Rejuvenated @ Belfrei Spa (My Baguio 2017 Diary)

Leave a comment Standard

When we arrived in Baguio City last week (December 27, 2017), I thought that everything will go according to plan; however, due to unavoidable circumstances, a scheduled trip has to be rescheduled.  And so, we had to be creative in making on-the-spot plans– we ended up at Botanical Garden, which we did not regret at all because we enjoyed the colorful flowers.  In the afternoon, after checking in and unpacking, we decided to go early so we can go to a cafe that we are going to feature, but then our stress began.  We couldn’t find any cab to take us there.  We just cancelled the appointment and luckily, we found a cab that took us to Camp John Hay.  Because we were also starving at that time, we asked the driver to drop us at the Filling Station ( which was filled to the rafters at that time) and ordered for pizza.  We waited for 40 minutes that seemed like eternity.  When the food arrived, I didn’t know exactly what the taste of pizza was.  I mean, everything that I tasted at that time (cardboard or wood) will be pleasant to my taste buds, hehe!

Belfrei Spa has two branches:  the other one is located in SM City Baguio (They are operating for a decade already) and the one I visited is in the 2nd floor of the Ayala Technohub at CJH.

img_3742

Belfrei Spa is at the 2nd Floor of the Ayala Technohub (atop Pizza Volante)

The place is quite small but very presentable and relaxing.  It is not a concomitant type that we usually admire (especially if you love spa like I do), but I actually loved the homey and native style of the spa.  The windows are made of the old style capiz shells with 6 small rooms and 4 chairs (for the facial and foot spa).  They have one common CR which is well-sanitized.  On the wall, the photos of some celebrities who availed their spa service were displayed.

img_3744

Ms. Joe (the supervisor) at the reception area

I was astounded by the number of clients who would like to avail the service.  I would understand that if I were in their SM Baguio branch were people are elbow-to-elbow.  I was expecting fewer people in CJH, but you have to book ahead of time because they have clients waiting on queue.   If you will analyze, it’s on the positive note– people are willing to wait because of the excellent service.

 

 

I was supposed to have the Belfrei Pamper Package (facial, foot spa, body scrub and body massage) but since it will consume more or less 3 hours, I just availed the Indulge Package (same inclusions minus the body scrub).  I had an appointment after the spa treatment that’s why we shortened the time, but at the end of the day, I regretted that decision.  I should have tried the body scrub as well 😦  The treatment lasted for 2 hours and it was perfect!

img_3768

The Indulge Package started with the facial and foot spa

 

Their therapists made each client feel relaxed.  It can be compared to Tirta Spa Boracay as far as service and the massage  is concerned.  I fell asleep because I was totally relaxed and recharged that night.   It was also the best foot spa I’ve ever had– after the stressful experience we had earlier, it was really worth it.  I finally understood why clients were willing to wait.

Well, it didn’t only end with my satisfied feet.  I felt totally rejuvenated after the massage.  The pressure was just right and I didn’t have body pain after.  So, when you are in Baguio City, there is only one spa that I recommend and that is Belfrei Spa.

BELFREI SPA

CJH:  2nd Floor Ayala Technohub, Camp John Hay, Baguio City

SM Baguio:  Upper Ground Floor, SM City Baguio

Mobile numbers:  0922-3980220/ 0917-6105538

https://www.facebook.com/bellfreispa/

 

 

Advertisements

Baguio Trip 2017 Day 3

Comment 1 Standard

In our first day in Baguio City, we were lucky to meet Mang Domeng at Microtel where we rode in his cab to Burnham Park.  He offered us a tour to the different places in Baguio City from 8am to 4:30pm for only P2,200.  The price was reasonable considering that the rate I know is already P3,000 for a whole day Baguio tour.  That night when we have experienced how difficult it was to find a cab and Grab car, I sent him a text message, expressing my intent to book for a tour on December 29, 2017.

26177081_10212334855621314_1908870359_n

Mang Domeng

The day after, we saw him at Microtel where he usually hangs out to pick out passengers.  We formally booked a tour for the following day and fortunately, he had no booking at that time.

We had our breakfast at past 6am and went back to the room to prepare our things.  When we went out, Mang Domeng was already waiting outside.  Not only did he serve as our driver, but a tour guide and photographer as well.

Here are the places that we visited:

  1. THE FAMOUS LAPERAL WHITE HAUNTED HOUSE

Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City

img_5037-2

We wanted to go inside but our time was limited then, probably next time we will do that.

2.  BELL CHURCH/CHINESE TEMPLE

FA 347 Bell Church Rd, La Trinidad, Benguet

We went inside but unfortunately taking photos is prohibited.  You may buy incense at the church door entrance and pray at the altar.

3.  VALLEY OF COLORS

La Trinidad – Bontoc Rd, Baguio, 2601 Benguet

 

4.  STRAWBERRY FARM

The Trinity, Benguet

We didn’t pick strawberries and lettuce, but we bought vegetables and some pasalubongs.  Those are quite expensive–we didn’t have any choice.  If we only had time, we could have dropped by to the market where goods and vegetables are much cheaper.

