I find one of the best hotels I’ve stayed at yet in Baguio.
June of 1999 was when I first began traveling. I know hotels well. Although in recent years my travel strategy has transformed. I am no longer a recreational traveler. Though I certainly enjoy my travels and still occasionally recreate, the prime directive is no longer just wandering around for the fun of it. I travel for work. I’m an author. I’m a journalist. I travel in pursuit of stories.
So I’ve realized the benefit of renting apartments and now predominately use them as a bases to travel out of on research trips. Although I still log an incredible amount of nights in guesthouses, hotels, and hostels each year. I’ve been living in these places for years and years, I know these places well . . . run of the mill, run of the mill. Seldom is it that I step into a place that makes me exclaim, “This place is good, real good.”
A good hotel is one that the owners continually look at, find problems with, and come up with solutions. They are hotels that are adorned with the unneeded extras: kitsch, faucets that turn the right ways, pictures on the walls, doors that latch properly, locks that work, screens on the windows. They are hotels where people immediately fix the things that break. They are hotels were every toilet has a seat — something that is truly a novel concept in this world.
A good hotel is one where the owner will walk up to you, introduce themselves, and welcome you to their home.
“Hello, how is everything for you here?”
“I hope everything is good for you.”
“Thank you for coming and feel free to stop here anytime.”
This is what the owner of the Baguio Village Inn in Baguio, Philippines said these things to me today. I almost didn’t know how to reply. I couldn’t remember the last time a hotel owner said anything like this to me. I felt like a guest, not a mere biological entity that takes up a certain amount of space for a specified period of time, for an agreed upon price.
It was clear that I found a good hotel. It’s run by people associated with the church across the street. It’s friendly, the rooms are simply though has everything you need, good food in the kitchen, and it’s all for a good price. The standard fare is 350 pesos (US$8.75) per person, which is cheap for the Philippines.
The Baguio Village Inn is one of the best hotels I’ve stayed at in 16 years of world travel. It was good enough to be a base of operations in the Philippines. I will return.
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