camp John Hay in Baguio City. It's right next to The Filling Station.
Deluxe rooms go for Php 5,600 a night while the suites are priced at Php 7,200 and Php 7,500.