5.  TAM-AWAN VILLAGE

Long Benguet Road, Baguio,Benguet

We didn’t enjoy here much because we had to go up and down to see the Igorot houses.  We just visited the gallery and craft store.  Entrance fee per head is p50.00.  If you are a first-timer here and you are not in a hurry, you might be able to enjoy the tour here.

6.  OUR LADY OF LOURDES GROTTO

Dominican Hill Rd., Benguet

img_5008

I planned to vlog how I managed to climb the 200 plus steps in the grotto, but it didn’t materialize at all because at 70 steps, we were dead-tired already.  Hubby also, would like to rest and his stomach was rumbling.  We just bought apples and rested for a while before we got back to the car.

7. OLD DIPLOMAT HOTEL/DOMINICAN HILL RETREAT HOUSE

 Dominican Hill, Diplomat Road, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

It was our first time to visit the place and we were pleased to include this in our itinerary.  I was visualizing how it looked like when it was still operational.  We explored the place and went to the rooftop where we saw the fog.  (I have shared the video in my Instagram account).

8.  CAMP JOHN HAY

Loakan Road, Baguio City, Philippines 2600

CJH is comercialized now- you can see different restaurants, boutiques and other business establishments.  I wasn’t able to  explore much– I just visited Belfrei Spa in Ayala Technohub in my first day.  We just took some photos in front of the Manor Hotel and The White House of Scents.  Next time, I will be needing one whole day to stroll in CJH, but like what I’ve mentioned before, you won’t enjoy here if you don’t have a car/transport service.

9.  Wright Park

 Gibraltar Rd, Baguio, Benguet

26176152_10212336240295930_2046560463_n

After the horseback riding

Horseback riding was really included in my itinerary.  We chose 30 minutes for P200 per person instead of P400 per person for 1 hour.  Personally, I wanted to go for the 1 hour ride because it will also lead you to CJH, but we had prior commitments.  We were bored because for 30 minutes, we just circled the Wright Park.  I requested one of our guides to take a video, but I don’t like the shot 😦

We were not able to go to the other places like Mines View Park and the Mansion because I requested Mang Domeng to drop us to Sage Café, Route 55 and Romanelle Spa.  We dropped hubby at Microtel before we go to Romanelle Spa because he needed to rest.  Because Mang Domeng had to go home and meet his children, he couldn’t pick me up at 9pm at the spa but he asked another driver to pick me up.

Side Trips:

  1.  Sage Cafe

95 Military Cutoff Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

I highly recommend SAGE Cafe– not only the ambiance is perfect, but also the food and drinks.  (A feature about this cafe will be posted in my blog. )

2. Route 55 Diner

 No.55 Legarda Road, 55 Legarda Rd, Barangay Burnham – Legarda, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

This is another restaurant that I recommend.  It might be familiar to you because it was shown in ABS-CBN’s teleserye Forevermore, where the character of Enrique Hill worked there as a vocalist of the band.  The ambiance is very comfy and the food is also delectable and affordable!  (This will also be featured in my blog soon).

3. Romanelle Spa

 241 Upper Bonifacio St. cor. Laurel St., Upper Bonifacio Street, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

I wanted to destress after the tour that’s why I included this in my itinerary.  It was just ok, but nothing to rave about.  I tried the Body Therapy package which consists of the following:  Sauna, Facial, Body Scrub, Body Fruit Wrap, Underarm Bleaching and Waxing and Foor Scrub with Paraffin wax).  Of all the inclusions, I prefer the foot scrub and undearm bleaching.

We arrived at Microtel at past 9pm and I was kinda bothered because after paying online the previous night at Iwantseats.com, they wouldn’t send me the bus voucher.  I checked their system and found out that my transaction has already expired. I also checked my Paypal account and the payment didn’t get through.  I remember I tried to pay online twice—the other one didn’t get through, but in the most recent transaction, it appeared as a guest account wherein I had to enter my credit card details and when I did that, I received a text message from the bank informing me that the recent purchase that I made might affect my limit.  I thought everything was okay already but then when I told hubby about it, we decided to go to Victory Bus terminal in our pajamas.  In almost an hour, it was finally our turn to purchase tickets.  Fortunately, there were still tickets (though de luxe buses are not available anymore) and we were able to book a ride for 9:50 am to Cubao.  If you plan to visit Baguio City, I recommend Microtel Inn because of its good location-very close to the Victory Bus Liner terminal and the town proper.  I also suggest that you book a Baguio tour with Mang Domeng.  You may contact him in his mobile number:  0947 581-4245.

WARNING:  Do NOT book in Iwantseats.com anymore.  It will be more convenient if you will book in Victory Bus online.  Microtel owns Victory Bus Liner so you just have to walk from the terminal to the hotel and vice versa.  You can even ask for FREE luggage assistance which will make your trip hassle and stress-free.

 

My Baguio 4-Day Itinerary 2017

Leave a comment Standard

It’s been a tradition for me to go to the City of Pines every year and probably it was blessing in disguise when we rescheduled our trip after Christmas due to the typhoon last August.  We were not able to refund the bus tickets, but thanks a lot to Microtel Baguio because they granted our request to rebook.

