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Travel and Tourism

Baguio-bound at Microtel

Dandi Galvez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - First came Christmas, then Panagbenga. Soon there will be another great reason to go to Baguio City as the weather heats up in the next couple of months. The country’s first and original Summer Capital is poised to welcome another horde of tourists from the lowlands to bask in the city’s chilly weather and unique culture.

Getting there is part of the excitement as you look forward to all the fun and adventure the city has. From the usual tourist traps, new discoveries and one-of-a-kind cuisine, there’s always something to see and do in Baguio.

All it takes is a car, but by far the most popular way to get to the City of Pines is taking a Victory Liner bus. Once you are there, the most convenient place to spend your vacation is at Microtel Baguio.

Connected by a walkway right beside the Victory Liner terminal at Upper Session Road, Microtel Baguio is the flagship of the hotel franchise in the North Luzon area. Famous for its no-frills approach, simple amenities yet distinguishing world-class service, the hotel has made an indelible mark on the city’s tourism landscape. Because of its physical connection to the bus terminal and its convenient location near many of the city’s tourist locations, countless visitors — from families to business travelers — have made Microtel Baguio their top choice when visiting the city.

‘A better stay’

“Our promise is still ‘a better stay’ at Microtel. The professionalism, the service we give to our customers is in line with international standards,” enthuses Roy Martin, Microtel Baguio general manager and Microtel North Luzon area general manager.

Martin has his hands full, simultaneously managing the hotel’s Tarlac and Cabanatuan properties. He makes sure that all properties under his supervision consistently follow world-class standards — a level of service and satisfaction that thousands upon thousands of visitors have come to appreciate and enjoy.

Just look at the wall. At one corner of Microtel Baguio’s lobby are a myriad of framed sketches — testimonials from children, families and people young and old. Martin adds: “We have a warm, family-style hotel with surroundings and an atmosphere that feel light. They don’t give us guest comment cards, they give us sketches about how happy they are staying here.”

Jose Mari del Rosario, president and CEO of Microtel Inns & Suites Pilipinas, knows exactly that no matter how much travelers have evolved, they always want one thing. “Many Filipinos are well-traveled and they look for not only hot and cold showers and cable TV but they demand to be connected with Wi-Fi, be discriminating with the type of bed they have — some are picky with linens. However, one thing that they are really in-tune with international standards is they demand good service.” He concludes: “That’s where we come in.”

It’s amazing how that has proven to satisfy all kinds of tourists and visitors. Microtel is famous for providing the simplest of amenities from basic toiletries, comfortable beds — which happen to be chiropractor-approved mattresses — to cable TV and free Wi-Fi at the common areas. However, all of that is worth next to nothing if the hotel does not give exemplary service. It is another hallmark of the Microtel brand that is consistent within all its 13 properties across the country.

Staying at Microtel is just one part of your vacation. There’s, of course, Baguio City. A short walk from the hotel will lead you to many restaurants, a shopping mall, gas station, and city staples such as Session Road and Camp John Hay. Nearby, dining is not a problem with Te Quiero Tapas Bar & Restaurant situated right beside the hotel, serving delicious Italian and local cuisine.

Partnership

To stay at Microtel is to travel with Victory Liner. A passenger, immediately after a five- to six-hour trip, can practically climb up the covered walkway and shortly be at Microtel’s lobby confirming a reservation or inquiring about available rooms. The front desk can even assist in you in getting tickets when you depart.

Victory Liner treasury and marketing head Marivic del Pilar says this unique partnership has proven beneficial for both the hotel and the pioneering bus company. Today, anyone who wishes to vacation in Baguio knows to take a Victory Liner bus. And it does not hurt that the bus company also offers a special “deluxe” bus for people who want to get to and from the city as quickly as possible.

These special first class buses offer La-Z-Boy type seats, Wi-Fi (which is also available on the company’s regular air-conditioned buses), a stewardess serving water and snacks, and non-stop travel to your destination. Additionally, the deluxe trips offer free use of Android tablets to passengers that are pre-loaded with games, useful apps, and a copy of the day’s news via the digital edition of The Philippine STAR.

Last year, The STAR partnered with Victory Liner to provide this free added value to deluxe bus passengers and this year, that partnership has been renewed. Del Pilar says, “We chose to renew the partnership because it is mutually beneficial. The newspapers delight our passengers.”

Del Pilar promises to take full advantage of the connectivity that Victory Liner has given its passengers. “In 2014 clients can expect increased customer intimacy through the company’s social networking platforms,” she says.

As early as now, Martin says people should book their rooms in anticipation of summer vacation and other events. As the recent Panagbenga festivities have shown, Microtel’s rooms for February were fully booked as early as December last year. Book a reservation at least “three months in advance for the chance to get good rooms at a good rate,” he says. It may seem early but it’s well worth the foresight. Microtel Baguio will be the best decision you will ever make this summer season.

***

Microtel by Wyndham-Baguio is located at Upper Session Road, R. Villalon St. (right beside the Victory Liner Bus terminal), Baguio City. For more information, call (074) 619-3333 to 34, (074) 619-3342, (0927) 516-4129 or (0922) 816-8436, fax at (074) 619-3344, e-mail at [email protected] or visit its website at http://www.microtel-baguio.com. Photos by Fernan Nebres

 

BAGUIO

BAGUIO CITY

BUS

CITY

DEL PILAR

MICROTEL

MICROTEL BAGUIO

VICTORY LINER

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