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Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: Rachel's Summer Place (Replacement for Baguio Pines Transient House)

If you have read my previous blog post, this is the replacement house given to us by Ms. Mila of Baguio Pines Transient House due to their mismanagement of reservations.  To refresh your memory, we reserved House #3 of Baguio Pines Transient House and paid the 50% downpayment.  About a week before our booked date, we were informed that it wasn't reserved to us (not under my name) and so they gave us another house, and this is it.  It was called Rachel's Summer Place.  Thanks to Google, I was able to check their FB page and found that it was indeed the house we stayed.

It was the house caretaker, Manang Femia, who mentioned to me the real name of the house.  According to her, the house was no longer maintained by the owner for several years already who is already a widow and resides in Manila.  True enough, the house needs some improvements and renovations.  Let me first walk you through the pictures sent to me by Ms. Mila on this house.

Facade of the house

The living room

Dining room and kitchen

Dining area

The fireplace

Stairs to second floor

One of the rooms

Here's the other room

Another room located at the attic

Room in the first floor

Toilet at the second floor

If you compare this to House #3 of Baguio Pines Transient House, Rachel's Summer Place is indeed, smaller.  In all fairness, the house was clean, the floor was well polished, and each room was carpeted.  The house also have a veranda but it is quite small and we were not able to lounge there since it was always locked.  Maybe the plus point can be attributed to the fireplace which is not available in House #3.  Though the house is small, it can accommodate big groups but with only 2 toilets.

Now for the drawbacks of this house, let me enumerate as it is quite a lot.

  • 4 Rooms available but it seems the 2 rooms were just converted to become a room (located at the ground floor and the attic)
  • The 2 converted rooms can only accommodate 2 people.  The other 2 rooms can accommodate up to 4 people.
  •  Even though the 2 rooms are quite big, no adequate beds or even cushions are available.  It seems that each only has 1 double size bed with thick mattress.  This mattress were removed from the bed frame and served as extra beds.  The bed frame were now covered with very thin cushioning or even nothing at all.  This was our assumption since some of the beds are hard while some have enough cushioning.
  • Wallpapers are chipped off already.
  • I saw a cockroach in our room (attic area), not sure about the other rooms
  • The living room can be converted to a sofa bed.  Throw pillows are also provided when you will lounge near the fireplace.  Although I saw some insects on one of the throw pillows.
  • Bedsheets, pillows and blankets in each rooms are ok though.
  • 2 toilets are available, in the first floor and second floor.  Both have lots of buckets of water and each has portable water heater.
  • All knobs for water to flow are closed, even for the flush on each toilet.  This is because water consumption is controlled, thus the presence of buckets of water.
  • There is enough water in the water tank but Manang Femia refused to switch it on while we were renting the house and all throughout our stay because she claimed that the water tanks may have leaks that makes it empty easily.  Thus, we can only use water when needed.  Even late at night, we still need to bother Manang Femia to open the water tank.  In my experience, I wasn't done in taking a bath, yet, there's no more water flowing in the faucet.
  • The flow of water in the second floor can become weak when people are using it in the first floor.
  • Flush in the toilet at the first floor is not working.  I don't mind pouring buckets of water just to make it flush but apparently it is clogged and is not flushing properly.  In short, this toilet is useless.
  • Water is very very cold in Baguio.  Its a bit hassle to use portable heater from time to time just to get a warm water.  Its even hassle that the electrical outlet in the toilet at the first floor is not working.  You need to take out one bucket of water from the toilet and plug the water heater from available outlet.  Once warm, you need to bring back that bucket in the toilet.  Indeed, toilet in the first floor is useless.
  • Toiletries and toilet papers were provided.
  •  Kitchen equipment and utensils are available for use.  Drinking water is also available.  The refrigerator was most of the time turned off during our stay.  It will only be switched on when needed.
  • Gas tank can be used free of charged, but again with limitation.  The main gas tank will only be switched on when needed.  So if you feel like eating midnight snack, you won't be able to cook anything unless you wake Manang Femia up just to open the gas tank.
  • Water in the kitchen is similar scenario as the toilet since the house only has one water tank.  Most of the time, we use water from the bucket to wash the utensils.
  • There is a water leak in the ceiling that falls near the area where you wash the utensils.  The water leak seems to be coming from the toilet in the second floor.
Its frustrating that everything is controlled, most especially the water and gas tank.  Food and water are basic necessities of man, yet we cannot have these freely from this house.  It is not scarce but it was controlled just to save on it.  We came into a conclusion that because the owner is no longer maintaining the house, Manang cannot waste any of its resources.  Maybe she's the one managing it now so her monetary resources is limited to pay off gas and water.  But we paid for the rent of the house.  Isn't it our right to avail what we paid for?  At the rate of Php 4,500 per night, discounted price given by Ms. Mila, I don't think it was worth it.  We didn't fully enjoy our vacation.  
Well, I guess Manang Femia's controlling on all these stuff were understandable if she is indeed the only one managing the house with limited monetary resources, we cannot blame her.  Who to blame was Ms. Mila because she gave us a house that is not at par to the initial house we reserved.
From the Facebook page of Rachel's Summer Place, it was posted that the cost to rent the house is only Php 3,500.  But that was year 2012 post.  Maybe prices have changed due to inflation or whatever.  If the current rate is still to be at Php 3,500 and Ms. Mila charged us at Php 4,500, that would really made us mad.  I didn't bother to determine it.  I just believe in Karma.


  1. Tsk. Hassle to have issues when you're supposed to be enjoying your trip. Thanks for this post, I'll keep this in mind.

  2. Hi, we do hear of this type of Vacation, too often! For any future visitors to Baguio, you can overcome these issues by one of three ways.
    1. From friends recommendations
    2. Check for Dept of Tourism accreditation
    3. Online reviews
    In our Transient Houses we are trying to "raise the Bar" for guest comfort and enjoyment. After all it is your vacation and it should'nt be ruined by sub-standard facilities and a bad experience. Always try to book early,cos good value baguio accommodation does book out quickly during busy season.
    Best wishes to all for their Baguio trip. Peter,


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