When I was interviewing Forest House’s guest chef John Wayne Formica for a feature that would later appear at The Baguio Chronicle, restaurant owner Ari Verzosa also toured me around their family’s newest venture two levels below.
Forest House, the restaurant well known in Baguio for its unique log cabin style, is expanding. This time, it is offering rooms below its dining area with the same cozy and lavishly decorated interiors.
Occupying two levels below its main dining area, the four-room bed & breakfast’s two most salient points are, to my personal opinion, its common fireplace and its bay windows (although you might have to wait a little longer to have a bay-window-equipped room, as the one on the first level is occupied by the restaurant’s extended dining area. The one on the second level, meanwhile, is still being developed into a fifth room).
I try to picture the building’s three levels from afar and I’m reminded of that fuzzy feeling of Christmas, afternoons spent curled up in front of the fireplace and all.
The Bed and Breakfast looks like something only a mother could have put together. There’s never a sunflower out of place, and decorative plates are never overrated, especially against pinewood or brick. And then you have the living room, the cozy couches reminding you of lazy childhood days spent wondering if toys grew on trees.
According to Verzosa, they didn’t want it to look like “a typical hotel.”
True enough, no dark, narrow hotel hallways here, and instead of a brass number fixed on your room door–which is red, by the way-you get a holly wreath. The green door does not get a holly wreath, though. But it does have a guitar hanging on its side, next to a brass bird cage you thought you only saw in storybooks–
–which is what the whole place reminded me of. It looked like it belonged to Santa, with all those trinkets here and there, only that the Christmas tree was clinging to the wall spanning the first and second levels right next to the spiral staircase–no way Santa could fit himself there.
Kahlil’s Room (all four rooms were named after the owner’s children) has a sliding door leading to a garden, while Chelsea’s Room–the first off the lounge with the red door–has a charming nook with full-wall windows and oversized strawberry vines crawling on the ceiling. No other way to put it–this place is as charming as a bed and breakfast can get.
Lounge around the cozy way in the B&B’s common living room. Owen Ballesteros
If you never got around to having that yellow bedroom door you’ve always wanted, it’s time to make that childhood dream come true. Owen Ballesteros
What’s better than a yellow door? Perhaps a red window. Owen Ballesteros
Accents of blue, green, red, and yellow adorn the spiral staircase leading to Yuri’s Room in the second level. Owen Ballesteros
Kahlil’s Room, one of the four rooms having that characteristic yellow and green accent we’ve always associated with home. Owen Ballesteros
A selection of Forest House’s breakfast menu for its B&B guests: Filipino Breakfast (in photo is Forest House’s specialty, Homemade Bagnet [crispy pork belly]) or All-American Breakfast (in photo is the Breakfast Sausage and Egg). Owen Ballesteros
Diners can also request to dine on the second level for a more beautiful view of the mountains courtesy of its bay windows. Owen Ballesteros
Verzosa also prides Forest House for its custom-made wooden furniture, something that he has extended to the Bed & Breakfast. Owen Ballesteros
Forest House Bed and Breakfast’s website can be accessed here.
All photos in this page are by Owen Ballesteros. You can view his website here.