I need a Vacation, this is what I muttered while working on several projects on a cold 9 degrees Celsius temperature early morning of February. See, I have to get up early in the morning to get a headstart in all my projects. As I always say, “those websites won’t rank themselves on their own”.
While writing content for a client, I imagined having a staycation with my family. See, whenever I travel, it is always for business. The type of travel where I visit a place, make a short presentation and after a quick chat, I find myself traveling back to Baguio City.
I don’t know if it was because of the really cold Baguio weather or my body telling me to take a break. But one thing is for certain, I found myself browsing for hotels to stay in Baguio City. I was just supposed to check my messages on my phone but after grabbing my phone, I started Googling for hotels in Baguio City.
I found the Traveloka app, (well at first I didn’t know what app it was, I just tapped away on the first search result I see), as if it was a blessing that I chose to tap on Traveloka and installed the same.
The easy navigation on the app made me just tapped away, searching for hotels in Baguio. Now if you are wondering why I searched for Baguio hotels, this is for the simple reason that I want a vacation with my family and which I can really afford sans the travel expenses.
The thing is, how do you choose the right hotel in Baguio for a staycation? For me, having my two little ones in tow means I have to choose their welfare above anything else. Choosing a family friendly hotel in Baguio City is really easy while using the traveloka app. Combined with what I already know about the hotels in Baguio and the description provided by the app, I booked our staycation at Newtown Plaza Hotel.
How did I Book Through Traveloka?
Booking through Traveloka is easy, the seamless design makes booking really easy. Navigation is not confusing and I discovered the best thing after I booked, there are no hidden charges! Which is an awesome thing! Normally I’d be discouraged if I see the total bill ramped up to more than what was displayed initially, but for Traveloka, I paid for what was stated in the app.
I also love the fact that the app shows the hotels that are currently doing flash sales or providing discounts. I missed a flash sale from another hotel, which might be a good thing because I was able to book at Newtown Plaza Hotel at an even better deal!
I normally wouldn’t provide any tutorial on how to use an app, on my blog. However, I got the best deals and made my much-needed staycation come true through this app, that I would also like to share it with you!
How to Start Using and Book a Hotel via the Traveloka App
I was using an Android phone when I used the Traveloka app so iOS users please bear with me. Here are the steps to using and booking a hotel via Traveloka:
Setting-up The Traveloka App
1. Download the Traveloka app via the Google Play Store, wait for it to install and that’s it.
2. Tap on the Traveloka icon created on your phone.
3. At the home page you will see several buttons, and yes, you can book Flights through Traveloka too!
4. Before booking, it would be wise to set up your account first. Tap the “My Account” icon
5. Tap on Edit Profile and enter your details.
6. Once done click the back icon (arrow) and tap on “My Cards”
7. Enter your Credit card details which you will use for paying for the rooms.
8. No Credit Card? Me too! I shunned using credit cards already, so I used my Paymaya Card and it was accepted by the app! Just make sure that your Paymaya account has enough balance to pay for the room.
Booking a Hotel Room Via Traveloka App
1. Go back to the home page of the App and click on hotels
2. If your phones locator/GPS is on, you can start searching for hotels near you.
3. If you have a specific area in mind apart from your current location, you can change the location by tapping “Destination”.
4. In my case, I widened the search, by changing the destination to Baguio City.
5. Choose your Check-in Date and enter your intended check-in date.
6. Choose the Duration of your stay.
7. Choose the number of people who will stay in the room.
8. Choose the number of rooms that you will be booking.
9. Tap Search
10. This will show you all the available hotels and inns based on your specifications
11. Choose the hotel/inn that you want
12. Select a Room
13. Review you booking
14. Pay for the room (if you linked your card previously then you shouldn’t have any problems)
15. Once paid you will get a hotel voucher on your app with the reminders and other instructions when checking-in to the hotel.
In My Case
Although there are 15 steps in booking, believe me when I say it wouldn’t take you one minute to book. Provided of course that you are already set with the hotel and room type. If you are shopping around for the best deals, however, it will take you a while, but it is fun, shopping around got me the best deal! Traveloka has lots of promos and flash sales which you can see in-app. With that very easy booking process through Traveloka, I was ready for a staycation.
