Posts Tagged ‘hotel’

According to history, The Diplomat Hotel used to be a vacation house and a seminary way back in the 1900s. It was established by the Dominican Order hence the hill where the hotel is perched is called Dominican Hill. By the time the vacation house was constructed in 1915, it was considered as the grandest and most extravagant stone structure in Baguio where most of the houses are still made up of wood.

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During the World War II, the place witnessed gruesome deaths when it was occupied by fleeing refugees from the Japanese Army. The Japanese forces bombed the place and its surrounding area causing extensive damage but soon after the war, reconstruction started and the building was later restored.

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In 1973, Diplomat Hotels, Inc. acquired the property and turned it into a 33-room hotel. Whilst the interior was remodeled, the exterior and overall character of the building was retained.

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The hotel was under the management of Tony Agpaoa, a Baguio-based spiritual healer. Diplomat Hotel ceased its operation and was closed to the public after Agpaoa’s untimely death in 1982. The structure eventually fell into neglect and disrepair.

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Local residents claim that The Dominican Hotel is now a haunted place. People who live nearby attest to sometimes hearing banging of doors and windows, despite the fact that the hotel does not have doors nor windows anymore.

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At times in the middle of the night, voices of people screaming and sometimes laughing could be heard. In other times, headless apparitions are seen. Folks say that this could be the ghosts of nuns and priests who were beheaded during the World War II.

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On the upper façade of the building overlooking the city, there remained the 12-feet Gyronny cross of the Dominican Order sitting on a pedestal.

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These days, it has now turned to a favorite site among local photographers and tourists due to its nice location and vantage point.

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It is also flocked by ghost hunters and thrill seekers who are brave enough to go to the place at night to check if it is really haunted. I am not brave enough to go there alone but maybe it would be a fun adventure with friends (and alcohol, copious amount of alcohol LOL).

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Kind of out of topic and what looks like a fairly new addition in the area is the biggest Ten Commandments Tablet that I have ever seen in my life.

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If you ever go to Baguio (or have been to Baguio several times), a quick trip to The Diplomat Hotel could be an exciting addition to your Baguio itinerary. You wouldn’t regret it, I know I don’t.

After the Phuket leg of our Thailand trip, we boarded an overnight bus that would take us to Bangkok. It was bittersweet; I would finally be able to explore Bangkok but will be leaving behind the serenity of Phuket. Nevertheless, I was more than excited to partake of what Bangkok has to offer. Let me start with our hotel: Rambuttri Village Inn.

Rambuttri Village Inn is near Khao San Road where most of the backpackers and budget travelers gravitate towards to, especially at night. It is strategically located at the more quiet and less crowded Soi Rambuttri. However, it is quite far from any train station but we honestly didn’t mind.

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We arrived early in the morning and as expected, our room wasn’t available yet. We killed some time at a nearby Burger King where we also had breakfast. When we got back to the hotel, we still had to wait a little while for our room. We didn’t mind because the lobby offered comfortable sitting areas where waiting guests could rest and lounge while they wait for their rooms to be ready.

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The room that we got was pretty basic – cable television, aircon, comfortable bed, a huge window, and a sizable bathroom. It was just right for us, though significantly smaller than our room in Phuket. Still, we didn’t mind because we expected to be out most of the time anyway. We didn’t have anything scheduled for our first day in Bangkok so we decided to check out the rooftop swimming pool.

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Their pool was the only thing that stood out from our whole hotel experience. Bangkok is quite hot and humid so having a swimming pool is a really big plus. Not to mention the fact that we had the pool all to ourselves. Guess all the other guests were all out exploring the city.

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Since the pool is at the rooftop, it gave us quite a good view of the surrounding buildings. Although we didn’t know exactly what we were looking at, it was still nice to be able to see our surroundings from a bird’s-eye view.

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I did not take any photo of our room because as I said, it was as basic as can be. But another nice thing with our hotel is their outdoor garden where guests could sit down to eat their meals or just relax. Below is the view from the café in front of the hotel. So relaxing, yes?

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If you want to see my previous entries about our Phuket trip, click the links below:

When booking for hotels on vacations, we all have a lot of considerations in mind. Location, amenities and affordability are always on the top of my list. Luckily, we found one that meets our standards.

Leelawadee Boutique Hotel is within walking distance from the charming Patong Beach where most of the touristy things are. The hotel has an in-house restaurant with a delicious à la carte menu. What won us over is the free buffet breakfast that comes with our hotel reservation. Hard to resist free things, right?

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Every morning, we would make our way down to the restaurant to get our fill of eggs, sausages, and freshly cut fruits. You can request to have some eggs done however you like, and the cook will prep them on the fly. A fairly wide selection of drinks is also available. Cold juice or freshly brewed coffee, whatever floats your boat.

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We booked the cheapest room that could fit the three of us. We had zero expectations on how large the room was and we would have been happy with whatever we had as long as we could fit comfortably in it. Imagine our delight when we got ushered to our very large room. Plus points for them letting us into our room waaaaay before the normal check-in time.

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Our room was on the second floor which provided a very good view of the swimming pool. The stairway going up to our floor is also gorgeously lit up at night which provided a nice backdrop to some token vanity photos.

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Moving on to the pool, we almost always had it all to ourselves. Every afternoon, we would lounge around drinking some local beer and eating some snacks. When we get tired of the water, we move around an upper deck that has a great view of the sun setting from the distance. Aaaaaahhh the tranquility!

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The hotel is decorated in a contemporary Thai style and it was fun searching and photographing all the little ornaments scattered all over the lobby. One of my favorite is the bathroom sign near the reception area.

The exceptionally warm service of the hotel crew should also be commended. They always have a warm smile on their face and they’re always ready to cater to our every little special request.

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108436480If you are going to Phuket any time soon, I would highly recommend this hotel. You can check their official website here: http://leelaboutique.com/