I have already experienced to go to Baguio City after Christmas and as expected, the places were jampacked with people.  It was very difficult for us to have taxi or private car rides. Anyway, though the case is like that, it’s relaxing to bond with your family and lucky for me— it’s like hitting two birds with one stone!  It’s actually family bonding and press trip at the same time 🙂  To be organized, I designed a 4-day itinerary for out Baguio trip.

baguio day 1

9:00 am-  Arrival to Baguio City

9:00-9:30 am– Leave the luggages to Microtel Baguio Frontdesk

10:00am–  Cafe Review

12:00 nn.–  Lunch

1:00 pm- Check in and unpack

3:00 pm– Camp John Hay Strolling

4:00 pm-Spa Review

8:00-8:30 pm-  Restaurant Review

9:30-10:00 pm-  Back to the hotel to have a good night sleep

baguio day 2

7:00 am- Breakfast

8:00-12 nn– Strolling and lunch

(Mines View Park, Burnham Park, Wright Park, Botanical Park, The Mansion, Grotto, etc.)

1:00pm- 7:00 pm – Cafe and Restaurant Reviews

7:30-8:00 pm- Go back to the hotel

baguio day 3

 

7:00 am- Breakfast

8:00-11:00 am- Strolling, Biking, Horseback Riding and Pasalubong Shopping

12nn–  Cafe Review

2:00-6:30 pm- Spa Review

7:30 pm- Restaurant Review

8:30-9:00 pm- Go back to the hotel

day 4 baguio

7:00 am Breakfast

8:00-9:30 am– Strawberry Farm

10:00-11:00 am- Buy veggies at the supermarket

11:30 am- Check Out

12:00 nn – Restaurant Review

2:00 pmProceed to the bus terminal

 

There might be some changes but at least there is something that we will follow for an organized trip this Christmas break.  I will be posting about this very soon.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Should I Stay in Camp John Hay?

Leave a comment Standard

         Last summer, I received an invitation to blog about The Manor and Forest Lodge in Camp John Hay, so when I decided to go to Baguio City to chill before I finally get back to work, I made it a point to visit this attraction.   I thought that was a great opportunity to share my experience to the public — to give them an idea what to expect if ever they will visit the place.

 

        Whenever we go to Baguio, ever since I was a kid, we always visit here, that’s why I was too excited to go there and get the chance to dicover and explore so I can share it to the world.  The view was still as relaxing as before, but as a traveller, I have considered few, but important things.  I do NOT own a car, that’s why I use a cab to travel.  Expect to have higher fare when going to CJH and worse, you need to have a very long walk in order for you to explore the different attractions there.  It is advisable to at least have your own car/service when going there.  We waited for eternity and had a loooooong walk before we finally got back to our hotel.  

                 Our first stop was the Bell House.  When I was a kid, I’ve been there and all I knew then was that the had a great significance to the lives of the Americans who lived here, but honestly, i don’t know about the details.  Since it is open to the public, I think the visitors should be educated about this place.  The info written there is not enough– people won’t spare much of their time to read those.  As we explore the place, I find it creepy, just like the way I felt when I was in the Teacher’s Camp.  

                 We decided to take a walk and looked for a rest room because my daughter wanted to take a pee.  At last, we found a restroom in the abandoned building, seemed abandoned, but you have to pay (I forgot if we paid P2 or 5).  

                  While we were walking, hoping that we can go to the new shops where we can buy imported goods, we easily got exhausted and all we wanted that time was to go to the hotel and rest.  I saw The Manor , a hotel that I considered when I was looking for a place to stay in Baguio– the building is already old and creepy.  The price per night was also not practical, and I made the right choice of sticking with Microtel because staying in CJH it’s too far from the other attractions in the city.  You won’t be comfortable unless you have your private car/service.  I actually didn’t enjoy going there– I was bored to death.  Instead of going to SM to dine, I just opted to stay inside the hotel and had room service to feel comfortable.  

Note:  I came back just this December 2016 with my co-teachers and son.  We were six and cabs won’t let you ride if you are in a group of more than four.  Luckily, we had the cab but our 3 friends waited for more than an hour and they weren’t able to get any cab.  They just walked from CJH to Victory Liner (near Microtel Baguio).  It was indeed a horrible experience for them and I was thankful that we were able to get the ride or else we could have experienced the same 😦

 

 TIPS FOR THOSE WHO WILL GO THERE:

1.  Make sure to have your own service/car so you’d be able to explore the whole place.  Prepare your P2k to P3k.  Most of the taxi drivers ask for P350 per hour.

2.  Try the picnic grounds with your family and friends.  This is a cool and inexpensive alternative for having lunch with your family. 

3.  Do not expect much–as there is nothing new (except for the few stores), but still boring.  Because we didn’t have our own service, we weren’t able to go to different stores.  I would really like to go to the Duty Free Shop to buy some stuff.

4. Consider booking other hotels (closer to the other attractions).  I highly recommend the following hotels:  Microtel Baguio and La Silvina Hotel in Outlook Drive.

 

            I personally don’t recommend this place especially if you are with senior citizens or kids.