Newtown Plaza Hotel Review
Newtown Plaza hotel is located along C.M. Recto Street. It is one of the newest hotels in Baguio City. I first got to know about this hotel because of their buffet offering. Their merienda buffet is really filling, delicious and affordable. They also have a play area for the kids, a playground, and an arcade. Not to mention a bakery where they sell raisin bread that is really full of raisins.
Checking-in at Newtown Plaza Hotel
Check-in was a breeze since I already booked via the Traveloka app, I just need to present the hotel voucher. One of the best parts of the app is that it informs you on what you should expect upon check-in. So before the front desk officer asked me about the requirements, I already have them on the counter. When you check-in the front desk officer will ask for the credit card which you used to book the rooms and a valid I.D., I presented my Paymaya Card which I used to pay for the room and my PRC ID as proof, they will also ask you for a deposit of P1,000.00/night room deposit, I handed them two thousand pesos since we are staying for two nights, yep I really got a great deal through Traveloka. Upon handing our keycards I was told by the front office that all rooms do not have any aircon. At that time, the temperature is at single digit, so I told the nice lady at the front desk that we will not be needing it anyway.
Inside The Room of Newtown Plaza Hotel
I booked the Deluxe Room at Newtown Plaza Hotel, and to my surprise, it was a huge room! We were given room 712 and the view is spectacular! When I asked around, I learned that one of the differences between their standard room and their deluxe room is the veranda, the view which for an additional of about three hundred of pesos, it is really worth it!
Another difference between the standard and the deluxe room are their beds. The standard rooms have smaller beds as compared with the full beds of the deluxe room. Basic amenities were also provided from slippers, toiletries, towels, robes, bottled water, coffee.
When I examined the room, I realized that this is really a perfect place for a staycation, because of their huge T.V. At first I didn’t notice it because I thought it was part of the wall design but was actually the T.V.
The beds and pillows were comfy. The room was warm, and it hasn’t been penetrated by the cold Baguio weather. Which is good for us. I wondered if we stayed during the summer season, will there be any way for us to cool down the room? I looked up and saw the ceiling fan, so the hotel got you covered for every season. Not to mention the fact that the hotel is located in a place where there are still more trees. It is just a 2 minutes walk away from the Baguio Botanical Garden after all.
Internet Connection At Newtown Plaza Hotel
For a freelancer like me, internet connection is really important to make sure projects run smoothly even on a vacation. I am not sure if the router just outside our hotel room door made a lot of difference, but the internet speed is decent enough at around 2-4mbps. I noticed a slow down on the speed when there are more guests on our floor. But I was able to get some work done still with their internet connection.
The View, The View!
The view is really awesome, after drawing the curtains and opening the door to the veranda, you can see the beauty of the mountains. The best part is I was able to see the beautiful sunrise and sunset. If you want to be mesmerized at night, look down and you will see a view of their “centerpiece” tree donned with lights and the color changing pool, the pool is quite small, though, it is more for viewing rather than swimming in.
As I’ve mentioned, I got the best deal using the Traveloka App. This is because when I booked the room, breakfast was included! And if there is something Newtown Plaza Hotel is known for, it is their buffet! I was excited for our second day and sample their breakfast, so excited that we actually went down to the restaurant to enjoy their merienda buffet, for just P195 that is already a great deal, knowing that your food is cooked fresh since they have an open kitchen.
On our second day, the breakfast was so sumptuous, hefty and downright delicious! I especially loved their waffles, bacon and their ube siopao. The fruits and vegetable salads were refreshing. I can’t get enough of their hot tea and their omelets. My tip, if you book a room at Newtown Plaza hotel, make sure breakfast is included, if you had to pay extra then you should. I actually did pay extra because my 8-year-old daughter wasn’t included since the room was booked for two. You can ask the restaurant staff to charge it to your room.
Overall Experience At Newtown Plaza Hotel Baguio
With several child-friendly amenities such as the Kidzone, a small children’s playground, and an arcade, we could say that the hotel has something for the children. For the adults, the hotel is near some of the baguio’s tourist destinations like the Botanical Garden, Wright Park, Mansion House among others. It is also about the 5-10minutes ride to SM City Baguio. If you are not a fan of buffet meals, there are restaurants nearby, about a minute walk from the hotel lobby.
The location, the amenities, the decent internet speed, the view and the courteous staff definitely made our staycation something to remember. On top of that, a restful night on their comfy beds with the people I love is enough to rejuvenate me, ready to tackle life’s challenges ahead.