Even before the Department of Tourism proclaimed that “it’s more fun in the Philippines,” Filipinos had been upbeat about traveling around the country. With promo fares every now and then and various websites offering do-it-yourself tours, discovering the country has become more inexpensive and effortless.
But because of the current economic situation, travelers are opting to spend less on their accommodations—a trend that even the summer capital, Baguio City, has seen through the years.
Oftentimes, it is in this search for cheap accommodation that the basic needs of travelers are compromised.
The recent opening of Forest Lodge at Camp John Hay gave Club Leisure Management Inc. president Tito Avanceña the chance to offer travelers an inexpensive alternative.
“I would see places that are low-priced but not at all pleasing,” Avanceña said. “I would like to give travelers a little respect.”
Right beside classier sister development The Manor, Forest Lodge boasts of low rates that do not compromise the hotel’s facilities.
“What makes the place expensive are the frills. But I want to show the Filipino traveler that we can give them good facilities but still meet their budget,” he said. “Our aim is to give them something
different from places where they will pay the same amount of money.”
Sporting a log cabin design, the five-story hotel welcomes its guests to its spacious lobby with a picturesque view of well-tended gardens and the Cordillera mountain range. At night, the lobby turns into a scene straight from a Hollywood movie, with family and friends warming themselves around the fireplace.
With 55 of the 200 rooms now open for guests, the Forest Lodge offers rates that start at an affordable P2,900 net. When asked if the hotel is a budget hotel, Avanceña is quick to say, “Does this look like a budget hotel?”
Its smallest room—Superior—has two beds fit for four adults, a large closet, a small brewing area for coffee and tea, and a desk. Also, what’s noticeable about its rooms is that it kept the vain Filipino in mind—mirrors are aptly placed across the room and there’s a corner for primping. Even the bathroom is not exempt from classy fixtures.
Although room service is not available, fine treats are served at The Twist at the hotel’s lobby. The café’s menu includes snacks, short order items and pastries prepared by chef Billy King, who also runs Le Chef at The Manor. Other food options are found at the Commissary and Filling Station, a short walk from the hotel.
As the cold air sweeps into this haven of pine trees, one realizes that the greatest facility one can enjoy while traveling is nature itself.
The Forest Lodge is managed and operated by Camp John Hay Leisure Inc. For reservations, call 5844911 or 5844892. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.