“Le Monet Hotel”:http://lemonethotel.ph/ is in Camp John Hay, an ex US Military base, in the Philippine City of Baguio, the ‘Summer Capital’ of the country.
After a couple of 2-star hotels, we needed luxury and Le Monet didn’t disappoint with a grand reception complete with glass chandelier and very helpful staff.
Check in was simple and, rather than give us an insipid welcome drink at the time, we were handed vouchers for coffee in the ground floor café.
The hotel has 70 rooms and our Deluxe room was large with a comfortable double bed. The wardrobe and drawer/shelving space were limited but it had tea and coffee making facilities, mini bar, TV, wi-fi, hairdryer, robes and a safe – albeit in a poor spot on the wardrobe floor. There was an easy chair, desk and numerous plug points. There was no air conditioning or need for it, because of the altitude and cool mountain air and we kept the balcony doors open, with the mesh screen in place to keep out flying biters. Our room, at the hotel’s rear, overlooked gardens, pine trees and a large stable.
The bathroom was tiny in comparison and the door just scraped past the whizzy, Japanese-style ‘do everything for you loo’. The sink was and difficult for shaving and washing smalls, but the shower was powerful with very hot water.
There was a small gym, heated indoor pool and spa with reasonably priced massage treatments. After my in-house discount of 25%, I paid only paid 450 Peso/£7.50 for an hour’s Swedish massage: an absolute bargain.
As well as the café, the restaurant served a variety of international and local dishes. However, as we were finding, many were unavailable and instead of saying ‘I’d like . . ‘, I started with ‘Do you have . . ’. Food varied in quality. When a stuffed lamb dish was ‘off’, Roy’s second choice was beef bourguignon made from ‘short ribs’ of beef which was tough and hard to get off the bone. My fish was in chunks and the wedges were lukewarm. We fared better the following night with a quiche, Caesar salad and pasta puttanesca.
Next to the hotel, was a range of units called ‘The Filling Station’ which included Shakey’s Pizza, Munch Town and Tita Nia Wine Cellar. Our guide Carlos suggested buying wine in the shop and asking the hotel to open it which seemed a little cheeky but as it meant paying 560 Peso/£9.30 for chilled Sauvignon Blanc we swallowed our British reserve. Interestingly it was ‘presented’ formally with the waiter reading the label to us, although he forgot to ask one of us to taste it. We also used The Filling Station for good lunch-time pizzas from Shakey’s (a major Filipino chain).
Breakfast was buffet style with a good selection of juices, fruit, yoghurts, salad items and small bowls of salad/fruit combinations e.g. strawberry and cucumber. There were longanissa (sausages), bacon, rice and lots of traditional dishes with a very good bread selection as the hotel also has a bakery next door.
Although this hotel is slightly out of Baguio, taxis into town are cheap and there is plenty to do in Camp John Hay, which is all walkable from the hotel.