Philippines

Respite at Grand Sierra Pines

All week Luzon has been affected by typhoon Gorio, which has been making its way north along the coast of the Philippines and is expected to hit Taiwan today.

Here in La Trinidad, it has been stormy, wet, and cold. My husband was unfortunate enough to get caught in a few downpours while riding 270 kilometers from Manila to Baguio on Thursday.

To celebrate his birthday, which had passed two days earlier while he was away, I booked a room for us at Grand Sierra Pines Hotel and left our daughter with some friends. After having been on the motorcycle since 4 AM, my husband met me here for lunch and a much-needed 24-hour break

I booked the room on Agoda.com, which is what I’ve used to book most of our hotel staycations and beach resort holidays in the Philippines. I quickly found a room at Sierra Pines, a 4-star hotel with high ratings, for about $65 including the service charge.

The hotel’s main attraction is that it is surrounded by a beautiful forest of pine trees.

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Although it was far too rainy to take a walk in the forest, we did enjoy a misty view of the pines from our balcony window.

After our rendezvous in a superior room on the fourth floor, we took one look at The Outlook Steak & Grill menu and picked up the phone to order food. However, that delicious-looking food was not available for room service.

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Instead of a delicious pot of clam chowder, the room service menu featured a single cup of instant soup at the same price so we put our wet shoes back on, braved the wind and rain, and made our way downstairs and across the courtyard to The Outlook.

 

We had a nice hot clam chowder split into two bowls, plus chicken taco salad and a Philly cheesesteak sandwich for my husband on some interesting black bread. After that, we were still a little hungry so we ordered the tasty looking mac-and-cheese bites in the upper right corner.

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Our check-in and check-out were fast and efficient.

What I liked about Grand Sierra Pines: the room was nice and big, the beds were ridiculously comfortable, and the view was wonderful. I enjoyed our meal at The Outlook, as well as the breakfast buffet, which featured a nice variety of fruits, vegetables, and pastries, plus an omelet station, bacon, and a few other meat dishes.

 

The coffee at breakfast was a bit disappointing, however; especially considering that we are in Benguet–coffee capital of the Philippines.

Additionally, our room was supposed to include a coffee maker but, instead, we found only a water heater and two packets of instant coffee. Ugh!

Oh, another big flaw in the room was the barely lukewarm shower water. That was tough, considering how cold we were after making our respective ways to the hotel in torrential rains.

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed our rainy stay at Sierra Pines. It’s only 10 minutes away from SM Baguio, so it’s easy to go and get your own snacks and alcohol to enjoy in the room. Wink.

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